Jlin, Philip Glass, Danny Elfman contribute pieces to Third Coast Percussion : Deceptive Cadence On a new album, the most accessible so far, the Grammy-winning group reaches out to an EDM wizard, a famous film score composer and Philip Glass.

Third Coast Percussion's borderless music finds inspiration in fleet-footed beats

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ADRIAN FLORIDO, HOST:

There's a style of electronic music and dance known as footwork.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PARTY MOTION")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) Come on, girl. Come on, girl. Come on, girl - party motion. Come on, girl. Come on, girl. Come on, girl.

FLORIDO: This might sound completely disconnected from classical music, but the Grammy-winning classical group Third Coast Percussion embraces the footwork sound in a new album, "Perspectives," which features four world-premiere recordings. Our reviewer, NPR's Tom Huizenga, has been listening.

TOM HUIZENGA, BYLINE: Footwork is the hyper beat music born in Chicago's underground dance competitions and house parties in the late 1990s. On Third Coast Percussion's new album, the style undergoes a mesmerizing transformation in "Perspective," a seven-movement suite that calls for more than 30 instruments.

(SOUNDBITE OF THIRD COAST PERCUSSION'S "PERSPECTIVE: II. OBSCURE")

HUIZENGA: This music, at about 150 beats per minute, is by Jerrilynn Patton, a footwork fan who began slicing up her own electronic beats at her parent's home in Gary, Ind. She was working in a steel mill when her debut album made her an overnight sensation in 2015, although she says she's tired of journalists trotting out that story. Going by Jlin, the electronic artist has absorbed footwork but turned it inside out for her collaboration with Third Coast Percussion. Listen to how metal bowls filled with water help lay down a woozy groove.

(SOUNDBITE OF THIRD COAST PERCUSSION & JLIN'S "PERSPECTIVE: III. DERIVATIVE")

HUIZENGA: Another unconventional partnership on the album finds Third Coast Percussion composing music with a pair of flutists who go by the name of Flutronix. Their piece "Rubix" opens with punchy flutes dancing over a chilled-out vibraphone.

(SOUNDBITE OF THIRD COAST PERCUSSION & FLUTRONIX'S "RUBIX: I. GO")

HUIZENGA: There's one more combo on "Perspectives" that may surprise you, and it comes courtesy of Danny Elfman. You might know him as the frontman for the peculiar '80s rock band Oingo Boingo or better yet by his nearly 100 film scores for movies like "Edward Scissorhands" and "Good Will Hunting." For the Third Coast musicians, he composed a piece simply called "Percussion Quartet." And unlike a lot of academic music for percussion ensembles, Elfman makes his quartet sing sweetly.

(SOUNDBITE OF THIRD COAST PERCUSSION & DANNY ELFMAN'S "PERCUSSION QUARTET: II. -)

HUIZENGA: It says a lot about this group's commitment to brand-new music when the oldest piece on the album is from 1988. Philip Glass' "Metamorphosis No. 1," originally for solo piano, undergoes an expansive renovation here, complete with vibes, marimba, melodica, synthesizer and a positively glittering glockenspiel.

(SOUNDBITE OF THIRD COAST PERCUSSION'S "METAMORPHOSIS NO. 1")

HUIZENGA: The whole concept of an ensemble of percussionists is less than 100 years old. Third Coast Percussion, with albums like this, continues to push percussion into new directions, blurring musical boundaries and beguiling new listeners.

FLORIDO: The album is "Perspectives" by Third Coast Percussion. Our reviewer is NPR's Tom Huizenga.

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