The Fillmore Auditorium played host to back to back sold out shows from electro darlings Rüfüs Du Sol this past weekend. We had a chance to attend Sunday night, and while snow conditions existed outside it was nonetheless “lit” inside. We have been following the trio since 2010 and have loved seeing the band evolve from a sound and production standpoint. Opening with “Eyes” of their 2018 album Solace, the band did not let up keeping a consistent vibe throughout their whole set. They played all of their hits including “Innerbloom”, “Underwater”, “Like An Animal”, and “No Place”. The band loves playing in Denver and we love having them. (Words and images by Robert Castro)
For those of you who don’t know, Cherub is an electronic-indie duo from Nashville. They are most famously known for their song “Doses and Mimosas”… Many would say it’s the perfect song to brunch to. They made a stop in Denver this past weekend on their Free Form Tour and got everyone dancing at The Ogden! Cherub was opened by Maddy O’Neil who is a female electronic artist and showed that her versatility of mixing is one of a kind. Along with her, our good friend GRiZ preformed a surprise DJ set to get the night started!
Photography by: Bridget Burnett (Instagram)
Sylvan Esso has been on the rise for a few years and finally made their triumphant return Red Rocks! For those of you who don't know, this electronic pop duo is from Durham, North Carolina and consists of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sandborn. They packed in Red Rocks to the very brim so people were obviously very excited to see them!
Funny story actually, while we were standing in the photo pit, which by the way was crammed with about 15 photographers. I'm telling you people were excited about Sylvan Esso. The last time they played here was as an opening for My Morning Jacket in 2015. One of them told us that Amelia was actually in a bluegrass band before being in Sylvan Esso. So we looked further into this and found out that while she was in this band she walked into a bar where Nick was playing and randomly asked him to remix one of her other songs. He did, and the rest is history! Now, some of their most famous songs include "Coffee", "Radio" and "Die Young". Go take a listen if you haven't already!
Words and Photos: Bridget Burnett
Grant Kwiecinski AKA GRiZ blew us away with his Live Band Performance at Red Rocks on Friday! He assembled about a 15 person band including himself on the saxophone, his partner in crime Muzzy Bear on the guitar, surprise guest performances, back up singers, drummers of all kinds, multiple brass instruments and even a flute player! We had the pleasure of seeing them at their rehearsal the night before, but nothing prepared us for the production they put on at Red Rocks. The cohesion that all of these instruments had blended GRiZ's mostly electronic style of music with a more instrumental funk that had people dancing all night long!
Although GRiZ has been mostly absent on social media in the past few months, we could tell the second he stepped on stage that he loved seeing all of his devoted fans. We saw so many people wearing his merchandise that says things like, "Ain't bad, Always rad", "All we need is more love" and "Good will continue." These little reminders of spreading positivity and love were seen and heard all through out his live band performance as well!
Lapalux released his third album, Ruinism, on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint on June 30th, 2017. His previous LP, Lustmore (2015) was partially inspired by the concept of hypnagogia, a suspension of consciousness occurring between wakefulness and sleep. Throughout Ruinism the British producer takes this exploration further, journeying onward to the more ominous limbo space between life and death. In this liminal space where the finite and infinite intermingle, Lapalux (aka Stuart Howard) sounds more at home than ever.
“'Ruinism’ is a made-up term I use to describe the way in which blended sound palettes and inspirations interact with one another to form this album,” Howard, explains. “I would record synths and drum hits and re-sample, re-pitch, twist and blend the sound until it was ‘ruined’ and then salvage it again in an attempt to make something coherent.”
Much of Ruinism’s inspiration was born out of a theatrical score Lapalux wrote for the performance art piece “Depart” which was performed in an East London cemetery. The aptly named project served as genesis for a direction wrought with doom and melancholia. Ruinism is all sonic wreckage and rubble created using only hardware and real instruments. The sound simultaneously destroys and redeems itself across a tight and formidable forty-eight minutes.
Amidst the brutal landscape that Lapalux (de)constructs, he makes room for softness and slivers of beauty that, as with most things subtle and delicate, inevitably cut through even the harshest of environments and juxtapose the rigid exterior that characterizes most of the record. For example, “Rotted Arp (feat. Louisahhh)”, the first single to be lifted from the album, begins with a spoken word poem written and performed by Louisahhh over a decaying arpeggiated riff that churns and builds until it splits apart just as easily as it begins. The ethereal “Falling Down (feat. JFDR)” communicates a near angelic sense of hope and possibility despite the inaudible nature of granulated vocals performed by Icelandic singer Jófríður Ákadóttir (JFDR) of the bands Gangly, Pascal Pinon and Samaris. Similarly, “4EVA (feat. Talvi)”, winds through a cloudy haze reminiscent of the space between life and death and remains there like a slowly dying pendulum. There’s a warm elevation across the female-driven tracks that, as it unfolds, stand in stark contrast to the industrial and often discordant beginning of the record, most noticeable on cuts like the menacing “Data Demon (feat. GABI)” and chilling opener “Reverence”, which was inspired by French Dada artist Frances Picabia’s 1915 painting of the same name.
This pattern of disintegration and recovery is one that reaches far beyond Ruinism; our current world feels unknown, in-flux, and consistently worn away yet we continue to salvage what’s left of it - we find possibility amongst the wreckage and seek relics of hope and coherence in the chaos and somehow manage to emerge on the other side. On Ruinism, through all of its bleak primitivism and reclaimed beauty, Lapalux does just that.