Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ascending Melody: Dirty Projectors - "Climax" @ Triple J (Usher & Diplo)

I first discovered Brooklyn's premier Indie Rock experimentalists, Dirty Projectors, quite a few years ago; Right around the same time that frontman Dave Longstreth decided to re-record an entire Black Flag record from memory (2007). The band's line-up seems to morph/permeate a little bit with each album and has previously included cats like Angel Deradoorian, Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), Adam Forkner, and former-drummer Brian McOmber. Dirty Projectors-13's latest line-up consists of Longstreth, Nat Baldwin, Michael Johnson, and the sultry 3-part harmonies of Amber Coffman/Haley Dekle/Jenn Wasner Olga Bell. I guess I'd almost describe their overall sound as some sort of post-Destiny's Child R&B crooning. Case in point: "Stillness Is The Move," which Beyoncé's little sister Solange just so happened to cover, too. I just ordered used copies of Rise Above, Bitte Orca, and Swing Lo Magellan from Amazon and so should you, if you're slackin'!

Dirty Projectors are currently over in Australia, touring behind their latest album, Swing Lo Magellan (2012). Dave Longstreth and the girls stopped by Triple J [radio] on their day off... where they performed a laid-back rendition of Usher's recent Electro-R&B smash, "Climax" as part of the station's notorious Like a Version series. It's mildly reminiscent of their a capella take of "When The World Comes to an End" backstage @ Fallon or breath-taking Roots-assisting album opener, "A Peace of Light." When compared side-by-side against either Usher Raymond's original recording or even Dave Sitek's glitched out remix, Dirty Projector's spirited "Climax" cover really manages to hold it's own! The stripped down 808 drum-based instrumental let's Longstreth/Coffman's smooth, complimentary vocals, which add another layer of depth [emotion], shine through. But check out Dave Longstreth's latest creation, "Hi Custodian," a 20-minute short film and companion piece to Swing Lo Magellan. It's a surreal narrative about life, death, and spiritual re-birth that was inspired by Purple Rain/Runaway, which co-stars his fellow Dirty Projectors in various roles. The film has since been broken down into 4 shorter music videos: "The Socialites," "Swing Lo Magellan," "Offspring Are Blank," and "About to Die."

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