Listen to Dysrhythmia on Rhapsody!

By Chris Pacifico

Dysrhythmia by Christie Harrison
With so much solid and captivating music being released each year, it's virtually impossible to stay in the loop with it all. Sure, you've got the major label releases that top the Billboard charts (most of which is crap), and of course the "buzz" bands who rise from their obscure and humble roots to become overly touted whenever Pitchfork, NME, and the bloggers start frothing from the mouths at the very mention of their names. And then there's just the good ol' fashioned hard-working, heavy-touring bands that, while not quite household names per se, are deeply rooted and respected within their own fan base. Dysrhythmia is one of these bands, and we here at JamBase will be damned if 2006 were to pass without any light being shined upon them.

Having put the power back in the term "power trio," Dysrhythmia plays an aggressive yet trance-inducing brand of instrumental metal meets avant garde free jazz meets post rock meets a kick in the ass. Their sonic deliverance is characterized by zig-zagging time signatures, thick grooves, razor-sharp guitar transferences, and tempos and rhythms that can veer into any and every direction possible. Their live performances are nothing short of bone-shaking and mind-boggling, with crowds consisting of fans donning everything from String Cheese Incident to Slayer t-shirts as seen at a recent performance at their record release party in Philadelphia earlier this summer. With the strident riffs and start/stop dynamics in their music, terms such as "math rock" and "prog-metal" are never in short supply with the critics. "If someone asks us what kind of music we play, I just either give them our CD or tell them to go to our website and let them find out for themselves," says guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, whose laid-back disposition and voice make it seem at times as if he just set foot off of a commune.

Colin Marston - Dysrhythmia
By Christie Harrison
Currently based out of New York City, Hufnagel, drummer Jeff Eber, and original bassist Clayton Ingerson formed Dysrhythmia late in the summer of 1998. From the time of their inception, Dysrhythmia had set their sights on writing purely instrumental music. With their hard-core work ethic, the band self-released their first album, Contradiction, in 2000 and No Interference in 2001. "As soon as we had these albums and songs together, we wanted to play more shows and to get out there booking more gigs around the Philly area," recalls Hufnagel. But Ingerson was thinking one step ahead. He wanted to tour the nation, so he purchased a used van for a thousand dollars and Dysrhythmia began booking their own gigs and embarked on a touring trek throughout the United States.

While the band wasn't even seeking a record deal, sure enough one found them and their bold new direction in music. The trio came to the attention of Relapse Records after a couple of folks from the label saw them opening up for Dillinger Escape Plan at a gig in Philly.

No other label could serve as a more fitting home to Dysrhythmia. Based out of Philly, Relapse may contain a roster of bands that are metal on the surface, but they are some of the most eclectic and boundary-pushing bands in the genre, accessible to more than just your average head-banger.

After inking their deal, Dysrhythmia headed off to Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago with Steve Albini (Nirvana, the Pixies, Fugazi), who served as the engineer for Pretest, their first full-length for the label, which was released in 2003. Along with traveling the land, Dysrhythmia had landed slots at that year's South by Southwest Showcase in Austin and at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, racking up a horde of accolades from the fans and press alike. Their grueling touring schedule behind Pretest spilled over into 2004 and saw Ingerson split from the band. He was replaced by up-and-coming bass-playing wonder-kid Colin Marston of Behold... the Arctopus before they embarked on more tour dates with the likes of Isis, Clutch, and Mastodon.

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