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Barbez is proud of unique sound

Band was formed to explore frontiers in the N.Y. music scene

Barbez is constantly seeking out music fans who embrace all styles.
Barbez is constantly seeking out music fans who embrace all styles.
Marry Cyr

Guitarist Dan Kaufman, the founder of the band Barbez, says that he likes strange music.

"I like stuff that's weird and not linear," Kaufman said by phone from New York. "I like things that are different. And that's why, I guess, the band sounds like it does."

Barbez — which includes Kaufman, vocalist Ksenia Vidyaykina, thereminist Pamelia Kurstin, percussionist Danny Tunick, bassist Dan Coates and drummer Shazhad Ismaily — has a way of stringing together Slavic styles with chamber compositions that lie on a thin edge of post-modern punk.

"I was influenced by people like Kurt Vile, Astor Piazzolla, Bad Brains, the Replacements, the Swans, people like that," said Kaufman. "So there was a lot of different strangeness going on in my mind."

Barbez formed in 1997 intending to explore new frontiers in the New York City music scene. "There are bands in New York that are not your typical bands and the creativity is amazing," said Kaufman. "That's what we're like. We're one of the bands that fit in New York, but when we tour the country, we're so different than the rest of the other touring bands."

With a style similar to an acoustic version of the progressive-metal chop of System of a Down, Barbez is constantly seeking out music fans who embrace all styles. "We are connecting with those who are open-minded. We want to give audiences a dose of something they've never had before."

Last month, Barbez released its third album, "Insignificance." "We didn't feel like we had something to prove when making this album. We actually recorded it in two separate sections. We did half of it, and then stopped to tour. Then we came back and did the other half."

The band called in producer Martin Bisi, who has worked with Barbez on all its past albums. Bisi, who worked on Sonic Youth's "Evol" and Herbie Hancock's "Future Shock," understands Barbez, said Kaufman. "He knows what the band needs and was able to bring it out in the mix. He knows when we need to hold back and not overwhelm the listener with sounds. And he knows when we need to pour it on."

As for touring, Kaufman said he likes connecting with new listeners. "We have something that needs to be shared, and if people get it, then it's that much better."

If you go . . .

What: Barbez

Where: Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

How much: $10

Phone: 746-0558

Web: www.theurban