Decibel Festival presents Ariel Pink and Friends


Photo by Phillip LaRose

Everyone on the lineup for Decibel Festival makes sense – there are a lot of dance friendly electronica or ambient beauties. But Ariel Pink? That totally stopped me. But the more I think about it, the more it makes perfect sense. While you might not immediately classify the continually odd Ariel Pink as electronic, his music relies heavily on the lo-fi sound of analog electronics: cassettes, arm-pit noises, basement recording studios. Besides, seeing Ariel and Friends at Decibel will actually be a breath of fresh air. The Ariel Pink and Friends showcase will open with Bodyguard and Dam-Funk at The Crocodile.

Opening the night is the mysterious Bodyguard, the most recent side project of L.A. musician James Ferraro. This new “band/gang/mob/cru” has got cultural references, but they are so fuzzed and glazed into each other in a kaleidoscope of glitches that they are often indiscernible. I have no idea what to expect in terms of who will be on stage, but Bodyguard’s soundcloud has had new music posted on it as recently as yesterday.

Dam-Funk draws from an expert level knowledge of funk music – from it’s golden obscurities to the most popular of jams – to create jams that have granted him the title “Ambassador of Boogie Funk”. When listened to solo you might see only the dance worthy jams of an L.A. based pro, but hearing him play at right before Ariel Pink is bound to make the listening more interesting, comparing his use of boogie-down samples with Ariel’s own sense of boogie nostalgia (is that a thing?).

Where to begin with Ariel Pink? How about his discovery by AnCo with his hundreds of cassette tapes? Or his album The Doldrums? Or his upbringing in Beverly Hills which has clearly influenced at least half of his tongue in cheek persona – the famous people all around and the sleaziness of all that? It’s hard to start anywhere with Ariel. His most recent album Mature Themes is a half incoherent but brilliantly free associated rhyme about sex/sexuality/love/mortality and half a perfectly composed, 60s 70s reference heavy, post-love album. I won’t try to say much more, here are some great interviews with him, and the videos are below. I think that’s about all you need to know that this will definitely be one of the stand-out shows at Decibel.

Catch all these friends @ The Crocodile this Friday September 28th  at 10:00PM.

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