by David Downs
Thirteen-year-old independent Oakland label Anticon continued its string of annual showcases at SXSW with a small party at Barbarella Friday night. Amid a lineup that included Dosh and Themselves, Georgia's Serengeti debuted new material to longtime Anticon fans. Dense verbal flow met trippy breakbeat and sparse instrumentals — like a Southern Themselves — with that talkative focus on relationships and family over braggadocio and bling.
Label operator Adam Drucker says he and fellow Anticonian Jel saw Serengeti play a show, cold-called him, and offered to put out his album. “He said, 'Fuck yeah'.” The storied Oakland indie label with a proclivity for cerebral hip-hop — and now indie — has acts all over the country, and Austin proved a great midpoint, even if Drucker detests SXSW's spring break vibe. Something about thousands of bros getting drunk and horny apparently doesn't sit right with the sensitive artiste, who was selling killer handmade art pieces for $15 near the front door.