Pytch Records Shows Their Power at Icehouse Residency


Photos by David Rubene


It’s a Wednesday night at 10:30 PM. While most of my friends were closing out their bar tabs and settling into their beds with some Netflix, I was grabbing my bag and heading out the door. Although I knew I had the inevitable 5:30 AM alarm to get to my day job, there was a show that I just couldn’t miss. This is what I like to call “living the life”.

What lured me to the show was the promise of seeing Marijuana Deathsquads. Although these guys are local, they are a bit elusive and don’t play out as much as majority of the other local bands I swoon over. Seeing their name on the line-up for last night’s show was more than enough to get me out of the house. The fact that the venue was only five blocks away from my apartment and it was a beautiful night for a walk was just the icing on the cake. 

The show started with the two hosts of the night, c.Kostra and Devata Daun. These two are the masterminds of Pytch Records from right here in the Twin Cities. They are currently doing a monthly residency at The Icehouse in Minneapolis that has featured some of the best up and coming electronica artists along with some tried and true classics from the scene. You could tell that some of the crowd had made it a point to stop out to the show last night whereas some had obviously just stumbled in and that added a completely beautiful dimension to the night.

Devata Daun was the first to take the stage with c.Kostra backing her up behind the turntables/computers/pedals… I honestly couldn’t see what was all on his table. Devata stood towards the front of her stage behind her keyboard and played through her dark and ambient set. She seemed to be very quiet and didn’t talk much in between songs but it seemed to fit the darkness and calmness of the music and seemed to be just how she was. 

After a quick DJ set from DJ Bach, c.Kostra took the spotlight and brought his robotic vocals and upbeat electronic sounds. His music was definitely a bit more lively than that of Devata but it was easy to see why these two have had so much success together. Both of them had an immeasurable amount of passion for what they were doing and it made their sets truly enjoyable for someone like me who typically doesn’t dive that far into the electronic scene. 

Sasha Conda took the stage after another quick set from DJ Bach. It was Sasha’s first set in six months and you could see the excitement on his face as he took the stage. Before starting up, Sasha announced that he would be playing his album “Bronco” in it’s entirety. He went on to say that “Bronco” is a concept album with a whole story attached to it but he didn’t go into much detail about the whole story line. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a bit. Why would you tell the audience that it’s a concept album but not tell us the concept? Felt a bit too pretentious to me but I was feeling generous and wasn’t going to give up on this guy that easy.

The set started off with a very electronic feel to it. It had those classic high pitched notes that tend to turn me off of this whole scene of music but, as the set went on, those obnoxious high pitched notes turned into darker and more subtle sounds. Sasha stopped the set twice to kind of tell the crowd about Bronco (the main character of the album). What he was saying matched the music perfectly and I instantly fell in love with this guy. Those high pitched notes that had turned into more subtle sounds was Bronco giving into whatever he was resisting at first. Again, I had very few details other than the hints that Sasha was giving and, with this being the first time I had even heard of Sasha Conda, I really can’t go more into detail but let me just tell you that this guy is freaking creative. Sure, I don’t get the whole electronic scene but the music from Sasha Conda, c.Kostra, and Devata Daun had passion and that’s all I really need to enjoy a show.

Finishing off the night was Marijuana Deathsquads. They were the reason I wanted to go out last night but unfortunately, with the clock quickly approaching 1AM as they were setting up, I was loosing steam and dreaming of my bed. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay much longer but also knew the setting up of three drumsets and a table of laptops and pedals wouldn’t be the quickest thing on the planet. I tried to wait patiently but my yawning was becoming more frequent and keeping my eyes open was quickly becoming a task.

When Marijuana Deathsquads finally start playing, I was hit with their signature wall of sound and, at the same time, I was hit with a second wind (actually, I think I was on my forth or fifth wind at this point). Marijuana Deathsquads are the metal band of the electronic scene. Their music is invasive, loud, and headache inducing at times but nonetheless is amazing to listen to and watch. I mean, just picture a couple grown men hunched around a table that’s full of computers, cords, pedals, and lord knows what else. I mean, if you asked me what music geeks look like, this would be the picture I’d try to paint for you. 

Marijuana Deathsquads played through their set in the dark room with a video of psychedelic images playing behind them. Their wall of sound was explosive and constant. The crowd was bobbing their heads as they were sipping their drinks and, even though the music was loud and extreme at times, the atmosphere in the Icehouse stayed chilled and relaxed. 

So maybe at times I didn’t quite get what the musicians were doing. I still don’t quite understand this scene and there were times when I was truly tempted to dip out early. I also don’t think I’ll ever understand why some people feel the need to start shows at 10:30PM on a Wednesday night but regardless, last night turned into a truly amazing night of music.

As usual, I regret nothing.