D Numbers is the life's work of three close friends who live in Santa Fe, NM. D Numbers' broad range of influences and long process of group development have led to a complex and unique hybrid of instrumental rock and electronica. Their powerful live shows have earned them a diverse and loyal following and their new album, ONDA has them poised to step into the international limelight.
The magic of D Numbers' live performances is in the real-time reorganization of analog sounds from live instruments into intricate webs of loops, samples and digital bliss. D Numbers creates multilayered compositions rich in texture and depth as the audience watches them bob and sway in sync; stomping on pedals and lunging for knobs and faders, all the while locked in to a solid groove. Exploring a wide range of feels and tonalities that range from melancholy ambience to experimental rock to muscular indie-dance, D Numbers sounds a little bit like a lot of things but ultimately like nothing you've ever heard.
http://www.dnumbers.com (our website)
http://www.viceverse.org (our spring tour leading to mutek)
http://www.vimeo.com/90900887 (a crazy animated video of our song ghost talk)
http://www.flypmedia.com/issues/21/#9/1 (an online feature on D Numbers)
Ben Wright - guitar, loops, beats, synth, mix and effects
Paul Feathericci - drums, samples, glockenspiel
Brian Mayhall - bass, loops, rhodes, clavinet
D Numbers and DJ Toast/New Year's Eve Pick
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D NUMBERS AND DJ TOAST The long, hard year is coming to an end, and we’re all no doubt trying to ...D NUMBERS AND DJ TOAST
The long, hard year is coming to an end, and we’re all no doubt trying to think of resolutions for 2010. For example, I don’t think I smoke nearly enough, and I’m going to change that. But if you’re planning to hit the gym or give up that thing you love doing because it’s bad for you, you’ll probably want to leave 2009, that year of sin, on a high note—so get over to Corazón for D Numbers. The three-piece experimental rock band is loved by all and promises to make its final 2009 show one that you’ll never forget. Brian Mayhall, Ben Wright and Paul Feathericci are like Voltron in that they’re totally amazing musicians separately, but the sum of the parts can change lives. Rock, electronic and proggy experimentalism is the name of the game; even though a lot of the beats are created via newfangled technology rather than traditional instruments, the band’s sound is never cold and digital. The danceable songs are catchy and downright happy. DJ Toast rounds out the bill with his stylish mix of techno, electronica and intelligent dance music. (Alex De Vore)
Tenacious Number D
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Men don’t usually hug when greeting. Hip-hop has done a bang up job of popularizing the hetero-affir...Men don’t usually hug when greeting. Hip-hop has done a bang up job of popularizing the hetero-affirming hand clutch/shoulder bump/back pat. But the bro hug is not the same as the full embrace—those potentially awkward seconds of lingering in the arms of another man. This is why a hug from Brian Mayhall (aka Diplomat), as he greets me at the home of his bandmate Paul Feathericci, is reason for refreshing pause.
The two musicians, quick with smiles, usher me into their inner sanctum one brisk evening. The front rooms have musical instruments scattered about: drums of various sizes and shapes, a slumbering piano, snaking guitar chords and floor-to-ceiling shelves full of vinyl records. Ben Wright (aka Bacon) walks into the living room holding a soldering iron and an upturned looping control switch like a sushi chef with a prized piece of maguro tuna. The open belly of the foot control exposes a surprisingly simple relay of two wires connecting the switches. Somewhere within this gizmo a feral wire refuses its sticky confines and judging from Wright’s facial expression these two have tangoed before.
This is D Numbers in repose; a rare evening when all three musicians aren’t behind instruments or turntables as a group or within the milieu of side projects peppering Santa Fe’s music scene. The band gears up for the release of its debut album, Lightparade, a release party at Santa Fe Brewing Company on March 23 and a promotional West Coast tour — all of which will marks a new chapter in the members’ lives. Lightparade took two years to complete and is arguably one of the most exciting and anticipated local music releases of the year.
D Numbers has been together since January 2002. Feathericci and Mayhall attended CSF’s Contemporary Music Program and graduated in 2001. The two met in their first class during freshmen year and have been friends since. Feathericci and Wright, on the other hand, have a longer history. The pair grew up together in Connecticut and have been playing music since high school. “We would go to jazz clubs and rock shows in New York,” Wright tells SFR. “We would see Medeski Martin and Wood, John Zorn, a lot of other instrumental music.” Wright attended Colorado College, five hours north of Santa Fe, in Colorado Springs. The relatively short drive allowed them to continue their music projects, which by then included Mayhall.
“Brian and I would go up to play with Ben or he would come down and jam with us,” Feathericci says.
