There’s a clear current that runs through the work of Daniel Martin-McCormick and Jacob Long: an obsession with driving rhythms. As part of the explosive, short-lived D.C. post-hardcore ensemble Black Eyes, the pair played alongside two drummers who traded in the sort of tribal polyrhythms that have only recently become fashionable in indie rock. Now, as members of San Francisco’s Mi Ami (along with drummer Damon Palermo), they’ve largely shed the free-jazz leanings of their previous act in favor of a more aqueous, echo-laden sound. At the Velvet Lounge on Friday night, the band showcased the full range of its abilities, with a set that started out visceral before descending into a disorienting tangle of spaced-out dub. Just when it seemed like the Velvet Lounge’s PA system couldn’t possibly be pushed any further, Martin-McCormick applied a delay effect to the drums, resulting in a deafening wall of ricocheting rhythms. It was a tactic that hearkened back to Martin-McCormick and Long’s days in the District: when in doubt, just add more drums.
Photos by Mehan Jayasuriya