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Artist of the Month
the_deli_magazine

 
deli cover

 

 

August 2015
HMPH!
"Headrush
"
mp3
Simply stated, the music of HMPH! could be described with a term like math rock or experimental jazz fusion. But these terms, while accurate, don’t paint a complete picture of the sounds created by guitarist Ryan Lee Toms and drummer Jonathan Thatch. “Just when you think you got the groove, we switch it up, add a few beats, or throw in a chord from another key,” says Thatch, whose mastery over the drum kit is jaw-dropping. And while rhythmically complex, progressive compositions have become a cornerstone of the math rock genre, HMPH! additionally incorporates elements of jazz, ambient rock, alternative, and metal.
 
On Friday, the duo will be releasing its debut album Headrush (Haymaker Records), a 36-minute instrumental effort that showcases HMPH!’s dedication to push the envelope while keeping its music interesting. Nine of the 10 songs clock in under 5 minutes, keeping a fresh, brisk momentum for the entirety of the album. The listener has a chance to delve in to each song, but is pulled out before it becomes indulgent or formulaic.
 
Many of the songs start with a basic guitar riff that is bent and twisted in multiple directions, meandering from its original shape but always returning to it. From a polite jazz lick to a climactic rising arpeggio, Toms designs unpredictable, jagged noises with his guitar. “The harder it is for us to wrap our head around a riff, the more fun it is to write and the more enjoyable it is to dissect as a listener.” His combination of intriguing guitar sounds with Thatch’s intricate drum work shows that they’re very much up to the challenge. “Sometimes it starts with a complicated polyrhythmic drum part from Jonathan and I’ll create a progression to that. Other times, I’ll zone out and write arpeggios while thinking of decrepit medieval castles that kind of remind me of all the video games I played as a kid. Then I bring them to Jonathan.”
 

At the same time, Thatch is creating his own variegated sounds with just a five-piece drum kit. He often provides a countermelody to Toms’ guitar, building upon dynamic layers with odd meters, polyrhythms, subtle dynamic shifts, and rhythmic intensity. “One quality we strive for is to keep people guessing,” he says. This even includes retooling songs on the spot. “Our songs tend to keep evolving over time. We might be playing a song live and try something new, and we like the new sound so we keep playing it that way. Sometimes we don't even talk about it; we just both know how it goes now.” 

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Best of KC for Emerging Artists Final Results: Radkey wins hands down!

Best of KC for Emerging Artists Final Results: Radkey wins hands down!

Deli Readers,

We are proud to announce that The Deli’s Best Emerging Kansas City Artist of 2012 is Radkey! The three-piece punk wonder brothers have swept the competition, with a landslide of votes from our local music jurors.  Taking second place is the sultry, syncopated group Making Movies, followed closely by recent NYC-to-KC garage pop duo Schwervon!.

Take a look at our chart of 48 Kansas City area bands below. The highest value of votes came from our jurors, who included individuals involved in local music. This includes promoters, venue owners, press, record storeowners, and other music experts. The remainder of votes was compiled by The Deli KC contributors, readers, and open submissions voted on by national Deli editors. Congrats to everyone who made the list!

 
ARTIST
J
W
R
OS
TOT
 
1
Radkey
36
3
0.028
1
40.028
2
Making Movies
10
 
0.052
1
11.052
icon
3
Schwervon!
7
3
0.029
1
11.029
icon
4
Antennas Up
8
2
0.007
 
10.007
icon
5
Dream Wolf
6
1
0.119
1
8.119
icon
6
The Quivers
2
3
0.057
1
6.057
icon
7
Molly Picture Club
5
 
0.046
1
6.046
icon
8
Shy Boys
6
 
0.004
 
6.004
icon
9
Dollar Fox
2
1
2
1
6
icon
10
She's A Keeper
4
1
0.12
 
5.12
icon
11
The Conquerors
4
 
0.041
 
4.041
12
The Empty Spaces
2
1
0.011
1
4.011
icon
13
Expo 70
4
 
0.005
 
4.005
icon
14
Gentleman Savage
1
 
1.5
1.5
4
icon
15
Cadillac Flambe
3
 
0.5
 
3.5
icon
16
Clairaudients
3
 
0.141
 
3.141
icon
17
Attic Wolves
2
 
0.086
1
3.086
icon
18
Conflicts
3
 
0.076
 
3.076
icon
19
Not A Planet
3
 
0.055
 
3.055
icon
20
The Sibyl
3
 
0.046
 
3.046
icon
21
Man Bear
 
 
0.015
3
3.015
22
The Bad Ideas
3
 
0.008
 
3.008
icon
 
The Caves
3
 
0.008
 
3.008
icon
24
Akkilles
3
 
0.005
 
3.005
icon
25
Beautiful Bodies
3
 
0.001
 
3.001
icon
26
We Are Voices
 
 
1
2
3
icon
27
Bears and Company
1
1
0.5
 
2.5
icon
 
Me Like Bees
2
 
0.16
 
2.16
icon
29
In Back of a Black Car
2
 
0.058
 
2.058
icon
30
Jorge Arana Trio
1
1
0.014
 
2.014
icon
31
Tiny Horse
2
 
0.008
 
2.008
icon
32
The Heavy Figs
2
 
0.007
 
2.007
icon
33
Shades of Jade
2
 
0.005
 
2.005
icon
34
Drew Black and Dirty Electric
1
1
0.001
 
2.001
icon
 
Quiet Corral
1
1
0.001
 
2.001
icon
 
Spirit is the Spirit
2
 
0.001
 
2.001
icon
37
The Republic Tigers
2
 
 
 
2
icon
 
The Phase
2
 
 
 
2
?
39
Cowboy Indian Bear
1
 
0.069
 
1.069
icon
40
The B'Dinas
1
 
0.044
 
1.044
icon
41
Gemini Revolution
 
 
0.017
1
1.017
icon
42
Oils
1
 
0.012
 
1.012
icon
43
The Blackbird Revue
1
 
0.01
 
1.01
icon
44
The Elders
 
 
0.008
1
1.008
icon
45
Ghosty
1
 
0.004
 
1.004
icon
46
The Dead Girls
1
 
0.004
 
1.004
icon
47
Ssion
1
 
0.002
 
1.002
icon
48
John Maxfield
 
 
0.001
1
1.001
icon
Legend: J = Jurors, W = Deli Writers, 
R = Deli Readers, OS = Open Submissions

--Michelle Bacon


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