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Live In Oakland

by Dax Pierson

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lofimolina thumbnail
lofimolina One of my favorite albums right now! Also had the honor to hear this set live when it was performed at Pro Arts, Oakland. A very deep moving album Favorite track: Memory.
dj riffelblech
dj riffelblech thumbnail
dj riffelblech I was waiting for this.... for years... it's surprising, deep, amazing! Favorite track: Krafteno.
Matt Gonzalez Kirkland
Matt Gonzalez Kirkland thumbnail
Matt Gonzalez Kirkland Dizzying, claustrophobic, beautiful, intense - transporting and amazing music. Favorite track: Soulpsang.
Andrew Weathers
Andrew Weathers thumbnail
Andrew Weathers raw drones & jagged grooves, a deep listen. Favorite track: Krafteno.
~ DJ Megasoup (Selaroda) ~
~ DJ Megasoup (Selaroda) ~ thumbnail
~ DJ Megasoup (Selaroda) ~ An epic journey packed with very inspiring music by one of the nicest people I know. Every track here is excellent, and the music here runs the gamut stylistically... polyrhythmic percussive patterns in odd time signatures, cavernous ambient drones, post-Dilla hip hop grooves, classic electro-funk dance jams, experimental electronica and IDM, along with some psychedelic sound collages featuring various field recordings, sampled and manipulated voices, extraterrestrial synths, and much more.
Diego Aguilar
Diego Aguilar thumbnail
Diego Aguilar Dax makes the sickest beats in the multiverse
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Soulpsang 04:33
Krafteno 06:30
Macrobid 03:56
Memory 03:56


“Don’t take your physical abilities for granted, for you can lose them, with a snap of the neck,” Pierson chants, as the manipulated vocal loop meets dense, orchestral synthesizers and undulating drones that escalate into a triumphant, cinematic beat for “A Snap of the Neck”, the album’s powerful opening track. Genre wise, Live In Oakland defies categorization; seamlessly blending elements from hip hop, dance music, experimental electronics, and free improv/radio art into an idiosyncratic electronic style.

Further into the album, “Treading Water” a offers a dense, complex balancing act of IDM and musique concrete in which Pierson samples and sequences the sounds of the medical equipment and motorized wheelchair that has been a part of his life since his 2005 accident. Pierson has relentlessly persevered through these physical limitations and endless learning curves by focusing his practice to unique interfaces with both software and hardware to produce an ineffaceable body of live and studio recordings.

Aesthetically, Live In Oakland blends heavy, multi-layered polyrhythmic percussion with sharp, mechanized, arpeggiated synth lines, meticulously sequenced transitions and geometric time changes which dramatically stop, start and pivot on an invisible dime. Field recordings, manipulated voice samples, and swelling synthesizers create unexplored caverns of ambient textures accentuated by bright percussion and synth leads. The A side was recorded at the legendary Oakland DIY venue LCM (Life Changing Ministries) and the B-side was captured more recently at the 3-day Stasis Festival at Pro Arts Gallery in downtown Oakland. While studio productions of many of these tracks exist, this live pairing of Pierson's work serves as an intimate and focused glimpse into the intensity and veracity that the tracks possess, especially within a live, free-form setting. The performances stand both on their own as individual live sets, but they also operate as continuum, and the result is a sonically deep, compositionally and conceptually complex offering from one of the bay area's most hardworking, esoteric and innovative producers.

Dax Pierson is a musician/producer who has called the East Bay home for 20 years. He was co-founder of the bands Subtle and 13 & God, a touring member of left of center hip-hop group Themselves and an associate of the Anticon collective. In 2005 Subtle encountered black ice in the middle of the country while on tour and flipped over, leaving Dax with a spinal cord injury in the 5th and 6th vertebrae. Since his individual fingers are now paralyzed, Dax has switched to using a laptop controlled with iPad apps in order to produce. The last 12 years have been spent exploring the possibilities that technology could offer, often with time-consuming learning curves. His work is currently informed by limitations, college radio segues, hip-hop, ‘90s post-rock, odd time signatures, new techno, ambient drones, bobbing head beats and sentimentality.


released July 19, 2019

Written, performed and produced by Dax Wentworth Pierson

©️Dax Wentworth Pierson
®️leokuma music/bmi

Live at LCM recorded by Raub Roy and live at Stasis recorded by Michael Buchanan

Mastered by Jay Fields

DAX Logo by Lockwood 51

Spine Illustration by Julia Mazawa



all rights reserved



Ratskin Records Oakland, California

Ratskin Records is a collective record label and archival imprint championing decolonial experimental music centered in the Bay Area and beyond . We collaborate with and are in community with LGBTQ+, Black, Native, POC, and disabled artists who create work that is sonically and politically pushing boundaries toward liberation. ... more

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