Their sound is haunting and cinematic with an ambiance that can enchant listeners with dark, delicate romanticism.
They are indie electronica duo Tigercide, one of Bakersfield and Southern California’s most alluring purveyors of the late-night trip-hop music movement. Currently riding a wave of attention from both deeply devoted underground music loyalists and the club-dwelling hip set, vocalist/poetess Adriana Magana and keyboardist/beat maker Brendan Russell look to expand their fan base during this weekend’s massive YoubloomLA Music & Summit Festival in Los Angeles.
A three-day mix of networking, jamming and gigs — lots and lots of gigs — the festival is a multi-venue series of showcases for artists. Tigercide will perform Saturday night at the Lexington bar in downtown Los Angeles.
“We were doing events for (event promoters) Party Punx in LA and PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) and promoter Elliot Next liked our sound and he submitted us,” Magana said of how the group landed a coveted slot during the event. “We are excited to be on board. We will be performing new songs. It’s gonna be an awesome weekend for sure.”
But before we go any further, let’s rewind to four years ago. Magana, who’d found herself living back in Bakersfield after 11 years of life in the throes of LA’s music scene, was having no luck finding locals to make new music with. Defeated, she decided to take her chances on Craigslist, which, according to Magana, proved to be an odd but winning choice.
“One day literally crying in tears of desperation, I decided to check out Craigslist Los Angeles. Kind of funny because never in a million years would I search Craigslist for music outlets or think I’d find anything worthwhile. Lo and behold, there was Brendan’s post: ‘Looking for female trip hop/down tempo vocalist.’ Long story short, I reached out to Brendan, met him one day in Hollywood after speaking to him over the phone for hours, we jammed and jammed some more and the rest is history.”
Both are admirers of the electronic music subgenre trip-hop, a sound that became wildly popular overseas in the UK and Europe in the 1990s through acts such as Massive Attack, Portishead, Bjork, Morcheeba, Sneaker Pimps, and others. Some groups also broke Stateside, helping re-energize electronic music after its ‘80s new wave heyday.
Typically a slow to mid-tempo hip-hop-inspired drumbeat mixed with soulful, spacey jazz and trancelike vocals, the genre’s chilled-out funky vibe can still be heard today.
“We both love trip-hop, but we wanted to use some fresh new sounds and make it our own,” said Magana, whose stage name is Shexist.
Writing, recording and producing original music wherever the spirit takes them, Russell, who performs under stage name Saint Brendan, explains the group’s name.
“A man once told us a story about a woman who was betrayed by her beloved. She was so distraught and broken-hearted that she decided she wanted to end it all. Being that she lived in a village at the edge of a jungle, each time a tiger was seen, a bell would alarm all the villagers to warn them about the tiger. So one night when the bell rang, she went into the jungle to look for the tiger in hopes that it would see her and devour her. When she came face to face with the tiger, it disregarded her and wandered away. This made the woman furious and so she chased the tiger; hence, suicide by tiger.”
That type of poetic vision perfectly explains the duo, whose sound and abstract lyrics are presented through a series of dreamlike musical sequences. For the casual listener, things might get a little spaced out, but for those well-versed in the vocab of trip-hop, there’s so much to love.
“We love creating in the moment,” said Magana. “Keep it organic. It’s always different.”
Performing live when an opportunity presents itself for such a specialized genre of music, Tigercide has built an impressive log of shows. From popular Los Angeles indie music venues such as the Echoplex and Los Globos, the now-closed House of Blues in Hollywood, and South by Southwest festival in Austin, they’ve also made their way to Bakersfield over the years performing at Sandrini’s, Front Porch Music and other area haunts.
“Opening up for Robert Delong at the Echoplex was an insane show,” recalled Russell. “We had a great crowd, lots of bass that night. While playing House of Blues in Hollywood, a riot broke out on the Sunset Strip. After our set, we were all locked in for a couple of hours. We bonded with the crowd.”
Adventurous listeners can get acquainted with Tigercide a number of ways online by finding the duo’s music at iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, their YouTube channel, Facebook, and more. Check out “Water Sign” and “New Ghost City.”
According to Russell, the group will also be releasing a new track on Oct. 1, titled “Nightwing,” along with more in the coming months.
“It takes awhile to create and polish a sound. We have definitely evolved and are able to create in a smoother fashion. We have been changing our synth set up to help refine it.”
If you’re feeling like making the road trip down south for YoubloomLA, check out the event website at youbloom.com. Closer to home, you can catch Tigercide live at Jasmine & the New Taste in downtown Bakersfield during the First Friday Art Walk on Oct. 7. Follow their Facebook page for event information and updates.
“We create music to raise frequency in this world and because we can’t do anything else but that,” said Magana.