Terraphonics is perhaps the best-kept secret in the bustling Charleston, SC music scene. Thomas Kenney, who also serves as lead guitarist in the Umphrey’s McGee spinoff Doom Flamingo, has assembled some of the cities most talented jazz players into a contemporary RnB/Hip-Hop/Lo-Fi groove powerhouse that has slowly been gaining momentum thanks in large part to support slots with acts like Papadosio and Corey Henry & The Funk Apostles. On the origin of the project, Kenney reveals “my inspiration was to get the guys and girls I was playing jazz and funk gigs with to be the recording band for a project with a Lo-Fi beat tape vibe with a psychedelic edge. Some of my favorite producers are Flying Lotus, Mndsgn, Bonobo, MF DOOM and my local favorite, Rodrick Cliche. All of these producers take a combination of live studio recordings and samples and kind of mash them into a sublime cocktail of jazz, hip-hop, dance music and more.”
‘Move’ is the band’s nod to the drum and bass/hip hop breaks of the ’90s with live instrumentation, and soulful vocals from Shaniqua McCants. The band combines smoky, old school RnB harmony, infectious rhythm, and a distinct orchestral/film score vibe into one tune. The tune is about the energetic pull of the moon.
Kenney, who also produces all of Terraphonics music states that on ‘Move,” “I wanted to capture that wild yet mellow energy that can descend on you at 3 am (or later). Shaniqua’s vocal is the meditation on that vibe. I tried to capture the image through sound- the tambourine mimicking the crickets, the strings like the atmospheric haze that comes with the dew.”