Picked to Click 2013

The 23rd installment of Picked to Click, or when the rappers took over

"It's the same as skateboarding, really," says Absent, regarding their collaborations. He also illustrates under his given name, Andres Guzman, for the Steakmob art collective. "Someone does a trick, the other person watches and then they answer to it. Isn't that kind of how everything is?"

Sloslylove has his own comparison: "It's more like Street Fighter for me. You've been playing Ryu for years, and you just discover the Hadouken, that's like new technology. You're still using the same character, it's just different moves."

Not the most descriptive of answers, but they reflect the trio's laissez-faire music-making approach. The producers have revolved around one another socially and musically for years, releasing a string of mixes for the Steakmob website individually and collectively. Lady Midnight's role as lead singer of the traditional and acoustic Afro-Cuban band Malamanya seems like a different world from Vandaam's spacey futurism, but she shrugs off the divide and breaks all her music down to simply voicing compatible sounds.

"I think a label can be somewhat limiting," she says. "To marry yourself to one particular thing is dangerous. The moments that I've enjoyed playing with Vandaam the most have been very spiritual and connected. Unlikely circumstances, but destined outcomes."

The group's profile has risen in the past year thanks to word of mouth and an increasing number of invites from bands and venues, and with good reason. It's easy to lose yourself in Lady Midnight's reverberated vocals floating above her bandmates' knob-twiddling and bass-heavy production. Vandaam's self-titled debut album ranges from the Miami Vice slap-bass of "Fashion Week" to the stuttering drums and skeletal synth-wipes of "Loop2." It's a collection that suggests they're hesitant to define the band in terms of genre or their process.

The record makes for a powerful, subtly visceral listening experience. After several spins, the connection between Vandaam's atmospheric sound and skateboarding slowly begins to makes sense. Making the practiced seem like second nature seems to be at the core of both. "People don't give error enough credit," says Absent. "People experience one error and give up. The best things come when you wait for them."

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3 comments
TrevorE
TrevorE

@jbturnstone I wish you know what you were talking about. It's clearly Champagne in the brown paper bag. I haven't seen Lizzo, Sophia Eris, Manchita, any of the Chalice or Grrl Party ladies dress as you say "whores". A message to all the young female musicians in Minneapolis if you ever achieve any notoriety in the scene and get Picked to Click;  the bitter and washed up will pick apart your outfits, call you whores, and  won't say anything about your music or come see you live so they have educated opinion. Young ladies please continue to make music and not be discouraged by the jbturnstones of the world. 

 Lizzo is incredibly talented and that's why she was Picked to Click. Get over it

-Trevor E

carnivalminds
carnivalminds

@jbturnstone Dang, stick in the mud.

I'm more concerned the intro of the song is a loop of  the words "batches&cookies" on an MPC over and over and over and over again. Well, that's 10% of a song that's completed!

She seems like a good entertainer and it's fun party music. She's just trying to make a living.

 
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