Los Angeles-based artist, producer, writer, multi-instrumentalist, and mixing engineer Joey Verskotzi releases his new EP, ARC 002, following on the heels of ARC 001.
Explaining the ARC series, Verskotzi shares, “As an artist, I create from the mindset of albums and full bodies of work. But in the fast-paced modern music industry where singles are the focus, this ARC series is my way of maintaining artistic integrity while being conscious of the parameters and more literally, the algorithms musicians are working within today. Each ARC will be a 3 song EP that embodies a full listening experience and cohesive theme. The three songs will run as an intro, single, and outro, typically all in the same key and acting as a snapshot of an album in under 10 minutes.”
Speaking about ARC 002, he says, “With ‘ARC 002,’ I feel like I’ve really pushed my sound artistically again and blended genres in a new way for myself. From my experimental/electronic leaning tendencies, obsession with the lo-fi beat culture, and true adoration for all things hip hop, it’s definitely all on display in this EP.”
Describing ARC 002 as “vulnerable” because of his rejection of alcohol for the last nine months, a relationship he portrays as “a bit of a slippery slope,” Verskotzi believes “this new dry season has done wonders for my personal and professional life.”
Beginning with “Binge,” opening on emerging, shifting tones, followed by Verskotzi’s soft, shushing voice, imbuing the lyrics with dreamy, passion as he narrates his desire for “just one more” drink. Drifting and undulating on creamy, shiny colors exuding dream-pop textures, the melody slowly builds with tension.
Almost sotto voce vocals introduce “Substances,” which then rolls into an R&B, pop-savored hip-hop-lite tune. Low-slung lo-fi surfaces give the tune an alluring flow topped by skiffing, glittering guitars, and shimmering harmonies. A deep sample of Verskotzi’s voice infuses the lyrics with thick, filtered muscle, altering the feel of the song.
“Dry” travels on a slow, low, trap beat as gleaming, sparkling washes of color percolate on gossamer filaments, a track about which Verskotzi says, “The last one to come together was the instrumental lo-fi track. I wanted it to feel like someone finding themselves all over again in the desert.”
At once innovative and beguiling, ARC 002 slots between dream-pop and hip-hop, and offers posh streams of swimming surfaces and recurring motifs.