It appears that dreams really can come true. We’re being sincere folks. Not in a Richard Linklater ‘Waking Life’ sort of way, but more in a common, surface of the earth sort of way. We too are familiar with those hours, spent hopelessly scrolling through Resident Advisor and Jambase with aspirations to see the smaller, more obscure international artists booked for a tour in the US. There’s a myriad of artists who probably aren’t even aware that they have a following over here. Well, for some lucky fans that dream has finally come true. Ichisan is making the leap from your iPod to the stage, for several US live dates!
Last September, Ichisan made his American debut in Philadelphia for the City Bisco after parties at the now condemned venue, The Blockley. You can read a review of the event here. His next US appearance was just a couple of weeks ago, also in Philly, this time opening up for The Disco Biscuits at the Electric Factory (a considerable jump in venue and slot value). Before the weekend was over, he played yet another gig in Philadelphia, followed by a spa-themed club event in Brooklyn. Outside the boundaries of the Northeast, he just concluded a gig in Denver last night. Our man has been busy, and that was just the beginning. Ichisan is being set up for inevitable success. He clearly shares a very similar demographic of fans as the jam/electronica community. The very same audience who loved him to begin with, will likely be the same crowds that follow his current supporting tour acts, such as Boombox and Conspirator. His first performance in our country was only last fall, and he has already played three shows directly associated with The Disco Biscuits. We’re talking about a target audience with a reputable devotion to music, and these fans are very accustomed to buying tickets and hitting live performances as well. It seems that everything is developing quite smoothly. To some, that could be construed as fate.
Since his US debut, he has incorporated a heavier disco sound into some of his mixes. The door to a country full of new ears has opened wide, and he’s naturally going to aim for a wider appeal. Despite the preexisting fans in America, he is touring here now, and that is a whole new ballgame. His more familiar fans will still find solace in the psychedelic space-funk that only Ichisan could accomplish. Think ladies and gentlemen, picture those writhing, climbing, breathing grooves, completely surrounding you. Not just your ears, but affecting your entire body. This is an opportunity to physically dive right into aesthetic soundscapes, evolving right in front of you, and for that one time only. It can be your experience. You can’t download it, but if you go, it’s literally a mix, being created and played for you. In all reality, the basic and most important principle is that it’s a chance to see a real artist play some music for you. You can see what’s good in the mixtape and studio department here, and check out his upcoming tour dates with Boombox below!
Last weekend will go down as one of the best of 2013, that we can guarantee you. If you weren’t in Philadelphia we assume it’s because a relative died or your girlfriend dumped you and in that case we are sorry for your loss. The 2nd Annual City Bisco took place at the gorgeous Mann Center again, featuring some tremendous performances from The Disco Biscuits and other huge acts. Deathwaltz Media showed the people they listen with this year’s official after parties at the Blockley. Last Friday and Saturday saw the first ever performances from Ichisan in the US, something that community of fans just couldn’t have seen coming. Philadelphia residents Brother’s Past performed their instrumental project BpM, along with performances from Plastic Plates, The Swiss, and Kung Fu, all weaved around multiple sets from the guest of honor. What better than a transition from the intensity of City Bisco to the comforting abyss of Ichisan? If there is such a level of satisfaction, it’s likely found in the solace that everyone else present that night was able to experience it.
When a fan is seeing a musician for the first time, there is a lot at stake. There is faith involved. With those unfamiliar the performance then falls into the category of first impressions, but they all might as well be. Everything is crucial. When you’re the type of listener that avidly views the beat through the frame of a spirited live environment, you’re constantly taking a risk in that pursuit. The risk that the musicians you’ve come wrap every spare moment of your day around can’t even perform their music well. For the followers, well…you may have heard the sermon, but you’ve yet to witness the miracle.
Igor Skafar, aka Ichisan respects that faith. He too had something at stake those two nights. This was a new world, a new audience. For all he knew two of his most dedicated fans lived in the USA and counted 400,000 license plates, 5 states, and 3 different gas pump numbers just to be standing in the Blockley that night. He had a responsibility. Friday night transcended above the shallow dimension of your run of the mill DJ set for a collection of reasons. He wasn’t there so much to put on a show, it was more like he was there to love the music with you. No lights, no effects, no costume, just a simple set of turntables, bare and raw and purely a celebration of music. Both parties were exchanging a huge part of each other in a moment of vulnerability. He and the crowd had no idea what to expect.
After The Disco Biscuits played their last set, and the chaos of exiting an amphitheater parking lot in the middle of Philadelphia was nearing an end, the epic theme of the night’s plot continued to unfold. Nestled in the corner of a weathered subdivision in the city sat The Blockely. Upon entering, Ichisan was just commencing his hour long set. I went in with no expectations being his first US show and my first time seeing him live, but I was instantly welcomed to the warm sounds of sonic bliss that he has come to trademark. Akin to his songs, mixes, and his branded flow, the performance resembled a living organism rather than a series of dance tunes. Each note thrives off the last. They breathe. He starts out with one rhythm and goes from there. A rolling synthesizer segment would begin to ascend, augmenting slightly with each step, then dropping back down low with a filter, then coming back up again with more emphasis and perhaps a new layer. The bass follows, snares roll, the cycle repeats until the sounds have fully evolved and you’re thrown into the eye of the storm. The notes continue to build on top of each other, new layers creeping through, and before you know it you’re already 30 minutes into it.
