NEW MUSIC: Chillwave Pioneers Small Black Join 100% Electronica + Announce Tampa 7"
“Vaporwave as a genre was born out of chillwave ten years ago. Since then we've seen the vaporwave scene expand immensely in appreciation and diversity of style. In our 5 years as a label, 100% Electronica has been championing the term vaporwave as a descriptor for all evocative and psychedelic electronic music, helping develop and strengthen that underground community. Today, I'm excited and honored to announce Small Black is joining forces with us to present their new LP in that spirit.”
-George Clanton (100% Electronica Founder)
“I've been following the exploits of George Clanton & Negative Gemini, since I saw them do some diy shows in BK a few years back. The mayhem and juice of the shows reminded me of our days coming up at Market Hotel and Death By Audio, and when working with them presented itself on new music, it was a no brainer. I'm blown away by the enthusiasm and energy of the whole camp and excited for the road ahead.”
-Josh Kolenik (Small Black)
Formed in 2009 as a bedroom recording project, Small Black first made waves with their eponymous debut EP. Recorded in the attic of singer Josh Kolenik’s uncle’s remote Long Island beach house/surfboard workshop, the EP served as an introduction to the group, with its pulsing patchwork of vintage synths and casio beats culminating in the breakthrough single "Despicable Dogs." This track cemented them as pioneers of Chillwave, the sound of which seemed to get its hooks into so much music across the 2010s.
The project evolved into a fully-fledged touring act, consisting of Kolenik (vox/keyboards), Ryan Heyner (guitar/keyboards), Juan Pieczanski (bass/guitar), and Jeff Curtin (drums), and this live influence showed up in their debut LP on Jagjaguwar, 2010's New Chain. The loopy, weeded-out album found the band messing around with hip hop drums & samples, which they further explored on 2011's Moon Killer mixtape, collaborating with rapper Heems & remixing their own material through this kaleidoscopic widescreen lens.
Years of hitting the road hard sent the band after a brand new sound & aesthetic with 2013's beloved Limits of Desire. Chasing the 80s pastiche of The Blue Nile & Talk Talk, SB upped their production chops, writing, recording & mixing the record from scratch, with the anthemic "No Stranger" & "Breathless" leading the way. Punctuated by the incredible visuals of directors Nick Bentgen and Yoonha Park, it was a huge step forward for the project. 2015's Best Blues, led by "Boys Life," followed further down this sophisti-pop path, adding more organic flourishes, choral samples & a little goth energy into the mix.
2020 finds Small Black back in the game with a brand new label, the vaporwave upstart 100% Electronica. New single "Tampa" harks back to monster pop of Tears for Fears, through the lens of a vacation gone wrong on the coast of Florida. Working with mixer Nicolas Vernhes again, the band is hard at work on a new batch of material, set to arrive sometime next year.