5 Bands Using Sensory Percussion
If you're at all familiar with Sensory Percussion, you've probably seen the new avenues it has opened up for solo drummers (layered drum samples, melodies, harmonies, control over lighting/video, song structure, etc.) But what about as a collaborative tool? After all, music is made for sharing, right? Well Sensory Percussion provides lots of exciting possibilities in this context as well. To illustrate this, we're taking a look at five bands whose drummers are using Sensory Percussion in collaboration with the other musicians and instruments. These drummers use a variety of physical setups across different genres, but the common thread is that they're all using Sensory Percussion to enhance what the drums can bring to the musical collective.
Moses Sumney is an genre-defying musician known for his incredible vocal range, deep lyricism, and mind-bending production. His most recent project, Blackalachia, is a live visual album filmed in the mountains of North Carolina, and features Ben Sloan playing a hybrid drum kit with one Sunhouse sensor on a mesh head tom and one on the kick. Previously, Sensory Percussion veteran Ian Chang has played with Sumney using a similar setup. In Sumney's band, Sensory Percussion is mostly used to translate into live performance the many lush layers of acoustic and electronic sounds that fill his records.
Meat.Karaoke.Quality.Time is an experimental trio featuring the unique instrumentation of two EWI/synth players and one drummer using Sensory Percussion and a Roland SPD-SX. The drummer is Karl Degenhardt, who you might recognize from Minutures, his outstanding Instagram series of one-minute Sensory Percussion pieces. Meat.Karaoke.Quality.Time covers the spectrum from ambient soundscapes to chaotic, noisy improvisation, always bringing something new and unexpected. You can check out their album Future Bold on Bandcamp and watch their live performances on Youtube:
Batiq Babes is a German trio made up of sax, keys, and drums with plenty of additional electronic elements as well as live visuals. Bandleader Moritz Schuster describes the group as "hyperjazz" and says they aim to provide an "immersive visual experience." Their live videos do just that, as they're shot with a wide angle lens and feature the band playing behind several walls of translucent screens, onto which live visuals are being projected and controlled by MIDI from Sensory Percussion. In addition to controlling these visuals, drummer Thomas Esch uses Sunhouse sensors on his acoustic kit to add pitched 808s and trap hi-hats to his live drum sounds. Check out the latest live video for their tune "Crown":
Son Lux is a three-piece band that blends electronic music, classical composition, pop song structures, and hip hop production into a unique aesthetic. Their music has gained critical acclaim worldwide, and their newest project is the soundtrack for the upcoming film Everything Everywhere, which includes collaborations with David Byrne, André 3000, Mitski, and Randy Newman. Ian Chang (who we also mentioned above for his work with Moses Sumney) plays drums on all of their recordings and live shows, and has used Sensory Percussion in various ways as a part of this band over the years. Check out this clip of their tune "Dream State" live from Lincoln Hall, in which Ian is using one Sunhouse sensor on a mesh head tom and one on his kick to recreate the electronic sounds from the album version of the song.
LYLIT is an Austrian singer, songwriter, and producer known for her powerful vocals and catchy melodies. As a part of her backing band, drummer Andreas Lettner uses Sensory Percussion on his acoustic kit to add percussive layers to his J. Dilla-influenced "drunken" grooves. Check out their performance of LYLIT's track "Over," played live from a Vienna rooftop: