After the pre-weekend holiday clusterfuck of giving thanks and black Fridays, the only turkeys left in town were of the jive variety. Additionally, unless this is your first time reading anything printed or published by the Nashville Scene (online or off), then we don’t need to reiterate just how integral hip-hop and electronica have become in our ever-expanding definition of “Music City." But Saturday night, DJ Kidsmeal’s eponymous revue at Exit/In did just that, by showcasing an impressive variety of the hip, the hop and the “don’t stop” that are currently bubbling up through the regional radar.
When The Spin showed up, Kidsmeal himself was warming up the crowd — slicing, dicing, mixing, matching, scratching and cross-fading rhythms and beats in danceable fashion, casually handing over the reins to Creative Control. Blissfully cool and progressively down-tempo, CC blends pretty snippets with brassy stabs and drives them home with a sluggish pummel of a backbeat, perfect for either nodding off or moving your feet about.
Granted, anyone actually busting a move would have been doing so alone, but would have had plenty of room. This changed during the course of Gummy Soul's set — they're a local trio/collective whose discography is a jumble of collaborations and solo works, all of which was explored at great lengths onstage. The room filled rather nicely and in a timely manner as classic, jazzy soul samples and boom-bapping beats were tossed about, providing an old-but-familiar, postmodern tapestry of grooves and giving all three members plenty of time to showcase what they had to offer — maybe a little too much time, really. Our patience wore a bit thin, so we filled out the remainder of their set with a doughnut from down the street and a shot or two next door.
Describing one-man art-funk act Hobbledeions as merely a dude with half a set of drums and a sampler is an understatement worthy of a slap in the mouth. Longtime local drummer Scott Martin (Cortney Tidwell, Lambchop) syncs his fingers, arms, legs and feet into a volatile and virtuosic blast of glitchy electronics and head-spinning percussive bounces from “neat" to “hell yeah” to “holy shit” in regular intervals, leaving one to wonder if reinforcement via a proper MC would be detrimental to Hobbledeions' entertainment value.
It was pushing about 1 a.m. when Ziggurat — only the fifth of seven acts on this bill — took the stage, and our road-weary eyelids weren’t done any favors by the duo’s spacey, sleepy grooves. Fluid rhymes and squishy bass did indeed make our heart flutter, but also made us wonder if we were, indeed, in it for the long haul. We weren’t. As dope as this dope was, it held not a candle to the dopeness of a two-day tryptophan binge, and we regretfully slipped out the door before we could allow up-and-coming stoner-rap titans Sam & Tre to wake us the hell up.