On April 8th, Chicago’s Angel Olsen took center stage at the infamous Echo in Los Angeles, CA, playing for a very receptive audience of this rising folk singer. Olsen was recently signed to the long standing Jagjaguwar this year, a label that was founded in 1996 and located in Bloomington, Indiana. The label has given her high praise, stating in their press news, “Her voice is an incredibly strange, yet warmly inviting instrument always positioned at the forefront of her songs.” This was on full display at the Echo as her voice was unique, powerful and remarkably controlled. The live band that she has taken on tour with her consists of Danah Olivetree (cello), Stewart Bronaugh (bass) and Joshua Jaeger (drums). Fully polished, everyone brought a lot of presence at The Echo, giving Olsen a lot of room to do everything that makes her so unique. Angel Olsen is an accomplished guitar player and song writer, really defining her own identity and character within minutes of performing. The Echo presents a special world where everyone is close and able to really interact with the setting and Olsen’s approach to music was perfect for this atmosphere. Sound Colour Vibration’s head photographer Oliver Walker was on site for this performance and documented the night in full. Enjoy the photos from Angel Olsen and her band while listening to the Angel Olsen single “Tiniest Seed” from Bathetic Records below.
Angel Olsen live at The Echo Los Angeles
All photography from Oliver Walker | http://olivermwalker.com/
A transatlantic epistolary exchange.
A song transformed into a film score and mailed across the Atlantic Ocean.
The score interpreted using an intuitive approach and a single roll of 16mm color negative film. The film exposed, rewound and re-exposed many times, developed and sent back across the Atlantic. These images were collected with the foreknowledge that the film would be extensively manipulated in the darkroom. An archaic homemade contact printer was used to create the final look and that film was hand-processed, and rinsed and repeated all in the same room in which the score began.
Time passing. The feeling of time. Collapsing space. Collapsing time. Collapsing time and space.
*16mm print available and recommended for screening purposes. This is the digital version.
“Sweet Dreams” available on Angel Olsen’s “Sleepwalker” 7 inch from Sixteen Tambourines (sixteentambourines.bigcartel.com/)
US footage processed at Filmworkers/ Astro Labs Chicago. Austrian footage hand-processed at the filmkoop wien. 2K film scan by Synchro Vienna
This film was made under the auspices of a Fulbright grant funded by the Austrian-American Educational Commission.
On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Los Angeles was given a special presentation of some of the best modern electronic and hip hop music at the always packed Low End Theory. Including Baths, Dauwd, Ta-Ku, Dark Time Sunshine, special guest Busdriver and all of the Low End residents (Nocando, GLK, D-Styles, Daddy Kev and DJ Nobody), the evening was filled with an entirely different atmosphere than usual. The connectivity power was activated right from the beginning and a deep sense of passion swept through the Low End audience with superb sets from everyone on the bill. As the official return of Baths to the Low End Theory, this Anticon artist has been canvasing the world with his musical craft and Low End Theory was a must stop event for this visionary. Everyone on the bill that night was in full stride with various projects, highlighting one very small pocket of the collective artistic momentum that is existing in the 2010′s.
Baths has been promoting material off his upcoming album scheduled to release with Anticon in May of this year and anticipation has been raised with the type of set he gave to the city of LA for Low End. London’s Dauwd is also in promotion of new material with the February release of a bass heavy and experimentally electro EP by the name of Heat Division (Pictures Music Records). The vibe of the room changed entirely for his set, defining why he has been creating the type of buzz there is around him. Ta-Ku is one of the hardest working individuals in modern producer culture, claiming a large body of networks that include Project: Mooncircle, Soulection, HW&W, Sunday Records, Mushroom Music and much more. Low End Theory is an evolving platform for many different producer types and Ta-Ku brought his unique presence to the night without flaw. He has the kind of presence and sonic type that fit seamlessly with the past foundations of some of the best sets at Low End. The moment he got on the Low End stage, you could just feel what was about to happen.
Dark Time Sunshine is on the last leg of their US tour with Void Pedal and Moodie Black and stopped by Low End Theory for this one off date. Members Onry Ozzborn and Zavala create a very progressive and unique type of hip hop that is mind blowing in lyrical form. The beats are full of color and life, with deviations to the norm that are starting to become the norm in hip hop. Experimentally driven, the music is large and taps into a completely new type of atmosphere for the genre. There set was yet another completely unique experience that was highlighted by the contagious good vibes that were in the crowd. Busdriver was a special guest for the evening and displayed his technical and creative prowess on the mic for LA.
