Barclay Crenshaw might not ring a bell, but surely the artist’s former nom de plume — Claude VonStroke — does. With his self-titled debut album, Crenshaw has reinvented himself, straying from his Detroit techno and deep house tendencies of yore and going in a more hip-hop, ambient direction.
The record starts off with the appropriately titled “Sleepy Kids,” a languid, soporific ditty à la Flying Lotus, before progressing into more upbeat, EDMand trip-hop-flavored tracks. As VonStroke, Crenshaw employed vocal samples sparingly — although phrases like “Barrump,” “In the butt,” and “Beat that bird with a bat” are now synonymous with his former alter ego — but with his new album, he switches things up. Singers Aviella and Lady Chann (the U.K.’s self-proclaimed “No. 1 dancehall queen”) lend an element of pop, and the record is drenched in quick-spat bars and rapid-fire flows, thanks to appearances by two hip-hop duos: the Underachievers and the Cool Kids.
But while Barclay Crenshaw is an entertaining listen, what I really want to know is why the musician decided to change gears. Was he bored by what he was doing as VonStroke? Will he ever go back to his clubbier sound? Or is this new direction here to stay?
At 10 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23, at 1015 Folsom. $15; 1015.com