They may never have a hit record, but Superhuman Happiness hopes to “find something deeper based on a human exchange,” reports Jim Fusilli in The Wall Street Journal (3/13/13). The seven-piece group’s journey begins with “a round of syncopated handclaps” that opens live performances and their debut disc, appropriately titled, “Hands.” Saxophonist Stuart Bogie says the handclaps provide a certain focus.
“We clap out counter-rhythms and bring them to our music,” says Stuart. “People treat it like a gimmick, but it’s fundamental.” The group also “often sings together in a celebratory chant. Designed to drive an audience to dance, the music … is a loose, spontaneous alternative to the rigidity of computer-generated electronic dance music.” Stuart says “contemporary American dance music” is the goal.
“I wanted new areas to experiment in — not just new sounds, but in new ways of collaboration in composition … As you come away from rote arrangements, you begin to approach a style of working as a collective mind. It’s an extreme challenge to build a repertoire, but when you have five, six, seven guys making collective decisions, it’s a powerhouse.” Stuart says the group faced plenty of rejection from record companies, but that’s okay. “When you mean what you play, you’re sending something out into the universe,” he says.