Southern Rock Opera

SXSW 02 Music Fest Wrap-up


Mercury/the Vibe, Thursday 14 Composition was key, as two local musicians offered very diverse renditions of intricate sound. D-Madness and Arctectonics' Glitch set up their respective showcases with innovative techniques that entailed numerous tasks on a multitude of machines. Even without vision, D-Madness is a musical organism capable of creating an entire rhythm section of drum, bass, and keyboard, while simultaneously singing and beatboxing. The sound produced was a complex combo of intertwined instrumentation that even the tightest of bands could not have reproduced. His Essence was a lone sax, Andre Van Buren, and a full-ranged female voice sample that reoccurred throughout the performance to accent and clarify the dense pulsating rhythmic patterns. As the tempo sped up, D-Madness showed the crowd that his massive instrumentation was only one reference of musical credentials, as he switched hands and feet among all three instruments, then laced the rhythm with lyrics and ad-libbed scratch noises. As the beat turned minimalist, D freed his hands, kept his feet running through the bass drums, and then set a pulse by smacking his cheeks to produce sharp, syncopated echoes. More than a few jaws hung open. At the Vibe, Arctectonics dove into the darker side by unleashing their alter ego, Broke. Disguised in masks, the local affiliates produced an orchestrated headache of drum pad peddling, garbage can thrashing, and sharp distorted logic provided in lyrical form by Jag. This bizarre presentation was highlighted by moments of mayhem, including a male beauty queen dressed in a women's one-piece bathing suit yodeling Tiny Tim-type song lyrics. While most MCs believe it's a feat to just rhyme, and as singer-songwriters may play the guitar, Glitch and his miniature accordion composed a mix of sounds that would normally be spaced across an entire band. Seems that both these showcases utilized all of their hands and feet, and both sides of the brain.

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D-Madness, Arctectonics

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