Looks like we’re gonna need a new Best of the Beat category for Wittiest Band Name. The moniker of Portland duo Korgy & Bass suggests some intriguingly meta high-concept mishmash, like Gershwin’s “Summertime” fed through Depeche Mode’s Violator album. The reality is better: nine short atmospheric vignettes, clocking in at under half an hour total, all featuring local trumpeter Cyrus Nabipoor’s trumpet melodies chopped up and redistributed among K&B’s beats: rhythm tracks which do indeed feature vintage synths and big booming bottom ends. (Though it’s worth mentioning that there’s definitely a trap kit here, crisp funk layered with dnb fills and looped to create that perfect mix of pulse and flow.)
A fellow Portlandian who came to Loyola to get serious about some trumpet, Cyrus kept in touch with his former neighbors (in between Marigny Opera House stints and all manner of NOLA side projects) and then collaborated on these mood pieces online, crossing the country via WiFi and thus refining their ideas. It works fantastically as long as you keep your expectations down a little—this is about atmosphere, not technical prowess—and despite the somber packaging, the best cuts here are enigmatic in an upbeat, frenetic way, a not-so-distant-futuristic landscape that celebrates energy over decay. It all makes perfect sense on the best tracks, such as the clockwork beauty of “Psyclops,” a push-and-pull as natural as breathing, and the sad yet wondrous “Noboru,” which sounds like a steam-powered machine pulling reggae inside out. It’s like emo industrial jazz where the editing software is the lead soloist; if that last part bothers you, well, you just haven’t been paying attention.