AshevilleLocal News: Asheville and Hendersonville

LEAF dancing to get  bombastic with BomBassic

BomBassic is keyboardist Bruce Bijesse (Brucey B), at left, and DJ Rob Gray (Cpt. HyperDrive).

LEAF’s musical grand finale on Sunday, Oct. 21 is Railroad Earth bluegrass and folk “troubadours.” Other main acts include Valerie June with Memphis roots and blues, Kishi Bashi (violin pop), Sona Jobarteh (Gambian virtuoso), Elise Trouw (multi-instrumentalist), Maybe April (country Americana trio), and Birds of Chicago (roots rock). Here Come the Mummies is aptly named for playing a week and a half ahead of Halloween. That funk band follows Palmieri to wrap up main-stage acts Oct. 19.

“Bringing it Home” is the LEAF festival theme. LEAF Performing Arts Director Ehren Cruz stated, “The 47th LEAF Festival welcomes artists from nations who find their homes in great peril, yet despite all odds continue to share their music and message with us all.”

There is as usual contra dancing in Brookside dance hall, and late-night electronic instrumental dance music indoors in Eden Hall.

BomBassic plays in Eden Hall late Friday and Saturday nights from 12:15 a.m. to 1:15 a.m. BomBassic is the Asheville-based duo of Brucey B (Bruce Bijesse) and Captain HyperDrive (Rob Gray) from Stony Brook, Long Island, N.Y. Gray notes they grew up with current N.Y. Mets pitcher Steven Matz.

Bijesse and Gray formed their duo in 2011 in Asheville three years after Bijesse’s family moved here. Much more reserved Bijesse plays synthesized keyboards, and a variety of swirling and vibrant sounds. Energetic Gray, the disc jockey, keeps the beat such as with a customized DJ-FX sound effects rack. He was born in Colombia.

They have played Moogfest and also Kinnection Campout in Deerfields, are regulars in Asheville’s electronic music scene, and have several recordings such as their flowing Peak of Summer Mix this year.

Both men grew up with hip-hop and create energetic hip-hop danceable rhythms, and also soothing sounds that fits flowing motion. Many like how they progress sounds such as slower to faster, mixing tempo and mood from melancholy to euphoric.

An ultimate aim for the duo and dancers is to “feel each other’s vibrations,” Gray once remarked.

Their influences include funk, blues, rock, jazz and even classical piano for Bijesse. The “bass” in their name reflects the “future bass” portion of their sound, with digital baselines. dubstep (with much sub-bass), trance, house, glitch hop, and boom-bap (drum-drenched style from New York City) are among terms of electronic styles this duo incorporates. Of course, “BomBassic” also sounds like “bom-bastic.”

They both are “producers,” in accumulating and organizing sounds in computerized programming for a decade. They remix some rap or funk or other hits, but mostly create original tunes. Both have studied audio engineering. For instance, in 2007 Gray began sampling sounds from vinyl records on a turntable and programming drumming beats onto his MPC sampler sequencer.

For performer, ticket and other festival info, check the leaf.org.

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