October 19, 2012

Friday night live at Transistor: Slowbots and SmackSoft. Sound by Jon Monteverde. Slowbots photos by Brooke Sprague; SmackSoft photos by Nick Jaffe.

Slowbots' music includes songs and improvisations in which instruments and voice seek to merge into a single, unique and compelling sound. The trio draws on a wide range of musical memory and experience that includes: rock funk soul jazz pop experimental music; electric Miles; Urdu ghazals (devotionals) and naats (songs of love and desire); the odd Stones or Dylan classic. Unconventional song choices and instrumentals that still remain organic to the sounds: these are the hallmarks of the Slowbots.

Slowbots are:
Yasmin Ali - voice
Amanda Rogers - upright and electric bass
Nick Jaffe - Guitar

Yasmin sings in a variety of styles in English and Urdu and has released solo and collaborative work as Naz. Amanda plays bass and cello in different contexts and is also a painter. Nick plays guitar in different collaborative and solo projects in and around Chicago.

For their set at Transistor, Slowbots combined structured songs in English and Urdu with improvisational units and the oddly chosen, but strangely appropriate classic rock cover.

SmackSoft = Bo Ryung Whang: Bo is an accomplished artist from Brooklyn, NY, and a veteran singer-songwriter. After a seven-year hiatus from music, Bo returned to Korea and formed the band SmackSoft. The group released "SmackSoft 2.5″ (2008), awarded the 2008 Album of the Year in Korea. The following year SmackSoft released their third studio album, "Shines in the Dark"(2009), nominated the best album of the year. In 2010, their fourth studio album, "Mana Wind," further explored the "creation of layered canvases of sound" and "moved beyond technical experimentation to focus on the spiritual depth" of SmackSoft's original music. "Mana Wind" has won high praise from the critics in Korea and abroad.

For their set at Transistor SmackSoft performed an acoustic selection from "Mana Wind" and their 5th album, "Follow Your Heart," to be released November 2012. "Mana Wind" is currently available on iTunes.

Poster by   Chien-An Yuan

Poster by Chien-An Yuan

Find more live performance recordings on our archive page.