Two of the most eclectic voices in electronic music production are visiting Gardner Lounge this weekend. Saturday night’s double bill with U.K.-based producer Mumdance and Chicago’s Them Flavors will bring sounds from around the world for a night of distinctive, inspired dance music.
In creating his sets, Mumdance (Jack Adams) doesn’t adhere to any specific genre, aesthetic or tradition. Rather, he weaves together a diverse collection of the sounds that are presently inspiring him into one, eclectic whole. On his most recent Rinse FM mix, he treats listeners to everything from U.K. grime and Jamaican dancehall to a track by the American hardcore punk band Rites of Spring and an extended, disorienting conversation between a child and the iconic voice of iPhone ghoul Siri. In this way, Mumdance pushes what is expected of DJs and tests the limits of genre classification. Adams’ diverse palette is further exemplified in an album he released with composer and producer Logos earlier this year, “Proto.” “Proto” is a meticulously crafted sonic experiment that explores the darker regions of early electronic music genres like house, drum and bass and jungle.
Due to this unique style, getting folks to dance isn’t always the top priority of Mumdance. While I doubt he’ll be dropping any post-hardcore cuts or tracks from the vaguely unsettling “Proto” on Saturday, still expect to hear a wide breadth of style and texture in what will be an incredibly danceable set. He’ll be unveiling a high-energy composition of the most well-researched and complex order.
A spirit of collaboration and a passion for sonic exploration underpins many of Mumdance’s releases. In addition to featuring a wide cast of voices in his sets, he has worked with innumerable other producers and collaborators in his career. Some of these collaborations include putting out remixes for Diplo and Gucci Mane, as well as British grime rapper Novelist and dubstep producer Pinch.
U.K. grime, a scene Mumdance operates within, is an underground rap scene that has steadily gained notoriety since it emerged in the early 2000s. While the origins of grime are complex, grime traditionally blends elements of dancehall, drum and bass and U.K. garage. Grime MCs touch on issues of politics and urban tensions in the U.K. Grime has recently taken a spot on the world stage.
The most highly visible representation of grime’s recent entrance into the mainstream could be seen during Kanye West’s performance at the Brit Awards earlier this year. Kanye took the stage accompanied by a sea of grime producers, in what may have been West’s prophecy for what the future of music will look like. However, Kanye is following in the footsteps of Mumdance and his compatriots, who have been exploring the fringes of grime for years now.
The eclectic, Chicago-based music collective, Them Flavors, is an ideal pairing with Mumdance. Them Flavors broke out over the past year as enthusiastic promoters for underground producers and MCs from a wide variety of musical persuasions.
Them Flavors hosted numerous Chicago dance parties featuring past Gardner Lounge performers Nguzunguzu and Princess Nokia, as well as Evian Christ and Scottish producer Rustie. To let the tagline on their official website speak for itself: “We Throw Parties And Help The World.”
The vast domain of underground dance music can often seem unapproachable with its seemingly endless distinctions of genre and scene. Thanks to both artists’ pursuits in genre exploration and experimentation, Gardner’s double bill will allow listeners from all music backgrounds to have memorable experiences. Don’t miss Them Flavors and Mumdance in Gardner Lounge this Saturday, Sept. 12, at 9 p.m.