Purveyors of fun NVO light up the Independent

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Photos by Sterling Munksgard // Written by Mike Frash //

Fast-rising purveyors of fun NVO stormed the stage at the Independent January 4th, showcasing why the SF-based collective is poised for a breakthrough year.

It would be foolhardy to label NVO simply as ‘jamtronica’ — certainly shades of STS9 and Big Gigantic come to mind as the group is instrumental in nature, building beats to euphoric plateaus. But included in the sonic equation are obscure sci-fi movie samples, remixes like Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime”, turntable scratching and a fresh auditory dance aesthetic reminiscent of Paper Diamond or Burial.

NVO has hit the bricks hard the past year, playing shows at Elbo Room, Silent Frisco sets and two performances a day at Burning Man, but this one at the Independent was a huge step forward. True to the ethos of Burning Man, the patrons that helped fill SF’s premier emerging artist venue seemed to all know each other and the band. The Saturday night ‘party with your pants off’ mentality was hyper-present with the aid of an incredible light show and a bouncy, high energy performance.

NVO

NVO’s biggest strength is they overtly have fun while performing, thereby encouraging the crowd to join along. DJ/producer Justin Ward (aka DUDHAUS) and sampler/scratcher Chuck Jones project unbridled enthusiasm while drummer Greg Maximov thrashes away like Animal from The Muppets and Mike Laglia focuses on effect-laden guitar work.

The lighting provided by Creative Precision was big, bold and oh so very pleasing for the eyes. Carter Adams controls the lights, timing them to the music exquisitely à la Phish’s CK5. The spotlight driven visuals not only enhance NVO’s live performance, but it immediately elevates them to the next level — they are ready for the festival circuit and proper touring in 2014.

The Bay Area’s Materialized performed prior to NVO, and Sterling Munksgard was on hand to capture all the snaps.

WIN TICKETS: NVO & Materialized at the Independent 1/4

NVO

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

NVO with Materialized, ZEBUEL, Lighting by Creative Precision
The Independent – San Francisco
January 4, 2014

Hailing from San Francisco, NVO is a new music collective dedicated to melting faces and rocking dance floors with original beats, remixes, visuals, and light shows. The group’s four-piece core features Greg Maximov on live drums, DJ/producer DUDHAUS (aka Justin Ward) on sequencers and synths, Chuck Jones on sampling, scratching and Kaossilators, and songwriter Mike Laglia laying down effect-driven guitar wizardry. With influences spanning genres and live shows featuring equal parts ethereal dream states, dirty warehouse raves, and sci-fi movie samples, NVO continues to amaze audiences with their unique approach to live electronica and club rocking bangers.

Materialized, another future-forward Bay Area live electronic act that builds power through grooves while remaining category free will also be on hand, so get to the Indy early.

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Materialized bring their brand of live EDM to the Cosmic Love Ball

Materialized
Photos by Sam Heller

Yet another Cosmic Love Ball took place on Saturday Febraury 9th at the famed Fillmore in San Francisco, headlined by Rubblebucket with support from North Bech Brass Band and local mad geniuses Materialized. This annual event has grown significantly over the past decade, from CellSpace to Mezzanine and now the Fillmore is home to this locally produced, multi-media celebration of music, art and the beautiful people of San Francisco.

Materialized

On this night, the room many music lovers frequent was transformed into a wonderfully decorated adult playland with North Beach Brass Band holding pre-Mardi Gras court in the poster room, while the main room housed the headliners and DJ Wyllys. Live visuals flanked the main stage, which truly augmented the various sounds pumping through the venue to the joy the dressed up masses. This event is produced by the long running “conscious production” outfit Star Sapphire, which has been hosting dynamic events in the city for almost a decade now.

Materialized

Once North Beach Brass had paraded into the venue, playing some NOLA standards like “When the Saints Go Marching In,” it was about time for the live electronic barrage that is Materialized. This trio is anchored by long time West Coast artists Dale Fanning and Mighty Dave Pellicciario, on drums and keys respectively. The group has since grown from a duo to include bass master Carlitos del Puerto for an added layer to an already dense sound. Some may be familiar with Dale as the rhythm section of legendary jazz fusion group, Living Daylights, while others may know Mighty Dave from his B3 mastery and host of various B3 organ summits at High Sierra or the now defunct Justice League. These two have played together for years and this comes through onstage quite clearly.

Materialized

Live electronica and other variations of EDM performed live is a growing trend, and Materialized have made a unique sound in a sea of many similar acts. The slow build introduction of the set featured Pellicciario on a decent array of keys, synths and samplers until Dale kicked in.

One striking aspect of the performance was the inclusion of jazz rock drumming and not solely relying on repetitive house drumming. History with fusion drumming sets the group apart from many comparable acts. Dave’s playing on the other hand was amplified by creative uses of pitch shifting and frequency manipulation. His understanding of various dance music styles coupled with years of improvisational live playing melds into a thick sound.

Materialized

Playing was continuous for the set, further demonstrating a brilliant cross pollination of EDM and improvisational music. The segues were seamless even when shifting the tempo, which led some members of the crowd to get lost in the music. Since the first main stage act was three and a half hours after the doors opened, the decent sized crowd was lubed up and ready to get down. Further into the set Materialized used more vocal samples, giving the music a house influence, and even these samples were manipulated slightly.

The dance troupe, Galactic Muses, made two appearances onstage. First, they performed a karate inspired dance routine backed by a sound that could be described as ‘world bass.’ A second performance towards the end of the show had the trio of gals stripping from haz-mat suits to scandalous sequence outfits, amping the crowd nicely.

Materialized

Materialized bring a nice spin on the ever-popular style of live performed electronic dance music, with dynamic drumming and mad-scientist keyboard playing. Expect to see more of this local San Francisco act in the coming year with the release of the new EP, Space Junk, which dropped Tuesday, February 12. Many years of producing and playing various forms of fusion music is what Dale and Dave do best, and one can tell they are amped to strike a new accord.

Listen to the sounds of Materialized at their site.

Materialized