Discover more from White Crate
Explore the past and future of cosmic people power with Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids
Review from the 22nd Annual San Francisco Electronic Music Festival plus a cumbia-metal-anime soundtrack by Ivan Flores and Discos Resaca
WC03 is next Saturday, October 7!
Curated by Dani Offline, WC03 will feature the atmospheric, soulful R&B of Cheflee, the intensely personal lyrics and lush arrangements of Azuah, and the superior taste and skill of vinyl DJ Mizu. Sea2Sea will be cooking up flavorful Vietnamese dishes, and of course we’ll have beverages to cool you down during San Francisco’s late blooming summer heat. Make sure you add this to your calendar, the location will be shared via DM during the days leading up to the event.
— White Crate
As one can expect with anything coming out of the ever-expansive afrofuturist consciousness, Afro Futuristic Dreams is an exploratory, cosmic journey traversing past and future timelines with references to science fiction writers Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delaney, all while deeply rooted in the “urgent reality of the present”—of police brutality, of reclamation of identity, of people power. Idris Ackamoor’s distinctive saxophone style is magical, melting into the budding orchestration of violin, guitar, and keytar. Among more familiar jazz motifs and structures, the album wanders boldly into meditative ambient and rock spaces with subtle sprinklings of electronic ornamentation. It’s almost impossible not to hum along to this, in turn offering an inwardly felt grounding ritual of harmonization.
Labeling this album “experimental jazz” feels a bit redundant and shallow, given jazz’s rich history of experimentation and innovation, all the while celebrating the joy of collaboration and improvisation. It can’t be limited to any one kind of feeling, vibe, or -ism. The album is a whole experience. Afro Futuristic Dreams is best listened to from start to finish. Oh, to see this live.
— Elise Mills
The Lab recently hosted the 22nd Annual San Francisco Electronic Music Festival (SFEMF), bringing together a wide array of sonic palettes and performers, local and international, emerging and renowned alike. We make mention of two notable showings here, beginning with Roziht Eve, an SF-based Taiwanese American media composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and self-produced singer-songwriter.
Eve’s “Pneuma” is a piece she describes as a “leisurely stroll into one’s inner child.” But it’s no picnic. Roziht’s soft soprano voice, coupled with archetypal visuals by Santiago, lures the audience into a cryptic vault of introspection. Influences of Enya and Debussy are palpable. While lingering there, we watched as Rozhit confronted the initial apprehension of opening the vault. Exploring the depths of the psyche spiritually and ancestrally, “Pneuma” is a story of arriving at tender care for the most vulnerable inner self, a self that also extends to her own child. While watching an icy flower reconstruct itself on screen, Roziht’s six-year-old daughter’s voice emerges from the ethereal soundscape, anchoring us with wisdom from a surprising yet not so surprising source: “who are you? it’s me. you know me. i never left”
The second artist, re:VOLT, blew our intimate audience out of the water on the second day of the festival. This Los Angeles-based quartet (although only three members were present at SFEMF) identifies as “like-minded half-crazy avant-garde synthesists/composers/producers.” Their group is a dream come true. Firstly, their name is fun – I’m a sucker for wordplay. Secondly, bringing the 21st-century avant-garde technical prowess as well as a full-on band to Morton Subotnick’s 1971 composition “Sidewinder” was even more sonically punk and industrial than expected. re:VOLT’s metallic, fractal bassy sound palette throughout this set made for a playful take on what is already quirky computer music amidst a genre-expansive ‘70s ethos. I loved it, I would like to hear more like this.
— Elise Mills
CUMBIA METAL SCIFI ANIME
Cumbia collective Discos Resaca just posted to Bandcamp the official soundtrack to La Curandera Cumbiambera, a 2022 animated short film described by its creators as “the first of its kind cumbia-metal-anime.” Directed by Ivan Flores of Discos Resaca and animated by John Coulter, the film takes inspiration from 1980s animated classics Heavy Metal and Akira to concoct a new cumbia sci-fi adventure set in a post-apocalyptic, uninhabitable Earth. Whether you’re an anime lover or not, the soundtrack is a must-hear for cumbia lovers, especially the ones unafraid to branch out into other styles. With the help of Ritmos Tropicosmos and a whole bunch of other collaborators, Flores imbues this music with heavy metal and electronics, launching earthy cumbia sounds into outer space.
— Ronny Kerr
Our top show recommendations for the coming week:
[fest] Hardly Strictly Bluegrass — Sep 29 - Oct 1 at Golden Gate Park
[club] Villager, Clearcast, Adware, Jozef White — Sep 29 at Monarch Gardens
[punk] Twin Shrieks ft. Surprise Privilege, Walter Etc. — Sep 29-30 at 924 Gilman
[rock] Seablite (record release), Mo Dotti, Aluminum — Sep 29 at Makeout Room
[jazz] Late Aster & SLUGish Ensemble — Sep 29 at Bandcamp Oakland
[club] Dev/Null, Soulox, Cherub420, Keishaboy, Soeneido — Sep 29 at Great American Music Hall
[club] Direct to Earth 12 ft. Lindsey Herbert, Max Gardner — Sep 29 at F8
[fest] Portola — Sep 29 - Oct 1 at Pier 80
[experimental] S3ljam — Sep 29-30 at the Lab
[rock] The Sinister Six, Hot Laundry, The Control Freaks — Sep 30 at Kilowatt
[club] COBRAH, Adam Kraft, Discnogirl, Finishherr — Sep 30 at Public Works
[rock] Hippie Death Cult, Spirit Mother, Thunder Boys — Oct 1 at Kilowatt
[punk] Provoker, IDHAZ, DJ Iguana Girl — Oct 3 at Thee Stork Club
[rock] Aluminum, Weird Mood, Goo, DJ Marbled Guy — Oct 5 at the Golden Bull
SUPPORT BAY AREA MUSIC! Get access to our full Bay Area concert calendar, featuring specially curated recommendations for upcoming shows in SF and Oakland.
White Crate is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.