Here in beautiful Bend, Oregon, we get a mishmash of live hip-hop, from big stars (Ice Cube, Tech N9ne) and mid-level hustlers (Keak da Sneak, The Jacka) to underground lifers (Busdriver, Hieroglyphics) and mostly unknown upstart cats of varying quality.
Tonight, Liquid Lounge hosts a rap act that doesn’t fit neatly into any of those categories. Dark Time Sunshine — aka Onry Ozzborn (of Northwest crews Grayskul and Oldominion) and Chicago producer Zavala — resides in the underground, for sure, but this is a duo on an upward trajectory, one with a legit shot at indie-rap stardom, at least, and maybe more.
Their first album, “Vessel,” was a well-received collection of unconventional hip-hop that Okayplayer.com called “simply well put-together rap music that may or may not have been created in our galaxy.” As for the meaning of that description — Are they saying the music is out of this world? Or are they referring specifically to the interstellar sound of Zavala’s Big Bang beats? — your guess is as good as mine. Probably both.
Dark Time’s followup to “Vessel” is called “Anx.” It comes out next week, and it is a doozy. Once again, Ozzborn ably holds down the mic; his sturdy, clipped flow befits his affiliation with the great hip-hop label, Rhymesayers.
But it’s Zavala’s tracks that really makes “Anx” jump out of the speakers and demand repeated listens, at least for this lover of melody and experimentation. His beats snap reliably as synths squiggle, string sections swell and samples insinuate themselves into the songs in all the right places. Dark Time Sunshine’s music truly does sound like it’s from another planet, one where vintage video-game bleeps and bloops bounce around an underwater crater before bubbling up to the surface and bursting with color.
Tonight, Dark Time Sunshine stops in Bend on a break from its big tour with indie-rap kingpin Aesop Rock. All the details are below these two tunes, which you should definitely check out before you head to the show.
Dark Time Sunshine, with Crushcon7, Cast-Iron and Gainon & Leif James; 9 tonight; free; Liquid Lounge, 70 N.W. Newport Ave., Bend. Find more info at the Facebook event page.
Tags: Dark Time Sunshine