Paris is the setting for Pamela, the new short film from astronauts, etc. frontman Tony Peppers, Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi and the Berkeley-based Company Studio. Peppers is the film’s main character, shrouded in mystique as he courses through the city mindlessly breathing and exploring in a lovelorn state.
The film, which comes across like an elaborate mood builder for the eventual introduction of Peppers and Bear’s new track, “Metropolitan” is shot using a Super 8 camera and is riddled with modern impressionist nostalgia for the most Parisian minutiae: A top floor patio smoke, spooning the foam of a sidewalk cafe cappuccino, a stroll through an art museum, deep breaths over a red wine lunch and having a think seated on the edge of the Seine; all with the same sense of calm.
The cinematography (from Bear and Samantha Sartor) experiments with inside out distance captures. One shot focuses on Peppers walking out onto the street, then zooms out to reveal the building’s full imposing facade. Another begins focused on pages of a book, then pans out to show Peppers reading under a tree in a park. The intention is always to give more windows into the essence of the mind in Paris, from different vantage points.
All in all, Pamela serves as an artistic music video for “Metropolitan,” which plays through the film’s denouement as Peppers’ elegant “Pamela’s Theme” score fades down, into a newfound canvas laid down by cathedral bells. The first official track from Peppers and Bear delves deeper into the David Axelrod-esque psychedelia wormholes that Peppers started digging into on astronauts, etc’s 2018 LP Living In Symbol. With the voice of hypnotic waking life stitched through, “Metropolitan” represents an effective convergence of the enveloping keys of astronauts, etc. with a touch of the Toro y Moi groove and we’re left wanting more. Here’s hoping for it…
So Laff Trax (Toro Y Moi x Nosaj Thing) is set to perform at Treasure Island Music Festival in Oakland this weekend. But strangely, the super production duo hasn’t officially released a single track?? That’s laughable…ok I’ll stop. But seriously, it leaves a lot of people wondering what to expect from an hourlong set from the collaboration project of two highly respected producers in Toro’s Chaz Bundick and Nosaj’s Jason Chung. Well my friends, I’ve been internet sleuthing… And I found something awesome.
Looks as if when Chaz hopped on to Soulection Radio #323 (back in August of 2017!) he dropped a track called “Saw You,” in its entirety (which Soulection cutely listed as being by ‘Laff Trak’) and it hasn’t really lived anywhere else, besides perhaps live Chaz DJ sets (Boiler Room), or the very limited Laff Trax performances that have gone down before TIMF this weekend. In the past, Toro & Nosaj collabed on the track “Try” off of Nosaj Thing’s 2013 album, Home, but this is on another spectrum entirely.
“Saw You” has those signature Nosaj cosmic effects and settles into a gamelan-soaked house beat in the mold of Chaz’s Les Sins project. As the track unfolds, vocals (presumably from Chaz) send us into an affirming musical comfort zone. I strive to find this kind of harmony in a production and I haven’t stopped blasting “Saw You” multiple times a day since I discovered it.
I’m gonna drop the track below and you can peep the whole Soulection #323 episode here. It’s a stellar mix and Joe Kay’s interview with Chaz in between tracks is insightful and endearing to say the least. More importantly though, some internet hero ripped the perfectly placed “Saw You” track into its own standalone soundcloud file (4 months ago!), which gives us our moment of zen below. This is an unofficial release obviously, but let this kindly be a call to Laff Trax: Get this shit out to the world son! (and I’ll happily swap in an official link when they do.) See y’all on the Island…err….in Oakland this weekend!
Laff Trax plays TIMF Saturday 10/13/18 at 4:20 – 5:05 on The City Stage.
We’ve been asleep since the year started apparently. Pardon that, but here’s a round-up of things that made us excited in February:
– Purity Ring‘s 2nd LP, Another Eternity, is officially out on Tuesday March 3rd, but it’s already streaming on NPR. Go ahead and file “Flood On The Floor” as the biggest, baddest, boldest and yes I’m saying it….best track I’ve heard in this young year. Mark it down.