Musical Musings: A weekend of revelations

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I'm nearly speechless about what I saw last night at Carabar. The behemoth that was Sinkane made its first appearance in these parts, and its force was such that I was surprised not to find myself pinned to the back wall when all was said and done.

Ahmed Gallab is using a rotating cast as his band for this mindf*** fusion band of his, and for the first tour, which concluded with last night's homecoming show, he charged local buzz band The Slide Machine with bringing his skewed symphony to life. Rhythm is king in Sinkane; the drum set(s!) and hand percussion were at once jarring and mesmerizing, blending with Nick Tolford's fuzzed-out, booming bass to provide the perfect launch pad for the flurry of noises that unfolded. Flute and sax squealed with abandon, and guitars were plucked in practically every way imaginable—atmospheric strums, jammy noodling, massive walls of noise. Meanwhile, the keyboards that dominate so much of Color Voice, Sinkane's debut recording, simmered underneath, conceding the spotlight to the swaths of noise and melody overhead.

All of this congealed into a celebratory display of music as a fluid force, both in the living, breathing sounds that emerged from the stage and in the playful way the musicians traded instruments to make the sound in the first place. I could have done without the rendition of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" that followed the main performance, but when the Slide Machine finished the set with one of its own songs and a supremely righteous final riff, it made for one hell of an exclamation point.

I came expecting a good show and hoping for a great one; I left with ringing ears and wide eyes. Color Voice is good, don't get me wrong. But the record isn't as pulverizingly wonderful as what Gallab and company presented on stage last night. See it for yourself as soon as you can (which is apparently Oct. 12 back at Carabar, though I heard mention of another possible appearance at Skully's before then).

Saturday night's show at Skully's, the afterparty for the Daymon Day Parade, was not quite so revelatory—not much happened that I haven't seen before—but it was just as euphoric. For instance, Necropolis has played "Workingman" a bunch of times, so it was no surprise that the song reasserted its dominance Saturday night. (I was surprised—and delighted—that the band chose to play that song minutes after I walked through the door. Good timing.) And how about that assembly of Columbus hip-hop all-stars? The freestyle over the "Perfect Storm" beat was hella fun.

And Blueprint wisely didn't keep the Soul Position performance last for too long, instead allowing hip-hop heads to get a quick fix then conceding the floor completely to RJD2, whose DJ set allowed for a rad dance party to break out on stage for the rest of the night. I mean, what more can you ask from your Saturday night than dancing on stage with new friends while RJD2 spins records? The new friends certainly were pleased that I dragged them along.