Wed, Apr 11, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Groove for light

In the lead up to Urban Nomad Opening Freakout, which takes place this weekend at Taipei’s Tiger Mountain, Angelo Moore talks to the ‘Taipei Times’ about music, his new band and the US president

By Joe Henley  /  Contributing Reporter

Over a long and storied career, Angelo Moore has mastered the art of melding varied musical styles. He will perform on Sunday as part of the Urban Nomad Opening Freakout at Tiger Mountain.

Photo courtesy of ZonaFoto

There’s a moment in the new Netflix documentary series, The Defiant Ones, about the rise of producer/record company guru Jimmy Iovine and rap icon Dr Dre, when Dre’s band mate in World Class Wreckin’ Cru, Alonzo Williams, describes the first time he laid a new school beat over an old school R&B jam at his Compton club, Eve After Dark.

On the decks one night, Dre mashed up Please Mr Postman by the Marvelettes and the 122 BPM cut off the B side of Jive Rhythm Trax by Willesden Dodgers.

“People was still groovin,’ they was groovin’ confused though,” Williams says.

Confusion often comes with innovation. Dre and Iovine were innovators. Studio warriors who fought through trial, error, self-doubt and strife to find their place in the music universe. It was never easy. But this eventually made both of them very famous and very rich men.

There’s a poem by another whose name deserves mention with the likes of these great innovators of 20th and 21st century music; another man who made people “groovin’ confused.” That poem is Famous But Not Rich, and the musician, icon, writer and poet is Angelo Moore, who will perform in Taipei this weekend as part of the Urban Nomad Opening Freakout (遊牧影展怪奇音樂祭) music festival at Tiger Mountain.

In that poem the singer and sax player of mad seminal fusion tribe, Fishbone, Dr Madd Vibe and the Missing Links, and most recently Angelo Moore and the Brand New Step, waxes lyrical on the often uneven dichotomy of wealth and fame.

I live the lifestyle of the famous but not rich

This road to stardom is one big grand illusion

Lights, camera, action and without a lot of chips

Sometimes I wonder what the hell I’m doing

What Moore and his various bands over the years have been doing is the same thing most anyone who changed the game has done — taking the old and making it new. Moore as alter ego Dr Madd Vibe as Dr Frankenstein, putting all the parts together in the lab.

With Fishbone, Moore and what is perhaps the tightest group of performers since the Miles Davis Quintet, walked the razor’s edge between funk, punk, reggae and ska. Fans didn’t know whether to dance or mosh and stage dive — so they just did it all. The band did it right along with them.

Now, with the Brand New Step, Moore is back to his old tricks. This time he and a rotating cast of California’s finest — a killer’s row of live and studio musicians plucked from the ranks of bands like The Coup and Thievery Corporation — along with the Bay Area production team the Rondo Brothers, combine funk, soul, jazz, avant garde and pop with electronic dance music.


Angelo Moore and the Brand New Step are set to make their debut outside the US in Taipei on Sunday, playing the Urban Nomad Opening Freakout alongside acts such as Tokyo garage band The Minnesota Voodoo Men and hard rocking Japanese funksters Walkings, as well as local favorites like pop punk power quartet Destroyers (擊沈女孩), high-energy ska ensemble Funky Brothers (放客兄弟) and southern simian punk rockers Ape Apocalypse (末日之猩).

In addition to two stages’ worth of bands and DJs spread out over the weekend, a third Circus Stage will feature burlesque, contortionists, fire breathers, jugglers and stilt walkers.

Moore himself has been all over the world with his music, but this will be his first visit to Taiwan.

“I am excited. I’m always excited,” says Moore of his first foray to these shores, on the phone from Los Angeles, in between meetings as the Brand New Step preps the release of new music through Ropeadope Records later this year.

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