3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Hyperland
Cosmic synth pop act embarks upon its maiden voyage
By Samantha Anne Scott
The Alibi was alerted to the synth pop duo's celestial plans via a colorful in-flight manual delivered to our music desk. Hyperland—vocalist and guitarist Jude Snow (the alter ego of Carlos Jose Rafael Garcia of Ya Ya Boom and Carlos The Tall) and beat-maker Aaron Jackson—formed earlier this year. The band releases its six-song EP on Tuesday, Oct. 18, but Burqueños can experience “Tomorrow, Today” at the band's live debut on Saturday.
Hyperland's sound is an unusual combination of vintage synthesizers, acoustic guitar, laptop effects, and both clear and Auto-Tuned vocals. Snow strums and sings and Jackson tickles vintage Moog and laptop keys. Both members coax real-time effects from computers. The resulting soundscape is danceable and upbeat without venturing too far into saccharine, Top 40 territory. Hyperland's lyrics reference chaos, desire, individuality, indulgence and loss. Snow's rich, plaintive voice and studied riffs add emotive depth to Jackson's alternately pounding and gamboling digital melodies.
He says Hyperland wants to create a powerful sensory experience for the audience, as opposed to a jeans and T-shirt-clad jam session. “We really wanted to take it an extra step. We want it to be Hyperland Tours, almost like a spaceship,” says Snow. “We're your pilots.” The band even recorded an Irish lass repeating phrases like “Keep your hands inside the spacecraft at all times” to export in a computer voice. Snow thinks touches like that will make the show more fun.
Production of the first Hyperland music video has already begun. The band is using its website— allthatyoudesire.com—to solicit videos from listeners to piece into an A/V collage. “As a musician, you always want people to interact with your music as much as possible,” says Snow, “So, we wanted to have people filming themselves, even just reacting.” The instructions are vague and are therefore up for interpretation. Hyperland only asks participants to make the song (“Slowly Faster”) audible in all submitted videos.
In addition to being the first humans to tour Hyperland, attendees of Saturday's show get to marvel at Bud Melvin's Game Boy-looped banjo chip music—including, perhaps, his space metaphor tune “62 Miles”—and dance to DJ Evan's indie ’80s set. Snow even recruited magician Matthew Christie to meander through the audience and astound folks with legerdemain. Preparation for this otherworldly pleasure cruise is simple. “Be ready to dance,” says Snow.
with Bud Melvin and DJ Evan
Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 p.m.
509 Central NW
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