THE CONFLUENCE of visual arts and music has never been more evident than it now is in the alternative hip-hop/dubstep scene.
Things have been moving apace on the mainland, especially in Los Angeles, while local music and art collective Space & Sound has been doing its best to bring that sensibility to Honolulu.
The idea got its start last summer, when S&S presented L.A.’s Nosaj Thing in concert at downtown’s SoHo Mixed Media Bar.
Since then, said Space & Sound’s Travis Tokuyama, "We’ve been busy … and about three months ago, we started putting together our debut event as a collective."
Tokuyama, Joe Gosalvez, Alika Pfaltzgraff and Annie Nguyen are the core members of Space & Sound.
FIRST FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS
Galleries, studios, clubs and restaurants are open throughout the downtown Honolulu Arts District, with events from 5 to 9 p.m. For participating galleries and venues, go to www.artsdistricthonolulu.com.
Hawaii State Art Museum, 250 S. Hotel St.: "Sizzin’ Summer Blues," on the front-lawn stage and the second-floor lanai. James Ronstadt and the Dynamic Shuffle Kings, George Kahumoku with Ed Gazabat, and Rico Woltz will perform on the lawn stage, and a newly formed jazz-blues collective, TR3ES CO, will be on the lanai. 586-0300, hawaii.gov/sfca
Ong King Art Center, 184 N. King St.: A plethora of artists are being showcased after 9 p.m., with a $10 cover ($5 before 9 p.m.). The Hawaii Fire Artists will provide the movement; the Bay Area All Stars, spoken word; and music by Quadraphonix, Black Square and Ticket Down. 724-816-5685, www.ongking.com
The Venue, 1144 Bethel St.: "Articulate" will feature slam poetry and spoken word by Jon Fristzler, Dr. D. Travis T. and Jason B., with down-tempo beats by DJ Triplebypass, 6 to 9 p.m.; deejay sets by The Daze, Miko Franconi, Micron and Sam Andrax follow from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cover: Free before 9 p.m., $5 after. 528-1144. 20+
TODAY’S EVENT, featuring visual and sound artist L.A. Teebs (real name Mtendere Mandowa) and local artists Aaron Yee and B3AK03, is part of the monthly First Friday gallery walk at the ARTS at Marks Garage.
"In showcasing an artist like Teebs, who is both a visual and musical artist, we want to show how integral the two are to each other," Tokuyama said.
Both Teebs and Nosaj Thing are part of a music/art scene that has blossomed in L.A., particularly around the record label Brainfeeder.
Its most notable proponent is Steven Ellison, who creates under the moniker Flying Lotus and whose latest album, "Cosmogramma," has become a lead voice for this sonic-based aesthetic.
"The two complement each other very well," said Tokuyama. "The visual is echoed in the music, where the space in between the beats is just as important."
Tokuyama said the seeds of a similar aesthetic in the islands has already been started with Kavet the Catalyst and his Lightsleepers crew, "but we’re looking for something that will push the deejay side to more than beat battles. Right now there’s not too much instrumental electronic and hip-hop production and sequencing happening in Hawaii. In L.A. it has evolved into its own style and has become its own musical genre, in a sense.
"This is what we’re highlighting on Friday, where producers are putting a live-performance edge in the creation of their art. Doing and recording music is one thing, but to give that experience to an audience is just as important."
Dublab.com’s minidocumentary about sampling, "Secondhand Sureshorts," will also be screened.
Teebs will be producing beats, along with Hawaii resident (formerly from the Bay Area) Dezzen, after 9 p.m. at Marks, when a $5 admission price will kick in.
‘SPACE & SOUND ART AND MUSIC COLLECTIVE: TEEBS, AARON LEE AND B3AK03’
Where: The ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave.
When: 5 p.m. opening today; exhibit runs through Sept. 4 (11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays)
Cost: Free before 9 p.m., $5 afterward
Info: 521-2903 or www.hawaiiartsalliance.org/index.php/marks
"TEEBS’ art is very unique," says Tokuyama. "He’s best known for his Record Sleeve Series, where he takes old album sleeves and makes changes over them. Even though he uses whitewash, some of the original art can still be seen through it, but he adds abstract lines and shapes, a little bit of graffiti, some collage work, and pastes flowers and gold foil.
"His art breathes new life into these old record sleeves. Plus, his sample-heavy music is heavily processed, using reverb and delays, some echoing, so it all sounds a little fuzzy but still very textured, layers upon layers."
Also being showcased in the exhibit will be a variety of "cryptonauts," the handcrafted, custom-designed plushies of Aaron Lee, and the bird portraits of graffiti artist B3AK03.
"We want to see the people’s response to this show," said Tokuyama, "and if it’s good we want to keep bringing in the artists that we like so they can get more exposure."