What happens when a hip-hop loving Portlander takes a bite from post-rock repetition and invites a viola to play along? Talkdemonic, that’s what.
The music of Talkdemonic is nearly implacable. The songs are ‘beats’ in the most basic sense of the word, but brilliantly laced with so many influences it’s hard to know exactly what you’re hearing. Think: the storytelling narrative of 90s hip-hop minus the words to narrate, cast through dynamic instruments with a viola on top. Sounds like it’d be weird, but it’s not. The songs manage to be cinematic without using words, they’re hypnotic but refuse to sit still for more than a measure or two. It simply does not sound like anything else out there.
Talkdemonic is the brainchild of Kevin O’Connor, who started the project on his own before Lisa Molinaro and her strings joined the equation in 2004. Since then, they’ve taken their act to stages all over the country, showing off their insane musicianship on viola and drums, while the pre-recorded loops boom from a stationary laptop. It’s quite a sight and generally unlike anything you've seen before.