A few years back, beat-maestro Kyle Vento made a splash in the Houston music scene as one-half of the electro/hip-hop duo Simple Success, with producer Edgar Miranda.
After briefly touring the underground electronica scene with Miranda, Vento's creative energy spawned the solo project Skruncha-roo, a mash-up of hip-hop, downtempo and shoegaze qualities, with the native Houstonian's signature cinematic sound as the driving force.
Originally slated for a September release, Skruncha-roo's debut EP, C'est la Vie, was finally unveiled Saturday night at the Class Room, after months of post-production stalls.
"This is a big night for me," Vento told a packed house, "I'm glad I can finally share this music with everyone, and bring this project into the light."
Along with the album's release, Vento showcased two of the album's music videos, both directed by Andrew Benavides, to an enthusiastic crowd of DJs, bloggers and passers-by attracted by the night's festivities.
Like any true listening party, C'est la Vie's coming-out came touting free drinks and copies of the EP, and like any good host, Vento spent the night shaking hands, smiling for pictures and making himself to accessible to any and every conversation that came his way.
But make no mistake, Vento's nice-guy charm doesn't mean he's unaware of his own talent -- in fact, when the album's single "Deer and I" kicked off the evening's actual listening, it was clear the guy had to do everything in his power not to publicly groove with the rest of the crowd.
We may be mistaken, but that happens to be the exact appeal of Vento's success thus far: Not only is his work undeniably impressive, showcased brilliantly in C'est la Vie's five tracks, but it also stems from an artist that's acutely aware of his talent, and concerned deeply with how that talent is exercised.
In the album's second single, "Cranberry," Vento channels Linkin Park sampler Mr. Hann in the song's opening, but blasts into a coda of ambient sound, and a digitized version of The Beatles' "Elenaor Rigby" as the tune winds to a close.
We're not sure if every piece works, but it's certainly ambitious, and when it comes to artist's debut EP, that's more than half the battle.
Vento's big opening night came over four years in the making. After putting in the hours playing to empty clubs, and slaving away on the laptop, he's emerged with a debut EP that rivals the talent value of any seasoned DJ in the Houston area.
Where he goes from C'est le Vie is anyone's guess, but it's clear from Saturday's coming-out that it'll be somewhere worth following.