Bang Bros! in the Diamond Mine – Smokey’s Bar, December 14



Bang Bros! are diamond miners. They work their butts off, pulling chunks of coal out of the earth, with a lot of black dust and some shining gems. Mark Johnson, en route to his new home in Philadelphia, is the fearless explorer, shifting modes and paths to where the excitement is. Arkm Foam has great, funky, funny rhythm, and a mountain of energy. Johnson locates the ore, and Foam gouges out the best stuff.
One thing I would like to see is more investment in the glistening, fluid sections that come up in their performances. They move from one place to the next so fast much is lost in the process. There are so many permutations possible when they hit a good vein, with cross weaves of blitzing beats and technicolor showers of electronic wow and flutter, but the process is so fast another passage comes up on its heels that may be a little to dull or muddy, before another spectacular break.
But the organic, rough hewn quality is part of its charm, like whole grain bread that still has the bran and kernels. The music is healthy and intelligent. One of the wonders of hearing them is getting a window into their minds, where process still overlaps with product, and the structure keeps changing, shifting, and evolving as they go along. They are so open, uncensored and unedited that their improvised forays come together at the end, as a satisfying compositional whole.

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