Austra – Tickets – The Casbah – San Diego – San Diego, CA – February 8th, 2017

Austra

Casbah presents

Austra

The Range

Wed, February 8, 2017

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:30 pm

The Casbah - San Diego

San Diego, CA

$17.00 - $20.00

This event is 21 and over

Austra
Austra
Olympia is an album of transformation. Though it has only been two years since Austra's 2010 debut Feel It Break, it presents a quantum evolution in the Toronto-based band's sound, structure and style.

After three years of non-stop international touring with the likes of the XX, Grimes and the Gossip, when it came time to record Olympia, Austra had evolved into a complex collaborative effort between its six members. "Previously, I would flesh out songs before I brought them to the band, but this time I left them bare and let the others fill them in" explains Katie Stelmanis, the principal songwriter/vocalist.

Olympia is also the first confessional record for Stelmanis as evidenced by the heartfelt lyrics of piano driven lead single "Home" (stream now). "Home" expresses the anxieties of waiting up all night for a lover to return. "I was mad and upset and the song just wrote itself," says the singer. The album touches on a range of sentiments that stem from a relationship ending, a relationship beginning, and friends' struggles with addiction and motivation. Despite the sometimes dark lyrics written in collaboration with band member Sari Lightman, Olympia is bubbly and buoyant— fundamentally a dance record, which Stelmanis says was the band's aim all along. "We are really into dense harmonies and big beautiful melodies, but I also love techno and dance music. I wanted to bring those elements together."

Though Olympia is filled with electronic and synthetic sounds that reference everything from Trax Record classic cuts to Yazoo's Upstairs At Eric's, it's free of programming and loops. Everything was played live by the band in the studio and all of the percussion including a wild set up of marimbas and congas is drummer Maya Postepski. "Maya played a huge role in the production of the album," says Stelmanis, who has been playing with the drummer for eight years since their previous band, Galaxy. "There is a major percussive element running through every song," Stelmanis laughs, "this is the album where we discovered rhythm."

The album was produced by Austra with additional production by Mike Haliechuk, vocal production by Damian Taylor (Bjork, the Killers), engineered by Bill Skibbe and Leon Taheny and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Adele, Erasure, Hot Chip).

Austra is Katie Stelmanis (lead vocals), Maya Postepski (drums), Dorian Wolf (bass), Ryan Wonsiak (keys), Sari & Romy Lightman (backing vocals).
The Range
The internet inspires everything around us. It's changed the world we live in, simultaneously showing us how much there is to know and how close to our fingertips it is now. We communicate with dizzying volume and speed, via ones and zeros on a scale unthought-of of even fifty years ago. As The Range, James Hinton has made a record as part of the last generation that will remember going online for the first time. The magic of Potential- his first album for Domino - is as a document of its time. It is a notebook from 2015, when someone took stock of the expansive and strange world being opened up in front of us and set it to music, to move us.

The Range began in a basement in Providence, in 2011. A physics graduate of Brown University, Hinton made the computer his primary instrument after falling under the spell of the Baltimore club scene, bringing in his broader sonic influences from early '90s jungle, early '00s grime and mid '00s electronica to a new sonic whole. The software was the thing at home, but what excited the young producer was the network, and where he spiraled was YouTube. "I remember thinking, this is insane, and special. All of these people are sitting in their bedrooms, spilling out their guts, and I'm all the way over here, in my room, listening. I knew the music I wanted to make was like the music I loved – different, disparate but defined – and here were all of these collaborators, in cities I had never even visited."

Potential uses as its backbone a series of vocal samples that Hinton has found in the forgotten corners of the site, guiding us around the hinterlands of content, introducing us to unknown artists expressing themselves unfettered by the constraints of industry, lost in the infinite potential of an audience unknown. But his are human stories: he might be fascinated by the code that determines his journey, but what really grips him are the real stories behind the samples. "I am very conscious that these people who I have sampled elevate what I do, just as much as my record brings their work somewhere else."

This is modern day storytelling. On '1804' he harkens back to grime's dancehall influences, sampling Kingston, Jamaica's Naturaliss (88 views); on 'Falling Out Of Phase' he makes use of a Keyshia Cole cover performed in front of a shower curtain (12,623 views); on opener 'Regular' he employs spare, impactful synth and beats as the backdrop to a monologue from London MC SdotStar (45 views). "Right now I don't have a backup plan for if I don't make it / But even if … / I'll just decide to move on to something bigger and better."

Hinton's work holds those raw human elements dear within his digital pathways but Potential is still malleable, unique. There's a hyper-modern streak to The Range's work, one that owes as much to DJ Rashad as it does international influence from his introduction to the works of Kieran Hebden and his experiences with the grime scenes of London. "It speaks to me first and foremost in an intellectual way," he says, "but it's obviously so much more a club experience. It was so cool to hear it in that way. In New York you don't really get that so much – just people absolutely losing their minds." In his drum programming it is easy to hear footwork influences, another genre he says opened him up to a whole new world of musical possibility: the skittering hats, the triplet inflections, especially on tracks like 'Florida'. But while footwork is made for ankle-breaking nighttime scenes, Potential is as much for the bedroom as it is for the club. There's something beautifully downtempo, unhurried, about his explorations, recasting those found vocal samples as ethereal, otherworldly backbones around which gauzy, melancholic tracks can be built.

With Potential, The Range has a made an electronic record ultimately full of heart. The story is of the internet as the junction where humans from either end of the line meet at the nexus and something else, something unique arrives. Potential is a record steeped in histories – of its characters, of its forebears – but is startlingly new and alive: the network may be ones and zeros but the circuitry here runs on blood, still.
Venue Information:
The Casbah - San Diego
2501 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA, 92101
http://www.casbahmusic.com