Live at Bumbershoot 2016, Day 2: Erik Blood at KEXP

photos by Sarah O’Connor (view set)

Producer and musician Erik Blood is a Seattle icon, working releases for a broad roster of local artists, including Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, The Moondoggies, and TacocaT. Released earlier this year, the influence of his diverse collaborations is apparent in his new record Lost in Slow Motion. It’s an absolute stunner, featuring local talents Palaceer Lazarro (of Shabazz Palaces) and OC Notes, with apparent thematic and sonic connections with Shabazz’s most recent work, Lese Majesty. The record is rich with dichotomy, managing to be simultaneously soothing and gut-wrenching, demure and optimistic. Is there such a thing as being quietly loud? If so, Erik Blood has achieved it.

With faces bisected by stark contrasting paint and bass you could feel in the pit of your stomach, you could tell from the first moment of “The Attic System” that this show was going to be something very special. Stony-faced, their bodies were moving in a synchronized dance so fluid it seemed as if the music was coming from their bodies themselves. The instrumental introduction to the song was so engrossing that when the singing started it was almost startling, a shock to believe that there could be even more to this song. “Rachel,” from Erik Blood’s Transom EP, was a real stand-out. Here Irene Barbaric’s voice shone bright and powerful over the brilliantly dreamy music. The song is profoundly emotive, with a steady, sublime build-up that gives you the feeling that your heart is breaking, without even knowing why. They closed their set with “Remove Control,” a song with a dancey 80’s feel that’s hard to put your finger on, serving as a stark contrast to the rather spooky nature of the rest of the performance. Blood and Barbaric bookended the performance with more synchronized dancing, though this time it felt more celebratory than ceremonial, which felt weirdly appropriate, considering the unsettling ambiance of the rest of the show. Erik Blood’s was one of the best performances at Bumbershoot so far,—don’t miss your chance to see him at the KEXP gathering area tomorrow at 5:30 PM.

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