Dreamdecay's J.R.C.G. Shares Hallucinogenic John Dwyer-Featured Single "Lowrider" (KEXP Premiere)

KEXP Premiere
Jasmine Albertson
photo by Anthony Beauchemin

A man and his Moog, alone on a deserted beach, while a flurry of caustic drums soundtrack the black-and-white double-exposed imagery is how J.R.C.G.’s “Lowrider” is presented to us. A fitting way to let listeners know that it is very much not a cover of War’s 1975 hit and, instead, more akin to the similarly monosyllabic Can of the same era, with its bold experimentation of sonic palettes and krautrock rhythms. It may not make you want to boogie on the dance floor but a hit of acid could certainly make for a nice pairing.

The song comes from Seattle sludgey art-rockers Dreamdecay’s Justin R. Cruz Gallego’s forthcoming debut album as J.R.C.G. titled Ajo Sunshine. Named after Ajo Way, a stretch of highway in Tucson where Gallego captured field recordings for the record, the album is kaleidoscopic in its experimental directions, at times sounding jarring and abrasive, and other times groovy and gleaming. The two prior singles, “Rainbow” and “Holy Hope” express this dynamism, with the former a shimmering psychedelic meanderer and the latter a high-energy drone jam.

It’s no surprise upon listening that Ajo Sunshine is being released on the beloved Castle Face Records. Once a beacon of crunchy experimental garage rock, the journey of Castle Face’s journey towards spacey free jazz and warped droney soundscapes is a fascinating look at a label’s ability to bend music’s direction towards a label owner’s particular whims. John Dwyer’s influence has long been prevalent but at this point is now prescient. With each new signing, another push in bolder, more experimental directions guides the music industry as a whole.

“Lowrider,” in particular, is not only reminiscent of the dazzling dirges that Dwyer’s been dabbling with as Bent Arcana but features the one and only JPD on guitar. As we’ve long detailed, the man just can’t take a break, so it’s no surprise that he would casually add some truly blistering guitar licks to his new signee’s record. Gallego had this to say about the song:

“Lowrider was directed by PNW filmmaker Matt Shanafelt, one of the first people I met in Tacoma while finishing Ajo Sunshine. Double exposed 16mm, edited in camera on location, and hand developed at home. Working with Matt and watching him work was so inspiring and his approach felt so similar to how the album was recorded. The song’s skeleton is made of drum loops cut randomly from a separate drum-only jams. From there, the edits turned into a messy collage of drums forced to flow together. Lowrider originally had this big open middle section that I had the hardest time finishing. I sent the song to Dwyer as kind of a shot in the dark, reaching out to a friend to help guide me to the finish line type thing - turns out Dwyer was meant to finish it cause his searing guitar at the center and end of the track are the glue and sparkle in my mind.”

Ajo Sunshine is out November 19th on Castle Face Records. Below, watch the video for “Lowrider” and check out J.R.C.G.’s upcoming tour dates with Dreamdecay Music Group (essentially the rest of his band).

11/4 Reno – Holland Project
11/5 Oakland – Elbo Room
11/6 Los Angeles – Zebulon
11/8 Phoenix – The Nile (Basement)
11/ 11 Portland – Bunk Bar w/ The Body
11/12 Seattle – The Clockout
11/14 Victoria, BC – Quadratic Sound


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