As the lines between cool underground electronic music and savvy, accessible pop continue to blur, a trio from Southern California arrive to strike while the iron’s hot and show the world the slick, engrossing electro pop that they’ve been honing over the last few years.
Human Life are made up of veteran house music producer Joshua Collins, and musicians and singers Matt Wasley (a producer of solo work for the likes of Bedrock, Nettwerk and of several rock bands) and Rachael Starr. The trio cut a fine line in cool, catchy, potent electro with pop vocals and strong song writing. Citing influences including classic French and Chicago house and pop music as diverse as Genesis, Toto and Depeche Mode along with Prince and Happy Mondays, theirs is a sound which combines the best of the underground and the overground without contriteness or awkwardness – and it’s one that’s already been catching the attention of French legend Alan Braxe, Radio 1’s Jaymo & Andy George. Carte Blanche, Grum, Aeroplane, Sasha, A-Trak and Crookers.
Josh and Matt were introduced at a mutual friend’s birthday party (a certain Swedish tech house producer), and quickly established that they were both interested in making music that was detached from the usual megaclub styles. Studio sessions swiftly followed, and when Josh showed friend Rachael the results, she asked if she could come on board for this exciting new project with her multitude of experience as a vocalist, engineer, producer and DJ.
“I would describe it as French Touch influenced Electro-Pop,” says Matt, “but some of the other labels people have used are Dreamwave, Nu-Disco or Indie-Dance. Really it’s all about combining melodic music with dance oriented elements.” Originally from Boston, Orange County and Chicago respectively, Matt, Rachael and Josh all now live in Southern California, with LA nightlife providing another strand of influence in their dynamic sound.
The Human Life live show experience combines Matt and Rachael’s vocals with live synths, bass and guitar, aiming to provide something more than the usual nightclub experience. “We put a ton of work into the performance to make sure it's really something different than you'll see on an average club night” says Matt. “It's always interesting because it turns out to be very different than what people are expecting to see that night!” Their DJ sets show off their range of influences, from slow disco grooves to aggressive, thumping house music, electro coolness and all in-between – as Matt explains “when we DJ we try to share a little bit of what Los Angeles sounds like to us”.
2010 has seen them play some standout gigs in Geneva, New York’s legendary Webster Hall, L.A.’s number 1 nightspot Avalon, London’s acclaimed Neon Noise Project and Barcelona’s Razzmatazz, with showcase spots at the prestigious In The City music conference (set up by Hacienda and Factory Records legend Tony Wilson) and the acclaimed Amsterdam Dance Event Network Bash.
After releases for Alan Braxe’s Vulture label, their own LIFEX Recordings and Boxon, they found their smash ‘In It Together’ being licensed to Sony Australia, being played on music TV stations around the world, and the video receiving over 20,000 views in 24 hours on YouTube. Remix requests came flooding in for the likes of Mason (feat. Roisin Murphy), Plump DJs’ new label Grand Hotel, Canada’s Parallels and Jump Jump Dance Dance, cementing their status as one of the hottest things to hit the blogs since Jay-Z’s last album got leaked early. New single ‘Wherever We Are’ drops in November after receiving support from many key players including Pop Justice who made it a ‘Song of The Day’, and features hot remixes including one from Lady Gaga remixer Grum.
The live dates continue to flood in, the remixes keep coming, and with their debut album set for release in 2011, Human Life are set to explode after making a solid impression on the electronic scene in their launch year.
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