BomBassic Drops a New Track, and it is Cotton Candy-Colored Fire

It’s been a few months since BomBassic’s last official release, but their summer was a busy one. They played a string of local shows, went on a southeastern tour, and finished up their new album, all on top of the responsibilities of their regular day jobs, their facilitation roles in the Asheville Beat Tape Collective, and lots of badminton.

“Cotton Candy Sunset” is a collaboration between BomBassic and local guitarist/vocalist Tin Foil Hat (Jared Hooker). It begins slowly, an ethereal vocal massage from Hooker leading us carefully to a precipice. It unfolds from there, Brucey B’s frosty keys building a bridge to the kick, this verified house beat (yesss!) reaching beyond their usual soul bass style with fervor and flair. The track waves and winds, sashays and grinds; I feel myself dancing on a crystal rainbow road in the sky, weaving through those cotton candy clouds, diamonds in my hair and hot angel breath on my neck. No, I’m not on drugs right now!

Not ones to rest on their laurels or get too comfortable in any zone, Cpt. HyperDrive and Brucey B continually evolve, applying their insatiable thirsts for knowledge, movement, and growth to their tunes while still maintaining the undeniable integrity of the BomBassic sound. If you didn’t think BomBassic was pretty fucking great before, check again.

Also, the beautiful cover photo you see here was taken by fine AVL photographer Arlie Huffman, the queenly model of which is none other than the exceptional Aubrey Huntley, a very good baby girl friend of mine and actual girlfriend of Cpt. HyperDrive. Keepin’ it reeeeal local here, folks. Homegrown.

BomBassic is currently in negotiations with a potential new label regarding their upcoming album release, titled Acceleration. 2016 is gonna be a joyride year, y’all.


NEW RELEASE: Marley Carroll DJ Mix ‘Summer Turns Fall’

To celebrate the end of a long, gig-intensive summer, Marley Carroll released a new DJ mix yesterday. And aren’t we all so glad he did. Titled Summer Turns Fall, the 48 minute mix is a lesson in transition, from the sun-fueled funk house beats to chilly, weighted scratchwork that reflects these deepening nights.

It begins on the dance floor in my mind, KC and the Sunshine Band’s cover of “I Get Lifted” a damn good groove early on, which has served as a staple in the MC DJ set list all summer. But afterward I am somewhere else altogether.

As the beats swell up, strip down and rise again, Carroll creates a potent tension with his silvery sensitivity to the turntables. And then carefully, gracefully, he releases it, each track a lush new environment for the mind to explore. It’s like walking into another room on mushrooms. The imagination does not soar–it digs down and treks–from the bright, honey morning forest to the mysterious side of some wild island, where shadows speak and beams of full moonlight strike the scales of nightswimming fish like chimes.

Summer Turns Fall carves out an irresistible telling of the shift from poolside to fireside, without and within. Pairs nicely with cloud-watching, driving, or jaunty daydreaming in a doctor’s office.

Listen on SoundCloud here

Download from Bandcamp here

RBTS WIN Likely to Win My Heart at Isis July 11

I first became aware of RBTS WIN through a remix of their original “Mountain Child.” That strong, pulsing melody, those silky, beckoning vocals swimming through an unmistakable Marley Carroll filter. Now, being of the mind that Carroll doesn’t remix shitty songs, I had to know who this RBTS WIN was. I went straight to their SoundCloud.

RBTS WIN is the sonic lovechild of Javier Bolea and Cliff B. Worsham, Miami and Asheville natives respectively, who in 2008 got together and soon found a groove that reflected both their shared musical interests as well as their distinctive origins.

Last year’s album release Palm Sunday is a celebration of Bolea’s beachy roots and Worsham’s mountainous ones. Where the two meet in the middle is a lush, electronic tide pool, heavily sampled and tweaked but always with a groovy nature base. They are seemingly just as likely to be inspired by an ocean wave or hornet’s nest as ’60s soul and urban beats.

