SuperCity: Machinedrum makes Hawaii stop

Jan. 22, 2014 | 0 Comments


BY CHRISTA WITTMIER / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Sports? I’m not a fan. When everything is sports-related and the NFL is all over Waikiki this time of year, I tend to shrink back a bit. Both figuratively and literally — they’re so TALL!

As Honolulu is overrun once again with NFL players, fans and supporting acts, one of the parties that really stands out for me this year is from local promoter SPELLS, who are bringing Machinedrum to Chinatown on Saturday, Jan. 25, for a special live set.

0122 supercity


Presented by SPELLS

» Where: NextDoor, 43 N. Hotel St.
» When: 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 (doors open at 9 p.m.)
» Cost: $10 ($15 for 18-20 years old); 18+
» Info: or

A native of North Carolina who spent time in New York and now lives in Berlin, glitch-hop producer Machinedrum (Travis Stewart) has been influenced by many different genres of music. From the rhythmic repetitiveness of playing a snare drum in marching band, to the bright melodies of playing guitar in a country band and even the deeper sounds of a goblet drum in an African ensemble, different instruments have all contributed to his rich musical background.

Working with the likes of Azealia Banks and Theophilus London in New York for the label Normrex put Machinedrum on the map, and his collaboration with Praveen Sharma as Sepalcure garnered him spots on Pitchfork magazine’s top 50 albums and top 100 tracks lists in 2011. Their track “Outside the Lines” was also featured on the soundtrack for Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.”

While this artist still tends to fly under the radar, his sound is quite unforgettable — which is the norm for any act SPELLS brings to Hawaii. It’s cerebral electronic music, a boiling cauldron of alt hip-hop, ambient and Chicago dance that leaves a pretty profound impact on everyone in the room.

Backed up by talented local MC Omega Cix, SPELLS resident DJ Seeko and special guest Maui artist Incyde (Hotflush Recordings), Saturday’s show will be brought together with mind-bending live projection visuals from UVAV. It will definitely be a highlight of my weekend.

I’m also looking forward to seeing Foxes perform on Friday, Jan. 24, as the headliner for the “Pepsi Pro Bowl Concert” at The Republik. She’s the voice we hear on Zedd’s “Clarity” and a pop star in her own right from the United Kingdom.

If there’s anything I learned while living in England, it’s that they know good pop music. The remix EP for her single, “Youth,” contained some super memorable tracks for me, including one by Adventure Club that is still in heavy rotation.

The Green. (Courtesy photo)

The Green. (Courtesy photo)

AFTER THE Pro Bowl dust settles, it will be time for the Super Bowl at the new Crown Bar, hosted by The Green.

Located in the former Hard Rock Cafe location at the corner of Kapiolani Blvd. and Kalakaua Ave., next weekend’s viewing party will be a family affair, with tons of seating, face painting, balloons and an extensive food menu. Once the game is over and the families go home, live entertainment will continue into the night for those 21-and-over.

They had me at the part where things will be hosted by The Green. Even for a non-sports fan, that sounds like a lot of fun.
Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young’s Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular “Bacardi Pool Party” on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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