Michael Beharie is a Brooklyn-based musician and Oberlin Conservatory grad perhaps most widely known as one half of the Brooklyn electronic pop duo Tezeo. As a solo producer and guitarist, he’s also done a bunch of behind-the-scenes tinkering for some of our favorite artists in town, including the electronic score for the Lucky Torres documentary Lucky, writing and production work for Alexis Blair Penney and studio guitar chops for ADR, Mas Ysa and Light Asylum’s Bruno Coviello. If you didn’t catch Reach, his recent debut album for Shinkoyo, then this 23-minute, grid-defying and globe-trotting beat epic will probably prick up your ears big time. Stream This One Breath here, and pick up a tape version via Words + Dreams. Below, Beharie describes what he was thinking about when he made it.
The music in this tape was inspired by my desire to make the guitar sing in new ways, whether that be through electronic processing or a hyper-percussive and repetitive playing style. There is also very simple guitar playing on the record that was directly inspired by Mandinka Kora music (“Tio Cuts”, “Rift”). All of the drums (with the exception of the drum-machine sounds in the track “This One Breath”) are samples taken from vinyl records from around the world and then tuned and processed. I love the crackle and highs of those drums. Other sounds include a processed and chopped string quartet (in the track “Palo”) that was originally written for the film Survival Prayer. I wanted this to be a crunchy record that moved in and out of worlds, equal parts future and ancient.
Stream: Michael Beharie, This One Breath