Ali McGhee is a journalist, creative writer, and academic. Her work has appeared in The Edgar Allan Poe Review, Romantic Circles, Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary...
This month’s BEAT LIFE is a chance to see two exceptional nights of music in downtown Asheville. BEAT LIFE has hosted a weekend takeover of The One Stop and the Asheville Music Hall to present the illest beats in town. The Friday night's headliner was the Atlanta-based hip hop group The Difference Machine, who just opened for Run the Jewels at the sold-out Georgia Theatre.
Saturday night’s all-star lineup features NYC’s Blockhead and MONO/POLY, who hails from Los Angeles and is on Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label. Along with these heavy hitters, local talent will, of course, be a major focus of the weekend’s events.
The groundbreaking Blockhead just released his LP Bells and Whistles last November, and it’s pretty much everything you could ever hope for. While it’s grounded in full-flavored hip hop beats, it pulls from an astonishing variety of other influences and soundscapes, including Middle Eastern instrumental riffs (“Kaput!”), Western soundtracks (“Beach Blanket Bood Bath”), and things that go bump in the night (“Sacrificial Santa”). Vocal samples float above the bumping low notes, making the experience bodily and cerebral. Blockhead’s irreverent humor comes out in song titles and in the music as well, where a playfully dark edge and the seemingly idiosyncratic mashups of cultural and sonic influences complement one another to lift the music into the realms of pure pleasure.
This is your chance to see the NYC-based producer in action—don’t miss it.
Bells and Whistles: https://blockheadnyc.bandcamp.com/album/bells-and-whistles
MONO/POLY headlined a BEAT LIFE event back in November, and he’s back for more. His gorgeous album Golden Skies (2014) is a journey through the ethereal realms, a cosmic exploration of both inner and outer space. But it’s not all free-floating and weightless—the sound pulses deeply through bass-driven beats and carry you with them into limitless worlds of sound.
He fits well on Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label, which seeks out the most cutting-edge, fearless and expansive sounds in new electronic music. MONO/POLY has collaborated with a whole host of groundbreaking artists, including Daedelus, Nosaj Thing, Erykah Badu, and Kendrick Lamar. He brings an effusive energy to his live shows, which take you deep into the heart of the biggest bass grooves.
“Ra Rise”: https://soundcloud.com/brainfeeder/mono-poly-ra-rise
Ellie Herring hails from Lexington, Kentucky. She recently signed to Autonomous Music, and she makes sweet beats that twist sound into a beautifully wild spectrum of possibility. Her refreshing blend of manipulated vocal samples, trippy beats, and flowing notes make her tracks perfect for both late-night chill-out sessions and impromptu afternoon dance parties or road trips.
She just released her third EP, Chipped, a fluid 4-track blend of sweeping sounds, drones, and bouncing beats. Her song “Mickle” was featured on Ryan Hemsworth’s Secret Songs compilation last year.
Tickets can be purchased