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Band Hip Hop Funk


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"HIpHOp's gonna break it's Rusty Cage"

"More so than many other musical genres, Hip-hop
bears the burden of eternal stereotyping. Think of as
many of those stereotypes as possible, and then burn
accordingly. When the last embers die down, what
will remain is Copacrescent, a burgeoning hip-hop act
out of Portland, OR." - Flossin' Magazine

"Copacrescent: So Selective (self-released)"

[SOUL-HOP] With so much hip-hop produced digitally these days, groups utilizing full bands stick out in the studio as much as they do onstage, where the pang of an organic drum kit and the zip of fingers along bass strings add musical humanity to match the flow.

Like the Roots and Sacramento-based Portland-regulars Al Howard and the K-23 Orchestra, Copacrescent tackles live-band hip-hop with a decidedly different flair on its debut, So Selective. Copa MC Chaucer Barnes flows gritty and eloquent over precise orchestration that ventures between riff-heavy guitar anthems, Latin jazz, funk, blues, reggae and lounge.

Were it not executed so seamlessly, Barnes’ street-hardened spit flow might sound like a stoned MC trying to jam with hippies. Instead, Copacrescent’s give-and-take compositions highlight a collectivity, from Steve Aman’s Wonder-ous keys to Rod Nightingale’s intricate drumming and Dan DiResta’s soaring guitar.

Like Black Thought or Common—or KRS One, for that matter—Barnes is a verbose poet and historian without delusions of grandeur. On “More Worser,” he talks money. Unlike other rappers, he talks about having none—and it’s refreshing as hell.

The album hits a tremendous stride with the Latin-tinged “Same Ting Twice,” featuring Barnes spitting ferocious over Chris Ponti’s bounding bassline, going where few hip-hop groups have ventured since Tip left his wallet in El Segundo. As if that world-music backbeat weren’t ambitious enough, “50 Ways” uses Paul Simon to punctuate Barnes’ compelling and meticulous family history: “My moms lost her pops so she read Booker T’s Up From Slavery...My dad coulda been any one of the others...he beat out more that 49 others/That’s proof there’s at least 50 ways to leave your mother.” The song then builds into an all-out sonic assault.

That’s not to say it all works: Tracks like “The Times” seem a tad contrived (we know very well it’s hard out there for a pimp). And while lyrical filler occasionally distracts from the band’s instrumental forays, longer midsections seem better suited for the stage.

But that’s simply nitpicking. By the time the final track—a surprisingly touching love letter to Stumptown titled “Portland”—rolls around, it’s tempting to hit “play” again. Amid the generic hip-hop populating our airwaves, Copacrescent manages to sound fresh by embracing its roots—flesh, blood, soul and all. - Willamette Week

"Lots of hip, some hop"

Reading the credits on Copacrescent's new album, "So Selective," gives you a pretty big clue about their philosophy. Their MC, Chaucer Barnes, is credited for "voice/stories"; his name is followed by musicians on guitar/compositions, drums, bass and keys. In other words: a hip-hop crew with a strong narrative bent and a live-music aesthetic.

What the album cover doesn't tell you is that they have a strong soul and funk backbone. Chris Ponti on bass and Rod Nightingale on drums lay down deep grooves that alternately take center stage and pull back when Dan DiResta's guitar, Stephen Aman's keys or Barnes' voice step up. It's the mark of a good rhythm section.

Barnes' lyrics are, as promised, stories unto themselves, conscious slices of various lives. Still, he's smart enough not to harangue, and even to subvert, past hip-hop hits. On "The Times," for example, he takes on Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia's "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" by rapping "more to the point it's hard out here for a temp, single mother of hard-headed boys," spoken over mellow keys and guitar that keep the song head-noddingly diggable. And "Jesus" (Latino pronunciation) juxtaposes consumerism's effects on developing nations with religious imagery.

Still, the album can occasionally get, well, too aware. "Same 'Ting Twice," Copacrescent's homage to hip-hop itself, gets a little didactic. On "Portland," they push too hard for a true love of place to come through in the lyrics. Consciousness has its own joys, and a party jam might have helped that come through better.
- Oregonian


So Selective 2008, Copacrescent Demo 2007 and the Backlit EP 2006. We have tracks on our website at We also have a myspace with other info at



Copacrescent was formed by Dan DiResta and Chaucer Barnes at Gettysburg College. Upon graduation, they headed to Portland and the rest is history.

Dan DiResta is the self-taught guitarist and composer for Copacrescent. Originally from West Newbury, Massachusetts, Dan comes from a family of professional musicians, including bassist Ken Pendergast (Melody Gardot) and drummer Matt Pendergast (Tonal). Dan has toured France and Switzerland, playing in groups at several festivals including the Lyon and Montreux Jazz Festivals. In Portland, he's played with Ray Frazier, Sirens Echo, The Blacknotes, Copacrescent, C4 Influenz and SambaFeat and has opened for the Wailers, Ozomatli, Grouch of Living Legends, Soliloquists of Sound, Triclops, Bobby Torres, Linda Hornbuckle and Liv Warfield. Dan also plays bass, synth and percussion.

Chaucer started publicly performing the rhymes he had been writing since childhood after a fateful interview on his college radio show in which he got a chance to freestyle on air with a group of MCs from Baltimore, MD. He would eventually go on to join his guests from that night in the loosely-organized rhyme collective known as N.U.O. He began to play shows throughout the DC/Baltimore Metro area, where he was recruited by Drum-and-Bass DJ and producer, Brian DePristo. DePristo commissioned two recordings from Chaucer, one of which, M3L7, went to a limited printing and distribution, and became a favorite spin for a series of DJs from Philadelphia, PA to Richmond, VA. His invitation to sit in with Copacrescent, then an instrumental modern jazz trio, came shortly thereafter.

Rod Nightingale has been playing drums since the age of 4. He plays regularly @ Mt. Olivet Baptist church as well as several other projects: The Linda Hornbuckle band, Copacrescent, Acoustic Minds, Marv Ellis, Oregon Symphony, to name a few. You can catch him weekly @ Poetic Nights every thursday @ The OHM. He's been fortunate to share the stage with some of his favorite artists, most notably The Roots, Ozomatli, and The Doobie Brothers. For more info, check his myspace/rodcnightingale, or youtube/blacknotes.

Chris Ponti, from Stayton, OR. A born artist; dreamt of pursuing a life in visual arts until completely falling in love with music at age 15. He went to Catholic school for 8 years where he picked up the trombone in the third grade. It wasn't until the age of 15 that he discovered the electric bass while listening to friends rehearse. Soon after he replaced the bass player in the group and began to play on a daily basis. After graduating high school, Chris moved to Portland to get involved with a bigger music scene. He has played in various bands in the Portland area for the last 5 years, and studied music in the PSU Jazz program for 3 years before opting out for a Bachelor's of Arts and Letters. Chris has studied privately with bassist Glen Moore for 2 years.

Steve Aman is the keys of Copacrescent. He's originally from Corvallis, OR and has played/plays in several Portland bands including Samabafeat and Grand Union.

What sets Copacrescent apart from other bands is its originality in crossing genres. While keeping the overall vibe of hiphop, Copa infuses everything from latin jazz to hard rock.