Low End Theory became a very different experience on March 20th, 2013 then ever before and was a night we feel honored to have captured with the photo collection that is below. The residents of Low End Theory have constantly been sharpening their skills over the life span of Low Ends existence and it’s astonishing to see it all continue to elevate on the level it did this last week.
Baths, Ta-Ku, Dauwd & Dark Time Sunshine + All Residents
March 20, 2013 @ Low End Theory Los Angeles, CA
All photography by Oliver Walker
Matmos photos from Feb 25th at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles | Concert Photos
Matmos’s Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt are true pioneers of experimental fusion music rooted in endless forms of electronic and acoustic based worlds. Leaning heavily into the realm of electronica, they have released experimental music of indescribable nature with a multitude of concepts that tie in each records vast sonic framework. Their technical abilities allow them to speak in volumes of musical language that gives them an endless array of possibilities from album to album. The extension of their live performances are even more wild and adventurous than what you hear on record, bringing to life the worlds of these two geniuses in a way that is thrilling and life changing.
Creating a body of work since their 1994 debut that has stood the test of time as some of most forward thinking music in the 90′s, 2000′s and now 2010′s, the brilliant minds of Matmos joined forces with Thrill Jockey Records in 2012 and have not looked back since. The Ganzfield EP was released late last year in preparation to the groups debut album for Thrill Jockey, The Marriage Of True Minds. Both releases are a stunning expression of beauty that paints millions of abstract and pleasing pictures with dark grooves added to a lot of the rhythms. It’s one of the most wild sonic rides I have taken this year, breaking open an entirely new perspective of what music is for me. The concept behind the record is deep and sources itself from studies and experiments Matmos conducted. “For the past four years the band have been conducting parapsychological experiments based upon the classic Ganzfeld (“total field”) experiment but with a twist,” Thrill Jockey explains. “Instead of sending and receiving simple graphic patterns, test subjects were put into a state of sensory deprivation by covering their eyes and listening to white noise on headphones, and then Matmos member Drew Daniel attempted to transmit “the concept of the new Matmos record” directly into their minds. During videotaped psychic experiments conducted at home in Baltimore and at Oxford University, test subjects were asked to describe out loud anything they saw or heard within their minds as Drew attempted transmission. The resulting transcripts became poetic and conceptual scores used by Matmos to generate the nine songs on this album. If a subject hummed something, that became a melody; passing visual images suggested arrangement ideas, instruments, or raw materials for a collage; if a subject described an action, then the band members had to act out that out and make music out of the noises generated in the process of the re-enactment.” It’s a very original piece of work that shows these talented musicians giving something of significance and value to the creative world. Blending together sound types from another dimension to our own, it’s an exhilarating ride to have to it blasted into your system through one of their live performances or on a high fidelity system.
Matmos took part in an extensive North American tour this last February to promote the new album The Marriage Of True Minds and SCV head photographer Oliver Walker was on site for the groups performance at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, February 25, 2013. The group brought together a stellar performance, captivating the large body of people present for this rare chance to see Matmos in the Los Angeles area. The group went silent from releasing a full length for 5 years and the new album is beyond expression and simply mind blowing. A wait well worth it indeed. Check out the exclusive photos from Oliver Walker and listen to the latest single from the album, “Teen Paranormal Romance” from the Thrill Jockey Records Soundcloud page.
All photography from Oliver Walker | http://olivermwalker.com/
Official music video for “Very Large Green Triangles” from the Ganzfeld EP
Matmos – The Ganzfeld EP – Out Now!
