Pop music has mutated so much over the past decade, that it sometimes feels like it has transcended the confines of it’s once safe place in the back pockets of industry professionals, and has become an egalitarian tool for the digital masses. As the lines between producer and consumer continue to blur, independent artists that once would have been lost in the shuffle are becoming their own memes.
If there is a truism about independent, DIY artists, it’s that in the face of music industry adversity, that they continue to forge ahead with a “fuck you” to the same industry that they wish to crack. With a few digital tools, a healthy dose of talent and some tenacity, there are artists emerging now that have circumvented conventional channels and have taken their music and art directly to the people.
Purple Crush has taken this route, and has meet with success and some major industry push back. The duo was tapped by Lady Gaga producer Rob Fusari to write songs for the pop superstar, putting in hundreds of hours of production time, and not getting paid one dime. Rolling Stone covered the story, as did a number of other major music magazines. In this David and Goliath scenario, Purple Crush responded by releasing one of their strongest records to date, Welcome 2 The Underground.
The first track on the record, “New Me” infuses dubstep and electric guitar into a track that sounds like Britney Spears smoked some medical marijuana and had a three-way Skrillex and Dr.Dre. Track 2, “Sweat” has kind of a throw-back 80’s feel to it, at times sounding like Berlin, while “Loverboy” get the Kraftwerk treatment. Working over a hard 808 bass drum, driving at a DJ Screw pace, with Isla spitting like a true Brooklynite on “Basic Bitch.” Track 6,”Kiss My Cheeks,” is a stand-out track here, sounding like Joan Jett doing a fidget track, with an almost cheerleader chant quality that’s infectious and a serious ear-worm. “New York City Bad Girl” and “The Original” see the PCs doing what they do best, which is belting out dance-floor electro-pop bangers.
As this pop music saga unfolds, it’s important to keep in mind that at the end of the day Purple Crush have something that can’t be replicated or stolen by anyone. Talent. As we witness the last gasps of the music industry, accompanied by last-ditch efforts to close Pandora’s box, expect more of “big” industry players to start hammering away at smaller performers. It’s okay, ultimately they will lose. Welcome (back) to the Underground.