PHOTOS / RECAP: Bluetech @ The Chapel, San Francisco 2/7/14

Bluetech comes across like a smooth drink of fine Irish whiskey; a transcendental groove that has a refreshingly elevating quality. The amount of levity packed into the downtempo stylings of Bluetech is a light breeze from darker shades of ambient and downtempo from similar artists. Evan Bluetech brought his act to The Chapel in San Francisco earlier this month on Friday, February 7th, accompanied by a live violinist and some amazing psychadelic visual projections that covered the stage from floor to vaulted chapel ceiling.

His newest EP, Spacehop Chronicles Vol. 1, which was showcased most of the evening, is a journey through elements of middle eastern instrumentation, off-beat futuristic synth hits, and heavy bass. It sticks with a punchy drum beat and a spaced out dub-type groove without overusing delays or filters and avoiding any of the heavier ‘step’ elements that would overwhelm its natural beauty. Vague shades of Aphex Twin comes through subtle embellishments on tracks like “Athena 13” where the listener feels as though they are Astro Crip-walking along the rim of a crater on the moon’s surface heading back to their arpeggio’d lunar organ.

A quick view through the comments on Bluetech’s Soundcloud and Instagram pages shows an overwhelming presence of love and support from his followers. One such post dubbed him a “Beat Shaman.” It was this line that was rattling around my brain while being immersed in the artist’s richly layered tapestry of sound that I can most clearly describe as downtempo bubbles. His sound is rich and densely layered yet not overwhelming. It has a head bobbing grooviness that makes you want to bounce uncontrollably, but also keeps your feet grounded on earth. The type of music that makes you want to jump up and down when key melody changes come, but then has you questioning how you could feel so lifted by such a mellow beat. It’s really quite unexpected, and that’s what will keep people coming back.