“booming hip-hop/soul … robust beats, sweeping hooks and vocals with a tinge of raw anguish” – Wall Street Journal
“John Mayer meets The Rolling Stones with more soul; yes it’s possible.” – AltSounds
“The [new] album feels expansive, raw and massively important.” – PopDust
After 400 remixes of Dreams in Static’s last single, You’re On Your Own, and close to one million Spotify plays, a music video premiere on the Wall Street Journal blog Speakeasy, that referenced the song as “a booming hip/hop soul track with a robust beat, sweeping hook and vocals with a tinge of raw anguish,” Dreams in Static announces the release of its debut album “Part of the Machine” on June 27th, 2017.
Featured throughout the album is Brooklyn-based soulful singer, Akie Bermiss, who brings his own signature sound to each song with hints of Smokey Robinson and TV on the Radio. His timeless dream-like voice breathes life and narratives into the Dreams in Static grooves. Produced by Los Angeles based hip-hop producer Diwon and multifaceted guitarist/composer, Dugans, “Part of the Machine” conjures up the aesthetics of Pulp Fiction & Curtis Mayfield with the soulful voice of Brooklyn-based singer, Akie Bermiss featured throughout.
Dreams in Static partnered with Gospel choir singers Ashley Rachelle, Channing Holmes, and LaRhonda Jones from the Triedstone Missionary Baptist Church on three songs: Even When You Push Me Away, Which Way To Go (interlude), and Follow Me and Get Down which features Ashley Rachelle. When asked how Dreams in Static and the Triedstone choir singers came together, Ashley said “God kept pulling me to his place” (Erez Safar, a.k.a. Diwon’s Gallery 38, 1 block from Triedstone on West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles) I don’t know why. It’s just a feeling that I had where I needed to reach out and I told (Erez) about where our heart was in our project. He sent me a couple of his tracks and it felt good — it felt right. It felt like he was my homie from way back when. The temperament fit. That’s how it clicked. Long story short, it all just works together when you take that gut feeling that you have to make magic. We put two different worlds together but it just fit seamlessly. It just clicked.”
The songs are like soundtracks to films in a genre somewhere beyond pop and yet simultaneously in admiration of pop as well. The walls of sound that flow throughout the Dreams in Static sessions are the balance of the three musicians: Akie, Diwon, and Dugans’ varied musical and personal backgrounds. Themes range from love and heartbreak to lust and existentialism. “Part of the Machine” resurrects the guitar and soul singing that pops in a world where popular music has been left in a state of static and midi sounds.
More About Akie Bermiss:
Akie Bermiss, a Brooklyn native raised in a musical household full of jazz and politics fueled by his former activist mom and began singing in church, continued at school, and went on to earn a degree in music composition at Bard College where he studied American Music (Tin Pan Alley, Broadway musicals, and jazz) and writing. Over the past 6 years, Akie has become a visible contributor to the fertile Brooklyn music scene as a pianist, singer/songwriter, composer, arranger, and emerging solo artist. His raucous, guttural, and soulful vocals are a delectable fusion of Donny Hathaway, Macy Gray, and Tom Waits. He’s equally adept singing neo-soul, funk, contemporary jazz, alternative rock, and hip hop. As a musician, songwriter and featured vocalist, Akie works with a collective of upstart groups such as FutureSoul band Aabaraki; the Screaming Headless Torsos; Miri Ben-Ari (the Hip Hop Violinist); and Rap sensation Soul Khan. He also birthed the Akie Bermiss Trio and independently released his first self-titled solo EP (via Rockwood Records in 2014). He performs frequently at cutting edge venues like Rockwood Music Hall, The Falcon, BAM Café, and The Apollo Cafe, among others. He kicked off 2017 playing keyboards and providing backing vocals for veteran indie multi-genre band Lake Street Dive’s national concert tour (February 17 – March 21) in support of their latest CD, “Side Pony.”
More About Diwon and Dugans:
Dugans and Diwon co-produced “Part of the Machine featuring powerhouse singer, Akie Bermiss. Erez Safar – a.k.a. Diwon (dee-wan) is an American DJ, producer, and songwriter based out of the stereophonic heart of Los Angeles. His work spans psychedelia, rock, hip-hop, EDM, trap, and world music. He’s renowned worldwide for his remixes of pop acts like Lana Del Rey and The XX. On the inside, Diwon has the heart of a true-school hip-hop head. A prolific producer, Diwon releases a clutch of albums every year. Dugans, a songwriter, is known for the symphonic sounds and layering he is able to lay down with just one guitar. He spent years developing his unique craft as an artist and composer on sessions and stages from Austin to London then finally settling in NYC. The dark and ambient sounds that Dugans places as a bed for his melodic guitar lines and old school bass create strong and complex compositions that compliment the various projects he co-produces. The first of which is Raliss, an art rock and pop duo based in London and NYC.
More About Triedstone Baptist Church:
Triedstone was founded 60 years ago and as has been located in the West Adams district for 20 years under the direction of Pastor Quentin T. Oden, Ashley Rachelle’s father. Ashley is the oldest of four in a very musical family with deep roots in the church that always sings in worship.