If you haven't heard of Burning Man yet, you probably live in another solar system far, far away from the planet that harbors Black Rock City. You could say it's in Nevada, close to Gerlach, kinda by Reno. Or you could say once you pass pavement and enter those gates you are entirely somewhere else. This was my 4th year going circa twentythousandandeight... & Burke's been a total of six times.
I remember when he came back from the Man, summer 2006 and had with him a shiny CD with the words inscribed in red Sharpie, The Glitch Mob (when they were 4), what up Kraddy! Will circle back to this...
Then, Vokab Kompany was simply myself and Bebe Kidwell aka Buck the Rabbit Killer. He produced my first album, Liquid Language. Together we were what made up VK. But we had a bigger vision and that was to build a larger and longer krew with more emcees, singers, instruments and entertainment.
At that time Burke banged shit with a band out of Reno called, Native Root. They carried with them 6 members and a B3 organ in a shitty Chevy van with beige interior carpet and a lot of hair. They'd come to San Diego and Tahoe on their tour runs and invite me to sit in with them. I fell in love with rhyming in a live group setting. I used to do my thing with a DJ (when available) but mostly on a CD or an iPod....yep, an iPod. However, when I got to be up there with those musicians, different energy and another emcee, it was like the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products went off!
So Burke and I started a new plan, to build Vokab Kompany with live instruments and make our home base San Diego thus the 6-10 piece creation you may have experienced at an event or two. Schoolmates and chums, this is what you know now as Vokab Kompany. All LIVE music re-crafting to make the soul clap.
However, don't get me wrong... remember when I mentioned that little silver disc with the words painted in red, The Glitch Mob? Yeah that was my first experience with some banging ass glitch, break-beat, hip-hop, funk, electro-magnetic what-the-fuck blow your mind shit! I was hooked. No band, just 4 homies dropping heat live with laptops and midi controllers, paving the way for so much of what you hear and see today.
This to me was Burning Man or least a version of it. My first experience, not being present but having a friend bring home a piece of it. That's what it's about; people from all over the world going there to experience something new and return with a part sewn into them to share. New music, new art, a new way to reset, get loose, un-be your same self, and then come home and show others what you discovered. It doesn't just have to be music, or art installations, or new friends, or a new love, or a new experience that finds you stuck 50 feet in the air in the middle of a white out, playing Connect-4 with some Germans, drinking white wine, making out with your babe in a structure called The Minaret (which I'm told resembles a vertebrae)! However, it's a great start. But no, you can just simply go there, burn off whatever it is that might be hovering around you and then catch a space craft back to normality and spread a little of it to those who haven't been. Just make sure you hold on to the pieces you find and apply them to a piece of you forever.
Music is what I find out there. Every time it gives me new inspiration and ideas to bring back and for that I am grateful Burning Man exists. )'(
For those that have never, please give it a whirl. I believe you'll love the pieces you bring back.
~Rob, Burke, Geoff and the VK Band!
Currently in production on our new art, The Good Kompany Album