Photos by Kendall Atwater.
Crop Circle Club is the newest independent record label in Boone, founded by Dylan Evans, John Wampler, Jib Butts and Andy Decker. The label operates somewhere between fun loving, resourceful and multi-faceted. The group’s positive camaraderie is immediately infectious and Boone has certainly felt the effects.
Before the flagship of Crop Circle Club was established, the boys organized several events in Boone including a “Creepypasta Pasta Party,” where participants read their favorite internet-originated horror stories aloud and the “Real Boi Collective House Show” that served as a prerequisite label showcase. Crop Circle Club was a namesake that Wampler had originally intended for a rap collective under which his pseudonym “Binx the Cat” could find its creative outlet.
After incorporating Evans, Butts and Decker into the mix, the label turned its identity into first promoting friendship and providing support for music makers before promoting traditional label aspects. “The coolest thing I can use my mouth to say is ‘I believe in you, keep going,’” Butts mentioned in between consumption of his second and third Beefy Fritos Burrito. “Crop Circle is kind of that.”
When questioned on the origins of Crop Circle Club, Evans put it simply: “We’re all buds who all like each other’s music.” While a fortunate benefit of the label is having monetary resources for label events and releases, the intention of remaining tight as friends and musicians remains the utmost priority.
The official Crop Circle Club consists of Boone-based acts Ghost Dogs, Lavier, Lunchbag and Boy Legs. Dylan Evan’s musical child, Lavier, was a project born in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Once moving to Boone for school, Evans quickly carved a spot in Boone’s musical community, keeping himself busy by playing one if not several shows a week. His live performance showcases his “future-jazz” mentality in the form of live guitar leads layered over chopped up vocal samples, deep synth soundscapes and dynamic drums. In addition to contributing his musical prowess to Crop Circle Club, Evans also provides visual accompaniment by designing the group’s logos and flyers.
Crop Circle Club cohort Lunchbag is the sonic spawn of Jib Butts. Musically speaking, Lunchbag is quick witted and honest. With lyrics operating between the realistic and the absurd, Butts has defined his brand of expression as “mumble rap.” His mumbles are delivered over impeccably spacey beats provided by Greensboro-based producer Vurne Bobbs. Butts uses vocal pitch modulation both in recordings and when performing live. Alternating between high-pitched screams and low-toned whispers draws listeners into Lunchbag’s uncanny territory somewhere between hip-hop, devoid of ego and self-serving poetry.
Boy Legs is one-half Lavier and one-half Lunchbag: a duo that straddles the line between light and dark, bouncing between optimism, fearless exhibition of personal doubt and boundless self-discovery. Boy Legs combines the musical elements of Lavier’s cloud jazz production with Lunchbag’s affinity for vocal modulation. The musical culmination of the two is noticeably darker and more intense than the two separately.
The final piece of the Crop Circle Club menagerie is surf punk mountain dwellers Ghost Dogs. Ghost Dogs is comprised of Boone household names Andy Decker and Jon Dwyer of Someday Rumble, John Wampler (formerly Ugly John) and Jake Filipowski of Junior in His Prime (in which Dwyer also plays). Similar to their label mates, Ghost Dogs provides a soundtrack to being young, reckless, mindful and fun loving.
As a collective, Crop Circle Club is relentlessly creative and resourceful. Future releases include a Ghost Dogs full-length album and the Lunchbag full-length album collaboration with Vurne Bobbs under the moniker “Grand Fleet”. Current label releases include Boy Legs’ “Pinball Museum” featuring a track with Hemlock Ernst and Lavier’s “Trust EP”.
Lavier has an upcoming date in Boone at Boone Saloon on May 28 with members of the independent net-label Midi보이즈. Lavier also has summer performances scheduled in Greensboro on June 10 at Limelight, in Asheville on June 18 for Helios Festival and in Forest City at Neon Weekend scheduled forJune 24-26. Keep up with Crop Circle Club’s extra planetary developments on the internet.
Check out AMPLIFIER’s full interview with Dylan Lavier Evans here.