When his mother was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and faced huge expenses, 21-year old Ananda Goldsmith and his friend Luke Estes, 22, jumped on the problem in a novel way.
Composers of electronica music since their days together at Ashland High School, the pair recruited 27 musicians from all over the world to donate tracks to a compilation CD called "The Bounce Doctors" — with all profits going to the cancer treatments of Ashland sculptor Merina Goldsmith.
The CD includes a lot of big-name composers, says Goldsmith. They premiered the music at a benefit concert Friday at Ashland Historic Armory, clearing $2,000 for Merina's recent tumor removal. Some 500 people attended, he says.
"I used to tell them to always turn it down, when they were composing in the studio," says Merina. "Now I tell them to turn it up. It's awesome what they're doing. I feel so supported by them and the community. These guys are a huge part of my healing."
As the SugarBeats, the men have released two earlier digital CDs. Those and the new CD are on sale at Amazon, iTunes and other outlets. It costs $11.11 and can be bought or sampled at their label, streetritual.bandcamp.com/album/the-bounce-doctors.
The 27 artists who collaborated on the project were asked to donate cuts, says Goldsmith. They include name artists such as Govinda, Medium Troy, Mochipet and Intellipaths — which will greatly help sales, he notes.
Some — Eastern Sunz, Indubious and Lafa Taylor — are from Ashland.
Years ago, the pair started out making hip-hop and dubstep music and evolved into a more listenable, danceable sound known as glitch-hop.
"It's has a funky, bouncy feel," says Goldsmith, who opened at Britt Festival last year. "We strive for good dance music, more groovy, funky and sexy, but still with electronic noises."
"It's more chill music," says Estes, who went to Pyramind music production school in San Francisco. "You can sit around and listen to it. It can be soundtrack for skateboarding movies, and we're putting together a theme for a movie now."
When they're composing a track, Goldsmith and Estes "sit here for 10 hours and pass it back and forth, doing a song in a couple days," says Estes. "When I'm in San Francisco (where he lives and works as a bartender), it may take several days, sending it back and forth on Dropbox."
The pair say there's big money to be made composing digital tracks of electronica, but it takes time to build the network and fan base. Their first extended play release premiered seven months ago and was rated the No. 6 top new release on Addictech, says Goldsmith. But financial success has been limited, with the pair saying they may have cleared $1,000 after expenses.
The group has performed locally and at Lake Tahoe, Seattle and Eugene. Their biggest gig will be July 26-28 at What the Festival near Portland.
John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.