A ton of Sacramento musicians have been blowing up on Pitchfork lately. OK, so maybe only three. And they were fleeting mentions. But longstanding electronica maestro Dusty Brown was one of those musicians; he put his new EP, This City Is Killing Me, up for free download on his site, and then, bam, his song “Back to Back” was up on ’Fork with a call to action to “cop that shit now.”
And a good friend of mine who lives in Los Angeles did in fact cop that shit; he shot me a line upon listening: “Basically, this is what we wished Portishead was still doing, but they suck now.”
I agree: Portishead blows; Dusty is taking it to new levels.
The aforementioned “Back to Back,” the final of five tracks on the EP, is a bit trip-hoppy, sure, but it doesn’t feel dated at all. There’s also an electronica “rocker,” called “How’s That,” a staple of Dusty’s live set, featuring an anthem-chant-chorus vibe and warm-sweater soundscapes. “Stevey Wonder” is an acid-IDM uptempo track with Jessica Brown’s huge vocals sounding pleasantly earthy and even decayed at times. But then on “Weather,” her voice is soft, clean, beautiful—and the beats tilt drum ’n’ bass, Zac Brown’s guitar-arpeggio runs fleshing out a cool dance sound.
Great EP, download for free but don’t forget to donate anyway.