by Kyle Taylor |
Two very different perspectives on glitch music collide in the SplaTTerboX project, a short-lived duo (and dare I say, super-group?) based out of Detroit, Michigan when both its members still resided there.
The past few years have been eventful, to say the least, for now Denver-based musician GRiZ. His future funk sound and smooth saxophone skills have carried him to the forefront of the electronic music world. Since 2011, he’s gone on to support some of the biggest names in the game, headline multiple of his own national tours, breach the main stages of countless big-name festivals, and of course, launch his own label, All Good Records (formerly Liberated Music).
A lesser known name out of Michigan, however, is the now California residing Freddy Todd. A definitive shift in dynamic can be seen between the production of these two, Freddy Todd examining the glitch aspect of his music much more in depth, with GRiZ investigating how to make the funk shine through more apparently. However, there is a clear area of common ground as both producers continue to embrace bass, glitch, and funk altogether in their production collectively (just in different proportions).
Any devout fan of either of these acts may already know the name SplaTTerboX, but in case you don’t, here’s the rundown. Back in 2011, GRiZ and Freddy Todd teamed up at Kinetic Playground (a now closed Chicago venue)for a special head-to-head set, together under the name SplaTTerboX. The two fed the sound system with live mixes of original, collaborative productions they had made together during various sessions prior to the performance. In addition, the two were accompanied by Jacob Barinholtz (of Chicago-based band The Coop) on drums.
Sounds a little bit like EOTO or Break Science, maybe? Yes, but at the same time, no, not at all. While a live producer backed by live drums is now a recognizable formula, back in 2011 it was still a blossoming idea. On top of that, the angle Freddy Todd and GRiZ together take on the group’s set up is far removed from that of any other drummer/production group.
A key difference is having two producers controlling the production while a separate, third man handles the drums, rather than a single producer and a single drummer. As Barinholtz provides steadily evolving drum patterns, the electronic aspects of each track undergo heavy glitch scrutiny at the hands of GRiZ and Freddy Todd, both working to exert their own flavor on the set. The production itself bounces between sounding more like GRiZ, to sounding more like Freddy Todd, and back, and forth.
The fusion of two producers with a similar core idea, but completely different approaches to that idea, creates a magnificent, original fusion of sound. When the beat starts to get really glitchy (in Freddy Todd’s favor), that’s when GRiZ calls back the spotlight by busting out some fresh saxophone melodies. When the beats tighten up and the bass gets a little smoother (sounding more like GRiZ), that’s when Freddy Todd dives in on the live mix, contorting the beat into unending glitch voracity. The set seems to be an opportunity for the duo to both have fun, but also challenge one another at the same time (seeing as both usually take the stage solo).
The careers of both these magnificent musicians have advanced quite a bit since this set back in 2011. The SplaTTerboX project has yet to resurface, making this live recording a true gem. To put a cherry on that sundae of sound, be sure to grab up the FREE download of this set before it’s too late- and keep those fingers crossed for a SplaTTerboX sometime, anytime, in the future!
If you just can’t get enough, be sure to come out and support Freddy Todd on the Astronaut School Tour, where he will join Space Jesus at Underground Arts tomorrow, Friday, January 16th (must be 21 or older to attend).
| Event page and tickets HERE |
SplaTTerboX – “Live at Kinetic Playground [05.08.2011]” (Chicago, IL) — FREE Download!!