Electronic/Dance: Meet the 2012 RFT Music Award Nominees
The 2012 Riverfront Times Music Showcase is a month away. And if that is our own St. Louis Music holiday, then consider this the season: Over the next month, we'll be making our cases for all 125 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year. Each weekday between now and the showcase on June 2, we'll introduce the nominees from one or more of our 25 categories. For each artist you will find a photo, a streaming track to sample and a few words from the staff at RFT Music.
We'll start with the nominees in the Electronic/Dance category: Adult Fur, Eric Hall, LooseScrewz, Ou Où and Raglani.
To fully be a part of Adult Fur's world is to understand the merits of partnering blunt, blistering experimentation with dancing friends dressed as sea kelp. This, if you are lucky, is one of Ryan McNeely's live shows. But as a slightly awestruck listener, you can also be a smaller part of that: In addition to producing for some of St. Louis' greatest hip-hop names (Tef Poe and Rockwell Knuckles to name a couple), McNeely unleashes cryptic, intrapersonal electonica under a musical pseudonym as idiosyncratic as his beats. Layered over dense atmospherica and warped, lazy synth, McNeely blends nostalgic past-pop with ambitious rock and hip-hop influences to summon several worlds at once. And while it's occasionally tough to tell which one he lives in, none of them are boring.
Courtesy of Eric Hall
Listening to Eric Hall's spontaneous compositions -- the patient instrumental scenes that grow from unicellular sounds into living organisms in the course of twenty minutes -- one might expect the man to be an introspective recluse. This is simply not so. Hall may be the most visible improvisational musician in St. Louis. He performs constantly in the area's DIY venues, is the current resident composer of sound installations for Laumeier Sculpture Park and has released a stunning 25 hours(!) of original music in the past twelve months alone. Hall appears far from worn thin; these multiple outlets seem necessary to collect his unending stream of ideas. Some musicians spend their lifetimes trying to compose music this deliberate and fearless. Eric Hall culls it from the ether.
Courtesy of Damon Davis
Loose Screwz (born Damon Davis) has been known to produce tracks in a wide variety of styles for artists like Thelonious Kryptonite, Brothers Lazaroff and his own group, Scripts 'N Screwz. Over the past two years, he has further expanded his range into instrumental territory, taking cues from LA's vibrant electronic music scene. As the voice of the FarFetched collective of artists, Screwz released 20,000 Years from Tomorrow in March; it's a seventeen-track affair that uses a mixture of vintage samples, glitchy synths and live instrumentation to transport listeners through past impressions of the future. Early response to the project has been mostly positive -- and landed Screwz the opportunity to open for Shabazz Palaces in April. As he continues to produce for himself and other artists, Screwz is also working on a visual element to add to his live shows.
Ou Où and Raglani are on the next page.