Saturday, January 16, 2016

Recording: North Atlantic Drift

Artist: North Atlantic Drift

Song: North Atlantic Drift*

Recorded at Smiling Buddha — basement (Casual Drones 14), January 14, 2016.

North Atlantic Drift - North Atlantic Drift

Having outgrown the small-scale confines of its former home at Milk Glass, the Casual Drones music series has landed at Smiling Buddha. Shifting to the larger venue has come with a definite sense of scaling up, with the shows taking place between two stages upstairs and down and the visuals (always a big element of the series) getting amped up even further. The main floor saw most of the stage removed to make way for a large lighting rig that resembled a sort of post-apocalyptic tanning bed and gave Romar L. Johnson a huge range of luminosity to paint with. So, to the good, there's a definite sense of ambition here — and the full house that was on hand showed there's an audience for this kind of experimentation. To the bad, however, this night did manage to live up to the series' derisive nickname of "Casual Bromes", with seven sets (and, by my count, ten musicians) but no women on stage. (And, for my money, I'm not sure why a night with that many acts needed to wait 'til almost ten to get started.)

This local duo was my fave discovery of the night, providing an ambient, mellow vibe — the word "drift" is quite reasonably right there in their name — that commanded the attention of an oft-chatty crowd. There's also a pop sensibility at work here, with this piece sounding not-unlike a cousin to, say, "The Streets of Philadelphia". I note that they have a whole bunch of music for offer up on their bandcamp, so this warrants further investigation.

* Thanks to the band for passing the title to this one along!

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