CHURCH! kicked off 2014 with another excellent coming together of amazing artists and energies. Again, thanks as always to the wonderful crew of Seattle Community Media Lab for going ALL OUT this month with lights, soundboard recording, lasers, and haze machines, to our new wonderful officially unofficial photographer/videographer the talented Charles Conatzer, and to the good people at Black Coffee Coop. All the photos in this blog are by Charles, and there will be video up soon. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we lost the audio from the event, but definitely be looking for that in upcoming CHURCH! events as we are certain to work through the kinks and bring you some solid coverage in the very near future. Let's run down a little replay of our features and what they brought to the table.
We opened the night with another Filthy Fingers United beatmaker K-E-L, who really set the bar high, and by reports of attendees was an impressive kick off for the evening. My co-host/organizer Diogenes said, "K-E-L brought quite the array of 404 weirdness. Apparently he's like a master on the SP-404 forums, as Wiz told me. It shows in his performance, he seemingly plays loops/sounds/what-have-you at random but there's definitely a process behind it." I also asked previous CHURCH! performers the emcee and beatmaker duo Sendai and Era what they thought. Mike Sendai wrote, "K-E-L's set really exemplified what FFU and CHURCH! is about: Timeless hip hop. His style is very progressive and innovative while still staying true to traditional production techniques and textures." Enrico Era added, "The set that K-E-L put on really had this grimy and dark vibe to it, that was pretty captivating for the whole performance. The whole feeling was heavy and raw, even the transitions. I was pretty much vibing out to the images he was making the entire time."
Up next we had a super unique set from emcee Zen Seizure, a self-described stage and video game addict. When he took the mic and announced he was about to perform an entire set on the latter, I didn't quite believe him. But he did. And by the end of the set, his unique charisma and awkward charm had the crowd in stitches. This young man is truly hilarious. The set started off slow, and reached a crescendo with a track where he invited two friends to come rock with him, the chorus of which went:
"My mage got a cute face, My archer got a nice body/ And they just wanna level up, this is my type of party/ RPG's are my hobby, I've played over 25 probably/ There's no drinking, no smoking, this is my type of party!"I asked my brother emcee Korvus Blackbird his thoughts on Zen. Korvus, in his typical poetic prose wrote, "His lyrics flew down from a perch to land in my dome, brought me home as kid in front the TV playing Pong and Atari."
Next up in line was thad wenachee, a beat maker I've had the pleasure of sharing a line up with in the past. In the words of Enrico Era, "his set was straight on that classic hip hop shit. Hella clean, and kept you engaged throughout. The vibe just kept my head nodding and held that feeling of vibing out throughout the performance. I just geek out on how producers are able to work live and create like that on stage." Mike Sendai added that thad brought "a classic boom bap sound. He's not jumping on any trends or flavor of the month styles like many contemporary producers."
We topped off the night with the bold and fierce, Lady P, who's modest set of only three songs still left quite the impact. As a spitter myself, I'm definitely partial to women who come hard on the mic, and Lady P is certainly an inspiring example of this. Her hard hitting, unapologetic, but simultaneously thoughtful tracks moved the crowd and got people dancing. Korvus Blackbird the ever eloquent wrote, "I witnessed round brown close to the ground emcee. She brought power and insight to the light she shined through the mic at CHURCH! last night. I viscerally enjoyed the supreme expression of a culture."
Afterwards, we got a little sample of a track from my brother Must I Mind, who is upping his chop game superbly. Be looking out for a feature set from him sometime this year. And then of course the cyphers were popping. To beats by Diogenes, our stars of the cypher this month were certainly Korvus Blackbird, Rico Era, Shredded Wheat and a number of CHURCH! regulars I have to apologize for being unable to shout out by name. In fact, the cyphers this month continued an hour past our sound breakdown and were still in occurence when I left to catch my bus home around 11pm. I love it.
Please join us Feb 9th for the next CHURCH! where we will feature the talented Militant Child and Revels on the mic, and also the wonderful Vaughnilla and Nikolai Kookesh on the beats.
Enjoy photos below from Charles Conatzer, and we should have some creatively pieced together footage from him shortly!