Soft Metals is a multi-disciplinary electronic duo from Portland, Oregon now residing in Los Angeles, California. Its members Ian Hicks and Patricia Hall were brought together through a common love of synthesizer music and began writing and recording songs together in the spring of 2009. Inspiration came to them by way of experimental electronic sounds, film soundtracks, early industrial music, minimal synth, house, techno, synth pop, krautrock, and shoegaze. Their songs are built from moody, improvised sessions fusing old and new production technologies using exclusively electronic instruments. Soft Metals express themselves freely rather than adhere to a particular genre. This freedom gives them a diverse sound somewhere between dance music, austere synthetic pop, and experimental electronic composition
Soft Metals is signed to Captured Tracks and released their first record, an 5 song EP titled “The Cold World Melts” in July 2010. Their debut self-titled album came out in July of 2011. FACT magazine called Soft Metals “one of the most accomplished and ambitious of the myriad new synth-pop acts coming out of the States.”
July 2013 saw the release of their 2nd full length Lenses. The duo have toured extensively through North America and are about to embark on their first tour of Europe.
MAX + MARA
Their collaboration began in 2012. Max is based in Oakland and has been a part of various projects most notably Brotman and Short and his current solo work as Business Etiquette. Mara is based in San Francisco and is known for her solo work as Group Rhoda.
On “Less Ness” they worked with a hardware set up: 808 and Elektron drum machine, Moog, MAM, and Sequential Circuits synth with splashes of Mono/Poly and collage elements, vocoder lines and dubbed out vocals. They step away from the the computer as much as possible and prefer that their ideas can be traced back to the tools so that a sense of physicality remains. They find inspiration from all kinds of far out sounds, most notably dub, industrial, and various drug culture tangents. Lyrically the songs revolve around topics such as escapism, looking though cultural windows, and character role development. Some songs are a bit more surrealist in content with elements of hard realism and critical commentary.
"The past year has seen the rise of a bleaker current in Bay Area dance music. A lot of it revolves around the burgeoning dark wave club scene, where DJs play freshly uncovered '80s goth obscurities. One consequence of this is that there are now new groups putting a modern spin on this sound, such as Max + Mara, whose debut LP, Less Ness, successfully marries techno club appeal with the gloomy atmospherics of yesteryear." --SF Weekly
"Intimatchine is an appropriate name for a band whose music captures the uncontrollable forces in life and our emotional worlds. Entering into each other’s lives, Chelsey Rae Holland and Christopher Wormald began an intended fleeting romance that grew into something serious and formed a creative relationship. The pair began writing and producing music together and are ready to release a new EP entitled I’ll Eat You Last in March. The record contains five songs that are looming, meditative and sometimes satirical; demonstrating a strength for songwriting and production." --Polari
PLUS DJ JUSTIN ANASTASI (Soft Moon)