Los Angeles-based artist, producer, writer, multi-instrumentalist, and mixing engineer Joey Verskotzi, aka Verskotzi, reveals his brand-new EP, ARC 002, the follow-up to ARC 001.
Explaining the ARC series, Verskotzi shares, “As an artist, I create from the mindset of albums and full bodies of work. But in the fast-paced modern music industry where singles are the focus, this ARC series is my way of maintaining artistic integrity while being conscious of the parameters and more literally, the algorithms musicians are working within today. Each ARC will be a 3 song EP that embodies a full listening experience and cohesive theme. The three songs will run as an intro, single, and outro, typically all in the same key and acting as a snapshot of an album in under 10 minutes.”
Describing the evolution of his sound from ARC 001 to ARC 002, Verskotzi says, “With ‘ARC 002,’ I feel like I’ve really pushed my sound artistically again and blended genres in a new way for myself. From my experimental/electronic leaning tendencies, obsession with the lo-fi beat culture, and true adoration for all things hip hop, it’s definitely all on display in this EP.”
He goes on to add that ARC 002 conveys more vulnerability, the expression of getting off alcohol, pointing out that his craving for it is “a bit of a slippery slope and if you know anything about the music industry, it’s that the two tend to go hand in hand. The removal of drinking from my life plus a new adoption of meditation has cleared my mind and life of a lot of fog.”
Starting with “Binge,” which travels on wavering sonic colors, followed by Verskotzi’s low almost whispery vocals, the tune ripples on buttery, polished hues akin to dream-pop. The constant refrain “just one more” infuses the lyrics with crushing yearning as Verkotzi’s impassioned timbres expose his ache for another drink.
“Substances” amalgamates elements of alt-pop, R&B, and hip-hop into an alluring melody rife with gleaming guitars, followed by a filtered, wicked sample of Verskotzi’s voice, injecting the tune with dark sinewy heft. Surface by plush lo-fi coloration, “Substances” is probably the best track on the EP.
Talking about the voice sample, Verskotzi explains, “I initially wanted there to be a feature on this, but it didn’t work out, so at the last minute I decided to infuse the halftime ‘chop n screw’ section where I sample my own voice. Now it’s my favorite part.”
Short and mushrooming with creamy washes of pigments, “Dry” shimmers with luminous layers.
Speaking to “Dry,” Verskotzi states, “There’s something desolate yet hopeful about this one. Like with ‘ARC 001,’ I infused elements of ‘Binge’ and ‘Substances’ into the outro ‘Dry’ so that the entire EP is represented in one song.”
Wonderfully wrought, ARC 002 offers flavors of dream-pop combined with hip-hop-lite, forming a sonic dreamscape.