Written By: Sam Marshall
Originality: (5 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (4 / 5) Lyrics: (3 / 5) Production: (4 / 5) Average: (4 / 5)
Crazy performance art goes wild
In 2016, STASH CREW released their debut EP Origins. As an artistic collective, the crew give a contemporary discussion of politics and social issues, framed in satirical music and performance art.
Origins is made up of six tracks, designed to portray aspects of the members of the crew, of which there are three members: The Black Diamond Butterfly, Syllable Whyt-lyon and Missy Phaya Fly. This is only the start of the adventure into the STASH CREW world, however. What you actually get with Origins is a mesmerizing foray into performance art as an artform, and Crew truly blow your mind as a listener.
What is most worthy of comment with the EP is the band’s ability to blend cool contemporary pop music styles with biting political satire at the same time. The opening track, E20 opens with an accented offbeat circus-style rhythm, but is soon accompanied by dark synthesizers and a surreal vocal from Whyt-lyon. This juxtaposition sets the layout for the following five tracks, the quirky vocal style striking sharply against the lyric “i’m living modestly, like no politician ever lived for me”. The heavy synthesized beats and accompaniments continue through the EP, with flashbacks to 2 Unlimited from the nineties. This dance style really gives their songs an upbeatness to lay their lyrical messages over the top of.
The band are open about their influences and message too; Nina Simone, Scissor Sisters and even George Orwell make it into the musi-social experiment, and it consistently works for them. Nothing feels like it is unnecessarily crowbarred in, but still maintains a cool fresh sound.
Having listened to Origins, I needed to see STASH CREW actually performing. There are several videos to those of us not able to travel to South Africa. It is here that the band truly come alive. As fun as listening to the EP is, I can only say that the live performance looks like it would be incredible. Even for those cynics who wouldn’t normally appreciate this kind of thing, the catchy but intellectual style is infectious. In the EP, the band can’t fully convey the electricity that you experience in the live flesh, but most certainly bring modern queer issues into a mainstream output.