Coldbrew Collective was voted Best Visual Artist in the 2015 Best of Seattle Reader Poll. To view the other winners, go here.
Bobby Azarbayejani and Aashish Gadani’s work is anything but background—sometimes the live visuals duo actually steals the whole show. It’s telling that on show posters, Coldbrew Collective, the duo’s alias, is usually billed just as high as the musicians. The two computer-science majors from the University of Maryland moved to Seattle for Amazon jobs in 2013, and in those two short years they’ve become integral fibers in the fabric of the city’s electronic, noise, and DIY music scene.
What started as a live visuals residency at Kremwerk’s seminal Motor dance night soon grew into residencies at that club’s Squall noise night and Vermillion’s HISSSSS cassette tape night. Hypnotized by the duo’s eye-popping, glitched-out, deep-web fantasias, all orchestrated live with a suitcase full of video effects units, Seattle bands and bookers started clamoring for the chance to bring the experience-enhancing Coldbrew Collective into their own events. At their peak, says the omnipresent duo, they were doing eight shows a month.
The best part of watching Coldbrew Collective whip up its video sorcery is attempting to sleuth out what the hell Azarbayejani and Gadani are doing. The two hunch over a tangled web of wires and boxes, and out of it come insane technodelic dreamscapes. Using a wireframe image of a soda can top as a control variable, we had Coldbrew Collective demonstrate its most prized analog effects unit, the Tachyons+ Opti-Glitch Videosynth, and show us exactly what each knob does.
All Knobs, Stacked