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Synth & Soul by Eraserhood Sound
Label Feature

Synth & Soul by Eraserhood Sound

Take 70s-era analog synthesizers, a whole lotta soul, and a tiny grain of a David Lynch OST, and you get the formula for Eraserhood Sound. A two-men, musicians-owned label from Philadelphia who merge two styles they love most: "Synth & Soul."

By DannyVeekens
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“When we started the label, we knew we wanted it to be based around what we loved: hard-hitting, funky drum and bass paired with waves of luscious, analog, new wave synthesizer, all tracked to tape,” says Maxwell Perla, who together with Vincent John founded Eraserhood Sound. The label’s name by the long-time collaborators was inspired by David Lynch’s 1977 debut film: Eraserhead, a surrealistic and dark film, shot in 1977 in the Philadelphia neighborhood where the duo’s studio and label headquarters are based. “While our sound is certainly not as desperately grim as what the movie portrays, we do take inspiration from the striking 70s analog synth sounds,” adds Vincent, “as well as just the landmark creative history we know we are surrounded by.”

For years, Vincent worked out of New York with the deep funk/soul label Truth & Soul, writing songs and playing the guitar for acts like Lee Fields & The Expressions, Lady Wray, and El Michels Affair. In 2019, he moved back to his hometown of Philidelphia and founded Eraserhood Sound with friend and fellow musician Maxwell.

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Speaking of 70s analog synth sounds, another Philly native comes to mind: Dexter Wansel, who pioneered synth arrangements through otherworldly songs including jazz-funk classics like “Theme From The Planets” and debut album title track, “Life On Mars.” “Dexter Wansel is absolutely someone who we consider one of the pillars of synth-driven soul music,” says Vincent, who also mentions the likes of Sly Stone and Parliament-Funkadelic’s Bernie Worrell as big inspirations for their own “Synth & Soul,” as well as the city’s trademark ‘Philly Soul’ sound of the late 60s and 70s. “We've actually heard that Dexter still lives in the city,” he adds. “It would be a thrill to work with him. Dexter, if you're reading this, drop us a line. Our doors are open...”

Eraserhood Sound
Eraserhood Sound

"Sampling culture represents the progression of art-making. It's flipping something old into something new, which is really what all artists—from Pete Rock to Pablo Picasso and beyond—are doing. It's the act of creation."

—Maxwell Perla (Eraserhood Sound)
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With music from Eraserhood Sound now on Tracklib by artists like La Dante, Fantasy 15, Sandro Galileo, and Vincent’s and Maxwell’s own music under the same moniker of Eraserhood Sound, “Samples” can now enter their double-S equation of Synth & Soul. Maxwell: “I think in the past, musicians with an analog recording studio would feel threatened by sample culture. Like there is some kind of competition or battle being waged. We feel quite the opposite. To us, sampling culture represents the progression of art-making. It's flipping something old into something new, which is really what all artists—from Pete Rock to Pablo Picasso and beyond—are doing. It's the act of creation. We love the idea that we are also putting our releases in front of creatives who want to take it, flip it, make something new, and continue the lifespan of the music. And then everyone wins.”

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“I think Fantasy 15 would be great for a rapper to take wholesale and rhyme over. It's ominous, spacious, and has hard-hitting drums.”

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“The title track from our LP Ribelle Di Mare is also a good one. Really mean drums and a menacing guitar line.”

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