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Chris "Daddy" Dave
April 2, 2012 7:59 AM   Subscribe

"Chris Dave (video/sound autoplay) is probably the most dangerous drummer alive. He is totally reinventing just what you can do with drums." – ?uestlove

Here's his YouTube Channel. And his (impressive) discography.
posted by davidjmcgee (40 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Or, there's this.
posted by HuronBob at 8:12 AM on April 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


He's like the John Henry of drums, kicking the collective ass of all drum machines everywhere. I salute this hero in mankind's war on robotics.
posted by snottydick at 8:13 AM on April 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was a bit "meh" after the first video (low quality houseparty vibe) but the "what you can do with drums" link is awesome. Sounds like a guy who has spent a lot of time playing to a click track, in a good way. He has impeccable tempo and really knows how to use it playfully.
posted by grog at 8:15 AM on April 2, 2012


P.S. That Buddy Rich link is so far afield I'd almost call it a derail. The drumming in the FPP is of a very different nature.
posted by grog at 8:16 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he sounds like a drum machine. That un-hihat is annoying the piss out of me.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:21 AM on April 2, 2012


Are they doing a bunch of sound replacement in that "what you can do with drums" link? His snare sounds like a clap, but only some of the time, and at least one of his crash cymbals sounds like a loose hat instead.

Still some pretty killer drumming. I'd like to hear what it sounded like acoustic.
posted by echo target at 8:25 AM on April 2, 2012


Ooooh, when he gets into that groove 12 seconds into this video, that's game over for me.
posted by shmaw at 8:34 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, he sounds like a drum machine.

You listen to some truly unreal drum machines.

I'd like to hear what it sounded like acoustic.

I can't prove it, but I'd be willing to bet a reasonably large amount that you're hearing an unaltered track there. Listen, if you haven't already, to the "most dangerous drummer alive" link--it's amazing the variety of sounds he coaxes out of the most minimal kit.
posted by yoink at 8:35 AM on April 2, 2012


He's excellent, but I wouldn't describe him (based on those videos) as "dangerous". Gene "The Atomic Clock" Hoglan seems far more dangerous to me.
posted by starvingartist at 8:36 AM on April 2, 2012


P.S. That Buddy Rich link is so far afield I'd almost call it a derail. The drumming in the FPP is of a very different nature.

I'm was gonna derail in the other direction to try and equalise bring it back to the centre with some free jazz freakery.

But what's cool about this guy from what I've seen is he's not afraid of experimenting with drum sounds like a lot of really good technical drummers. But I don't think many of those jazz cats could hold a beat as tight as an MPC, especially that one with the wonky hats.
posted by pmcp at 8:41 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Alright - that's pretty awesome. If I was a drummer I'd be totally influenced by this guys style - as well as jojo mayer and zach hill. and ?uestlove, but that's a given. I always used to say if I was a drummer all I'd need would be a hihat, snare, and kick (until I got into slater-kinney), and dave definitely proved my case in that houseparty link. Very cool! Thanks!

Some pretty funny hyperbole on his website, though. I definitely try not to do this kind of thing anymore: "His eccentric approach to the drum set and his ability to adapt to any musical setting, whether jazz, hip-hop or R&B, has put him in a category of his own." "CHRIS DAVE IS APPROACHING THE FOREFRONT OF HIS CAREER PERFORMING WITH HIS BAND CHRIS DAVE & FRIENDS." (emph mine)
posted by ianhattwick at 8:42 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I hear something so appreciably good that I feel like a loser.
posted by One Hand Slowclapping at 8:42 AM on April 2, 2012


Aha, after watching shmaw's video, I can see that the crash that sounds like a loose hat actually is a loose hat, essentially - he's got two cymbals with a very similar curvature stacked on top of each other, with no nut to hold them down tight. Cool!
posted by echo target at 8:44 AM on April 2, 2012


This is neat, he's a great drummer. Thanks for posting!
posted by carter at 8:46 AM on April 2, 2012


oops weird accidental linkage
posted by pmcp at 8:50 AM on April 2, 2012


I was a bit "meh" after the first video (low quality houseparty vibe) but the "what you can do with drums" link is awesome.

