The duo Sepalcure – Praveen Sharma (aka Braille and PRAVEEN) and Travis Stewart (aka Machinedrum) – have already, as solo artists and as a duo, been a big part of the vibrations of so-called Bass Music. Originating from New York, the duo now champion their taste in sounds on two sides of the globe. Travis spends a lot of time in Berlin while Praveen anchors a scene that spans Brooklyn and the Internet in the form of Percussion Lab, with that group’s events, Web downloads, and Monday night live streams. (In fact, if you’re up against some deadlines or feeling blue on some Monday evening slash early morning European time slash Tuesday morning over in Asia and Australia, I highly recommend tuning in. Or go and grab one of the downloads, which cover Bass Music but also ambient, experimental, techno, and other sounds.)
Crisply soulful, “I’m Alright” is a perfect single to introduce you to the upcoming full-length. It represents the comfortable, relaxed collaboration between Travis and Praveen, from its lush production quality to heartwarmingly-grooving rhythms. It speaks to a hunger for danceable music that tracks closer to its history in House and Chicago sounds, to me, a sound that is as much about the roots and tradition of the music as any one place or time.
But I don’t have to really tell you anything; you can grab the single for free and exclaim, yeah, “I’m alright.” And I’m sure we’ve all had days where we were ready for a song to make us feel that way. In fact, I’m fairly surprised this is a b-side; having heard the album, though, the self-titled “Sepalcure” will deliver more of this manner of goodness.
Sepalcure promise “extensive touring,” but if you’re around New York, you can watch it all get rolling. After appearances at Unsound Festival Krakow and, this week, MUTEK Mexico City, the duo’s new live AV show will debut November 10th at Le Poisson Rouge. I believe visuals will come by way of another Friend of CDM, the awesomely-talented artist and designer Sougwen Chung. See her design from a previous release below, just because it’s too pretty not to include here. We’ll be due for another catch-up with Sougwen, but read our previous Create Digital Motion profile of her work for US label and tastemaker Ghostly International:
Visuals for Shigeto Full Circle, and Reflections on Drawing by Hand [Create Digital Motion]
“I’m Alright” is the B Side for the single “Pencil Pimp,” November 7, Hotflush Recordings
Self-titled full-length, Sepalcure will be released November 22, Hotflush
And let’s give you some more visuals via Sougwen, inspired by the duo’s debut EP, Fleur:
I normally wouldn’t do this, but I know Gamail from Backspin Promotion, and his analysis – clearly written here with the duo – tends to be right on point, so I really like his track-by-track description:
Opening with ‘Me,’ a clear statement of intent that brings to mind early Metalheadz-era Alex Reese and Waxdoctor tunes within a fresh 2011 beat dynamic, the album continues its rhythmic and soulful attack on ‘Pencil Pimp’ which drops abandoned melancholic soul into a burnt out etheral city that isn’t Detroit. The Bronx? Brooklyn? Queens? New York while we waited for Hurricane Irene? No surprise then that this is slated to be the first single from the album. Tribalisms on ‘The One’ echo Zanzibar-era New Jersey Black House before it came over to Madhattan and stormed the world. On ‘See Me Feel Me’ you can hear Sharma’s IDM roots but Stewart has clearly helped him take a trip down to Philly for a bit of what can only be dubbed as an East Coast urban love fest. With Hip Hop mutating towards electronic music it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear a big league rapper biting this soon. ‘Eternally Yrs’ continues what is surely a romantic core in this album – it’s a burbling update of the ravehouse sound, with processed vocals rubbing up against woodblock beats and a relentlessly bouncing bassline. ‘Yuh Nuh See’ takes a bite out of juke’s trademark staccato bass and looping vocals, washing the tension away with lush melodies and dubbed out atmospherics. ‘Breezin’ indicates an ease but is in fact one of the more bass-heavy tunes on the album, bringing to mind a crowded beach in the Bronx where everyone is playing something different on their boombox – it’s Nigeria, Harlem and other undisclosed sources of wonder trapped in summer heat. ‘Hold On’ gets even more Jamaican – did we just enter a Soundclash? if so, this one is especially blissful. ‘Carrot Man’ lets us know Model 500, UR and Carl Craig’s dystopian landscapes still continue to inspire. while the finale ‘Outside’ sounds like the duo captured the elation of finishing the album and walking outside after weeks in a dark and sweaty studio. Sophisticated, yes, but accessible too. Emotional, yes, but fun as well. Simply titled ‘Sepalcure’ this album is a bold statement from two artists rising to the top of their game.
I’ll be interviewing Travis and Praveen, so if you’ve got anything you’d like to know about them, music they like, process, etc., let us know.