Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
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All ages admitted
Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad:
Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad’s sixth studio album MAKE IT BETTER will be released September 16, 2016 on Rootfire Cooperative.
Formed in 2001 in Rochester, New York, GPGDS first received praise for their live show, which combined world beats and reggae rhythms within jamband aesthetics. In recent years the band’s studio recordings, which showcase their songwriting and musicianship across all genres of roots music, have further cemented their legend as master innovators and artists. “There is a lot of intention in this release. We had a purpose to prove to ourselves recording this album [MAKE IT BETTER]. We wanted to know that we could put our heads down and do good work fast. It was a great release artistically. It uniquely sounds the most progressive of anything we have ever done while also sounding the most like our first album.” -James Searl, Bassist/Vocalist
The Simpkin Project:
Simpkin Project plays a multi-faceted blend of reggae and Americana that varies greatly on its exterior layers but only atop the organic rhythms of reggae music. Their sound has been described as “uncompromising… blend[ing] authentic roots rock rhythms with a wall-of-sound production style,” and the lyrical compositions of frontman Phil Simpkin range “from the simply truthful to the stirringly anthemic.” Their dedication and respect for reggae music is both seen and heard through their non-stop, enthusiastic live performances, songwriting style and studio recordings.
Rich guitar work that draws from influences in blues and rock ‘n’ roll is rarely in dull company, propelled steadily forward by the band’s thumping drums, bass and percussion, and the clockwork sound of rhythm guitar that defines Jamaica’s most culturally celebrated music. Their keyboard arrangements are lush and vibrant, providing a melodic backdrop against which three-part vocal harmonies shine brightly.
These pieces come together to form a kind of living machine comprised of six cogs that change shape and size and tempo, and it moves not only bodies on a dance floor, but the hearts and minds inside them.
Simpkin Project’s music can be likened to a dialect of its parent language – culturally adapted to make sense in its place and time. It is music that addresses the struggles we all face; showing us that there is beauty in all things, from love to loss to injustice, and thus remaining true to the messages of traditional roots-reggae without which it would not exist.
“We love reggae music period. It is what we were all raised on. Strictly roots, rock, reggae music. What other genre of music exists solely as the vehicle that carries within it messages of peace, positive vibes, respect, love, empowerment, and spiritualism?”
"Ocular Panther is bold; a brash and brilliant example of ethereal pursuit with organic tools. They have melded music from different genres, eras, and approaches to create a new contagion of danceable ambiance and rock grit. Some of the songs exhibit a protracted intro to their varied grooves that grow from a standard hook into a kind of epiphany. It smacks smooth and gloriously disjointed."
-Frank De Blasé, Rochester City Newspaper
"Ocular Panther’s sound doesn’t so much caress and cajole the listener as it stalks that listener like prey through a jungle that sounds like it erupted from the mind of Salvador Dali. Essentially dance music, the band’s sound employs electro grooves as if they were the obvious basis for a brand of outer-space funk. The music is sinewy and menacing. A blend of world beat, European electro, and a futuristic marriage of both laid the basis for the virtuosic interplay of the musicians, who managed to take what was essentially dance music into some deeply interesting places. Ocular Panther seems to have no trouble crafting music that moves with purpose and forward motion, avoiding the pitfalls of lazy static repetition. Which is to say, this is music that you can dance to, analyze, or simply lose yourself within with equal ease."
-Jeff Miers, The Buffalo News
The legend of the Ocular Panther is one of the most ancient and seldom told. Stories of the great beast can be found as far back as history has been written. These shape-shifter myths can be found all over the world from China to Iceland and Brazil to Haiti. They are said to be able to enter one’s being through eye contact, hypnotizing the mind and terrorizing the soul.
Haewa was formed in late 2011 in Rochester, New York. From deep pychedelia to funk and more, they create pulsating grooves which are complimented by textural blankets of ambience. These energetic and at times meditative improvisations lead you in and out of songs, both instrumental and lyrical. No two shows will ever be the same, taking audiences on journeys through landscapes of sound. The tone to the music is entirely organic, focusing on the human interpretation of guitar, bass and drum set, with small touches of subtle electronics (synthesizer, pedals and drum pad) to help deepen the collective array of sounds between the three members. With these tools, Ben Chilbert, Collin Jones and Riley Dichairo successfully transport the listener to a brand new sonic dimension.
With the release of their debut album “Deadwet Soundwaves” in November of 2012, Haewa clearly displayed their clean studio sound and ear for detail in a cohesive musical experience that flows from beginning to end.