Archive for biltmore cabaret

Acid Mother’s Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. March 29th, 2011

Posted in music journalism, reviews, rock & roll, writing with tags , , , on April 28, 2011 by bex0r

Wow. Stumbling into the Biltmore on a random Tuesday night you might find any number of things—the after work crowd chilling with some PBR’s, strange old men nursing single pints and looking suspicious or even burnouts still recovering from the weekend; but this past Tuesday was exceptional in that they all were there. Plus 3 of the craziest looking tripped-out Japanese metal-hippies I’ve ever seen. Words don’t do them justice so please check out this picture: [insert craziest representational pic here pls thx]

To begin with describing their sound would be completely shortchanging and overlooking the awesomeness that is AMT’s stage presence and personal style. To distill it down to a few words I’m going to call it transnational post-bohemian rocker chic. They nailed it with every wispy strand of stringy long hair, the deliberate laziness of their scraggly fu-manchus and of course their whimsical fashion sense (I spotted a batwing sweater, ripped Levi 501’s and superbly battered Irish brogues—and that was just the lead singer). At one point I became so overwhelmed I had to sit on a bass bin and just marvel in their greatness. When I grow up I hope to be a minute fraction as cool and progressive as these dudes.

Their music is, as one die-hard fan described it, “the authentic experience, the real deal…legit,” and I have to agree. Although not one moment seemed rehearsed or contrived in the slightest, they were bang on every change, with a sheer viscosity to their flow tying it all together. They had a distinct organic feel despite their heavy roots, which I can only assume come from listening to a lot of American hard rock and metal. I was hard pressed to find any kind of concise biography for these guys, their website was mystifying but I highly recommend checking it out for entertainment value (http://www.acidmothers.com/).

They employed all the typical rock band instruments but took things up a notch with loop stations, a number of vintage synths and a crap load of decay on everything. It was the most decentralized listening experience I’ve ever had at a Biltmore show, with a psychedelic energy pervading the space and getting deep in my head. I kept unconsciously trying to find a tonal center in the music but often came up with nada. Perhaps a little frustrating at times, but reassuring when you remember to just relax, let go and start being open. You never know what’s going to happen—one minute you’re knee deep in free form metal and the next you’re being sweetly serenaded with a 3-part medieval vocal fugue (yes that happened). If AMT are a receiver for some kind of universal frequency, they are allowing and perhaps encouraging their audience to be the same, and if you can ride that wave it’s a funky time.

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No Gold, Babe Rainbow, Mount Kimbie – March 30th Biltmore Cabaret

Posted in archives, music journalism, reviews, rock & roll, writing with tags , , , on April 28, 2011 by bex0r

Thursday, March 30th three different acts shared the bill at the Biltmore, with varying degrees of success. I was surprised to discover a Vancouver band I’d never heard before called No Gold, which could be ironic considering they looked pretty damn golden on stage. These three attractive guys played a style of indie rock with lush tropical rhythms and rich dubby bass, paired with synth, guitar and live drums. I found myself grooving to their laidback vibe and thoroughly enjoyed their set. Once they tighten up a bit these guys will do well.

NoGold_Biltmore_VancouverDSC_1849

Credit: formatnoauto

Up next was Babe Rainbow, who was sadly a little disappointing. I love his production style and original tunes and I’ve been following his Twitter feed since hearing his Myspace. He was recently hyped by local media and music fans for signing with Warp (Grizzly Bear, Boards of Canada) as well as showcasing at SXSW, which in the past has been a legit career development conference/showcase opportunity for export-ready artists. Babe Rainbow still has a long way to go as a performer. To play electronic music for an audience one must grasp the art of the mix, not just be a producer who can create quality songs. He took us from a high-energy dance track into a hip-hop/soul remix in a breakneck ten-second mix (and repeated this move more than once in his set). Jarring, disconnected and a little schizophrenic in track selection and mix style, this DJ would do well with a little more practice and maybe more time spent on his production, which shows a lot of promise.

babe rainbow

credit: formatnoauto

The night was topped off with a heady mix of deep house, uk garage and big beat (which I spontaneously coined “deepstep,”) from UK up ‘n comers Mount Kimbie. They slammed us with a wicked selection of deep-in-your-soul grooves and mixed flawlessly from 4/4 to broken beats to polyrhythm and everything in between. These guys know how to make music in a way that is highly original, innovative and forward thinking. Their use of ambient sound creates a total immersive experience, paired with looped samples that they employ in a very innocent and exploratory way. They aren’t bound by genre specific convention in the way most artists are, they actively turn convention on its head and could even be called subversive in their use of sampling, effects and live production. Their stage presence is definitely noteworthy, watching them utilize every instrument on stage with a skillful mastery while building intensity and sometimes even bordering into desperate abandon. It’s bands like Mount Kimbie that light the path to future breakthrough genres and provide a beacon for those downtrodden souls in the underground waiting for something new and original.

Mount Kimbie at the BIltmore

credit: formatnoauto

spanish sahara – foals (mount kimbie remix)