This up & coming Thursday, May 4, the trio Autograf, from Chicago, will perform live at Gretchen. The sound of the band is often described as electronic pop or future house. With more than 139,000 Soundcloud fans and almost 90,000 Facebook likes, the group’s fan base is more than established, but the bands focus is not only on the music but also on the whole presentation. What that means? Well, let me give you a clearer view on what these guys are all about.
The three members of Autograf, Mikul Wing, Louis Kha and Jake Carpenter began not as the enigmatic and dreamy house group it is today, but as a visual art outlet for creatives who wanted to return to their roots. They all come from visual art or design backgrounds, but during the years before the formation of the group, in 2013, they found greater success as solo artists and in groups like Midnight Conspiracy. Right from the start Autograf’s plan was to provide something different. Their first show was an event at the House of Blues, titled “Warhol’s Factory.” At this event, the group transformed the venue into an art installation. This included a massive re-creation of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup piece, which the group continues to use, and Brillo boxes. After that first successful event, Autograf continued with a serie of events at Chop Shop & 1st Ward (former auto body shop and now butcher-deli-restaurant and bar with a 6,000 square foot event space) with Collaboraction, a local mixed media theater and arts company. Just like the first event at the House of Blues, these Chop Shop & 1st Ward spectacles had a theme and transformed the location with an art installation.
From there the music moved more and more to the forefront. Even if the members began their careers as visual artists, all were previously better known as musicians. But the format of installations combined with their music is so unique that they did not wanted to change that, even if this is a hard mission to go on tour with. “The difficulty with more traditional forms of art is that it’s not made to be mobile,” Carpenter said. Autograf began looking for creative ways around the obstacle, including reusing its past “Warol’s Factory” creations, and ended up with a brilliant idea which might be the most perfect combination of visual and audio. They begun creating prototypes that make the band’s instruments light reactive, rather than just music performance tools. Kha stated “It’s going to be a much more visual experience with what we’re doing up there on stage. Our instruments are going to be lighting up with our actions.”. These new hybrid instruments make the audience feel more involved with the live show, giving them something to anticipate and see in ways they never could have imagined.
Let us have a closer look on their music. Autograf’s sound is peaceful, but energizing, crafted for a night time drive or an inspirational self-reflection session, the music coming from these three guys is truly unique and so obviously rooted in their artistic background. Basically, a few humble dudes looking to make dope music and art along the way. They’ve remixed the likes of Amtrac, Marvin Gaye and French Horn Rebellion. After a bunch of singles and appearances on samplers like the Common Culture Vol. V, which also features the likes of Laura Welsh, Duke Dumont and Billie Eilish. Following the success of their single “Metaphysical” on influential music label Counter Records they released the EP “Future Soup”, in 2016. The title track and first single from the five song showcase “Future Soup”, featuring Patrick Baker, is a playful and vibrant hit that sets the tone for what to come. “Future Soup” effortlessly bounces between soulful vocals of Baker, bright percussion, and electrifying synths. Most recently, the trio made their Big Beat Records debut with their latest single “You Might Be” featuring Lils. She is singing “You might be the death of me,” but the song is far from being a downer. “You Might Be” is easy going and as stress free as it possibly gets. Everything seems to come together organically and makes you want to hit repeat over and over again.
Looking back on unbelievably seventeen number one hits on HypeMachine since their inception and millions of plays across all major streaming platforms, this band is far from being a insider’s tip. We are expecting a concert that Berlin have not heard and seen before! See you on Thursday.