Credits: Stephen Carradini
Every great event has a singular moment that sticks in the mind and inevitably cements the happening as "that one time." That moment in the Buffalo Lounge show by Daniel(((s))) will be remembered (at least by me) as "that one time he played the bass harmonics."
Daniel(((s))) is one man who plays a brand of chiptune electronica. This loosely means that a majority of the sounds come from or evoke video games, especially early 8-bit and 16-bit ones (think the original Nintendo). Daniel(((s))) augments these pre-made songs with live bass playing, an instrument on which he is wildly talented. The songs he creates have playful, optimistic melodies from the chiptune elements, coutermanded by complex, grooving bass lines. When he feels it appropriate, he punches a footpedal and kicks the bass guitar up four of five octaves, putting its tones almost in the chiptune range itself. These wordless compositions were intricate and unique, and I deeply enjoyed them.
But the moment that blew everyone's mind was almost an aside to the rest of a song. In the midst of a tune, the high melodic elements dropped out, leaving only the bass and underlying synths. Daniel(((s))) proceeded to recreate the sound of the chiptune elements he had just removed by playing only harmonic tones on the bass. This is incredibly difficult to do even once, and he strung together a series of incredibly precise tones into its own ethereal melody. At first the audience (which included me) couldn't tell what was happening; once we figured it out, we started cheering it on as the guitar solo it was. In the midst of an otherwise wordless and largely applause-less set (he played long songs), it was absolutely stunning.
Daniel(((s))) operates in a niche genre, but I deeply enjoyed his tunes. His musicianship was a surprising and memorable in a genre that I'm not too familiar with. He cut through the trappings of the form and made songs with emotive power: that's all I ask of any artist. Thoroughly impressed.