Michael Collins, ringleader of psychedelic rock collective, Drugdealer, takes a collaborative approach on this project. Drugdealer’s debut album, “The End of Comedy,” prominently featured Ariel Pink, Weyes Blood, Jackson Mackintosh of TOPS, and members of the Mac DeMarco live band. The result? A time-capsule recreation of ‘70s American singer/songwriter music, featuring a montage of vintage pop sounds that include avant-garde saxophone solos, southern rock guitar chords, and vague, anthemic lyrics sung with slow, guttural vocals. Collins has created a highly intentional and well-crafted audial aesthetic.
Tired of club culture and the DJ life, UK producer George Fitzgerald has taken a new approach to house music. His creation is a complex concoction of structured compositions and slow-building harmonies within a clean song structure. Tempos are slow and laid back with grounded, yet ethereal synths, and perpetual melodies ignite a sentiment of immortal rite.
Fitzgerald makes scarce use of vocals, only employing them as mere syllables to convey an earnest and reverent theme, rather than a lyrical message. His music has high listenability in a club setting, home stereo, or in headphones on the metro. Fitzgerald's second and latest album, “All That Must Be,” carries a theme of transition, reflecting his own life changes into fatherhood. Are you hooked yet? Check out Instra:mental, Dauwd and FaltyDL.
Drab Majesty is the solo project of Deb DeMure, the androgynous alter-ego of Andrew Clinco. The talented multi-instrumentalist refurbishes a determined and angsty sound typical of classic ‘80s ballads, yet several elements set Drab Majesty apart. For one, Clinco predominantly creates songs in flat and minor keys, giving them a gloomy core. Reverb-laden guitar gives the music a subtle psychedelic texture, and drawn out vocals are layered with delay effects reminiscent of doom metal.
Drab Majesty has been labeled as post-punk, darkwave, synthpop, dream pop or neo-goth, but Clinco has developed a sound that is distinct amongst others in these genres. Along with Deb DeMure, Drab Majesty’s live performances include keyboardist and vocalist Mona D, playing everything from eerie instrumentals to danceable, upbeat, atmospheric numbers.
Aaron Carmack, aka Mr. Carmack, is perhaps best known for the outrageous bass of his booty bouncin’, trap-banger production. The San Francisco native uses a few simple ingredients to meticulously craft his tracks: hip-hop and R&B-sourced vocal samples, 808 bass lines, and sticky harmonies layered with frosting accents. At his last Meow Wolf performance, showgoers could be found in a state that the events team would later describe as “V lit.”
To understand the emotional state of someone listening to Mr. Carmack, you can browse the comments section of any given track on the producer’s Soundcloud profile. This is not to imply that his reputation was earned from the shock value of his more rambunctious works. He is subjectively one of the most technically-and-creatively-skilled producers in the genre, and continues to release noteworthy LPs year after year, including his latest: “Demolish.”