LA-based producers Brian Foote and Sage Caswell collaborate for the first time as Smoke Point with the release of their debut album on Atlanta-based imprint Geographic North, spanning heady electronic atmospheres, ruthlessly rhythmic dreamscapes and four locked grooves.
For the uninitiated, Brian Foote co-runs Peak Oil, the label responsible for surfacing pioneering producers such as Hoavi (#4 Best Albums Of 2021 ). Subsequently, Brian lends a helping hand at 100% Silk and at Kranky. He also produces music as Leech, exploring ambient, breaks, IDM and jungle.
Dublab radio contributor and Far Away’s crew member Sage Caswell has been delivering some of the freshest output to come from the west coast of America for some time now, releasing albums on Spring Theory and 2MR. He also contributed IA MIX 229 back in 2017.
At first, Foote and Caswell conceptualised Smoke Point to create a series of improvisational atmospherics throughout a multi-room art gallery. The pair conceived of a sprawling, dynamic experience with tones, rhythms, and textures that varied from room to room, yet were inextricably tuned and melded together. Visitors could serve as a sort of human crossfader, moving through the gallery and dialling up or down aural aspects as they pleased. And although the collaboration came together to create music for a specific physical space, the concept was never fully realised until what is now the duo’s first record.
Now, Smoke Point deliver five extended, cruise-controlled exercises that calmly violate the Venn diagram’s overlap between boundless dance music and unfathomable ambiance. But beyond the boundaries of an album as a set of songs, Foote and Caswell cracked things wide open and recontextualized the album as an actual DJ tool that is ambient leaning and melodically focused. To achieve this, Smoke Point offers a bounty of loops in the form of endless locked grooves on the vinyl edition and brief but equally utilitarian snippets on the digital edition of the LP.
Smoke Point is scheduled for release 10 June via Geographic North. Order a copy from Bandcamp.
A2. Steam Machine
A4. Locked Grv. A
A5. Locked Grv. B
B1. Spawn Point
B3. Locked Grv. C
B4. Locked Grv. D