Infradig :: 1.14.05 :: The Local :: Chattanooga, TN

It wasn't so long ago that Infradig was leading modest dance-oriented crowds through hypnotic jazz-fusion groove sessions at Jacob's Ladder, but a lot has happened with this Chattanooga quartet in the two short years since East MLK's infamous hole-in-the-wall changed hands and began calling itself The Local. Not only has the band gone through some lineup changes, losing its saxophonist in 2003 and recently replacing its guitarist, but Infradig has also expanded its sonic palette with elements of electronica and hip-hop. This updated sound is showcased on last year's Kinetic Transfer, released on Harmonized Records.

Infradig by Vincent Teng
Infradig's fan-base also seems to have grown a bit since 2002. One of their Jacob's Ladder shows usually saw a dozen or so crazed Covenant College kids sharing the floor with a handful of loyal downtown fans. When the band played The Local last Friday night, however, the club was a sardine can of bodies, with shoegazers and hip-hop heads shoulder-to-shoulder with sweat-soaked body-movers.

Since I haven't seen Carl Cadwell and Co. perform in some time, it's hard to tell what came first -- their new digitally-soaked sound or the throngs of spectators that now pack this seedy club to hear them play. One thing is certain -- Infradig's groove-loving audience has certainly increased since the band first hit the Chattanooga club circuit about five years ago. And the group is fast becoming a local favorite for fans of IDM and turntable-flavors.

Friday's show had plenty to offer both camps. Amid a lengthy set that featured tracks from Kinetic Transfer alongside fresh numbers from their forthcoming EP, Clinical Indifference, Infradig still had time to pull out some crowd-pleasers from its hat full of covers.

Riding the heels of Clinical Indifference's title track, "Maroon Mood" set the show's tone with a tight mix of rubber bass lines, bouncing drum rolls, liquid keyboard riffs and psychedelic guitar effects that displayed what Infradig has always done best -- take a nice idea and build it into a frenzied climax that usually crashes into a satisfying fadeout.

After "The Dare," a hyper foray of IDM drum patterns that turns on its head two minutes in and backpedals through Headhunters-era Herbie Hancock groove-funk, a little Andrew Lloyd Webber was in order-- "Judas' Song" from Jesus Christ Superstar to be specific. Though it may look awkward on paper this unlikely combination was an aural success.

Before taking a quick setbreak, the band played two of my personal favorites: a medley of their classic Radiohead covers, "Paranoid Android" and "Talk Show Host," and then "Benediction," Kinetic Transfer's cathartic closer.

The post-break highlight was a fine rendition of DJ Shadow's "Organ Donor." And when the dreamy guitar chords of Hendrix's "Little Wing" sailed through the smoky room around 2:30 in the morning, courtesy of Kevin Bevil's Fender Strat, most saw it as a sign that the time had come to head for the door.

But it won't be long before the band fills another club with fans anxious to hear their self termed "electro-funk-groove-hop." And if they continue to refine their eclectic sound, while offering performances as exhilarating as last Friday's, pretty soon Infradig fans will be stepping through the front door of Atlanta's Echo Lounge on their way home.

Vincent Howard
JamBase | Tennessee
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[Published on: 1/20/05]

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