When it comes to performance, some acts carry on as if the audience isn’t there—consider Miles Davis and his notorious instances of facing away from the crowds who flocked to his shows—or disappear fully into their staging. LA experimentalists Robedoor went a step further. Two years ago at the Bottling Smoke festival, they played in the middle of a club floor inside what appeared to be a tent.
“We were always hugely bored by watching dudes twiddle knobs in front of big speakers,” says guitarist/vocalist Britt Brown. “So early on, we decided we might as well amplify the ‘non-spectacle’ aspect of drone music into total visual murk and mystery. For the first two to three years, we nearly always performed in our Stonehenge amplifier arrangement with a dark tarp draped over it all. We liked the energy it gave to the proceedings inside, even more ritualistic and cult-y and cut off from the world—and the fact that spectators were spared having to stare at two dudes crouched on the ground touching FX pedals and volume knobs.”