the 5th pocket
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the 5th pocket


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The best kept secret in music


"Performer Magazine"

Iron Horse Music Hall
Northampton, MA
February 12, 2005

Tributaries of electronica, funk, jazz, and Fela Kuti’s afrobeat fed into a supple river of sound woven by the 5th Pocket at the Iron Horse. An entirely instrumental affair, this Amherst quintet lays it down with fluid rhythm and masterful use of tension and release that creates a purposeful, yet hypnotic tapestry. It’s music that seeps into your consciousness, demanding attention of mind and hips. You might call them a jamband without the noodles.
Overflowing from the stage with their keyboardist and percussion player on they floor, they opened with “Now Must Stay,” a number from their upcoming album. Audience members ventured onto the dance floor and swayed modestly to Cory O’Brien’s propulsive bass augmented by Troy Lorusso’s percussion and flute. “Minimal Ease” followed, adding depth and determination to their atmospheric forays. It was easy to imagine these guys making a splash at festivals this summer as drummer Hodges let loose amid a vortex of echoing keyboard and guitar.
“How many came here to see us tonight,” guitarist Hugh Currier asked the crowed. The club was filling by this point and they got a rousing cheer. It was clear they’re poised to make a jump from opening to headlining act in the near future. Next came “Seneca,” a Tortoise cover held together with Currier’s tight guitar skronk and keys that sounded like a violin’s lament. A true soundscape, it evoked expansive and ever-changing terrains from rolling hills and oceans to jagged mountain ridges and a final frenzied dash through a dark forest. The dance floor was packed, beautiful and undulating by the time they wrapped the set with “Swiss Agent.” It seemed like too soon an ending, but they left the impression that this is one act to keep an eye on.
- Dan McLeod

"The Daily Collegian"

opening for The New Deal

. . .The 5th Pocket entered the stage after Newsay and in the words of UMASS super-senior Tony Bedell, "rocked" the Ballroom. The crowd was fully engaged as Hugh Currier, Brian Knox, Cory O'Brien, Hodges, and Troy Lorusso played what they call "ambient, afro-breakbeat." Regardless of how one categorizes their musical stylings, this foursome has the talent to get people moving, with upbeat, spacey grooves. The 5th Pocket said that they frequently improvise while on stage, varying from a pre-written piece. After this improvisation, they ultimately return to the original material. The group's writing process is done in much of the same fashion, through improvisation and experimentation. "I thought it sounded excellent," said percussionist and recent UMass graduate Lorusso. He said that the he and his band mates were able to feed off the crowd's energy. The band was all smiles in the 'Green Room' after their performance but still unwillng to disclose the secret behind the group's name. . . - Brian Duffey

"Daily Hampshire Gazette"

(excerpt from 7/29/04 review)

The show was opened by The 5th Pocket, an ambitious, promising five-piece instrumental group from Amherst. Their music is amalgam of prog rock, jazz fusion and Afro beats and creates a hypnotic trance-like feel. . .The 5th Pocket is a band to watch - Laura Sylvester

"5th Pocket Message Board"

. . .I just wanted to thank you all for the nice fresh breath of musical air. You guys are few and far between in todays stagnant music scene. It appears as though the 5th pocket has tapped into the same energy plane that is on path with the future. . . - Jack Tarsay

"T5P Q&A on"

Formed in the fall of '03 (Amherst, MA), the 5th Pocket blends ambient soundscapes and afro-breakbeats to create a high energy dance environment. Their influences are vast. Tortiose, The New Deal, Fela Kuti, way too many to list. One things for sure though, these guy's eat, sleep, and live in the "Pocket." If you don't know yet, then you will very soon. I recently caught up with Hugh and Hodges and asked them a few questions about their sound, the recent Indian Ocean disaster and of course, breakfast....

Q:Describe the music of t5P.

A:(Hugh)Our music tends to be a great mix of all of our influences. You can hear some minimalist composition, ambient electronica, afrobeat, deep house... Our influences really run the gamet but come together in such a way that is uniquely The 5th Pocket sound.

