Release Date: August 3rd, 2018
For the first time since 2014 we have a new album from Pastel Arsenal. In signature pulse-wave fashion, "If You Want To" lifts and and lowers waves of velcro synthesis over and under blocks of swinging rhythm. An 8 track effort, "If You Want To" allows time for ideas to develop and contrasts to be made, points to be clarified. The album serves up signature Arsenal sound without compromising originality and flavor.
"If You Want To" was released on a limited run of 50 cassettes exclusively through Young Heavy Souls, and is available to stream wherever you listen to music.
Pastel Arsenal is a Michigan producer who specializes in synth-driven, euphoric beats. A staple in Detroit's underground beat scene, Pastel Arsenal's sound hovers somewhere between lush downtempo electronic and fuzz-heavy instrumental hip-hop. Live, his minimalist MIDI performances bump with finesse, made unique by improvised live remixes and complimented with the warmth of a SP-404. He released his debut EP Fields on Young Heavy Souls back in January of 2014. Since then he has been performing around Detroit and Chicago, producing for regional MCs and releasing loose singles on his Soundcloud. Although he͛s been quiet on the release front, he has been creating tracks and expanding his sound behind the scenes. Although originally making his name in the Detroit beat scene, he recently relocated to Petoskey, MI where he works on an organic farm.
The album balances synth, jazz, funk and hip-hop sounds. Regarding the influences for the album, Pastel states I was listening to a lot of George Duke, Alan Hawkshaw library tracks, Devonwho, Glenn Astro and getting back into Parliament around that time. I don’t generally go for a particular sound when writing tracks, but all of those influences definitely affected the sound. Besides composing and producing the album, Pastel also served as audio engineer, both mixing and mastering the 8-song project. At a tight 20 minutes in the length, If You Want To doesn’t waste time and quickly builds momentum from one song to the next. Although some of the tracks barley last over a minute, they never feel too short and make an impact without over-looped sections or filler. This is a collection and combination of what I thought was the best stuff and what fit together the most. I was basically putting my own spin on synth funk, and what resulted was some kind of bastardized, textured funk and hip-hop stuff. Pastel finds inspiration in everyday events and doesn’t overthink the titles of his tracks. Most of the track names are random and aren’t really a summary of what I thought the song was about. One example would be “If You Want To”, which was basically titled as my dog was whining to go outside, along with “Ready to Go for a Walk.” But thinking about it now, those tracks can kind of embody how I feel about my dog. They’re pretty fun, a little goofy, and energetic. “Funketables” was a real simple title I was eating some vegetables and making funk.