June 8, 2010
Musical artistry has evolved way past instruments, bands, and genres. Those on the cusp of the nouveau edge are creating hybrid tunes that blend live instrumentation with snippets of tracks from yesteryear. Let Dave introduce some of those that are doing it best.
We’ve seen art from all eras brought back in countless forms, from hip hop’s dusted funk samples, to mashup’s cut and pasted pop, to chillwave’s hazed and glazed 80s gems. The next three acts also fuse existing thought with original vision, but differ in how they do it (adding their own instrumentation, crossing notions of genre entirely, etc). The ability to warp found sounds may still be the common dominator, but there’s some real progressive energy surrounding these guys – a next level imagination. Methods are less defined. Pools are bottomless. It’s controlled chaos really. And it’s beyond exciting.
Larry Gus: Greek native Panagiotis Melidis made the worldly collage that is Stitches on breaks from TV jingle work in Barcelona. If that covers a lot of map, wait until you sit through 35 tracks in 45 minutes. Stitches is a stimulating free-for-all held together by threads of 60s soul, abstract brass, and spirited percussion, among other weirdo interludes. A cohesive family of instruments along with some crackling vinyl keeps this from feeling like another modern laptop wonder. And well, it’s really not one; Gus’ madness consists of a portable turntable and sampler, leaving natural seams on display. He exhibits a great knack for pop and boasts it sparingly (see: the red light/green light horns all over “Brass Park [Surround]”, earth chants on “The Sun Debates”, and the handclapped howls of “Hearing The Words You Said”. They strike like epiphanies, which make Stitches, as a whole, a true listening experience. Reputation says the live assembly of this is quite wild as well. Hopefully he can bring it to the states soon.
Javelin: Great to see fellow Converse.com contributor (and These Are Powers member) Anna Barie had the chance to sit down and talk grub with these Brooklyn chop artists. Jamz n Jamz and this year’s No Mas simply cannot be overplayed, or overblogged. On both, the band press a universal remote control to our social gatherings, drastically flipping through ‘brought to you by Javelin’ programming. Like Larry Gus, their average track is about two minutes, so we don’t get far before some laser beam turns into a jazz flute…turns into a chipmunk freestyle…turns into an aerobic video, and so on. These are lounging jams you can sometimes dance to, sometimes laugh to, and somehow always pay attention to. Recommended for just about anything fun.
Run DMT: Somewhere in our memory banks we’ve lived in a state of Run DMT. Maybe it was the children’s Dimetapp nights, or that time you let go/fell from the highest point of a swing set, or succumbed to home shopping network hypnosis till your basement walls strobed in black and white static. If it is considered sampling, then the rather shadowy figure behind Run DMT samples life. It’s our subconscious wanderings retold through distant whispers, liquid rhythms, and fleeting culture. Like his patchwork art, his self-released audio (Bong Voyage and Get Ripped or Die Trying) mutates on a whim while remaining in a stylized fog. Expect an LP with Woodsist soon, and you can watch him shed some obscurity on tour right now.
Who knows where it goes from here.
Photo by Victoria Masters and Art Work by Run DMT