I begin my review of Ishi, comprised of sing JT Mudd and producer Brad Dale, with a fun fact/ backstory. When I was invited to review Ishi at Pianos Bar in NYC, like any critic, I searched for his music history. Yet, what I found was an odd correlation between the creativity of an electric duo and the history of a nation.
There are moments when we feel randomly connected to a name, number, color, or a material thing that extends beyond us spiritually. I bring up this point because after seeing Ishi at Pianos I understand fully why they selected that name Ishi. This is a native American name that was specifically given to the last member of a tribe called Yahi. This man fascinated America and was known throughout his life as the “Last Wild Indian”. His life represented the final note of creativity and cultural wonder of his people. Now I am done with my Snapple fact history and will connect to my point. In some ways, the musical Ishi of today, found their name in a coincidental homage to their own feelings of representing a cultural wonder that is distinct and distinguished to the tribe left only in their mind. The leader of this tribe comes in Ishi’s JT Mudd.
Ishi’s JT Mudd is a performer that is openly loud, colorful, and strange, which is endearing. His energy feels as if he is carrying a tribe of people within him. Hence, it is hard to singularly personify him because he comes off as someone with multiple auras surrounding him. It is as if with each song he taps into two or three spiritual layers he has readied to be released. He’s electrifying not only as a performer, but also as a person. In not being able to place him in any specific category, both musically and personally, viewers were riveted by the inherent spontaneity his performance offered. For his time at Pianos, the world felt like a distant planet in which his audience was a bunch of astronauts excited to discover whatever alien life forms/ rhythms he would stir as Brad Dale synthetic sonics/ fantasies.
Ishi’s music is like an intergalactic discotheque. You feel like you walked into the bar scene of Star Wars and you are Han Solo. There is an adventurous coolness that he sparks within viewers because he is so honestly eccentric. There is no façade or mask between Ishi and his music and the audience. He wishes to entertain everyone with the rapidness and imagination of his min, which he has placed into the electricity of his beats. From fast to slow or up and down, his frequencies can appear to listeners like a sporadic heart rate of which you find your own heart eventually following. That kind of ability to make people think they have left Earth and are the last of a tribe’ cultural/ spiritual Kings and queens is what makes Ishi a fantastic concert choice.
Plainly, I really liked Ishi, and their blend of cinematic/ experimental folk music with techs-funk is nothing less than brilliant. Moreover, I enjoyed feeling like I was on the funner edge of music and never knowing whether I’d fall over or if that was such a bad thing.
After all when you fall over music, you will always be caught by love.
For me, the art of sound is discovering the speech of the heart and Ishi gives a good speech. For more on Ishi information click here