March 31, 2010
I was bobbing my head and taking notes all night. I can’t just call it hip-hop, or indie-rock--each artist that performed melded elements of both into their own distinct sounds. This show was part of the tail end of a tour showcasing artists on Fake Four Inc., a record label conceived by New Haven’s own Ceschi Ramos.
Dark Time Sunshine opened the night: an ominous brand of modern hip-hop with rhymes that made me feel like the world is probably fucked but life is beautiful anyways--I’m a sucker for the tragic. What stood out the most was the amazing instrumentation coming out of the table of electronics depicted at the top of this post. It went far beyond what I would deem rap beats--the music was complete on its own--the words and backup vocals just brought it to a literary level. Poeina Saddarth (Selena’s Arrow) was singing backups for most of the set, but she surprised everyone later on by proving that she could sing her way out of glass jar with some impressive and powerful vocals, seamlessly shifting from a soulful growl to a falsetto Minnie Riperton would envy. They also gave out free CDs to everyone at the show…Rad!
Next came Anonymous Inc. I was most impressed by how many different styles these four managed to combine into something cohesive. Vechail Jaynes accompanied them as an extra guitar player for this show, adding some welcome rhythmic support to the set. The way that Ceschi can seamlessly go from singing to spitting words within the same verse, or breath, is incredible. He can also spit really fast. You know that page of tiny fine print you get with a prescription? I’m pretty sure Ceschi could read that whole thing out loud in about 8 seconds at the speeds he rhymes. A typical song would start out sounding like indie-rock: some nice intricate guitar picking, accompanied by layers of synths/electronics. We’d be cruising along like that until WHAM! Hip-hop superspace.
My favorite part of the night was when Ceschi and his brother, David, put down their instruments and busted out with some bona fide crunk style rap. David had just been sitting quietly behind the drums bopping out some really well-styled drum beats when he put down his sticks, grabbed a mic, stood on his drum stool, and started belting with this nasty, raspy crunk voice. It was completely unexpected and added yet another dimension to their set.
Sole and the Skyrider Band closed out the night with a lengthy set of more unique hip-hop. They played as a three piece: an MC, guitarist, and drummer. I really enjoyed how the guitarist accompanied the entire sound with some noisy/spacey guitar work. I had meant to take note of words that stuck out to me, considering this was technically a hip-hop show, but with how fast Ceschi and Sole can spit I think we were delivered a thousand page novel’s worth of words throughout the night. That’s just too much for me to write about in a short review. My favorite line of the night came from Sole: “Everyone you know is on a tiny blue dot. Light Years! Light Years!” I’m a big Carl Sagan fan and that hit the spot for me.
I have no complaints about this show. Each artist was a pleasure to watch and it was a breath of fresh air from the rock shows that I typically attend. It’s always nice to put your hood up, stick your hands in your pockets and just bop along to some hip-hop. I suppose they could have left a bit more time between sets for us smokers to finish our cigarettes, but I shouldn’t be smoking anyways.
Keep your eyes and ears on Fake Four Inc. They’re putting out some really good music and they’re a part of our own community here in CT. Dark Time Sunshine’s new album drops on 4/20 with appearances by Aesop Rock, Soliloquist of Sound, and others. If it’s anywhere near as good as their live show or the free CD they handed out, it will be well worth the purchase.
Written By: Shawnnn
Photos: Tim Mannle (www.tbmphotos.com)