first_imgLoad remaining images The Bay Area is an established hotbed for progressive dance music, birthplace of the psychedelic revolution, and a veritable headquarters for the Black Rock diaspora. This unique cultural alchemy makes the cities suitable hosts of all things avant-garde, a most fertile garden of artistic vegetation, musical and otherwise. Hailing from galactivated East Bay environs, an-ten-nae and Dirtwire are continually kicking down the doors of convention, steadfastly ushering in the new sound. Both artists used the Independent, packed to the gills and chock-full of familiar faces, to unveil their freshest and dopest new produce on a busy Thursday opened the festivities just after 9pm, as people began to trickle in off Divisadero I wondered aloud just why an-ten-nae was on the front end of this bill, though we soon would find out. Government name Adam Ohana, the Oakland-based bass icon has long been a provocative purveyor of low-end theory.  One half of demonic masked avengers Dimond Saints, as a solo artist an-ten-nae is now nearly four years into the orgasmic odyssey that is Medicine Crunk, after over a decade concocting its precursor, Acid Crunk. The style/genre of Medicine Crunk is all his own, transcending dubstep, glitch, and trap; his is future music embracing the contemporary, an ever-deepening forest of ILLumination at once emotionally inviting, and sensually invigorating.Possibly the finest practitioner of ‘shanti-ratchet-sexy’, an-ten-nae used this quiet-as-kept opening slot to unveil ninety minutes of previously unheard, all original material, a great deal of it from his forthcoming solo album Medicine. In a display of courage, he began his set with some “top secret” house jams, BPMs that raised a few eyebrows, as four-on-the-floor is still considered a borderline cardinal sin in certain bass circles. I admired his fearlessness, even as he tactfully transitioned to the tribalized tantra that defines Medicine Crunk. The remaining hour and change was populated by a series of inspired, if sometimes unfinished ideas. He eschewed remixing songs of the current zeitgeist, instead forwarding a bevy of original melodies and riddims, at once an-ten-nae to the core, yet in a few ways quite unlike their prodigious predecessors. Bombastic, pulverizing low end was massaged by sensual tones, serpentine fire and a whiff of Palo Santo. Ethereal glitch-hop, smoothed out on the (half-time) R&B tip, with a goddess-pop feel/appeal to it; we drank down the medicine, straight no chaser.Cue the futuristic porch jams with a twist of spaghetti-western psychedelia, Dirtwire is an amalgam of anomaly. The brainchild of David Satori (Beats Antique), Evan Fraser (of the criminally slept-on Stellamara, and world-fusion funksters Hamsa Lila) and Mark Reveley (Jed and Lucia), the trio has been tearing up the underground, setting fire to festival nation with nary a f*ck given. Employing a treasure chest of acoustic weaponry such as guitar, banjo, harmonicas the world over, electric, acoustic and whamola basses, violins and  fiddles, and a laundry list of global percussion instruments, the band could be the ozone lovechild of Toubab Krewe and Midnight Vultures-era Beck.  Gleaning inspiration from the Wild Wild West with a dash of steampunk swagger, Dirtwire is a macrobiotic-cowboy Bob Weir, spinning Burner beats in a Frontierville brothel.Headlining the engagement, the show was in essence a Dirtwire CD Release Party, as the band is releasing their third full length album Showdown on March 9th. Opening with “Damn Rooster”, “Rusted Railway” and the beloved space-bandit groove “Shish Kabobs,” Dirtwire got the audience lubed up with a familiar trifecta before delving into several tracks from Showdown. Coming of age in the West Coast electronic/festival scene, Satori and company have begun to deftly harness their live performance, the instrumentation and electronic accoutrements working in tandem instead of in spite of each other.Recently, Dirtwire has been prone to bringing along an auxiliary member to play a traditional trap kit, in lieu of drum machines or presets. On this night, the bare-bones trio programmed electronic drums, and the beats sounded harmonious, in sonic lockstep with the plethora of instruments wielded by these three amigos. FOH engineer Jason Bruton had Dirtwire sounding as clean and vibrant as I’d ever heard, no doubt enhanced by the wonderful acoustics of this hallowed room. Fraser was particularly impressive on jaw harps, kalimbas, n’goni African harp, among other obscure, indigenous accompaniment. Stand-out jams included the spaghetti-step of “Bridge of Sons”, “Struttin,” and the jaw-harp beatbox of “Yunan.” Dirtwire sent the revelers home with a  twisted, tequila-soaked encore, getting the led out with a roaring “When the Levee Breaks.”Words: B.GetzPhotos: Chris Baldwin Photographylast_img