Mayhall, the bassist for band, is originally from Mandeville, La., a 40-minute car ride across Lake Ponchatrain from New Orleans. Before moving to Santa Fe, Mayhall’s instrumental musical tastes were in synch with his future bandmates. New Orleans musical acts like the Meters, George Porter, Astral Project and Rebirth Brass Band fed his instrumental side while George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic satiated his adventurous funk jones.
In 2001, Wright relocated to Santa Fe to join Mayhall and Feathericci. Where once the focus may have been rock, it soon evolved into more ambient tones. “We had the desire to play electronic music before we had the means to,” Feathericci says. “From the beginning we were trying to make electronic music with our regular instruments.” The common denominator within their individual musical tastes was the instrumental music that remains central to their aesthetic.
D Numbers is comfortable writing songs without lyrics. “People can really experience it in their own way,” Mayhall says. “When you have words it really gives the song definition. And when you have abstract sound, beats or rhythms people have whatever kind of experience they have with it.”
Feathericci concurs and adds that the absence of words alleviates unwarranted posturing. “Instrumental music can also take out the lead singer thing, and you take out so much ego. The focus can go into your ears instead of thinking about this icon.”
The first inklings of Lightparade began in October 2005. Produced by local engineer-producer and Wright’s mmmhmm bandmate, Walker, Lightparade is a collection of nine instrumental songs refined and shaped by Feathericci’s drumming, Wright’s guitar riffs and recorded loops and Mayhall’s bass and ethereal keyboards. The album culminates in a fused electro/acoustic language with sere minimalist beats chipping at conventional musical stones. Each song surfaces tense and assured rhythms, unbound and filled with possibility. Lightparade begins with “Atalaya,” a fiery exchange with Robert Fripp idealism and continues with “Xylem Up” a boastful cascade of song and movement that builds onto itself as it relents and retreats through it own cavernous dance beat dexterity. The remaining balance evolves into an inviting momentum of rock and funk underpinnings that flirt with an ambitious electronic experiment. Ultimately, this album, and indeed this band, achieve an evasive balance between innovation and emotional appeal. “Our music has specific emotional intent behind each tune; we’re trying to evoke a feeling without being literal,” Wright says.
The three friends sit around and volley answers to my questions until the tape runs out. After I leave, Feathericci will continue to work on tour dates, Wright will fix the foot pedal and Mayhall will work on media contacts and publicity. Their CD release party is the apex of six years of playing music together and tedious nights like this, which is persuasive enough for me to attend the gig and support these emerging artists. Who knows, at the end of the night there might be another hug in it for me.
Ears and Eyes Festival presents D Numbers w/ Lonesome Organist And Tomorrow Music Orchestra
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￼A surprisingly concordant blend of mathematical polyrhythms, minimalist glitch samplings, an...￼A surprisingly concordant blend of mathematical polyrhythms, minimalist glitch samplings, and sweetly tinkling keyboard and xylophone melodies, D Numbers occupy a very weird space between headphone electronica and angular, Tortoise-esque post-rock. Don't be surprised if the Santa Fe-based trio somehow lulls you into a daze and pulls you onto the dance floor in one swoop. Tonight's enormous bill — which includes nine acts in all for the closing performance of the two-night Ears & Eyes Festival — brings together a cavalcade of under-the-radar and avant-garde musicians (including one-man band Lonesome Organist and Tomorrow Music Orchestra), visual artists, and projectionists to provide an exceptionally trippy, multi-sensory experience for all.
– Suzanne Niemoth
Previewing Live Concert Shows in Chicago
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D NUMBERS 'Psychedelic' is the first word that comes to mind upon spinning D Numbers’ disc, L...
'Psychedelic' is the first word that comes to mind upon spinning D Numbers’ disc, Lightparade! Following closely on that word’s heels is 'progressive'. The tracks all seem to start out faintly, sometimes with keyboards, and propel forward with perfectly mixed basslines, volume and effusive drumming before becoming deliciously structured and crescendoing into uplifting endings. An entirely instrumental 3-piece from Santa Fe, New Mexico, at times they are as proggy as, say, something like Yes, but in the same song they sound like they could appeal to fans of something as weird and quirky as, say, Múm. I think I even heard xylophones, violins and sampled drum loops. The song "Collusification" is upbeat and cheery, full of bleeps and bloops, and at the same time displays extremely accomplished musicianship. Either way, I’ll bet these guys would be fun to watch Altered States with. (Appearing with Lonesome Organist as part of the Ears&Eyes Festival at Subterranean on Dec. 9) --text: Brendan Dabkowski
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D NUMBERS Written by Dante Colombo Dec 01, 2007 at 01:29 PM Lightparade (Self released) ...D NUMBERS
Written by Dante Colombo
Dec 01, 2007 at 01:29 PM
(Self released) Upcoming performance: Dec. 4th @ The Replay Lounge with 1,000,000 Light Years.
