When Up Until Now jumped into its contemporary take on Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall," it became very apparent that the chemistry flowing between producer/drummer combo David Murphy of STS9 and Jon "The Barber" Gutwillig of Disco Biscuits was completely fluid. Up Until Now doesn't need any support, but the addition of the two talented instrumentalists made dancing in Cervantes until nearly 4 a.m. for the semi-annual Sonic Blossom that much easier.
See also: Slide show: Sonic Blossom at Cervantes'
For whatever reason, all of the night's sets were pushed back about ninety minutes, which meant Up Until Now didn't even take the stage until roughly 1:30 a.m. This also happened to be last call at the bar, but that was easy to overlook consider the audience was being treated to a pretty rare opportunity to see two established artists -- a shredding guitarist from Disco Biscuits and a bassist/keyboardist from STS9 -- collaborating with one of the biggest rising names in the electronic genre, Up Until Now.
The set rocked, with each artist given ample spotlight, including drummer Kyle Holly, who, despite being tucked behind Barber, still made his presence known with rapid fire drum beats and synchronized drops. Jay Murphy, Up Until Now's mastermind, did not miss a single step. With little rehearsal time for this quartet, the performance came together wonderfully and proved the perfect way to kick off the Sonic Blossom weekend.
Aside from "Another Brick in the Wall," which was delicately disassembled and put back together through improvisational riffs, the set was all dance music. While there was always the hint of possible jamming, for the most part, it was Jay Murphy and Kyle Holly running the show with their music and Murph and Barber tagging along to insert flavor whenever time and the song allowed.
Earlier in the evening, legendary drum-and-bass DJ LTJ Bukem held the night down. Given his status in the music world, Bukem could easily have headlined this show by himself. He took the tempos up and down, changing the pace with each transition and giving the crowd yet another reason to not leave the already packed floor.
Bukem apparently has a strict policy of no photography during his set, and this point was driven home by the fact that he so strongly backlit the stage (or so subtly lit it at times), that it became more about the music than the actual showmanship. Bukem jumped from deck to deck, pulling from over two decades of pure drum-and-bass.
Biodiesel performed before Bukem in the main room, and in keeping with the pace of the night, his set totally went off. At the Otherside, meanwhile, Ill.Mannered and Mikey Thunder absolutely brought the heat, following Sunsquabi, the Boulder jamtronica act, who was also in top form.
Personal Bias: I am comfortable saying that I was turned onto LTJ Bukem long before getting into electronic music. He is a bucket-list artist that I'm happy to check off.
Random Detail: Ian Spencer is the name of the guy who does the burnt wood art. His company is called Lucid Inceptions, and I recommend checking him out.
By the Way: The show ran until almost 4 a.m. Shout-out to the last man standing.
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