Production Company: l.inc design
Directors: Ed Apodaca & Audrey Karleskind
Producer: Donnie McCormick
Creative Director: Lisa Berghout
Designers: Audrey Karleskind, Deb Schedivy, Amy Law
DP: Danny Wang
Animators: Audrey Karleskind, Ed Apodaca, Danny Wang
Editor: Ed Apodaca
It was a brisk yet mild November evening on the north side of Chicago… and inside the illustrious yet tucked away Burlington Bar, aural magic was amongst us. The Burlington was hosting a very special and intimate music festival called Neon Marshmallow, about halfway through the 3 day extravaganza, Julian Lynch and his newly formed band started to set up. Julian Lynch is no stranger to all of us at SCV; the enigmatic multi-instrumentalist has written, performed, and recorded on all his albums to date, definitely something that we really look up to. That said, those of us in the audience that night at Neon Marshmallow had no idea what was in store (it had been a year since we heard new material from Julian). The band was bigger than we’ve ever seen Julian perform with before, joining them were a pair of wind players; clarinet and trombone respectively. This was going to be such a treat for us, we all knew that Julian sort of grew up on the clarinet instrument, so seeing this addition to the live setting was very exciting. Julian Lynch started off his set with a very monumental new tune that showcased all the players on the stage immediately. While his band continued to build up the introduction to the song, Lynch was kneeling down on one knee twisting a couple knobs on the very minimal pedals & effects setup in front of him. The effect was haunting. At points in the song there were long minutes of melodic feedback and rhythms that spoke to all of us in the crowd. A familiar and happy face behind the synthesizer was Joel Shanahan, a frequent collaborator of Julian’s live setting, Joel’s analog remedies were very healing to all of us as well. The performance continued into some classics as well, from his previous efforts, Mare and Terra. It was the ultimate smörgåsbord of Julian’s works. This was the third time I’ve seen Julian Lynch perform, and I must say that each time has been exponentially unique. I’m happy to say that his new music is as inspiring as ever, with grounding rhythms and soothing, nostalgic vocals. I’m also happy to say that some of the new songs performed will be included on his brand new LP, Lines, due March 26 via Underwater Peoples. Thank you Julian Lynch and thank you to your friends and bandmates for showing Chicago and the rest of the world so much love through your music. All photography from the performance taken by the young and brilliant Gabriella Hileman.
written by Pouya G. Asadi
The following is a performance from a month prior to the concert that this article is based on. The set features most of Lynch’s older material. Along with two new tracks at the very end.
Southern Lord presents The Power of the Riff 2012: High On Fire, Sunn 0))), Corrosion Of Conformity, Black Breath, Dead In The Dirt, Loincloth and Void Ov Voices | Concert Photography
All photography and words from Oliver Walker | http://olivermwalker.com/
If the world had ended on December 21st, at least I couldn’t have chosen a better place to wrap things up then with High on Fire and Sunn O))) at The Fonda Theater for Southern Lord’s Power of The Riff annual event. This years incarnation of the power of the riff brought a total of seven bands of the metal lineage under one roof, beginning with Void of Voices, Loincloth, and Dead in the Dirt before Washington’s own Black Breath played.
Following them was Corrosion of Conformity with the entire original lineup taking to the stage, playing tracks from the breadth of their 30-year history as a band. All the way from 1985′s Animosity to their self-titled release from 2012. Guitarist Woody Wetherman played with energy usually reserved for the perennially angry or untalented; pure focus and fire under a head of wild hair. Though in top gear already, the evening hit the redline as the always-shirtless Matt Pike fired into “Serums of Liao” off of this years De Vermis Mysteriis.
On the heels of yet another quality metal entry into the High on Fire back catalog, band-mates Jeff Matz and Des Kensel provide a solid yet soul-crunching backbone for the manic screams and wild solo’s of their front-man. After a recent stint at a health clinic I was very happy to see Mr. Pike back on the road doing the things that only he can do. I wish him health in the future and to continue his scathing album release schedule.
Waves of smoke rolled across the crowd in a haze of blue light as pulsing groans of sound announced the arrival of Sunn O))). Even though we could barely see them through the thick fog, three robed men surrounded by walls of amplifiers began to put the sound system at the Fonda Theater through its biggest workout of the evening. Clad in black robes and seething vocals provided by Mayhem front-man Attila Csihar, Sunn O))) droned through an hour of sweaty clogged guitar lines and distorted synthesizers, taking only a few breaks to raise their fists in homage to the end of time and forgotten gods.
