It’s all about the Strategy! How do we create our version 2.0. Such thinking is hardly new, and we have much evidence of its use in our musical history. We need only think of Brian Eno and his groundbreaking use of ‘Oblique Strategies’ as a tool to reach new levels of imagination in the most creative of individuals.
It’s a thought to consider as you begin to exploring the new wave, disco and synth-pop world of Washington based duo Jahn Alexander & Evan Maxwell Grice aka Pleasure Curses.
A decade after meeting at summer camp when 10 years old, they started to make music together and made the astute decision that they would need a set of principles to help guide a D.I.Y. ethos that would extend from music to live visuals and the album artwork of their releases.
The first thing of note is the breadth and scale of electronic musical styles being traversed.
From the catchy minimalist techno-pop of ‘Bounce Above’ to the cool eighties electro vibe of ‘PNKLKR’ ft Jugzy Jord, the observation is of artists perfectly at home with their influences, but not being consumed by them.
Certainly this is a skill that remains when Pleasure Curses apply their ethic to the work of others as evidenced on the blissful remix of Tea Leigh & Luke Reed’s ‘Color Theory’. Their latest remix of Vincent Coleman’s ‘Sweat’ is yet another demonstration of a willful restraint when applying their technique to accentuate a fellow artist.
So what ‘Strategy’ is at play here?
Well I guess if you were an Acerbic new wave synth pop and beat-driven post punk band from Washington DC/VA you’d simply call it a ‘Do’s and Don’t’s’ list.
Pleasure Curses present us with their own:
- · as many aspects of your project as you can handle yourself
- · use any and all resources at your disposal
- · experiment. go beyond your comfort zone
- · change and evolve
- · wander from your initial destination
- · cut the excess
- · realize that the success of your friends and peers is not a front against you
- · make sure ideas serve the song, not the ego
- · double check that you packed all the gear
- · triple check that you saved the project files
- · thank those who help you and took time and expense to see you perform
- · appreciate the small victories
- · meet new people
- · play to your strengths and weaknesses
- · understand that everything is a lesson and nothing is a punishment
- · keep an open mind
- · remind yourself why you’re doing this
- · wait for the stars to align before creating
- · chase a trend. as soon as you hop on that bandwagon it’ll be in a ditch
- · be boring and self-indulgent
- · trick or otherwise manipulate your fans for monetary gain
- · spend more time on your wardrobe and haircut than your music
- · get your hopes up or depend on the success of one thing. it WILL fall through.
- · pay to play shows
- · take credit for other people’s ideas
- · say yes to something without doing a little research
- · rely on outside sources for validation
- · think you can control the universe
- · spam people with your poorly actualized material
- · design the doorknobs before the house
- · make excuses
- · BE A DICK
Keep up to speed with Pleasure Curses here
Introduction by LowMan