tauk

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Main Stage

TAUK

W / Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
Cover:$15 adv - $20 dos
2 night tickets $25 (limited)
Doors:8:00pm
Show:9:00pm

On their new album Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, New York-bred band TAUK offer an
unsettling but ultimately exhilarating look at artificial intelligence and its potential to upend our world. With its dynamic sense of tension and cinematic mastery of mood, TAUK’s all-instrumental blend of progressive rock, hip-hop, and jazz proves to be the perfect backdrop for such explorations, giving way to an album that’s both powerfully hypnotic and intensely thought-provoking.

“We’re all very much interested in A.I., and this idea of machines getting out of the
hands of the people trying to control them,” notes TAUK guitarist Matt Jalbert, whose
bandmates include bassist Charlie Dolan, keyboardist Alric “A.C.” Carter, and drummer
Isaac Teel. “This album felt like a good setting to tell that kind of story, but in a way where we could have fun with it and let the listener escape into a whole other world.”

Equally inspired by classic sci-fi like Blade Runner and more recent films like Ex
Machina, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak embeds that narrative into TAUK’s most sonically
adventurous, emotionally expansive work to date. A continuation of their early-2018 EP
Shapeshifter I: Construct, the new album picks up its predecessor’s narrative thread
with “Prelude”: a fantastically unsettling intro track whose frenetic keyboard work and chilling vocal samples set the tone for what’s to come. “The idea is that in the EP you’re seeing the construction of this being, and in the album you’re seeing it break out and become something that you can’t ignore anymore,” Carter explains.
From there, TAUK charge forward with the driving rhythms of “Recreational Outrage” (a
track laced with the ominous throb of a robotic heartbeat), the futuristic soundscape and heady grooves of “CMF 9000,” the gauzy reverie and glorious chaos of “Checkmate,”
and the bright melodies and soulful guitar sprawl of “Convoy.” One of the album’s most
mesmerizing moments, “Let It Ride” builds a brilliant tapestry from its luminous
keyboard tones, kinetic guitar work, and kaleidoscopic rhythms. And on “Upside Down,”
TAUK close out Shapeshifter II: Outbreak with a thrillingly epic burst of unfettered
experimentalism.

Free-flowing yet elaborately composed, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak came to life in
collaboration with TAUK’s longtime cohort Robert Carranza—a Grammy Award-winning
producer/mixer/engineer also known for his work The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, Marilyn
Manson, and Taj Mahal. In a departure from their previous releases (including 2016’s
Sir Nebula), the band shunned the typical studio environment and holed up for weeks in
a long-abandoned, century-old home that Teel describes as “the Jumanji house meets
Addams Family meets Amityville Horror.” Located in their homeland of Long Island, the
house turned out to be the ideal spot for their makeshift studio, allowing for a creativity-enhancing seclusion. “Overall the whole process was incredibly organic—there were no constrictions as far as time or space, nothing ever felt forced,” says Dolan. “There was a greater feeling of possibility, and it ended up being a really liberating experience for all of us.” Jalbert adds: “The location definitely added to the vibe of everything we were going for. It was like we set up a laboratory in the middle of nowhere and shut off the rest of the world, which really helped get us into a specific headspace.”

True to its thematic terrain, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak endlessly blurs the boundaries
between organic and electronic, with TAUK broadening their sonic palette to include a
vast spectrum of synth sounds and programmed effects (such as those exquisitely eerie
vocal samples heard in “Prelude”). And in sculpting the album’s intricate arrangements, TAUK called on such esteemed musicians as The Naughty Horns, Ghost-Note’s Nate Werth (a percussionist who’s also played with David Crosby, Q-Tip, and Snarky Puppy), and Juan Alderete (longtime bassist for Racer X and The Mars Volta).

Throughout Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, TAUK reveal the potent chemistry they
discovered in childhood, when longtime friends Dolan, Jalbert, and Carter formed their
first band in seventh grade. After playing together in various projects, the trio brought Teel into the fold in 2012, cementing the final lineup. Since then, TAUK have shared stages with acts like Umphrey’s McGee, Widespread Panic, and Lettuce, appeared at festivals like Electric Forest and Bonnaroo, and earned acclaim from major outlets like the Washington Post (who praised TAUK for “creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that—thanks to a penchant for improv—offers limitless possibilities”). As Teel points out, the band’s incessant touring over the years has significantly strengthened their musical connection. “The four of us as individuals are all very animated souls in our own right,” he says. “We each have our ideas and our perspectives, and when it all comes together, it creates this collective statement that takes on a life of its own.”

In creating Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, TAUK made that statement more deliberate and
impactful than ever before. But while several upcoming videos and the vibrant artwork
of illustrator Raul Urias add a new dimension to the album’s concept, the band
purposely maintained a certain open-endedness in its execution. “People tell us all
kinds of stories about what our songs mean to them, and it’s always cool to see how
wide the gamut of those stories is,” says Carter. “What the song means to me might not
be the same as what it means to you, but that’s one of the great things about this whole experience. There’s room for everyone to develop whatever narrative they want.”

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra:

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra is an example of musical sincerity. Weaving together collective and individual influences without compromise, they are as much themselves as they are a unit—a crucial trait of landmark instrumental ensembles. Equally captivating is steel pannist and founder Jonathan Scales’ compositional skill as is his tasteful, avant-garde improvisational approach. Driftwood Magazine says “Scales is to steel pans ….what Béla Fleck is to the banjo—an über innovator.” Drummer and percussionist Phill Bronson drives the Fourchestra’s time-shifting, modern grooves with graceful polyrhythmic chops and the listening ability of a true master. (His talent has been praised by Victor Wooten, Oteil Burbridge, Ellie Mannette, and others.) Bassist Cody Wright, the group’s newest addition, rounds out the ensemble with a groundbreaking hybrid picking style stemming from his background as a highly practiced fusion guitarist. With gut-wrenching grooves and blistering, soulful melodic lines, Wright’s mix of flash and feel adds a unique depth to the Fourchestra. Together, the group explodes onto stages with an indescribable sound that is as much felt as it is heard, and is said to have “a Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works.” (Pan on the Net) The group’s self-titled debut collaborative album features unparalleled sonic density and envelope-pushing compositions. Guest collaborators include Grammy winning masters Victor Wooten and Howard Levy (Béla Fleck and the Flecktones) and is fully orchestrated with horns and strings.

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