Saturday, May 15, 2010

This... is BoomBox

Featuring Zion Godchaux, the son of ex-Grateful Dead singer Donna Jean Godchaux, BoomBox offers a refreshing new spin on the jam band genre, incorporating elements of electronic music into the usual blend of jazz, dub, blues, funk, and rock. Treating musical ideas in an Igor Stravinsky-esque copy/paste fashion, the two-piece develops short, catchy motives—a guitar riff, a synth line, or a head bob-worthy drum break—and creates songs through an additive/subtractive technique. The building and subsequent deconstruction of texture and timbre serve as the primary sources of musical interest. A persistent groove, however, is present throughout every BoomBox piece, making every track off of the band's debut and Live Music Archive bootlegs irresistibly danceable. In a sense, BoomBox bridges the gap between the classic Phish or Dead jam rock and genres like turntablism-centered independent hip hop and psybient. Although Godchaux's thin vocals admittedly leave something to be desired, this music is simply not about vocal chops; this is about the groove in its purest sense. As BoomBox's "Midnight on the Run" implores: "Better put 'em on, your dancing shoes." Enjoy.

Midnight on the Run


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