May 18, 2001
Best Music Poll
Best Local DJ/Electronic Act: Club d’Elf
It’s a testament to Club d’Elf versatility that they were nominated in two Best Music Poll categories this year-Best Local Jam Band and DJ/Electronic-and they probably could have fit into a couple more. Led by bassist Mike Rivard, this loose collective of musicians from all over the stylistic map lets rock, jazz, world, funk, and electronica collide in time-stretching live performances. It’s not DJ/electronic music in the traditional sense, but Club d’Elf’s globally-minded groove music would be unimaginable without the past decade of binary-based sounds. Not only because they employ samplers, turntablists, and racks of sound-sculpting effects, but also because they’ve ingested the spirit and approach of electronica. Bringing high-wire improvisation to jungle, trip-hop, funk, and dub, Club d’Elf uses long-form repetitive structures and interlocking rhythmic grids to induce trance-like states of suspended animation.
After a three-year residency at Cambridge’s cozy Lizard Lounge, this past year Club d’Elf finally released their debut album, As Above (Live at the Lizard Lounge) (Live Archive). Then Rivard took the show on the road, hooking up with long-time friend John Medeski for a successful tour of the Northeast.
Though you can still find Rivard and Co. holding court at the Lizard a couple of Thursdays a month, they’ve been branching out to other area clubs as of late, bringing their mind-expanding excursions to the uninitiated.