When the electro-acoustic quartet around prodigious drummer and composer Mark Guiliana entered the stage at Vaba Lava concert hall they had two missions – present their new record BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! BEAT MUSIC! (2019) and first and foremost make people dance. They managed that very well. All dressed up in yellow jumpsuits to fit the colours of the album cover the band of highly acclaimed NYC-based musicians went to work and created a collage of beats, bass lines, synth patterns and spoken word. The performers managed to weave all musical elements into one fabric of sound that instigated large parts of the audience to move their bodies to the beat.
The night started off with tunes like BONES, GIRL and HOME that employ a polyrhythmic structure but were nonetheless very danceable. Therefore, the audience warmed itself up through excessive head nodding before starting the dance party for good. Even though the band focused on serving the music, there were still occasional spots for each player to improvise and show off some of their chops. Nick Semrad played a powerful solo on his Prophet X Synthesizer to connect two pieces and Guiliana likewise had his own solo spot towards the end of the set. He played with and around the pulse by creatively incorporating quick hihat bursts and displaced bass drum hits, but also samples triggered through his sampling pad creating a fulminant transition into BLOOM.
Guiliana on drums and Chris Morrissey on bass mean excellent teamwork. Hence, kickdrum and bass notes were sounding tightly in unison throughout the concert. The entire band noticeably took delight in performing to an appreciative audience.
The night ended with the only announcement by Guiliana, who encouraged people to stop by the merch stand to hang out and get records signed, followed by an encore. Normally the band would play a quieter piece towards the end of the night, but this time they finished off with another dance tune.
BEAT MUSIC managed to create a very coherent show that was much appreciated noticeably by all concert visitors.
Mark Guiliana’s BEAT MUSIC
Friday April 26, 2019 21:30 – Vaba Lava
Mark Guiliana – drums, samples
Chris Morrissey – bass
Nick Semrad – synthesizer
Sam Crowe – synthesizer
See photos from the concert here.