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Bandwagon Summer Series: Underground System
July 22 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm$12 – $25
The Bandwagon Summer Series presents:
Whether political philosopher Emma Goldman actually said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution,” or not is still up for debate, there’s no doubt that New York City’s Underground System wholly embodies that vibe. – Remezcla
If you’ve seen Underground System live, then you’ve witnessed the ensemble’s larger than life presence.
One of the most dynamic bands to emerge from New York City in recent years, Underground System continues to reinvent their brand of global dance music, remaining a force determined to recreate, redefine, and reconstruct. The journey from humble beginnings taking the purist approach to interpreting Fela Kuti’s musical style, to an authentically original, internationally touring indie-dance band is a story just beginning to be told.
The production and release of 2018’s debut LP ‘What Are You’ (Soul Clap Records) proved to be the springboard that set the group in motion. Re-contextualizing and breathing fresh life into elements of afrobeat, dance punk, disco and electronic music, the album was received with international acclaim.
Attention from national outlets such as Billboard, NPR/PRI, KCRW’s most underrated album of the year, a US tour with labelmates Soul Clap and Midnight Magic, and the growing word of mouth enthusiasm within their local NYC community kickstarted the band’s journey abroad.
In December 2018, Underground System’s featured performance at French tastemaking festival Transmusicales was so well received that it launched them into an 18-show European tour in 2019. Appearances included Eurockeennes de Belfort, Fusion Festival in Germany, and a headlining slot at Laurent Garnier’s Festival Yeah!. Heavy EU radio play, press, and remixes from dance music legends Gerd Janson and Greg Wilson continued to affirm this group’s idiosyncratic Brooklyn-bred sound was meant for the global stage.
Following a whirlwind year, the abrupt lockdown in 2020 served as a pause and return to home; encouraging co-leaders Domenica Fossati and Peter Matson to write and produce music that served as both a reflection and a pointed, high energy response to the times. This moment of amplified creative output has also served as a catalyst in discovering a localized & collaborative way to release new music. Much in the way the band has been able to take a unique locally developed sound further abroad, a partnership between Underground System, Brooklyn based label Razor-n-Tape, and Heavenly Sweetness in the EU will lead the group into the next era.
A new EP, the first in a series of two, ‘Into the Fire’, was released in Spring 2022. Featuring 3 originals and accompanying remixes from French maestro Yuksek, and Detroit legend Dez Andres, the EP is a strong statement of where the band is at, and what’s to come.
The Bandwagon Summer Series is a family-friendly outdoor cultural performance series running from early May through mid-October. More than 20 performances ranging from a diverse group of musical styles, circus arts, dance, and theater will take place at ballfields, farms, and parks throughout Windham County. Kids under 12 always get in for free, and a dedicated play area will be available at all shows. Refreshments are sold onsite, including the return of last summer’s hugely popular Barr Hill cocktails, and the new addition of some selections from Mad River Distillers.
Support for the Bandwagon Summer Series is provided by VTDigger, Brattleboro Reformer, Oak Meadow, Whetstone Beer Co., Barr Hill, Mad River Distillers, The Porch Café & Catering, and Halyard Brewing Co.