Disco Biscuits

Feb 11, 2011 by

Disco Biscuits

discobiscuits-246x250It was 2002 and I had just finished working with a friend serving tables at a mediocre corporate chain. We had discussed many a festival and concert and found we shared a common love of music. As we delved into jambands, I was trying to get a feel for this person’s like or dislike of one of my favorite bands, when they suddenly asked me, “Do you do Disco Biscuits?”

“Excuse me?”

“Have you ever heard of Disco Biscuits?” they repeated just a little slower and with a condescending tone that possibly implied my getting old and deaf.

“Never heard of them. What are they about?” Based on my friend’s brief description, I was skeptical. And yet within a few listenings, I was turned on to the albums They Missed the Perfume and Bisco Lives. My first impressions were that of a totally new sound. It was electronic, yes, exhibiting elements of trance, dubstep, and old-school jungle. And yet it was also fused with many elements of traditional jam rock, segueing songs, and even parts of songs, together in different sequences. With influences from the classical masters to modern day hip hop, call it Livetronica, call it Trance Fusion, call it whatever. Its different, its unique, its definitely cool.

The band was formed at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. With Marc Brownstein on bass, Jon Gutwillig on guitar, Aron Magner on keyboards, and Sam Altman on drums, the Phish cover band began playing the college party scene. They soon evolved, taking on all worlds of music, combining jam band and electronic music mixed with the free-form improvisations of jazz and the hypnotic rhythms of rave culture. Unable to fit into any one music genre, they have been credited with creating their own. With influences ranging from the classical masters to modern day hip hop, their combined styles of electronic music is definitely unique. In 2005, Disco Biscuits evolved again when Allen Aucoin took over on drums, re-energizing the band, even earning his position by

winning a “drum-off” in Atlantic City. Today, in Philadelphia, the band owns Diamond Riggs Studios where they not only do their own work, but foster many local musicians and side projects such as blackjack siteleri online , as well.

What is meant by Trance Fusion, exactly? No words can really describe it. I guess it requires your own listening. For me, it wasn’t just the sounds that I liked, but the style. I was drawn to the idea of a band writing their material for the live performance, and then using the results of the live performance to create the studio album. Ingenious! I also really liked the inverted and dyslexic mixing of the song parts, seguing into a song ending first, and so on. Some nights they leave a song unfinished, and then complete it on another night! Their unique style of writing and set-list organization completely won me over.

I was not alone. A huge fan base spawned as they steadily bridged the gap between electronic music and jam bands.

15 years after inception, they have toured both nationally and internationally, headlining their own performances and anchoring other events such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, All Good Music Festival, Jam Cruise, Wakarusa, High Sierra Music Festival, and Gathering of the Vibes, among others. Starting in 1999, and most years since, they have held their own music festival called Camp Bisco. There they have hosted a wide range of acts from Ween, Umphrey’s McGee, and STS9 to acts like Snoop Dog, Damien Marley, and Kid Kudi, to acts like Lake Trout, Bassnectar, and Wu-Massacre. Also worth noting is Disco Inferno, where the Disco Biscuits headline a show at Colorado’s own Red Rocks Amphitheater. Beginning in 2007, Disco Biscuits, along with Umphrey’s McGee, have hosted the music festival known as Caribbean Holidaze in Jamaica and Mexico. There, they have been known to combine bands under the name The Brain Damaged Eggmen, performing nothing but Beatles and Pink Floyd tunes.

Festivals and side projects aside, the band has returned to their roots in creating their latest album, Planet Anthem, released in March 2010. Three years of work went into the recording, with all members working collaboratively to bring ideas to the table. The band invited multiple producers, songwriters, and musicians to work by committee on bits and parts, assembling pieces into focused, whole songs. The result is a masterful work that is indie, pop, hip hop, jazz, and most definitely, Disco Biscuits.

To take part in the amazing spectacle, be sure to see the Disco Biscuits when they blow-up the Front Range with a four night run of shows in Boulder and Denver in January 2011!

1/13 Boulder Theater
1/14 Boulder Theater

1/15 Ogden Theater
1/16 Ogden Theater

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