The thing about Philly hiphop crew Writtenhouse is you can’t just listen to one song. It’s part of the way they work: production duo Kush Shalimar and Chris Conway groove behind mixers and samplers, triggering clips and crossfades in rapid-fire real time (as opposed to pre-sequenced laptop time). One song flows into the next (and then the next) with barely a chance to rest. They’ve got a catchphrase to describe it – “live mechanics, live dynamics” – and it makes each track a tasty, but wholly necessary, piece of the bigger picture. This Germantown-based four-piece places as much value on the entire work as it does the individual parts. Perhaps more, since the tracks, heard alone, are quick-hit and over almost too soon. I wish I could feature their entire new record, While You Were Sleeping, on today’s Philly Local Phile, but that would eat up bandwidth on The Key (and airtime on Y-Rock)—so instead I’ll offer you this choice cut, “Puttin’ In Werk,” and hope that it makes you as stoked for their upcoming record-release show as I am. When they take the stage, MC Charlie K. and hypeman Somerville Sleeves are a dynamic presence – if you’re not lost in watching Shalimar and Conway do their thing, you can vibe off of their energy. Writtenhouse performs with 84 and Kuf Knotz at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 12, at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.
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