D Numbers have conjured up quite a loyal following in and around their hometown of Santa Fe, NM. The group is known mainly for their energetic live performances and instrumental compositions, and now their much anticipated debut record Lightparade has arrived.
Lightparade is an expressive, danceable, and intricate mix of electronic, acoustic, and sampled sounds strung together into all sorts of mood-evoking textures. Wonder, possibility, and a host of other emotions came to mind when listening to their at times ambient approach to music making.
The opener, “Atalaya,” begins with repetitive guitar lines followed by multilayered electronic melodies. Like many of the other songs on the album, the mood changes several times but is grounded by a single guitar line.
My favorite tracks are “Xylem Up” and “Collusifiction.” Both begin modestly, but they blossom into beautiful and thoughtful tracks that often filled me with amazement and delight.
D Numbers - Lightparade
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D Numbers - Lightparade Written by Steve McPherson Monday, December 10, 2007 at 11:34 AM ...D Numbers - Lightparade
Written by Steve McPherson
Monday, December 10, 2007 at 11:34 AM
I have a weakness for instrumental music, particularly of the indie rock variety. Perhaps it's because I play guitar but can't sing, or maybe it's because most of my musical education was in jazz, even though my heart always belonged to rock. Whatever the reason, bands like Pell Mell, Tortoise, Tarentel, and Battles (who are more or less instrumental, since Tyondai Braxton's vocals are almost always warped well beyond human) have always appealed to me, even if they've never been my absolute favorites.
Like those bands, Santa Fe, NM, trio D Numbers say something about the primacy of texture over technicality with their music. More melodic than Tarentel (who, bless them, are purposefully as melodic as a refrigerator), less math-rock than Battles, more electronic than Tortoise, D Numbers is a band whose coordinates can be sussed through triangulation, to an extent. Their debut CD, Lightparade, opens with "Atalaya," an extended meditation on what happens when you rub two disjointed and angular guitar riffs together. Buzz saw guitar melodies that wouldn't be out of place on a Shawn Lane record are laid against this fractured base, but just when you think you've got them figured as a proggy rock fusion band, a hint of dub floats in. And when the melancholy acoustic guitar of "Xylem Up" drifts out of your speakers, you're in an entirely different space. The honky, funky bass that rides up next to it sounds like an outtake from a mid-period Red Hot Chili Peppers record, but it sits beautifully next to spidery Rhodes lines and the harmony guitars that guide the song melodically. The clean and ringing electric guitar harmonies in "Collusifiction" will remind you of The Allman Brothers' "Blue Sky," even while the underlying keyboard lines are more reminiscent of Nintendo music from the 8-bit era. It's a soncially diverse record, but built around a consistent structural approach.
The weight of the record rests squarely on its layers, a feature common to bands and artists that rely heavily on looping. If you can think of the dynamic structure of music as existing in two planes, then the way individual parts build and recede over time is horizontal or linear, and the way parts build and recede against each other is vertical or structural. The use of loops or samples tends to lead to a more vertical structure since these things are difficult to change on the fly. D Numbers, however, do an excellent job of making the music move in both these planes. As players, they're flexible enough to incorporate something as standard as a guitar solo here and there, injecting what might otherwise be a compelling piece of texture with verve and individual creativity. Thus the music moves up and down and in and out as well as forward.
By its very nature, instrumental music tends to be more impressionistic than vocal music. With no words to get in the way, we're free to make records like Lightparade the soundtrack to a clear, bright snowy day, a rainy, inky black night, or a hazy summer afternoon. It's a testament to D Numbers' flexible musicality and ear for melody and tone that their debut record could be at home working within any of these contexts. Lightparade is a compelling and complex but immensely enjoyable first effort, and one that should win the band greater success.
COMING UP: D Numbers is opening for Mel Gibson and the Pants as part of the Minneseries. Thursday, December 13. Nomad World Pub . 9 pm. FREE. 21+.
Groove Is In The Heart
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"...and as I look around and see 50 college kids dancing their usually maudlin asses off while d num..."...and as I look around and see 50 college kids dancing their usually maudlin asses off while d numbers blasts through their sexy shimmering set, I can't help but think that every groove is essential, ancestral, related."
"d numbers, masters of the epic and the funky."
