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Dirtwire blends global musical influences into ‘space cowboy blues, swamptronica and electro-twang’ at Agave show

Dirtwire grew out of the SoCal EDM scene and has since been hailed for its live show.
Special to the Daily

Dirtwire uses their music to blend ethnomusicology and the psychedelic trance state, gut-bucket delta blues and what the band variously dubs “back porch space cowboy blues, swamptronica and electro-twang.”

It’s a sound informed by Dirtwire’s travels and performances around the globe, where East meets West and North joins South. Experiences they’ve had in Brazil, Lagos, Japan, Bali, Australia and Kazakhstan have helped the band spread its message by building bridges across musical cultures.

See all those converging musical influences when Dirtwire performs at Agave on Thursday, March 12. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 day of, and the concert starts at 10 p.m.

Dirtwire plays an array of instruments both ancient and modern, including West African kamale ngonis, jaw harps, space fiddles, whamola basses, Rickenbacker electric 12 string guitars, bowed banjos and mouth harps from around the globe, all interwoven into modern laptop beat creation. Hailing from the underground West Coast electronic bass music scene, Dirtwire finds itself at the forefront of experimental electronic music production, mixing in their wide array of world instruments with sampled beats and 808s.

“We’ve created a space where we’re all able to bring our individual creative contributions to the table,” said band member David Satori. “Mark (Reveley) has really pushed us to a more high-energy, up-tempo place in terms of the production and sound.”  

“I love seeing where we can take things energetically in the live show” said Reveley, also a band member. “We put a lot of time and thought into figuring out how to shape our set dynamically, and how to maintain a strong sense of flow as we transition from track to track. From navigating tempo shifts to instrument changes, we love the process of creating a cohesive journey for both us and the audience.” 

At the heart of the Dirtwire experience is their live show.

“In our live show we try to explore the seamless interaction between live instrumentation and computer production, where the laptop is just another member of the band,” said Reveley.

With wide-brimmed spaghetti western hats and all-black Johnny Cash attire giving them a distinct mojo, Dirtwire are a riveting visual, as well as audio spectacle. All three members were raised on islands, Satori grew up a Phishhead and jazz guitarist on Grand Isle on Lake Champlain near Burlington, Vermont, while bandmate Evan Fraser comes from Orcas Island in Washington state across the border from British Columbia and Reveley’s childhood home was Bainbridge Island across from Seattle.   

The three met through their shared appreciation for global sounds and instruments, playing in several bands together and in dusty bonfire drum circles at Burning Man while attending CalArts school of music in Los Angeles. After relocating to the Bay Area, David and Evan morphed from their college “psychedelic space-funk jam band” The Funnies into Dirtwire.

The group is passionate about supporting the One Mic project alongside LEAF, a non-profit based in Asheville, North Carolina. One Mic initiates collaborations with musicians from all over the world, building micro-studios and donating new recording technology to underserved communities around the world. Dirtwire also stands in solidarity with indigenous peoples and encouraging a natural relationship to living in harmony with the Earth.  

“We are living out our dreams,” said Fraser. “We are grateful to have performed in Europe, Asia, Australia, Central America, and are planning to play in South America next year. We feel honored to continue our mission of celebrating the world’s unique and diverse musical cultures into our own unique expression.” 

“We want to flow all of our musical influences through the Dirtwire prism,” continues Reveley, “and see what comes out the other side.”


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