The live performances
of Mik Garrison and Scott Kerr are inherently experimental—funk and R&B in the setting of theatricalism. The duo's unpredictable fourth wall-breaking is among few constants in a concert setting, be it taking place in an underpass or on the stage at a bar, but their first collaborative full-length "Introducing" show them fully absorbing that combustible spontaneity in a studio environment. Separated from their in-the-flesh physical context, Garrison and Kerr are just as thrilling.
Live, one of the most fascinating aspects of Garrison and Kerr is watching them build sinewy, multi-layered grooves one part and one loop at a time—you're watching them throw paint on a canvas until they decide it's finished and move on to the next one. It's unclear how fully they exploited overdubbing and other studio techniques on this record, but the songs still unfold as though improvised, albeit with a roadmap of instructions. And "Introducing" does play as one long set—Garrison even verbally conducts the fade-out, James Brown-style, at the end of "Mom Song"—but there are subtle details that elevate the material simply from the higher sound quality present.
Many of the tracks are interpolations of R&B standards, if not outright covers, and Garrison's vocals reveal a left-field sensibility that is natural and soulful devoid of mimicry. Similarly, Kerr's rhythmic patterns and horn arrangements are off-kilter enough to forge an identity far away from a tribute band operating in the same style, rendering "Introducing" as an excellent and peculiar debut.
Mik and Scott will perform on Saturday, Nov. 29 at Club Congress at 7 p.m. The 21 and over show is free.
—Joshua Levine, firstname.lastname@example.org