Crashing pins, Sixpoint IPAs, and music from the future-present; Jaw Gems’ recent performance at Brooklyn Bowl was other-worldly. The quartet from Portland, Maine created an auditory planet of heavy synths, splashing high hats and rhythmic beats; a sound akin to a lovechild conceived by Flying Lotus, DâM-FunK and Teebs. Their recently released album, Heatweaver, was featured heavily throughout the performance, bringing bowlers and fans on an atmospheric-funk adventure.
It’s no surprise that an interest in legendary producer J Dilla is what brought Jaw Gems together. Their live beat-making is a sonic journey that feels intensely familiar but also quite different than anything else. Drummer DJ Moore’s lush splash’s and high hats provide ample backing to the sonic space traveling of keyboardists Hassan Muhammad and Tyler Quist while bassist Andrew Scherzer’s buttery bass lines fuel the journey. There is an intrinsic aspect to their sound; as if they’re paying homage to their idols whilst traversing new ground and making a place for themselves.
As I was shooting, it was becoming increasingly difficult to not groove with their seamless, auditory space odyssey. “Sap Flow” began with a familiar drum beat and mysterious synths which then built into a luscious and elaborate symphony that sounded like you could swim in it. I was stoked to hear that track performed live as it’s one of my favorites from the album and perfectly illustrates the bands cohesiveness. “Party Slave” was similar in construction yet had more of a funky, lounge-music type vibe; enjoyable, danceable, laid back and very different. Jaw Gems most definitely caught my intrigue that night, I was not expecting to be so captivated by their live show. I’m excited to see more of their divergent take on live beat-making paired with drums and bass as their aural variance is very refreshing.