Artists are often loathe to discuss the genre in which they play, leaving the categorization to music writers and critics. I can understand why they wouldn’t want to be pigeonholed or tied down to downward-trending musical genres (see acid-jazz or jazzy hip hop as examples), but genres do have their uses — Especially if you happen to like a certain sound and would like to hear more of it. I received a call during this show from an enthusiastic listener wanting to know how I would describe the tracks I was playing. I didn’t have a ready answer, but blathered on about how the sound belonged somewhere between dubstep and experimental hip hop. After the show, I set out to get some further clarifications, should the question arise in the future.
My first stop was the wikipedia entry for Flying Lotus. Wisely, whoever wrote up the entry decided mostly to side step the meat of the question altogether, describing him as a multi-genre music producer, and laptop musician. Hmm, not much help there — although the sidebar does state his genres as Electronic music & Experimental music, not that that’s all that much more specific. This article goes on to quote a wikipedia entry for wonky music and names Flylo as one of its main US proponents, but the entry has subsequently been edited to remove any Flying Lotus references, so I guess the very poor moniker ‘wonky’ is out. Just as well… But the article does say the sound has also been dubbed ‘street bass’. I like the sound of that one better, but time will tell if it sticks. I’m not sure I’ll be using it anytime soon…
Anyways, call it what you want, but I started out the show with some of my current wobbly, experimental faves. I thought I’d also take the opportunity to play a few tracks from Slugabed and Illum Sphere, who are headed this way via the Hifi Club on September 8th.
Moving into some hip hop, the mixing became noticeably smoother, although only slightly so. Magnolius is a Toronto-based MC that sadly I kinda slept on for a while. You shouldn’t make the same mistake. He rolls with a crew called the PPF House, and they’re all pretty dope too. Check ’em.
Ending the show with some Digable Planets stuff. They were playing a show the same night at the Distillery, so it seemed natural. Their music’s been a longtime favourite of mine, so any excuse to drop a few true school gems is fine by me. The show had pretty poor promo: Some very in-the-know type folks admitted to me later at the show that they’d only heard of the show a day or two earlier. At the front door, I was informed that Lady Bug Mecca wasn’t part of the show that evening. I should have turned tail right then, but paid and entered anyways. The attendance at the show confirmed the pitiful promotion — the place was d-e-a-d. After suffering through a pretty poor out-of-town opener, I ended up leaving before Digable even took the stage, headed to greener pastures (in the form of DJ Pump and Hedspin) with a CJSW partner in crime. No regrets. The show was later summed up by a friend thusly, “Yo, that was… dry.”