Music for Lovers: Waveforms on Valentine’s Day at The Orange Peel
This Valentine’s Day, the Orange Peel will host an evening of music, dance, and visuals that will help you celebrate love in its myriad forms. Performances will range from erotic to bass-heavy to psychedelic—and everywhere in between—as Aligning Minds and Medisin bring the distinctive Waveforms series to the stage. Aligning Minds’ residency last fall at the Asheville Music Hall brought some of the most exciting acts in electronic music to Asheville, and this evening will add yet another dimension to the work the series has done.
Waveforms is more than just one night of beats—it’s one piece of a larger effort to connect Asheville artists and audiences with the wider world of electronic music. Last October and November, shows featured acts that have made an impact locally and on the national stage, including Musashi Xero, Prefuse 73, and DJ Qbert. Waveforms is returning, this time to the Peel, and—luckily for us—the multimedia aspect of the series is getting kicked up several notches, with performers bringing tribal bellydance, shibari, and immersive visuals to the night’s events.
The evening will showcase Asheville’s most formidable and kick-ass local talents. Aligning Minds, as an organizer of Waveforms, is of course on the schedule. With their sweeping blend of bass-heavy beats and dreamy, sensual composition, Aligning Minds consistently brings sets that invoke spiritual transcendence alongside the ecstasy of physical embodiment. Influences range from Eastern mysticism to the dark tones of London dubstep, and everything comes together in every track they throw down. If you haven’t heard them yet, check out their 2013 LP, My Heart is Love (Gravitas), which represents the diversity and organicism of their sound and features guest artists like Robert Manos.
Co-organizer Medisin also hails from the Blue Ridge, and creates powerful beats that range from glitchhop to psybreaks. Songs are grounded in danceable, thudding bass, and bring in samples and sounds that invoke robot dreams, utopian cityscapes, and the forces of the cosmos. The music is imaginative and moves effortlessly between slower, steady notes that hook into your own heartbeat, and the frenetic, lose-yourself sounds of psytrance. Medisin is a regular on the festival circuit and has produced sets alongside heavy hitters like Shpongle, Tipper, and Thievery Corporation. It’s easy to see why his consciousness-expanding music is making waves.
In Plain Sight has drawn big local crowds for years now. This three-person outfit (Ezekiel, Lucas, and Nomad in the Dark) is grounded in house music but fully embraces experimentation, consistently bringing their combined visions to dizzying new heights. Their songs combine the lilting, tinkling notes of higher frequencies with deeper, darker sounds that are heavier and more industrial. No matter the size of their audience, In Plain Sight always creates intimate experiences for and with listeners, who are compelled to dance to the shifting, chromatic notes of their songs. In Plain Sight has also received a lot of national recognition from fans and other producers. In 2012, their remix of Orbital’s “Where is it Going” was chosen as the winner of the Moog Remix Contest.
At only 22, Shuhandz is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. He’s played shows at festivals and events like Gratifly, the Full Moon Gathering, and the Visionary Arts Fair alongside artists that include Of Montreal and Desert Dwellers. His music is upbeat, but with a bite. Tracks range from the deep and dirty to the ethereal and everywhere in between. They often open with one, beat-driven tone that evolves into a cathartic, bass-dropping release. This music is all about dancing, with its movement-inducing, four-on-the-floor sound.
Musashi Xero rounds out the musical acts. Xero’s evolved hip hop just keeps getting better. His most recent EP, Underground Kill Wave, is on permanent rotation for me because of the deft balance every song strikes between chill, jazzy beats and sharply intelligent, no-holds-barred insights. Xero is always amazing live, and his energetic performance style invites the audience into the intimate, deep space opened by his poetry. Xero has recently been performing works from his project with producer Panther God, titled Xero God, and these tracks represent a true meeting of the minds. Xero has also been working on a follow-up to Underground Kill Wave. Expect old and new favorites from this beat-poet powerhouse.
That impressive lineup is just one part of the evening, which also includes visual, kinesthetic, and other performances. Kristi Wrolstad will bring her fusion bellydance to the stage at points throughout the evening. Kristi’s sinuous performances are always a highlight of the Waveforms series. Her unique style fuses the darker elements of feminine power and mystique with the ecstatic lightness of creative potential. Her in-depth study of multiple styles of dance and performance, including Thai Classical Dance, flamenco, and tribal bellydance, informs her movement, which manages to be both rooted in tradition and wholly new.
Dr. Rogers Shibari Studio will add yet another element of sensuality to the night with live shibari rigging. This unique and visually striking style of Japanese bondage translates as “tight binding” and involves tying up participants through the creation of intricate rope patterns. The evolution of a shibari performance is highly dependent on the rigger and the participant, and it’s always beautiful to watch. Dr. Rogers will be performing shibari rigging on lucky volunteers. He’ll also be selling prints of his shibari photographs.
TWENTYSEVEN FOLDS will be doing live visuals and projection mapping for the show. Their technologically-advanced, immersive, and intuitive performances are stunning counterparts to the musical acts they accompany. The “shapeshifting, spacetime folding” aesthetic evolves organically and is based on unique interplay between aural, visual, and performance elements. They consistently create rich tapestries of visuals that overlay and accentuate the music.
Tickets for the event are on presale now for $8. There’s also a Ticket Giveaway contest happening on the Facebook page right now. Whether you’re a star-crossed lover or you’re looking for a little adventure, Waveforms has you covered this Valentine’s Day.