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Cruel Is The Color

by NDF

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Techno producer Bruno Pronsato and Benjamin Myers (one-half of Benoit & Sergio) return as NDF, with their new EP, Cruel Is The Color. It comes six years after their only release so far, the William Trevor-inspired twilit-techno opus, Since We Last Met—an EP which caught everyone off-guard.

Issued on James Murphy's DFA label, and also featuring a 17-minute Ricardo Villalobos remix, its title track was heralded as a "10-minute dance track you don't ever want to end" by Pitchfork, who subsequently included it as one of their highlights in their My Decade in Music So Far round-up of last year.

By September 2014, Pronsato & Myers had been sharing a studio in Berlin for about a year, but were focusing on separate projects, keeping opposing schedules. Lunch plans at the studio one day that month instead resulted in the creation of a new track, the eponymous “Cruel Is The Color." The entire process took about 30 minutes, with Pronsato on percussion and synths, and Myers on vocals, synths, and an acoustic guitar which had been lying around the studio. It was the first time they’d worked together in years—and they recollect that “the guitar and synths just climaxed together, like two lovers reuniting after a long absence.”

Having now resolved to write an EP, they felt that the other tracks needed to follow in that same vein—“a more acoustic treatment with elements of dance music still present”—so they sat down the following winter in Pronsato’s apartment and recorded “Certain Corners” (with Israeli bassist Yonatan Levi), and “Another Year,” in that same style. Myers recalls “waking up early and walking in the cold Berlin mornings to Bruno's spot and, perhaps because there was a lot of personal turmoil in those winter months, we both really got into skullduggery and chicanery as concepts for the record—the ways that dishonest behaviors amongst friends, acquaintances and lovers (old and new) undermine a sense of self and security in our music scene and all its overlapping systems of value and parameters. We wanted to make a moral record.”

The EP also includes reworkings of the new tracks by BBC Radiophonic Workshop director Matthew Herbert, and Foom label head Ben Freeney. It is set to be released on October 21st on Foom.

Bruno Pronsato first came to prominence with his Why Can't We Be Like Us long player, rated a rare 5/5 by Resident Advisor in 2008. The follow-up, Lovers Do was dubbed "a massive and striking statement" by Pitchfork. Pronsato also records with Sammy Dee as Half Hawaii (on Perlon), with Ninca Leece as Public Lover, and as Melchior & Pronsato with Thomas Melchior. He co-produced Ellen Allien's 2013 album, LiSm and was also a member of the techno supergroup Narod Niki, alongside Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Luciano, Zip, Akufen & Daniel Bell. 2014 saw the release of his latest solo project, Archangel. The new material has since been reversioned by Dean Blunt, Oliver Coates and Peter Gordon of Love of Life Orchestra.

Benjamin Myers is the vocalist and one half of production duo Benoit & Sergio. They first broke through with their What I've Lost EP on Bruno Pronsato's TheSongSays label. The tracks were later rereleased on DFA, who also released their Boy Trouble EP. While some of Benoit & Sergio's lyrics might speak of loss or loneliness, the past years have ushered in a room crowded with critical accolades: iTunes Breakthrough Electronic Artists of the Year; Resident Advisor Top 10 Live Act; DJ Forum Breakthrough Artists. In addition, Benoit & Sergio had four different singles–“Everybody”, “Principles”, “Let Me Count The Ways”, and “Walk and Talk”–variously charted in top 20 year-end polls, including DJ Mag, Resident Advisor, and Mixmag. They have also remixed Matthew Dear, & Metronomy.


released October 28, 2016

Written & Produced by Bruno Pronsato & Benjamin Myers.
Benjamin Myers: Lyrics/Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizers
Bruno Pronsato: Synthesizers, Percussion.
Bass Guitar on 'Certain Corners' by Yonatan Levi.
Additional Writing & Production by Matthew Herbert & Ben Freeney on their respective versions.
Masted by Mike Grinser at Manmade Mastering.



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Track Name: Cruel Is The Color
i hear you
in the back room again
you must be
getting ready
for the evening
where at least they'll
be playing
your song
it goes 'shame on'

and cruel is the color
of my true love's hair
it's always on me
Track Name: Certain Corners
remember the days
we used to play
this kind of music
in the basement
we had no obligations
we had no sense
of mornings spent

but now it feels like
or ambulances' sirens
not everyone deserves
a second chance I guess
false moves don t beset
the best of us
you find yourself at the main event
how are you going to argue that
that happened by accident ?
we had no obligations
we had no sense
of mornings spent
or other gallows
or the thought of long shadows alone
Track Name: Certain Corners (Ben Freeney 'Spare Room' Version)
or other gallows

or the thought of long shadows alone