French electro-pop duo Saint Michel performs on Encore! Live Sessions at le Baron Chinatown, New York | Concert Photography
Electro-pop duo Saint Michel have been making a name for themselves in the 2010′s with their signing to Columbia/Sony France and a wider presence around the world to their infectious sound. Rooted in an illustrious setting of modern musical cultural trend setters from Versailles, Paris, they are following in the foot steps of artists like Daft Punk and Air for a sound that is all parts catchy, adventurous, emotional and new. Crossing the Atlantic has always been a common medium of music exchange for artists in Europe and recently Saint Michel stopped by New York to further spread their gospel to a crowd of avid music followers in the New York region. With little press from the group in the States, it’s a real pleasure to get access to what they are doing before many others will.
Expanding into the region of New York with our photography coverage, we were granted special press access for the second of two events scheduled in New York last month. Performing for the Encore Sessions series, the group really brought a lot of reality to the press statements about following behind the footsteps of Daft Punk and Air. As is evident with the pictures taken of the group, electronics, guitars and the regular tools of modern rock are present. What they do with these tools creates a very unique and powerful sound. Just as much as the music is refreshing, they put on a very well crafted show aesthetically and energy wise. It’s always easy to tell when a band is on top of their game and Saint Micehl were always in sync and made the show a spectacle from beginning to end in the space provided. This photo set was taken from our newest photographer David Turcotte, the first of many contributions of his on our site in the New York region.
Included after the photos is the video for “Katherine”, from their debut EP I Love Japan on Columbia/Sony France.
All Photography from David Turcotte | http://www.thefullframe.com/
From Encore Session
After Daft Punk, Air & Phoenix… Versailles provides us a new sensation called Saint MichAs symbol of both royalty and revolution, the Palace of Versailles casts a long shadow over its inhabitants. Just half an hour from the French capital, the leafy city is classicism personified, which makes it all the more perverse that in the past 20 years, it has fostered some of the country’s greatest musical exports – Phoenix, Air, Alex Gopher and Etienne de Crécy, not to mention Daft Punk.
Enter Philippe Thuillier and Emile Larroche, who together make up Saint Michel. Certainly their music bears the imprints of the city’s favourite sons, their songs striking that magical happy-sad sweet spot. On debut EP ‘I Love Japan’, the duo deftly blend synth swells, clipped beats and sun-warmed melodies to create what the duo call “sentimental electro-pop”. There’s the breezy optimism of ‘Crooner’s Eyes’, a palpable ache pulling at the robotic, R&B-influenced vocals of ‘Wastin’ Tastin’’, while a sinuous bassline weaves through the Balearic-tinged title track. Saint Michel expertly balance on the knife-edge of familiar and fresh.
“We want to write sensitive songs, but we want to write songs you can dance to as well,” explains 28-year-old Philippe. Vintage keyboards might be a hot topic of conversation between the two, but girls dominate the band’s lyrical preoccupations. “It’s always about love, but it’s not easy love – it’s complicated love,” says Philippe. After time spent playing together in a previous band, Philippe and Emile splintered off to form Saint Michel just over a year ago, inking a deal with Columbia in may 2012. Early on their demos piqued interest, their live shows and EP inspiring excitable write-ups in the French press, which helped secure a forthcoming tour opening for Sebastien Tellier.
“We are not technical – that’s forbidden – it’s instinctive, it’s only pop music.” – Saint Michel
” From Daft Punk to newcomers Saint Michel, alongside with Phoenix, it’s been 20 years that the kids are shaking the clubs withinfra bass and explosives choruses” – L’Optimum
” With Saint Michel, Versailles becomes the center of the world, again” – Les Inrockuptibles
Culture Collide 2012 on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Pictures and words from Oliver Walker
The explosion of music from every corner of the world known as Culture Collide went off with a bang over four days as indie fans descended on Echo Park for the venue-hopping genre-mashing extravaganza.
The action began with a late night party presided over by the US’s own Chris Glover performing under his Penguin Prison moniker as he got the room to sing and dance along to big-bank busting anthem “Don’t Fuck With My Money.” The next evening was kicked off by Emmanu El, a swedish post-rock outfit fronted by Claes Strängberg that took breaks from beautiful melodies to reckless head-banging over atmospheric guitar work. In the next room over Jared James Nichols awed the assembled masses with incendiary riffs on a flying V, with riffage so severe he was soon short one artist wristband as his wild playing detached it from his wrist. Marit Larsen’s careful acoustic music proved perfect fare for the church venue, followed up the excellent indie-rock of Drug Cabins.
