Local musician and producer Erik Blood — who’s worked in hip-hop with Shabazz Palaces and punk rock with Tacocat — plays the High Dive to celebrate his new release “Lost in Slow Motion.”
It still brings tears to Erik Blood’s eyes.
Sinking into a small, orange-cushioned chair in his dark studio near the old Rainier Brewery, Blood seems lost in thought. He’s staring into space as “Out This Way” — that final track — plays on his monitors. He sips a cup of coffee, tears percolating in the corners of his eyes.
With Wall of Ears, Fruit Juice. 9 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.) Saturday, April 30, at High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., Seattle; $8 advance, $10 day of show (206-632-0212 or highdiveseattle.com).
The day the song was written, Blood decided the relationship he was in had to end. He’d asked a Seattle hip-hopper, Otis Calvin of OCnotes, to come into the studio that afternoon and sing on the smooth, penultimate track, “Ostrich.” Nothing sounded right at first, Blood says, but soon Calvin had found a line around which to build an entirely new song.
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“He sung the words, ‘out this way,’ and I’m like in tears at my desk,” Blood says. “He didn’t know I was going through a breakup — it was amazing.”
Blood admits that the thoughtful “Slow Motion,” which is full of catharsis and emotion, is “technically a breakup record.” But, he adds, “it’s not solely that. The record isn’t a downer — I’m an optimist; I don’t see anything horrible with change.”
Blood seems to be constantly making music, whether it’s for his own projects or collaborations. He produced Tacocat’s latest LP and is working on Pickwick’s. He is also part of the Emerald City hip-hop crew Black Constellation, which includes Shabazz Palaces (with whom Blood shares his studio), THEESatisfaction, Chimurenga Renaissance and others.
In fact, his frequent collaborations led him to a new creative zone. “The record has grown with me,” he says. “Personally, it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done; it’s the expression that I wanted to put forth.”
“Slow Motion” is both understated and large. There’s an ethereal, space-age quality to it — a sonic call to the stars — but it also has a clear center. “The Attic System,” for example, meanders with liquid-like synths between stepping-stone-like, staccato drumbeats. “Bloused Up” features a fat, four-on-the-floor electric guitar reminiscent of Australian band Tame Impala, one of Blood’s influences, along with Prince, New Order and Public Enemy.
But beyond the established pantheon of rock and rap, Blood gravitates to the next generation for his inspiration. “I want to hear stuff kids are making,” he says. “Teenagers, 20-year-olds. I’m happy to hop around where the kids are. But most of all, I want the music to find me.”