Long Beach, California producer UNDOCUMENT has set a peculiar goal for his eighteen track release Pleasures that most other artists would probably take for granted: write music that people pay attention to.
"With my second album, I really wanted to break out of the mindset of ‘background music’ and do it a little more traditionally this time. I just wanted to put all these new songs front and center."
Setting aside the theme of "furniture music" that tied together 2012's sweeping For Lovers, Dreamers & Non-Believers (which indie blog Sergeant Sparrow said had "…an earthy and dream like atmosphere much in the way of Air, or Explosions In The Sky" and acclaimed zine Santanero mentioned was "…soothing,[…] soul-ly and thumpy"), UNDOCUMENT decided to write songs that sit closer to the spotlight, instead of behind a conversation or a good book.
And that’s exactly what he’s done. With nearly twenty tracks, Pleasures is over an hour of thick bass lines, delay-laden acoustic guitars, arpeggiated synths, and otherworldly drones that expand the definition of what makes up the genre of ‘electronic’ music.
But the demandingly dancey "Pulses", the dark infectious jam "Slumberous", or the epic album closer “Eastern” are only a fraction of the varied musical directions that Pleasures takes; what really sets UNDOCUMENT's newest release apart is the much lauded inclusion of guest vocalist Maqui Sainz, the talented vocalist / producer who lends her beautifully plaintive vocals to album cornerstone "This Lullaby".
Similar artists like Tycho or Com Truise, as well as more established inspirations like Flying Lotus and even Radiohead, have seeped into the consciousness of Pleasures, representing themselves in various ways: A subtle recurring piano melody, a spacious driving beat, or even a detuned choir sample that altogether make the album an emotional and accessible listen.
Growing up, Brian Pampaselle absorbed a wide range of influences thanks to a family obsessed with both the AM and FM dials, giving him an early education that covered everything from Genesis to Led Zeppelin to Stevie Wonder to Steely Dan and back again. Later on, as his tastes grew to include more Electronic and Hip-Hop influences, he decided to try his hand at making music himself, eventually funneling his upbringing and enthusiasm into UNDOCUMENT with a passion that even now manifests itself throughout his career.
For example, numerous live shows in Long Beach, Los Angeles and Orange County have forged a new edict for the producer: a stubbornly steadfast refusal to play his tracks the same exact way, night after night. This prompted a method of remixing live and on the fly that at times include drastically changing tempos, altering instrumentation or lengthening breakdowns depending on the crowd.
“It's more challenging this way, but I feel like how I do it now gives me the most opportunities to make it interesting.” he says, “More importantly though, it also makes shows a lot more fun to play.”
In addition to putting the final touches on Pleasures, UNDOCUMENT has been following up on a variety of opportunities, such as his extended two hour in-studio live set at KUCI 88.9 FM, an experience that garnered new fans and more exposure, as well as working on Saumene Mehrdady's 2013 short film Vitamin D, which gained much praise for its buzzy and brooding soundtrack.
Now with Pleasures putting UNDOCUMENT back into the spotlight, he’s ready to work on some updated goals: composing, collaborations, live shows, and, of course, keeping his focus on writing new music.