Labradford / Pan•American / Hrvatski / Marumari
Metro Boston residents were fortunate to be treated to two area performances including the first from Pan American and the latest incarnation of Hrvatski. On Thursday night at Brandeis University's Rose Gallery Museum, Keith Fullerton Whitman (known to the world as Hrvatski) began the three-act show, sitting behind his laptop, guitar in hand, creating a film score-like experience.
His set progressed between various movements, building sound upon sound, introducing various well-constructed musical themes, rhythm saturation and absense. It's a new area for this composer as he in his own words is "leaving the aggression behind." Rhode Island's Marumari was second on the bill at the museum (but not at the club the next night) and played a very punchy, fun yet very white set. At this point all the raver-esque hippie looking girls got up and danced, lending more evidence to the theory that chicks dig bass.
Of course by the time Pan American started it was back to being an art museum performance, the dancers sat back down, many of them drifted off into unconsciousness as the ultra-low bass frequencies and pulses were perhaps a bit outside of their realm of interest. The Pan American experience resembled the music of his singles more closely than the album releases as the tempo was up but the pitch was somewhat low and there were no 'lead' instruments as guests have provided on the albums. He went on for a good 45 minutes but ended rather abruptly at the art gallery, the following night's set was similar but the beats were knit tighter and he had a much more smoother landing. Worth mentioning too was that during the rock club performance on the second night, Hrvatski wasn't cursed with a power outage and his set too also ran much more smoothly.
Around 12 midnight the low rumble from the keyboards and sound effects began, chatty club guests probably didn't stop to notice there was a band starting. The chatter went on pretty much through the first song but little by little people became captivated by what was happening on stage. Tonight was Labradford's night as their music has evolved into a symmetric unit with two guitarists on either side (see review above). While the music is great to hear at home on a stereo, it's something special to see these guys peform the act live, filling every inch of the club's thick air with a beautiful sound. Before long the crowd chatter dulled into almost complete silence until local sound experimentalist Brendan Murray knocked a table over. Thankfully it didn't interrupt anything, the band smiled, the music blissfully continued. They'll be on the road with Low this coming week.