Quantic | Culture Collide | The Methodist Church of Echo Park | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT: Quantic | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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THOUGHTS  [Written by Kate M.]:

Don’t you love it when soul meets any genre of music?   A highlight of the Festival.  Best time of the night!  Will Holland, the musician, producer and DJ who is Quantic does just that.   Holland collaborates with musicians, DJs and artists with different backgrounds and talents to create unique sounds, a little Jazz, a little electronic, a little bongos and some trumpet, perhaps.  I think Holland hears, explores and ultimately takes different music genres and finds a way, and a place, they have not yet been together. On this night, soul met funk, electronic, jazz and Latin styles – they do mean a salsa with electronic riffs (ya, that happened!). In the middle of their world tour, Holland and his current collaborators arrived at The United Methodist Church from sold out shows in France, Japan and San Francisco. Colombian singer Nidia Góngora, who is the lead vocals on the single La Plata, showed us her organic dance moves and captured our attention with her clear, smooth and rich tone on vocals. Other sounds you will hear in these collaborations are Ethiopian jazz, accordion, clarinet – no really this is true – and if you need a picture to wrap your head around the scene and sounds, this was the Cultures Collide version of a scene from Dirty Dancing.   This rhythmic Latin, soul and funk infusion had the audience dancing in the aisles and grinding in front of a pulpit.   Before the band started playing, Holland said, “feel free to get up out of your seats,” and you could see it in people’s eyes, they were already planning on it – and they did.   Quantic, whose home base is Columbia, released his latest album, Magnetica, on June 10, 2014.  This album’s 3rd single, La Plata, was a highlight of their set and even I sang along to this one on and I didn’t even know what the lyrics meant, but Quantic makes you want to move, sing and be a musician.

Post Script: Best line of the night, “This is a great congregation” – Will Holland.

I danced to Quantic while I wrote this review.

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | Culture Collide | World Stage | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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THOUGHTS  [Written by Kate M.]:

I love these guys!  I have partied with them in the past, partied to their Indie Rock sound throughout my life.  Their sound is good listening with beer on a beach or an indoor venue when it’s snowing outside with friends.  Point in case, they’ve even played Lollapalooza in the past, that must have been a good time.  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is a great Indie Rock band – one of the best bar rock band and college tour band I’ve seen – they have that sound.   The band is tight, complete with guitar riffs and lyrics to sing along to.  This band already has a huge following and it was clear from the crowd dancing and singing lyrics to their songs.  “Satan Said Dance” was the song I remember singing on Saturday.  The one problem with is band is that they are really good at the Indie music, but, to me, and that’s that.  For a minute the lead singer made chewing gum onstage look cool, collected and kind of sexy.  Check ‘em out if you are an Indie music fan.  Their latest album was, Only Run, released June 3, 2014.  This US band hails from the East Coast and they’re playing the Brooklyn Bowl November 12th.  

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PINS | Culture Collide | World Stage | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT: PINS | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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THOUGHTS  [Written by Kate M.]:

I love this band for their total sound and style.  This UK band is what the Go Gos circa 2014 would sound like if they went dark Indie Rock, or, if they stayed Punk circa 1978.  Pins’ lead vocalist even has a vocal tone or quality that reminds me a little of Belinda Carlyle, but she’s not Belinda, xo Belinda!   Pins is the combined musical talents of Faith, Anna, Lois and Sophie from Manchester, UK and their music is unapologetic, tough yet feminine, and natural compared to their Electronic and Pop peers.   By that I mean, the Pins’ sound includes effortless dark chanting and rock rhythms of unfinished or unconcluded emotions, unmistakably heard in their beats, guitar riffs and even in their vocal harmonies  – it’s a dope sound.   To me, this is a distinct sound and musical road than the more polished emotions and lyrics usually heard more in the Electronic and Pop genres.  The Pins’ lyrics are about relationships, feelings and love, tough and dark but with exposure, flaws and soul searching, like any good female rock band.  I am always looking for a good female rock band and the only other one I’ve heard live lately is Deap Vally (no “e”), two female rockers who shred.  Deap Vally is a stronger more pure rock sound, but I use the comparison to emphasize, there aren’t many bands that can claim girl rockers out there right now.   Pins’ vocals don’t have the muscular sound of classic female rockers, but I am excited about their sound.  They recently played the CMJ Music Marathon and they are playing (sold out) shows in the UK in the coming months and I know why.

