My baby daughter’s name is Iris. So when Crash Levin, an artist from Shreveport, Louisiana, sent me this song, I was obviously a little biased. It’s not the kind of music I would normally associate with Louisiana–the probable birthplace of jazz and arguably blues too–I just wasn’t used to seeing this kind of electronica come from the deep south.
But with nods to house and post-Burial UKG, it shouldn’t really be altogether surprising. Everything from the great lineage of jazz and blues of the south, to the ever-branching trees of house and techno originating in the rust belt–and really all American music for that matter–owes its primary rhythms to the African diaspora, particularly the influence of West African and Yoruban music. So it ultimately feels fitting that an artist from the birthplace of one diasporic legacy would embrace the music of another.
Also–and not to be reductive–but the sludgy ambiance of “Iris” also feels like it would be at home in the swamps that characterize the landscape of Crash Levin’s home state. It even shares some of the shuffling percussive melodic style of proto-blues, albeit played via distorted synthesis instead of a cigar box guitar.
The song is out now for streaming, or for purchase on bandcamp.
Crash Levin – “Iris” (sc)