North Carolina ‘swamp-funk’ duo King Garbage (Zach Cooper & Victor Dimotsis) have been funking around Asheville, North Carolina, since 2005, but recently burst onto on our radar thanks to their debut LP, coming our way and making our hips sway. The duo blends soul, funk, hip hop and rnb, into a psychedelic but laid back sound, we love it and we wanted to learn more about their scene, so we invited the two jokers to curate a city guide and mix on their hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. A vibrant arts city nestled by the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. Definitely a mix to relax to!
King Garbage’s Make It Sweat is out now.
Check out the map above and interview below for King Garage’s favourite spots, while you listen to a 100% Asheville mix.
Favourite place to buy records?
Favourite live music venue?
There are so many in Asheville! Crow and Quill is probably the most unique and has low- and hi-key potential. Speakeasy vibe. You could miss the door. Great cocktails. 1920’s vibe. Great spot for dancing or lounging.
Best soundsystem / favourite club?
Best party in the city?
Public Life throws a good party, good vibes, eclectic DJs, much dance, very sweat.
Best view of the city?
Town Mountain Rd. has some great views, plus it’ll take ya all the way to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway has the vista game on lock round these parts; weaving along the ridgelines with crazy sights of the cities and towns, Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains.
Best spot for a picnic?
French Broad River Park is pretty nice. Lotsa tables, grills, puppers and doggos abound. Right on the river. Vibe central.
Favourite Cafe’s and Restaurants?
Tough cuz Asheville is a food town. High Five or Dynamite Roasting for the chill cafe vibe. Plant is a bad ass vegan restaurant, super high level cuisine. Not too pricey. Hard to pick that as our fav though, so honorable mention shoutouts to Asheville champs Rosetta’s Kitchen, City Bakery, Early Girl, Biscuit Head, Sunny Point.
What are the best local dishes or street food?
Is there somewhere you like going to escape the hustle and bustle and take some time away for yourself?
So many escape routes…Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, driving and then hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway, waterfalls and swimming holes, camping at nearby Lake Santeetlah or Fontana, chilling up in Black Mountain/Montreat is always a hang.
Best place to experience something unique to Asheville?
A tour of the Moog factory is certainly in order for the musical folks. Home base to the legendary synthesizer company. Nerd zone for real. Also gotta peep the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, next level chocolate and pastry jump off.
First thing you miss after leaving Asheville?
The mountain air and spring water. Life changing for real my guy.
Best place to see another medium of art other than music?
Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center. Super rad exhibits and events all pertaining to the history and subsequent lineage of the legendary experimental liberal arts college that lived just outside Asheville 1933-1957. 2 small but gorgeous galleries on Broadway, a must see.
What are your favourites shops for things other than music?
Are there any markets in your city worth checking out?
Asheville and the surrounding towns all have farmers markets every week, mostly weekends. So much local produce and products to get down on. Black Mountain and Downtown Asheville have the baddest ones.
If we had to buy one local thing from your city to take back, what would it be?
Where will you find the friendliest, most interesting locals to have a chat with?
What’s the best and worst thing about living in Asheville?
The best and worst thing is that we’re in the south. Socio-political tensions and divisions are tangible and visible, but perhaps that’s a national issue…However, people are genuinely quite polite and civil, weather is warm, surrounding natural world is gorgeous. Trade off’s mon freir.
Who’s doing good things for Asheville music right now, who you’d like to shout out?
Big thanks and shouts to Jeff Arnal and Alice Sebrell at Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center for such challenging and exciting programming in and outside of their galleries and giving us the time of day. Also big hugs and respect to Richard and Diana Brewster for hosting the most intimate and open-eared house concerts (Brewster House Concerts) we’ve ever seen. Electronic music focussed. Very Rad. A reliable pulse-checking station on the far left side of Asheville’s music scene.
Are there any interesting organisations/charities/projects involving music based/happening in your city?
The Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) throws 3 festivals a year in the Asheville area and does amazing culturally stimulating charity work in our community and world wide!
Who are some of your favourite up-and-coming DJs/producers/ musicians bubbling up in Asheville right now?
Alec Sturgis, Carmelo Pampilonio, Searra Jade, Panther God, RBTS Win, Spaceman Jones, Mike LIVE, SK the Novelist, Sarah Louise, Black Box Theory, Kima Moore, Meg Mulhearn, Tashi Dorji, Shane Parrish, Library of Babel, Elisa Faires, Adam Void.
Just a FEW artists doing great work in our midst.
Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us? Where and how did you record it, what was the idea behind it and are there?
This mix incorporates music from some of the groovy witches and warlocks from our amazingly diverse community of musicians. We also included lots of recordings from Asheville’s past/passed luminaries, a real who’s who; Roberta Flack, Nina Simone (from Tryon, but went to a school in Asheville, still counts! Tried real hard to claim Coltrane but ‘twas a stretch), Bascom Lunsford, Bob Moog, David Holt and of course…that’s right, you guessed it Jermaine FUCKING Dupri my dude. We recorded this mix by rubbing 2 sticks together over some leaves on a windy day, a struggle but straight FIRE.
And finally, what’s on the horizon for you in terms of live dates or releases we should look out for?
So many things are in flux right now…but, new album is in the works. Production from KG for a few different artists will be surfacing in 2018. Hopefully we’ll be traveling to a city a near you to rock the house.
Bascom Lunsford – Swannanoa Tunnel
Adam Void – Virtuous Reality
Botanical Sound Index – Moth Orchid
Spaceman Jones and the Motherships – Soup and Cold Cuts
Floating Action – I’m Gonna Take You Down
Frank Meadows – Startup Menu
Bob Moog – RBMA Interview
Zach Cooper – Synth Discipline #2
Jermaine Dupri – Money Ain’t a Thang (w/ Jay-Z)
David Holt – How to Play the Spoons
Alec Sturgis – Virtual Fidelity
Sk, the Novelist – Bottom of the Beer (w/ King Garbage)
Paul Joines – Hanging of Georgie
Zach Cooper – Gombroon Piano
Sarah Louise – Field Guide
Koresma – The Overlook
Roberta Flack – Feel Like Makin’ Love
RBTS Win – Shine Surfer
Carmelo Pampillonio – Arrhym Zazen
Paul Joines – Roving Ranger
Adam Void – Floodplain
Xero God – All Promo
Sk, the Novelist – Kick it with God (w/ Mike LIVE and King Garbage)
Stencil / Magic – ?
Carmelo Pampillonio – Equivoque
Shuhandz & High Flown – Apex
The Secret B-Sides – Thin Blue (w/ RedInk)
Backwards Sam Firk – Old Reliable One Way Gal
Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddamn