Pastel Arsenal Shares New Album

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.