Keeping It Underground: The Spacement

By: Hannah Oreskovich

DIY feels good.

There are geodes on the tables, tapestries on the walls, and hammocks for seating in the back. There’s a makeshift bar to your left, easels on the right, and Christmas lights illuminate the ‘stage.’ The vibe is relaxed, with a hint of psychedelia. Where are you? The Spacement.

The Spacement is a new music venue to Boulder, and one that you can’t actually find without the whole “know someone who knows someone” thing. It’s invite-only, and if you’re looking to play there, you’d better be good.

Says the owner, “I want this place to be known for good music. I’m not just letting anyone book here. I am hand-picking [the ones] that I think best fit the space.”

 Shrowded in mystery: The Spacement. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Shrowded in mystery: The Spacement. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

So who played when I attended? Boulder-based Natural Motives and friends + Asalott. Natural Motives original members Chris Ruiz and Kevin Ritch blended sounds with their newest member, bassist Jeff Vescuso, and guest drummer Gaines Green of Boulder Sound Lab. The guys opened their show with several jammy, jazz-rock numbers. And as the four-piece grooved along, Ruiz sprinkled us with mellow vocals and the boys brought in some reggae undertones for their dancier beats. You wouldn’t know this collective hadn’t played much together; each is so talented instrumentally that together they brought us strong, sleek funk. And as cool as the hammocks were, Natural Motives and friends definitely got the crowd swaying.

 Natural Motives in Silhouette. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Natural Motives in Silhouette. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Which brings us to Asalott. I first saw these guys perform at the No Name Bar a few months ago and was instantly intrigued by Forrest Lotterhos’ hammered dulcimer playing. It’s like a piano/harp/mandolin/drum thanggg all in one. It’s awesome. And Lotterhos played it with an energetic ease that was magnetizing to watch. Lotterhos also threw down on the keys, depending on the song. Meanwhile, Cody Hart of Cold River City and Matty Schelling of Whiskey Autumn each brought their own badass beats to the Asalott mix. Hart was atop the cojóne while Schelling built electronic swells on his Roland Octapad and Roland TD6. Together, the trio constructed trancy downtempo pieces that pulled you in and didn’t let go. There was a Middle Eastern vibe to the sound with the dulcimer in the mix, but Schelling also brought us a hip-hop style pulse. It was impossible not to move along with their sound.

 Asalott bringing beats. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Asalott bringing beats. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Beyond live performances, the owner of The Spacement told us that they want to record shows “with a radio-quality sound.” They have diamond sound boards scattered throughout the walls of the venue and behind the tapestries, they’ve also insulated the room for recording purposes.

Overall, the underground vibe of this place rocked. And they’re only looking to make the space more creatively cool as time goes on.

Said the owner, “I want people live-painting during shows. I want nightly themed performances: jazz, jamtronica, reggae. I want to track live shows and release them. We’re making something different here.”

Different, secret, psychedelic. I can dig.

-Hannah

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All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.