Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Space Jazz Band Woolly Mammals Melts Mill’s Mind

Space Jazz Band Woolly Mammals Melts Mill’s Mind

FRANCISCO J. CHANG ’19
Space Jazz Band WOOLLY MAMMALS performs at the Mill

AMY WESSON ’19

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Brooklyn band Woolly Mammals drew a large crowd at The Mill on Friday night with their soulful electric sound, reminiscent of Robert Glasper, D’Angelo, Homeshake, and- as they’ve self-described- a Nintendo 64.

The evening began with Trinity band Pakalolo Patrol as the opening act which consists of   guitarist Susie Martin ’19, drummer Jason McLeod ’19, and bassist James Rodiger ’19. The band delivered a raucous, surf-punk fueled performance of all original songs that set the high-energy tone for the night. Bedraggled students who were eager to reunite with their friends and peers celebrated at one of Trinity’s favorite nightlife venues, and, with the help of Pakalolo Patrol and Woolly Mammals, were easily able to forget about the looming weeks of work ahead. By the time Woolly Mammals graced the stage, the house was packed- an impressive first weekend for The Mill, following the month-long winter recess.

Woolly Mammals’ performance this past weekend followed the recent release of their new EP When You Get This— the band’s “first live video EP,” which they describe on their Instagram as “equal parts performance art and performance.” The full version- a black and white live performance of their EP with stunning visual effects- is currently available on their Youtube channel, with 5,000 views and counting.

The band consists of four members- Will Sacks on vocoder bass, Kyle McCarter on drums and gongs, Andrew Koehler on keyboard, and Noah Ross on synthesizer and guitar. Vocalist and bassist Will Sacks used a vocoder in his performance on Friday- allowing him to synthesize his voice, and adding a robotic feel to their otherwise melodic jazz, which is where the Robert Glasper influence was especially evident. This resulted in a delightfully distorted effect that they refer to as “their own brand of space jazz.” This effect is fitting for their band as self-described “gang of space cats,” considering their list of Daft Punk, Prince, and Hiatus Kaiyote as influences.

In addition to making us dance, Woolly Mammals used a ceiling projector controlled by McCarter to create a unique visual experience that matched their electro-funk sound—above our heads was an ever-moving black and white glitch sequence, completing their finely tuned aesthetics as performers and artists.

McLeod, who booked the band, spoke highly of their musical abilities. “I liked their new direction towards a jazzier sound than their original straight funk sound… I’m a big fan of the jazzy funk vibe,” McLeod said. “When I originally talked to them they turned out to be some really nice guys who were passionate about and loved what they did. That made them a great fit for The Mill. On top of that, their raw talent was a huge draw. They’re just the complete package.”

Follow them on Instagram @woolly_mammals for videos of their performances- and pictures of cats in astronaut suits. Be sure to check out hip-hop act AESvissle at The Mill on Feb. 10.

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