By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
Listening to Lateduster, you can't help but think that Stephen Hawking was on to something. The bang and the bounce of A Brief History of Time could seamlessly intersect with the waves of static expanding and contracting within Lateduster's music. As hours melt into minutes, conscious thoughts pause in the midst of a rippling guitar riff, the gentle rush of the DJ's careful fingers guiding popping vinyl along with the crackle of drumsticks. Once the senses take hold, possibilities appear infinite and time's usual trajectory seems irrelevant. No wonder the Minneapolis-based foursome, as their name hints, often find problems being punctual.
But today they're on time. Lateduster have just retreated from their practice space--where a "Wall of Shame" was once implemented to document tardy musicians--to meet for an interview at the Dinkytowner. Discussing their meticulous blend of cosmic melodiousness, guitarist James Everest notes that the band relies significantly upon classical and jazz forms. He also remarks that their music is "about the drama and the dynamics that can be built into the whole presentation."
This is the presence that Lateduster (formerly known as Cropduster) have been constructing since they were born in the late-Nineties local jazz/electronic scene. Everest recalls meeting bandmate DJ Andrew Broder at the 1997 Como Park Pavilion Hip-Hop Olympics. It was the only time Broder defeated Rhyme Sayers' Abilities in a turntable battle. His winning trick? Taking off his pants mid-mix.
But during their show a few days later at the Dinkytowner, Broder keeps his clothes on. With an iconic face from the film Crimson Ghost projected onto his T-shirt--the band is playing in front of a movie screen--he alternates between creating porpoise moans with a guitar and playing the turntables. Meanwhile, Everest incorporates guitar strains of Santo and Johnny's melancholic "Sleepwalk" into the turntables' hip-hop foundation. As Everest undulates behind the break-beats, drummer Martin Dosh simultaneously pounds a drum while striking a Rhodes piano with his drumsticks. Bassist Bryan Olson meditatively grounds this scene: It's a cosmos for shoegazers.
And the group's versatile presentation doesn't stop at the stage. On their latest release EP3 (Firetrunk), Lateduster guide the impressionable listener through a series of revelations. The initial strands of opener "Minnesota Plates" resonate with Dosh's unique Rhodes drumming. Later, "Hospital No.32" provides wavering melodies and hypnotic measures.
"The music that at first defies categorization is always the music that ends up changing music," Broder says of their sound. Lateduster is making the local music scene evolve not a moment too soon.