Houston’s LIMB Brings New Performance To Day for NightLIMB. Photo: Jeromy Barber
No matter what you may think, Houston’s music scene has always been filled with artists who are often beyond what the rest of the country’s music scene is up to. In fact, for most of my life I can always place a finger on a Houston act who has been ahead of their time or at least has been doing things differently than what most may consider the norm. Enter Houston’s LIMB. For the past five years I’ve watched LIMB push the boundaries of what electronic music looks and sounds like while still straying from becoming a novelty act. To date, LIMB has co-produced a B L A C K I E album, toured all over North America, and released groundbreaking works without ever beginning to compromise. While the producer’s live sets are usually some of the most intriguing and energetic sets you can experience, what he has planned for this year’s Day for Night performance is something else entirely. Nothing that he does feels like anyone else, including an interview where he insisted on giving us a song debut, “Daphne (REF. Apollo)” to include with this piece. Free Press Houston caught up with him to see what he has planned as well as the new live format he’s implementing and the new material he’s bringing to the festival.
Free Press Houston: What’s behind the name, LIMB?
LIMB: Nothing really, it was meant to be ambiguous. I liked how it sounded and there’s really nothing heavy behind it.
FPH: You originally started off as a three piece, correct? How’d it go from a three piece to a solo project?
LIMB: Well, it actually started with just me before it evolved into a three piece with Josh Cordova and Casey Berridge. It was an experiment and originally I wanted all of my projects to fall under the same name. Under the name LIMB we did a hip hop record with Alex Cardenas and went on to release various projects under the name.
FPH: Your music is a mix of electronica and abrasive fury. What inspires you to make the music that is LIMB?
LIMB: I will make music for no apparent reason because I enjoy the process of just making it. But, I need for what it will be to also stimulate growth, so it has to inspire moving forward or benefit those around me moving forward. Music for me is like a nervous habit. It’s meditative and having things like obstacles to overcome in the music are great because they force me to learn new things.
FPH: You’ve been involved in so many different projects at the same time. Is there a moment where you change the direction of where a track will end up while you’re creating it?
LIMB: Totally. It depends. I’ve knocked out a track overnight, but it’s more fun to sit with it for a while. Living with that idea, emotionally seeing how it will live in the world, that’s where it’s best for me. Painting a picture or scribbling on a piece of paper can be pretty, but thinking about where it goes and how it will exist in the world is just as important to me.
FPH: Your shows are some of the most intense live performances I’ve ever seen. I remember seeing blood on your drum heads after a set before. What’s the end goal to performing for you?
LIMB: Well, performing is very scary and nerve racking, though I’ve done it enough to where a lot of the anxiety is gone. But having reservations about what people will see or think of my performance are still there in my mind. So, I went with the original idea of if I give one hundred percent tonight, maybe that’ll be enough. Like, when this show is done, it’ll be enough to make up for any lack of skills I might have. When you play enough shows, the emotional connection between you and your songs fades away per each show you play. So pulling emotions from how the day, the week, or even how the year have gone or whatever will help people experience something helps. I want people to walk away from one of my sets having experienced something completely different than what they’re used to.
FPH: The Day for Night performance will be something you’re referring to as “The Octagon,” can you explain what that is and how will it all work?
LIMB: I’ve been recently calling it “Octa.” It’s honestly nothing new. I think Zappa did it before. It’s eight speakers surrounding the audience with me inside of it as well. I’ll perform a set where some of it will be preprogrammed to move differently through the speakers at different times, while some of that I’ll manipulate myself in real time. I was just sick of the stereo thing and I wanted to do something different. The sonic approaches an artist has with their sound, I mean this is essentially computer music. Audiences come in to a show with the aesthetic of attending an art show with their chins up and their hands behind their back and just consume. I wanted people to have fun, to dance, and to have something cathartic and an overall different experience.
FPH: You’ve brought on your own visual artist for your set at the festival as well as artist Eric Todd. Can you explain both of their involvements in bringing your vision to life?
LIMB: I’ve known Eric for a good while and there are tons of artists I love and I wish I could work with. Eric has a handle on things I couldn’t have a handle on and I felt that he’d bring a whole new element to the show. He has a writing background and he adds an almost acoustic and human element to it. He suggested the visual artist Daniel Schaeffer, who is brilliant. We had far out ideas that culminated well, so we decided to play with the unassuming nature of the space. Playing with the audience’s idea of what the space where the festival will be held can be and will look like.
FPH: How long has “The Octagon” existed and how long did it take for it to go from an idea to a reality?
LIMB: It’s been about a year. I looked at it like, I don’t know how to do this, so let me learn it. It’s essentially in MAX MSP, and I’d messed with the programming for years. But using late nights and headaches to learn how to make it all happen were what brought it all together.
FPH: Will your set at Day for Night be primarily new material or will you mix in some old favorites?
LIMB: This will be mostly new material, though some of the tracks have already been dropped on Soundcloud. I’ve also chosen a couple of collaborative tracks for this set that I did with Collin Hedrick of Splendid Emblem, Ed from floods, and Chase DeMaster from Children of Pop. There’s also a track that I kind of did with Austin Smith from JERK in there as well.
It doesn’t take long to realize that LIMB is on a whole new level, while still staying creative and and relevant in a genre that’s evolving as quickly as he is. In the track above, LIMB takes the listener to a whole new world while never distancing himself from the harsh and electronic world in which he creates for his sound. The over seven and a half minute track, “Daphne (REF. Apollo)” is unapologetic in its approach, while it mixes multiple aspects of dark electronica, ambient, and techno to create something that most producers would revel in.
You can catch LIMB perform this track and more when his Octa performance debuts at this year’s Day for Night Festival. The two-day festival takes place at the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office on December 17 and 18. Tickets for the all ages festival range between $100 and $700, and the festival will also feature a list of landmark performances from multiple artists including headlining sets from Björk Digital and Aphex Twin.