As I walked through the jam-packed floor at the Republic, catching the end of Brother Ali’s set, I accidentally bumped into someone and excused myself. Much to my surprise, the response that was given back to me pretty much echoed the rest of the night: “No worries, it’s an Atmosphere show; people are going to bump into each other.”
Brother Ali finished off his set lamenting about an art exhibit he had seen earlier in the day, where he had seen a piece dedicated to his namesake, Mohamed Ali. He went on to say that it was by far one of the most amazing things he had seen in a while. The passion he had for art directly translated into his stage show. He will be releasing a new album this year and plans on coming back through town.
After a quick set change Atmosphere took to the stage, but not without echoing the very sentiment I got earlier. “This is an Atmosphere show, you will get bumped, just be mindful of your space and others’.” Rapper Sean Daley, aka Slug, and DJ/producer Anthony Davis, aka Ant, hail from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and have put out an astounding eight studio albums and 10 EPs since their inception in 1998.
A character in some of Atmosphere’s songs, Lucy Ford (Lucifer) has been an outlet for Slug’s rage and codependence on alcohol. In turn, he often uses her to demonize all the bad things that have happened in his life. Many of his earlier albums tended to flirt with or even outright reek of those notions. Fast-forward to 2016 with the release of Fishing Blues, the band’s eighth album. It is chalked with several guest appearances who could have easily shown up in his live set, but he opted instead to use Brother Ali and deM atlaS on a few other tracks.
Even with the heavy gloom of contact, there was this odd silver lining. It’s surprising how one can remain positive with all that baggage, but the guys in Atmosphere have seemed to find a way. You can see more pictures here: jalbum.net/a/1779997