Sonic Transmissions Festival III

Founded and curated by bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, the third annual Sonic Transmissions Festival encompasses everything from free jazz and improvisational electronics to cumbia.

"It's based in a group that I have going here in Texas," explains the Norwegian native. "The Young Mothers are a melting pot of free jazz, hip-hop, and punk rock. That band has so many genres, so I thought, why not build the festival around it? I was trying to challenge audiences to see that idea, because they can easily fall into this thing that this is just noise and 'He's just trying to be weird, or he's just trying to fusion things.'

"That's not really what I'm trying. I'm trying to prove that music is music [laughs]! That's the one and only thing, really."


Night one, co-presented at Barracuda by Self Sabotage Records and Astral Spirits, Thursday, and which Flaten calls "maybe the hippest night of the festival," doubles as the release party for his new solo bass LP Hong Kong Cab. Berlin electro duo ILOG, Austin punks Lung Letters, and Texas experimental guitar duo Charalambides, joined by Florida free jazz sax titan Joe McPhee, contribute free range noise. NYC's Rodenticide, also with a new release on Self Sabotage, blends poetry and free improv, while McPhee collaborates with Baltimore steel guitarist Susan Alcorn and Chicago sax wizard Ken Vandermark. Dallas DJ Mutarrancho fills the spaces.


Co-staged on Friday night by Epistrophy Arts at Kick Butt Coffee, the Psychedelic Bogotá Cumbia Dance Party boasts the first stateside gig by Colombian cumbia legend Carmelo Torres, backed by fellow countrymen Los Toscos. New York guitarist Brandon Seabrook and Colombian DJs Gala Galeano and Pedrito y Su Tumbao also weigh in.


Jazz rules Saturday afternoon at Kenny Dorham's Backyard: Austin guitarist Matt Butler's End of the World Orchestra, Young Mothers' Jawwaad Taylor (trumpet) and Stefan González (vibes/drums), a Flaten-led collective called Black Unity Ensemble paying tribute to Pharaoh Sanders' Black Unity album, and Counter Exchange, an ATX/NYC improv summit featuring multi-instrumentalist Henna Chou, trumpeter Jaimie Branch, saxophonist Carl Smith, and drummer Tarik Aossey. The Victory Grill closes out STF that evening with Branch, her duo Anteloper, and Norwegian bassist Eivind Opsvik's post-punk jazz act Overseas.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Super Secret Records
Faster Than Sound: The Fable Trilogy, Briscoe Center's
Faster Than Sound: The Fable Trilogy, Briscoe Center's "Greatest Hits," and Beerland Sold
Rare local reissues from Jazzman Records, the Briscoe Center’s Music Collections presents its “Greatest Hits,” and – has Beerland been sold?

Rachel Rascoe, May 31, 2019

How Much Harder Can Skeleton Get?
How Much Harder Can Skeleton Get?
They're already the most savage specimen of homegrown hardcore.

Tim Stegall, July 27, 2018

More Richard Lynn
Faster Than Sound: Ryan Garrett Assumes Beerland Lease
Faster Than Sound: Ryan Garrett Assumes Beerland Lease
Stubb’s GM Ryan Garrett takes over lease on neighboring punk club Beerland, expanding Red River Cultural District involvement.

Rachel Rascoe, Oct. 18, 2019

Faster Than Sound: City on the Fence Regarding Red River’s Homeless Problem
Faster Than Sound: City on the Fence Regarding Red River’s Homeless Problem
Red River merchants push to finally enclose dangerous alley with 10-foot fence, electro-pop diva p1nkstar touches down at Fuego ATX, and more

Rachel Rascoe, Jan. 25, 2019

More by Michael Toland
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Molly Burch, Arooj Aftab, and Mobley lead our recommended shows

Sept. 29, 2023

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
HAAM Day, Ron Carter, and Pecan Street Festival lead our recommended shows

Sept. 15, 2023


Super Secret Records, Richard Lynn, Sonic Transmissions Festival III, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Austin Jukebox, Austin Cultural Exchange, Self Sabotage Records, Sonic Surgery, Quin Galavis, Will Courtney, Manikin, Matt Conboy, the Chumps

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle