Thursday, March 17, 2011
Death Kit on Fort Lowell Records
James has put together another killer package from Fort Lowell, this time looking westward to LA's Death Kit who aren't without an Arizona connection. August on drums (or death kit?) used to play with Tracy Shedd while Jessica and Whitney are from another Fort release, Wet & Reckless. For the new year and new look, the Fort has brought the Tuscon Community Darkroom into the fold on art duties and the silhouetted, fly fishing under seagulls sleeve. You don't really know anything about seagulls? No problem.
The Birdman has an insert with popular FAQS about the birds, the organization works to rescue neglected and unwanted birds in Tuscon. The levels of connections are endless and I haven't even gotten to the solid apricot color vinyl yet.
Death Kit was formed in response to the lack of laptop-free electronica bands in LA. Which is surprising, I would expect somewhere out there is a scene all about dance culture, with a bunch of venues and fans. You wouldn't think to form a band like this if there wasn't. God knows it's never easy to introduce the plethora of technology it takes to create this sound, it certainly doesn't make a performance easier.
On the A-Side, 'Devadesi', comes in with that heavy synth laden sound while keeping the guitar work front and center in a New Order way. There's still room for the human element in the performance. A very live, tom driven percussion holds the dance rhythm while a falsetto vocal plays with this loose concept of the Devadesi, who were prostitutes for Hindu dieties. This otherworldly theme fits right into the massive swirling pop leaning dance-rock. Riding right in the middle of precise technology and live vibrations, like !!! or I love you but I've chosen darkness, it's always catchy with a hint of that shameless adoration of good old pop synth melodies while keeping it grounded and live. They've definitely succeeded in what they've set out to do.
The B-side finds another Tuscon connection with ...Music Video?, remixing Death Kit's track, 'I can make you love me.' Their sensibilities are a perfect match and this has to be completely thanks to Fort Lowell immediately putting two and two together. The natural pairing has ....Music Video? even recording and engineering additional instrumentation to the point where I don't even consider this a traditional remix in the usual sense, they've taken the basic vocal and melody and reinterpreted the track. A real collaboration more than an entity putting their stamp on the original tracks. It makes all the difference to have a band coming from the same aesthetic working on your baby. This one feels even more hopeful and optimistic than the A-Side, maybe it's the soaring vocal progressions and the synth is humanized and tweaked to work as the original melody but still improvised and raw. The vocals sound like they have a hint of autotune in there or this guy just has a meticulously precise voice.
Keeping with their slightly creepy themes, the title is repeated, 'I could make you love me', which of course is the worst thing you want to hear being on the receiving end of that conversation, but like the vision and instrumentation, Death Kit is convincing enough to try it, and you wind up getting caught up in the moment on the backlit dancefloor and give in, forcing you to love them.
This video sheds some light on their whole songwriting process, the fact that they can pull this off live, acoustic and all and that they choose to take it to the singles electronica place, really shows the foundation is there, that's whats important.
Get it from Fort Lowell or Death Kit