Ejecta—the latest project spearheaded by man of many endeavors Joel Ford, here teamed up with Neon Indian's Leanne Macomber—recently released its debut album via Ford's new record label, Driftless. The duo have celebrated with a too-hot-for-SoundCloud FADER mix, which opens with a very zen Human League track before proceeding, by twists and turns, to one of my favorite songs ever, Capsule's "I Wish You." Super diverse, always surprising.
Download: Ejecta's FADER Mix
How did Ejecta come together? MACOMBER: We met on tour years ago. A grueling van tour through endless America. we bonded over booze and a mutual lack of sleep and edible nutritious matter. I later sent Joel some of my crappy, haphazard demos. Shockingly, he liked them enough to send me a track of his own (what is now "It's Only Love") to work out vocals for. thus, our collaboration began!
How would you describe the sound you are going for together? MACOMBER: We both love pop music, from subtle romantic ballads to cheap and glittery one-hit wonders. I'd say our sound varies quite a bit, and is tailored around each song. Some are quite somber yet have jarring expressionistic punctuations here and there; others are danceable throughout. I've really enjoyed making the sparse mellow ones, too. Electronic seems a general enough term, but it doesn't quite describe the songwriting. I'm a sucker for verbose love songs, and it shows. FORD: I think our combination of aesthetics for Ejecta is pretty special. We come from totally different musical backgrounds but share a love for certain styles/genres like Leanne mentioned. Dominae is less "electronic" then I thought it would be, and I'm super happy with it. Leanne's songwriting blows me away. She has an amazing ability to write beautiful melodies through simple chord changes that hold your attention. This is the recipe for good pop music, although I don't think we necessarily made a "pop" record. I'm excited to keep making music together. We collaborate really easily and I don't see us stopping anytime soon.
Tell me about the character that Leanne is playing in Ejecta. Who is she, and why has she come down to earth? MACOMBER: Ejecta is a geological term describing the dust that settles over the ocean floor after a seismic shift. I envision Ejecta as a representation of rebirth. Maybe my rebirth as I lumber through early adulthood. I think of Ejecta as being a humanoid who finds herself displaced on earth-as i have felt. She is an everywoman we can all project onto.
What's the rationale behind appearing naked in all the pictures for the project? MACOMBER: It's part of her simple mythology as a "newborn." Naked she appears timeless, without culture, and without signifiers of class or sexuality. She can be anyone—even an alien or a ghost perhaps. It's very romantic and personal music she's representing, in my eyes. Sometimes full of humor, but honestly quite melancholy. I don't even know how I'd dress her. Stick her in an evening gown with her wrists bandaged, i guess.
How did Driftless Recordings come about? How do you see Driftless being different—aesthetically or mission-wise—from your last label endeavor, Software? FORD: Driftless Recordings happened for a number of reasons, but initially because I needed a different release hub for the productions I was planning/working on around the time when the Ejecta sessions started (Summer 2012). Ejecta didn't fit into everyone's vision at Software/Mexican Summer, but I knew we had something special coming together. Soon after I met my now good friend and business partner, Patrick McDermott (North Americans), and we formed Driftless. Pat and I have a vision for Driftless that includes, but stretches beyond, "electronic" music. Collaboration is at the center of what we're trying to do with Driftless, and working with each other and our friends to create/release interesting art and music will be paramount. If we make a sick country record and decide its good for Driftless, then that's awesome. If my friend sends me a sci-fi novel that he wants me, Noah Wall and Megafortress to score and release on Driftless, then that's awesome too. I feel fortunate to have so many brilliant friends and peers and I feel like its my duty to bring them together to create new sounds and ideas. I think Pat and I are in a unique position as artists running a fully independent record label, and the artists we work with know this and respect what we're trying to do. Its been an incredibly fulfilling process thus far and I'm really looking forward to going harder in 2014.
What were you thinking about when you made this mix? FORD: Haha. Great question. Ridiculous span of genres and styles here. Half of these were selected by Leanne and half by myself. I think it represents our diverse musical obsessions pretty well. One thing that blew me away when I was physically mixing these tracks together was how quiet the Body Double soundtrack is compared to something like a Todd Terje edit. Its unreal how "loud" music is cut these days.
What food do you like to make, and how do you make it? MACOMBER: I'm the breakfast bitch. Best meal of the day. "One or two?" (eggs) is the first thing out of my mouth (to my partner) every morning. FORD: I've been actively trying to get my kitchen skills up. I do a mean roast chicken in a cast iron pan with root veggies. The key move here is scraping the butter soaked herbs from the pan with fresh bread at the end.
1. The Human League - Toyota City
2. Ros Serey Sothea - Superstar
3. Prefab Sprout - Wild Horses
4. Todd Terje - Swingstar Pt. 2
5. Capsule - I Wish You
6. Lil Suzy - Real Love
7. Putsch '79 - Asian Girls
8. Clothilde - Fallait pas ecraser la queue du chat
9. OMD - Telegraph
10. Rocket for Ethiopia - Shelter From a World I Can't Stand
11. Volahn - Trance Ceremonial
12. Ryan Power - Well On Your Way
13. Body Double - Pino Donaggio
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