Beats Antique, Lettuce join forces at Club Nokia to bring electronica and funk together for one night

Beats Antique

Beats Antique

By Josh Herwitt //

Beats Antique, Lettuce with Lafa Taylor //
Club Nokia – Los Angeles
February 12th, 2015 //

It’s not often that you see a modern funk band sharing the stage with an electronic music act on the same night, let alone a weekend night in LA.

For that reason, it was hard to deny when last Friday’s co-headline show featuring Lettuce and Beats Antique was first announced that it felt like somewhat of an odd pairing between two well-established groups that have made their mark in very different ways. While Lettuce have inevitably cultivated jam-band fans with their tie to funk/jazz trio Soulive (keyboardist Neal Evans and guitarist Eric Krasno are members of both groups), Beats Antique have built their own unique audience, one that frequents Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle and other “transformational” events put on by The Do LaB.


Lettuce with Nigel Hall

But if there’s one constant running through both bands’ music, it’s their ability to make their fans move. Sure, funk might not be what’s trendy among mainstream music fans these days, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a group of musicians cooking up a better batch of funk than Lettuce. If anything, the No. 1 position on Billboard‘s U.S. Jazz Albums chart that their fourth studio album Crush earned firmly stamps the band’s place in today’s music scene. And even with Lettuce performing sans Krasno — to some fans’ dismay — on this night, the collective threw down one groove after another, as bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes and drummer Adam Deitch laid the foundation for Adam Smirnoff’s guitar licks or the band’s three-piece horns section to take center stage. That, of course, was all before Nigel Hall stepped onstage and grabbed the mic for the group’s final songs, letting it all hang out during a cover of Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Gratitude” in memory of the late Maurice White, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 74.

When it came time for Beats Antique to join the party, the Oakland-based trio quickly made its presence known, as multi-instrumentalist David Satori, drummer Tommy “Sidecar” Cappel and belly dancer Zoe Jakes often do, with a performance that makes you feel like you’re at the circus or at the very least, a psychedelic-inspired carnival. Pair that with their own take on neo-gypsy electronica and tribal fusion dance, and you get the whole experience of a Beats Antique show. Jakes started off the set by riding a stationary bicycle high above the ground and eventually grabbed ahold of a bass drum for the group’s ensuing song, pounding away with both arms as if she were leading her own marching band onstage. Joined by frequent guest musician Sylvain Carton (baritone sax, clarinet), Beats Antique dove deep into their catalog, one that’s starting to near the 10-year mark believe it or not.

Beats Antique

Beats Antique

The highlight of the night, though, was no doubt the encore, which saw Deitch and Lettuce’s horns section jump back onstage for a couple more tunes. It didn’t take long for the highly sought-after Deitch — the Berklee College of Music graduate who has also produced hip-hop tracks with 50 Cent, Redman, Talib Kweli and Xzibit and now splits his time between Lettuce, Pretty Lights and Break Science, the latter being the Brooklyn electro/hip-hop/soul duo he formed with keyboardist/producer Borahm Lee in 2009 (read one of our show reviews here) — and Cappel to capture some of the spotlight, as the two drummers battled it out on the skins while exchanging a few smiles and laughs along the way. As surprising as it was to see these two bands teaming up for the very first time, it was a special moment for the fans who stuck around until the early-morning hours, one that they will likely not forget.

Break Science wrap up ‘Seven Bridges’ tour in LA

Break_Science_postBy Josh Herwitt //

Break Science //
The Mint – Los Angeles
March 22nd, 2014 //

It was one of the strangest scenes I’ve witnessed since I started covering music in Los Angeles.

In all the shows I’ve attended at The Mint over the last three years, never had I seen the diminutive jazz club transform into a borderline nightclub.

That’s not to say attendees at The Mint — with just about every side project in the jam and funk realms coming through its doors year after year — don’t know how to groove, but this was a different situation.

Because with Break Science closing out its Seven Bridges tour last weekend in LA, electronic music fans arrived at The Mint ready to stomp, shake and sweat.

And sweat they most certainly did.

For almost two hours on Saturday night (technically Sunday morning), the Brooklyn-based duo made up of drummer/producer Adam Deitch and keyboardist/producer Borahm Lee dropped one banger after another, igniting a full-on dance party just minutes within stepping on stage.


While the late-night show marked the first time Break Science fans in Southern California were able to hear the band perform tracks from its full-length debut Seven Bridges since the album’s early October release, Deitch and Lee also didn’t hold back when it came to showcasing their entire catalog. From Further Than Our Eyes Can See to Monolith Code, they dished out everything you’d want to hear from those two EPs. They even briefly touched on the EP they made with their label mate Michal Menert, offering their own version of “Electric Touch” from 2012’s Twilight Frequency.

But what was even more special on this night was seeing the guests that joined Break Science midway through its set. With the members of Lettuce — one of Deitch’s other projects — also in town for a gig the following week at The Roxy, keyboardist Nigel Hall and bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes provided a nice surprise before it was time to head home.

After all, if there’s one thing that Deitch and Lee have been known to do in a live setting, it’s collaborate with other talented musicians — no matter when or where. Just a few months ago, they were part of Pretty Lights’ live band for its fall U.S. tour, selling out venues all across the country and playing cuts off the Grammy-nominated A Color Map of the Sun.

Now, as Deitch turns his attention to Lettuce, Break Science will take a few weeks off before gearing up for the festival season, which includes stops at Wakarusa and Bonnaroo — not to mention an opening slot at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for Bassnectar.

With those kinds of opportunities ahead, only time will tell how much momentum Deitch and Lee can build together as Break Science. But if I had to bet if they’ll be back at The Mint the next time they roll through LA, I certainly wouldn’t be going all in with that wager.


WIN TICKETS: Break Science at The Mint 3/22

Break ScienceWritten by Josh Herwitt //

Enter to win a pair of free tickets to this show below.

Break Science with GoldRush //
The Mint — Los Angeles
March 22nd, 2014 //

Brooklyn-based duo Break Science returns to LA this weekend for its first-ever show at The Mint, and Showbams has a pair of tickets to give away. Featuring the extraordinary talents of drummer/producer Adam Deitch and keyboardist/producer Borahm Lee, the electro/hip-hop/bass act released its first full-length album Seven Bridges last October on Pretty Lights Music. This will be the first time fans in LA can hear Break Science perform songs from the 13-track LP, which includes collaborations with legendary hip-hop emcee Redman and Big Gigantic saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli. You can download Seven Bridges for free at Pretty Lights Music.

Listen to “Who Got It” feat. Redman:

Buy tickets if you know you want to go!


Enter to win if you can attend this show Saturday, March 22nd at The Mint in LA.

Submit your full name and email address below.
Contest ends Friday, March 21st at Noon. Winners will be picked at random & notified by email. Your email will be kept private – we will share your email with no one. 21+ only.

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Watch the “Light Speed Transit” music video:

PHOTOS: Break Science at Mezzanine 11/30


Break Science with Tech Minds & Matt Haze
Mezzanine – San Francisco
November 30, 2013

Adam Dietch (drums) & Borahm Lee (keyboards) kept the party rolling Saturday night (November 30) at Mezzanine after the live Pretty Lights extravaganza finished down the road at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The members of Break Science are touring with Pretty Lights at the moment — check out our review and photos from the November 29th Pretty Lights show. Marc Fong caught the after party magic at Mezzanine…