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Tkay Maidza | Culture Collide | The Echo | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT: Tkay Maidza | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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THOUGHTS  [Written by Kate M.]:

A highlight of the day, and my personal highlight!  Who are you, girl!?  It’s pronounced “T.K.,” and readers, you should probably remember that – her rapping is pure fire!  She killed it!  She sings, too.  Tkay combines pistol quick rap and EDM sounds, and her performance seemed effortless, which is a unique style trait to her . . . and she sounded like a boss!   Sure there are great rappers and rapid fire lyricists (not that many), but Tkay has her own style, too, ingénue-like, commanding, tough and effortless.   She is also reminiscent of M.I.A. and Azaelia Banks.   At times, Tkay’s tone and verbal rhythm, as well as her elocution and delivery, reminds me of M.I.A., but Tkay’s effortless brand of fierce is different because it’s definitive, hard and commanding, but less aggressive than M.I.A.  This artist is able to go from spitting out rap verses to singing verses.   Her elocution and delivery is also reminiscent of Azaelia when she puts vocals over electronic beats and I can see Tkay commanding the Coliseum (my measure of an LA Rave).  Tkay’s vocals and performance are unaffected, natural and unproduced, like she thought she’d just drop it right now .  From Australia, Zimbabwean Tkayo’s debut mix taped was released October 23, 2014.  I watched Tkay’s debut video for “U-Huh” and I loved it, but this 18 year old is so good, she doesn’t need all that production.   On stage – just her – done!  She had her first NYC performance this week and is being picked up by major online publications like Entertainment Weekly and Fader.   Check her out  – Rap, Pop, EDM sounds, like it’s no problem!  S/O to Derrick who knew this artist would be a highlight!  I had a chance to talk with Tkay after the show and she was sweet, in the moment and gracious to her fans – stay grounded girl you are about to be a star.

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Banoffee | Culture Collide | The Echo | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT: Banoffee | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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THOUGHTS  [Written by Kate M.]:

Pop, rhythm and EDM.  Singer/producer Banoffee is an Australian artist whose performance included mixing her own R&B and sometimes Reggae style beats, throwing down versus once or twice, singing and frontin’ the ultimate cool chick persona and musical ability.   Her music is chill vibes and heavy, sick synth production.   Banoffee’s beats drop with accented bounces and her vocals are a smooth glaze over electronic beats Pop, R&B and EDM sounds.   You could say she’s an EDM and sporty Imogen Heap.  She includes “Ninja” and “Let’s Go To The Beach” in her performance at The Echo and I included the link to her debut EP whick dropped October 7, 2014 so you can listen to her unique texture of musical styles.   She’s been playing NYC venues this past week  – check her out!

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Takeoffs & Landings | Culture Collide | World Stage | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT: Takeoffs & Landings | Facebook | Twitter

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THOUGHTS  [Written by Kate M.]:

Good band, they got it done.  On lead vocals is Naama, her voice has a unique sound, one you don’t hear often these days in the music age of Electronic and Dance Pop.  Truth, I love this girl’s voice – it’s a slightly raspy, feminine Rock voice that meets some good Indie and unique enchanting sounds.  Naama’s is not a true muscular voice, but it has a cool texture, a little bit of Pop meets Rock with a unique ingénue sound.  I liked it, kind of wanted to see Joan Jett after hearing this band, too.   Naama also has showmanship, an intriguing attraction to her movement with her sound.  Take Offs and Landings is from Lima, Peru and the other members of the band are Dennis, Christian, Chris, Sergio.  Take Offs and Landings was formed recently, in 2013, and is already playing festivals like Culture Collide.  Their music is a blend of sinister girl rock and tones that make it seem like they know something you don’t and you are intrigued enough to follow wherever they are leading, which I I think is one reason the lead vocal’s voice struck me, it all went together – their enchanting sound and lead vocals that compliments the magic.   Their first album is due to drop at the end of the year.

