All photo & video by Goose Media.
by Matthew Foran |
If you told me four years ago that one of my favorite music venues in Philly would be a 150 capacity diner-bar with a stage and dancefloor, I probably would have believed you, because I’m into weird things like that. Who doesn’t like music AND food?! However, what has continued to surprise me at Silk City Diner again and again is the quality of the performances every time I go grab a beat to eat! Perhaps a lot has to do with the familial atmosphere that Silk City performances inherently develop in the intimate space as the nights go on, with the music drawing the growing audience closer and closer to the stage. Be that as it may, I believe these amazing sets truly stem from the talent of the musicians whom Funkadelphia is deeply honored to bring to the diner.
On Wednesday, April 26, Philly’s own Wax Future kicked off their Wax Future & Friends concert series at Silk City, with the opening night headlined by Denver producer and Pretty Lights Family favorite Late Night Radio. The fam came out to Silk City that night no doubt; the place was packed. Starting the series off with some tunage—all the way from Odessa—was Michael Barry, better known as TheBusiness. Cutting samples such as orchestral strings with breakbeats, R&B vocals, and 50 Cent so perfectly, TheBusiness cooks up songs that each feel like a full seven course meal. But don’t get too full, this was just the beginning.
Following up the funk of TheBusiness was Ageless from New York, an electro-soul producer that is known to bring the future-funk himself. Wesley Paioff has had some payoff from his funky, bass heavy live sets that have gained him a following of fans that come out to see hear his vintage samples and crunchy bass lines. He certainly did not disappoint at Silk City, with songs such as his new hit out on Funkadelphia Recordings, “Until Today,” satisfying that signature Ageless sound.
After Ageless, the concert series’ stars Connor Hansell and Keith Wadsworth came on stage to deliver that delectable Wax Future funk, complemented by Jamal Rab’s soulful imagery. Blessing fans with a debut of their new single, “Waviators,” Wax Future continued to blend a beautiful mix of hip-hop samples, blissful guitar riffs, and fat bass lines to keep those in the City feeling silky smooth.
Wax Future then passed the torch to the headlining electro-soul master, Late Night Radio. Alex Medellin has been hustling his funking ass off in the booming Colorado music scene, becoming a crowd favorite for fans of Pretty Lights Music. His stunning collection of original tracks are made up of well selected samples and crunchy synth sounds that stay true to Late Night Radio’s mantra of “emotion over energy.” This motto is seen in the gleeful faces getting down on the dancefloor. Luckily for us funk fiends, we only had to wait one week for the next event!
Wednesday May 3rd marked the second round of Wax Future and Friends, and the good music kept on coming! This jam-packed night was kicked off by another one of Philly’s own electronic musicians, Aurize. Nicholas Jay of Aurize produces a well-balanced blend of deep bass, glitched out vocals, and melodic synths that were a welcoming start to the night. To me, the human voice is the most beautiful instrument in the world, so the melodically chopped vocals of Aurize were a perfect complement to his Flume-like synth pads.
Coming in hot with the crunchy bass after Aurize was Chicagoan Jeremey Oleson, better know as Blue Future. Not to be confused with Wax Future, Blue Future is a unique project all its own, though both Future’s share a similar, delectable electro funk feel. The heavy, crunchy bass that glues Blue Future beats together is reminiscent of that grimy GRiZ bass we all know and love. One cannot help but stomp a little on the dancefloor to these dirty wubs. Luckily for us, Blue Future is pumping out 15 straight weeks of new music, from April to July!
Future following Future, it was now time for the Wax boys to do what they do best: make people dance! The intimacy between the artists and the audience contributes wonderfully to the tone of Wax Future, and you can’t help but feel a little special with Keith standing directly over you as the sound of his strings hit you in sync with the bubble machine. One of my favorite moments of the night was watching the bass lines flow from Connors fingers to my ears while he played bass guitar processed by a Moog synthesizer! Talk about funky!!!
Finally, the OG sampling king from NYC, Blockhead, blessed us with the underground hip-hop sound that his fans have come to love him for. Working with MC’s such as Aesop Rock and Murs has built Blockhead a reputation in the hip-hop scene, but it is his “solo instrumental hip-hop type shit” on the Ninja Tune Records label that has given him a following of fans that are lovers of heavily sampled electronic and instrumental dance music. Starting his set by blending his most famous song, Insomniac Olympics, into a few others for the first few minutes was the best beginning I could have hoped for. I would have been ok with it if Blockhead continued to play those horns all night, but a producer with a catalogue as deep as his has plenty of other tunes to share, and I am so glad that he did.
Capping off the night with some heady music medicine was Denver-based Scott Rhatigan of MIDIcinal. Infusing dirty hip-hop beats with heavy bass grooves, you cannot help but get low to the flo’, especially with Ludacris samples yelling at “Hell yeah!” at you! MIDIcinal’s sampling skills are the perfect remedy for any four-on-four track, adding that extra grime needed to get that two-step out of you.
Once again, Wax Future and Friends did not disappoint, and I find it hard to believe that it ever will. From the artists that come all the way from across the country, to the deep array of electronic musicians in Philadelphia, Wax Future will not be running out of funky friends any time soon. I cannot wait for the next event, and the next Wax Future song release! Stay tuned!
All photo & video by Goose Media.