The Sessh takes electronic approach to old-school rock
Sound-manipulating group to play in Steamboat today and Thursday
March 23, 2011
Based in the Vail Valley, The Sessh has been making electronic rock music since August 2010 and features Cristian Basso, of Little Hercules, and Trevor Jones, of Frogs Gone Fishin'. They play at 9:30 p.m. today and Thursday at The Tugboat Grill & Pub for $5.
Steamboat Springs — Cristian Basso first played at The Tugboat Grill & Pub in 1998. The iconic Steamboat Springs venue was the first outside of Basso's Vail Valley to pay his band, Little Hercules, to play.
After more than a decade with Little Hercules and tinkering with several other live and recording projects in Colorado, Basso returns to Steamboat with The Sessh, a new project that is a return to his New Orleans funk roots and a foray into the realm of electronic manipulation of sound.
The Sessh plays the Tugboat at 9:30 p.m. tonight and Thursday. Tickets are $5 both nights.
The Sessh comprises Basso on bass, Trevor Jones of Frogs Gone Fishin' on guitar and Roy Burki on drums and samples.
Taking it one step beyond many of Basso's former projects, there's an extra step between plucking his bass strings and the sound the audience hears.
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His bass is hooked up to a MIDI controller, which offers an extra element of tone manipulation.
"The point behind this project is to infuse the two technologies — the old-school analog technology and this new-school electronic that has the capability of producing all these different sounds at one time," Basso said.
"We think a little more musically than 'press this button and this happens' and 'press a button and that happens.' The computer is a sub-mixing station for us and a tool to allow us to explore the old school ways of creating music."
Burki uses a sampler to add an extra dimension to the percussion section, as well.
As he watches electronic music blow up across the country, Basso maintains that The Sessh's approach is different.
"Some of these bands have just a keyboard player and computer and that's an art unto itself," he said. "But it's not where we vibe from. We vibe from New Orleans and new funk like Parliament.
"We love those sounds, and we want to generate these sounds that we've heard. It's like playing two instruments at the same time."
The band's name, short for "session," came from the difficulty its members had getting together and practicing when they began the project in August 2010.
With Jones based in Denver and limited time together, the band's sessions together became all the more valuable.
With two other side projects in addition to operating a studio in Eagle, Basso said he's like other musicians in Colorado in that he keeps things fresh by playing with a variety of people and projects as a form of artistic outlet and exploration.
But it's in those alternate sessions that new ideas shine and musical collaboration flourishes.
With The Sessh, he hopes to bring that concept of exploration to music lovers everywhere.
"We want to bring fresh music to people's ears, but we also want them to identify sounds they'd be familiar with and be turned on to some new sounds they haven't heard before," Basso said.
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com
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