Technology and digital distribution have done wonderful things for music. Quicker speed-to-market has resulted in artists being able to put out lyrically timely music while still relevant. Bedroom artists and “SoundCloud rappers” have seen traditional barriers to getting music to the public removed entirely, enabling them to bring their music directly to fans.
But as with most devices of shortcut and convenience, there have been unintended consequences — most notably the gradual demise of the band. An artistic outlet with every member taking part of the creation process at all times. A fine example of that type of band is The Internet.
The Internet is what it sounds like when a group of incredibly — and uniquely — talented individuals loves collaborating with one another. Making music mainly for the pure joy and expression of it. Syd, Steve Lacy, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige II and Christopher Smith make up The Internet. But their collaborations run deep and are quite impressive, as they’re tied in with the Odd Future crew (Tyler, The Creator and others).
The result is a sound that is infinitely unique and extraordinarily sincere, spanning the full range of human emotion. Their transparency and relatability leads the listener to think of the members of The Internet as the best friends that they have never actually met.
While they claim influences as broad as George Duke, Erykah Badu, Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest, and Jamiroquai — it cannot be reasonably said that their sound is in the same neighborhood as those artists. Try to name drop a band or artist that sounds like The Internet, and you almost certainly will come up empty. They lead, not follow.
Another reliable feature of The Internet is the late-in-song twist. Just when you think you have “figured out” an Internet song, many of them take a hard left turn into a totally new direction. Don’t ever give up early on one of their songs.
They were captured live in 2015 at KCRW, shortly after the release of their album Ego Death, a period where band member Martians said, “we found our sound.” So this recording also represents the right band at precisely the right time.
Check out more KCRW Throwback Sessions:
Hot 8 Brass Band live on MBE in 2017
Laura Mvula live on MBE in 2013
John Legend’s Apogee Session in 2014
Café Tacvba live on MBE in 1996
Lykke Li live on MBE in 2011
Moby live on MBE in 1999
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings live on MBE in 2014
Animal Collective live on MBE in 2016
Marlon Williams live on MBE in 2018
Khruangbin live on MBE in 2018