Dynohunter is cruising in the band van down the interstate and into the alley behind Silk City Lounge just outside of Philadelphia after a weekend of raging the shores of Lake Erie from Cleveland to Buffalo, N.Y. The Boulder, Colo., jamtronica trio are five weeks into a spring tour that leads them to a close-knit show on May 10 in the Red Room at Crystal Bay Casino.
May 10 | 10 p.m.
Crystal Bay Casino | Crystal Bay, Nev.
Last summer, many local folks discovered this talented, high-energy group via their early Sunday morning throwdown at Guitarfish Music Festival.
“We try to bring a really groovy, funky feeling and take people of the journey of the hunter. We play a diverse range of styles celebrating the darker side of the more primal nature and landscapes the hunter would experience.” –Clark Smith
“They’re a really great community of supporters of up-and-coming music,” says Clark Smith — saxophone, synth and percussion virtuoso and DJ — of the Guitarfish Music Festival family. “And we’re definitely a word-of-mouth band.”
Smith grew up in Hawaii and moved to Maine before studying music at the University of Denver just after the turn of the millennia. Rising scene bands at the time such as EOTO, Lotus, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Big Gigantic, The New Deal and others led this jazz saxophonist on a warrior quest into the world of live-house electronica.
Smith and Dynohunter bassist Fred Reisen now live and work in a home studio in the Table Mesa neighborhood of South Boulder. What started as a side project in 2009 has evolved into a bubbling oasis of original compositions and recordings, not to mention nationwide club and festival tours. Smith, Reisen and drummer/special FX talent Nic Thornsberry layer intricate beats with synths in the studio, DJ the parts live on Ableton, music software and then improvise over the loops live to create a tapestry of DIY house music that is at once transcendent and perfectly imagined.
The name Dynohunter was born as a fantastical joke. “It was inspired by making this island jungle soundscape,” says Smith. “It’s part of the live percussion/world music vibe. The sax with the delay kind of sounds like a saxophone in a canyon. We try to bring a really groovy, funky feeling and take people of the journey of the hunter. We play a diverse range of styles celebrating the darker side of the more primal nature and landscapes the hunter would experience. There’s also a Mayan alien influence and you can hear that ancient, yet futuristic landscape in the music as well.”
Dynohunter has released 12 EPs and three full-length records in the past four years with no sign of slowing down.
“You hope to have half of your set unreleased at all times,” says Smith of their spellbinding live performances. “For me, it’s more about producing the music and adding a new song every show when we’re not on the road.”
Dynohunter will perform on May 17 at the 17th annual Spring Joshua Tree Musical Festival, which shares similar promoters, bands, volunteers and music lovers with Guitarfish.
“They’ve been around for a while and the crowd is really receptive to new types of music,” says Smith. “They’ve kept it grassroots and underground; it’s not a corporate juggernaut and you can feel that. It’s a really inclusive family feeling. It’s all about bringing a positive vibe and sharing that with people and growing together. It’s music that we really love and we recognize that the ethos is congruent.”
Dynohunter played for more than two hours to close out the Saturday night stage at 3 a.m. on July 29 at last year’s Guitarfish with an all-out dance party in the lost forests of Cisco Grove.
“It’s an intimate festival setting right on the river and definitely one of the most memorable of shows the summer,” says Smith of the festival that returns from July 25 to 28.
“We bring together elements of world music, jazz and funk with some jam elements to create a deep dance music experience that’s really inspired by house and techno scene, but has a festival improvisation vibe. We’re all about taking people on a late-night journey with Latin rhythms, island rhythms and a really dancy set.” | crystalbaycasino.com