Simply put: the Snarky Puppy show was very sold out. With a packed venue, I thought I was facing a rowdy night, and every trip to the bathroom would be like a salmon swimming upstream. But instead of parting the waves, walking around was like crossing a pond—the fans were so enthralled with the musicians on stage that they didn’t move. Normally there are a good number of people walking back and forth in the pass-through to several of the bars surrounding the periphery of the floor, but the bars were nearly empty. Every patron was squeezed as close to the front as possible, eyes glued to the stage.
Moses Sumney’s debut full-length Aromanticism, released Sept 22nd on Jagjagwar, is a shimmery showcase of Sumney’s smooth-as-butter voice that marks an artistic departure from his 2016 EP Lamentations. While the EP revolves around layers of Sumney’s vocals and guitar, his latest release incorporates a much wider color palate, replete with beautiful orchestration and swirling synths. There’s a higher production value, which in turn sacrifices some of the intimacy of his earlier releases which made his music so powerful.
In the world of hip-hop, producer mashups are hardly rare. Danger Mouse first made a name for himself in 2004 with The Grey Album, which combined the verses of Jay-Z’s The Black Album with the instrumentals of The Beatles’ The White Album. Tom Caruana did the same with Magical Mystery Tour and Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), deeming it Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers. And the subgenre of plunderphonics revolves around the overlaying of samples over hip-hop verses, leading to classics like Girl Talk’s Night Ripper.
Combining elements of jazz, electronica, rock, and everything in between, Snarky Puppy had a little something for everyone Sunday night at the Mercy Lounge.