DJ and electronic music composer Friendly Knowledge (Aaron Hochman) knows how to rock a party. I’ve seen it time and again: an ambivalent New York audience barely looks up from their drinks as yet another MacBook is cracked open, audio cables unfurled. But from the first sound, you know something is a little different. Maybe it’s Aaron’s presence, his cap and Jew-fro bobbing to the beat like he’s the only cat in the room. And what about that beat? It bounces back and forth between cut-time boogie and half-time hip-hop swagger like a 9-year old off his Ritalin. Or is it that aggressive saw tooth bass that saturates the room when powered by really big speakers? Whatever the means, the result is a dance floor that never fails to fill up, and the room comes to life with the shaking of assess. Let me be specific: girls’ assess. In New York. At an experimental music show. Girls.
To credit Friendly as solely a professional body rocker misses the point. He chooses wisely from the infinite universe of samples, and composes them uniquely. Sometimes you will hear a recognizable tune, like something from Joni Mitchell, albeit tweaked and foreshortened. At other times, sounds will be chopped and pastiched, creating something uncannily familiar but too altered to be recognized. Aaron’s music extracts the groove from the familiar worlds of Blue Note recordings or 1960’s pop and RoboCops it into a stronger, more deadly version of itself.
Why not listen to Friendly Knowledge explain it to you on the first installment of the Nacht Records podcast?
Or better yet, check out his newest releases, a double album of sorts, Hot Strangers and Close Friends and I Can’t Wait for My Album to Get a Bad Review on Pitchfork.
We’ve also got the Nacht debut, Plague: The Movie.
It’s worth noting that Friendly Knowledge is a member of the Ilk Recordings collective.