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...
BomBassic headlines this month’s BEAT LIFE show at The Mothlight, happening on June 27. The evening promises to be another experience to remember brought to you by the Asheville Beat Tape Collective, a group of artists and producers who are at the forefront of innovation in sound. Although the Beat Tape Collective has been around for a while now, the current iteration of the group is quickly becoming a force in Asheville and beyond as they continue to feature local and national talent. BomBassic is the first act native to Asheville to headline a BEAT LIFE show this year, and their sets are consistently some of the most exciting and exuberant out there. They’ll be joined by Samuel Paradise, Axnt, DJ Kutzu, and Vietnam Jerry.
BomBassic is BruceyB and Cpt Hyperdrive, a duo who combine immense amounts of musical talent with an intuitive knowledge of performance. BomBassic’s “futuristic sexy soul sound” is grounded in hip-hop and soul influences, pulling inspiration equally from NYC-style boom bap and Beethoven. BruceyB brings an intensive background in classical piano and composition to the music, while Cpt Hyperdrive pulls from a deep well of musical knowledge that aligns with his infectious energy. Each performance is an immersive experience characterized by exuberance and a unique, utterly danceable sound. You can’t not dance at a BomBassic show as the sensual, soulful beats take over. BomBassic is one of the few multi-member electronic groups in town, and they shine most in live performance, when they can share the energy they co-create with others in the moment. According to Cpt Hyperdrive, “We always want to have an emotion and tell a story through the music. . . . The main goal I want our music to have, especially the live performances, is to make you feel like you’re in a movie.” I can say without a doubt that BomBassic succeeds in bringing you completely into the experience of their sound. Expertly-crafted melodies, deeply satisfying beat drops, and the layered textures of songs will fully usher you into BomBassic’s groove, and you’ll want to stay for as long as possible.
Samuel Paradise, one half of another electronic duo The Emerald Curtain, brings his trippy, synesthetic sounds to the stage Saturday night as well. Paradise’s sound takes you into the psychedelic vibrations of a complex and beautiful cosmic experience grounded in mind-expanding composition. Lilting harmonies float ethereally over solid bass. The music is transportive in the sense that songs create worlds where the imagination can roam freely, but it never takes itself too seriously, embracing irreverence and mischief rather than solemnity. Atmospherically uplifting, they’re also an invitation to delve into the mysteries of universes both inside and outside of the mind.
Axnt hails from Mooresville, NC and makes music that organically combines instrumentation with electronic experimentation. He recently released glow, an album that fluidly explores the resonances that result from bringing together jazz, hip hop, and bass-heavy electronica. Axnt’s atmospheric songs create a chilled-out atmosphere where downtempo beats evolve into arcs of colorful sound. This music is perfect for any venue or occasion, whether you’re looking to lose yourself in the beat on the dancefloor or to use it as the backdrop of your day.
DJ Kutzu is a fixture on the local scene, and his expertise on the turntables is unmatched. The host of Turntable Tuesdays at the One Stop, Kutzu has been giving the people what they want for years. He’s an unmissable figure who carts around his records with him whenever he goes to play. His reverence of old-school turntablism has paid off big time, and his innovative style and improvisational prowess means that his performances are consistently exciting, refreshing, and intuitive. If you haven’t seen Kutzu scratch yet, now is your chance.
Vietnam Jerry’s satisfying beats round out the line-up. He creates music that made up equally of a strong, intuitive instinct for composition and a sense of humor that comes across in songs like “SpaceSmurfJorgy,” a wacky, incredibly fun trip down the rabbit hole of what happens when you break boundaries in the best way possible. Blippy, soulful, deconstructed, and danceable, Vietnam Jerry’s music is a listening experience like no other.
Lucky for us, CARL 10D8R will be on the visuals. His fluid, hypnotic images are a perfect accompaniment to BEAT LIFE’s theme of experimental, psychedelic music. And keep your eyes peeled for my in-depth interviews with Bombassic and DJ Kutzu, heading your way on the Grit soon. Get thee to BEAT LIFE, my dear ones.
BEAT LIFE @ the Mothlight
Saturday June 27 / 10 pm / $5