Close your eyes and imagine a world with no ring-tone radio rap, auto-tune rock or overly regimented radio stations. Picture a place where originators need not wait a lifetime for a mega-corporation to give them a huge budget in order to share their vision. Now open your eyes; you are in Indianapolis.
Like many musicians without a record label that went before him, Neil Cain founded local label Pattern-Hungry Records in 2005 as a forum for his own folk stylings and hip-hop production. Since then, Cain has branched out, bringing together a line-up of over a half-dozen groups including Bloomington punk-ska band Coinslot and rap abstractionist Lorax.
With 16 albums released and a consistent visual style that draws on a stable of graphic designers, Pattern-Hungry has already helped propel many artists on the label to success with bookings throughout the country.
The label’s latest effort, a full-length by hip-hop crew Twin Monster, will be released at an April 25 concert at the Emerson. Twin Monster’s sound is a truly original blend of upbeat drums and sinister synths; rhymes are emotive and intricate, lyrics open-ended. Think Atmosphere plus E.E. Cummings, carry the Lupe Fiasco.
Also playing is Coinslot, an energetic band featuring a frontwoman with hook-writing chops and style to rival Gwen Stefani. Ska is always fun when done right, and Coinslot is dialed in.
The night will also feature an entirely improvised set from hip-hop/jazz troupe Lorax and the Forest of Discontent. Sharp listeners should be able to tease out the historical connection between the role of the jazz soloist and that of the emcee.
Whois Louis will represent another local label, Audio Reconnaissance, at the Emerson show. Louis’ style suggests an everyday man trying to survive in a mad world.