Naked City Sessions at Maxx Fish 

Who: Almeida/Tennant

What: Naked City Sessions

Where: Maxx Fish

When: Friday, Feb. 6

Tickets:$10 - $15

While tonight’s full moon rises in the sky, in the heart of Whistler Village a unique multi-sensory event will be unfolding to the live tech-house beats of Vancouver duo Almeida/Tennant.

A pair of producer/engineers that met at Vancouver-based Greenhouse Studios, Ricardo Almeida and John Tennant have the combined expertise to create electronic music without the use of computers or turntables on stage in front of a crowd. The result is a show in the tradition of big time ’90s live house music acts like the Chemical Bros. and the Crystal Method.

In anticipation of Almeida/Tennant’s headlining performance at tonight’s Naked City Sessions at Maxx Fish, Pique Newsmagazine caught up with one half of the duo – Ricardo Almeida. It should be duly noted that the event’s moniker is a reference to the skyscraper-motif body-painted models expected to be in attendance and not to Almeida/Tennant’s lack of performance attire.

Pique: You guys aren’t DJs. What are you?

Ricardo Almeida: We’re live performers. We create hi-tech sounding music live with the controls. Essentially, we’re engineer/producers that have the ability to do a lot of realtime movement.

Pique: How did you partner up?

RA: We basically spent an entire summer locked away in a really nice studio. We put our heads together and came up with this nine-song CD (currently unreleased), continuously mixed but in a new way that hasn’t really been done before, in a studio format, where we still had control over everything afterwards.

It inspired this new way of playing live where we can still perform the CD, but we have all the elements, all the bass lines, all the drums are all separate. So we manipulate them, basically shape the songs as the moment happens, as opposed to staying locked to the moment."

Pique: What you’re doing seems pretty innovative. There are groove bands with a strong electronic focus, but you guys are a step beyond that.

RA: It’s like listening to a really hi-tech DJ, but imagine the DJ could change the bass line of the song while it’s happening. We have a chance to totally change the mix. We can take the beats out entirely. But that depends on the mood, the feeling in the crowd.

Pique: How do the two of you communicate while performing?

RA: This is when you know you’ve found somebody that matches the other half of your brain. You’re just about to do something and his hand’s right there too. Four hands are definitely better than two and that’s how we pull off a lot of the really cool tricky sounds. Tech house, the whole genre, requires little bits of tweakage without being too out there. Little subtle tweaks that four hands are much better for.

Pique: Do you think we’re going to start seeing more and more live performances of electronic music?

RA: Without a doubt. The gear is cheap enough now. It’s naturally going to happen with evolution. The way the kids picked up guitars in the past, they’re going to be picking up little samplers and little drum machines.

Almeida/Tennant perform their Naked City Sessions tonight at Maxx Fish. The multi-sensory evening includes opening sets by DJs Milton and James Allen, fashions by Bian Variani, projected visuals, body-painted models, go-go dancers, Tarot card readings, a magician, and a fire dancing performance outside the venue.

Tickets for the event are $10 in advance from Bestsellers, $15 at the door. VIP booths for parties of six to eight people are available for $100 - $200.

For information, call 604-938-1235.

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