Upon a first listen to Voodoo Boogaloo, there are certain comparisons you are bound to make. Personally, thus far, I’m thinking of acts like the super-rad/super-weird Portishead, the catchy/sexy Peaches and the poetry/shoegaze-meets-sick-ass-beats of Advisory Committee-era Mirah, but if I’m trying to just slap a simple genre on ’em, it might be more apt to label it “trip-hop” and call it a day. That’d be a disservice to the product created by young lovers Logan Woodyard and Stephanie Cardona, though, because there is so much more going on under the hood, and frankly, the term “trip-hop” summons pictures of some seriously obnoxious shit in my brain. But I digress.
"We're very method," Woodyard says via phone from his home in Canyon Lake, Texas, conveniently located somewhere between Austin and San Antonio. "We both eat vegan, don't drink, meditate, we love to adventure .… Everything we're doing is so we can live healthy, and then I download—which I mean more spiritually—that energy and lifestyle into the writing."
Woodyard sounds a little more new-agey than one might expect from a duo that creates hip-hop infused and extremely dancey post-rock-meets-hip-hop. His mother runs a foster home, though, so maybe that positivity and becoming attuned to nature and your fellow man runs in his blood. As for the music, it fucking bumps. There's no mind-numbing repetition like we find in so many other similar electronic music styles (though everything is created using Abelton software; everything is very hip; everything makes your damn head bounce) because while you're busy blasting the album and having your mind blown, Woodyard is tied up while field-recording the sounds of his convertible going up and down at the beach for use on his next beat.
Cardona is, for lack of a better term, the star of the show. Her voice is drop-dead gorgeous and, Woodyard says, she lives in that spotlight, son. But it doesn't bother him any; he's really more of a beat-smith and sonic curator, even if he does rap from time to time like he did in the old days, back before the pair joined forces and he'd spit rhymes on the streets of Las Vegas (not New Mexico) as performance art.
That was a lifetime ago, though, and Woodyard lives in the now. "The shows are very cinematic to me because I think of it like designing an atmosphere," he says. "One of my favorite things to do on this earth is to mix sounds and arrange sounds; sounds have such an impact on our system, and if I can organize them in such a way that reaches out to someone in an audience …," he trails off. But hell, he's got a lot on his mind. This is a guy who grew up on a horse ranch and who came by hip-hop completely organically. Cardona, he says, played in garage punk bands and came from a more musically rich background before he "stole her for this project."
And it's a good thing he did. No more garage for her, no more street beats for him. And we're reaping all the benefits.
8 pm Tuesday, July 12. Free.
530 S Guadalupe St.