Ichisan’s compositions build patiently on themes and progressions, something that most electronic music doesn’t focus on, not for an entire mix at least. People tend to pool his style in with disco and house, a comparison that barely scratches the surface. Those labels merely serve as a silhouette. There are characteristics of those genres certainly, but the final product is far more intangible. Instead of fast paced, physically demanding dance beats, you’re being told a story. Ichisan is reading the book out loud, and the listener writes the words with each move made, and each place their mind goes when they hear it. This music plays on the emotion of the listener, whether or not you were feeling the way the artist was, the song put you on that plane. It’s powerful stuff. There were times in the set that seemed like a full throttle dance party. Others seemed like a portal to the deepest parts of your consciousness, coincidentally accompanied by a dance beat. It’s all part of a bigger picture, and that is what makes him so good, because he takes the separation out of the equation. Each track hits a specific part of the “soul”, and never hits the same place twice.
Aside from his seamless jumps from one universe to another, he was mixing live and on the fly. Like a good DJ does he played off the vibe off the crowd, improvising his track selection and mixing in different CD’s as the set moved forward. He did this void of any friction. There wasn’t a single point in the show where I heard a track outside his mix catalog and discography. If you we’re looking for an hour of floor-bangers and chart hits then this might not have been the set for you. He tested the crowd’s musical palette, and with great results. His mixture of “untz” and psychedelic atmospheres was oozing out of the speakers that night and he will surely be missed.
The venue itself didn’t pretend to be anything special. The distractions of art, decor, and glamor were not pressing issues. With nothing to command your attention but the music itself, the quality of his performance ventured further into relevancy. Ichisan delivered more than a satisfactory set. I don’t have any doubt that Saturday night’s performance was anything less. We got to speak after the set and Igor is truly a man of his fans. He was sincerely just as pleased to see his fans as they were to see him, and hopefully that connection will bring him back to US soon. Tits & Acid Reviews would really like to tip our hat to Deathwaltz Media Group as well for booking him in the first place. Til next time folks…
The bill for this weekend’s City Bisco is stacked high with heavy hitting artists. People will have the opportunity to see four sets from The Disco Biscuits, as well as performances from Gigamesh, Method Man & Redman, Emancipator, Treasure Fingers, Shpongle(who just released a new album), Twiddle, and much more. From the reviews so far of the The Biscuits’ performance in Baltimore this evening, the next two nights should turn out to be an epic run from the electronic jamband. We’ll be coming back with reviews on the shows and possibly some interviews too, have a safe weekend!
A couple weeks ago Eskimo Recordings released a compilation album titled, ‘The Pink Collection’. Slovenian electronic artist Ichisan produced an exclusive track for album called “Jugoton“, which you can listen to below. Several months ago we published an article about Ichisan, which he chose to be featured in his section of the album insert. So this weekend we’ll be journeying to Philadelphia for City Bisco to catch up with him at his first US appearance! Friday night at the Blockley he’ll share the late-night bill with Australian disco outfit The Swiss(DJ set) and Kung Fu, and Saturday he’ll be joining up with LA’s Plastic Plates, and the instrumental Brother’s Past project, BpM!
You can view the original article on Ichisan here.
This past summer showcased a particularly memorable onslaught of Jam Band assaults on the country, and now it is spilling into the fall. The so called “STUM” tour with Umphrey’s McGee and STS9 (which just ended this weekend) made multiple headlines in places like Jambase and Deathwaltz Media Group. Phish is just culminating a phenomenal summer tour, breaking open the heads of their fans with Herculean jams like the much obsessed 37 minute “Tweezer” in Lake Tahoe, or the recent 23 minute “Chalk Dust Torture” opener in Colorado. The Disco Biscuits’ performances at the annual Camp Bisco this year were undeniably their best of 2013 thus far. We can’t leave out the fact that alongside the festival hosts, the stage was shared with Umphrey’s McGee, Lotus, and STS9. The last time all four of those bands were together was Rothbury 2009! Those are just a few highlights, needless to say it was a huge summer for these guys.
After you clean the mud out of your car from the festivals, or the fast food remains from being on the road, we’ll help you gear up for the season change. We certainly hope your summer was a spacey ride, but the impending chills are coming with some thrills. If your sense of reality and your wallet can take it, the upcoming months are overflowing with dates in the Northeast. The festival season still has the green light; check out the Catskill Chill Music Festival this weekend featuring Lotus, RAQ, Kung Fu, Brother’s Past, and others. On October 18th Phish will kick off their Fall Tour with a three night run in Hampton,VA. Just weeks away the 2nd Annual City Bisco will take place at the gorgeous Mann Center in Philadelphia! The event will feature four sets from The Disco Biscuits as well as performances by Shpongle, Emancipator, Gigamesh, Method Man & Redman, Treasure Fingers, and a whole lot more. The fanbase for Zoogma has sprouted a huge growth over the last year, and they have quite a few dates coming up in New England. That’s just to butter you up, check out all the links below for what’s in store for some of the most elite improv bands this fall season!