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A Prolific Pair of Musical Forces Unite to Form Kneedelus

In Music
SHORT FUSE: Close connections brought Kneebody and Daedelus 
together to form the fusion of sound that is Kneedelus.

SHORT FUSE: Close connections brought Kneebody and Daedelus together to form the fusion of sound that is Kneedelus.

L.A.-based producer Daedelus has a reputation as a musical wizard. Known for his genre-hopping, unique brand of electronic music, he is a veteran of the L.A. scene and his work a constantly evolving gem in a sea of monotonous electronica. Kneebody is a jazz-fusion band based out of L.A., which also has become known for its utterly unique approach to music, earning the band a Grammy nomination with Theo Bleckmann and a residency with the New Manhattan Music Project.

Together they are Kneedelus, a powerhouse of multi-faceted musical sophistication. With the release of its eponymous debut collaboration, Kneedelus is currently on tour across the United States, Brazil and Europe—twice—and stopping by San Jose’s Cafe Stritch to melt the face off even the most well-versed music nerd.

Kneebody’s sound is, well, complicated. At the very least it’s jazz fusion; and at the other extreme it’s a brash and inquisitive compendium of every genre and sound wrapped into one explosive experience. This also describes Daedelus, whose work is a panoply of musical genres under an electronic umbrella.

“I think we’ve almost become famous for being the band that’s impossible to describe”, says Ben Wendel, Kneebody and Kneedelus saxophone player, with a laugh. “Daedelus is kind of the same way. So it’s a perfect storm of difficult-to-describe music.”

While they both err on the side of complicated, mind-bending soundscapes, members of Kneedbody and Daedelus have also known each other since high school, where Wendel and Daedelus were together in marching band, orchestra and their own musical outfit. “We even had a jazz band where we would play on the 3rd St. promenade for tips,” Wendel says.

Over the years they drifted into different regions of the musical hemisphere, but never lost touch. “There were a handful of times where Kneebody would do shows with (Daedelus), where we just kind of collaborated, improvised on the spot,” says Wendel. These on-the-fly shows inspired both groups to combine forces. Starting with a music grant from Chamber Music America, Wendel wrote a handful of songs that would become the core of the Kneedelus album. From there, everyone took a stab at it. Kneebody and Daedelus recorded together at Sunset Sound Studios, along with the input of other musicians. After that, Daedelus sat on the album for two years, slowing tweaking and rearranging what would become Kneedelus. “It was fun because we didn’t have to have too set of a plan,” Wendel says.

Both Kneebody and Daedelus are masters of creating their own musical space. Each entity shines while complimenting the other, creating strange, harmonious, and infinitely re-listenable pieces of music. Especially live, Kneedelus are definitely worth a listen.

Mar 4, 10pm, $10-20
Cafe Stritch


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