Electronic meets modern classical composition on Auckland-based artists Suren Unka and Levi Patel’s debut collaborative EP 5/8, due out 5 August on Marigold Music.
The unlikely allies effortlessly blend dance producer Suren’s swirling rhythms and electronic sound design with composer Levi’s slow moving harmonies and delicate textures to create a dynamic ambient house record.
Residing at opposing ends of the musical spectrum, the two musicians manage to strike an intoxicating and unique balance between their home-base genres.
“We wanted to meet in the middle and create a merger of our approaches, both in terms of sound and style of writing. When I make my own music, I always prioritise texture, harmonies and melodies” said Levi, “While I prioritise rhythm, as well as melody,” said Suren. “Melody became our common ground.”
Each artist has also been making individual impressions on the local scene. Suren already has four releases to his name, two solo and two with his band Beach Pigs, alongside some significant slots having opened for Tokimonsta and Gold Panda, and performed at Rhythm & Vines and Camp A Low Hum.
Levi too has been building up his catalogue, with two solo records released to glowing reception, and another full-length album on the way.
Now working together, the prolific pair wanted to push themselves even further creatively – constructing many of the samples completely from scratch.
“It’s quite easy to make something quickly if you start with presets, build a loop and duplicate, but instead of falling into that we wanted to push ourselves to actually play the parts and feel them as we’re writing them,” said Levi.
It’s an approach that has paid off, with the result an intricately crafted, expertly layered and aurally impressive collection of tracks. 5/8 is available for purchase and streaming across all digital platforms from 5 August, with an EP release show scheduled for later in the month:
Levi Patel & Suren Unka 5/8 EP Release Show
20 August – Lot 23 – Auckland