As usual, Together Boston is slotting in its first wave of artist announcements as our Managing Director confirms their participation. Always seeking an evolving, diverse and cutting-edge selection, the following represents only the first announcements. Expect more international announcements to come, and regional and local slotting to continue, leading up to the city-wide explosion of thoughts, melodies and expressions this coming May 11 through the 18th. The official hashtag for our fifth year is #tgthr5.
In the last five years, Together Boston has expanded its musical reach, including Grammy-winner Juicy J in 2013, also in conjunction with the Wilbur. Mos Def is a landmark in Together Boston’s history—a true headliner and a true legend of hip-hop music. In keeping with the festival’s theme of Music, Art and Technology, he is clearly a musician, lyricist and composer. As an artist, he is also an acclaimed actor, activist, and even clothing designer. In all these facets, he embraces technology, most recently in a one-time only exclusive internet stream from a rooftop in South Africa as his newest moniker: Yasiin Bey. Mos Def is most definitely Together.
“As we’ve expanded over the years, hip-hop culture has played a larger and larger role, in addition to other new musical forms,” says Managing Director and booking coordinator Alex Maniatis. “The Wilbur has been instrumental in maintaining our relationship within the realm, including helping us with the Juicy J and A$AP Ferg show last year. This year, I just couldn’t be more happy with this booking.”
“Yasiin Bey is certainly an idol of mine,” says founder and Creative Director David Day. “Not only do I have many of his songs memorized, but his activism and leadership within the African-American community is fully acknowledged. He is an icon for our times.”
From his substantial hip-hop duo with Talib Kweli as Black Star to Black on Both Sides to his most recent acclaimed LP The Ecstatic to his forthcoming Yasiin Bey Presents, Dante Terrell Smith has long been an innovator in his field and this coming May will bring his vision and spirit to the city of Boston.
Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def will be playing the Wilbur on Thursday May 15th, 2014. Tickets are on sale today through the Wilbur; admission is also included as part as the Together Boston pass.
Detroit techno is one of America’s finest exports. Born from the hard streets of America’s industrial capital, it is sometimes melodic, sometimes quite hard, but consistently original. No one represents its truest style quite like Robert Hood.
One of the founding fathers of cult Techno imprint/group Underground Resistance along with Jeff Mills and Mad Mike Banks, Robert Hood distinguishes himself with a sparse, minimalist sound that has shaped modern techno in many ways. After collaborating to several UR and X-101, 102, 103 releases, Hood left Underground Resistance to focus on his solo deejaying and recording carreer.
Hood subsequently created his own record label M-Plant and contributed to the success of the original Techno sound in Europe through his releases on Berlin-based imprint Tresor.
Robert Hood will take Central Stage at the Middle East Club on Wednesday, May 14th with considerable local support. Follow us to know when those tickets go on sale or, better yet, when you can buy your festival pass.
Tensnake is about to explode further onto the scene. Marco will play Bijou Boston on Friday, May 16th. Follow them on Twitter to know when these hot tickets will go up.
Tensnake, aka German DJ and producer Marco Niemerski, made his name with the huge 2010 dancefloor smash hit ‘Coma Cat’, and since then has been in ever increasing demand. Seemingly effortlessly managing the elusive feat of marrying classic disco and house influences to a contemporary sound, Marco is in that very rare position where his music appeals equally to the biggest dancefloors, from Ibiza and Miami, and real chin-stroking aficionados. All of which has gained him a solid reputation as a producer’s producer. His music effortlessly transcends genres, and the release of his eagerly anticipated debut album Glow looks set to cement his reputation as a major talent.
Make no mistake, Sohn is on the cusp of new music production. Sohn will visit our Harvard Stage at The Sinclair Monday, May 12th. Individual tickets are available now.
Informed by a rich legacy of electronic music, SOHN creates a sound that blends his haunting vocals with a backdrop of analogue drum machines and synths, which makes nods to the past, but always forges forward into the new. Aside from emphasizing the soulfulness of his voice, his lyrics expertly play with the phonetics of language, wrapping his sonorous vocals around the gaps between sentences and lending those words more prominence.
Australia’s Chet Faker might be most famous for his covers, but his debut album is set to drop April 2014, and it will make serious waves. Mr. Faker joins in on Together Boston Wednesday May 14th at Brighton Music Hall. Tickets are available now.
In 2011, Nicholas Murphy recorded a cover of No Diggity late one night just for his friends. Shared by a handful of people, the song spread like wildfire until reaching #1 on the indie blog charts Hype Machine, and so the Chet Faker identity was born – an ode to Chet Baker’s singing style but incorporating the influence of a youth spent producing house and disco. Before Chet Faker, Murphy spent his time in suburban Melbourne, Australia. Splitting his musical output between a penchant for soft and soulful singer-songwriter work and an appetite for electronic music production. But when he coupled his love of the analogue sounds of early dance music – only this time slowing the tempo – with his natural ability for RnB soaked vocals, something truly exciting happened.
The most difficult question Breton are ever asked is a fairly standard one; “What kind of music do you make?” Their inability to answer is the essence of everything they do. Perhaps because they are forever dipping into pools of resources that span many genres and a broad field of influence or, perhaps it is because they simply don’t know. A better way to fathom the often cryptic output of the band would perhaps be to ask them “How?” — Formed in 2010 in South-East London, the four-piece b are primarily film-makers with cutting-edge video and sound design work under their belts for the likes of The Temper Trap, Penguin Prison and Tricky. For their independent short films they are award winners and regular fixtures at film festivals.
Re:Set Boston is the ongoing incarnation of a night once maintained by the internationally-known DJ duo from Cambridge who go by the name Soul Clap. So it’s only appropriate they bring a DJ as hot as Kolombo. You may RSVP for this event here.
Olivier Grégoire is a prolific and well renowned producer and DJ from Belgium. He has truly mastered the art of modern production, and over the years has experimented with many dance music genres through various pseudonyms, leading to a huge discography that includes releases on some of the world’s finest electronic imprints.
Under his massive KOLOMBO moniker he has had many solid releases and remixes on labels such as Kompakt, 2DIY4, Warung, Noir Music, Turbo, Eskimo, Future Classic, Systematic and Boxer amongst others. Consequently, he is busy touring worldwide, playing his mixture of house and disco and enjoys loyal followings in Brazil, Mexico and Russia.
Listen and download his latest DJ set here:
There is much, much more to come.
We feel pretty comfortable in saying May 11th through the 18th will bring an incredible experience to the hard-working creative economy here in Boston, and this is only the beginning of a line-up of nighttime events it will enjoy. Stay tuned for information about our daytime panels, presentations and demonstrations, film screenings, music technology seminars and various meet-ups all over the cities of Boston and Cambridge.
And thank you for five years of support, input and encouragement. For the full schedule from 2013, you may visit our Sched.org archive. Where are they now alumni posts, highlighting just three musicians from each year, may be found here: 2010 (Nico Jaar), 2011 (Jerome LOL), 2012 (Big Freedia) and 2013 (Thundercat).