From funk to electronica improv 

Flightcase gives Green Room more flexibility

Who: Flightcase

Where: Boot Pub

When: April 8

Keeping beats going, Green Room has developed a series of musical events with a dance-floor edge. One of those is Flightcase.

Less a band, more a collective, Flightcase aims for "the sounds of contemporary electronica" using improv for their base.

"Flightcase just makes things more flexible," says bassist Ian Beaty, a member of Green Room.

"We’re less of a jam band, where there are one or two guitar players with a jingly sound – usually more a bunch of buddies and a bag of weed!" he laughs.

"We’re more interested in improv with a capital I, the high-end art."

And while "B.C.’s heaviest touring funk band," Green Room, is still alive and kicking, promotions and music work for the new outlet, Flightcase, occupy a large share of Beaty’s time.

Green Room, established seven years ago, played their first gig out of town at The Boot Pub. Now The Boot serves as a backdrop for the new collective, Flightcase.

The group’s format takes a few different shapes. One night they might be a 10-piece jazz collective at the El Cocal on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive, but they also play as part of the Voodoo Seshuns, a weekly progressive music project held Wednesdays nights at Vancouver’s Bar None.

In last two weeks, the group has been joined by various notables. Malcolm Jamal Warner, of ’80s-era Cosby Show, recently performed a spoken word routine with the band.

"He did sort of a mid-tempo groove, spoken word and MC kind of mix with us at a Vancouver show," says Beaty.

DJ Avi Shack has spun beats with the band as well, while Darren Shearer – part of the New Deal, performing at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival this month – joined in at another show for some beatbox riffs.

The Flightcase lineup is Kia Kadiri on vocals and rhymes, Tim Proznick on drums and samples, Scott Sanft on keys and effects, and Colin Brumelle on guitar. Loop sampling, live trumpet, and electronic done live are all part of the mix.

"For tempo, a house beat is best for the dance floor," Beaty says. The Green Room tempo is more of a classic funk in the beat range between 90 and 100 beats per minute.

Beaty emphasizes that the sound they aim for is less a live house music feel that can have garage type leanings, and more towards contemporary electronica.

"The best part of the music is after the show and there’s a response from the audience, but also a response from the other band members," says Beaty.

That dialogue among musicians is part of the musical high.

Flightcase goes to work on their first demo at Ogre Recording Studios in Vancouver this spring. Tapers are always welcome at the shows, and the band does their own mini-disc recordings to get a sense of where they’re at with the music.

But with all the improv, and the songs having no titles, do things get confusing?

"We don’t need to be referencing it all," says Beaty. "All we do is look at each other and say, ‘are you ready?’"

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