The English born, LA based producer Chris Baratt, a.k.a. Eagles and Butterflies has been exploding in the underground scene over the past few years. Given his stamp of approval by Innervisions label bosses Ame & Dixon, Bedrock’s John Digweed and Get Physical, just to name a few, he’s become one of the most respected prolific producers and DJs in the community. His productions epitomize beautiful, powerful house music which pushes the boundaries of what people are currently listening to and expecting. Just having released remixes for Underworld and RY X, and a powerful single on the elite compilation “Secret Weapons (part 8)” from Innervisions this past month, he found time to release an EP on his brand new label “Art Imitating Life”.
The creativity which has earned him the respect of legendary producers and DJs is evident in this wonderful EP consisting of four “experiments” as he describes them. It will be delivered on a limited edition colored vinyl and distributed via Innervision’s Muting the Noise in Berlin.
Overall the EP is an incredible psychedelic compilation for the reasons that we believe Chris has gained so much respect from his peers over the years - he manages to combine a wide variety of sounds, feelings, and emotions into a single track, while still maintaining its structure and identity. Moreover, he manages to push the boundary of what is the standard in house music just enough to be safely considered a pioneer, without alienating people who are looking for quality they’re familiar with.
Experiment A begins with a creepy, dreamy pad overarching the track which is quickly joined by a minimal riff and bassline. The pad encompasses the track, giving it a beautiful, dark, and spacey feeling. It evolves in such a way as to build tension seamlessly. A subtle wind chime stab then joins these sounds, adding beauty to the track.
Things take a turn during the breakdown. A gritty retro stab, the classic of the Innervisions sound in recent years (reminiscent of tracks like Lord Of The Isles-XIT) joins in the elements during the breakdown, building tension and setting a more aggressive tone.
This track epitomizes the style of Eagles and Butterflies - it carefully and patiently combines a wide variety of sounds and emotions into one song, without being overwhelming. What starts off as a dark, spacey tune and eventually ends as one with a more aggressive tone. This track is a pure tension builder.
Experiment B starts off immediately with a psychedelic sounding lead and pulsing bassline. Joined by this are some very interesting choice of vocals which seem to be sampled from the movie Fight Club: “I have pornographic movies in my apartment, and lubricants, and amyl nitrite” - which comes from the scene in the movie where a young girl, during a group meeting for those about to die of a terminal illness, says: “No one will have sex with me. I'm so close to the end, and all I want is to get laid for the last time. I have pornographic movies in my apartment, and lubricants, and amyl nitrite.”
Is this quote expressive of the desired tone of the track - to be lost in a somewhat psychedelic trance in the perturbed version of reality that Fight Club represented? Or perhaps it just sounded sonically harmonious with the structure of the track.
A spacey pad joins to add to this feeling during the breakdown. When combined with the vocals, all these elements provide a very spacey, psychedelic tone.
Experiment C starts off with a simple tension-building riff which is quickly combined with haunting vocals reminiscent of Radiohead’s “Reckoner”. Combine this with the psychedelic organic-like stab, and an energetic lead, and you have the beauty of Reckoner transformed into a tension building, psychedelic house track which manages to pull off balancing a wide variety of sounds effectively.
This track starts off high energy with a powerful lead which then enters into the track with a rich bassline. The lead drives this track, which oscillates with varying pitch, adding energy and character.
A wonderful, rich psychedelic compilation of four experiments makes up Chris’s new EP which are sure to be being played by the heavyweights in the underground scene for some time to come.
"Art Imitating Life volume 1" EP was released on September 30th via E&B's new imprint Art Imitating Life.