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A&E Blog

Utah Arts Festival 2012: Raw Xtract

by Brian Staker
- Posted // 2012-06-24 - “That was awkward,” Ami "Raw Xtract" Hanna said of her performance with DJ Electronic Battleship at the Utah Arts Festival Friday afternoon, June 22. She had been hoping to do video projections on a screen along with her spoken word and keyboard sojourns that mix-and-mash with DJ Electronic Battleship’s vinyl manipulations.

But at 5:30pm, a projection at the Big Mouth literary arts stage wasn’t going to work. The two also didn’t have power for their equipment at first when setting up, although that problem was resolved quickly. The lack of a sound person at the literary arts stage also highlighted the odd choice to slot them at that stage, although there weren’t any detectable problems with their sound.

The show Friday still took listeners to some pleasurable places, like sampling the Doors’ "Riders On the Storm" and Cab Calloway, along with some of her original spoken word, and the DJ’s seemingly ambidextrous scratching abilities. Her keyboard technique combined with his DJing produced some intriguing sonic variations. “I just like to use samples from music that I enjoy listening to,” she explains, rather than using things that are recognizable simply to please the listeners.

Creating her own beats, she has started working with artists in the local hip-hop community, as well as national talents. She recently performed at the Desert Rocks Music Festival, and she will be featured on the locals' stage at Summer Jam 2012 on July 28. She participates in the Monthly Mike Check the last Saturday of the month at Barbary Coast.

It isn’t often that a festival performer has an opportunity to correct problems in a performance with a second shot, but in their Sunday afternoon show at the same time, she will attempt to use a video monitor to show off the creations of her video projections, the visuals that accompany these musical excursions. It will be interesting to see if she can pull off the visual as well as sonic range of which she is capable on the Sunday night performance.

RawXtract will release her CD with DJ Electronic Battleship ‘Stop and Break’ July 25 and her CD ‘Bargain Books and B Flicks’ Sept. 21 at Ken Sanders Rare Books. RawXtract.com.

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