Drumdala is an audio-visual performance group specializing in a fusion of tribal, modern dance, and cinematic styles. It is based around a unique instrument designed by Richard Sherwood called The Drumdala – mandala of drums. This instrument is a blend of acoustic and tonal electronic drums which can loop and layer a vast array of sounds.
The design inspiration for the instrument comes from the Taiko drumming tradition, early electronic drummers, DJ culture, and visionary instrument inventor William Close. Richard has performed around the world with Mr. Close’s Earthharp Collective for the past 15 years. The drumdala is an evolution of Mr. Close’s drumcloud with the latest electronic looping technology.
Richard’s playing style comes from many places including African, Indian, Japanese, and Middle Eastern drumming traditions, modern dance music, and good old rock ‘n’ roll.
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The Aliens were formed at the request of David Catching (guitar player for Queens of the Stone Age/Eagles of Death Metal) to open up for his band Earthlings? at The Opium Den in Hollywood in November of 1998.
Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Them Crooked Vultures) was in the audience of that first gig and requested The Aliens adjourn with him out to The Rancho De La Luna recording studio in Joshua Tree, California to take part in a series of recordings he had been doing called The Desert Sessions. The Aliens were featured in Desert Sessions Volume 6.
This illustrious beginning started a career of playing such unorthodox venues as a whore house, funeral, several rumbles (that is, appearances that turned into rumbles), many desert generator parties, and a summer residency at a transvestite/butch dyke bar.
The Aliens That Ate Hollywood are currently touring the Universe and were last seen playing at a hole in the wall on the outskirts of Uranus.
The Aliens were delighted when asked to make an appearance (abduction) at Radio Venice TV.
It’s no secret that great art comes from the margins. From those who are either pushed to create from inner forces, or who create to show they deserve to be recognized. Los Angeles based street singer, guitarist, and roots music revolutionary Sunny War has always been an outsider, always felt the drive to define her place in the world through music and songwriting.
As a young black girl growing up in Nashville, she searched for her own roots, looking first to the blues she heard from her mother’s boyfriend, and learning from a local guitarist. Moving to Los Angeles in her teens, she searched for herself in the LA punk scene, playing house shows with FIDLAR, and shoplifting DVDs from big box stores to trade at Amoeba Records for 80s punk albums. But here too she found herself on the outside, working to bridge her foundation in country blues and American roots guitar traditions with the punk scene she called home. She first made her name with this work, bringing a wickedly virtuosic touch on the fingerstyle guitar that sprang from her own self-discoveries on the instrument. But her restless spirit, a byproduct of growing up semi-nomadic with a single mother, led her to Venice Beach, California, where she’s been grinding the pavement for some years now, making a name for her prodigious guitar work and incisive songwriting, which touches on everything from police violence to alcoholism to love found and lost.
Her new album, With The Sun, out February 2, 2018 on Hen House Studios, is the culmination of years of burning curiosity as an artist, the result of many wandered paths to find some new way to speak her heart. For the first time, she’s writing songs first and crafting the guitar work second, focusing on her own poetry and trying to tell her own story. She’s an outsider artist in the truest sense, living on the margins of the establishment and fueled only by her own creative genius.
To help achieve With the Sun’s larger vision, Sunny War turned to the ragtag group of Venice Beach musicians she’s fallen in with, mainly members of psych folk band Insects vs Robot, including multi-instrumentalist Micah Nelson, fiddler Nikita Sorokin, and guitarist Milo Gonzalez. Produced by Harlan Steinberger at Hen House Studios in Venice Beach, which also doubled as the record label, the new album pushes and pulls between cleverly arranged orchestration and the DIY aesthetic that remains as Sunny’s throwback to her punk roots. For an artist with so many different influences, the album is remarkably cohesive, choosing to focus on Sunny’s songwriting and intricate guitar work. As an artist, Sunny borrows ideas and patterns at will from across the canon of American music. Her influences range from Elliott Smith, Black Flag, Joan Armatrading, and Tracy Chapman, to Robert Johnson (“To Love You” is her homage to Johnson’s “They’re Red Hot”), Elmore James, and Bessie Smith. “I feel like I am a blues guitarist, but I don’t think I’m a blues artist,” Sunny explains. “I only use the scales and techniques that I know and the only time I was trained in music was on blues guitar. I really love Elizabeth Cotton and Mississippi John Hurt. I still like to listen to them to feel that there’s nothing wrong with me playing the way I play.”
“…her right thumb plunks the bass part while her forefinger upstrokes notes and chords, leaving the other three fingers unused. A banjo technique, it’s also used by acoustic blues guitarists. Her fingers are long and strong – Robert Johnson hands – in jarring contrast to the waif they’re attached to. The walking bass line sounds like a hammer striking piano keys in perfect meter, while the fills are dynamic flurries – like cluster bombs. I haven’t heard a young guitarist this dexterous and ass-kicking in eons.”
– Michael Simmons, L.A Weekly
Milo Gonzalez is a guitarist born of a multi-generational family of artists and musicians native to Venice Beach. With his mother being a rock vocalist, and his step father being a founding member of the renowned hardcore punk band Black Flag, Milo grew up around heavy rock music.
Inspired to play both electric and acoustic guitar, Milo discovered a deep love for flamenco and classical guitar music, finding it’s dark, emotive, and aggressive qualities alluring and similar to that of his rock roots. Milo has developed a unique and hard to define style of music that derives as much influence from legendary guitar virtuosos such as Paco De Lucia, and Vicente Amigo, as it does from rock/metal/psychedelic legends like Black Sabbath and Radiohead.
