A couple weeks back I finally got myself to an Ian Newton jam. Over the years, fortune has repeatedly conspired against me, preventing attendance at Ian’s legendary Blue Dot parties and Kabelsalat series. But not this time, friends. This time I made it all the way to the red planet of Café Pyrus in DTK to catch Ian (as spooloops) delivering his electronic music in a small-audience setting under the moniker RAMBATAM I.
Interlude: if you dig my community-building work through these stories, please support it with your pocket change through Patreon. I currently have 17 supporters. If 2000 of Waterloo Region’s half million kicked in a buck or two per post, I would deliver 50 stories per year. Ok, back to the story.
I’m not entirely sure how I first met Ian. Probably by reputation and probably from photos of a Blue Dot party in the pre-tech Tannery building. Particularly interesting to me is Ian’s mashup of place, performance, music and art in all that he does. A lot of that work is grounded in Ian’s Zero to One studios in downtown Kitchener above Ye’s Sushi. Lots of friends like Melissa Doherty, Sarah Kernohan and Gareth Lichty have had studio space there. That’s the first place I ever saw an LED clock by Bernie Rohde.
The TL;DR: Ian is an instigator of something completely different. He’s right here in Kitchener. He wants to connect. I want five more Ian Newton’s here to catalyze change in the local scene. About RAMBATAM, Ian said:
”Floating somewhere between art and a social experience, RAMBATAMs are conscious, near-future spaces from a parallel universe. We are always seeking new collaborators, participants, ideas and connections. Reach us at email@example.com’”
For the uninitiated, Café Pyrus is across Charles Street from the bus station…
Click through for more pics…
Zentai hood removal at the door to check ID.
In dance party terms, I arrived pretty early: projection setup.
Slide projectors take me way back.
Ian had this one projecting slides through…
these fresnel lenses…
that were slowly spinning on monofilament.
Ian had some friends playing, too.
A great promising pile of stuff for the show.
I’m compelled to shoot rigs.
Filling in now. Super dark in there. Shooting in these conditions is how you start to talk yourself into a new camera.
In the spirit of experimentation…
I slowed my shutter…
And tried to stand still.
James in ears and tail.
I spotted Robert sans camera.
Plants as art.
Video capture complete.
Great shirts for sale.
I had to bail out before midnight so I could hit the road early the next morning to Toronto for Maker Festival.
On Charles Street, this is Kitchener.