For such an international hub of arts and culture, it's amazing how small the music community in NYC can be. Or at least it was amazing how small it felt as I covered Brooklyn locals TUTU at Cameo Gallery last Friday. The energy of the room was warm and welcoming, less like you were at a venue and more like you'd wandered into an intimate house concert.
Watching these kinds of communities form around great artists is one of my favorite things about living here. It was an excellent show with great ambiance, great people, and great performances from three acts that, when you get down to it, haven't really released any music yet.
Okay, well, the whole "haven't released any music" thing isn't totally true. The first act of the night was a solo drum set by Ian Chang, who's the current drummer for Son Lux and a member of Landlady and Body Language. To give you some idea of the wonder he produced for us at Cameo, we present the following video:
Precise, melodic, virtuosic, smart, and innovative. His style is almost like a manicured stream-of-consciousness, making you feel like you have a direct line to his innermost thoughts. His rhythms seem to come out of nowhere, his articulations appear like magic, and while we love the work he's done with the various projects he's in, we can say wholeheartedly that we would love to hear more of what he can create on his own.
The next act were Brooklyn locals (and friends of the blog) Eda Wolf, whose track "Wild" premiered here not too long ago. We were fortunate enough to catch them on the night they introduced their live video projections.
Eda Wolf have only released two tracks so far, so seeing them live was a great way to hear some more of that wonderful music they've been working on. We're excited to say that it only gets better. They've developed a new, almost dark mix of electronic R&B that references jazz almost as much as it does pop.
The best part is that from what we've heard, the duo is definitely not afraid of experimentation. They juxtapose the familiar with the foreign, and always wear their hearts on their sleeves. It makes for a great combination.
Last, but certainly not least, was the incredible TUTU. We first saw these guys last year when they opened for Rafiq Bhatia at the (sadly) now-defunct BK venue Glasslands, which we're pretty sure was their debut performance. We remember being amazed by their musicianship at that first show, and almost a year later they've only gotten better. TUTU has yet to release any recordings, but did put together this lovely video that will give you a sense of their style:
My favorite part about TUTU is the heavy jazz influence. It's not necessarily apparent in the songwriting or composition, but simply in how the group plays together. Each member's virtuosic abilities, combined with the comfort and trust they seem to have in each another, makes for a sound that feels both structured and improvised at the same time. As an audience member, it keeps you on your toes.
Hopefully they took that creativity with them into the studio. If their upcoming EP Anita comes anywhere close to their live performance, we should all be counting down the days until its release.