Dynohunter, Bells & Robes, Future Vintage | The Crowbar 02.07.14

It is easy to get complacent, smug, sure that by now you’ve seen and heard EVERYTHING THERE COULD POSSIBLY BE TO SEE AND HEAR. Which is why it is good to get knocked down a few pegs via a mind-blowing performance now and then, one you simply were not expecting. Recent examples for me: Monophonics, Moon Hooch, Earphunk, Snarky Puppy, Rubblebucket and Space Capone. There are plenty more.

I had planned to see Indigenous at the wonderful Skipperdome when I saw that Future Vintage, a band I have raved about almost non-stop since October, was going to open for some band I knew nothing about: Dynohunter. Also: Shovels & Rope (which I had totally wrong; try Bells & Robes instead!). I listened online a bit and thought it would make for an adventure.


I was spindled, folded and mutilated by Dynohunter! They melted my face and then finished the job. I ended up in a little puddle on the floor. Let me say that these boys are not for the faint of heart. The music online sounds good, but like most of the music loosely under the jam category, the recorded experience only hints at the power and majesty of the live performance.

I’m not fond of comparisons, for the most part, but consider this. Suppose you welded together the Dead Kenny Gs, Conspirator or Zoogma, and a great DJ (I’m partial to Craig Heneveld). The result would be Dynohunter, or pretty close. They bill themselves as “tribal electro and house” and “livetronica.” I was positive I was hearing seven guys on stage, but every time I looked there were only three. Justin Ehmer is a powerhouse drummer providing the backbone of the music. On top of his frenetic pounding, Fred Reiser’s bass and synth dance around the room. Meanwhile, Clark Smith is cheerleading as he presents produced music (this is above my tech grade) via computers and then punctuates every tune with his great tenor saxophone.

Spindled, folded AND mutilated. I sincerely hope that Bear Creek and AURA give these boys the look-see (OK, look-see-HEAR), because they just plain knocked me out!

The show opened with a band I was seeing for the eighth time since October: Future Vintage. As I have noted extensively elsewhere, they range from the Herbie-era fusion/funk to jamtronica with great jazz in the mix. They had two great shows in January, achieving what for me seemed like a new level, and they did not disappoint here, daring to open with a brand new tune that was tremendous. The rest of their set matched.

Bells & Robes is a DJ/drummer combo, but I believe the drummer was in England involved in soccer (OK, I can relate to THAT!). The DJ had a very nice set with a mixed bag of music without any mind-numbing hip-hop or dubstep (the author exposes his prejudices). The set was well received and offered a solid buffer between the two bands.

Just waiting for the next opportunity to get knocked down a peg or three. Should happen at AURA this weekend!!!



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