Published: January 31, 2014
Photo and stories by: Ellie Salrin
Windshield wipers, four-wheel drive, and heater on blast marked my drive down to St. Louis a couple Saturdays ago, but I wasn’t going to let a snowstorm stand in in between my ears and an evening of psychedelic bass music at my favorite STL venue, 2720 Cherokee.
The lineup of artists included Random Rab and Andreilien (Heyoka) throwing down later in the evening, and Connector crew members FiLiBuStA, Pleasure, and Spankalicious kicking things off. I walked in as Pleasure (aka Sean McCarthy) was on deck, as more people filtered in the door. His always sexy pleasurable beats were cascading down the walls. Baby makin’ music is his bread and butter. Take notes ladies. Pockets of people dancing began to form and even though I missed FiLiBuStA (aka Troy Probst), the energy for the night had been officially set by himself and Pleasure.
We were ready for an intergalactic trip through outer space with some fellow earthlings. Spankalicious (aka Kevin Moore) was up next - a psychedelic bounce producer who has a penchant for throwing down on live drums and moonlights as half of a “futuristic underground space pop” band with Plunkie called Beat Machine. His visceral talent always drives his performances and he exudes a happy enthusiasm that is contagious. Spank likes to go to rowdytown and this night was no exception.
Heyoka (aka Andrei Olenev), a glitch bass aficionado from the San Francisco underground scene in the mid 2000’s, has, according to his website, “been abducted, cosmically mind probed, upgraded and reconfigured in an extra terrestrial lab on a planet known as Marklar.” The resulting man is now known as Andreilen, his new identity. His eccentric nature, thick dreads, and bass from space that melts your ears into jelly was pure psychedelia with a heavy dose of clicky glitchy beats.
And then...it was time for some sacred bass at the Church of Random Rab (aka Rab Clinton). He is known in the festival community for his legendary sunrise sets at Burning Man, Sonic Bloom, Symbiosis Gathering, and many other festivals. The self-proclaimed “sexy and psychedelic” producer oozes musical talent, yet is one of the most gentle and humble producers I’ve ever met. His calmness makes you want to gather around and just absorb his music and bask in his energy because it is so damn ethereal.
There is so much care put into each movement, each harrowing note. The amount of finesse that Random Rab injects into his art is truly a beautiful thing to witness. A majestic rendition of the title track off his album “Release” that came out in October sounded particularly luscious live. He picked up a royal blue bass guitar and played during a few songs, moving back and forth between it and his decks seamlessly. Bespectacled in his trademark thick-rimmed glasses, he meticulously flowed through tracks that can be described as divine downtempo. Music with substance and meaning can have a profound impact on a person. He creates tracks that evoke spiritual truth and musical liberation - it was a pleasure to see him do his thing.
Outside of Random Rab music, he’s been busy living a double life as MOUR - his alter ego - who released a collaboration album with Jamie Janover on a dulcimer and Sidecar Tommy of Beats Antique on drums, along with a handful of other contributors from vocalists to flute players. Their album “SO” was released earlier this month. It is intriguingly and hauntingly beautiful and it reaffirms that Rab is forever evolving and experimenting.
Beyond the crowd, canvases were furiously being transformed into incredible dreamlike paintings. One in particular that caught my eye was a trippy portrait of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial gazing up doing his “phone home” look.
For me the concept of home has shifted over the years. I’ve come to realize that I am at home whenever I am surrounded by good people with beautiful (or bass-ful) music reverberating off the walls...wherever those walls may be. I am glad that 2720 was my home that particular evening and walked away rejuvenated. Until next time lovers!
BreaksDowntempoDubstepGlitchHip HopDrum and BassElectroLivetronica