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Multi-instrumentalist and live-looper, Mik Garrison, blends state-of-the-art magic technology, with old-fashioned instrument know-how. He creates layers with his bass guitar, baritone saxophone, keyboards, beatboxing, and a vintage telephone microphone to create the dynamic and funky sound textures of a full band.
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SuperSonic Jalopies is the vehicle(s) for Barry Conley’s new Electronic Mind Expansion Project. Armed with a Buchla Model 200 Electronic Music Box and The OutofControl-atron, Barry will take you on a journey to invigorate old and develop new synapses.
Barry Conley’s SuperSonic Jalopies will shuttle you away on a road trip through your mind.
But first we must go into outer space to get into inner space!
Jaraneh Nova is an American born songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist based in Ojai, CA. She has been called the Voice from the Ancestral Well, drawing inspiration from her Native American roots, bringing the essence of Traditional Native American Music and infuses it with modern sound.
Inspired by the pioneers of song and sound. Her artistic journey weaves original music and native heritage into medicine stories that heal and transform. Her lyrics are powerfully born from prayerful states and channeled from ancestral helpers.
Performing live for over 20,000 people, her live show is a beautiful tapestry woven with live loops of ambient sounds, native flutes, guitars, vocals, and prayers.
This can be transcendence.
This is a musical spiritual quest and homecoming for us all.
Festival audiences at Lucidity, Coachella, Cosmic Carnival, Love Fest, Inlakesh and more, have joined in the trance-like native ambient folk-tronic experience. The beautiful vibes and ancestral energies she brings, lift the spirit and connect the heart to our sacred mother earth.
Jaraneh Nova is a life long musician with her roots in Opera, Jazz and the Classics. Her first band, Blues Crusher was a successful experiment in Psychedelic Blues Rock. Her next project, Big Bone Lick (named after the famous Mammoth burial site in Kentucky) created a fresh Tribal-tronic sound. Next, she began her solo project: Red Road Medicine Show, an evening of live-looping and indigenous wisdom teachings. She is currently working on her first major album release: Emergence. Please visit her Patreon page to join her growing tribe and to support her in raising funds to record this seminal release in 2020.
To understand the story of The Trouble Notes, one must understand the story of our world. In an effort to reduce cultural barriers, The Trouble Notes have made it their mission to create their own cultural universe, mixing influences from all over the world into their songs.
The emotional, pan-cultural music of the group, forms personal memories into a colorful melting pot of different traditions, touching on deep and complex stories of the human condition and social experiences. Having grown up in different countries with different traditions, they each bring a unique perspective to life and music that helps self-serve as a reminder that their brand of fusion can show a unity in diversity.
The Berlin based quartet is composed of violinist Bennet Cerven, guitarist Florian Eisenschmidt, percussionist Oliver Maguire and bassist Stefan Bielik. Hailing from different countries, each member of the group brings a different musical training and perspective to the band. Bennet, a classical trained violinist born in Chicago, began his violin playing at 4 years old. While he was performing in orchestras and winning prizes in soloist competitions, his love for hip-hop and alternative genres helped shape his mind as a composer.
An avid history lover and academic, Bennet first conceived the original compositions out of a desire to travel and a lust for adventure to far away lands. Oliver was born into a family of rock and roll. His father was the tour manager of Motorhead for many years and the late Phil Taylor began teaching Olly the drums from a young age. He grew up in a vary diverse area of west London, and was surrounded by friends who exposed him to the rhythmic styles of ethnic musicians from all over the world. Florian began learning the guitar in his early teenage years in Braunschweig, Germany. A love for classic rock and the contemporary indie bands of his youth urged him to express himself with his instrument. He has since been influenced by some of the best rhythmic guitarists the likes of Rodrigo y Gabriela, John Butler and Tommy Emanuel. Stefan first found himself with a bass in his hands at the age of 15 through the desire to form a band with his friends. Soon after, he began studying jazz bass at the Joseph Haydn conservatory in Eisenstadt, Austria. While jazz formed his skillset, it was his love for funk and rock that gave him his musical direction. For 2 years he was the primary bassist of Berlin-based Australian Rock band The Sunpilots and dedicated himself to a life of music. It is during their mutual time in Berlin that he met The Trouble Notes and his infectious energy and love for music made him a natural fit with the band.
Their music is characterised by emotionally driven, instrumental ballads reflecting pan-cultural influences and blending an eclectic fusion of traditions, to create a truly unique sound; representative of their extensive travels and consequent musical development. The group has achieved success and wide acclaim for past releases, with their previous EP Soundtracks from the Street reaching the Top 5 in USA iTunes charts for Latin & World Music. Videos of their performances have been viewed more than 100 million times on social media. They have scored multiple films including Als Paul über das Meer kam and Carracci: La Rivoluzione Silenziosa. They have performed live on Television in the United States and Canada, and radio formats in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. In 2019 they toured with Rodrigo y Gabriela, opening for them as a part of their European Mettavolution tour.
Everyone that joins the universe of The Trouble Notes remains a part of it, and often morph from a normal concertgoer into a true Troublemaker-sharing in the journey of the group. They pride themselves on their ability to use modern solutions to maintain a very real and humanistic way of life. Using a blend of digital platforms, they have built a world-wide audience by allowing intimate access into their lives and keeping a personal relationship with many of their fans. Their audience ultimately plays a role in the very creation of music by serving as cultural influencers and story-givers for their worldly compositions.
The Trouble Notes live a never-ending adventure traveling and telling the stories of people and places through their music.
Joey Maramba is a bass player, songwriter from Los Angeles most known for his work with John Cale of the Velvet Underground and Rickie Lee Jones and has appeared on Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and Fallon. He has opened for Mike Watt and Nels Cline with an instrumental avant garde group called Ninja Academy. Continue reading Joey Maramba→