Orgone & Latyrx (Lyrics Born & Lateef the Truth Speaker) w/ Digg
2637 Welton Street
Denver, CO, 80205
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM (event ends at 2:00 AM)
This event is 16 and over
Watch & Listen
Los Angeles based band Orgone is many souls with a cosmic connection, a natural creative force and musicians who have played together for years. They are self schooled and continue to shape their musical voice as a solid unit of guys who hang, spin records and jam out their shared inspirations. With a rooted sense of funk, soul, afrobeat, deep rhythms and an intimate understanding of dj culture as well as each others' individual talents, Orgone seamlessly slides through multiple styles and dynamic performances. The group continuously injects whatever they play with a heavy brand of raw funk power.
At the core of the band is a rhythm section comprised of close friends who have played together for more than 10 years. Having grown artistically as a unit they function as one organic and intuitive whole. The orginal 5-member band started out by putting their own gritty takes on tunes by the likes of the JBs, the Meters, Booker T. and the MGs, Grant Green and Funkadelic among many others. They quickly gained underground respect and die hard fans. With their searing live sets and original instrumentals, Orgone soon released their debut self titled CD, "Orgone," in 2002. The result was a collection of all original down home, transcendental, tough and gritty funk instrumentals.
The band fast grew to include a powerful three-piece horn section and a fiery soul singer who all shared the same spirit and deep reverence for the music that inspired them. Singer, Fanny Franklin, joined the groups' recordings after they were floored seeing her perform with Dakah, the 30-piece hip hop orchestra, and asked her to record with them. Their first recording together, Orgone's cover of "Funky Nassau", became a ubiquitous DJ fave worldwide- first appearing on 7"(Nuff Rope) and then getting a 12" club re-edit by renowned dj Danny Krivit (Nuff Rope). It then appeared on Ubiquity's Rewind Volume 4 comp, which began the band's relationship with the prestigious label.
Gaining worldwide recognition for their raw studio recordings and exciting live sets led to the release of "The Killion Floor" on Ubiquity records- a full length album of hard hitting afro-soul & funk from the 9 piece band. While enjoying comparisons to classic acts like Rufus, War & Mandrill, or modern funk staples like Sharon Jones or Breakestra, they're quick to point out that Orgone is unique.
"..an ultra-funky intertwining of infectious grooves with melodic phrases, even when they are at their most experimental. Despite the music's complexity, it remains uncluttered and spacious...If you are into classic funk like Parliament Funkadelic, the Meters ...you should find Orgone intoxicating. In addition to the funk, R&B and jazz elements, the band exhibits an adventurous rock 'n' roll twist...This is one hell of a band."
- RELIX magazine
Back in 1995, Bay Area rap was at the big-ballin' peak of the mobb music craze, LA was chronically gripped in a G-funk indo smoke haze, Atlanta was enjoying its Southernplayalistic days, and NYC was entering a shiny-suit phase. There was no frame of reference for two lyrical emcees experimenting with the tonality and resonance of rhyme patterns.
This was uncharted territory.
The pairing of Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker into Latyrx was "an accident," LB recalls. Both emcees were solo artists, but when LB heard the pre-Endtroducing DJ Shadow beat which would become Latyrx' eponymous debut single, his reaction was, "Oh my God, I gotta get on this."
"Latyrx" was a syllabic tour de force which began with two dissonant voices -- one gruff and bassy, the other higher-pitched and trebly, both hella fluid -- it transmogrified into a harmonic convergence of doubled verses simultaneously assaulting eardrums. Undeniably, it was great... but weird. "It was ill," Lateef recalls. "We really felt like we had something unlike anyone else had done," he adds.
Latyrx' first and thusfar, only, full-length, 1997's Latyrx: the Album, "set the tone for what Solesides and Quannum would do," LB recalls, while 1998's Muzappers Re-Mixes EP spawned one of the only feminist-affirming club bangers in hip-hop history, "Lady Don't Tek No."
Though Latyrx never officially broke up, after Muzappers, both members followed their chosen paths to considerable solo success. Yet no matter how much acclaim each attained individually, the notion of someday making another Latyrx record was always present. "It's probably the number one thing I got asked about in my career," LB says.
16 years (!) after the release of Latyrx: the Album, LB and Lateef have finally answered the prayers of long-starved fans who have begged, pleaded and, by now, tweeted about the possibilities of a reunion. An impromptu Latyrx set at a 2010 Jazz Mafia concert at San Francisco's Mezzanine led to an appearance at 2011's Outside Lands festival, Google's Summer Concert Series (they were the first ever hip-hop act to perform) and a last minute appearance as part of HITRECORD At The Movies -- a unique film and music traveling showcase curated and hosted by actor and artist Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Most recently the duo have performed at the Wintersalt Festival in San Francisco last December and toured the United States with super funk group, Galactic.
