Asheville Beat Tape Collective Presents Mono/Poly, Panther God [Preview]
On November 28th, Asheville Beat Tape Collective is presenting a heady night of deep beats in an event that highlights both ascendant and affirmed stars of electronic music. The evening features artists who are working across the board in terms of their style, influences, and sounds. It’s one more in a string of shows that have been happening in and around the Asheville area, confirming once again that the rise of local talent contributes to the city’s global presence in the electronic music scene. The show will be at The One Stop at Asheville Music Hall, an intimate venue that provides audiences with a close-up experience of live music and performance. The lineup for the evening brings together instantly recognizable artists and musicians who are still flying a bit under the radar. Make it a priority not to miss any of the acts, because each has something unique to offer.*
The Emerald Curtain, comprised of Asheville residents eMe and Samuel Paradise, bring their blend of downtempo, infectious beats to the stage, summoning a chilled-out vibe that will infuse the crowd. Their songs are relaxed but also deeply attentive to detail, as layers of sounds coalesce into harmonious, blended waves that invite meditation, dancing, or preferably both. The Emerald Curtain is relatively new to the electronic music scene here in Asheville, but with a sound this groovy they’re sure to go far. Check out the laid-back mood The Emerald Curtain creates in their recently released song, “The Sun,” below.
Musashi Xero is bringing his soulful, jazz-infused talent and smooth, poetic style to the stage. I saw Musashi’s performance at Waveforms 2.0 in October, and I’m excited to see more of what he’s up to. His deep voice belies the youthful energy that characterizes his stage performances. He is an incredibly talented and animated artist whose penchant for metaphor has enabled him to carve out a distinctive niche for himself within the wide world of hip hop. Lyrics are simultaneously chilled-out and quick-moving, incorporating rhymes that speak to the artist’s personal struggles and experiences and that create an intimate connection with his audience. Songs hit deep and continue to resonate through Musashi’s fresh, imaginative symbolism. Musashi’s rhymes are best served over downtempo, jazzy sounds that allow the lyrics to come front and center, but no matter what accompanies his poetry, his unique voice rises to the top.
Heavy Color creates trippy, funky beats that are equal parts jazz, psychedelic, and retro-futurist. His remarkably smooth sound evolves organically through each song as new elements come into and out of focus. Dreamy, lushly evocative pieces follow harsher, percussive beats that owe as much to African and Latin drumming as they do to the dystopian worlds of science fiction. At the same time, there’s an undeniable element of mid-century lounge jazz that occasionally bursts in and moves the beat into a totally new space. Heavy Color is comfortable in a wide variety of styles, but while songs careen through a vast array of modes and emotional states, there’s an underlying element that unifies the listening experience. With one foot firmly grounded in tradition and the other in experimentation and innovation, Heavy Color is creating some of the most exciting avant-garde electronic music out there right now. Heavy Color also incorporates visual elements into his sets, ensuring that your sensory experience will be undeniably fulfilling.
Panther God’s distinctive sound is grounded in hip-hop and experimental electronic music, and his sets are a combination of glitchy, cerebral trails of sound and deep, pulsing bass. His most recent LP, Golden Changes (Outside Records, 2014), brings together energetic and irreverent beats and samples and dark, focused rhythms that highlight the artist’s versatility and creativity. Panther God’s sound has been described as “chameleonic,” and while that’s true, it’s also instantly recognizable, proving that his style is uniquely his own. Panther God’s own experience as a label founder (of Circuitree Records) is one among many details that highlight the fact that he’s multi-talented, visionary, and on the cutting-edge of the IDM scene. It’s no surprise, then, that he’s the evening’s main organizer. Golden Changes: The Remixes is available now on Bandcamp. Never one to slow down, Panther God has most recently been working on The Blue Ridge Mix, a project which features new and unreleased music from him as well as tracks from some of the best producers working in electronic music, including Mndsgn, Deflon, Flying Lotus, Samiyam, Deku, and others. Check it out here.
Headliner Mono/Poly hails from Los Angeles and crafts sounds that balance the avant-garde, the experimental, and the dance-worthy. His most recent album, Golden Skies (Brainfeeder, 2014), is the best possible combination of spacey, jazz-centric rhythms and deep, meloodic tones that give the music an expansive, dreamy feel. Songs moves through transcendent, lilting sounds (as in “Transit to the Golden Planet”) to the pleasant dissonance of contrasting synth chords (“Dreamscape”) and everywhere in between. The Brainfeeder label, created by Flying Lotus, is known for its representation of cerebral, experimental artists, and Mono/Poly is right at home with this crowd. Golden Skies feels like a compilation of aural poems that eschew and invite narrative simultaneously. Titles like the aforementioned “Transit to the Golden Planet,” along with “Urania,” “Night Garden,” and “Ra Rise,” invoke mythology and science fiction to create entire worlds of sound. These soundscapes can be hauntingly alien, but even when they are more familiar, they reinvent and reexamine tropes that have come to define IDM, infusing new, otherworldly life into the genre.
This show brings together some of the most talented producers and artists today, and the opportunity to see them should not be passed up. For only $10, it’s basically a steal. The music starts at 10 pm.
* Despite my deep and focused research, I could find nothing about the artist Portugal By Day, who, according to the press release, “rarely comes to his own gigs [because] he’s thousands of miles away.” Needless to say, I’m intrigued.