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A spontaneous collaboration has led to a full-time partnership between four young emerging artists, as Colorado-based MC Souleye joins instrumental San Francisco trio BLVD on the road and in the studio. Consistent West Coast touring has brought this collaboration to the vanguard of the live electronica movement and continues to break down boundaries between dance club culture and the live music community. The synthesis of these two scenes is at the heart of BLVD's primary focus since the band's inception in 2003. BLVD's live interpretations of what are generally considered to be electronic musical forms blend naturally with MC Souleye's conscious and rhythmic approach to rapping. Together they create a dynamic sound with broad appeal.
The two joined forces after an impromptu performance at Gem and Jam Festival in Tucson, Arizona in early 2007. It was clear to fans and the band members alike that Souleye's freestyle rhymes fit perfectly with BLVD's fresh sound, thus creating a powerful and unique fusion. The foursome toured consistently in 2007; during this time the set list progressed from a primarily free-style performance to Souleye now performing written songs which will appear on his new release Balance in Babylon and the upcoming BLVD/Souleye album. Fusing live instruments with electronic product on techniques, BLVD combines elements of hip-hop, house and breakbeat to create a refined and progressive musical experience for its audience. Drummer Dylan McIntosh and bassist Tripp Bains lock into deep, subwoofing grooves while electric guitarist Curtis Sloane adds tight, rhythm based, melodic progressions and heavily effected looping patterns. BLVD improvises just enough to lead audiences through unexpected segues and hands-in-the-air crescendos. As a trio, they rely heavily on their skills in the studio. By creating samples and synth lines they combine an organic live sound with the repetition and structure of electronic music.
BLVD's eponymous, self-released debut live album (2004) was recorded almost entirely live at the Bay Area's prestigious Ex'pression Center. The trio followed this with their second independent release Before We See the Sun (2006), produced by duo Chocolate O'Brian (No Doubt, Flipsyde) and featuring various guest vocalists. BLVD recently finished their third, all instrumental album, Digital Disorder, released December 10, 2007 on San Francisco's Cyberset Records. The band is also featured on Souleye's forthcoming solo album Balance in Babylon, co-produced by BLVD drummer Dylan McIntosh and due for release in summer 2008.
Bridging gaps between hip hop, drum & bass, electronica and funk, Souleye has emerged as one of the most sought-after MCs in the live music and dance club scenes. Since winning a Relix magazineartist spot on Jam Cruise in 2006, Souleye has collaborated with such artists as The String Cheese Incident, Michael Franti and Spearhead, The Glitch Mob and Bassnectar.His completely improvisational lyrics allow audiences to engage in the creation and collective energy of the music. This freestyle, conscious wordsmith also creates a fresh fusion of written songs,recorded on five albums in six years, including his 2006 release Intergalactic Vibes and his upcoming release Balance in Babylon. Eschewing foul lyrics, Souleye is nonetheless a forceonstage, creating a live experience of sound and spirit that has made him a hit with crowds all over the U.S. as well as at festivals such as Coachella, 10,000 Lakes, Wakarusa and Joshua Tree MusicFestival. Souleye's partnership with BLVD is a natural convergence of two unique yet like-minded styles, and continues to earn these four talented artists even greater recognition and devoted fans of many diverse musical tastes.
February 21, 2008
February 29, 2008
San Francisco, CA
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