Another month has passed, good knights of the chiprealm, and that heralds the time in which another musical adventure is shared with you. I recently got wind of DataPort, a monthly chip show held in Portland, Oregon. This month I managed to scrounge enough free time to hop in my car and drive north to check it out. In short? Totally worth it. Everyone within carshot of ol’ stumptown ought to head on over and check it out.
DataPort is put together by the immensely talented Matt Hunter, co-organizer Sasha, and a select team of powerhouse aides. The show originally came into existence in mid 2011, with Matt giving 2 Player Productions (yes, THAT 2 Player Productions) a hand putting together the first shows in the Backspace. Their mission? To bring the love of Chipmusic to the fine citizenry of Portlandia. The stories told paint a beautiful picture, but alas, the Backspace had its own issues, forcing it to close. Left without a regular venue, the event floated in limbo until February of this year. It happened that Matt found himself opening for the band Stepdad, and they loved the chipsounds he was throwing down. They suggested that Matt ought to try reviving DataPort to share the awesome with the world, which brings us to roughly where we stand today.
This month’s show was held at the Hawthorne District‘s historic Alhambra Theater. I cannot stress enough just how welcoming this party was. Before the venue had even opened, Matt spotted my partner and I (thanks fresh ChipWIN merch!) wandering Hawthorne Street, and gave us a heads up on how things would be going down. Once we got inside, between the cozy quarters and the plush leather couch, it was hard not to simply feel right at home. It wasn’t long before the barkeep was serving up beers and the show was getting underway.
The first act on the stage was Portland’s own Temple Maps. A local powerhouse in his own right, serving as the organizer of the cross-disciplinary Battery Powered Music, he started off the show with a display of locally grown talent that put a full-toothed grin on my face. Given the amount of sound equipment set out for him (taking up nearly a solid half of the table), I was surprised by how minimalist his set was. The nigh meditative nature of the music made for a chill warmup to the rest of the night’s performers. If you’re at all a fan of softer edged drum and bassy ambiance, this is an artist you need to take a listen to. If you’re not, do it anyway, because he is making some pretty stimulating
compositions with a very simple set of musical paints.
Second to the bat was Ubiktune‘s own bryface, having made the trip down to Portland from Vancouver, BC to join the fun. He brought a set that ended up solidly linking the entire show together, transitioning from an almost dreamy feel at the outset, to bouncy and energetic by the time he left the stage.
Most impressively, bryface’s pieces managed to visit a wide variety of styles, while still being held together enough by jazzy influences and impressive use of dissonance to present a cohesive feel. All in all, really good stuff that merits a dive through his collected works, and left me psyched for the final set of the night…
Somehow triple-wielding a pair of PSPs and a bottle of beer in a display of Roronoa-esque badassery, New York’s Rhinostrich rounded out the night’s performance. The high energy drum and bass he brought literally shook the room. People got off their comfortable chairs and into the pit, and even a man who could have not-so-secretly been Master Roshi joined the fray, randomly dancing about the room. Impressively, Rhinostrich’s library seemed bottomless. He kept finding tracks to put up for the audience, stretching his set to an hour and a half. I dare say, had it not been for a long-forgotten track of his managing to hard-crash the PSP it was being played on, it could have simply just kept on going.
As Rhinostrich’s set wrapped up, the barkeep’s inversion of stools upon his bar, indicated that the night was coming to a close. It did so just as chill as it began. Matt, bryface the DataPort crew hung out briefly for conversation and introductions, and some questions about the sweet visualizations going on the entire time.
The DataPort team is currently hunting for the perfect venue for future DataPort gatherings, and they have some lofty goals in mind. Matt’s own desire is to build DataPort into a landing pad for the Chipmusic Community in Portland and the Pacific Northwest. That said, he has every desire to keep the monthly shows happening, so local and outside chip talent can rub elbows with the Portland community.
With such lofty heights being shot for, a canny sentient would do well to keep an eye on this group via Twitter or Facebook. They may have some big announcements coming down the pipeline very soon, and I have every reason to believe that they’re going places.
Now get out there, spread the love, and make some chip!