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The best kept secret in music



I've admittedly lost some interest in downtempo funk/triphop since their mid-'90s heyday, but bands like Foscil remind me that this style still ain't ready for history's scrap heap. The Seattle quartet's self-titled debut album (due August 10 on Fourthcity; tonight's the CD release party) brandishes their rich instrumental palette and impressively warm, organic production. Much of Foscil is as moving and coolly moody as Portishead or DJ Krush's works. These guys can play, as well as move waveforms on a screen, and that deft, jazz-wise touch distinguishes Foscil from most in their genre. With Absolute Madman, Radio Mr. Afternoon, ER Don, Introcut, Hideki, Bumblebee, and Kamui.

Dave Segal
Music Editor
The Stranger - The Stranger

"Foscil and Specs One"

Foscil celebrate the release of their 12-inch with Seattle rapper Specs One at tonight's edition of the Stop Biting weekly. Titled Discuss the Benefits of Said Collaborative Efforts Volume 1 (Fourthcity), the EP is divided between instrumentals and tracks featuring Seattle underground rap legend Specs One's intensely laidback flow, which makes that of Gang Starr's Guru sound overheated. Foscil's productions are alternately chilled, breezy, and starkly paranoid like mid-'90s Tricky. This strong EP peaks on "My Words," which is based around a gorgeous sample from King Crimson's "I Talk to the Wind." Lo_Fi Performance Gallery, 429 Eastlake Ave E,, 9 pm–2 am,

Dave Segal
Music Editor
The Stranger
- The Stranger


Foscil: Foscil

Begun by Ryan Trudell and Adam and Tyler Swan as a rock band in 1991, Foscil (formerly named Scape) gradually developed into the electronic instrumental hip-hop quartet it is today (the originating trio now joined by Anthony Moore). But judging by the sixteen tracks (one hidden) on its hour-long self-titled debut, the band's sound is still growing, with a heavy post-rock dimension also infusing its sound. While many songs are hip-hop (the sundrenched “Massive Moves” featuring Specs One's laconic MC turn, “Grab Dollars,” and the lurching “Coming to You Live”) and others post-rock (“Pole Vaulting Missoula” showcases an intricate, multi-layered horn and woodwinds arrangement while the second half of “Office Pal” resembles a looser and livelier Tortoise, complete with a Jeff Parker guitar sound), “Please Hold” conflates the two styles by layering soloing trumpets over a trippy hip-hop base. Extending the stylistic base further, “Glitter Gulch” flirts with jazz and “Maverick” scatters acid techno over snappy post-rock.

Highlights abound: the inventive commingling of twanging guitar shudder, vibes, and woodwinds in the dramatic, horn-laden “Coelacanth,” the exotic snake-charmer trumpet (reminiscent of Nils Petter Molvær) in the head-nodder “Reme Bangor,” the horn chorale spotlight at the center of “Glitter Gulch,” and the Middle Eastern hip-hop ambiance of “G,” for starters. Foscil also inventively intertwines flute and bass clarinet over curdling hip-hop in the hypnotic head-nodder “Lull.” With many songs soaked in vinyl crackle, Foscil's sound is instrumentally rich and its command of genres wide. Best of all, though programming is a key part of the production process, the group's playing never loses its spontaneous, live feel, all of which helps to make Foscil a remarkably accomplished foray into post-rock hip-hop.
August 2005

"Foscil Record Review"

Superb debut release from Seattle band Foscil. It’s a wonderfully original and unique sounding hybrid of analog synthesizers, drum machines, samples, and live instrumentation such as horns, guitars, and drums. I hear such diverse influences as DJ Krush, DJ Spooky, Tortoise, Chicago Underground, and Mice Parade. One of the best local releases so far this year. This is definitely a band to watch…they could be the next Tortoise. The gorgeous last two and a half minutes of track 9 are the best two and a half minutes of music released this year, locally or otherwise. You can’t go wrong on here, but I particularly liked tracks 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15

- Greg J.
- KEXP 90.3 FM


Foscil S/T full length (radio play, itunes,) released on Fourthcity records in 2005

Foscil and Specs one 12" vinyl (radio play) released on fourthcity records in 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Influenced by all music, expressly jazz, hip hop, electronic, and anything well produced. Foscil is the highlight of Fourthcity records staying active and bridging gaps in the Seattle music community. They have worked with Seattle MC Specs One, Plan B, Truckasauras, IQU, Alan Bishop and many others. Thier unique blend of electronic synths and samplers with organic/acoustic instrumentation creates a hybrid that is both unique but familiar enough to appeal to fans of electronica, hip hop, jazz and post rock alike.