Others have tried to genre-lize them, but with so many influences I’ll spare you that arbitrary attempt. The sensual, technicolor soundscape of such tracks as “Beach Child” and “Death Magic” are textured like a lucid dream, so stunningly real but impossible to pin down.

When BomBassic told me they’re working on their own “Death Magic” remix for their upcoming album, I quite nearly licked their beautiful faces. That song has been that good to me (while you’re at it check out Blue Sky Black Death’s take on it yum yum yum yum YUM).

Come out to Isis Restaurant & Music Hall this Saturday, July 11 to see and feel for yourself the emotionalism of RBTS WIN live. Junior Astronomers and AVL’s own EmE support.

Show // 9pm

$7 in advance // $10 at door

Meet The Who’s Kingmakers “Lambert and Stamp,” If You Dare

Let’s be clear: this is not a documentary about The Who. If you don’t already know the history of the band, you don’t want to start with this movie.

But that’s not “Lambert and Stamp”s job. And it’s not to say it couldn’t be enjoyed by someone who doesn’t know or particularly like The Who, though it is at times a fucking mess to watch (we’ll get to that). No, this film’s focus is on a creative force we don’t otherwise hear about, which is a shame because they have more personality than certain band members (*ahem Roger Daltrey ahem*): Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, two charming young cinephiles who in 1963 took the fledgling band The High Numbers (as they were known at the time) under their wings in order to make an art film about managing a rock ‘n roll band. Art imitating life and all that. But again these were filmmakers, and with little to no knowledge of the music industry, my guess is they didn’t realize how successful they’d be at it.

The story revolves around the irresistible quality of the pair who met through film work in London, Lambert an Oxford-educated, upper-crust gay son of a classical composer; Stamp a working-class East Ender with a quick wit and filthy mouth (just my type). And in this most unlikely of matches, the stars aligned.

lambert and stamp

Soulmates of sorts: Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert

In less than five years the duo groomed those four deviants into some of the most famous deviants in rock history. It’s a tale we’ve heard before in Brian Epstein/The Beatles, Andrew Loog Oldham/The Stones, etc., but their shared vision and combined allure is what gave Lambert-Stamp that something special, something no one was immune to. Least of all themselves.

The problem with this film is that it’s just so damn disjointed; it was difficult even for me, as someone who does know the band’s story, to follow the trajectory of the timeline or see why certain segments were even included. And I know I started this piece off by saying it’s not a doc about The Who, but I still wanted to see a clearer picture of what these guys actually did to make them megastars, and instead we get miles and miles of “Oh yeah, their ideas were great! Everyone loved ‘em!” Tell me the damn ideas. There isn’t even a relevant comment on the 30-second footage of The Who’s Woodstock performance. And I’m pretty sure that’s, like, a rule about Woodstock footage.

While Chris Stamp is hugely entertaining even at the time of filming, some of his interview clips go on far too long, and some side stories become simply unnecessary when we find that the ending is a manic scramble to tie up loose ends. Keith Moon’s death is thrown sloppily in and Kit Lambert’s death three years later is barely even addressed. And at some point before all this everyone got pissy and hated each other and sued L&S for mismanagement. My date fell asleep.

But there are beautifully redeeming moments here too, like Pete Townshend trying out “Glittering Girl” on the two, who were regular and notable influences on Townshend’s composing, Lambert in particular. There’s also sweet footage of Lamp (that’s their celeb couple name, I just decided) meeting Jimi Hendrix for the first time, by whom they were so smitten that they created their own record label in order to produce him. The initiative on these gents! Lordy!

It’s a wild romp in the catalogues of music history, however disheveled the story arc and oddly incoherent the soundtrack. But this is still a Master class of a rockumentary, not a breezy VH1 Behind the Music. To enjoy something like “Lambert and Stamp” you have to go one step further than being a fan of the music. Ask yourself: Would The Who have become who they are without their seductive managers? Do I care?

You may not actually learn the answer to that, but you’ll know whether or not you want to spend two solid hours figuring it out.