Having just released a brand new EP titled 'DISCONNECTION' late last year, LB & Lateef are hard at work on the proper follow up to their debut album, a new record aptly titled, 'THE SECOND ALBUM'.
Featuring a long list of producers and special guests, the album credits read like a music festival with artists from Tune Yards and Forrest Day to Blackalicious and The Decemberists stepping in to help create one of the most highly anticipated records of all time.
What Latyrx brings to the table is a technical difficulty level rare these days in hip-hop and matched only by a few groups in the genre's entire history: Run-DMC, Jurassic 5, Blackstar, Freestyle Fellowship. Their challenging, intricate back-and forth arrangements evoke a lyrical version of bebop, with layer upon layer of rhythmic syncopation and vocal patterning constantly pushing the envelope.
"We have a good chemistry and it's kind of unique," Lateef says. "We step up each others' game content, and both of us push each other in the originality department."
"What we've talked about is very simply, picking up where we left off," LB explains. The return of Latyrx stands as Very Good News for true hip-hop fans, lyrical aficionados, boom-bap beatniks, urban bohemians, wee tots in Reeboks, and Muzappers of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages.
Amongst the dusty records of UC Davis' KDVS college radio station, Tom Shimura, who currently makes records as Lyrics Born, found too much to love. Sandwiched between gatefold LPs, 12-inch singles, dub versions and white-labels was a reservoir of inspiration that he would draw on for the following decades. That was then. This is now. Since his college days, Bay Area-native Lyrics Born's raw, authentic talent has been polished to a gleaming beacon of originality in a time when it's needed most, and it's release marks a new era of label relations. "The old model is dead, you cant just put it out and expect people to get it", explains LB, and the statement could easily be applied to his sound or his approach to marketing the finished product.
Lyrics Born has gone about the creation of his latest effort, As U Were, in a less-than-conventional manner. One defining characteristic of his sound thus far has been that it can be described as unequivocally fun, and this remains true of As U Were. However, LB does routinely peel back the gregarious exterior to reveal a contemplative everyman, and it's times like this that his true artistry is apparent. "It's at the point in my career where I've been through a lot, fun and not so fun. I think I'm dealing with a lot issues that are more mature than the last few albums, from abandonment to betrayal to incredible joy". He voices these sentiments prominently on the lead single "Lies x 3", a driving, heartfelt plead for truth.
While touching on newer subjects, he also reached out to artists that he felt removed himself from his comfort zone. "The new record is more synth-oriented. I made an effort to work with younger artists: Trackademicks, Francis and The Lights, and Sam Sparro, namely". The bay-swagger is in full effect on "Funky Hit Records", and while the new guests add a new dimension to the sound, Tom Shimura isn't one to lose sight of his roots. Gift Of Gab drops a requisite, thought-provoking verse on the critical "Pills" and the classic Latyrx tag-team makes it look way too easy on "Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart", one of the album's standout cuts. As U Were may well be LB's greatest achievement, but it's been a long time coming.
Lyrics Born had been a music obsessive since his youth, and in 1993 freestyles among a group of UC Davis classmates that occupied the same cramped radio quarters began to find their way onto paper, and suddenly LB had written "Send Them". It became the first single on the newly minted Solesides Records, a collaborative venture between himself and his accomplices who would later go on to be known internationally as Blackalicious (comprised of MC Gift of Gab and producer Chief Xcel), DJ Shadow and Lateef The Truthspeaker, an East Oakland rapper with whom he found a shared affinity for the rapid-fire lyrical volleys that would define the next step. As Latyrx (a combination of their working names) the two MCs released The Album, in 1997. The LP would go on to become a certified classic, selling 100,000 copies, yet would prove to be the tip of an even larger iceberg.
Solesides was re-imagined as Quannum Projects in 1999. As co-owner, LB used Quannum as a conduit through which he delivered his most realized project to date, 2003's Later That Day. The album yielded his biggest commercial success to date, "Callin' Out", which charted nationally and was featured in several major motion pictures, EA Sports games as well as a Diet Coke spot featuring Adrian Brody. The remix LP, Same !@#$ Different Day was released shortly after, showcasing the talents of his closest associates and as well as new material. Meanwhile, Lyrics Born began to explore different means of engaging listeners. He kept fans abreast of his work by peppering the internet with The Lyrics Born Variety Show mixtape series whoch he released himself through his website. The mixtapes, as well as ceaseless touring and the creation of his own internet media outlets Lyrics Born TV and LBFM, were elements of a new formula.
Since the release of Later That Day, Lyrics Born has averaged over 150 shows a year, and his explosive live energy was captured on the disc Overnite Encore, a compilation of live performances with live musicians from the Australian leg of his 2006 world tour. He followed up in 2008 with Everywhere At Once, a varied studio disk that signaled a departure from the sample-based pieces he had become known for, supplementing the sound with a full band and a healthy does of synthesizers. Hence, he has arrived at well-rounded sound that is classic and yet futuristic. Tom Shimura hasn't forgotten how he got here, but he's never been afraid to look to the future, either.
