Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording by Ian Harris, Video By Jake Lyle, Words by Landon Kuhlmann
I've been hearing about That 1 Guy for as long as I can remember. I've seen him once or twice at festivals in the area and maybe a bar or two in Iowa City. I can't remember exactly how many times it's been, I just know that I've done it. And maybe you have, too; That 1 Guy tours extensively, bringing his energy and exploration to stages around the world.
He's playing something called "The Magic Pipe," though no symbol of human understanding can fully capture the otherworldly excess of this thing and the magician who presides over it. Sometimes an instrument can help define the genre of the artist. But if you've invented your instrument, have you invented a new genre as well?
Starting out, it comes across as some sort of robot cello. It's played with a bow and uses a pinched string. But then the bow is thrown out and it's plucked like a bass, while the rest of the instrument is pounded percussively, throwing about electric noises that sound like Elon Musk's ringtone. It is even strummed with an enormous pick somewhere in the session. At some point, that yearning to understand what you're hearing and seeing has to be thrown out. This isn't about science as much as it's about magic, the powerful unsettling nature of the unknown. If you just let go, That 1 Guy will take you on sonic adventures unlike any other. The rewards are plentiful and inspiring; the magic and mystery become the driving force of creativity.
With the power of technology, though, this pipe can become anything and make any noise he wants it to. These are the sounds of innovation. This is the national anthem of the First Republic of Mars.
Despite all of this, the music is far from too obscure to enjoy. In fact, it is quite danceable and catchy at times. That 1 Guy crafts a futuristic dance music that sometimes turns to ambient robot droning. No matter where he's at on the spectrum of sound, you're guaranteed to be interested, waiting for whatever potential sound he's got locked away in his Magic Pipe.
That 1 Guy Official Site