Fearsome guitar and drums duet Blood Red Shoes packed and attacked the Taix Champagne Room, playing a high energy rock set with a very aloof punk rock attitude. Over in the other room at Taix The Standards, a group comprised of Thai citizens and English expats burned through a setlist that included “Walk of Shame” and “Politics.” If one thing stood out the most as non-standard, it was Paul and Matt Smith’s (not related; they met in Thailand) boundless enthusiasm and ability to induce crowd participation.
Tribes proved to be another UK-connected treat for my ears before I headed over to John Talabot at The Echo. Talabot was joined by frequent guest Pional, and proved to be the apex dance moment of the weekend with peaks in his riveting set bringing every hand in the packed club up into the air. Friday brought the orchestral stylings of Patrick Wolf and the dreamy guitar vibes of The Magic Wands before gearing up for the Echoplex filling finale of the day staring The Big Pink. Between those I caught The Moog and standout act Unknown Mortal Orchestra who are getting set to debut a new album in February.
Though over at The Big Pink many may have been waiting for the big finish of “Dominos,” I was fully energized by the complete set and thought the power and precision of Robbie Furze, Milo Cordell and Co. was both present and persistent. The entire weekend is completed by a massive outdoor block party on sunday afternoon with highlights of the day including many former performers in the week like Of Montreal or Niki and The Dove mixed in with several bands who’s only performance was saved for the finale such as The Wombats or DIIV.
A psychedelic event headlined the evening with Of Montreal presenting their psych-folk masterpieces while a coinciding melodrama about the rise of American Iconography complete with costume changes took place. the performance was complete with appearances by Captain America, Spiderman, and two silver dancing batman’s with gigantic breasts. A happy crowd danced the night away as the Culture Collide balloon swayed under the stars to hits such as “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games”.
The night wasn’t without its own complications as Poolside and Tapioca and the Flea appeared in relief of other bands forced to cancel, but both played the role of relief well in their respective time slots. Outdoor closer The Wombats proved a satisfying end to the long weekend, bringing their fresh takes on indie brit rock to the Red Bull Soundstage with downtown Los Angeles glowing in the background.
Culture Collide 2012 on Saturday
Pictures and words from Kelsey Heng
Immanu El kicked off Saturday with a second festival performance in national spirit for Swedish Music Happy Hour in the TAIX front lounge. After a brief and embarrassingly ignored presentation by a Swedish embassy member, the Swedish blonde twins and their band strung their first Sigur Rós reminiscent chords. Seemingly obsessed with the concept of the sea, video clips projected throughout the whole set to help solidify their suggestive nautical mood. To me, the contemplative mood never really caught hold as lead singer Claes Strangberg grinned the entire set, either thrilled about their first US tour or the LA girls paying him such close attention in the front row. I couldn’t decide.
Over in the Methodist Church, Israel based musicians Efrat Ben Zur performed their second set of the day after their closer quarters show earlier in Origami. The church darkened as Efrat explained that her most recent release Robin was a collection of Emily Dickinson poems put to sound. In slight humor, she told the crowd the book of poetry was given to her by a close friend and was never returned. Luckily for Efrat, the inspiration fits her mood and demeanor perfectly and for anyone who knows the work of Dickinson, the set awakened a new perspective on the poetry’s familiar feel.
Perhaps, the first properly responsive crowd of the day streamed down into the Echoplex for the Estonian charm of Ewert and the Two Dragons, who after their set promised to return to their new fans soon.
Immediately after, Australia’s Gold Fields turned on a light show to a returned enthusiastic room. The band began their national tour with a heavy thundering intro as smoke enveloped the stage. Just when I thought I had the band’s sound figured out, they threw in some unexpected elements of cowbell and more natural percussion sounds.
Upstairs, the tiny Echo stage was filled to capacity with LA’s own old-school funk sound gang Breakestra. Everyone who caught wind of this band, found themselves soaked in New Orleans musical soul. Miles Tackett and his talented ensemble made everyone in the crowd wish they were back in old Louisiana deep in the heart of what he told everyone was the “birthplace of funk”.
