Pop & Hiss premiere: Big Gigantic's 'Nocturnal'
Some would say a band name like Big Gigantic comes with some oversized expectations. But with their latest record, the high-altitude club bangers from Boulder, Colo., are proving worthy of the moniker. Forged from a partnership between saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken, Big Gigantic’s combination of dub, jazz and glossy club jams gives a refreshing face to the improv style of electro known as "jamtronica" that's been roaming the outdoor festival circuit.
Over the past year, Lalli and Salken’s live beats and squealing, melodic brass have earned them a year’s worth of tours and crazy festival gigs, including their recent U.S. run with Bassnectar and Pretty Lights.
Just two days after finishing its sophomore full-length "Nocturnal" (out Jan. 11), the duo premieres the album’s soulful, bass-rattling title track on Pop & Hiss.
The sound and the style of "Nocturnal" is emblematic of the group’s focus on heavy-handed, low-end, epic hip-hop production and horn work inspired by Herbie Hancock.
"This album, and this song in particular, is definitely an attempt to capture how we’ve evolved as a live act over the last year," said Lalli, who records and produces all of the music. Onstage, you can typically find Lalli perched over a laptop with saxophone in hand as he fuses his studio made beats with the visceral pounding of Salken’s live drums.
"Jeremy and my tastes are similar in a lot of different ways, and a lot of the drums I make on the computer are really inspired by his drumming,” said Lalli, former member of Colorado jam band the Motet. "I think a lot about how we play live, and then I come in the studio and try to transfer that over all those emotions when I get ready to record."
Though past releases like their 2010 album "A Place Behind the Moon" favored drum-heavy hip-hop, their latest work allows additional synth and string arrangements, which flesh out their sound. As for “Nocturnal,” Lalli says he was inspired by those who take the concept of night-life revelry seriously.
“I feel like it’s just about a group of people just going out together and just live it up. Any club you go to, you can always spot that group of people in the room just living for the moment and going crazy.”
Big Gigantic, "Nocturnal"
-- Nate Jackson
Photo: Big Gigantic is Dominic Lalli, left, and Jeremy Salken. Credti: Steve Conry