News Briefs: Movin’ On Up Edition

The city looks like they may be starting to chill out just as the music schedule is starting to pick up. This is a good thing. Other good things: Heat Dust gets signed, Brass Bed’s got a new song, Au Ras Au Ras’ got a new video and Buku is back for 2013.

San Antonio-based Texas Is Funny Records has added nostalgic fuzz rockers Heat Dust to their small but growing roster of noise, punk, prog and “post-” bands from around the south.  Heat Dust is just getting back to town after their most extensive tour to date and are scheduled to release a 10″ of new material later this year.

Lafayette’s bouncy psychedelic-pop champions Brass Bed have released the title track their upcoming A Bullet For You 7″.  The three-song EP is due out September 18 and will act as a preview of The Secret Will Keep You, their long-awaited (formal) follow-up to 2010’s breakthrough Melt White expected early next year on Crossbill Records.  The band is also embarking on a late summer tour that starts this weekend in Baton Rouge and will take them up the west coast before running them through the midwest.

Buku Music and Art Festival, the EDM-focused weekend event that took over Mardi Gras World for this first time this spring, has announced the dates of its return to the riverfront.  The second incarnation of Buku will take place March 8-9, 2013 – a calendar shift that will no longer pit it directly against the music portion of Austin’s South By Southwest but instead is projected to counter the loosely organized French Quarter/Marigny/Bywater indie rock showcase Foburg.  A limited number of early-bird passes go on sale next week.

Just about a month away from its formal release, renaissance woman Tess Brunet has offered up another preview of The Great Nothing, her second Au Ras Au Ras full-length.  This time it comes in the form of the beautifully stark music video for single “I’m A Liar”, directed and edited by Adam Gambrel (whose portfolio also includes music videos for The Honorable South, Kristin Diable and Coyotes).  It’s the third song Burnett has made available from The Great Nothing, which will be released on September 11, 2012 and is available for cassette, vinyl and digital pre-order now.

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Photoset // Buku Music and Art Project, Day 2: 03.18.2012

Skrillex + Shanook + Big K.R.I.T. + SBTRKT + Porter Robinson + Big Gigantic + Purity Ring + A-Trak + G-Eazy + Gravity A performing at Mardi Gras World on March 18, 2012 for The Buku Music and Art Project

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Photoset // Buku Music and Art Project, Day 1: 03.17.2012

Diplo + Mord Fustang + Wiz Khalifa + Holy Fuck + Avicii + Paul B + Rocky Fresh + Gramatik + Yelle + Pictureplane + Cities Aviv + Sonali + The Rap Pack performing at Mardi Gras World on March 17, 2012 for The Buku Music and Art Project

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Preview // Buku Music and Art Project: 03.17.2012 – 03.18.2012

This weekend, New Orleans welcomes a brand new addition to Festival Season as the inaugural Buku Music and Art Project descends on Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, offering an almost literally unbelievable lineup that hits every high point in electronic music, underground hip-hop and many different combinations of the two.  Wiz Kalifa, Cities Aviv, Rockie Fresh, deep south superstar Big K.R.I.T. and local hero G-Eazy combine with true heavyweights Skrillex, Avicii, Diplo, SBTRKT, A-Trak and more for the two-day festival; and an official, on-site Saturday afterparty stretching into the wee-hours of Sunday morning packs the weekend with almost 24 hours of non-stop music.  The schedule is filled with highlights, including these two can’t miss acts:

3.17: Holy Fuck – BASSIK Ballroom, 8:45PM

Falling somewhere between post-rock and proto-electronica, Toronto alchemists Holy Fuck create frenetic, blipped-out dance music largely without the most important instrument in any techno producer’s arsenal: a laptop computer.  Instead, founders Graham Walsh and Brian Borcherdt – with an ever-expanding collective of co-conspirators that includes Broken Social Scene alum Dave Newfield and former Enon drummer Matt Shultz – take a decidedly lo-fi approach to creating their signature noisy grooves, “playing” anything from old Casio keyboards to 35mm film synchronizers to toy phaser guns as they improvise their way through unhinged performances of their analog electro analogues.

MP3: Holy Fuck: “Stay Lit”

3.18: Big Gigantic – BASSIK Ballroom, 8:30PM

The addition of any live instrumentation to an otherwise purely electronic production is usually limited to a percussionist adding a modest layer of mimicry to the drum track or other similarly non-functional window dressing; like, perhaps, a guitarist hammering out quarter notes of no particular consequence or a bassist hanging on the corner of the stage getting overran by the crunchy, atonal bellows that typify American dubstep music.  So the idea of Big Gigantic, the brainchild of Boulder, CO drummer Jeremy Salken and producer/saxophonist – that’s right, saxophonist – Domonic Lalli did little to assuage my skepticism of the general practice when I saw them for the first time at last summer’s Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores.

The performance started tame enough, with Lalli tapping away at an effects pad and Salken holding an invigorating but steady rhythm; but as soon as the beat dropped, the pair exploded into an untamed and transformative exhibition of staggering instrumental prowess, an acid and straight-up free jazz manifesto set against brain-crumpling low-end that landed like On The Corner-era Miles Davis being remixed by Skream.  Lalli does nothing short of completely wail on the sax, and his interplay with Salken’s nimble, shifty drum work adds a freeform futurism to each track’s lush landscape of wobbly bass and warped samples.

MP3: Big Gigantic: “The Heavyweight Champion”

Official Buku Music & Art Project Website

Buku Music & Art Project Coming To Mardi Gras World In March

2011 was an impressive year for local electronic-leaning entertainment house Winter Circle Productions.  In addition to growing their monthly BASSIK showcase – which hosts up-and-coming dubstep DJs from all over the world – into one of the hottest recurring tickets in New Orleans, WCP was behind some of the biggest and most exciting concerts of the year, bringing Pretty Lights, Lykke Li, Cut Copy and many other electro and not-necessarily electro acts to town in the last 12 months.

And they are wasting no time making a splash in 2012, announcing the lineup for their recently unveiled Buku Music and Art Project, the newest addition to what is becoming an increasingly diverse ecosystem of weekend music festivals setting up shop on the Gulf Coast.  The two day event will take place March 17 and 18 in and around Mardi Gras World with a roster that reads like a who’s who of electronica and underground hip-hop.  Not dead, Grammy-nominated dubstep wunderkind Skrillex takes top billing, with the likes of SBTRKT, Yelawolf, Big Gigantic, Holy Fuck, Wiz Khalifa, Diplo, and Mississippi phenom Big K.R.I.T. rounding out the huge lineup.

If those dates sound familiar, it’s because Buku will invade the New Orleans Riverfront just as the music portion of South by Southwest reaches it’s climax in Austin, TX. In what may appear to be a curious scheduling choice until you realize the annual SXSW Conference has run almost completely unopposed for decades, Buku is already shaping up to be the perfect counter-programming for those disinclined to head west; and with such a stacked bill it’s sure to catch the attention of some of the beatnuts headed east for Miami’s Winter Music Conference the following week.

Early bird packages sold out almost instantly, but VIP passes and plenty of discounted presale tickets are still available.

BUKU Music & Are Project on Facebook

MP3: Big K.R.I.T.: “Moon And Stars (Clams Casino Remix)”