A:(Hodges)We are a synesthesia inducing, ambient afro-break-beat, dance, trance, sound vehicle from another dimension. If you stuck 5 different colors of play dough into the fun factory, slid it into a star shape and really leaned into it, you would see the closest thing to a visible representation of our sound. It's not busy, it's harmonious, dig?

Q: Hugh, you've really seem to have found your own voice on guitar, an amazing thing to have accomplished at such a young age. Who have been some of your influences and what have you taken from each of those players?

A: (Hugh) John Scofield: his approach to the guitar is very angular, and I like to try and push myself to think out of the box the way that he does. Mark Knopfler: his tone is so well rounded and his fingerstyle is very subtle and can range from soft and sweet to loud and mean. Jeff Parker: his arrangements with Tortoise are just phenomenal, easily one of my biggest influences, as far as approaching music composition.

Q: What's your musical background, Hodges?

A: (Hodges)I started playing drums when I was 9- I come from a musical family. My older brother is a drummer, as is my nephew. I think it might be a positive genetic mutation. I currently study afro-beat and african drumming with Bob Weiner, co-author of "Cuban rhythms for the drum set." He's a really inspiring person. Bob's a great teacher and storyteller, he even chilled with Fela. I am very lucky to be studying with him.

Q: For those that don't know, the recent Indian ocean tsunami to date, has taken over 250,000 lives, and have left millions homeless. How do you guy's feel about what's going on and how the world is responding to the disaster?

A: (Hugh)I applaud the global response to the disaster, and mine and the bands'hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. However, this disaster has left me wondering why in light of natural disasters the world is so quick and willing to ease the suffering of our fellow human beings, while at the same time man-made disasters, from environmental destruction to huge economic inequality to the bombing of innocent people, continue to plague humanity seemingly without recourse to action. I imagine that people in Africa, Iraq, Latin America, and even here in the US are praying for a tsunami right now.

A: (Hodges)Word on the street is: the tsunami was actually caused by the U.S. government testing nuclear warheads under water. This is conspiracy theory at its finest.. But there is a small grain of truth to everything...No? It is a very sad thing to witness from a distance...It is tragic to be in a band, trying to make music, at the end of the world!...

Q:Name three things that every american citizen should know, if they don't already?

A: (Hugh)
1) Just because you think you can do something doesn't mean you should. 2) Just because you think you can't do something doesn't mean you shouldn't try. 3) Just because you're told something is true doesnt mean you shouldn't question it.

A: (Hodges) 1) Where your money goes. 2) Where your clothes are made. 3) There is a whole big world out there...before you even get to the sports page.

Q: What's some cool stuff about the 5th pocket that those who don't know, should?

A:(Hodges)Troy's full-time job is on a butterfly farm, the rest of us play green with envy... Three of us live together, two of us did... I have a cat named Max...We do yoga...There is a story running thru our music...Our music is instrumental...

Q:What's the last cd you bought?

A:(Hugh)Thievery Corporation and The Mars Volta.

Q:What's playing in your car right now?

A:(Hodges) Bedside Manor.

Q:What did you have for breakfast today?

A:(Hugh) was boring, but the other day I had baked french toast, bangin!.

A: (Hodges) Yogurt with spirulina and sunflower seeds, water with lemon and a yerba matte...of course.
- Adam Rains


The 5th Pocket ep - played in regular rotation @89.3 wamh and wool 100.1 fm
-check out our most recent show @ search by band and click on 5th pocket! hodges was podcasted!!!:
also check us out on myspace:


Feeling a bit camera shy


The 5th pocket's sound is a fusion of afrobeat, break-beat,trance,house,club rhythms,afro-cuban percussion,ambient guitar and piano synth sounds. Their music is played in real time with traditional instrumentation creating a unique blend of organic techno. T 5th pocket was formed in the autumn months of 2003, in and around Amherst massachusetts, where they currently reside.

“These guys are so good, it’s dirty.”
–Daniel McLeod, Performer Magazine, Northeast Division

The 5TH Pocket has shared the stage with: the new deal,buenovento/russo duo, lotus, brothers past, tea leaf green,amun ra, addison groove project jacob fred jazz odyssey and the motet.