Q+A with LEAF performer Beats Antique

Photo from Beats Antique via Facebook

Xpress is speaking with artists and performers in advance of the upcoming autumn LEAF festival, a weekend dedicated to art and music that will take place at Lake Eden in Black Mountain.

Experimental electronic group Beats Antique delivers not only ethno-tronica, but dance and elaborate stage displays. The group presents its newest album release, Shadowbox, at LEAF. David Satori, Zoe Jakes, and Sidecar Tommy speak with us about their performance Friday on the Lakeside stage, 10:25-11:55 p.m.

LEAF takes takes place Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23. Tickets are available through Oct. 20, unless they sell out sooner.

Xpress: With the release of Shadow Box, the 10th album coinciding with the band’s 10-year anniversary, in what ways has your approach changed?

David Satori, Zoe Jakes and Tommy “Sidecar” Cappel: We definitely feel like Shadowbox touches on our older styles while pushing our boundaries with new collaborations. Over the past 10 years we have experimented with so many styles and fusions and we still feel like we have barely scratched the surface. We like to bend genres and mash up cultures. We feel like we have developed a signature sound, but we are always looking to push outside our comfort zones.

How did recording parts of the album in Tel Aviv and Moscow influence you?

While we were in Moscow, we were introduced to Tatyanna Kalmykova, a Russian traditional folk artist. The idea was to create a sonic bridge between Russia and America. The song “Three Sisters” is the result of that collaboration. In Tel Aviv, we were able to link up with a few musicians of different traditions and backgrounds, and got some ideas down for the track “Le Refuge,” which asks the world for peace in French and Arabic. While in New Orleans, we had the opportunity to go to The Preservation Hall and record for three days. [There we] came up with the song “Let it All Go.” Taking time with local musicians in other cultures is one of the highlights of touring. We took all these recordings back to our studio in Oakland and added all the bells and whistles!

How did the idea for making the performance album a “shadowbox” come about?

One of the choices we have made as a visually dynamic performance art group and band is that we wanted to create a look using organic elements. So instead of an LED screen, we have giant geometric lanterns that glow and pulse with our music, and a shadow screen that we use with cutouts and our own bodies. Just like a shadowbox, the show’s concepts is about creating worlds within worlds, but using a more analog approach.


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