Ms. BOAN & LA’s Saturday Night Synths  

September 16th, 2023 – Los Angeles

You’ve heard of Friday Night Lights. Something about football games, right? I’m not sure, I’ve never been much of a sporting events person. Well, I’m here to tell you that those (vaguely defined) Friday nights have nothing on what I like to call Saturday Night Synths.

The venue is NonPlus Ultra, one of the city’s more hidden live music spots. One of those places you have to DM for the address. The night promised a stacked lineup of LA-based synthesizer artists, and I couldn’t be more excited as I ventured past the decoy front door into the neon-lit room-within-a-room.

The first artist to take the stage (in this case, a checkerboard floor) was Auragraph, the experimental project of Texas native Carlos Ramirez. He brought a refreshing ambient, minimalist, lo-fi vibe that reminded me of vaporwave and early techno, a sound I’d never heard played at a live show before. Auragraph’s production is both incredibly layered, yet somehow dazed, which made for a real treat to the ears.

Next was More Ephemerol, the dual project of Chad Fjerstad & Tamara Sky. They brought a unique, hard-to-place sound to the stage; I heard elements of minimal, new wave, and other classic 80s sounds. I was stunned by the psychedelic visuals swirling over the performers that night, which, paired with the black & white checkered stage, made for some of the most visually captivating sets I’ve ever seen. The way the lights glittered as they danced over vocalist Tamara’s rhinestone-studded fishnet gloves was breathtaking–I couldn’t take my eyes off of her for the duration of More Ephemerol’s set.

Photo by Teia Ciornei (@teiatoast)

Photo by Teia Ciornei (@teiatoast)

Finally, Ms. BOAN, Mariana Saldaña, made her entrance in a full black latex suit and matching wide brim hat. The room stood still in anticipation as Saldaña lifted the microphone to her lips, painted the perfect shade of blood red. As soon as the first beat of “Babylon” hit, the crowd was infected with a dancing plague. Ms. BOAN’s cinematic sound instantly fills an entire room–dreamy synths, emotional vocals, perfectly timed drum rhythms. These beautiful instrumentals, paired with Saldaña’s eccentric, larger-than-life stage presence and costuming, made Ms. BOAN the perfect headlining act.

Photo by Teia Ciornei (@teiatoast)

In between sets, Matia Simovich of INHALT DJ’ed a delicious blend of 80s new beat, synthpop, et cetera. He played some of my favorite dance tracks, specifically “Transdance” by Night Moves and A Split Second’s “Rigor Mortis.” It’s safe to say I didn’t get much of a break from dancing that night, except when I wandered off to the massive outdoor patio. Fun fact, Simovich produced, recorded, and mixed More Ephemerol’s most recent album and singles at his very own Infinite Power Studios in LA. Simovich also mixed Boy Harsher’s “Machina (Ft. Ms. BOAN – Mariana Saldaña)”, and Augustus Muller of Boy Harsher even made a surprise appearance to see her perform their track. Every time I step out to dance to the synth sounds I love so dearly, I’m hit with heartwarming reminders that people in this Los Angeles scene aren’t only coworkers; they’re a community who consistently shows up to support one another. I think it’s such a sweet sentiment to see true friends showing each other love, especially in an industry that’s so famously competitive. 

Follow Auragraph @auragraph_______

Follow More Ephemerol @moreephemerol

Follow Ms. BOAN @ms.boan 

Follow Matia Simonvich of INHALT / @infinitepowerstudios