Bedside Merges Jazz and Roots Music with EDM: "Funky Sounds for Funky People" | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Bedside Merges Jazz and Roots Music with EDM: "Funky Sounds for Funky People"

Musicians used to argue that dance and electronica weren't "real music," but you don't hear that opinion much anymore. Things have changed. Musicians are changing, and every day, another kid sells his guitar for a solid state drive and a synthesizer.

"The technology caught up with us, too, and what we wanted to do," Travis Acker says, one half of bedroomy dance-duo Bedside. Together with trumpeter Trace Barfield, he fuses his background as a rock and roots-music band member into the sounds of the future.

"It's not just about a clip track with all these really raw beats on it," he says. "Now, we can really create music with soul and with a vibe."

Acker and Barfield have been working in music in various capacities as long as they can remember, both as band members, Acker as a marketing agent, and Barfield as a New Orleans street musician. They used to see dance music as something sterile, repetitive, and distant, but they changed their tune with the house and disco revival of recent years.

Billing themselves as having "the precision of a DJ with the excitement of a live band," the guys work tirelessly in the studio composing originals, edits, and remixes for their live sets, then add to the performances with Barfield's live trumpeting.

"We are funky sounds for funky people," Barfield says. "We're trying to make some good music over here, like a lot of people are, and I think we're doing that. We want people to come see it."

Barfield and Acker have worked together in various bands since their college years, but Bedside is their first solo collaboration. They're taking their time with it, making sure to create a project that meets all their goals and ideals. Acker's acumen as a music marketer helps him handle the business side of things, while Barfield focuses on the music. They work together in the studio, Barfield at the helm, and their pasts help keep them focused, honest, and to the point.

"When I'm working on something I can be like 'Hey Travis, does this sound good?' And he's like, 'No,'" Barfield says, no feeling hurts. "I can be like, 'Does this sound good?' And he's like, 'Yeah.' 'Cool.'"

For their upcoming gig at downtown Fort Lauderdale's Stache, the guy's promise a ton of brand-new originals. They've been putting in work on a new EP, in tandem with a soulful vocalist Sahara Smith of local reggae outfit the Resolvers. They're still putting the final touches on that, hoping for a March release, but they did just release a remix of fellow Miami duo Legs Benedict's "Come." You can definitely expect to hear that one in the mix.

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Kat Bein is a freelance writer and has been described as this publication’s "senior millennial correspondent." She has an impressive, if unhealthy, knowledge of all things pop culture.

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