I was a bit meh after the first vid, but then I was a bit meh after the 2nd as well. I'm a bit meh all over tbh, he doesn't seem to be reinventing what you can do with the drums (which could go a lot of ways lets be honest); he's a sharp, cool drummer no doubt but what is he reinventing?
posted by criticalbill at 8:54 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Feh. "Dangerous?"
When you call a drummer "dangerous," you'd best be coming at me with sharks and helicopters and such.
Because now I want to see helicopter shark drumming.
posted by GoingToShopping at 9:14 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ooooh, when he gets into that groove 12 seconds into this video, that's game over for me.

The original track with Clive Deamer's groove isn't really all that different.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:24 AM on April 2, 2012


While I'm not fully over to the meh side of things, those clips basically highlight a guy with a lot of endurance in his right forearm.

His fills are less awesome to me than just weird. It's like he's cutting to, yes, a Buddy Rich solo, but without any regard to timing or anything. Weird. Not really in a good way, IMO.

But god damn he can play a fucking hi-hat.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:30 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because now I want to see helicopter shark drumming.

You're thinking of Keith Moon right? I heard a documentary about them recently and apparently they were listening to Stockhausen and such and that partly informed the guitar smashing and such. Anyway, there's your helicopters. Dunno where you're gonna get sharks from.

To be honest when you talk of dangerous drummers there's one guy who's name sticks out and he was a friend - Paul Burwell - percussionist/pyrotechnician who lived in a boat shed in the middle of a park in Hull. He was part of a group called Bow Gamelan Ensemble who made giant percussion out of old ship parts, massive bits of metal and of course explosives, parafin, hydrogen etc. Part of the London free improv scene he'd played with people like Toop and Max Eastley but I only knew him towards the end of his life. There's one legendary gig that he put on at his boathouse where he enlisted a first year art student to come help out, poor guy ended up naked with a rocked strapped to him like a dildo that went off at the climax of a piece.

Fire crackers in steel drums sound awesome by the way and I won't mention what happened on 9th of November ("The Real 9/11").

More 'conventional' drumming from him: Low Flying Aircraft
posted by pmcp at 9:40 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gene "The Atomic Clock" Hoglan seems far more dangerous to me.
Have you ever met Gene? He's way too nice a guy to seem dangerous. Even if he does beat the hell out of things including a propeller.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:52 AM on April 2, 2012


I saw this guy play with Kenny Garrett's quartet in December 2000 at the now-defunct Sweet Basil jazz club. I'd never heard anything like it - like someone throwing a drumset down a flight of stairs but ending up perfectly in rhythm.
posted by sharkitect at 9:54 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now, this is dangerous drumming. I always watch this thinking someone's gonna get hurt. (And wishing I was there.)
posted by fungible at 10:06 AM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just worry he'll suffocate in the gas mask thing that he usually wears.
posted by pmcp at 10:09 AM on April 2, 2012


I'm not a drummer, but I love learning about intricacies I didn't realize were there. With that said, could someone point out what I should be listening/watching for that makes this impressive? I mean that in the least snarky way possible because I don't understand but truly want to.
posted by ChipT at 10:09 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Buddy Rich link is apropos, because Chris Dave makes a big show of doing the 'Buddy Rich stick trick,' which is the one-handed roll he does first on the snare, and again on the rim of the snare.

This guys beats are awesome and very subtly creative, but he is just trying to cram as many notes as possible into his fills, which end up not quiet in time as a result.

I wish he would apply the same precision, taste, and originality with which he creates his beats to his fills.

There may not be electronic sounds or samples in the second video, where he plays along to the song, but the drum track from the recording he plays along to is still audible, and his drums are reverbed and EQ'd pretty heavily. So that may be why it sounds a little strange.

There are so many killer drummers out there these days that, if you want to call yourself one of the best, I need to not be able to hear when you're messing up.
posted by TheRedArmy at 10:13 AM on April 2, 2012


I'm not a drummer, but I love learning about intricacies I didn't realize were there. With that said, could someone point out what I should be listening/watching for that makes this impressive? I mean that in the least snarky way possible because I don't understand but truly want to.

The part that I thought was the most impressive was in the second video. Starting at :11 or so he plays (with really nice groove) a nice, tasty, but well-within-the-range-of-common-drumbeats beat. But then at :33 he switches to this strangely lilting variant. It sounds like he is tripping down a flight of stairs, but it also fits the music perfectly and creates a much more intriguing, awkardly swinging groove. Without thinking too hard about it I can't really explain what he's doing or why it works, but it definitely does.

