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Key Change


Performer, producer, songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Dominic "Mocky" Salole rose to prominence in the Berlin electronic scene of the mid-2000s, releasing three acclaimed solo albums, co-writing and producing classics like Jamie Lidell's Multiply (2005) and Feist's The Reminder (2007), and making waves on stage with close collaborators (and fellow Canadians) Peaches, Feist, and Chilly Gonzales. A critical favorite, his 2009 album Saskamodie was described by Pitchfork as "an exceptionally musical album -- there's no other word for it -- that could fail to seduce only the hardest of hearing, or the hardest of hearts." Key Change documents Mocky's move from the musical community of Berlin to that of LA, and reflects the city's underground jazz and psychedelic scene. "Frank Sinatra was the first techno artist," declared Mocky in a 2015 interview on PRI's The World. As Sinatra was one of the first singers to use microphone technology to bring more intimacy to his sound, Mocky uses software and laptop-recording to bring the listener within close range of his music. Mocky is a radical multitracker -- he plays most of the instruments on Key Change himself -- but he strictly avoids presets and uses no samples. As Mocky said in a 2015 interview in Wired, "The most modern thing I can do in 2015 is make music with my bare hands." Key Change is also a testament to Mocky's musical family: the wondrously lush "When Paulie Gets Mad" features frequent Flying Lotus collaborator Miguel Atwood-Ferguson on strings; the infectious "Living in the Snow" features a Feist cameo on drums; Moses Sumney and Joey Dosik, two singers for whom Mocky has written and produced and who have been making a mark on the LA scene, turn in a smoother-than-smooth vocal performance on "Tomorrow Maker"; and longtime collaborator Chilly Gonzales sits in on piano and Rhodes on "Head in the Clouds." Mocky draws on the past and the future to give us back the present as only someone with deep roots in electronic music can. If "machines have become the arbiters of emotion," as Mocky claims, then Key Change offers another way. Deeply familiar yet utterly new, dreamy and ethereal yet earthy and grounded, this is the music of paradox. It resists classification, as many a music journalist has discovered. It lives on its own terms. You can talk about it all you want. But in the end, you just have to listen.