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Kalmunity Vibe Collective

  • 13th Sep, 2006 at 11:59 PM

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Last night, I went out with cpirate, wlach, apenwarr, and his sister. Avery's sister was in town for a few days, so he thought it would be a good idea to show her what the local music scene was like. He invited us along and, I have to say, it certainly was a good idea.

We showed up at Sablo Kafé, which was already quite full by the time we got there. It's a little restaurant in Little Italy that serves a mix of international foods. The front door was blocked by the band, so we went into the little side door and squeezed past the patrons sitting about. A guy was jamming on the keyboard and we looked for a place to sit. There wasn't any.

Avery bought some tasty samosas while we stood about. And then a guy sat down at the drums and started talking. He introduced themselves as the Kalmunity Vibe Collective, a live organic improvised group that essentially jams on a theme. And for this concert, they offered a tribute to hip-hop.

The first set consisted of two percussionists, a bassist, a keyboardist, and a trumpter laying down improvised background for a series of MCs. They'd get up off a bench on stage-left, say their piece and pass the microphone. What could have sounded like a jumbled mess turned out to be quite sensational. Although several of the MCs weren't of the same calibre as their peers, the vast majority had their rhythms down pat.

Just before the break, X-WAM pushed through the packed crowd and showed us an extremely impressive display of beatboxing. The crowd was wild for his vocal tricks and spent the whole while cheering. During the break, we got to step outside of the very small room and got a breath of fresh air. Wow, it was really stuffy in there.

Since it was getting late, cpirate had to leave us, so we said a brief farewell. After the group returned from its smoking break, we went back inside. There were more people than ever, so much that it was impossible to move, let alone dance. We were treated to a duel between a superb tap-dancer and the beatboxer, which was mindblowingly fast. I'm still stunned thinking back on it.

The music transitioned more towards reggae, with rhythmic singing and tons of call-response. A trio stood in front of the microphone and wowed us with their voices. Nomadic Massive showed up to do their thing, which was very groovy A violinist got on stage and played some wicked tunes. In the end, everyone up front was singing and dancing and clapping. And the audience was just flowing right along with it. Connections were being made through music and the mob had become one.

Afterwards, it was smiles all around. We walked out of the warm, warm building and into the night. People were hanging about and chatting, I spent a few minutes thanking the musicians. And then we walked home.

I can't wait to go back again.

Article written for Akachic Records.