Get ready to get your dance on this weekend with our Red Bull Records Dance Party Mix. Download the entire playlist free featuring originals and remixes from Five Knives, Twin Atlantic, AWOLNATION, Itch, Innerpartsystem and Black Gold. Be sure to Tweet This out to your friends as well, you don’t want to be the only one ready to go!
To call Innerpartysystem’s Never Be Content epic might be an understatement. Sonically huge and thematically expansive, its origins comprise a saga as well. The EP is the story of a band lost and found, a mission refined. The EP tracks a movement, a survey from a space of uncertainty and flux to one of artistic surety and contentment. Its nominal paradox contentment found through never arriving at a static state of satisfaction — is reflected in the perfectly calibrated tension and release of the six songs contained therein, with as many sneers as messages, a well-earned rest for every barrage of beats.
After two years relentlessly touring behind their self-titled major label debut, Innerpartysystem returned to their Mohnton, Pennsylvania home depleted, seeking refuge in the band house. â€œWe were definitely in a place at the end of 2009, wondering whether we were going to keep going. “It wasn’t the happiest time for us,” explains drummer Jared Piccone. “It was definitely slow at first.” When the band found itself without a label at the beginning of 2010, lead singer Patrick Nissley simply hunkered down and continued to amass his musical arsenal. “I just kept making music, and I didn’t have a set mindset. I just kept doing what I’ve always been doing.” Over the next year, the band would relocate their studio from their suburban roots to the decidedly more metropolitan Hoboken, New Jersey. Both the change in venue and the freedom from major label strictures played a part in the renewed crackle on Never Be Content. “The album is a reflection of the things I’ve been going through,” says lead singer Patrick Nissley. “Either the tone of a song, or the attitude of a song, or the mood I can pinpoint, listening back to it, what I was going through at the time.”
That the three members come from various musical backgrounds only strengthens the band’s latest effort. Piccone’s experience on the post-hard-core scene, synth-guitarist Kris Barman’s obsessive house listening, and Nissley’s encyclopedic knowledge of everything from ’70s funk to ’90s hip-hop all inform the record, though it’s primarily an electronic odyssey. “It isn’t a new direction,” explains Barman of the more house sound of Never Be Content. “It’s more of a 45 degree turn than a 180.” “We leaned more toward the programming and technical things,” Nissley says. “I feel like this record isn’t even pushed that far, but it’s a good progression in the right direction, to where I want it to go.” The result is both sophisticated and danceable, a technical progression with universally relatable themes.
Album centerpiece “American Trash” marks a true progression for the band. Muted beats give way to a synth squawk, and Nissley’s vocals, equal parts menace and salve, perfectly encapsulate the voice of the Ugly American â€“ self-concerned and myopic. Gleaned from the years spent observing American culture both here and abroad, Nissley is careful to note that the song is about a specific stance, and not Americans in general. “Some people have the worst priorities,” he explains. “Sometimes I watch TV and I can’t believe what people are doing. I feel people are better than that.” “Money” is a dirty, attraction-repulsion ode that features Nissley’s tongue-in-cheek lyrical assault laced with an unrelenting pulse, punctuated by cash registers and heavily distorted vocals. “Patrick made this beat one night and this crazy glitched out beat,” Barman explains of the song’s origins. The band’s work ethic is evidenced in the refining process they go through as Barman counts eight versions of “Money” since its inception.
All songs were conceived with an eye to their explosive live show, which alchemizes the energy of a DJ set with the structure of song formula. “It’s why the music came out the way it did,” explains Nissley. In the two years the band spent touring, Nissley and crew made a study of the impact certain things had on a crowd. “When people mix stuff just right, there’s a crazy energy there,” says Piccone. Fittingly, the EP plays from start to finish like a 30-minute set.
Not only a band who can produce dance beats, Innerpartysystem’s fresh approach to electronic music, both in their innovative recording and performing techniques, only scratches the surface of their vast artistic palette. From their mesmerizing hand-programmed light show to the cutting edge hand-manipulated effects live on stage, to the EP’s one-of-a-kind album art, their passion for interactive art, both in the aural and visual realms, is a vital part of their creative aesthetic.
True to form and the title of the EP, Innerpartysystem have already begun work on the next album. “You have to keep setting challenges for yourself, or your life becomes stagnant repetition,” Nissley says. “You have to keep progressing and moving. If you don’t, you get stuck doing something every day. And maybe it’s for some people, but it’s not for us.”