This Sunday at 8pm, Astrol Waters will take the stage to present for the Racer Sessions. Jeremy Gonzalez, saxophonist and Racer frequenter, connected us with this ensemble, and we are so stoked to find out what their sound will be like. I've heard descriptors including, but not limited to: acid rap, free jazz, funk, and noise.
Keenan Magic, one of the group's key members, wrote an amazing essay for us to post to the blog, and I think he does a much better job than I could of preparing you for what you might experience. So read on, and make sure to get yourselves to the session in time for their set. And DEFINITELY stick around for the jam afterwards.
'Thoughts from the voice of Astrol Waters, Ty or better known as, Keenen Magik. Wednesday June 13th'
Hello Racer Sessions,
I opened my inbox this morning to hear what 5-track was looking at when steering the second Astrol Waters album. The feelings stirred before actually hearing it. Met with much anticipation. Anticipating something that is real and been there for me, and really beyond my individual existence alone. See, we all got together once upon a time, an event it was. Recorded an album to ship away into the ocean. Many moons ago, yet the memory of my heart beat is so present. So excited about life, like the sun were out on my birthday, when its really cloudy morning rain”, says Keenen
“Astrol Waters, the experience of having a comfort feeling wrapped all around me and not censoring how I feel. Astrol Waters, a gift to the giver given for harmony of the hearts, a bouquet in the heart of town. From life itself. In gratitude to all life that lives. Astrol Waters is a call to all in confidence of reaching a place where love lives deep down in the vibration of those lost in the darkness. a bridge. a rainbow. A bow of rain, to see above, to ease the pain. Astrol Waters, knows how I feel. A reflection of the moment, never before and never again.”
Drums: Pat Lenon, or Sheridan Riley, or William Mapp
Voice: Ty Keenen
Percussion: Andrew Woods
Saxophone: Jeremy Sanchez
Guitar: Brandon Herzberg
Bass: John Beezer
“Three years ago I was invited by Brandon Herzberg to experience Racer Sessions. He told me about this gentleman named Jeremy who was real far out on the alto saxophone there, and thought it would be great if he come play out with 5, Beezer, him, and I. After playing together pretty constant, like once maybe twice a month somewhere around Seattle, we could all feel we had something going. Brandon was real hip to the vibe and talent that was happening at Racer, though we met at nectar lounge. Theres a jam there with dope talent but we were getting tired of the same standard approach at Nectar. We were inspired to really push this thing we all had going. While Woods was showing on percussion with this outstanding medicine bag of sounds, when Pat was already booked Sheridan was there or maybe William Mapp or Bobbie Jimmi even, to keep the torch lit. We’ve really allowed shapes to take place on their own in that way. Beezer who has been rock solid on bass for astrol, told me from the first time we talked, to just let the sparks fly up there. To be totally present always. There is no certain way; ever. The confidence I feel from everyone in this squad of free thinkers is what allows me to be so vulnerable and not self censoring my feelings, none of us. And with all these forces so brand new everytime, the rush is always fresh, the shield is impenetrable” says Keenen.
Some years ago, I was catching my groove at nectar’s open jam scene and met Brandon who later invited me to a house party with live music. We got pulled in to get on, and I felt free as a bird. The drummer, William Mapp was smashing it, Brandon was telekinetic, bass was pounding, and I couldn’t forget this person on the other guitar that night. It didnt connect right away from Brandon mentioning them multiple times. I go, that guitar playing was taking it to outer space like id never knew! “Yeah, thats 5-track” he said. The energy that night was bliss. I was introduced to a scene of genuine musical artists who had something powerful to say. Beezer, who was at that party and later informed me, was at the first date of that group with pat and Sheridan on drums. Beezer invited us to play an event he’d put together out in the middle of the woods in Olympia. If the date at Tim’s Tavern June of 2015 didnt seal the deal, Hobbitstock, that roaring full moon night in August definitely did. A string of more exciting experiences down the line, Brandon told me an idea he got got from 5. To ask Jack, who 5 and Pat play with in Beyond Captain Orca and MKB Ultra, and Beezer has collaborated with since the 90’s, to record and produce our first album. After talking about this possibility allowing it to manifest, we knocked on his door and he answered with welcoming arms, excited himself to be a part of such a coalition. We were elated that afternoon in Ballard. Set the date for December and in we went with our hearts and souls in our hands. That moment alone meant so so much to me, and the spirits were through the roof the entire process! One day, two and a half hours of material captured with altering combinations of brilliance. The biggest performance of my life, I felt. It was major, and I knew it. You couldn’t not!”
Time is never still. With producing my solo work, busking my ax and horn, loving my family, eating well, being at labateyah, eating well…, not in that order; I never actually made it out to Racer, where the amazing musicians and good people in this collective of Astrol Waters have promised prosper…
“Thank you, this community of free thinking spirits of the U District and beyond, for allowing this near and dear language of energy we have cultivated, Astrol Waters, to be welcomed into your safe space of expression"
Ty Keenen Magik