Gig Review: Tyme @ Gertrude’s Brown Couch, 17th October

Last Sunday local rap artist Tyme played a remarkably polished and intimate EP launch at Gertrude’s Brown Couch in Fitzroy which was thoroughly enjoyable for me personally, even though I’m not overly familiar with hip hop music.

But then this kind of music really does define genres. Tyme’s debut offering, ‘The Screen EP’, which has recently been independently released, combines elements of a wide variety of music including jazz, hip hop, electronica, and pretty much everything in between. Meanwhile his lyrics are often disconcertingly honest but at all times refreshingly real.

This was the first proper show for Tyme and his assembled band since the release of the EP, although unfortunately I missed the first half due to car problems. It was my first show at Gertrude’s, and it seemed like a pretty cool place with a small bandroom upstairs and a makeshift beer garden outside.

The bandroom was impressively full by the time I arrived, and there was little doubt that everyone was being thoroughly entertained by those on stage. Tyme and his band were incredibly cohesive given the relatively short space of time they have spent practicing together, and every song seemed to go off without a hitch.

‘The Screen EP’, as its name alludes to, is a concept record featuring eight tracks about the way the screen is beginning to rule our lives, which as a university student and a music blogger I can certainly relate to. Translating intricate, layered and multidimensional songs like these to a live setting is never an easy task, but Tyme managed to do so flawlessly, rearranging the tracks just enough so as to give them new life but not lose the familiarity or inherent feeling of the studio versions.

Train Stop Rap was one of the first songs I heard, and immediately it was obvious just how much work had gone into creating a live sound this polished, as DJ n.Cision and singer Gabriella Moxey’s talents shone through. Meanwhile Tyme was an immaculate frontman, casually chatting to the crowd between songs.

Many of the younger people in the audience could no doubt relate with Three Paths, a song about finding and choosing one’s path in life: “Do I have to divide and take sides, or can I just continue to find what feels right?”. The highlight for me however was the track the guys opted to finish with, In The Ground, which masterfully sampled Tom Waits to create a pretty surreal track when combined with the dual rapping of Tyme and guest vocalist Hollins.

This was a really enjoyable gig, even if I only witnessed half of it and missed my favourite track from ‘The Screen EP’, Soma. There definitely seems to be something special about the way Tyme effortlessly combines so many influences and genres into his music, and the fact that he manages to do this in a live setting is pretty inspiring.

It was a professional, polished, and above all else fun set, and hopefully marks the start of a successful musical career for Tyme, even if it is just one of three paths.

‘The Screen EP’ is available for free download.

Check out Tyme: Unearthed | Facebook | Myspace

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