If you’re a fan of novel fusions and meaningful lyrics than you have to give Xenat-Ra’s new album, Science For The Soundman, a listen. They fuse elements of free jazz, metal, and what sounds like dubish alternative hip hop. I really appreciated the song, Swalo Meh Hole—it has a funky jazz and salsa-like feel with excellent drumming that keeps the blood flowing.
On top of the excellent sound are lyrics that I found to be meaningful. “Jungle! Swallow me whole. Break my body and free my soul. What I am, what do I owe? I’ll be fine on my own.” When I heard this line it really made me think about life and the inner push pull between modernity and nature.
Long term, Xenat-Ra wants to keep playing and challenging themselves, and see where their particular configuration of musicians can go. They genuinely love playing together and feel inspired by the act of making music.
With their new record out Xenat-Ra is looking to book more shows in Corvallis, Eugene, Portland and Seattle. They have also, like any musician worth their salt, begun working on another record.
Unlike more mainstream groups, Xenat-Ra isn’t targeting a specific audience for their music, they just really enjoy playing together and challenging each other to go to new places musically. Xenat-Ra’s music has a depth of sound that is infrequently found in mass-produced music. And the lyrical poetry that overlays their free-wheeling beats has actual meaning beyond conspicuous consumption and populist jingoism.
Given their divergence from the majority of mainstream music, Xenat-Ra feels that it has been extremely rewarding to know that they have built a loyal local audience. The members of Xenat-Ra have a lot of history within the Corvallis music scene; they’ve all been in a number of bands with some success locally. They know and appreciate the people who come out to their shows, initially there because of past connections, and are thrilled that they seem to keep coming back.
Xenat-ra will release their new album with a performance at Corvallis’ Majestic Theater on Oct. 6th at 9 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.majestic.org.
By William Tatum