Rustling pillows, irate flamingos, drums thumped feverishly in basements. Tweaked cassettes, noisy buses, restless hands tapping dashboard rhythms in thick dusk traffic. Found sound, musique concrète, stuttering drum loops forged in twilight boredom — hyperedited into ruminative dance collages. Pillow by Mischa Lively (née Barton, Blake): 4 songs, 25 minutes, a hybrid of exertion and uplift.
Pillow marks both the Nashville native’s debut for RACECAR and the denouement of an evolution. Once rigidly stuckto notions of how rhythm should be utilized — Barton is a trained percussionist — the producer eventually realized the potential in limiting himself to a minimalist diet of new and archived drum loops from which to build songs. Studying myriad treatment techniques, Barton then executed a vision unmoored to binary ideas about “live” versus “electronic,” blurring lines as he composed with an ear for IDM, dub, techno, and ambient music.
Hence Pillow: A vast assemblage of rhythm and sound performed to mirror the spirit of dance records. Indeed, the 12” is as ripe for warehouse parties as meditative nights alone, headphones affixed, candles lit, marveling at the mysteries humans conjure with physical limbs.
“Rhythm is instinctual to me,” Barton remarks when asked about his preference for recording analogue patterns versus beats sourced from 1s and 0s. “And I dislike sitting nearly as much as working from computers.” Movement, then, is a virtue to Barton, and in Mischa Lively he’s found a taut, elegant, propulsive vehicle in which to explore it.
Mastered at the venerable Berlin production house Dubplates and Mastering, Pillow arrives on vinyl (limited to 500 copies) on May 20, 2016.
released May 20, 2016
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