Photo courtesy of AraabMUZIK's official Facebook page.
February 15, AraabMUZIK -- the stage moniker of Sri Lankan hip hop producer
Abraham Orellana -- went ballistic on his Music Production Center drum
machine before a fist-pumping crowd of hipsters-gone-hip hop at San
Francisco's Clift Hotel as part of the 2012 Clift Sessions series.
his singular brand of instrumental electro hip hop, the self-proclaimed
"MPV of the MPC" slices samples of chintzy dance music like Jan &
Spoon's "Right in the Night (Fall in Love with Music)" while ferociously
pounding out complex drum patterns with the touch of his fingertips. He is a skilled percussionist who has been compared to Blink 182's drumming virtuoso Travis Barker.
YouTube videos capture the Rhode Island native's MPC wizardry. In them,
his dexterous digits hammer on those rubber pads with precision at a
face-melting speed. His live performance is just more of the same.
he took stage half an hour late, AraabMUZIK -- unassumingly clad in a white
Adidas track jacket -- did not come off as "hard" as the gangsta rap
beats he has produced for rappers like Hell Rell or Cam'ron.
AraabMUZIK made little eye contact with audience members, but he did not exude an
air of arrogance. In fact, he shied away from the crowd somewhat. His
face was obstructed by his black, stiff-billed White Sox baseball cap
because he kept his head down even when his fans called out his name.
the first song was introduced, AraabMUZIK failed to acknowledge the audience
because he was texting, which was disrespectful to the show-goers who
traveled from all over the Bay Area on a Wednesday night to watch him
perform. He put down his cell phone only moments before his cue.
numerous beats into the introductory track, it was obvious that he put
more of an investment into his performance. His body moved with the swagger
of a rapper as he banged on his MPC and his hypnotic beats ignited little
self-contained dance parties throughout the crowd.
beats were undoubtedly fierce, but the monotomy of his undynamic
MPC-playing grew tiresome as his one hour set bled into midnight. Truth be
told, watching his YouTube videos with the volume turned up is just as
satisfying as his live performance.
AraabMUZIK is part of the 2012 Coachella festival line-up.