Attendees of Binghamton Underground Music Presents’ (BUMP) second semester show grooved to chillwave outfit Small Black on Saturday night. The concert drew one of BUMP’s biggest crowds yet, with nearly 200 students present for Small Black’s unique combination of disco rhythms and ethereal-sounding synthesizers.
Small Black, a four-piece group from Brooklyn, energized the crowd with their brand of electro-pop. Emphasizing grooves and synth melodies, the performance was reminiscent of Phoenix or Passion Pit, artists who also veer from pop clichés. Members switched off instruments, sharing duties of guitar, keyboard and backing vocals. Guitarist/keyboardist Ryan Heyner is a 2000 Binghamton University alumnus who said he enjoyed seeing an on-campus music community.
“I think it’s amazing. When I went to school here I don’t think there was anything as organized at the time,” Heyner said. “It seems like there’s much more of a community here on campus. I think it’s great to get touring bands come to college so kids can see live music, just see what’s out there, enjoy themselves and learn about new bands.”
Matt Costanzo, BUMP chair and a junior majoring in accounting, said booking Small Black was a big success for the organization, with almost 200 people in and out of the concert.
“We adore their sound and their ability to transform a crowd,” Costanzo said. “After this, we hope to get a show every month, with a big one at the upcoming MoeFest with WHRW.”
Student musician Daniel Kadyrov, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, opened the show under the moniker KADYROV. He merged ambiance with upbeat, layering textures of synthesizers against complex drumbeats. He opted to go solo, armed with just a laptop, a controller and one synthesizer — echoing the likes of Flying Lotus or Disclosure.
“Many of the bands that come are already influences for the student artists so it’s truly a pleasure to have opened,” Kadyrov said. “It’s also a great way for the students to rub shoulders and promote themselves to their idols.”
Jared Frazer, a junior majoring in English, supported BUMP’s decision to have a student opener.
“It’s really cool to see a friend perform,” Frazer said. “It was on a really different note, a different feel. Having him paired with Small Black felt really diversified in a way.”
As the band packed their gear, students met and took photos with the band members. Heyner reminisced about his time at BU.
“I miss the Nature Preserve,” he said. “I miss ordering cheese fries at two in the morning in CIW.”