Thursday, November 19, 2015

Made of Oak - Tuskha -- DC9 - Nov 18 2015

Tuskha and Made of Oak
by John Miller

The beats are slow. Nothing but an Axlom and a MPC. Two young men clad in impossibly tight black jeans work the quiet crowd. The pieces are very approachable, safe. Is it rap, pop, EDM? To answer my own question, the accessibility leads me to believe that it's pop. While there are elements of the aforementioned genres, it really isn't challenging. I don't necessarily say that as a pejorative: there is a place for this as the audience is clearly into this. It is crowded for an opening act but like the music, everyone is so even keeled, and exceptionally quiet. And to be honest aside from the table to my immediate right, there is almost no chatter at all. It's odd. But I digress.
Frankly I'm kind of reminded of 1999, while the music never reaches those levels of awfulness; there is certainly something to be said of the casualness they slip from lilac bushes, to a very quick rhyme scheme. It's uncomfortable. This is a lot more challenging than I thought, so it's obvious my previous statement may have not been all that accurate. After the show I had a couple of folks talk me down from the ledge and ultimately come to terms with the performance.

As far as EDM is concerned, modern flourishes and influences abound. A retro feel coupled with sound design games. It's not that bad but I have a feeling that we are reaching, if we haven't already, peak 80s influenced dance. As negative as this has been, and I put that on myself, Tuskha can clearly play their instruments but I find that the artistry isn’t there, like they are simply going through the motions.

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