Friday, 12 October 2012

Review: Deep Time

There was a time when every new record on K Records or Kill Rock Stars or Troubleman got me excited. And boy, they released a lot of records in the late 90s. I was part of Kill Rock Stars' singles club and my bf at the time was label managing K Records for Europe, bringing home 7" after 7" of bands nobody will remember today. Admittedly, their output was possibly a litte elaborate and not very selective. But there was a certain feel and community spirit that came with every single release that just drew me in. 

Of course, Kill Rock Stars went on to become a successful label with releases by artists like Elliott Smith and Sleater Kinney, making us all very proud. I am glad to report that K Records also survived tough industry times, though I believe they do not churn out releases like they used to. It sometimes feels like there was a time and place for lo-fi pop, spoken word 7"s and riot grrl punk. Then again, I think so many great bands today would not exist if it wasn't for that scene back in the 90s. And I do get my nostalgic moments for that sound, but then I go to see bands that promise me feelings of a forgotten time, just to realise there was a time and place and it's not coming back and that's fine. Then Deep Time offered me a new point of view the other night.

The duo comes from Texas, not Washington State or Oregon. Yet they convey a musical and personal spirit that immediately made us think of the Yo Yo A Go Go festivals and a network between independent musicians like it has not existed for decades. But, and this is a big but, Deep Time sound anything but dated. They have grabbed this spirit and they have transported it to the here and now. Musically, they bridge the gap between that K Records lo-fi pop and the current wave of drum-machine-keyboard-guitar duo bands. This makes them not only unique, it also draws in the crowds. Schokoladen was packed. There is a way to live that time without it being nostalgic and sad. It is actually possible to grab the best parts and mix them with what today's music scene needs. You get individualism, talent, fun, accessibility, coolness, chic.

They call it "minimal weirdo pop" on their FB page. And while they are not wrong, there is a lot going on to me that doesn't quite justify the term minimal. Of course, two people playing two to three instruments at a time technically defines minimal. However, singer Adifer Joneseslas' poignant and beautiful voice alones fills a room and grabs people's attention. The well-crafted beats don't allow you to stand still. And there is still an admittedly minimal guitar and keyboard to digest. It's perfect dance music but also quirky, cool and good-looking.

It was such a nice atmosphere in the room. The cool chique of Berlin didn't show up, instead naturally pretty people who were there to spend time with friends and celebrate one fine band. We stayed long after the gig was over and hung out, chatted, were generally content. Next time, this group hits town, make sure to go, be in the know. 

Here is a live video I found of another one of their performances, to give you an idea.

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