Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Theoretically speaking...

Maybe I am in the minority here but I dig going to a show and seeing an emcee or two (or three) on stage rocking a sold out show to a live band. There is definitely no shortage of bands in Seattle. I mean we're home to some of the greatest grunge, rock, and alternative bands of all time. I'm fairly sure that if I were to spit into the air, with a good breeze, I could hit about 10 people who are in a band or have a band. There is, however, a shortage of hip-hop bands (a la The Roots) where the creativity is constructed first through the mind of the musicians and not on a board with drum machines, computers, and mixers. A sound where the music is new, it's organic, and you get the feeling (when you listen) that timeless hours were spent in a rehearsal spot somewhere or in someone's basement/garage perfecting the sound and timing. Theoretics is one of those bands.
I first met Mark Hoy a few months back at Faire Gallery where he hosts The Cornerstone. The Cornerstone is held on the first Saturday of every month and is a night dedicated to spoken word, freestyle cyphers and comes complete with DJ, live band, and artist showcases. It really is dope, you should check it out sometime. Anyway, I got to chop it up with Mark for a while after the show and he told me about a couple things he had going on musically, one of those being the Theoretics.  I finally had the opportunity to hear/see them a week or two ago at their album release party at Hard Rock Cafe. I have to say that I was truly impressed.
Theoretics is made up of vocalists/emcees Mark Hoy, Chimaroke Abuachi and musicians Birch Pereira (Bass), Cameron Peace (Guitar, Loops), Arthur Brown (Alto Saxophone), Ben Krulewitch (Keyboards), and Adam Gross (Drums, Percussion) and label themselves an "alternative hip-hop" band. Their self-titled album, Theoretics (which you can purchase here or here) is creatively in that mix. That sound is accomplished through guitar riffs, keyboards, and drums that you get from an alternative sound mixed and mashed with hip-hop emceeing/vocals and completed with the smooth jazzy sounds of saxophone and the upright/double bass. I would be remissed if I failed to mention that both Hoy and Abuachi are more than capable "vocalists" as well, and that emceeing and lyricism it just a portion of that talent. I wish that you could have seen Hoy cover a Radiohead joint at the release party or the other song that he performed with Shaina Rae (from the band Alabaster) specifically for the release party. Both were actually incredibly dope to hear...and for only those in attendance. Oh, and I have seen Hoy blaze the mic in a freestyle cypher at The Cornerstone and he is definitely no slouch there either.
"Theoretics" is highlighted by more than a few good tracks. The lead single, "Higher", is about having the passion to not be held back from achieving your dreams.  Hoy and Abuachi sing  "you can't hold me down/you see these wings".  The band also shot a video for this track, directed by Garrett Wesley Gibbons. You can see and feel the animation on Abuchi's face as croons "go high, go high, go high, go higher" throughout the chorus. Check it out...


Probably my favorite song from Theoretics is "Be Free". Abuachi and Hoy really speak to me on this track..."Lemme take you to where I've been lately/sorta feel like I'm goin crazy/I've taken a fall before/never felt I had much to lose...". I think we have all felt that way at some point and had to break down the walls to "be free". Other notable tracks include "The Passion", "Winds Come To Change", and "Jekyll and Hyde".
All in all, I am really feelin this Theoretics album and the direction that they are headed. It's different different sound from the Town. If you haven't yet, get out and cop it sooner rather than later. You will not be disappointed.


2 comments:

moebetta said...

Most Definitely! Stop sleepin' on Theoretics. Wake ya @$$ up and cop that album. I'm diggin it for reals!

Jen said...

Seriously. If you haven't listened to these guys yet you need to STOP WASTING TIME and hop on board.