lespecial carve their own sonic path in modern music, creating their signature blend of “heavy future groove”. The power trio’s fresh synthesis of varied and divergent influences doesn’t underestimate the listener, reflecting a post-modern cultural climate in which fans have space on their aural palette for J Dilla, Radiohead, King Crimson and Fela Kuti. Veering from hip-hop to metal, prog to house, pensive indie-rock to apocalyptic dub, leaving room for head banging and hip swaying alike, while still presenting a unified sound and vision.
“…[lespecial’s] sound owes as much to Radiohead and The Mars Voltaas it does Medeski Martin & Wood and Umphrey’s McGee. – Relix
“That lespecial shit is crazy.” — Akil the MC (Jurassic 5)
“Trap-metal.” — Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce / Nth Power)
“One of the best bands I’ve ever seen live.” — Ott
“My favorite band.” — Space Jesus
These three childhood friends from Connecticut play off of a lifetime of shared experience in their writing and performance. In a power trio, it’s essential that each of the players can utterly captivate you at any given time. Each individual has a lot of weight to carry and is only as strong as the weakest link. In the studio, as on stage, it seems at first blush that Jon Grusauskas—delivering lyrics that call for your attention and seamlessly moving from guitar to keys to samples—is handling the entire upper end of the spectrum… until you consider how broad the melodic embrace of rhythmatist Rory Dolan and low end wizard Luke Bemand: injecting splashes of color and wicked chops into their heavy groove foundations or driving assaults, this dynamic battery simultaneously eases and propels lespecial through fractious changes of mood and tempo. Additionally, whether at the forefront or scattered throughout the mix, all of them use live looping or triggered samples that contribute to a sound that is far greater than that generally created by three people as they seek to tap into a primitive past, distorted through the lens of contemporary technology.
The band’s fearless pursuit of a synthesis of the musical idioms that inspire them has, thus far, culminated with the release of their second album, cheen, on October 31, 2017. Pole vaulting over traditional genres, cheen is a snapshot of a band flexing their remarkable creative muscles. In a traditional sense, cheen is a risky album: it asks the listener to suspend a categorical approach and dig into their own eclectic unconsciousness, to adapt a phrase, and appreciate the flow of the record from start to finish, as it moves guided by an unseen plan. If there is an underlying thematic structure, it is one that is anchored—musically and lyrically—by horror flicks, 1980s video games and lespecial’s indictment of the current cultural state of affairs. Not overtly political, angry or morose, cheen seems to observe the zeitgeist and respond to it. lespecial’s willingness to take this risk of presenting an album full of flavors and feels is a reflection of the respect they have for their fans, present and future: they simply don’t underestimate the listener, and that itself is refreshing.
Never willing to sit back and settle into a groove, lespecial pivoted quickly from touring in support of the release of cheen into a whole new format: collaborating with and supporting the iconic Bay Area hip-hop emcee and producer, Zion I, on tour dates and a forthcoming album. There are also plans to release remixes of cheen tracks from some of their producer friends who hold lespecial in the highest esteem.
Boston-born, New England based quartet Strange Machines have been steadily making a name for themselves in the East Coast jam scene. A true melting pot of musical fusion, with sounds catering to funk, livetronica, rock, reggae and a multitude of other genre’s, all while stringing them together seamlessly to create a fluid and captivating live performance. Their original songs are nuanced by creative composition, practiced precision, and a looseness that allows them to truly explore the music they create.
They have shared the stage with national-touring acts such as The Disco Biscuits, Twiddle, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Dopapod, The Motet, Michael Franti, Turkuaz, Kung Fu, Tauk and more. Strange Machines have carved out their own niche in the east coast music scene and beyond and show no signs of slowing down.
Strange Machines released their latest studio album October 7, 2017. With this release the band has honed in their sound and hit their stride as a four piece. “Voice of Color”, the bands first full length release, is a representation of what the band has developed into, diving further into progressive experimental rock and funk more than ever before. Striving to consistently deliver a high energy and engaging live performance, the band has continued to gain momentum in the Northeast and beyond. This album aims to capture the diversity and big sound you will experience at a Strange show.
“Strange Machines is known for powerful, high-energy live performances that explore the depths of their music and cater to a breadth of listeners. None of the band’s beloved characteristics are lost on the album—rather, Voice of Color offers precisely executed arrangements of Strange Machines originals while still embodying the looseness and exploration you’d find at a live performance.” – Live For Live Music