Friday, February 6, 2015

This Little Underground: Swamburger Presents Ceschi Ramos at the Social

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 2:41 PM

click to enlarge Swamburger - ALICIA LYMAN
  • Alicia Lyman
  • Swamburger

If you’re in the local scene to any meaningful degree, you know Swamburger by name, face or reputation. He’s best known as one of the city’s most visible and accomplished artists in the worlds of both hip-hop and visual art. But he’s always been one of the more community-minded shakers out there and has in recent years been working to move the scene more broadly as both impresario and label boss (Second Subject). Well, that ability just got a powerful new boost now that he’s partnered with top indie club the Social. Between that club’s prestige and Swamburger’s cred and hustle, this could be a very high-value alliance.

click to enlarge Ceschi Ramos at the Social
  • Ceschi Ramos at the Social

His recent Swamburger Presents showcase (Feb. 2, The Social) was headlined by intriguing Connecticut alt-rapper Ceschi Ramos. Now how many MCs do you know who get down on an acoustic guitar? Oh shit, that’s right, Everlast. But still, it’s not common, and this guy sounds nothing like Everlast. Behind the emotional singer-songwriter guise is a rap dynamo who can torch it with a gunning cadence when he gets down to the hip-hop. It’s an interesting duality that clicks more in practice than it does on paper, due largely to his legit chops.

In tow was Ceschi’s tourmates Crunk Witch from Maine. The only non-rap act of the night, the husband-wife duo is a spirited but cheesy collision of lo-fi electronic dance music and glam-pop vocals with more histrionics than skill. But they did bring their own lights and fog machine, so there’s that.

click to enlarge Bleubird at the Social
  • Bleubird at the Social

Of the other hip-hop acts of the night, Bleubird brought the most veteran clout. A very respected underground MC in these parts, he’s a complex and original composite of identity and style. Perhaps the only defining constants in his literate, impassioned and amazingly versatile raps are humor and intelligence. But maximum respect this time to the guy for dropping a lyric for Jeff Kaplan, a formerly local sound engineer we just lost in a tragic car accident.

click to enlarge SKIP & Chrono at the Social
  • SKIP & Chrono at the Social

Orlando rapper SKIP, who’s spent the past couple years or so on a visual art sabbatical, has very recently begun stepping back onto the stage. This time, he emerged with DJ Chrono on the decks. No matter what he says, his heart still bleeds. Although that desperation can sometimes yield mixed results, his passion is never in doubt. Now he’s back with renewed fire.

click to enlarge Acey Wasuto & Divinci at the Social
  • Acey Wasuto & Divinci at the Social

Speaking of fire, young rapper Acey Wasuto – packing major-league heat for the first time with Solillaquist mastermind and pacesetting MPC whiz Divinci to back him up – shot out the gate spitting flames with a tough, unleashed swag that rocked like an Onyx video next to these other indie cats. He’s a raw talent that still needs some chiseling, but the kid’s loaded with presence and electricity.

Swamburger’s always got big ideas. But this new launch pad with the Social positions him in perhaps the best position yet to make things happen. So keep an eye out for anything attached to the words “Swamburger Presents.” It’ll be worth your while. Proof? The next one will feature alt-rap star Aesop Rock (Mar. 5).


This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene. Read the latest column here.

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