Saturday, November 15, 2008
Now while I do not have the background or know-how to put the music that Slouch and KRTS throw down in context, I do know a groove when I feel it, and both these guys have it in spades, as evidenced by the trip I took for an hour or so at Karma on Thursday (see video below of krts, horrible phone pictures to come soon). Karma's hookahs being longstanding and flavorful, I was in for a really cool show, and it certainly took the sting off of watching the Pats loose a heartbreaker to the Jets at the Hairy Monk...
There's something to be said for music that seamlessly weaves into life's nightlife soundtrack, especially in this city. I showed up a couple minutes into KRTS's show (I apologize for not being able to review the early sets on the bill), and he was already pumping into full swing with echoing old school breakdowns and pings here and there to get people's brains flowing. Several younger cougars were weaving their hips in and out of these landscapes but krts wasn't there to play nice. His LP Posing Flower has a more laid back collage of melodies and connected dots, but his set this time around pushed the barrier a little more, there was more force and sweatier funk to it. Once he found the groove he stuck to it, and it's a great formula: take a hip hop beat and throw expiremental electronica over it, making the listener work at it but at the same time keeping the mid-tempo bumpin' going. It's like going to a soul funk show but decidedly weirder as he builds you up and brings you back down and up again but with the noises of a machine and production rather than blaring horns and higher-power vocals. The beats were huge. By the end of Slouch's set, everything overheated and the speaker connection blew. The great thing is KRTS is also a showman when performing; sure musicians get into their work, but it's like he's attacking his set up like a hawk lasering in on the prey, it's pretty infectious.
And then I noticed something else, with Karma's vibe in terms of it's lighting and low-ceiling basement, coupled with Mr. Teoh's self-developed editing software to fully get the attention of my eyes with the VJ'ing (besides the girl across from me who was wearing pajama pants and a fanny pack, I guess we call that unique?), it felt like the brothel scene in Roger Dodger a little.
KRTS transitioned into DJ Slouch's set with no breaks and it was cool to see the change of pace but keeping a similar groove down. Slouch looks like a serious technician, a little less light and more somber than the KRTS set but no more or less for it. The music slowed down just a touch and pierced the show with a kind of cleanliness almost; if KRTS was the rambunctious kid who got everyone riled up, Slouch was the cool older brother who brought a different brand of funk. Should I pull out the Matt Dillon Mickey Rourke analogy in Rumble Fish? I dunno, but that's the second Mickey Rourke reference I've made in the past 24 hours. Slouch was a smooth operator with a sip occasionally from what looked like a whiskey on the rocks. Unfortunately for him, as I stated earlier, the connection was fried for half his set but he came back for the last minute strong. If you were dancing to his set, it's like you shouldn't be breaking a sweat because there's a constant flow that restrained and focused. Cool stuff.
Catch Slouch at Karma often, it's a great fit. You'll want to check out his E.P. Labor and his Travels. Find out more about him:
Slouch on MySpace
Slouch Official Site
For KRTS, to learn more visit his official site or MySpace or on YouTube.
And here they are, really nice guys, KRTS is saying, "here's my hand, take it" :