The best surprise of the day was the somewhat unknown Swedish duo Icona Pop. Despite their repetitive and simple lyrics, there is nothing simple about their sound and sexy spirited performance. Dressed in all black, the girls act as a contrast to the other coming together occasionally to the DJ table or to the mics to throw their fists to the air and scream “I don’t care.”
Even still, most the day was a build up to the headlining hour plus set by psychedelic superstars of Montreal.
The set was mixed highlights of material primarily from Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer (2007) and Skeletal Lamping (2008). “Forecast Facist Future” off Sunlandic Twins (2005) caught the attention of the older fans, while “Spiteful Intervention” and “We Will Commit Wolf Murder” thrilled those who loved this year’s Paralytic Stalks.
Following the spirited high from “An Eluardian Instance”, Kevin Barnes launched into “Kristiansand” from the soon-to-be released Daughter of Cloud rarities album while masked wrestlers took to battle behind him.
In true of Montreal form, the show was an explosion of commotion and over stimulated visuals and characters. From dancing clouds, skeleton women, gas masks, crowd surfers, crowned knights, confetti, and balloons; the show left the audience nothing less than mystically entertained.
The highlights of the night were when Barnes’ frequently gave rock solos on his outfitted red guitar and then when he decided to put the instrument down to make the entire crowd swoon with his dancing.
As expected and desired, the encore welcomed a subtly dressed Georgie Fruit to the stage as the transformative awakening took place to “Labyrinthian Pomp” while masked creatures swam throughout the crowd. “She’s a Rejector” and a wave from Barnes finished the set and the third night of Culture Collide.
Beat Battles are a continuation of the hip hop culture that much of this new found genre is based in, bridging the cyphers, scratch sessions, break dancing competitons and other compettive outlets that hip hop breeds into the new form known as beats. Testing and honing your skills is always something that transcends beyond product and the Beat Cinema of Southern, CA has given notice to this path with the inclusion of a Beat Battle within the framework of their weekly residency that mirrors Low End Theory. If you have been to a proper beat battle, you know it’s a realm where chopping heads and taking names is a must. Unlike most events of this nature, the crew at Beat Cinema selected a crew of judges to ensure that the final outcome would be decided by those well intrenched into the art of beat making themselves and not crowd hype. Below is our coverage of this first outing into the Beat Battle hemisphere through the Beat Cinema along with a small Q&A with Beat Cinema resident Gypsy Mamba.
All photography by Christian Uriarte
Sound Colour Vibration: What compelled you guys to organize an event like this?
Gypsy Mamba: It’s actually my fault because I participated in a couple of beat battles and one thing I always noticed is that they never knew what the fuck they were doing. Hella unprofessional, so I brought it up and the crew took it upon themselves to bring the heat, which they did. So yeah, pretty much got tired of wack dudes in battles winning with snoozer beats.
SCV: How did you go about planning and implementing a beat battle that had a more professional feel and outcome?
GM: Well, most of the planning and setting up was done by DMM aka Michael Leon Davis of Beat Cinema. All I did really was set rules and regulations and make it so that the contestants had to be screened before they were chosen but I didn’t put anything really into it besides the flyer, judging and setting the rules. My key goal was to get producers out there that made more than sample driven loop beats (BARF!).
SCV: What artists really impressed you that you had little or no knowledge prior to this event?
GM: I’m going to say my new friend UG Leslie, he brought that fuckin dope fire, that hard lofi that i like. I also enjoyed very much the sounds of Hiko Tanizawa. Also feeling That Purple Bastard, who was the winner of the event. Those three stuck out in my mind. Most of them in the battle are my homies though so I knew of their greatness already haha.
SCV: What were some of the deciding reasons for the purple bastard taking the winner spot?
GM: Creativity and intricacy was what won me over with him and plus the way we judged by the ten point system. Creativity and intricacy counted towards most of everyone points which is why if you brought a snoozer you were slept on. Almost no one got any points on my end for performance besides Colta; he’s the only one that put on a show. Repeated Measures came through with that wolf mask and hype energy he had!
SCV: I love how the Beat Battle are huge extension of hip hop culture into the genre, continuing the cypher, break dance battles, scratch battles and more. Do you feel this is a healthy way for artists in the beat generation to get out some of that battle mind set?
