The Past Shakes Hands With the Future on Kodacrome's First EP
By: Ben Runnels, March 26, 2012
KODACROME - Phil Da Rosa (left) joins fellow Vineyarders Elissa Pociask and Ryan Casey on Kodacrome's first EP, a six-song album of synth-driven dance anthems and lyrical grit.
Kodacrome is a band that refuses to let the future sweep them away completely. Their self-released Perla - slated for release on March 27 - proves they can maintain a delicate balance between the calculated world of synthesizers and the clarity of honest songwriting.
While they do flirt with cool new technology—some of the tracks feature iPad synth apps—it isn't used to the point of overshadowing creativity.
Founded by Martha’s Vineyard’s Elissa Pociask and Ryan Casey, Kodacrome’s first EP features a third member, Phil DaRosa. His guitar and bass work adds an angular rock sound to the duo's synth-soaked world, but the album still contains all the elements that make Kodacrome's sound so infectious.
Haunting melodies: check. Enthralling futuristic beats: check. Plenty of low end: check.
Kodacrome keeps it pretty minimal. Something tells me they didn't need to practice much restraint, as their signature is using simple, intricate rhythms to make a big, fulfilling sound.
Minimal yet danceable
At times, the album's vibe is stark, reminiscent of early 80s European synth-pop made popular by bands such as Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode. But Pociask's warm treatment of the lyrics and catchy melodies transcend the shiver that minimal synth music often exudes.
Merging the influence of past synth music with the tools of the future is one of Kodacrome's specialties, and they keep it real enough to transcend individual tastes. An acoustic guitar intro, bouncing bass, and vocal effects give the album plenty of humanity.
It's also super danceable - which is exciting, since Kodacrome is currently refining their live show, bringing their unique sound out of the studio and into the club.
Playing locally on the Vineyard and with plenty of Boston, New York, and San Francisco appearances in their scrapbook, Perla marks a major milestone in founding members journey that began on separate coasts.
Kodacrome's genesis saw Pociask in California and Casey in New York, and they have since merged paths on Martha's Vineyard, taking advantage of the inspiring landscape and burgeoning underground music scene to polish their ideas.
Polished is the word for Perla. The trio has been taking a lot of time for themselves in the studio to focus on writing, arranging, and practicing, and it shows on this album. It's also sonically appealing, as Kodacrome's gritty sound shines clearly and crisply, benefiting from keen ears and slick production.
Old school distro
Perla was recorded at Print Shop Audio in Oak Bluffs—which is operated by DaRosa and was co-built with band mate Casey—and the trio recorded, engineered, and mastered the songs themselves. The band raised the money to record and produce the album through Kickstarter, a website that allows artists to fund projects through pledges.
The trio's method of distribution also merges past and future: Perla is available only as 10" vinyl or as a digital download. The album will be released on March 27, but it is available for preorder on the band's website.
And once the album comes out, you'll have the better part of a month to get your moves down: Kodacrome will be hosting a CD release party on April 21st somewhere on Martha's Vineyard; keep an eye on their website for details.