by E.P Pirt, Jr.
Last week, the Colorado music scene was dealt a serious blow. Justin Ehmer, the talented, passionate, and hard-working drummer of DYNOHUNTER lost his years long battle with cancer. While it was an obvious tragic ending to such a young life, Justin would want the show to go on, and that’s just what bandmates and friends Clark Smith and Fred Reisen plan to do. Justin was active in the band up until the very end, playing a key contributor to their much-talked about set at Gem & Jam Festival just a couple months ago.
Tonight they gear up for a hometown throwdown at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, with co-headliners Evanoff. The show will follow a three-month long stretch that has included selling out shows with Manic Focus and Late Night Radio, and performances at Denver’s Bluebird Theater, the beautiful sunset set at Gem & Jam Festival in Arizona, and various other shows in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. After one more show this month in Kansas City, the live-electronic group will then prepare for a performance at The Untz Festival in California, as well as sets at Colorado’s Sonic Bloom and Arise festivals this summer.
If you’re not yet familiar with DYNOHUNTER, they are just one more electronic act out of Colorado that have been crushing it lately. Along with other bands like Sunsquabi and Bass Physics, they are paving the way for local live acts that combine electronic, funk, jam, and everything in between.
One of those “in between” genres happens to be house. That’s the flavor of their latest release, appropriately entitled ‘Justified‘. Being a live electronic act from Colorado, you’d probably expect the song to have the familiar Colorado sound of experimental or jammy funk and bass. While listening to the track however, one is more likely to feel like they are grooving out to something on an Ibiza compilation, with all the familiar sounds of a deep/tech house tune.
The track starts by diving right in to a four-on-the-floor beat, with a standard house BPM in the high 120s. A catchy key pattern comes in and pings up and down throughout the song. Before long, there are low, building synths. A deep vocal sample saying something not quite recognizable, yet no doubt cool, comes in. Crisp tribal toms, and subtle, lingering crashes round it out as a true house banger. But wait…what’s that? Saxophone? Ah yes, there’s the DYNOHUNTER we know and love.
At first the sax is subtle, with brief intermittent samples that sound similar to the saxophone sample spliced throughout the hip hop classic, “They Reminisce Over You“. But towards the end of the track, they dive back into more recognizable territory. After an exciting buildup, it breaks back into the house groove, only this time it’s accompanied by a face melting solo from saxophonist Clark Smith. With the combination of the high-energy house beat and the funky saxophone solo, one can’t help but imagine Colorado heavyweights Big Gigantic trying to cover such a sexy tune. In this writer’s humble opinion, it’s the groups’ best work to date.
With a reputation for live shows that is only growing stronger, and a catalogue of tunes that continue to outdo themselves, this hometown headlining show promises to deliver. While the band’s recent tragedy will no doubt make for an emotional and teary-eyed night, it is also certain to inspire everyone on stage to play their hearts out and put together the performance of a lifetime. So if you haven’t yet, go ahead and grab your tickets now and don’t miss out on what promises to be an unforgettable night.
Listen to Justified:
Watch the Bluebird Theatre recap video: