Eclectic Vibes - April 2011

by Andrew Frey

Warm Wet Rag

Warm Wet Rag

The monolithic psychtrance and psybient experience known as Shpongle doesn’t come to the US very often so you may want to get motivated for their spring and summer tour. With their ever evolving psychedelic landscapes of electronica they are sure to have something new and wonderful up their sleeve for this tour. Check you some of their amazing clips on YOUTUBE or whatever it takes, but this show is sure to blast some serious cranium! 4/26 Majestic in Madison; 5/12 Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee; 5/13 Epic Event Center in Minneapolis; 5/14 Congress Theater in Chicago.

Bands that cover another band’s music are a precarious lot. On one end of the spectrum you have the cheesy, punny and often poorly spelled rock cover band crowd. On the other is a breed of bands classifying themselves as ‘tribute’ bands, which usually play music from one specific artist.

Recently in Madison a clutch of kitchy combinations have floated around the scene and have created a decidedly different option for the listener. Among them is “Warm Wet Rag” a Ween tribute band. Ween is pretty legendary for being humorous, odd, quirky and covering a vast expanse of musical styles ranging from experimental to country to indie rock.

We caught Warm Wet Rag at the Lazy Oaf Lounge on 3/5 and were treated to an evening of tawdry tales and glitchy riffs thanks to the brothers Ween, but filtered through this 6 piece outfit. Artist extraordinaire Robin Lee (also known for and Wacky Art) fronted the group and made the quirks work and the jingles jangle with his bubbly entertaining presence in conjunction with his other Madison musical cohorts. Thanks guys for a great evening!

The Lazy Oaf Lounge, know for their wood stone pizzas, may not have a raised stage, but the area where the band plays is easily the focal point of the establishment and therefore works fairly well both visually and acoustically. The gabled ceilings give the bands a wider sound while the clientele is laid back and comfortable with how things are. Plus there is no cover, so you really don’t have an excuse for not being a lazy oaf yourself.

You OTT to Know
A full moon Friday 3/18 found us at the Majestic Theater in Madison for world class DJ OTT. We arrived fairly early, unsure on timeframes but with a desire to take it all in. As it turned out, we were plenty early and ended up seeing all three of the one man DJ acts. The first, Phutureprimitive, utilized the milder spectrum of electronica while weathering through the initially sparse crowd that slowly swelled as the night went on. DJ number 2, Mindspyk had a kickin, bassing, rippin set and blasted some body warbling beats to stir up the mini mass.

DJ OTT was Stateside in support of his new album ‘Mir’ (or at least that’s what the information said. I never saw a copy for sale in the club that evening, but that is beside the point.) He performed with the widest array of gadgets some certainly being slightly more old school then the first performers, but he definitely leveraged them to his advantage. DJ OTT’s set had a world traveling air to it and was performed with a certain justification that surpassed the others thanks to his background as a producer and engineer in London for more than a decade. His energetic yet slightly more laid back global approach to electronica was energizing and welcomed by all those in attendance.

After having two opening acts, DJ OTT’s set was less than 2 hours, but he played right up to bar time and we were quite happy in the end.

This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 – Blah thru 10 – Brave

Azam Ali - From Night to the Edge of Day

Azam Ali - From Night to the Edge of Day

Azam Ali

Album title: From Night to the Edge of Day
Record Label: Six Degrees
Rating: 9

Lullabies of love; lullabies of anguish; lullabies of rebellion, exile and awareness; such is the dichotomy of these Iranian, Turkish, Lebanese and Kurdish lullabies as presented by this amazing Iranian-born, Indian-raised vocalist. She connected with the spectrum of emotions behind lullabies when she gave birth to her son and realized the tumultuous world that he would be exposed to and live in.

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Azam Ali online:

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Club D'Elf - Electric Moroccoland/So Below

Club D'Elf - Electric Moroccoland/So Below

Club D'Elf

Album title: Electric Moroccoland/So Below
Record Label: Face Pelt Records
Rating: 10

Playfully hypnotic global psychedelic rock flows forth from the soul of this effervescent musical collective. Although firmly rooted in Moroccan ‘Gnawan’ music and the trance aspects of it, they also intersperse dub, jazz, free jazz and global improvisation into this rewarding rhythmic adventure.

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Dub Is A Weapon - Vaporized

Dub Is A Weapon - Vaporized

Dub Is A Weapon

Album title: Vaporized
Record Label: Harmonized Records
Rating: 9

Dub is known for being the music of producers but not live performers. Antibalas’s guitarist and dub mastermind Dave Hahn has managed to create a fabulous dub release as well as forge a live unit capable of extracting the style from the studio and playing it live thanks to his masterful knob twirling techniques and ear for detail.

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Putumayo Presents - Rumba Mambo Cha Cha Cha!

Putumayo Presents - Rumba Mambo Cha Cha Cha!

Putumayo Presents

Album title: Rumba Mambo Cha Cha Cha!
Record Label: Putumayo World Music
Rating: 8

Get out your dancing shoes and get ready to strut your stuff! This time around, Putumayo brings us 10 tracks by 10 different artists descended from the Cuban family tree to celebrate the increasing popularity of traditional Latin dancing music and show off their universal appeal.

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