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Post-Rock Electronics It took over two years to complete, but the Santa Fe-based post-rock/electr...Post-Rock Electronics
It took over two years to complete, but the Santa Fe-based post-rock/electronica trio D Numbers has finally released its debut album, Light Parade. Taking cues from legendary post-rockers Tortoise and nu-jazz ensemble Medeski Martin and Wood, Light Parade fuses arpeggiating keys with fluttering percussion, funky bass lines and crisp guitar tones — analog electronics meet traditional rock instrumentation. Taking all of that into consideration, the title for the new record is actually quite apt — the light parade theme bobs to the surface in nearly every track. Think Disneyland's Main Street after dark but with a lot of young hipsters in the audience rather than young kids and maybe a mild dose of psychedelics flowing from the water fountains.
Tracks like "Xylem Up," number two on the album, showcase the group's ability to build climaxing breakdowns off very simple grooves. It's a bit jammy, not far off from a glorified String Cheese Incident, but much livelier and more dynamic. The group has been compared to laptop folkers like Four Tet and Boards of Canada, but their use of electronics is simpler and more frugal, opting more for loops and keyboard riffs rather than programmed beats and glitchy sounds. This is best exemplified on "Collusification," which barely grazes that electronica horizon, utilizing a few neat samples and synth sounds, all the while staying firmly affixed to an organic post-rock funk.
Light Parade is a bit short, coming in at just nine tracks, but the danceable girth surrounding each track more than makes up for the album's terseness. They've been annihilating Santa Fe audiences for some time now, and this Monday's show should not be missed. D Numbers plays with Great Northern at 9 pm Monday, May 28, at the Indigo District. — Steven Sawada
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Opposites Attract Two worlds collide, then coincide By Jonanna Widner Published: October 25, 200...Opposites Attract
Two worlds collide, then coincide
By Jonanna Widner
Published: October 25, 2007
It all began with a pile of wires and cables, configured onstage in what looked like a visual manifestation of every preposition, as they snaked about, above, across and around amp heads and keyboards, effects modules, samplers and mixers, plugged into speakers and drum machines, synthesizers and microphones. Vintage this and brand-new that, mysterious machines stacked at odd angles or copulating via male/female plugs. On the one hand, this Dada-esque pile of electronic gear maintained its own particular logic—all that stuff had to mean something—but on the other, it was chaotic and disjointed like the innards of an obsolete, discarded IBM computer.
Somehow, in three little pockets of open space between all this stuff, the band members of D Numbers had carved out spots for themselves and more recognizable instruments: guitar, drums and bass. As they plugged the final plugs and programmed the final loops, the Cavern started to fill up nicely for the early (in rock 'n' roll terms) time of 9 p.m. on a weekend. As folks strolled in the door, most did double-takes at the strange sight onstage. You could tell which of the clubgoers were musicians, as they'd do a double-take, then stop as their brains processed what they saw; then they'd turn and crane their necks to take a longer, better look.
And then it began: waves of laptop glitch rolling softly but with increasing speed over synthetic notes, some strange theremin-type device providing a snaky backdrop. After a few seconds, the rhythmic stakes were raised, as each band member flew into a synched-up groove of activity, a ballet of fingers pressing buttons; arms strapping on basses and guitars, then removing them; torsos bending wildly to the beat; feet stomping on pedals. Paul Groetzinger's live drums supplied a time signature from outer space, while Ben Wright's guitar work grooved like Chris Squire on three kinds of acid and four kinds of funk. It was the strangest dance music I've ever heard. Seventy percent of the room couldn't help but rock their torsos in synchronicity with the trio; the other 30 percent, the musicians who'd stopped at the door, stumbled wide-eyed toward the stage like zombies, subconsciously lured by the specter of 7/4 time.
Full disclosure: I know the band. I used to cover them at my previous job in Santa Fe, where they're from. In fact, when I heard they were here and playing their first-ever Dallas show, I swore to myself I would not cover them in the Observer, lest it appear to be some bit of journalistic impropriety. But by the end of their five-song set (it could have been six; sometimes it's tough to tell with experimento-prog-disco-dance-electronica where one song ends and another begins), when a crowd that had never heard them and who were only onto their first or second beer, a crowd that for the most part had not even come to hear them, a crowd that didn't even know who D Numbers were, cried out for an encore, I realized it would be irresponsible not to write about them. They were just that stunning.
D is the loveliest number
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"...Looping, analog wizardry, and well-honed instrumentation combine on Lightparade to create a soun..."...Looping, analog wizardry, and well-honed instrumentation combine on Lightparade to create a soundscape that switches from calypso highs to melancholy keyboard lows in the blink of an eye. What you hear on the CD is as free-form as any live D Numbers show, and that's a good thing. Jazzy drums, bass, and keyboards simmer with sexy rock guitars and ambient samples in a frenzied creative stew that could serve as a memorable soundtrack to a sepia-toned film in your mind's eye
There are no upcoming dates at this time.