Live Concert Photography: Clipping. with Dreamcrusher at Elsewhere Zone One 10/9/19
Over the past 40 plus days of social distancing guidelines and quarantine, I’ve managed to have an extraordinary amount of free time. And while at times it’s been profoundly lonely, I’ve managed to be fairly productive, going through a deep archive of unedited photos that goes back more than five years. Of course, much of this work serves as an uncomfortably eerie reminder of the things we once had — and won’t get back for the foreseeable future, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the course of this site’s almost ten year history, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering the acclaimed Los Angeles-based hip-hop trio Clipping. Interestingly, when the act — production duo Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, and emcee Daveed Diggs — formed, they never really expected to achieve much critical or commercial success: their earliest releases were built around Snipes’ and Hutson’s sparse and abrasive productions featuring industrial clang, clink and clatter and field recordings paired with Diggs’ rapid-fire, swaggering and narrative-driven flow, full of surrealistically brutal and violent imagery.
Sub Pop Records signed the trio and released 2014’s clpping., an effort that was released to critical applause and attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere — including this site. Shortly after that, the act went on an informal hiatus with Diggs going on to star in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit musical Hamilton, eventually winning a Tony Award for his dual roles of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette. But in 2016, the trio reconvened to write and recorded 2016’s critically applauded Splendor & Misery, a Sci-Fi dystopian concept album that is futuristic and yet describes our increasingly frightening and bizarre present.
Released last October, the JOVM mainstay’s latest album There Existed an Addiction to Blood found the act interpreting and adapting horrorcore, a purposefully absurdist and significant sub-genre that flourished for a brief second or two in the mid 1990s through their own singular lens — with guest spots from Ed Balloon, La Chat, Counterfeit Madison and Pedestrian Deposit and a long list of others. Interestingly, the album is partially inspired by Ganja & Hess, the 1973 vampire cult classic, regarded as one of the highlights of the Blaxploitation era: the album’s title is derived from the film and the JOVM mainstays prominently sampled part of the film score.
Last year, the member of Clipping. went on a short headlining tour to support There Existed and Addition to Blood that included an October 9, 2010 stop at Elsewhere Zone One with Wichita, KS-based experimental, industrial hip-hop artist Dreamcrusher. Clipping.’s set was a career-spanning set centered around the new album’s material, including the Geto Boys’ like “Nothing Is Safe, the Mobb Deep and DMX-like “La Mala Ordina,” which featured guest spots from The Rita, Benny The Butcher and Elcamino, as well as the eerily cinematic “Blood of the Fang,” in which Diggs conjures an alternate history of black political and social struggle in the 60s and 70s, name-dropping a who’s who of radical activists — and then reimagining them as a sort of undead superhero team continuing the necessary fight against systems of oppression and racism.
Dreamcrusher is a queer, Wichita, KS-born, New York-based artist, who specializes in what they have dubbed “nihilist, queer revolt musik,” as well as noisecore and shitgaze.