Given the personnel involved, Volta Bureau hasn’t had trouble getting local press since announcing its existence last spring. But one thing has been noticeably absent from most of the media coverage: a description of what these dudes sound like that’s a bit more precise than “supergroup.” (The trio includes popular local DJs and producers Will Eastman, Micah Vellian, and Outputmessage.) That slipperiness is surely to their credit, but let me take a stab anyway. Volta Bureau makes house music gone slightly hypnagogic. The songs’ skeletons are minutely academic, maybe even conservative, but they all eventually take a nostalgic, fuzzed-out trip to no era in particular. But this isn’t Ariel Pink for house lovers, because Volta Bureau’s dance anthems always stay grounded. That’s mostly thanks to Outputmessage’s vocals, a synthpop deadpan, plus, in some cases, live instrumentation that brings a little danger to the live set. Super.
Volta Bureau DJs a New Year’s Eve party with Lxsx Frxnk at 9:30 Club Backbar, 815 V St. NW. $10. (202) 265-0930.