Telekinetic Walrus Talks The Spaceship With the Heavy Bass Bump
Photo by Cortney Cates
The 305’s Telekinetic Walrus and the Pride of Ions may have started their Magic City voyage in 2009. But according to legend, their journey actually began galaxies away and eons ago when the Prime Primordial Walrus was placed at the center of the ancient universe to lead the Primordial Pride of Walruses to a new universe.
Many millennia later, Telekinetic Walrus was born, with a mission to make the best “new age, funkadelic” fusion of “booty bass and hip-hop” music on Planet Earth.
Now Y Diz, the Time-Zoo Keeper, Corinne Stevie, Komakozie, Faun 5000, and Buffalo Brown are getting ready to launch The Spaceship With the Heavy Bass Bump at Sweat Records. And just to be clear, we're talking about a prerelease listening party for the outfit's latest full-length album.
“It’s our best work to date,” beams producer Y Diz. “It’s our first full-length LP since 2010, and not an EP, like we’ve been doing in the past. We’ll have 11 new songs, with 15 or 16 tracks in total.”
Unlike most of their recent extended-play releases, which tell the individual stories of the Telekinetic Walruses (such as 2014’s The Instrumental Adventures of Faun 5000, King of Faunzellia and Corinne Stevie's Tic Toc), Y Diz explains that “every single band member is on every single song” from The Spaceship With the Heavy Bass Bump.
“The music and work, as a whole, represents the story, and the story is represented within each song,” says the Time-Zoo Keeper. “We’re in the part of the story now where the team has assembled. The band members are like superheroes, but it’s only when we all band together and go about our missions that we can keep the balance of the universe.”
The Walruses may be a group of intergalactic warrior-explorers, but before discovering their trippy bass-tastic beats, Y Diz, the Time-Zoo Keeper, and the rest of the crew were just a bunch of kids trying to make music.
“I came down here [from Atlanta] in 2008 because I was collaborating with Jake [Fletcher], the Time-Zoo Keeper in the band,” Y Diz recalls. “Jake and I have been making music since ninth grade. With him, we started the band. As far as everyone else we’ve met, they kinda came through me.”
He also adds: “This is a relatively new rendition of the band. Corinne and I met in Atlanta through a mutual friend who lived in the same building as she. Komakozie and I met through the scene and just started making music together. Then Faun 5000, we met through mutual friends and crossed paths in New Orleans during Mardi Gras one year. Buffalo, the sixth member of the band, who's more of an auxiliary member, who comes when he can, we met on the stage at Moksha Art Fair about five years ago. We literally sat up next to each other and started jamming.”
The crew may have joined musical forces by coincidence, but that kind of spontaneity is just Telekinetic Walrus' creative modus operandi.
“What's cool too is that we all come from different musical backgrounds,” Y Diz says, mentioning Faun 5000's mastery of jazz from the University of New Orleans. “Our diversity [both musical and ethnic], that's a really powerful thing. Jake and I are the only completely white dudes — Jake is half-Jewish, and I'm super Southern. Kamakozie and Corinne are both from Haiti. Buffalo is Dominican, and Faun 5000 is half-Colombian. We come from so many parts of the world and get together so naturally.”
Of course, he's talking specifically about the band, but Telekinetic Walrus' cultural blend is also a representation of Miami. And while the crew is 305 all the way, the producer can't help but also point out the harsh realities of the local music scene. “It's so hard to crack the surface in Miami because there's so much culture,” he explains.
“There are so many different scenes down here. You have the electronic scene, punk rock and hard rock, the Latin scene. That's what makes Miami so beautiful. There are so many interesting tastes down here. But that's what makes it hard for up-and-coming bands too.”
Still, the Telekinetic Walrus crew refuses to get bogged down in negativity and defeatism. For these intergalactic warrior-explorers, it's all about bringing positive vibes to the people.
“What we stand for musically is a message of positivity,” Y Diz says. “I can go to a club any day and dance to a song about booty. But at the end of the day, what's that doing for society? Nothing much. It's just partying, which I'm all for, but I'm also for having good intentions behind it all. We're trying to uplift people. Ultimately, the Walrus is all about unity, love, and being aware. It's about thinking a little bit deeper.”
Telekinetic Walrus' The Spaceship With the Heavy Bass Bump Pre-Release Listening Party. As part of the Gold Pass Tour. Saturday, April 4. Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami. The show runs from 6 to 8 p.m., and admission is free. Call 786-693-9309, or visit sweatrecordsmiami.com. Performing later that night with Shark Anthony & the Reef. Funky Buddha Lounge, 2621 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. The show starts at 9 p.m., and admission costs $10. Call 561-368-4643, or visit thefunkybuddha.com.
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