March 13, 2009

Band Update

Filed under: As a DJ,Austin life — daz76 @ 2:46 am

The whole starting a band thing is pretty crazy. One minute I am pondering the nature of my set up or how the drums will sound through the effects and then other times it seems like there is no way I’m going to go on a stage with a bunch of other dudes and make this sound. It seems inevitable and yet absurd. But people do it all the time, right?  Every night of the week, all day long people are playing music for others. The truth is that this performance concept was born of the inspiration I received when one of Austin’s top electronic music impresario said the me, “No one else is making electronic music like you do here in town”. It wasn’t a statement regarding the good or bad nature of my music, just that at the moment, in this place, it’s sort of unique. I would be stupid to not act, given this information.

The newest member, Jeff, who got back to me from craigslist seems like a very cool guy. He’s a percussionist and producer, and his specialty is Indian and middle eastern music. Cool! Also, he’s a student of holistic medicine. So essentially we have an in house medic in case anyone has a dub related injury or trips out too hard. I’ll meet with him tomorrow to get him a CD.

So right now less than two weeks from day one of this venture the band consists of me on electronics and live dub mix, Gerard on conga, Lane on timbal, djembe and percussion, and Jeff on dumbek. This shit is quickly going world, and that’s exactly as it was meant to be.

One of the amazing aspects of this project to me is the willingness of these musicians to work with my vision, letting me be the director and they are the players. I expected more trouble getting it across that I already knew what this was going to sound like live, but they quickly acknowledged that and seemed relieved that their was a vision, a direction, and a plan.

Also, my suggestion that the live drums would be mic’d and processed through effects was received positively. I wondered if that would freak out the drummers, but again curiosity and experimentation is fueling this group so we move forward.

We are going to have to create a new form of rhythm for this sound, a hybrid of styles but directly based on the Niyabinghih traditions that informs jamaican roots music. As long as that is clear I don’t care how it is achieved or on what instruments. I will definitely turn to Gerard to lead the drummers. I’ve seen him do it and he’s good at it. Gerard has other long running projects but both the other guys hinted at the concept of a collective forming, and I’m into that, because sometime I’d like to just be a musician too.


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