GM: Man, I’m going to keep it one hundred thousand right now. Beat battles will make you upset if your always losing ‘em, especially when you know you should have won. I think only certain people are cut out for battles, me not being one of them hahaha. As far as releasing the mind set, everyone who produces should release the mindset of wanting to battle hahaha. From my experience, I’ve never won a beat battle but some of the wackest dudes I know have! Most of the time it’s a who brought the most homies contest….that’s false.
SCV: Are you guys planning on doing more?
GM: Yep, got one coming up in January, January 10 I believe. If they didnt make the cut last time, they got they chance this time. I can’t stress how important it is to network, especially at Beat Cinema where we get industry cats and bigger names to come through and judge or compete.This is a real beat battle for local cats. Without the hype of a crowd judging you, you’re being judged by your peers and or superiors.
All photography courtesy of UC Riverside Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) | http://aspb.ucr.edu/
On the evening of November 7, 2012, The UCR Barn hosted Saul Williams’ “More than Spoken Word” event. The hip hop artist, singer, poet and actor performed a combination of his poetry and hip hop work. If you follow his work – from his albums and his books – you would have recognized a wide variety of pieces dating back as far as the late 90s. It was a real treat for the sold out crowd in attendance.
Williams was not the only artist this evening. The night opened up with a performance from the incredibly entertaining Baba the Storyteller. He is a famed practitioner of Jaliyaa, utilizing his Kora (a 21-string bridge harp, whose origins are found in West Africa) and unique brand of parable-like speech that makes his audience think, feel, and learn. Baba creates beautiful melodies with his Kora, and truly captivates all those who hear the songs and stories that he creates.
The next artist was Northern California native, Charlene Green aka Hustle Diva. The Diva is a dynamic poet, who has been writing since she was a child. She has many published works and has made a name for herself amongst the spoken word scene. She knows how to command a crowd; when she speaks, you listen. Whether she is talking about a love lost, as in the poem Misinformed, or giving us a little motivation that would could all use, Self-Construction; Green is a powerful performer who uses her beautiful words to convey the emotions that she felt when crafting these wonderful pieces.
At 10:00pm Saul Williams walks on stage to the applause of the crowd. He stands in front of the mic, waiting for his audience’s cheers to subside, then begins to speak. He recites an excerpt from his book Said the Shotgun to the Head. At a very early point during this reading he decides to disregard the mic, then proceeds to jump off the stage to stand in front of the crowd to continue. His voice carries with the same power without the mic. The words and their meanings are felt all the way to the very back of the room. I am convinced there are very few people who posses a cadence as incredible as his. Every word spoken is chosen with such care and deep thought; as to not waste a breath or a moment of his audience’s time.
After reading that rather large excerpt, roughly 10 minutes long, he calls out to someone in back stage, asking this person to come on the stage with him. A man walks on the stage with a cello. Williams introduces him as Keith. Keith states that they were talking outside of The Barn and Williams convinced him to accompany him on stage with his cello to do an impromptu collaboration. Keith has a seat on a chair and a mic is set-up for him. Saul commences his poetry again, reciting on the mic an expanded version of the poem NGH What? from the book The Dead Emcee Scrolls. The piece is a medley of songs and poems mostly from the album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust. At first the cello creates a lovely ambiance playing in the background to the words of Saul Williams. However, as the tempo and pattern of the poem changes; Keith grows more comfortable in this unrehearsed set and begins to take a more lively approach. Saul’s words and Keith’s music beautifully coalesce into something magical.
As that poem ends, Keith and Saul continue their set. Performing more works from Saul’s immense portfolio that make one think, feel, and see things that they probably never would. The imagery that he creates in a person’s mind is truly something spectacular. His words stick with you and become embedded into your memory vaults, lingering for some time to come. Messages like, “Why reality is bleeding fiction. We wonder why Syria is bleeding fiction.” and “The beliefs are the police of th mind. Fuck the beliefs“, are prime examples of the potent power that Saul can make us feel. While reading The Beliefs are the Police of the Mind, he laughs in the middle of it and stumbles a bit reminding us that he is indeed human and does make mistakes. He proceeds to perform one of his classic and most iconic poems, Ohm. It is an incredible piece that just amazes me no matter how many times I hear it.