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Torches | Culture Collide | The Methodist Church of Echo Park | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT: Torches | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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THOUGHTS  [Written by Kate M.]:

Pop, Indie Rock, EDM, Punk – one reason I liked this festival is that every band had unique musical stylings and combinations of sounds, and the US band Torches was no exception.  Torches is an Indie, Rock, Electronic blend and the second band of the night with a traditional string instrument, a violin.   This band had an Empire of the Sun vibe and sounded like Phoenix, if Phoenix went Indie Rock.   If you’re a Friendly Fires fan, you will like this band, but they can’t capture a stage like a Friendly Fires or a Phoenix.  Their performance was bland, but it was a church stage and the Festival itself was not well trafficked.   Azad Cheikosman, Eric Fabbro and Adrian Acosta make up this Los Angeles-based band and I would have liked to have seen their EP Release show at The Bootleg Theater to get better sense of what they can do, but I listened to their tracks again at home and Torches is tight!  I can see some mainstream pop, alternative and electronic sounds with defined rhythmic drums.  I thought they sounded like Arcade Fire, Cut Copy, The Mighty Lemon Drops and similar artists, which makes sense because according to their bio they have worked with David Newton (The Mighty Lemon Drops) and Jeff Lipton (Arcade Fire).  If you like any of the artists mentioned, or another band I love, The 1975, I would definitely check out Torche.   Torches dropped their EP, Endlessly Repeating, on June 19, 2014.

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Alphabetics | Culture Collide | Main Stage | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT: Alphabetics | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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This was one of my favorite live performances of the day. This band from Costa Rica’s metal tinged, alternative rock was a lot of fun. What made it more fun was their stage presence. The bassist and guitarist played with so much energy, highlighted by their playing off of each other in a “dueling electric guitar/bass” moment, that I couldn’t help but get pumped. They call their music “dance punk” and it was true. This music … music that I’d never heard before … had me moving in the photo pit.

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Solander | Culture Collide | The Methodist Church of Echo Park | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT: Solander | Facebook | Twitter

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THOUGHTS: [Written by Kate M.]

Described as a Pop, Indie, Folk band, Solander is the quintessential example of this, and The United Methodist Church was an apropos venue to hear this poetic and artistic band from Sweden. The duo, Fredrik Karlsson and Anja Linna, are supported by Albin Johansson and Adam Hjertström and, together on stage, they produced music that was a blend of story-telling, artistry and dramatic sounds.   The prominent cello melodies from Linna resonated in the church and I thought, “I think this is what Arcade Fire and Lykke Li (who I love!) would sound like if they went completely Folk, or, what Bon Iver would sound like if he went completely Electronic Pop.”   Solander’s music was poetry, musical artistry and story-telling set to prominent cello riffs and illuminated by chanting beats of smooth drums and synthesizer melodies. Folk is not my personal music listening choice, but I closed my eyes once or twice and the music took me through heavy movement in my mind and gripping emotional journies.   Being an LA native . . . their sound was like the music you would hear in the background of a poignant movie scene . . . if you ever wanted to feel like you were in a movie, this band’s smooth, but dramatic sound and storytelling harmonies takes you there.   Their sound is consistent, each song similar, the same rhythm, beats and sounds, but differentiated by their arrangement and inspiration. It seemed to me to me they did this to represent different emotions (this is the movie scene reference).   Karlsson, lead vocals, referenced a Swedish poet as inspiration for his song and personal experiences that brought them to this performance.   Solander has and has had numerous tour dates, including SWSX this past year, so look online for dates near you.   Their third album, Monochromatic Memories, was released February 4, 2014.

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We Met Tomorrow | Culture Collide | The Methodist Church of Echo Park | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

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THE ACT:  We Met Tomorrow | Facebook Instagram

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I got to the festival earlier than my writer, so I decided not to waste any time and headed over to the church to check out a band that another music writer recommended. I’m glad I took her suggestion. A little bit of folk … a little bit of blues … a touch of alternative rock … We Met Tomorrow had a solid set that sounded very, very polished. Their tunes were filled with catchy hooks that truly reeled me in (pun intended). They are from Sweden, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell because their English pronunciation was accent-less. For an early afternoon set, it was a terrific start to a long day of music.

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