SXSW Music Showcases

SXSW Music Showcases

Nicolas Jaar, Matthew Dear, Young Fathers, Vietnam, Orthy, Forever Changes, Tensions Fort

Tue, March 12, 2013

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 2:00 am)

North Door Main Stage

Austin, TX

This event is 21 and over

Nicolas Jaar - (Set time: 1:00 AM)
Nicolas Jaar
Nico has spent his youth wandering. The Chilean American artist was born in New York, but raised between Santiago and SoHo. At seventeen, he began releasing music on the Brooklyn imprint Wolf + Lamb, and was catapulted into the Atlantic dance music scene.

But Nico always wanted to slow down and grow roots as an artist. Instead of finding a new creative home, he decided to make his own. On his nineteenth birthday, Nico founded Clown & Sunset. The label extended his collaboration with Soul and Nikita, and became an outlet for his most honest work.

Over the last two years, Nico has composed for the Sunset of a Clown series, Russian Dolls, WOUH and Inès. He co-founded Clown & Sunset Aesthetics (CSA), a production company to house his record label among other artistic endeavors, meanwhile also completing his first album, Space is Only Noise. Nico then finally returned home to New York City where he will reveal his latest work, and continue choreographing Clown & Sunset and CSA.
Matthew Dear - (Set time: 12:05 PM)
Matthew Dear
If you've followed Matthew Dear over the years, then you know he doesn't like to stay in one place for very long. Even as a primarily electronic artist in the early 2000s, Dear hopped from label to label, switched aliases often, and made everything from steely microhouse to harder Detroit techno. But his biggest departure was 2007's Asa Breed, the record where he stepped out from behind the decks and reached for the mic. Singing on tracks and leaning more heavily on song structure, he built strange hybrid music that had one foot in techno and the other in pop.

Dear's latest album, Black City, follows this path but pulls a pretty drastic shift in tone. Where Asa Breed was bubbly and squeaky and ultimately dancefloor-bound, this record is dark as night. The music brings to mind blown-out warehouses, desolate alleys, and seedy basement nightclubs; it's some real threatening, grimy shit. The production is as inventive and immersive as ever, but what separates this album from the last is that Dear mostly sticks with one theme all the way through. Asa Breed was all over the place at times, but this album has a cohesive thread to follow and smaller vignettes within it.
Young Fathers - (Set time: 11:10 PM)
Young Fathers are a Scottish rap trio comprising members from across the planet. They have been going for a while but the outside world are only just catching on/up – Time Out made them one of their ones to watch for 2012. And now they're about to have their debut EP, Tape One, first released in 2011, reissued by Anticon. It's their breakthrough moment, if signing to a label synonymous with underground hip-hop can be said to mark their arrival as a commercial force – Anticon might not be in the Definitive Jux league when it comes to experimental rap, but it hardly purveys pop.

Funnily enough, Young Fathers do think of themselves as more pop than rap, which is odd considering their melodies, if any, come buried in askew rhythm and random noise. There are occasional snippets that catch the ear but hummable choruses are few and far between. And yet they're adamant: "I don't even see us as a hip-hop band," one of them has said. "Really we're just pop boys. We grew up with pop music, so that always makes sense to us when we're writing tunes." From Liberia, Nigeria and America, they have been working together in Edinburgh for years, since their early teens. They honed their rapping skills in open mic slots and began tentatively recording using cheap music software and a microphone from Argos. They initially saw themselves as a "psychedelic hip-hop boy band", but really they're hard to categorise. There are musical ideas and textures on Tape One that you'd expect from a post-rock/leftfield indie band, and there is some of punk's energy and DIY practice – they're a self-contained unit who make their own posters and direct their own videos. There are also African tribal and reggae beats, and generous use of electronics. Look out for signs of whimsy in their lyrics, and metallic surges: they're the missing link between De La Soul and Death Grips. If you didn't know they were Scottish you'd presume they were some art-rap outfit from LA – either way, being on Anticon should raise their profile in the US.

Deadline opens Tape One, setting the harsh, jagged tone. There are sirens, unison vocals that make the words sound like a chant, and the impression given is of a brand new cult announcing themselves in no uncertain terms. They don't quite sustain the pace thereafter, but then it could be reasonably argued that everything you ever needed to know about Death Grips was contained in Guillotine. The titles on Tape One are all one-word with the sole exception of closer Dar – Eh Da Da Du, conveying a sense of pithy urgency and brevity, as though what Young Fathers have to communicate can be boiled down to a simple essence. It's not entirely clear what their worldview is but it could perhaps be reduced to "dystopian with humour". Things get murky on Romance, which is so full of cloudy tricknology it's hard to tell where the sample (from Bob Marley?) ends and the original music begins. Remains is also slow and sorrowful, with a creepy lyric ("Tonight, I decompose"), but as ever clever production, a steady military beat, a chanty refrain and a blissed-out rap that recalls PM Dawn ensure there are always things to hook the listener in. Maybe, for all the noise and effects, they are pop after all.
- The Guardian
Vietnam - (Set time: 10:15 PM)
VietNam makes their long-awaited return with a new album, An American Dream, to be released on Mexican Summer, Feb 26th 2013. Michael Gerner, the creative force behind VietNam, is back onstage for the first time in five years with a new six-piece lineup (featuring half of his old band) laying down his signature cocktail of apocalyptic street blues. After taking a long break to explore his interest in ambient analog synth soundscapes on the West Coast (scoring films and recording with his project DA), Gerner has now made a bold comeback to both New York and rock and roll with his best record to date – adding a new dimension to the instrumentation with a moog player and a violinist. VietNam's prior releases include their critically-acclaimed and commercially successful self titled debut LP VietNam on Kemado Records in 2007, three prior EP's on The Social Registry, and their debut, The Concrete's Always Grayer on the Other Side of the Street, on Vice Records in 2003.
Orthy - (Set time: 9:20 PM)
Forever Changes - (Set time: 8:25 PM)
Forever Changes
Austin's premier Love cover band performing songs from the complete Love catalog.
Tensions Fort - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Venue Information:
North Door Main Stage
502 Brushy St.
Austin, TX, 78702