If you’re a fan of LCD Soundsystem, love dancing, and just don’t care if you’re the only one weirdin’ out in a venue of non-glimmering dudes, then this band is for you. Brooklyn trio Basic Shapes is killing it right now, and they are playing tonight at Pianos at the Brian Bonz residency. Their synth-pop tunes will bring up your day immediately, we promise.
While the trio is still developing, they pack a lot. Using samples, live drums and analog synths, their music is really fun and their own. We found ourselves getting down heavily to their music videos and their song titles can mislead you into fantasia. We came across them at Blend Headquarters while making apps and shit.
We interviewed Patrick Estabrook, talented musician and synth enthusiast behind Basic Shapes.
PE: Thanks Riz! I’m kind of an LCD fanatic, and as big a fan of their associated label DFA Records. Haven’t heard a single DFA release recently that I haven’t put on heavy rotation. That said, I spend easily as much time listening to weirdo dance music like Factory Floor as I do listening to like Katy Perry and Chela and Kylie Minogue etc. These four tracks we’ve put out so far have been experiments in combining the live-drums-meets-analog-synths DFA sound with the like top 40 pop sounds of Dr Luke and Oliver etc.
PE: I love YOUR energy dude! Myles and I played in a band in college together and ended up moving to Brooklyn independently and living together again, so I kind of just yelled down the hall and asked if wanted to play bass in my electro band and he was like “uh, yeah sure!” I met Brooke years ago when we had a brief romantic encounter and lost touch and again both moved independently to Brooklyn and reconnected, this time as friends. We just started having bloody mary’s every sunday together and eventually we like started playing with some synths and stuff.
PE: Right now we’re using all analog synthesizers which you’ll see us lug on stage tonight at Pianos. Up to this point I’ve sampled all the drums myself from songs by Chromeo, Classixx, Holy Ghost!, and of course LCD Soundsystem, and I’m putting all the drums through a little bit of overdrive which gets them sounding a bit more consistent and warm and dirty. The combo of those two things gives us a pretty distinct sound — and of course, Brooke’s got a fucking beautiful voice and a weirdly good sense for pop music for a person who only wrote folk songs before this band.
PE: We definitely had fun making it. I just bought a nice camera and I don’t really know how to use it, nor do I feel confident in my ability to completely write/direct/produce a music video, so we kept it really simple — we filmed in one location and just copied the Azealia Banks video as best we could (at some points even editing it shot-for-shot the same as hers) so we could just get a bunch of stuff on tape and see how we felt about it. In retrospect I would’ve loved to do some things different, but now we know for the next video. More weirdness/color/excitement.
PE: We just recorded a few more songs that fit decently well with out existing material, and we’re setting out now to record another 4- or 5-song EP that’s a little more focused. We’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’re about after some experimentation and I think we’re ready to make the next EP with more intent and direction and less guess work.
PE: You’ll hear our whole catalog probably! Haha. We’ve got 7 original songs at the moment which totals at about 40 minutes worth of music. I’m gonna see if I can get the sound guy to wild out on the lighting situation, really helps to get the crowd moving. We’ll see how people feel at 11p on a tuesday. It’s a beautiful day so, who knows?
PE: Shit yes. I know just the place.