Sunday, February 21, 2010

Steampunk Music: Darcy James Argue's Secret Society


One of Steampunk perennial dichotomies is its definitition of "Steampunk Music".  The standard bearer of the most listened to "Steampnk Music" at this point would seem to be Abney Park, but there are plenty of outstanding musical talent with tangents towards Steampunk.  One such musical group is Darcy James Argue's Secret Society.  Not quite in the mode today's "small piece band", the Secret Society consists of eighteen exceptionally talented musicians, led by its "Composer-Conductor-Ringleader", Mr. Darcy James Argue, a recognized talent in Jazz circles in North America.


I am confident that there are those who might, after hearing more of the Secret  Society's track say "... Hey, this isn't like Abney Park - it can't be Steampunk"!  Well, I would counter with a quote from the above YouTube entry...

"...not unlike the Steampunk literary genre, the Secret Society blends the 'old fashion' style of Big Band with modern technologies such as electric guitars... and techniques such as reverb and looping."

Their list of awards and accolades are impressive as well - perhaps one of the best known up-and-coming Jazz groups of 2009, with Infernal Machines receiving kudos from industry standards such as Jazz.com, All About Jazz, Jazz Times, and the Villiage Voice's Jazz Critics' poll, as well as recognition from more generalized works such as the New York Times, Newsweek, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal.  (The complete list of awards for Infernal Machines is located here.)


The Poisson Rouge track from Infernal Machines

As a bit of a Jazz enthusiast myself (for those that are in the know, I even had a now-defunct SL Jazz blog - "SL Jazz After Midnight"), it is heartening to see the definition of Steampunk extend in to Jazz, and perhaps finding a home (or at the very least lingering for a bit) to have each make impressions on each other.

For web links about the Secret Society...

And to obtain downloads (or copies of the Secret Society's CD), please visit New Amsterdam Records, at: https://www.newamsterdamrecords.com/#Album/Infernal_Machines

Finally, their very well-done website is located at: http://secretsociety.typepad.com/darcy_james_argues_secret/infernal-machines.html

1 comment:

Count St. Germain II said...

One I would mention as worth checking out is a defunct Japanese duo known as The Eccentric Opera. They weren't specifically aiming for steampunk, but I've always felt that some of their stuff achieves that vibe. Particularly this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMkQcZQYMqw

And even more so their rendition of "Die Fruhlingsfeier," which always fills my mind with images of airships and carnage.