Released on July 21, 2020
Samuel Proffitt is a creator of genre-challenging electronic soundscapes. (His many other interests include Russian literature, art curation, and philosophy.) Shades, his newest EP, arrived on July 24—“Sounds” is the first track off the project. In some ways, “Sounds” is an otherworldly listen, but lyrical references to bones and lungs demonstrate that it is grounded in humanity. Even as Proffitt’s heavily altered vocals sound beamed in from another universe, they seem to come from that very real place between sleep and wakefulness, the realms we always pass through, maybe without considering the mysticism of that process.
The video, directed and animated by Sofja Umarik with experimental animation by Luke Ramsay and Sofia Negri, feels that way, too. It seems to pulsate with the strange energy you feel when, lying down in bright sunlight, you close your eyes and meet the vivid shapes dancing on the backs of your eyelids. Much is left up to the imagination and the free-association mechanism of the mind’s eye. Is that blood, bone, static? Are these all mysterious Rorschach tests? There’s a figure in a hat and boots, and a floating chair, and all of these images feel important in the way that dreams do. When it’s over, we’re left to parse out the significance of the symbols. It’s all the more enjoyable knowing we may never grasp it fully.