Credit: Carl Perry

For installment #2 of the new Santa Barbara Bowl concert season, we were invited into the throbbing, vibing house and musical mind of the artist known as FKJ. The home-y and expanded living room sensation was front and center at the Bowl show, as the artist entered through a door on the set, turned on the lights onstage (including a couple of house lamps) and put on a record, Jose Feliciano’s take on “California Dreaming.”

As the rhythmically-skipping Feliciano tune was folded into a jam, FKJ proceeded to wrap himself around his multi-instrumentalist process. Visually and atmospherically, the in-house spirit was expanded into other realms courtesy of the ever-shifting projection scheme on the set’s “walls.” All in all, the concert was trippy, yes, yet also human and righteous in spontaneously loosey-goosey ways.

FKJ, aka Fresh Kiwi Juice and the non de plume of French-born Vincent Fenton, was out west to bring its good, house-y vibes to the Coachella festival. As happens with the Bowl’s April bookings (the Bowl and Coachella are both booked by Goldenvoice), synched up with a stop in Santa Barbara’s famed outdoor venue. FKJ’s Bowl set, preceded by a quite fine vintage soulful, Shuggie Otis-like opening set by Richie Griner, had the effect of a micro-festival of its own, something along the lines of electro-organic old-new school sounds.

To conjure up his malleable songbook of technorganic beats, mellow soul sauces and jazz-tinged jams, the restless wizard of ambience flitted from assorted keyboards (his strongest suit) to guitar — tossing guitar riff loops into the sonic salad — and modest licks on tenor sax. Meanwhile, the slew of electronic elements were given all-important real time/real flesh measure by a bassist, drummer, string trio and guest vocalist (((O))) June Marieezy, who appeared for a couple of sultry tunes, “Vibin’ Out” and “Fly.”

After the whirling machinery of grooves and vibes, the shows ended gracefully, in the sweet lazy aura of his ballad “Sundays.” The comforts of home were in the house, FKJ style.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.