KEXP Premiere: Chong the Nomad – you're really pretty

Local Music, KEXP Premiere
08/24/2017
Dusty Henry

Composing great dance music is more than just choosing the right beats per minute and finding a catchy synth patch. It's about capturing an emotional impulse in the groove – that indescribable, wordless "something" that resonates beyond how it booms out the speakers. It's an idea that Seattle producer Alda Agustiano aka Chong the Nomad knows well. Agustiano first started producing and making beats when she was 14-years-old. She'd later go on to study musical composition at Cornish College of the Arts, focusing her time on film scoring and composing classical chamber music. The music she's making today might not sound exactly like either of those things in any traditional sense, but the emotional pull of both resides deep within the musical impulses of her electronic forays.

On her debut single, "you're really pretty," Agustiano puts all of these transcendent feelings into three minutes of fluttering breakbeats and excitable vocal samples. The way she plays with the human voice like an instrument lends itself to part of what makes the song so great, each new voice coming in pitched up or down and contorted into lively hooks and undoubtedly get stuck in the head of whoever is within earshot. The sporadic bass lines against the pounding rhythms give a sense of constant movement, never ceasing until the song hits its abrupt end. But more than any of that, she's tapping into that unspoken feeling that dance music can give.

Listen to the track for yourself below. You can catch Chong the Nomad tomorrow night at Q Nightclub as a part of the CODA event series alongside Sean Major & Justin Hartinger, Ruelly, and Ainslee.

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