Friday, October 18, 2013

Mountain Oasis Artist Preview: Cashmere Cat

Cashmere Cat will perform at Asheville Music Hall
on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Mountain Oasis
Rarely does a big-name artist cancellation one week before a festival get me all giddily excited, but sure enough that happened a few days ago with Mountain Oasis. With the unfortunate dropping of Tricky, Delorean and Rudimental, the festival was left with a few glaring holes in their lineup. Their first replacement was the dub-heavy duo Adventure Club. I saw the announcement and was instantly stoked for the rest of their lineup additions. Never did I expect Cashmere Cat to come next.

Cashmere Cat is a Norwegian-based producer/DJ that has an absurd track record running for him. Magnus August Høiber, the brains behind Cashmere Cat, is a DMC World DJ Championship finalist that made the transition over to heady, dreamlike electronic music back in 2011. From there, Høiber began to craft a sound all his own that displayed a tantalizing mixture between trap, jazz, hip-hop and house. Those of you that follow this blog are aware of his deep into Ryan Hemsworth I've been and my love for Cashmere Cat runs pretty parallel to this.

Cashmere Cat's music lies within a scarcely touched realm, although we've only been graced with a handful of tracks thusfar (2012's Mirror Maru EP is available on Soundcloud--other than that it's pretty much just remixes), it's clear that Høiber's musical output is going to be something that stands out amongst an over-saturated electronic scene. It takes seconds to lose yourself in one of these immersive beats, settle down with a nice pair of headphones and close your eyes--then prepare yourself for an aural adventure of dazzling proportions.

Cashmere Cat's tracks are wildly imaginative, percussive shimmers and creaks line the tracks while bright synth lines make the listener feel like they're floating on clouds, suspended in a state of bliss. Elements of R&B and hip-hop shine vibrantly on the production of these tracks, but the songs lie right in the middle of this border. While one minute you're liable to be lost in the melodic instrumentation, the next you're bobbing your head and compelled to dance your heart out to a nasty percussive break.

While many might deem this as headphone music that doesn't translate as well live, they're just wrong. Tracks like "Secrets + Lies" display wobbling bass lines with trapped out percussion that makes for a perfect club-banging atmosphere that will thrive in the hands of a world-class DJ like Høiber. Because quite frankly one of the best parts of seeing music like this live is seeing how it's translated into an energetic and engaging live show.

My sole qualm with this addition is the conflict with Robert DeLong. It's going to be hard to draw myself away from DeLong's compelling rhythms and infectious songs, but Cashmere Cat is a last minute addition that you'd be a fool to miss out on. Asheville Music Hall will house this brilliant live act on Saturday, Oct. 26.

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