KEY CHANGE DUE JUNE 26TH VIA HEAVY SHEET
This June, Mocky will release his new album Key Change
via Heavy Sheet on June 26, 2015. The record documents his move from the musical community of Berlin-Kreuzberg to his new home in LA-Echo Park and reflecting the vibe of these cities emerging underground jazz and psychedelic scene.
He shares the infectious “Living in the Snow” from the new record (which features a Feist cameo on drums.) The Canadian-born-and-bred musician says: “I had to move to LA to finally write my snow song and remind myself of what it felt like. Writing songs can nourish you like this.” Of course, as with everything Mocky-related, there’s a deeper meaning contained within this funky little jam – the nostalgic undercurrent of a love that’s going through an icy patch.
LISTEN: “Living in the Snow”
More about Mocky:
Performer, producer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist, Dominic “Mocky” Salole came to prominence in the Berlin electronic scene of the mid 2000s, releasing three acclaimed solo albums, co-writing and producing Jamie Lidell’s Multiply and making waves on stage with close collaborators (and fellow Canadians) Peaches, Feist, Chilly Gonzales and founding the rapping puppet group The Puppetmastaz. It became evident that Mocky had his own way of doing things when he did his first tour at the zoos of Europe (literally setting up and playing in the Zoo in every town that he played and doing a matinee at the monkey cage before his club date). In 2009, his music took a jazz-inflected turn to the acoustic with the release of Saskamodie, which showcased his songwriting talents while introducing his unique sensibility to a receptive new international audience. A critics’ favorite,Saskamodie was described by Pitchfork as “an exceptionally musical album-there’s no other word for it-that could fail to seduce only the hardest of hearing, or the hardest of hearts.” In 2011, after work in Big Sur on Feist’s Metals, Mocky relocated to Los Angeles, where he quickly established himself as a co-writer with uncommon credentials, and eccentric working methods collaborating with breakthrough artists Kelela, Moses Sumney and Joey Dosik, among many others. With his monthly rooftops gigs at the ACE Hotel, meanwhile, he has breathed new life into the LA live scene. Mocky will release Key Change the album in 2015.
Always a thought leader, Mocky declared that “Frank Sinatra was the first techno singer,” in a recent interview on the BBC. And, to give this statement context, much like Sinatra was one of the first singers to use the microphone technology of his day to bring more intimacy to his sound, Mocky uses today’s music software and laptop-recording to bring us into close range with the performance at hand. Despite being known as a radical multi-tracker – he played most of the instruments on most Key Change songs by himself – his use of modern technology strictly avoids presets – or, to put it another way – sounds without real context and community are a no-go in Mocky-land. As he said in a recent interview in Wired: “The most modern thing I can do in 2015 is make music with my bare hands.”
At times on Key Change – as with the wondrously lush “When Paulie Gets Mad”, featuring frequent Flying Lotus collaborator Miguel Atwood-Ferguson on strings – you feel you’re listening to some gem from an undiscovered sixties soundtrack. Two young singers for whom Mocky has written and produced who have been making a mark on the L.A. scene are featured. Moses Sumney and Joey Dosik turn in a smoother than smooth vocal performance on “Tomorrow Maker ” and Mocky’s long time collaborator Chilly Gonzales sits in on piano and rhodes on “Head In the Clouds” – the classy pop song without which every Mocky album would be incomplete.
The fact that not a single sample is used on Key Change is a testament to the outside-of-time-quality of Mocky’s music. “When I record an instrument today” says the man who once toured with nothing but a sampler and a rapping puppet, “I try to inhabit a character from a place in my mind or an era that could have existed, and when all of these different characters interact, you have a captivating story.”
But it’s not just the characters in his mind that effect the plot, it’s the musical family, always growing, that Mocky has surrounded himself with since the beginning. You hear it in the sound – friends old and new, famous and not, dropping by, laying down a track, sharing a laugh or a heart-to-heart. They’re at home in this music, and you feel it – the element of trust, the spirit of community. It extends to you, the listener, as well. And you need that trust, because this music is different. You know it the moment you hear it, even if you can’t say how. Eschewing computer-generated sounds, reveling in the negative space of his own hand-made beats, Mocky draws on the past and the future to give us back the present as only someone with deep roots in electronic music can. If “Machines have become the arbiters of emotion,” as Mocky claims, then Key Change shows there’s another way. Deeply familiar yet utterly new, dreamy and ethereal yet earthy and grounded, this is the music of paradox. It resists classification, as many a music journalist has discovered. It lives on its own terms. That’s the power of it. You can talk about it all you want. But in the end, you just have to listen.
photo credit: Vice Cooler
07/08 – Havn Gallery – Hamilton, ON
07/09 – The Drake – Toronto, ON
07/10 – Resonance – Montreal, QC