Keith created some absolutely beautiful spur of the moment music to Saul’s poetry, and it was such a joy to witness. However, his true moment to shine was when they performed an expanded version of Tao of Now. He set down his bow then proceeded to use a plucking technique to compliment the song beautifully. The original recording of this song on the album Amethyst Rockstar actually does have a cello in the song, but this version was special and Keith’s take on it was spectacular.
Saul announces that this is his last poem and thanks Keith for performing with him. Keith thanks the audience and Saul, then walks of stage to cheers. He ends with another classic, Coded Language. A poem that he wrote about the deaths of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. That is how he has described it in the past, but the meaning is so deep, it can truly mean any number of things to every person who hears it. A poem that beckons all who listen to get out there and change something in the world. To not stand idly by. He finishes the poem, thanks the audience in a gracious manner, seeming humbled by the cheers from the packed venue.
It was a wonderful night at the UCR Barn. All the artists were incredible. I must thank UCR for organizing such a fantastic event. It was a great experience to have witnessed such great talents share their art. And it was amazing to see how many people truly enjoy watching spoken word. I truly hope to see more spoken word events soon. It was a fantastic night and event.
- Peter Lechuga
All photography courtesy of UC Riverside Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) | http://aspb.ucr.edu/
Knowledge Reigns Supreme over Nearly Everybody (KRS-One) is the acronym that defines the name Lawrence Krisna Parker set out for himself in the foundational stages of New York hip hop. As one of the most integral lyricist ever and over a dozen solo albums to his name in the last 20 years, his examination of 20th and 21st century politics is unparalleled as is his deep rooted interest in the preservation of real hip hop. From BDP to some of the most legendary lyrical passages, KRS-One is synonymous with what hip hop means. The Teacha has always been the type of figure in hip hop where no city, town or location is either too small or too big and such was the same when he brought down the house in Santa Ana for a special performance that included hip hop legends Luckyiam of Living Legends and 2Mex of The Visionaries. Courtesy of Out Da House Productions, we were granted access to this performance for photo coverage.
KRS-One, Luckyiam and 2Mex all ripping the stage of Malone’s was a legendary night for hip hop in Santa Ana and here are the pictures that SCV photographer Christian Uriarte took of the evenings performances. KRS-One will always be a speaker of truths and it was a defining moment for our crew at SCV to experience him rip the mic in such an intimate setting. Also included is a small video clip Christian took of KRS-One going off on the mic.
All photography by Oliver Walker | http://olivermwalker.com/
The fairest free festival of them all, eagle rock music festival, was an affair to remember this year. Despite the absence of the Low End Theory stage offerings from Dublab and Stones Throw Records kept the beat fanatics happy, while more rocking fare was presented at The Emerging Stage (presented by KOXY radio, FYF, and LA Record) and The Ship Studios Stage. Special surprise guest Gaslamp Killer at Sunset on Colorado Blvd was a treat, as well as the rumored and later confirmed appearance of La Sera at the Emerging Stage. Henry Clay People and Tijuana Panthers played especially enthusiastic sets, with security barely able to keep the crowd away from the stage at Tijuana Panthers while crowd-surfing was rampant. The Henry Clay People played cuts off of their new album “Twenty-Five For the Rest of Our Lives” and dedicated one song to having terrible jobs that suck, and then losing them, which me and the rest of the crowd could definitely connect with. All in all, ERMF was once again a wonderful community centered event with a band for every palette.
Claremont, CA’s Beat Cinema is one of the best electronic and hip hop producer showcases in Southern, CA. Providing another outlet for many producers who helping evolve the beat world, every week guests are brought in to headline around a cast of dedicated residents. With a weekly residence at the Hip Kitty that is currently situated on Tuesdays and is gearing up to change to a weekly Thursday slot soon, the entire crew of the Beat Cinema been a constant source for good music, mind blowing visuals, networking and an overall feeling that has only been possible in the 21st century. Co. fee, Curtiss King and Soulre were the headlining acts for this special pre-Halloween evening with residents Arti, DMM, Dropdead, Rick2fresh, Gypsy Mamba filling out the night superbly. Visual accompaniment by Beat Cinema resident Major Grape gave the evening that perfect vibe. If you have yet to experience Beat Cinema, we highly suggest you do. If you have already attended, you know how special the weekly series they are putting together truly is.
All photography by Christian Uriarte