Space Jazz: Michal Menert at Growlers 

The Polish-American electronic music producer hits Memphis this week.

Michal Menert, a Polish-American electronic music producer known for his experimentation with nu jazz, hip-hop, and trip-hop sounds and for his collaborations with fellow electronic artist Pretty Lights and Grateful Dead and Dead & Company percussionist Mickey Hart, makes his way to Growlers to perform a solo DJ set.

Although he's not specifically promoting it, his latest album Slow Coast III, released in March, features a range of experimental techniques and instruments, such as the taishōgoto (a Japanese stringed instrument).

click to enlarge Michal Menert - JASON MACLEOD
  • Jason MacLeod
  • Michal Menert

"A long time ago, we realized we'll never have a perfectly tuned and precise studio at home, so instead of making things sound perfect and sterile, we started to purposely pursue terrible sounding things that we could refine into interesting tunes," says Menert. "I feel lucky that I've been able to do things on my own terms, without having to cater to trends."

The album, a third installment of Menert's Slow Coast series, was inspired by his love for fantasy and for the Northern California coast.

"This installment of Slow Coast was inspired by a hazy fantasy realm I was imagining while piecing it together," he says. "I pictured dark skies, a sorcerer returning from exile, and a world of destructive chaos desperate for magic. All of these things play out in my mind with the rocky coasts and giant redwood forests around me serving as backgrounds, even though the narrative isn't necessarily apparent in the music itself."

Between finding the right balance between touring and recording, Menert is looking forward to his performance in Memphis.

"One of my favorite people, Brock from Zoogma, is from there, and he's definitely shown me a hell of a good time with great people in Memphis," he says.

Michal Menert with Defcon Engaged, Maverick 1990, and Cel Shade at Growlers, Thursday, October 3rd, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., $15/advance, $20/door.

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