Jamaican band rocks MTV

New wave music meets old hip hop mixed with a little punk is a formula that has been the basis of indie bands across the world. A sound like that coming out of the reggae-and dancehall-oriented Jamaica begs to be noticed, and the Acmatic Band has been noticed, writes Krista Henry in Jamaica’s Gleaner.

The eight-member band got major notice from mtviggy.com where they beat out global contenders to make it as Artist of the Week.

MTV Iggy is a new MTV brand focused on global music and pop culture. From Chinese punk to Indian rock to Senegalese rap to Colombian electro, the station is constantly on the lookout for amazing musicians who will be the next XX, MIA, Akon, or Jay Sean.

Last week, an unknown band from out of Jamaica, Acmatic, caused waves when the band and its music got featured on the website.

The Gleaner tracked the band down recently to find out what it was about their sound that was attracting international attention.

Acmatic’s Alex Delapenha discussed the music, sound and future of the eclectic band.

Acmatic consists of Delapenha and Russell Meghoo as producers, Philip Lopez as the main vocalist, Joel Ashbourne on keyboards, Phillip Myers as lead guitarist, Daniel Hugh on bass, Craig Lee on drums and Dominic Neebhan as a part-time vocalist.

The band got started through Meghoo and Lopez, who went to high school together. In 2007, while at the University of Technology, the two met with Delpehna, who introduced them to Neebhan, and Acmatic was soon ready for take-off.

Delapenha explained, “When the group expanded we decided to get serious with it, and in 2009 released our first album, Sundial. After that we decided we needed an actual band, so we tried to find musicians who liked the music and went through various ones before we finally had a live band.”

Local reception

The Acmatic Band has performed at venues such as Red Bones, The Wyndham hotel, Weekenz, the Courtleigh Auditorium, Altamont Court, among other places. Their sound might not give them the notoriety they want locally, bearing in mind it isn’t reggae or dancehall, however, local reception to the band has been on the improve.

According to http://www.mtviggy.com, Acmatic is a “sun-drenched, new wave, hip-hop sound of the Caribbean”.

The website went on to say, “Acmatic rocks an inimitable blend of She Wants Revenge throwback, Golden Age hip hop, and lively dance pop. The septet doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but their debut album Sundial is far from camp. Their ability to create such a fine wine of fusion and have fun, not to mention their ability to get along when there are seven of them, should be an inspiration to the world’s most deadpan bands.”

According to Delapenha, it’s that non-Jamaican sound that makes them stand out, the feature on MTVIggy not hurting too much either.

“What makes us different is that we’re Jamaican and not doing dancehall and reggae,” he said.

Their latest two music videos, “The Power,” which was released a year ago, and Silver Nimbus, which was released two months ago, show the band’s unique mix of music. As well as honing their signature sound, the band also recently released a playlist of six new songs online called “The Squid Shark EP,” which is available on their website, www.acmatic.bandcamp.com.

“Right now, we’re also working on a mixtape before working on our second album. We’re exploring a lot of different kinds of sounds,” explained Delapenha.

Though each member has a nine-to-five, music is their true love and the group is hoping it will take them all over the world.

For the original report go to http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20111004/ent/ent1.html

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