Whenever I hear someone mention that Zoogma is playing, there is a little raging music elf in me that dances a jamtronic jig across my soul. Okay maybe that sounds a bit ridiculous. The point is, whether it be the goofy name or the face melting musicianship, these guys are exciting. So it goes without saying that when I heard that the four piece electro-rock outfit would be stopping by the Highline Ballroom on their “All Access Tour”, my plans were set . To my surprise, the headliner for the evening was not Zoogma. Rather, the slot went to DJ/Livetronica project Up Until Now, which honestly, I had yet to hear of, well… “up until now” actually. More on that later…
Set times for this show got pushed back significantly prior to doors opening, creating a huge block of time for Connecticut DJ collective Business Casual Disco to lay down a generous helping of Nu Disco and funky beats for a crowd anxious to warm up on this freezing cold night. By the time Zoogma took the stage at 10:30pm the room was packed and anxious to have their minds blown. Fired up as well, the Mississippi natives did not disappoint. From inception, the band crafted a 60 minute set of relentless dance fuel. The operative word here is relentless folks. While the music may incorporate multiple styles (rock, jazz, electronic, funk, bass, hip hop), they are delivered in a high energy non-stop fashion. Playing several new tunes, Zoogma blasted the audience with a barrage of kinetic rage, keeping the tempo swift from start to finish. There really aren’t any chances for a bathroom break or a smoke. The music starts and you are locked into dance mode for the remainder of the set. Adding to the fury of the atmosphere was the exceptional stage lighting which was as hypnotic as it was stimulating. This is the kind of set Zoogma is known for and while some might call it overwhelming, fans of the band are always left salivating for more.
After a much needed break gave the crowd a minute to catch their breath, Up Until Now was all set to take the helm for the remainder of the night. UUN is the electro pop infused project of DJ/producer/musician Jay Murphy. Since its birth, the project has opened up for acts as huge as STS9 and Big Gigantic as well as leaving noticeable footprints all around the festy circuit. Tonight, Murphy and project drummer Kyle Holly were joined by one very special guest. UUN would be playing with the incomparable Dave Murphy, bassist of Sound Tribe Sector Nine. Not coincidentally, these two guys just happen to be brothers as well. This is not a rare occurrence however, as UUN has played many gigs with Dave Murphy going back to their first appearance together at Camp Bisco 2011. The trio played a ridiculous set varying in style the whole way through. Dancers were given reggae, heavy bass, house and pop tunes all remixed with precision. The Murphy brothers had a blast on stage, often gesturing to the crowd to raise the energy level even higher. When not laying down heavy beats and rythyms with his bass guitar, David Murphy also had a DJ setup he tore up with good frequency opposite Jay. Easily the highlight of the set came in the form of a song I hadn’t thought of in years. I’m talking about a remix of Missy Elliott’s “Work It”, which had the dance floor going crazy and certainly left an impression. Having just released a new EP, The Pleasure Sessions, Up Until Now is nothing short of a ton of fun.
For Zoogma tour dates and info please visit: http://www.zoogma.net/
For Up Until Now dates and info or to download the new EP please visit: http://www.upuntilnowmusic.com/