All around psychedelic guy Arrington de Dionyso double times as a visual artist and a musician, and while he’s consistently exploring interesting territory with both, my personal belief that his public love of noise patterns can help free the bodies and spirits of Western music fans from the tyranny of the male plaid paradigm makes him a folk hero. Noise patterns!
Dionyso hits Toronto May 14th with his trance punk band Malaikat dan Singa, in support of their new release Open the Crown on K Records. The album is the bands’ first release to feature English as well as Indonesian vocals, and I’m into the new English language stuff. Single “I Create in a Broken System”, for an avant dance track, actually reminds me of Pavement, but in a way that’s fresh and unique, which really, how can that be possible, but it does. “Open the Crown” and “I Feel the Quickening” are spookier and kinda ride a Liars vibe. Nuts guitar lines might be the messy black outlines of Dionyso’s paintings. Civilizations melt and are built again.
Malaikat dan Singa take a far out idea and make something real with it, and it’s going to be special seeing them live in action. I talked to Dionyso about Open the Crown, his Indonesian music recommendations, and tigers.
You just touched down at Double Double Land a couple months back with your 24 hour drawing performance. Anything memorable go down?
I created a lot of work (which is viewable at arringtondedionyso.tumblr.com – the ones tagged Toronto are the ones created while there!) over the two days there and a handful of people came to visit during the day. The concert at Double Double was a fantastic experience but I was surprised how little people seemed to take any notice of the art. I decided to start doing these 24 Hour Drawing Performances as a way to further integrate my visual output with my musical experiences, and to try to bring the musical audience into a more immersive “art” experience, but after my tour through Canada in January I realized there is much more work to be done to be able to successfully communicate that to an audience. I’m not discouraged at all though: the other aspect of the 24 Hour Drawing is a very practical consideration. I am on tour half the year I don’t have an official “artist’s studio” so setting up a few days of drawing allows me to go deep into my creative zones within the set time parameters of the performance. Some of the work I did in Toronto is now being sold by a new gallery in Austin called Las Cruxes.
What advice do you have re creating in a broken system?
There is no force on earth more powerful than the imagination. Sure, most of the problems we face today are of our own creation, but we have incredible power to transcend, to go above and beyond within our given reality. This is one of those songs that just kind of wrote itself, I’m trying to tie together lots of different things in the lyrics: what role does the power of imagination play in the fight against oppression? How much of what we call “oppression” is something that is imposed upon us externally and how much of it is really something that we help sustain and perpetuate in our own minds? People like to complain about everything that “Society” does to us but we are all society, we are all humanity. It’s like when thousands of cars are stuck on a highway not moving very fast. You aren’t just stuck “IN” traffic, you ARE traffic.
Why should we not be discouraged people?
Well, there’s so much more work to do, so if we’re discouraged now, God help us!
Arrington de Dionyso is currently slicing through the country on an epic tour to promote Malaikat dan Singa’s new record Open The Crown! Check this cool piece of visual and sonic radness from a few weeks ago in Oklahoma City!
Anonymous asked: See plans for a show in Mass and NYC. Any chance you're heading down to DC or Baltimore this spring as well?
ah…unfortunately not this time around- our dates got filled up pretty quickly when we were booking this tour and nobody in DC or Baltimore got back to me in time to reserve a date, before all our other cities were booked! I hope we can route in that direction next time- the closest we’ll be is probably Philadelphia on May…19th I think? At the 1026?
Arrington’s art on display at Las Cruxes gallery in Austin. He sold a bunch of pieces!
Eastern wall at Las Cruxes Gallery, Austin, Texas- photo by Veronica Ortunyo- really quite a success!
chicolandia asked: thanks for the discussion, Arrington! Since this is a page for questions, explain "Open the Crown"? -Tamara
It could mean so many things- like the opening of the crown chakra, but also “crowning” is a term from midwifery when the baby’s head is starting to become visible and the baby is ready to enter the world.
The song has a manifesto-ish feel to me, a declaration of principles, it’s emphatic in it’s advocacy of alchemical revolution!
The title “Open the Crown” may refer to opening the chakra of consciousness. When we met Arrington, he was reading a heavy tome, The History of Consciousness. His music projects from Old Time Relijun to Malaikat dan Singa are a hella fun good time, and this is not at the expense of being…
Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa hitting it hard on the last song of the night- our very very special “tour kick off” show at Northern in Olympia, Washington- the first of nearly 60 concerts we’re doing all over the US and Canada throughout all of April and May! Please tell me WHEN and WHERE you have seen a dance party so massively uninhibited and joyous as this!
I am very very proud to be able to share with you the new video by Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa “I Create in the Broken System” directed by John Farinelli- watch, listen, enjoy, and please share with everyone you know!