The collaborative efforts of Athens native Savvas Ysatis and New Yorker Taylor Deupree were well known in the early and mid 1990s through their work as SETI, Futique, and Arc, as well as their soundtrack to Japanese architect Toyo Ito’s famed Tower of Winds building in Yokohama, Japan. After going their separate ways – Ysatis to recording for Tresor in Berlin, and Deupree to founding the 12k label – they have united again for their first project in nearly 10 years.
Almost all of Ysatis and Deupree’s projects were founded not only on conceptual ideas, but on technical processes as well, setting rules and restrictions on themselves to help focus their creative energies in the endless playground of the studio. Whether it was the complex sound design of SETI or the cassette-tape-sourced sample manipulation of Tower of Winds, Ysatis and Deupree continually reinvented themselves, moving from ambient, to lounge, to minimal techno.
Their new EP, The Sleeping Morning, was created during a week-long visit from Greece to the US. Ysatis and Deupree wanted to freely create and see what came naturally after a 10-year hiatus from working together in the studio. However, their session quickly turned into an album guided by a select set of instruments and methods which led to their most unique work to date. The music flowed naturally, and the 10 years disappeared into a day.
All of the instrumentation; acoustic guitar, autoharp, various bits of percussion, and analog synthesizers, were performed directly to multi-track with very little editing (they preferred to re-take rather than edit). The duo recorded much of the sound with with microphones to capture roomtone which created a warm, organic and often playful mood. Loose drums, the squeak of a monosynth and lush pads from the Jupiter-8 make The Sleeping Morning appear at first as an experiment in micro-folk but when vocal tracks are added a whole new world of song-structure and post-something is created.
The four tracks they recorded hint at a variety of new avenues that Ysatis and Deupree can explore. Their extensive music careers and long history of collaboration and friendship have given them experience rich with insight and experimentation – and with the low price of airfare and the affordability of decent grappa, there will certainly be a chance to continue what they began 14 years ago.