There are a million dudes and dudettes who can play a million notes per second, but not too many who can still find interesting and satisfying new ways to subdivide a simple beat in four.
posted by TheRedArmy at 10:20 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


but he is just trying to cram as many notes as possible into his fills, which end up not quiet in time as a result

My impression is that he's in total control of everything he's doing, so when he's "not quite in time" it's because he wants to be "not quite in time." YMMV.
posted by yoink at 10:40 AM on April 2, 2012


When I think of "dangerous" drummers, I immediately think of the drummer from The J Geils Band who hits that snare drum full of milk in the Centerfold video. Just think of the mess!
posted by orme at 11:08 AM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Bow Gamelan Ensemble performed on the Thames, Lee, Danube and Liffey, under the Brooklyn Bridge, and memorably for those who were there, Burwell engaged the leader of the famous Kodo Drummers in a drum battle that traversed the entire harbour area of Sado Island, Japan."

That is some drumming I'd pay to see.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 11:45 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Drummer here. I think Questlove is a sick "hip hop drummer" for what that's worth.. he has great time and can lay down some pretty sick grooves, but I wouldn't say he is an amazing drummer who's really pushing any boundary or bringing anything new to the table. Same with Chris Dave. The fact that he plays a shuffle against a straight 8th note click isn't all that innovative, just makes it sound like he's doing something way more complex than he actually is. And the Buddy Rich link is TOTALLY appropriate. Look at Jim Black or Tyshawn Sorey if you want to hear real drummers who have real things to say.
posted by ReeMonster at 1:20 PM on April 2, 2012


yeeah, those videos don't really do him justice I don't think.

If you have the time check out Criss Cross, some funky drumming on there, and more intense than these other videos.
posted by midnightbarber at 2:08 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck you guys are hard to please.

I think he's doing something really creative with drumming here - he's playing with time and rallentando - yes his fills seems like they are about to collapse, but it's intentional. It's great and man when he gets into a groove he really smokes.

His playing is pixellated.
posted by awfurby at 4:29 PM on April 2, 2012


I’m also not sure if ‘dangerous’ is the right word — I would indeed give that nod to any helicopter shark drumming — but thanks for the post. (I learned about Jojo Mayer from a MeFi comment as well.) midnightbarber is right that the Criss Cross video does Dave much more justice — although, as ianhattwick says, it is nice to see that all you really need is a hi-hat and a snare.

That Bow Gamelan Ensemble link, though, is truly dangerous. I've played in some groups much like that, but we never set anything on fire, at least to that extent. (And when I saw Keith Moon, he was fantastic, but not nearly so explosive.) Sorry to hear that Paul Burwell (about a month older than me) is gone, at an early age.
posted by LeLiLo at 4:47 PM on April 2, 2012


I mean, he made it onto the cover of Modern Drummer. (img link via http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Chris_Daddy_Dave.html)
posted by awfurby at 4:52 PM on April 2, 2012


Love the hip-hop inspired jazz drumming. It does make a lot of sense, though, and I'm kind of surprised more drummers aren't doing that? Or are they? Anyone have other examples?

Anyway, awesome post and links.
posted by Riton at 7:25 PM on April 2, 2012


LeLiLo - What's a syntactic percussionist?
posted by pmcp at 7:59 PM on April 2, 2012


Love the hip-hop inspired jazz drumming. It does make a lot of sense, though, and I'm kind of surprised more drummers aren't doing that? Or are they? Anyone have other examples?

Nope, but I'd like to see more too. I kind of wish some of these extraordinarily talented folks would cross pollinate more.
posted by pmcp at 8:02 PM on April 2, 2012


This thread needs another Zach Hill derail.
posted by swift at 7:21 AM on April 3, 2012


LeLiLo - What's a syntactic percussionist?

I am syntactic — I deal with "the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language" to make a (very meager) living — and also a percussionist, but not at the same time.

'Syntactic' basically was an attempt to think of a word starting with S so I could spell out WASP. I have no idea, though, why I thought any of those things— white, American, syntactic, percussionist — fit into the MeFi profile's Gender category. I probably was trying to create my own excuse: "I'm just a white guy from the suburbs, that's why my drumming sounds like it does."

Come to think of it, about 40 years ago I could have been a syntactic percussionist, when I 'played' a typewriter as soundtrack to a filmed theater piece, set in an office, on a (very local) TV station. I'm sure, though, I wasn't typing any actual syntax during the show.

I've played many different interesting things over the years, but that exploding gong, at 3:44 of the Bow Gamelan video you linked, is really something.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:45 AM on April 3, 2012


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