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The Deli's Featured Artist(s) of the Month: Ryat

With a blur of electro beats and delicate atmospherics, Ryat’s Avant Gold is a welcomed new sound for the former As Human/Kilo members Christina McGeehan and Tim Conley. (You can check out our review of Avant Gold here.) The duo recently finished a successful national tour with Chris Wood (Grimace Federation, Orbit to Leslie) joining them on drums to help fill out the live sound. We had a chance to catch up with the creative couple to shoot them some “get-to-know-you” questions so you can find out what they had to say below.

The Deli: How did the band start?

Christina McGeehan: I started the project back in 2006 in my bedroom, when I was experimenting in producing avant-electro-beat-driven music. I was chopping up live improv and remixing/mashing it up and adding vocal arrangements to them. I mostly did studio collaborating for years under the name RYAT, until I got solid enough on all the gear to play it out live, which was in 2009. I had been playing with Tim Conley in a project called As Human for a few years, which was a band that could not tour. I wanted to tour so I asked Tim if he would do a 3 month Euro/US tour in Spring 2010 with just RYAT and that’s when he decided to fully join the group. We are now writing and producing all of the music together and with other collaborators.

TD: Where did the band name/moniker Ryat come from?

CM: I had a band for one year called Fusion Riots, which were really experimental synth driven tunes, with lots of changing parts that almost never made sense. It was fun, but hard to keep the band together since everyone was in like 5 other bands. I decided to just venture into the studio solo and call the new project RYAT. I think there is an Ewok named Ryat, and I always wanted to be an Ewok.

TD: What are your biggest musical influences?

CM: It's hard to say. We are really into a lot of stuff. THIS WEEK: Tonight we are going to see an Ars Nova avant jazz show, last night was a mini Klezmer symphony, and this morning I cleaned my bathroom to Wu Tang. This weekend I cooked to an Animal Collective mix, and I watched a documentary on John Lennon, Harry Potter music (John Williams) and Quincy Jones. I am about to listen to Ursula Rucker's latest, and I constantly am inspired with anything Rucyl and King Britt blog about and do themselves.

TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

CM: On the last tour in Sept., we played with a lot of amazing bands and got to see some great shows. We played with this band Religious Girls in Oakland that we've been listening to a lot and Hideous Men out of Denver. We got to see Beach House in Austin the same time we were out there, and their set blew us away. We've had in steady rotation on our media player of choice…Ratatat, Battles, Bach and anything Brainfeeder and Ninja Tune puts out on their labels.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

CM: My first concert was Milli Vanilli and MC Hammer. The first tape I bought was Bjork, Debut. I remember I bought it in New Hope and because I loved the cover. I was 14, and finally had my own job and money to buy what I wanted.

Tim Conley: First concert was the Judds and first album was Michael Jacksons Thriller.

TD: What do you love about Philly?

CM: We love how raw Philly is.

TD: What do you hate about Philly?

CM: The Crime! Also the Philly scene can be a little too incestuous sometimes.

TD: What are your plans for the future?

TC: Well, we don't have extensive plans for 2010 considering it’s almost over, but for 2011, we are booking another tour now for the spring all over the US and Canada again. And looking to get back to Europe in August. We have some remixers working on an Avant Gold remix record. Christina is working on an all vocal RYAT record inspired by Native American Heroes, and I am finishing up an album of original neo-classical avant jazz compositions. And working on the next RYAT LP in collaboration with Greg Augenblick again.

TD: What was your most memorable live show?

CM: Our first Richmond house party. There were maybe a hundred amped up kids, jumping up and down and dancing like maniacs. We were so scared we were going to fall through into the basement. I also was paranoid our gear was going to glitch with the beer and sweat flying around. There was something so special about that night. I love crowded rooms sweaty with dancers.

TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?

CM: Fresh Mozzerella if they have it.

TC: Veggie Chicken Cheeseteak Hoagie if they have it.

- The Deli Staff









Together at Last - Sun Ra Arkestra & WPO at The Rotunda Nov. 21

An extraordinary first happens tonight when two of West Philly’s premiere orchestras of all-time perform on the same bill for the first time ever. Whether it’s been under the guidance of Sun Ra or Marshall Allen, the Sun Ra Arkestra has brought intergalactic freestyle jazz to an international level for several generations. And the tribal space musicians could easily be an inspiration for the musical community of Eastern European folk jazz masters known as West Philadelphia Orchestra. Although significantly different presentation wise, both communal groups of jazz virtuosos are kings of taking traditional music forms to whole new heights. So seeing both acts play under the same roof for the first time is going to be one truly momentous experience, especially when it’s FREE with suggested donation at the door! And who knows? The cosmos may align and such an extraordinary occasion may lead us to an epic ending jam session! The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St., 8pm, FREE w/suggested donation, All Ages - Bill McThrill


Tweeting Down Memory Lane w/R5 Productions

Yes, we think Twitter can be TMI, but it has it’s moments of hilarity and interesting info. This falls on the side of hilarity and interesting info to some. R5 Productions was going through their files in old hard drives and decided to share with us tweets down Memory Lane that shouldn’t be forgotten. Well, maybe some moments should have been forgotten, but they just won’t go away. And now lives on through the magic of the internet. Above is the M.I.A. flier that inspired this nice escape from whatever you are doing. Here are some of our favorites. It makes sense that some tweet happy guy “DIP LO” popped up. He was scheduled to open for RJD2. However, “The Dipper” got “too drunk” to perform, but “no one cared”. M83 was doing their 1st show ever in the U.S., but missed their flights so a friend had to pick them up. There was an e-mail where they asked “‘The New Promise Ring Band’ if this new band ‘The Arcade Fire’ could open up for them for $150”. Yes, “a Tokyo Police Club show at The Church was mentioned on Gilmore Girls”. Remember when Lady Sovereign had her meltdown at Silk City. Well, you can relive the train wreck again below. And in typical DIY fashion where you truly never know what will happen, there was the time when Explosions in the Sky were in town for their second show in Philly, but no one came to let R5 and the band in so they had to cancel. You can check out the other memories that made this chain here. Stay tuned for more. Enjoy! - The Deli Staff


Class Is In Session w/Mose Giganticus at DDG Nov. 20

I have a lot of respect for Mose Giganticus a.k.a. Matt Garfield. As you might have learned from his interview for our Where Is My Mind? section here, Garfield is a smart mofo (though some might question his sanity). While he has a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering and could most certainly opt for financial security in these difficult times working in a lab, the fierce performer instead takes odd jobs and remains constantly on the road touring the countryside in his veggie oil fueled bus with his metal degree from Relapse Records and makeshift band teaching the masses how hard the keytar can fuckin’ rock! (No - really.) Local Mose Giganticus shows come few and far between these days so catch him while you can at his old stompin’ grounds the Danger Danger Gallery tonight. Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave., 9pm, $5 - $10 donation, All Ages (Photo by Jana Miller) - H.M. Kauffman


Music for Headphones at Tritone Nov. 20

It’s a rare occasion when a band’s handle fits perfectly in line with the actual music they produce. Case in point: local five-piece Music for Headphones. Their gloomy version of psych garage-meets-dark wave is a swagger of complex sonic lines and arresting orchestral smears that dart into sated combers of hazy, curtailed breakdowns. In other words: it’s entrancing head music - an intimate expression of resonance best felt while lying on the floor in a dark room choked with incense smoke. Joining them at Tritone tonight are hometown psych-pop outfit Stellarscope, New York’s dance-gaze quartet Soundpool, and Chicago’s post-wave distorters Bliss City East. Tritone, 1508 South Street, 9pm, $7, 21+ - Annamarya Scaccia

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