Web exclusive: Primal Aa drumming 


Gigantic Music
3 stars

This is the future of high school band.

Brooklyn’s Aa (otherwise known as Big A Little a) is essentially a drum circle with a heaping dose of electronic atmospherics and cabalistic indie-cred. Not only that, it doesn’t normally set up shop in typical performance spaces. More often it can be found in a park or parking lot, surrounded by gawkers as the band conjures its transcendental tribal rhythms.

Speaking of which, those that grace Aa’s debut full-length, “gAame,” run the gamut from booming flourishes to empyrean chill. If there’s any disappointing aspect to the CD, it’s that many of the tracks don’t run long enough to establish themselves. They come off more like fragments of ideas that could really ignite if given the time.

Aa makes up for that by including a DVD featuring live performances and music videos for every song on the CD, directed by a variety of animators and filmmakers. The videos are a pastiche of fuzzy collages, manipulated scenery, surrealistic nightmares, gaudy kaleidoscopes and plain goofiness.

It’s the live footage that really brings this collective into focus. No matter the staging, Aa always seems to put on an unpredictable and kinetic display. And even though there’s a lot of manipulation in its drum-based madness, it still feels primal and pure.


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