Pitchfork Presents: Ryan Hemsworth, KELELA, Traxman, The Range, Jahiliyya Fields, Huerco S., Mas Ysa, with DJs Richard Pretty and J-Cush
Brooklyn, NY, 11211-4119
This event is all ages
Ryan Hemsworth is a young producer from Canada with a remarkably productive output in the past two years and a totally unique approach to hip hop and R&B production.
With an early background as a singer and guitarist, he quickly weaned off rock into hip hop and more software oriented music, diving whole-heartedly into drum loops and samples. In 2011, his first release No Plans was featured on SPIN magazine's Top 20 R&B albums of 2011 and he quickly followed up with A Way and Kitsch Genius, which got him increasingly noticed for a singular sound attracting a number of music critics and artists from across the country. He soon began cultivating relationships online and became a go-to producer for MCs like Main Attrakionz, Shady Blaze, and Deniro Farrar, helping craft a sound sitting somewhere between chill wave and trap rap. Hyperbolic Chamber Music, a collaborative project with NYC clothing brand Mishka, saw him at the helm of a 22-minute posse cut featuring 26 different rapper from across America, and his remix treatment of Grimes, Frank Ocean, and Danny Brown have kept his name spreading in the past year.
With his first label release, the Last Words EP released through Wedidit Collective, Ryan Hemsworth continues his sonic collages and explorations, digging even deeper into unexplored genres and delivering his finest work to date.
The one to watch - bridging the gap between RnB and Electronic Beats, Kelela is reaching Lit City Rave to celebrate the release of her brand new Fade to Mind album, 'Cut 4 Me'. Kelela’s debut, is the culmination of a long journey, exploring the space between loss and freedom, and the process of letting go as a catalyst for growth. Concerned equally with confronting hard realities as celebrating romance, with confronting both the ecstatic highs and painful lows of relationships, this deeply personal body of work merges the popular and the unconventional, establishing Kelela’s unique vision for songwriting and production. Situated in a universe where pop is necessarily challenging, Kelela’s songs are the result of her passion for the synergy between the vocalist, producer, and DJ. The album features production work from NGUZUNGUZU, Kingdom, DJ NA, Bok Bok, Jam City, Girl Unit and more. Expect a hugely moving live set!
Cornelius Ferguson, better known as Traxman, spent the '90s and '00s packing Chicago's dancefloors with fast-paced house, juke, and footwork. He's taken his show all over the world the last few years, thanks in part to his insane 2012 Planet Mu release, Da Mind of Traxman, and in part to his insane live show, which find him flipping samples of classic R&B tunes, Chicago house tracks, and psychedelic jazz in equal measure, at lightning speed. Da Mind of Traxman's sequel, the aptly-named Da Mind of Traxman vol. 2, is coming out soon also on Planet Mu, and it draws from an even broader sonic palette than its predecessor, incorporating elements of all sorts of dance music genres, pushing footwork into the future, into the atmosphere.
The Range is James Hinton, 24, of Providence, RI. He's been making music since he was 13, first on a little Fostex machine recording looped drums and synthesizer. At Brown University, while studying Physics, he started making electronic music full time under the alias Stegosaurus, producing two albums under that moniker, 'Quill' and 'Cower' in 2009 and 2010 respectively. In the mid 2010 he started making music as The Range, drawing from more percussive footwork sounds. An album 'The Big Dip' followed for Astro Nautico (co-run by Obey City and Kuhn) in 2011, and then two EPs 'Seneca' and 'disk' for Donky Pitch. His next album 'Nonfiction' will be released by Donky Pitch on October 14th 2013
He has received support on BBC Radio 1 from Benji B, frequently playing shows across the US, and completed remixes for artists like Howse (Tri Angle), Kuhn (Civil Music) & Alphabets Heaven (King Deluxe). In August 2013 he played The Boiler Room US, which will be followed by a string of UK and European dates in October (his first overseas shows) to co-incide with the album release.
Brian Leeds produces electronic music under the name Huerco S. His debut album for Software is titled Colonial Patterns. On Colonial Patterns, Leeds treats his Kansas City region as a universe worthy of its own electronic music.
To that end, Leeds deconstructs Midwestern techno and house tropes. The pieces are corrugated, rough, and decompositional. Working cheaply, Leeds conscientiously uses low-end software, synths and cassettes so as to subvert the gloss of so much urban dance music, giving tracks an impressionistic, emotive feel. The result is uniquely Midwestern: there is an expansiveness to each piece that suits the open space and the storied past of its inhabitants.
A native of Eastern Kansas, Brian Leeds first turned to music and visual art as a teenager. He attended the University of Kansas where he studied installation art and ceramics before leaving school to focus exclusively on sound design and music production. Recent releases include “No Jack,” off the EP for Wicked Bass, and the twenty-minute synth exploration “Untitled” which Leeds cut in collaboration with Exael for Software’s favorite Opal Tapes.
Colonial Patterns shares Jon Hassell’s hybridized experiments in percussive ambience, as well as William Basinski’s strobing melancholia. When tracks subtly veer into house/techno territories, they mirror the no frills dance mechanics of Midwest figureheads Ron Hardy, Omar S and Theo Parrish.
Mas Ysa, the project of nomadic composer Thomas Arsenault, combines love songs, unabashed ecstatic pop, prayer, field recordings and techno into triumphant, danceable, melancholy folk music that pummels the heart rather than dances around it.
Born in Montreal with formative years spent in San Paolo at hard-techno raves, Arsenault’s life is one of human and musical experience rather than eye-searing laptop screens. After studying composition at Oberlin Conservatory, where he was part of the Ohio-based Shinkoyo art collective, Arsenault headed west for San Francisco to assist kindred-spirit cult artist Warner Jepson.
Eventually, Arsenault landed on Kent Avenue in Brooklyn, occupying a sprawling loft complex connected to the underground venues 285 Kent and Glasslands. There, he built a studio that yielded records by everyone from Cass McCombs to Laurel Halo, getting out of bed in the dead of night to write songs and record sonic fragments. During the day, Arsenault explored the other side of modern composition by collaborating with Rashaun Mitchell of the storied Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Born as a live experience in early 2012, Mas Ysa hoists this voracious music history and crashes it head-on with blunt emotional trauma. Early shows vacillated between dancefloor catharsis and inner pain, emphasizing both ritualistic transcendence and the universal bond of folk music.
And with no public songs, marketing, Internet hype or silent brand backing, Mas Ysa was quickly tapped to tour with art-rock icons Deerhunter in between opening big shows for everyone from Purity Ring and Delorean to RZA.
In early 2013, Arsenault made perhaps his most important move in the face of an eviction notice from the City Of New York: He packed-up his gear – including two TR-909s, a homemade analog chaos-weaver and a Kurzweil K2000 borrowed from Oberlin and never returned – and drove north, eventually landing at a house for rent in Woodstock. No stranger to musical mysticism, the secluded compound (with requisite bear encounters) serves as the backdrop for Mas Ysa’s initial recordings.
Encompassing bangers, ballads and textured experimental arcs, the debut Mas Ysa EP marks the arrival of a unique cvoice. “Why,” a futuristic arms-to-the-sky “Thunder Road,” is motorik shock therapy, while “Shame” is a gigantic crescendo of emotional despair and aural exultation. “Mountain Cave” is serene, windy desolation, and the stark forestry of wide-eyed songwriters like Will Oldham is channeled on “Years.”
Mas Ysa’s debut EP released in January 2014 via Downtown Records. Full-length to follow!
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