Photo via Kneebody’s Facebook, Photo by Ben O’Brien Smith
The marriage of electronics and live bands isn’t always executed well. I’ve seen countless electronica producers make the foray into ‘live band’ territory, and it’s often lacking. On the other side of things, sometimes bands try to employ electronics into their music, and it isn’t quite right as well. Since the marriage doesn’t always work, much like romantic marriage, it makes it all the more special when it does.
Such was the case on Sunday night when Kneebody, a jazz-rock quintet, and Daedelus, a Brainfeeder beat producer, brought their Kneedelus project in front of a New York City audience for the first time. The six-piece collaborative took the stage at the fantastic Le Poisson Rouge about 9pm, initiating a set that would touch on jazz’s renewed progress along with the ever-changing capacity of electronic music. Kneebody are comprised of world-class talents, and Daedelus is a beast on his Monome 256 Grid, sampling hard-hitting drums and trippy shrills atop the proggy fusion of the quintet.
Unlike other situations where the hybrid seems forced, Kneedelus is a cohesive wall of sound, and it sounds very similar to the recordings. The group was sure to deviate slightly, though. “Drum Battle” contained moments not captured in the studio, and at one point an Elliott Smith sample melted into one of the tracks off their latest album. That was seriously something incredible to hear. Abstract rhythms would build their way into a hard groove, which would inevitably be broken up by horn fills and morphed into something totally new. Even while familiar with the album’s compositions, it was exciting and fresh.