Art Vandelay is the sardonic, baritone voice of Ricky Pharoe and the rich layered production of Mack Formway. They are horrible people, but generally less horrible than most people. Their content is daring and unapologetic; their sound is distinct and engrossing. Pharoe's unsettling imagery and vibrant character weaves fluidly through Formway's masterful production. From gritty punch-lines to evolutionary biology, the content is progressive and the drums hit hard.
Lead vocalist Ricky Pharoe solidified himself as a respected Seattle MC with his debut album "Civilized," produced entirely by Budo. In 2009, Pharoe earned the coveted Breeding Ground selection on AllHipHop.com, after a slew of well-received mix tapes. In 2011, Pharoe, Formway and Roundtree formed the group Art Vandelay and released they're first full length, They've Got My Number Down At The Post Office. The album received high praise and numerous write-ups for its biting sound and social critiques. This generated a strong buzz, and soon after, They've Got My Number Down At The Post Office was named as one of the top ten best Hip Hop albums of the 2011 on 206up.com.
The Group's follow up record, Face Tattoo, was released on May 1st 2012. In the wake of a three month promotional campaign that included the release of three music videos, Face Tattoo was highly anticipated by a rapidly growing fan base and was received with critical acclaim from the Seattle Weekly, The Stranger and numerous popular blogs.
Art Vandelay puts on an energetic and interactive stage show that is unmatched in it's originality. More than just live music, the group blends its sound with elements of theatre to create an arching storyline, complete with costumed characters. The incredible ardor of Art Vandelay's live performance resonates deeply with every audience, and is the cornerstone of their growth.
"(Pharoe's) natural knack for cadence, and thought-provoking songwriting make him a winner, whether he would ever admit it or not."
"Formway builds thick, layered compositions from distorted low end, electric guitar riffs, muted high-hats, and idiosyncratic vocal samples from the likes of Ghostface Killah, Louis Armstrong and, of course, characters from Seinfeld. The producer often lets his beats build, setting the sonic tone for Pharoe’s cynical realism."