Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra

Jason Diamond

“It had crossed the line from an auditory phenomenon into something almost purely bodily. It was the loudest thing I've ever experienced, and I've seen Sunn 0))).” — Miles Raymer, Chicago Reader

The above quote just about sums it up – all you need to know about the event that's half (in a pretty huge way) of our Impose Weekend, the Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra, but we figured, we should go straight to the source, Steve Krakow (a.k.a. Plastic Crimewave), the man behind the magick.

What exactly is the Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra?

As many people who can be assembled (we've had from 35 to 70), playing electric guitar (or something with strings) in the key of the almighty “E”–musicians, non-musicians–whatever—I loosely conduct, trying to build ecstatic waves of sound which hopefully charges the air and minds of all present into some sort of frenzy.

How did you come up with the idea?

I guess I was inspired by the symphonies of Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham, as well as giant loose ensembles like the scratch orchestra, musica electronica viva, Sun Ra Arkestra, etc—as well as the properties of chaos magick, which is all about harnessing psychic energy.

I had actually scheduled a such event as far back as 1998, but the club closed down!!

How many have you done?

Four so far. Starting about years ago.

What are some more memorable highlights?

Outdoor guitarkestras sound the most amazing, you can hear everything and literally feel yourself jamming with everyone involved. The first was the most fun though, and indoors, the sound was as vast as the ocean and it was a bonafide happening–people puked, cried, kissed each other, handed each other guitars, and had religious experiences. I like it when little kids and non-musicians join and get inspired too.

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