Music

Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics Groove from the Depths on "From the Sea" (premiere)

Photo: Ryan Nelli

Electrofunk ensemble Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics quickly tap into a deep groove that emerges like a turbulent riptide swelling just below the surface of the sea.

Michal Menert has done as much as anyone to shape the path of electronic music in Colorado. As a founding member of Pretty Lights, as a solo artist, and as a collaborator, Menert has been one of the biggest influences on the Colorado scene for the best part of a decade. In 2015 he joined together with the Pretty Fantastics and released the superb 1 album. New single "From the Sea" is the first taster from their second album which drops sometime in November.

On "From the Sea", Menert and the band quickly tap into a deep groove that emerges like a turbulent riptide swelling just below the surface of the sea. Featuring bobbing organ chords, gliding sax, and a loose-limbed, dexterous bass line all topped off with a simple piano hook, the band just about keep the song tethered to the shore. The interplay between each member of the group is phenomenal as they quickly tap into each other's musical flow like tributaries running into a single rushing river.

At the midpoint, the song changes direction completely as it blissfully drifts out to sea as fluttering guitar notes float away as if taken by the retreating tide and organ and bass notes warp and bend appearing to sink back beneath the surf. The clear separation between the two parts of the song is deliberately reflective of the strong musical narrative that runs through it, as Menert explains:

"'The song begins by reflecting the violent nature of the lost coast's currents, pulling mountains into the sea. The journey of the song implies life wearing sanity down until at last, you accept the insanity of your present reality. It stays teetering on the edge we all walk, heading back into the tranquility of the roaring waves that spawned us."

Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics play a joint show with Pretty lights at the world famous Red Rocks on Friday night, 10 August.

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