Booker Stardrum is a Los Angeles based performer-composer. His recent compositions are sculptural, involving the dense layering of instruments, a focus on pan-tonality and an intuitive approach to rhythm. Booker’s sophomore solo release ‘Temporary etc.’ (NNA, 2018) is a highly personal amalgamation of electro-acoustics, minimalism, ambient, jazz, and contemporary experimental electronic music.
Using integrative sampler technology, Booker’s newest live solo set seamlessly synthesizes acoustic and electronic sounds, combining drums, cymbals, and bells with deconstructed and reimagined recorded samples of horn instruments, vocals, synthesizers, and other collected sonic ephemera.
Aside from his solo practice, Booker has dedicated himself to the art of percussion across multiple platforms, having recorded and performed with rock-based groups like Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Landlady, Lee Ranaldo, and Weyes Blood, in addition to more experimental and free improvisation collaborations with Nels Cline, VaVatican, and many more.
Booker has toured in the US, Europe, Asia, and South America and has performed at such festivals as Meltdown (U.K.), Brighton (U.K), Rewire (NL), Le Guess Who (NL), Festival Bo:m (ROK), and Ecstatic Music (US). His discography includes solo and collaborative releases on independent labels such as NNA Tapes, Northern Spy Records, Mexican Summer, Saddle Creek, Prom Night Records and Home Tapes.
“On the seven-minute highlight “Trash Island,” he begins with a collage of scraped and battered drums and cymbal hits. Without warning, the drums stop, only to reveal glistening organs before the scratching and bashing returns. And on it goes, swinging like a pendulum between chaos and order, violence and idyll—cycling, turning in circles, as only a drummer knows how.” -Philip Sherburne
“The most impressive track on Temporary etc. is “Swimming,” which conjures images of an otherworldly rainforest sojourn, as an eerie aural fug of indeterminate origin rises like mist from a primordial alien swamp. With this uncategorizable album Stardrum further solidifies his position as one of America’s most intriguing composers.” -Dave Segal
“The drummer, who grew up in a household steeped in top-level twentieth-century classical music performance, has built up an impressive résumé featuring some of the most compelling experimental pop and rock groups of the past decade. He’s also released an adventurous percussion-oriented electroacoustic album and developed an evolving solo show that reveals unique methods.” -Adam Budofsky