Natasha Kmeto – Tickets – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR – March 11th, 2015

Natasha Kmeto

MS Studios Presents night 1 of our SXSW Sendoff with local electronic musician with 2015 album

Natasha Kmeto

Grandparents, Swahili

Wed, March 11, 2015

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

Natasha Kmeto
Natasha Kmeto
Natasha Kmeto is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and producer from Portland, OR. Kmeto weaves dreamy dancefloor hits with influences from soul, R&B, electronic music, and pop. Her songs are emotional, honest, and open in their sharp lyricism, over fierce, dynamic rhythms and beats that keep dancefloors pulsing. Natasha Kmeto controls the dancehall from the stage, utilizing an electronic toolkit she has developed over the years.

Natasha Kmeto’s music deals with the timely message of living in today’s world as a queer woman. Over the years, Kmeto has embraced her identity wholly, interweaving the struggles but also the pleasures of her life into her songs. By telling her personal story, Kmeto brings listeners into her world and elevates the important voices of the LGBTQ community.

It is because of her honesty and incredible talent that Kmeto’s music has received critical acclaim over the years. Natasha Kmeto has toured internationally, playing stages across the US, Europe and Canada. She has been the supporting act on national tours with TV on the Radio and Ghostly International artists, Beacon. Performances at major festivals include Coachella, Bumbershoot, MusicfestNW, Treefort Festival, SXSW, Symbiosis, Low End Theory, Le Guess Who, and Decibel Festival. Other notable performances also include sharing the stage with Four Tet, Squarepusher, Flying Lotus, Emancipator, Shabazz Palaces, Roisin Murphy, Jimmy Edgar, Machinedrum, and Shlomo. Kmeto’s music has been featured by NPR, Pitchfork, Spin, Fader, Resident Advisor and Rookie. She has played live performances over the air on Boiler Room and KEXP, and her tracks have been played by numerous DJs including the legendary tastemaker, Mary Ann Hobbes.

Praise for Natasha:
"As queer identity gets shoved aside with the mainstreaming of electronic music, as if the queer community didn't fuel the genre's formation, it's more vital than ever to have voices like Kmeto's bringing it to the forefront. This, without question, is a record of discovery and confusion as much as it is about the power of confidence in understanding and loving oneself. Inevitable is a collection of slowly ripping cords, the underlying tension manifesting on tracks as if Kmeto must manage simmering emotions and can’t, or maybe won’t." -Pitchfork

"We can’t recommend the album highly enough: lady sings the electro-blues." -Guardian

“Kmeto's power comes down to the way she displays her personal life—sexual energy, anger, pride and sadness all burn a hole right through the club-informed music. The formula makes Inevitable feel as fiery as it is intimate.” -Resident Advisor
Grandparents are a six piece psych outfit from Portland, OR. Their sound twists from shoegazey dream pop to screechy fuzz folk and balances noisy experimentations with tightly crafted melodies. Grandparents are currently self-recording their first LP with an expected release in Spring 2015.
Following the underground acclaim of Swahili’s self-titled debut comes their sophomore LP, AMOVREVX (pronounced am-or-euh). Named for the sixth arcanum of the Tarot de Marseilles, AMOVREVX, (“The Lover”), explores the themes of duality, partnership and the interplay of opposing forces in the constant renewal of creation. “I think of this album as a multidimensional sling-shot,” says vocalist Van Pham. “It begins on a crossroads – then travels around this mysterious interior world, visiting many different sonic landscapes along the way.”

70’s funk, punk, dub reggae, and the synth bliss of Vangelis and Giorgio Moroder are all touched upon as Pham develops this thread between the cosmic and the personal, asking what it means to love and be loved, how this extends to our perception of and active participation in the world and finally how our microscopic movements on earth relate to the astronomical machinations of existence.

The lyrical content and maximalist production are both an evolution from and a response to the disorienting, lo-fi séance of the band’s self-titled album. The new album sonically explores the new world introduced in the first, providing narrative on the consequences of knowing and the acceptance of love in various forms.

The progression between the two records reflects the band’s migration from Reno, NV to Portland, OR in 2010. With the move came drastic personal transformations resulting in a shift from the hermetic and dissonant minimalism of their early work to a more extroverted sound that flirted with traditional song craft and musicianship without sacrificing the subversive values of their post-punk and kosmiche past. This period also saw the main vocal duties change over from Xua to Pham, a decision which proved to be highly inspirational as her melodies quickly became the guiding force behind Swahili’s music and the band’s collective energy congealed around her shamanic presence and vulnerable charisma onstage. In time guitarist Troy Micheau’s no-wave loops were tamed in favor of more subtle rhythmic patterns and John Griffin’s bass lines became the low end counterpoint to Pham’s voice. Drummer Ryan Schofield adopted a sampler which proved to be a key element in allowing for the band to morph between genres with ease. All of this was done to expand the vocabulary necessary to articulate the story developing amongst the tracks.

The results of these artistic and personal upheavals are written into every moment of AMOVREVX from the vacillating thematics and shape shifting genre splicing to the mutating sound design and production. Like our many selves slipping in and out of focus from moment to moment no two songs on the album sound alike and yet they are all carry a piece of a common thread. It is an album that is held together by the insistence on splitting apart and creating something new in the process, a sentiment voiced most directly by Pham in the track “Nous.” “Why stifle the oscillations?” She asks before suggesting “Divide yourself in two.”