SXSW Preview: Bayonne


Bayonne is the name of the street where Roger Sellers, composer of eclectic electronica based in Austin TX, grew up. While his LP, Primitives, has been out since September 2014, it’s not until recently that the release has garnered attention. Perhaps the unusual stage name change was the catalyst for a much easier advertising campaign. Or it could simply be an improved timing. Regardless, I’d recommend listening to “Spectrolite” and “Appeals”, both from the 2014 album.

Sellers takes quite an interesting approach to electronic music. I read that he has made a case to not be a “DJ”, and professes to be a follower of Philip Glass. Those two lines of search being the only points that I could gather from google search, I began to wonder if they are mutually inclusive, and having spent time tracing I arrive at no particular junction with a full understanding of how but never why. That serpentine logic is how I describe this music. Different short melodies at varying beats/tempo intersects, succeeding or fusing with one another to form a backdrop. As your ears are tuned to the repetition, vocals are introduced as the focal element. And then this is projected onto the mould of a typical song, with passages and chorus. To think that anything of that description should sound pleasant is weird; to confirm that against expectation it really does work is frankly astonishing. Will you like it? I’ve no guarantee – but then again that’s never been the point of a preview.

Bayonne plays the Barracuda on March 17, and Victoria Room at The Driskill on March 18.

Posted on by Gary in Everything, South By Southwest

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