Local sibling duo Monta's electronic music reaches beyond their hometown's borders.

License to Chill 

Local sibling duo Monta's electronic music reaches beyond their hometown's borders.

Dedric and Delaney Moore recline in Dedric's combined living room and studio in Kansas City, Kansas. Surrounding the brothers, both in their midthirties, are a drum set, bongos, pianos and keyboards, records, a beat machine and a computer. Dedric looks out through droopy eyes, and Delaney's hair is in tangles. They both just got off work.

"I'm a general contractor. I probably listen to six to eight hours of music in my headphones every day," Delaney says.

Unlike most mixed electronic music albums, the brothers' first release under the moniker Monta, Unsuspecting, recorded a year ago, is a focused, instrumental, mostly downtempo effort. To the critical listener, one thing is certain — the brothers' music is heavy in melodies, reflecting (even if they'd disagree) a pleasantly psychedelic sound.

"We mix our albums for headphone listening," Dedric says. "There's a lot of ear candy in there."

"My wife stated it well," Delaney says. "She said that what we listen to is pornography. People that get into visual pornography have just had sex too much, and then they get into weirder shit."

"Yeah, I don't like noise just for the sake of noise," Dedric adds. "But we try to ignore trends of what's going on and just focus on what we want to hear."

As far as categorizing the sound, downtempo doesn't quite capture it. That's a rather broad genre, usually describing music with leanings toward dub, jazz, soul, drum-'n'-bass, hip-hop and ambient. To the everyday listener, trip-hop would probably be the easiest term to slap on Monta (think DJ Shadow's older work, DJ Krush, Portishead, Massive Attack, Mark Farina's compiled Mushroom Jazz mixes, the Thievery Corporation and Kruder & Dorfmeister).

It's no surprise that the brothers Moore aren't fans of classification. Their aim is to make music that they can listen to years down the road and still find relevant. Prompted by his trollings of MySpace (which is chock-full of electronic artists pimping their beats under various guises), Dedric points out that many musicians are "naïve enough to say, 'You've never heard anything like this before.'"

Dedric and Delaney have heard a lot. It helps that these two boys from KCK have a broad worldview, with inspiration drawn from travel across the United States and to Japan, Turkey, Argentina and Brazil.

"I think we connect with people outside of Kansas City more so than with people in Kansas City," Delaney says.

DJs in the UK, California, Florida and the Southeast have given Monta airplay. The vast majority of their online album sales have come from Europe. Delaney and Dedric both are quick to acknowledge that most of the music they listen to is from overseas.

Sunday, Monta performs a rare DJ set at the Record Bar — a set full of "whatever we're listening to this month." They're opening for the more throbbing and funky Austrian DJ and producer Rodney Hunter, who's signed to international heavyweight duo Kruder & Dorfmeister's G-Stone record label. Also spinning is Ian Frost, a newcomer to Kansas City who has organized events in Phoenix and Dallas.

Expect a chill evening — in the best way possible.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Bonus Tracks

Facebook Activity

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation