OHMprey & Digital Tape Machine
Having never seen OHMphrey before I was quite surprised throughout their set. Having heard it was a Jake Cinniger brainchild I had assumed it would linger closer to the edge of rock-metal and I was surprised by how much more of a psychedelic-rock sound they seemed to have. Jake was joined on stage by Joel Cummins and Kris Myers also of Umphrey’s Mcgee, as well as Chris Poland(best known for his work with Megadeath) and Robertino ‘Pag’ Pagliari of OHM.
While the venues stage lights were dimmed the band began weaving through jams with a high focus on the guitar balance between Chris and Jake. While both guitarists had plenty of room to jam you could still sense the small differences in the musical style of each. Chris leaning a little more towards the metal sound I had expected from the band and Jake tending to lean towards the progressive psychedelic rock sound that seems to have evolved through his time in Umphrey’s. You could tell that this is where Jake grew up. The style was very reminiscent of a time before Umphrey’s. I kept anticipating the lights to kick up into high gear throughout the set while the band picked up momentum, which never really happened. Knowing the high energy of Digital Tape Machine and the professionalism of everyone involved I knew that not only was the sound meant to build onto itself, but also the environment which would explain the lack of lighting for OHMphrey, and Elroy performing next.
After a quick breather outside of The Canopy Club I arrived back inside and was greeted by the electronic sounds of Elroy. Knowing only his DTM material it was a pleasure to see a solo side of the DJ. Joe Hettinga of Strange Arrangement and also DTM joined Elroy on stage adding his high energy keys for a few songs. Unlike the majority of electronic music I see floating around today Elroy knows what’s up. His unique style isn’t limited by his laptop it’s only enhanced by it. Adding beat-boxing and a turntable to fill out the sound he proves he’s no amatuer in the electronic music scene.
As the crowd made it’s way back up to the front of the stage we got the only sing-a-long of the night, and I’d love to tell you what song that was but unfortunately myself and everyone else had such a good time that no one can remember. As the crowd sang along the members of Digital Tape Machine took to the stage to join Elroy. Without a second of hesitation or break from the sound the band burst into an onslaught of sounds and the lights kicked up to create the landscape. This super-group composed of Joe Hettinga, Joel Cummins, Elroy, Kris Myers, Dan Rucinski (Land of Atlantis), Kevin Barry (Strange Arrangement), and Marcus Rezak (The Hue) has enough talent on stage to make you think you’re dreaming. The layering of sounds is almost indescribable and constructed so well that many times I found myself drifting off into the sounds as if it were space constructed to dance through, which I must not have been alone in thinking because everyone was letting themselves go and becoming enveloped by the sound. As much as I’d like to tell you how long DTM was onstage crafting their sound and creating a soundscape for the audience, I honestly became lost in the sound and forgot that time even existed.
What I do know is that as the band finished up and moved into their encore where some more magic happened. Instead of Kris sitting back down to the drum kit, Jake appeared and was also joined by Chris and Pag from OHMprey. I was still ready for an entire set so in comparison this encore didn’t seem very long lived, but was enough to highlight the evening and open the minds eye for one last moment of ecstasy. Even with the tour coming to an end the following night in Chicago at Park West no part of the performance seemed restrained or withheld.
Digital Tape Machine will be releasing their debut album “Elephant in the Room” soon but as of the now the release date is still undetermined.
http://www.digitaltapemachine.com/ for more info on DTM.
http://canopyclub.com/ for more upcoming events at The Canopy Club in Champaign/Urbana