Surreal Vokabulary

Local hip-hop jam band goes genreless

Vokab Kompany’s Matt “Burkey” Burke (left): “We’re like a jam band added to hip-hop.”
  • Vokab Kompany’s Matt “Burkey” Burke (left): “We’re like a jam band added to hip-hop.”

“We were just outside of Ferndale, Washington, when the wheel from our Thomas the Train trailer completely flew off and shot a hundred feet in the air,” says Vokab Kompany vocalist Matt “Burkey” Burke. The band is on a 15-city tour. “[The trailer] landed on the axle. We’re lucky we didn’t flip...it had a smiley face just like the cartoon.”

"View of My Life"

...off of Vokab Kompany's <em>The Good Kompany Album</em>

...off of Vokab Kompany's The Good Kompany Album

A lot about Vokab Kompany seems surreal.

For starters, the hip-hop/EDM/jam band managed to tap into the corporate honey pot by providing soundtracks for TV ads for Southern Comfort, Kia, South Lake Tahoe, and the MTV and Starz TV networks.

“We owe a lot to Mike Halloran of 91X,” Burke tells the Reader while en route to a show in Bend, Oregon, from Tacoma.

“He saw us at Oysterfest and then picked us as one of their ‘local break’ bands a few years back.” Burke says the airwave exposure 91X gave “Take You to Space” in 2011 was invaluable. “From there we drew the attention of the manager of [reggae band] the Irations.”

Vokab eventually moved on to the Ineffable Music Group, a Bay Area–based management company with offices in Denver and Charlottesville, Virginia. Ineffable’s 20-person management team handles the Green, Hieroglyphics, Collie Budz, and several other artists. Opening shows for Cage the Elephant, Wiz Khalifa, and Pepper and slots on Electric Forest and Coachella’s Do Lab Stage followed for Vokab.

Last year they fronted the Run DMC Remix tribute tour with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe that played 16 dates, including the New Orleans Jazz Fest and the Brooklyn Bowl.

Past Event

Vokab Kompany

  • Friday, February 26, 2016, 9 p.m.
  • Music Box, 1337 India Street, San Diego
  • 21+ / $18

Burke joined Vokab founder Robbie Gallo in 2007 and the two call all the shots. “You have to have a leader...but what we are is a collective of all the people we’ve met and experiences we’ve had together in the past ten years. We’re like a jam band added to hip-hop.”

Burke says their new 15-song album, The Good Kompany Album, produced and arranged by him, Gallo, and keyboardist Geoff Nigl, is a mix of instruments, hip-hop, and synth tracks. “It’s what all music is becoming...genreless.”

The record-release show is Friday, February 26, at the Music Box.

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