Sponsored link
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sponsored link

New Music: Oakland collective SMARTBOMB has that feeling of...

New Music: Oakland collective SMARTBOMB has that feeling of futurism

Check the manifestation of headiness on compilation 'Light Beings #2,' and the second edition of the group's encompassing virtual 'VHS' virtual Sat/25.

Beat music, the defiant all-inclusive electronic aesthetic that seizes and chops up odd bits of hip-hop, library music, jazz, bass music, IDM, and anything else that shouldn’t fit but just does, gets it specificity from the region from which it emanates. Low End Theory, the epicenter of LA’s instrumental beat scene for 12 years, was internationally known for their heavy bass, which depending on who was playing that particular night, left a footprint in your chest and at times destroyed speakers and rattled ceilings. That beautiful ruckus propelled oddball beat-frenzied artists into starting record labels and eventually earning Grammy nominations.

Case in point SMARTBOMB, the East Bay music, and art collective, started in 2013 as part of the popular party that spotlights mostly local producers and DJs, can get real heady. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, SMARTBOMB held monthly events, mostly at the Legionnaire Saloon where the showcases highlighted Oakland’s IRT post-modern approach to sound. As co-founder Jason García—who speaks infusing the name of some authoritative Shuggy Otis album—explains, the East Bay has always possessed this sense of radical introspection and manifestation.

“Diversity of thought is innate in the Town, where we are blessed to have such rich and genuine community,” stated Garcia, who is preparing for the collective’s second worldwide broadcast this Saturday. “It’s not so much a scene, but true community that spans beyond age, gender, lifestyle, etc. So many beings here who fearlessly push the needle forward in their own respects, in their own mediums and genres alongside each other. Vastly differing sonic and visual styles and approaches, all thrown into this magic pot for us all to find inspiration information from. It’s a feeling of futurism.”

“Light Beings #2,” the second installment of a mixtape series in collaboration with the community platform Lower Grand Radio, is the audio extension of that sentiment. Following through with intention “shining light on the beautiful frequencies created from our expansive universe, while also raising funds for vital organizations & programs in the Town” highlights the motives of the project listed on their Bandcamp page.

Wylie Cable, founder of Los Angeles based Dome of Doom Records, always perceived the East Bay collective as a NorCal version of Low End Theory that understood what the music needed to be. Cable was an integral part of signal boosting that Low End Theory Culture still employs to prop up beat producers to this day.

Smartbomb’s VHS Episode 2 lineup takes flight Sat/22.

“I grew up in LA but lived in the Bay for five to six years in the early 2000s and I used to go to the monthlies they threw,” stated Cable. ”Always a great show. It is not a small task, running an event that focuses on underground beat music, but Smartbomb has been at it for close to a decade now.”

That manifestation of Bay Area headiness runs the table with great facility. Peep the glitched-out scatter bang of “Normalcy” from DKM, or the cooldown tingly hip-hop strain “Sometimes I Listen” by heru. You understand real quick that these are daring architects.

But it’s the stillness that takes the most courage. After journeying through the first 11 tracks, big ambient energy is the best way to describe the final arrangement of Selim X’s “Sunset 6”. It a gargantuan four minutes and change of evergreen wave slowly rolling ova and thru you, like the best salted caramel ice cream. Let’s toss out qualifiers and just make room for the serenity. Heartbeat soft, warped nanoseconds folding over. Eat your heart out, Brian Eno. This is beat music framed in the way George Clinton himself liked to categorize funk: Anything it needs to be in order to save my life.

SMARTBOMB’s second virtual “VHS” broadcast streams Sat/25. RSVP for link.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiverhttps://www.clippings.me/channelsubtext
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

Sponsored link


Screen Grabs: Forget those soggy superheroes — ride with some real renegades

Chytilova, Shimizu, Mailer, Eno, and a Mountain Queen get rebellious. Plus: Two meh new horror flicks, two great old ones.

Good Taste: At Kamala Harris’ downtown Indian hangout, spicy dishes and full support

The venerable New Delhi Restaurant has been a hotspot for big-name Dems and community action for decades.

Letter from Milwaukee: Reflections on the RNC—and the protests

Peaceful activists challenged racist and sometimes violent MAGAs during the Trump coronation.

More by this author

Under the Stars: ‘If you don’t like the city, you can leave the city, sir’

SECRET SECRET lays it out. Plus: Ambrose Akinmusire, The Pretenders, Norio Maeda—and Jaye P. Morgan from 'Match Game'?

Under the Stars: Toro Y Moi’s nod to Divis dive Waziema gives us all those SF feels

Plus, Chime School run the hotel, Nightlife: Remix! hits Cal Academy, Kit Sebastian rep global jazz, more new music

Sophisti-pop star Joe Jackson serves old standards, joyfully veers at the Curran

Who's not still bopping to 'Steppin' Out'? And who'd deny a near-septuagenarian new tricks?
Sponsored link

You might also likeRELATED