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absTRACT giANTS

Band Hip Hop Rock

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Abstract Giants with Small Change and Treologic
May 13, 2004
Metro, Chicago, IL

Hip-hop bands are breeding faster than rats in Chicago. On this evening the crowd at the Metro experienced quite a range of talent of this kind—from the engaging to the snooze inducing. Openers Small Change kicked out a drunken hip-hop/rock fusion that actually worked. The occasional hint of reggae flavor only diversified their sound, which the growing crowd happily embraced. The next act, Treologic (As in Tree of Logic), generated pleasant but ultimately predictable grooves. Without taking risks a band like this is not likely to reap any rewards musically. After their 45-minute allocated time slot was up, it was obvious they had over stayed their welcome.
Headliners, Abstract Giants, celebrated the release of their CD, AGrowculture, with what was quite possibly their longest set to date. What's most impressive about this eight-man-crew is that they can allow a violinist to be in the forefront as much as they can their guitarist. While chemistry isn't much of a problem for the AG, audibility is. On the more aggressive numbers MCs, Two Moons Mathismo, Apitight and Ronnie Physicals' often-timid-voices are almost completely drowned out by the barrage of instruments (The Metro's mics are partially to blame). Nonetheless the show carried on as the rhyme-sayers kept on rocking it—and more audibly as they kicked out their more laid-back-numbers. It was only fitting that towards the end of the night keyboardist Matt Conway, violinist Jason VinLuan, drummer Andy Lempara, guitarist Cary Kanno and bassist Matt Sherrell were given their own time to shine. At one point a smoke machine was used near Conway, implying that he was on fire from the way he was tapping those 88 keys. As gimmicky as that move was it brought smiles to many faces. With yet another show under their belt, the Abstract Giants looked like they were having as much fun on stage as ever--even if they weren't always coherent.
----- Max Herman, Blur Magazine, August 2004

Abstract Giants
6/18, Schubas
These locals take such an audacious approach to hip-hop that despite their huge toolbox--a five-piece band (including turntables and electric violin) plus three MCs (no waiting!)--they sometimes still sound like architects trying to reconstruct the Great Pyramids with sticks and pebbles. This sort of overreaching is nothing to be ashamed of, though: even in its weirdest, trippiest moments, their full-length debut, Agrowculture (available at abstractgiants.com), partakes of the True Spirit of Hip-Hop--it's a joyous creative exploration that thumbs its nose at the genre's self-appointed gatekeepers. Bumpus headlines.

----- Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader, June 2004

“2004 will also mark the return, the debut and the coronation of some of
Chicago's most recognized, most followed, and most sought acts. In one year the
city will have new releases from the veterans All Natural (All Natural Inc.),
the internationally loved Typical Cats (Galapagos 4), the legendary O-Type Star
(Frontline) and the electric live band Abstract Giants (Pull 'Em Up), whose
shows gain followers almost daily. Add up the elements and what you'll find is
something set to explode. In 2004 look for Chicago hip-hop to make a national
buzz, show unprecedented cooperation, and pepper the industry with high quality,
greatly anticipated product.” ----David Jakubiak, Chicago Red Streak Jan. 2004

“Picture a violin wailing as three MCs spit semi-automatic bursts of rhymes and
you'll begin to envision the draw of Abstract Giants, an eight-piece hip-hop
band that draws as much from Tito Puente as it does from The Roots.
When the band performs, their origins are evident. They seem like a
post-integration, suburban version of Fat Albert's Junkyard Gang…..”
----Chicago Sun Times March 2003

Hip hop band. It's not too common to see those three words written in that
order, is it? When you do, more often than not you'll be reading about Philly
innovators The Roots. You can understand my excitement when I realized that
we've now got our own version of that legendary group right here in our
backyard. ….. [the abstract giants] all immensely talented, and upon first
listen, you'd think the band has been playing together forever. Amazingly, it's
only been about two years since the group's inception.
Ladies and gentlemen, there's finally a reason for you to take that copy of The
Low End Theory out of your CD player. The golden era of hip hop may be long
gone, but the Giants are truly the next big thing.
---Spencer Lokken, Chicago Innerview magazine Feb. 2004

This expansive, eight-member outfit might not be the future of hip-hop, but they
are definitely pointing the way. Plugging out an increasingly eclectic take on
the genre, these Chicago natives blend a dozen music forms into the
traditionally beats-and-drums music, flexing above-average rhyming skills over
the top. …….just know - Many


Discography

LP's:
AGrowculture
compilation LP: The Chicago Drop Vol I and II
Unearthed

Radio Airplay: WSUM - Madison, WI, 107.1 WPGU Champaign, IL., WRDP, DePaul University, 90.1 WEFT Champaign, IL., WLUW 88.7fm, Loyola Radio, Q101 Chicago, WSBC-am 1240 Chicago, WNUR 89.3fm Chicago.

TV:
NBC's Hip Hop Nation - hosted by Lil' Romeo and Master P
FOX 6 AM News Milwaukee - Interview and 2 songs
CanTV Channel 19 - Chicago Rocks Show
Metromix TV/ CLTV news - Live performance
CanTV Channel 19 - Expose w/ Susan Russell
GoLocalMusic.com

Photos

Bio

The Abstract Giants are one of the pioneers of Chicago's live hip hop band scene. 
- They have been playing shows throughout the mid-west for 5 years, over 400 shows
- Past Shows: Played House of Blues, Metro, Double Door, Tweeter Center (Warped Tour '04)
- Ernie Ball Battle of the Band winners 2004
- Press: Feature articles in over 15 publications including Chicago Sun Times, Red Streak, Maximum Ink, etc. 
- Radio Play: Spun on over 10 radio stations in Chicago and college Radio. 
- TV coverage: Multiple cable access performances, NBC's Hip Hop nation (hosted by Master P), FOX am News
- members have played with: KRS-One, Victor Wooten, Bernie Worell (Parliment/ Talking Heads), Fareed Haque, Liquid Soul, Atmosphere, Ronnie Baker Brooks, NoFX, Good Charlotte, Bad Religion, Bowling for Soup, Yellowcard, Flogging Molly, All Natural, Iomos Marad, Jean Grae, Diverse, Dead Prez, The Coup
- "overreaching is nothing to be ashamed of: even in its weirdest, trippiest moments, their full-length debut, AGrowculture, partakes of the True Spirit of Hip-Hop--it's a joyous creative exploration that thumbs its nose at the genre's self-appointed gatekeepers."- Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader,
- "Ladies and gentlemen, there's finally a reason for you to take that copy of The Low End Theory out of your CD player. The golden era of hip hop may be long gone, but the Giants are truly the next big thing." -Spencer Lokken, Chicago Innerview magazine