Well, yeah, but maybe there’s some mystic truth in there?
Because inside the far-out zone that Vitamin Wig C operates, it gets mystical real fast. Physical—as well as musical—objects are fully mutable, and all the usual signposts and signifiers are slip slidin’ away.
When I first encountered Vitamin Wig C ten years ago, it was immediately evident that—even on an esoteric music-making scene—Robbie is a lone runner.
We had Vitamin Wig C play Pehrspace. And Robbie played. And played. And played on his Wurlitzer organ. In fact, the dude wouldn’t stop jamming. Amazingly the crowd was way into it—they danced around Robbie for almost two hours!
That’s because every unreal auditory fantasy you can dream of lives inside Vitamin Wig C. This is a project with immense breadth and appeal despite only a tentative connection to conventional musics.
Heres’s another way to think of Vitamin Wig C: Imagine telling an artificial intelligence-powered music machine, make me some Fela Kuti surfin’ safari music, and it gives you… Vitamin Wig C.
Or maybe you ask the machine to whip up a dub reggae vaporwave 1800s hoedown and you get… Vitamin Wig C.
That’s because Vitamin Wig C is inevitable. Surrender now.
Robbie Hansen was very kind to take time out to turn us on—please read this exclusive interview:
Where are you from and when did you start making music?
I was born in Mission Viejo, Ca. Although I’ve spent the majority of my life in L.A. I don’t know how old I was when I started making music, etc.
Do you see yourself as a musician or artist or something else?
I feel I’m a musician, yes. Whether or not I’m an artist, I don’t know.
What were your inspirations as a child to start making things?
Janet and Judy! I saw them perform live in 1992. Not sure if they’re still active. Oh and Bobby Darin’s “Splish Splash” song I recall hearing in preschool and absolutely loving it. Oh and Little Richard, a huge inspiration.
Are they the same inspirations you have today?
Little Richard, sure. Janet and Judy, no. Amusing now and I salute them, but no.
Lately I’ve been feeling inspired by sea caves and recently visited some that are interconnected and can be accessed at low tide in Dana Point. While there, I set up two mics, one in each cave and recorded myself exiting and entering either cave continuously while alternating between playing a flute and kazoo. This went on for maybe thirty minutes and later, while in studio, I paired the recordings and it sounds as though my instrumentation is in a rotation of bleeding out acoustically to becoming defined in approximation to the mics. Also, one can also hear the tide rising toward the mics, which was a determining factor for ending the piece.
I only use the studio for mastering now, because I don’t get ideas while in the studio, really. If I’m in harsh surroundings with time constraints, I do. And so I think I’m inspired by time constraints in natural surroundings.
We live in L.A.—Hollywood—where everyone always wants one of those elevator pitch lines that sum up what a project is about. How do you describe your music?
I usually only let people know of my projects if there’s an invitation. Otherwise, usually once after a project is completed, I’ll try and let everyone know.
I’d describe my music today as maybe unconventional—possibly esoteric—but not to a given circle of heads or scene. It’s playful, it has range.
What does the name ‘Vitamin Wig C’ mean? Is there a story behind it?
I think it alludes to experimentation. Like sticking something where it doesn’t belong, or in an atypical place, I mean. I noticed a space between Vitamin C and felt like putting a wig between it might signify experimentation, or something.
What do you make music with? What are your favorite instruments lately?
My favorite instrument today is a piano my grandma left to me and I play it often.
You’ve put out a lot of releases—what are the essential ones newbies should stream first?
To get a sense for where I am at today, listen to Sewer FX. And listen to Dawn Adults next, which is an all-out Vitamin Wig C pop album.
How would you describe a Vitamin Wig C performance?
An amplification of myself trying to read the room. I’ve done difficult sets to all-out dance parties, though never prepared, really.
But for this show in particular I think I’d like to motivate people to dance and feel happy.
Will you be bringing your organ?
I’ve been using lighter gear. That thing is HEAVY! The other day I nearly tore my tuchus in half trying to lift it! OooF!
What’s your day job, if you don’t mind me asking?
Not at all. I’m a caregiver. I work mostly with elderly folks. I love it.
I’m really impressed by the altered photos you post on your Instagram—what’s the deal with those?
I love exploring liminal space and A.I. is a great tool for generating non-existent spaces that feel liminal.
Is there a particular approach or ethos behind them all?
Not in particular, no.
Is that the same one you apply to music?
Being random, yes. But working on that.
What do you think about the Uncanny Valley? What happens to the human brain when sights & sounds get a little… squishy?
I think it’s interesting. One could fall in love in the Uncanny Valley. As for sights and sounds getting squishy, in what sense?
What are you working on now?
I’m mastering audio recordings of the sea caves and doing remixes for various artists I like and converse with.
Any plans for the future?
Hoping to save money for a trip to Thailand.
If Vitamin Wig C was a delicious dessert, which one would it be and why?
Blackberry Chai Ice Cream. I don’t know if that’s any good.
Don’t miss the show:
Sean Carnage presents…
Friday, December 9th at Oracle Tavern:
Tricky Youth – Raw & loud, like Three 6 Mafia on a Nü Metal jag
Wryngwyrm – Sumptuous metallic vibes, atmospheric death noise
SAZA (formerly Sauber Zauber) – Black Metal / Prog experimentalism at it’s cutting-edge best
Vitamin Wig C – Monday Night superstar Robbie Hansen back with enthralling keyboard madness
Solar Wimp – Ascendant power trio rock—from a duo! Their final show!
DJ Kyle Mabson – Just added! Pro wrestling superstar & ’90s fanatic internet sensation
The doors open 8pm. Music starts at 8:30. It’s $10 at the door / 21+.