Dawn People’s The Star Is Your Future is a studio collaboration between New York musicians Nick Forte and Peter Negroponte. The pair’s mutual disregard for musical categorization results in a genre-bending ride on the nine-track LP, which portrays their diverse backgrounds while maintaining a sense of accessibility, continuity, and purpose.
Both veterans of the underground experimental scene, the duo entered into the project preparing to make a serious racket. In time, their mutual appreciation for breezy 70’s jazz fusion, kraut rock, and library funk became apparent, setting the course for the sessions. In the summer of 2016, they started tracking live jams with drums and electronics at the Outlier Inn studio in upstate New York with engineer Josh Druckman. As the tracks took shape, Forte and Druckman arranged the material and Negroponte overdubbed guitar, synthesizer, bass, and percussion. Finally, the tracks were handed to Abe Seiferth for mixing and post production.
Dawn People’s dense, funky, and psychedelic music is the result of the wide range of musical influences of the collaborators. Nick Forte’s resume spans influential hardcore punk band Rorschach, post-punk outfit Beautiful Skin, and recent underground sensation Raspberry Bulbs. With Dawn People, Forte digs deep into his own childhood nostalgia: making mixtapes from the early NYC hip hop show “Rap Attack”, watching Christian Marclay experiment with vinyl on the TV show “Night Flight”, and his first musical instrument, the Casio SK1 sampler keyboard.
Peter Negroponte is a virtuosic drummer and guitarist whose influences are rooted in rock & roll, jazz, funk, fusion, and free improvisation. In reaction to his brief stint at the New England Conservatory, Negroponte sought to transcend what he felt to be an esoteric approach to making “experimental” music by forming the psychedelic-art-rock-noise-funk band Guerilla Toss. He has worked with an array of contemporary DIY labels such as Feeding Tube, NNA Tapes, Digitalis, and John Zorn’s Tzadik.
The sound of this LP harkens back to a time not too long ago, in the early - mid 90’s, with groups like Air, Cornelius, Stereolab, Tortoise, and Cibo Matto. All these artists combined a love of Krautrock & David Axelrod records into a lushly produced jigsaw puzzle of live instrumentation, editing, sampling, and immaculate production. It is a genre that Pitchfork’s Eric Harvey recently described as “recombinant pop”, which is applied to “adventurous, sample-driven and style-copping music”.
The Star Is Your Future shifts aesthetically and dramatically between sections and phrases, woozy in the best way and never unfocused. Together, Forte and Negroponte have cobbled together a dazzling scope of sonic elements to create something cohesive and mesmerizing – put on the record and get lost in the haze.
1. Be Cool Tonight
2. Get Life
3. Inner Refuge
4. Never Be Afraid
6. Wishing Ring
7. Dawn People
8. Chew On Air
9. The Star Is Your Future