Thursday, June 9, 2016

Yumi Zouma - Color Palette -- DC9 - Jun 8 2016

by John Miller

Color Palette - It is uncommonly quiet tonight. While we all wait for technical support to solve issues that delay the beginning of the show, the whispers of the PA, barely there, keep us company. From what I remember Color Palette had more members than the three that show up tonight. My recall can be less than reliable though. From what I remember the last time they played DC9, they were putting the finishing touches on their newest effort. In the three months that have passed, that album, Vaporwave, has been completed. To be honest, I'm not too sure much as changed since I last saw them live. Though my first impression is that Color Palette are significantly more confident than previous, much of what David and I observed from earlier shows holds true; warm, familiar, etc. And those feelings are particularly apt considering the name of their newest release. There is an unmistakable sense of nostalgia

Yumi Zouma - It’s no surprise that members of Yumi Zouma are playing as if they were part of four separate ensembles. Supporting their debut album, Yoncalla, Yumi Zouma are known as much for their music as the distance that has separated them. Finding themselves collaborating over email, they have been able to remain uniquely individual. I've seen several of these international bands come through Washington recently, usually catching them early on their respective tours to bear witness to many pieces being played for the first time live. Tonight, Yumi Zouma doesn't disappoint as they premiere a couple of songs off their new album. The crowd is more than receptive; they have grown considerably. This genre, the neo-dance, vaporwave is confounding to say the least. I would be remiss not to mention that a lot of these bands wouldn’t have been of age when the music they are so obviously influenced by was popular. It’s curious that when they do lean on musically nostalgic elements, there doesn’t appear to be any physical connection. I wonder why that is? Conversely, why are we as an audience so receptive? Usually we find ourselves making comparisons as a whole but as they began to play, I noticed the individuals as opposed to the whole. The guitars reminded me of Chris Stein from Blonde, the bass was reserved yet funky, the vocals have hints of neo-dance group Electric Youth, and the keys, Phoenix. It's quite interesting and something that I don't find myself noticing too often. The results are actually quite similar to Color Palette before them; warm and familiar, leaning on the past to connect with the audience.

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