SHIVASTEP : Chicago born and raised Sean Nelson forges the radiant, furious sounds of SHIVASTEP. Slowing the city's manic rhythms and bouncing 808s to a narcotic crawl, he then wretches transcendent melody from the shards of disassembled pop culture. Fragments of footwork, grime, trance and dirty hip hop slur in and out of focus. The music twists and shifts between the familiar and the strange. A new form emerges from the ashes of the old. This is SHIVASTEP.
Both self taught and classically trained in a multitude of instruments, Sean has a ravenous thirst for music and experimentation which has seen him exploring music in every style from Beethoven piano sonatas to Beatles pop genius to Burial's dark cityscapes. Finally settling on electronic instrumentation (808s, analog synths and samplers) it is his relentless quest to write affecting melody and to use his vast knowledge of musical style and form to push the boundaries of song structure and composition. In melding the visceral pulse of dance music, the melodic gratification of a pop song and the experimental dismissal of genre, the music becomes his drug, his catharsis and the listener is brought along on the thrilling journey.
ERAS : ERAS exists in a unique space giving equal reverence to both the DIY noise scene of The Smell and the leftfield hip-hop beats of the Low End Theory/Brainfeeder scene. The LA-based producer already has plenty of acclaim bubbling underground with a few well-received limited releases to his name and pumping out dark, trance-inducing remixes for artists like Death Grips, Gazelle Twin, and Chelsea Wolfe. With his latest release Portals, ERAS seems primed for a wider audience.
Almost as if it was a double EP, ERAS embraces the vinyl format with a dualistic approach to the record as if it were two sides of a coin. In a striking new direction, Portals' first side explores new territory for ERAS with lush textures, warm pads, and agile celestial synth melodies all pushed to the forefront. The fingerprints of his previous work are there with an underlying tension and mystery, but it treads along into familiar territory as well with a pastoral, futuristic hymn quality recalling Boards of Canada and/or M83 more so than the more punk, beat induced Throbbing Gristle-isms we've heard from him in the past.
From the first few seconds of the flipside's opener "Oath", the howling drones of sacred musics and tribal war drums clearly signal a more sinister intent for the second side of Portals. Also surprising, the foreboding distorted glitch atmospheres of "Coma" give way to a steady beat wrapped in dark, warped R&B vibes. As if the b-side has taken you to the dark corridors in an underworld of sound, it is consistent in tone and restraint but also full of interesting juxtapositions whether it's layering expansive shoegaze over meticulously edited breakbeats or power electronics held together by subtle chord arrangements.
With the nature of the dualistic release, it would be inappropriate to assign any sort of genre to the music on Portals but fans of the classic Warp catalog, Editions Mego releases, even the new generation of witchier dark electronics will find a lot to like in ERAS' latest
Asymmetrical Head: Asymmetrical Head is William Rosario. Born in Staten Island, NY. and now residing in Southern California. Will’s interests in Electronic Music can be dated back to 1981 when he was breakdancing with his crew at the Queensbridge Projects while listening to Numbers/Computer World 2 by Kraftwerk. He found comfort while listening to the rhythms of passing trains and the hums of the tires on asphalt coming from the Queens Bridge outside of his window. Constantly surrounded by Urban Soundscapes, Architecture, Nature, and Music. It all came back full circle when he started his work as Asymmetrical Head in the mid 90s.
He started as a DJ mixing at art galleries and house parties in Riverside, CA. His mixes were usually a blend of Techno, House, Hip Hop, Drum n’ Bass, IDM, and Ambient. In 2002, he started to produce his own music and since then has released 2 albums and a handful of eps.
Sigils : Sigils is Los Angeles based project of multi-instrumentalist musician and producer Felix Herrera. Soundscape artist that explores expressionist electronica quoting and combing the genres Ambient, IDM, dubstep, shoe-gaze, and minimal avant-garde. Ambient electronic music with dense meditative electro-acoustic processing, sub bass frequencies, and cinematic textures. The deeply spacial approach to drone and eno-esque imagery landscapes have roots in avant-garde classical composers of the 20th century and the electronic music alchemist of the 90's.
DJ Stephen R.: DJ Stephen R. is a Los Angeles-based DJ and music producer. He’s the founder of Architects and Heroes, a blog, record label and event production group. He is the founder of the Hot Flash Party. He has releases on Under the Radar Records, Alectric Records, and is the founder of The “Under the Radar” experimental music and video events in San Francisco. He has performed with some of underground music’s most well-known names, including Kool Keith, Jeff Parker of Tortoise, Peaches, Kid606, Richard Devine and Gold Chains. Stephen R. is also the founding member of the left-of-center instrumental band The Summer of Flux and 1 half of Zygote.
Handsomest Drowned Man: Musician and artist, Estevan Carlos has been developing his craft and creative output for more than ten years, whether through composition, mixed media or remixing. His sound – varying from jarring to organic – utilizes tools from an mbira to Csound. His several years of education and private musical pursuit has allowed him to remain separate from distinct trends. Estevan Carlos creates darker moods not always suited for dance?oors but his music carries a level of dedication and unique personality not often seen in electronic music.