April 16, 2009

The Sweet Disco of Johnny Jewel

Portland, Oregon's Chromatics and Glass Candy are two effervescent and discoed-out projects started by Johnny Jewel, master of all things synth. Jewel, unlike the mass majority of contemporary recording artists, doesn't use a computer to make his sound. Instead, he operates with a couple of vintage synthesizers that create a strangely organic wall of intricately danceable and thoughtful funk.

Jewel, who works with his ex Ida No in Glass Candy and current sweetheart Ruth Radelet with the Chromatics, has now found a muse for his newest project. After two years of working on the production for Desire, Jewel came upon singer Megan Louise in Montreal—it was the voice he'd been looking for. The next day, he rented an apartment in the city.

The duo's sound is in line with Jewel's past work: an often adrift, spacy and bouncy balance of fuzzy and soft tones. The song "Dans Mes Reves" comes with a genre classification: "dreamwave." Genres tend to be narrow and oversimplified, but here, Jewel couldn't be any more unusually qualified.

Buy: After Dark compilation

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