Dig Baton Rouge

Pushing the Boundaries of Form

By Pat Gunther

Atlanta experimental artist, Distal, is primed to join Dolo Jazz Suite in their 19th installment of the musical art project in the capital city at the Spanish Moon on Thursday night. With the release of his most recent record, Retrograde Space Opera on October 7th Distal has garnered praise from esteemed outlets such as Residence Advisor and Fact Mag. Moreover, the Atlanta native’s “space operas” bring yet another element of individuality to the musical cornucopia that is Dolo Jazz Suite.

Distal will link up with FLCON FCKER, Ganz Feld and Aquathief for another Dolo event that seems to be a perfect fit for Distal.

“It’s cool that everyone has to play 100 percent their own stuff,” he said. “Keeps the riff raff out.”

With such an extensive and genre-hopping collection of original material himself, Distal will certainly be one to wow the crowd on Thursday.

“My friends were into some cool stuff too,” Distal said. “We all listened to Zappa and Buckethead.”

However, it wasn’t until he was 14 or 15 until Distal began to get into techno and dance music. “A year later I got a pair of decks and started spending all my paychecks from a fast food joint on vinyl. I played hardcore and jungle for a long time,” he recalled.

After getting thrown out of shows in Atlanta for playing idm and breakcore, Distal began to experiment with more upbeat, spacious genres. “Then I found Dubstep and realized you could accomplish so much using ‘space’ and that opened Pandora’s box for me as far as production and taking things to a new level mentally,” Distal said. “I looked at it all differently, and that’s when I started to create.”

The newest album, however, seems to take a more narrative turn than its predecessors. “The idea behind the Anarchostar came from my deep love for science fiction and comics,” Distal revealed. “I get comics on a weekly basis and stories usually unfold on a monthly basis, so I thought, well why aren’t more labels telling a story in the same way as a comic?”

So, as a result, Distal went out and provided listeners with an answer to his question, creating Retrograde Space Opera in the vein of some of his favorite sci-fi tales.

Spanning 55 minutes, Retrograde Space Opera twists and turns through a huge number of different sounds one would not expect from an Atlanta artist; but Distal is atypical.

“I grew up listening to Old Three Six Mafia, Project Pat, Kilo, Geto Boys etc.,” Distal revealed. “It definitely rubs off in my music mainly in the hi hats and/or the use of vocal samples, and my overall love of the 808.” Despite this fact, Distal’s work is a conglomeration of nuanced and intricate rhythms and melodies that take the listener on a cochlear adventure.

After Distal’s set in Baton Rouge, fans can expect more output of truly unique projects that he’s apparently excited for.

“Starting in BR I’m on the road till December and then in December I’m putting together the first two release for the Anarchostar in 2015,” Distal said. “I’ll also start working on the third album then as well.”

Who knows what’s in store for Distal and Anarchostar from here on out?
A killer lineup at the Spanish Moon and a third album on the horizon seems certain, but Distal has larger plans for the future of his space-inspired brainchild.

“I’m hoping to take the whole concept of the Anarchostar forward with a comic book and then a live experience,” Distal said,  “and honestly my music has been getting more and more left field and I’ve got a clear picture of what I want the future of my sound to look like: more experimentation and pushing the boundaries of form.”


Dolo Jazz Suite
Spanish Moon
10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
$10 at the door


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