The beauty of good electronic music is it can put the listener anywhere. Submit fully to the carefully orchestrated sounds, and suddenly you’re floating like flotsam on a lonely sea or in a nebulous universe in a breakdance battle with Cthulhu or maybe back here on Earth, trampolining along the petals of a flower.
If wherever you are today is not where you need to be, floods is willing to take you there by way of “lustre,” an exclusive track shared by its creators with Houston Press Music. We asked the duo, producers android genius and birdmagic, if there is anything specifically “Houston” about their music.
“No,” was their joint answer. However, birdmagic did add, “We have shirts that say 'promethazine' in Japanese.”
You don’t need a double cup on this trip; a good pair of headphones and a few minutes to break away from the norm, and you’re whisked away. Maybe that makes floods sound a little like Morpheus offering red and blue pills, but the process of creating a fully formed track like “lustre” is much less mysterious than tumbling down the rabbit hole.
If you're ready to take your trip, follow this link to the song.
“All of our songs begin with a basic idea; it can be anything from a synth sound to a looped sample or rough outline of a beat," they say. "The evolution occurs as we both add and subtract layers of different sounds or effects until we both feel like it's done. In this song in particular, when the race car came into play, we knew it was done.
“We both will create ideas separately and then review together,” the twosome adds. “Not everything makes the cut, and those that do will enter the production phase where we work together in building a dense sound. Sometimes android genius tracks or birdmagic tracks end up in the project as well. We never let anything come out as floods without approval from the other. It’s the healthiest relationship we as people have ever had. Call it a polyamorous producership, if you will.”
floods came together when the producers teamed to remix a track for flourishing Houston rapper Guilla and called it a “birdgenius” remix. They had an easy chemistry that encouraged their joint project, which formed about a year ago. Both are music veterans, having played with several bands before going the solo routes around the same time, in the late 2000s.
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Though they have no floods shows in the offing, both producers are busy. android genius will perform at FreshDark Fest June 18-19 at Last Concert Café. Two birdmagic records, a Black Kite release, a floods EP and a possible full-length are all projects on birdmagic’s radar.
Electronic artists seem to work in a bubble, more so than most musicians. There’s something inherently personal and introspective about the genre, so it’s interesting to see two of Houston’s best producers working as a team and creating so much music for the masses.
“It’s for music nerds and kids that like to dance at 4 a.m,” birdmagic admits. “I think everything we make is more than listenable, but it's not just, ‘Oh, I heard that and I liked it.’ It's the intricacies and the time put into the tracks, the real emotion we put into them. I always think like this, though…what do you think, android?”
“I like to think it’s approachable and familiar in a sense that's inviting to new ears. Further listening, and you can hear the subtle details,” android replies.
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Where do you want to be today? Listen to “lustre” and let floods take you there. But rest assured, they know, just as you do, that you’ll be departing from Houston to get there.
“Houston has provided us with an eclectic scene where you will be exposed to various types of music in one sitting,” android genius says. “As artists, we have been exposed to genres and movements that we would have otherwise ignored if we only paid attention to strictly electronic dance music.”
“Houston’s showed me a lot about the music scene," notes birdmagic. "There’s a lot of hardworking artists here. I think we all work harder because there is no real music industry here. I had to talk one of Houston's favorite rappers into staying here, his home. Homie wanted to leave because he's afraid no one's paying attention outside of the Houston scene. Which I think is wack to roll out on the scene you’re building. Someone once said, ‘Be the change you want to see.’”
He laughs momentarily and then says, “android had a better answer.”