Stokeswood & Jimkata - Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale - April 26

From the get-go, DJ Scotty Solomon set the mood at Culture Room for the Stokeswood, Jimkata, and Warp9 show on Saturday night. Outside in the patio area, he played very chill, down-tempo, hip-hop mixes that were the perfect start to the evening, especially with all the high-intensity acts still to come. Solomon built up the energy, playing more up-beat dance music as the night went on, maintaing the vibe of each act before they performed.

Warp9 was up first. Under this moniker, Miami producer Adam Shechter makes a very unique blend of funky-EDM, that goes all over the map but kept the dance floor going crazy. Though it was sparsely attended at first, the crowd grew as he wove beats. People gathered at the stage and just started losing themselves in the music. It was refreshing to see such a unique producer doing this kind of heavy music that still maintained a fun, light vibe.

See also: Jimkata Bring "an Organic, Natural Sound" to Electronic Music

I was completely blown away by Ithaca, NY, band Jimkata's Culture Room debut. I thought I knew what they were all about, and indie electronic rock was all I expected. They went above and beyond though, and launched the growing audience into a world of beautiful textures, perfect crescendos, and dance madness.

Evan Fridell (vocals/guitar) was in amazing form. Their sound was something complex and special. It went from super slick, Animal Collective-type lush soundscapes, with Fridell's voice rising to the top, and then segued into some of the most fun, tap-happy jamtronica. It all bled together nicely. Everyone in the band was in the zone; Dave Rossi's inventive silky smooth bass, Packy Lunn driving the beat home on drums, and Aaron Gorsch on keys and guitar, keeping the sound full and together. Truly, it was one hell of a refreshing set.

I was a bit drained after that hypnotic performance, that was until Atlanta's Stokeswood took the stage. Their high octane brand of super-dance funk got me out of my 5-minute slump and back on my feet.

Singer Adam Patterson's stage presence was something to behold. It had a kind of contained chaos that slowly manifested itself into something you might expect from Iggy Pop. The whole set was just extremely hyped up from start to finish. Not many bands cover Hall and Oates, segue into a song by the Who, then back into H&O, but Stokeswood did, and it really worked.

This is the kind of band that should get radio play. It's catchy, fun music that pretty much anybody with a brain and a heart can love. It's a shame bands as unique as Jimkata and Stokeswood have to work as hard as they do, with all the unoriginal tripe running rampant on the air-waves. At least they're out doing it, and for that, at least the crowd was very thankful.

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Derek Heid