Music at the Crossroads: Chromeo brings its electrofunk show to Austin in August

July 8, 2010 at 2:08 a.m.

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez


Nerdy goes through its life cycles.

While pocket protectors, suspenders and role-playing games will likely forever remain buried in the pits of nerdy obscurity, other nerd-acclaimed material will emerge into the realm of cool.

Enter: Chromeo.

The unlikely Arab-Jewish duo from Canada have revived the musical instruments and genres those of the grunge era might have spurned as uncool.

The group brings its electrofunk show to Austin in August. The two have been making waves since releasing 2007's "Fancy Footwork," a party jump-starter and ode to 1970's and 1980's dance music P-Thugg and Dave 1 likely had to listen to in their closets coming of age in the '90s.

Replete with vocoders, drum machines and synthesizers, the setup for a Chromeo show is becoming more popular among young music makers. Musicians are shucking their electric guitars and drum sets and either plugging their circa-1980's vintage synths into analog recording equipment or using MIDI compatible ones to compose laptop jams.

Now, the group is set to release its third studio album in six years. Hotly anticipated, it features a track called "Hot Mess," which might just encapsulate the band's musical manifesto.

Chromeo is among a handful of new artists bringing dancey electropop back into the pages of Rolling Stone, SPIN and other music publications as well as the most revered blogs, namely Pitchfork.

It's still not cool to use the word "funky" to describe a "groove," but older listeners will find that the new batch of artists tip their hats to their funkadelic forefathers. Chromeo, for one, collaborated with Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates. And guess what? It wasn't lame.

Chromeo kicked off its summer tour in June at the Tennessee music festival Bonnaroo. The group will tour to promote their latest release, "Business Casual," which drops in stores this August. Tickets for their Aug. 24 show at Stubb's in Austin are on sale now for $20.



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