Lateef The Truth Speaker
Recorded over four months in Oakland, Lateef the Truthspeaker’s FireWire brings together some of the best producers in hip-hop on one album, including Chief Xcel, DJ Shadow, Dan the Automator, Somehow at Sea and Headnodic (Crown City Rockers, Mighty Underdogs). Bay Area stalwarts Lyrics Born, Del and The Grouch turn up as well, giving the album a congenial, familial feel.
FireWire stands as Lateef’s most musically ambitious and diverse project to date; the musical equivalent of hip-hoppers, hipsters, dance heads, R&B lovers and unapologetic pop fans all doing shots at the same party. “We The People” opens with a Kraftwerk-style intro before morphing into a New Wave track that would make Gary Numan proud. “Oakland,” a heartfelt, candid tribute to Lateef’s native city, hits with dirty funk drums, while “Left Alone” fuses Steely Dan-esque ‘70s rock with retro ‘80s drum machines. Then there’s “So Sexy” and “Inside You,” two slow jams dripping with sex that convey clever double meanings while remaining appropriate for intimate, late night listening. Inspired by everyone from Toro Y Moi to Radiohead, it’s as if Lateef found his inner Rakim, Paul Simon, Juan Atkins and R. Kelly simultaneously. "You have to make an album that you like and enjoy performing and that you like to listen to,” says the rapper.
“I wanted a name that encapsulates the organic and digital aspects of the album,” Lateef says of the title. “The album’s sonic cohesiveness comes from the marriage of the two sounds. I wanted to showcase both aspects of my versatility in terms of singing and rapping. I’m not D’Angelo or Luther Vandross, but I can definitely carry a tune.”
Throughout FireWire’s confluence of disparate styles, Lateef the Truthspeaker imbues his lyrics with an inspiring message that never relies on the preachy or didactic. Take “We the People,” a ubiquitous American phrase reconfigured for global consumption. “I wanted to write something that was anthemic and unifying,” says Lateef. “Obviously, it’s an American phrase, but the idea can be applied worldwide to show the power of unity. There’s not much that can stop a unified people.”
“Social consciousness is integral to all my work. It informs my baseline moral values, politics and my attitude toward propaganda. A lot of those values are out of favor and not as popular as they once were but I’m not afraid to tackle more difficult subject matter or stuff other people may not feel comfortable speaking on.” On the DJ Shadow-produced “Say What You Want,” for example, Lateef imagines a revenge tale born out of the real-life shooting of his cousin and the death of the shooter at the hands of another cousin.
Perhaps this mindset towards truth and consciousness was inevitable. The son of two Black Panthers – his mother was a roommate of famed activist Angela Davis – Lateef was part of an anti-apartheid group at the age of 4; the same age he first hopped on a mic. After co-founding legendary hip-hop collective SoleSides (later renamed Quannum Projects) in the early ‘90s, Lateef became an integral component in the Bay Area hip-hop scene, co-founding Latyrx (with Lyrics Born), Lateef and the Chief (with Chief Xcel) and The Mighty Underdogs (with Headnodic and Gift of Gab) and collaborating with everyone from Z-Trip to Fatboy Slim.
In the end, talent, intellect and charisma have allowed Lateef the Truthspeaker to stand on his own two feet; rising past all internal and external challenges. On “Testimony,” a 1970s AM radio track filtered through squelchy synths, the rapper’s reflective, poignant lyrics could double as an overall life mantra. "Somehow I stay smiling/Even with the world swirling with violence/’Cause while no man is an island/I’m still sole proprietor of what’s behind my eyelids."
Digg is developing a sound that has a wide range of appeal among fans of different ages and genres of music. Hitting the Denver music scene in June of 2012, within their first 5 shows Digg had headlined a Saturday, played a festival with the likes of The Motet and Black Uhuru, and opened for some very notable musicians including DVS featuring Mike Dillon. The initial response to Digg from music fa
ns and venues has been overwhelmingly positive and they are looking to continue this momentum into 2013. If you are a fan of solid songwriting, meaningful lyrics, and musicianship with a touch of improvisation, check out Digg. They are sure to be making a lasting impression on music fans for years to come.
Digg is a modern rock-blues band out of Denver, Colorado consisting of four experienced musicians. Will Crossland on Guitar and Vocals, Chase Gillespie on Sax, Keys, and Vocals, Aaron Sandry on Drums, and Jesse Darrow on Bass.
$17 Day Of Show / $28 2-Day Pass
Tickets Available at the Door
2-Day Passes are available from the page that you are currently on.
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