It doesn't seem like an adventurous journey through bright electronic atmospherics and pop sensibilities could be created with a technique called "exquisite corpse," but Supreme Cuts managed to do it both brilliantly and soulfully. While the Chicago-dwelling duo of Austin Keultjes and Mike Perry, better known as Supreme Cuts, didn't exclusively stick to the surrealist technique of blindly trading off creative duties for their new album, Divine Ecstasy, the spirit and surprise is sprinkled throughout the cohesive full-length.
Supreme Cuts found its genesis in March 2011, when their track "Amnesia" caught fire online and in clubs all the way from New York to Berlin. The duo immediately got to work on a collection of cuts that was later rolled into the Trouble EP — a project that Boomkat called an "amazingly strong debut." In the summer of 2012, Supreme Cuts released its first long player, Whispers in the Dark, which delved into moodier territory along instrumental grooves and meditative soundwaves. No less than "the leading online electronic music magazine," Resident Advisor said that Whispers "is the graceful leap forward that any group would dream of — there's no dramatic shift in style, only in confidence."
Due January 28, 2014, on Dovecote Records, Divine Ecstasy is another artistic leap for Supreme Cuts, this time with the added shift of stellar vocal performances. Whether it's Poliça's Channy contributing a sultry purr on top of the hard-hitting heartbeat drums of "Envision", or the cadence-defying delivery of buzzworthy rapper Haleek Maul on "ISIS", the echoing coo of Shy Girls on "Cocktails" or the start of a long, beautiful musical relationship with French singer Mahaut Mondino on "Gone" and "Brown Flowers", the voices of Divine Ecstasy add layers of introspection and imagination to the textured melodies produced by Supreme Cuts. Simultaneously transcendent and reflective of the experiment we call human experience, Divine Ecstasy takes its title from an infomercial preacher who peddles a miracle water that promises enormous earthly riches and an immersive "divine trance" to its believers.
"The album operates on three levels," Perry says. "The mundane (taxes and parking tickets), earthly pleasures (sex and drugs), and the higher (god and the universe). The music and lyrics are meant to operate on whichever of those levels you feel comfortable identifying with."
Surrounding the release of Divine Ecstasy, Supreme Cuts will take its ever-evolving live show across the globe, showcasing a performance already renowned for its frenzied juggle of looped samples, live instrumentation, projected lights and the shadows of negative space. It's a performance that saw a rousing festival debut at 2013's Lollapalooza and is certain to enthuse audiences across America and Europe in 2014. Supreme Cuts' immersive compositions, both the haze of Whispers and metropolitan intonation of Divine Ecstasy, take on a whole new breadth and life in the duo's very physical live show. Actually, it's the exact opposite of a corpse — exquisite or not.