Artist, composer, producer and DJ Holodec tunes into the ethereal sounds of a dog’s eye view of Los Angeles.
Holodec met Kelman Duran outside the old Chinatown studio of NTS in Los Angeles. “He had the show before mine,” he explains. “We were both out in the alley smoking, just chopping it up and it all grew from that, here we are now.” Where we are now is still Los Angeles, yet viewed through through many different lenses at once, superimposing the contemporary experiences of diasporic communities with reflections on the sociopolitical conditions of America in the ’90s and ’00s, as well as more personal reflections on universal themes of family, love and loss. Such is the setting for All Dogs Come From Wolves, an album encompassing Holodec’s irresistibly narcotic sonic palette, low-lit sounds for blissed-out ravers, as well as a statement, a reminder that you need to understand where you’re from before you can know where you’re going. Released on Scorpio Red, the label run by multidisciplinary artist Ans M and Duran and home to essential projects from ONY, LC & Charles Verni and Duran himself, All Dogs Come From Wolves is described by Holodec as “an album about one and their environment, their thoughts, feelings, sounds, textures, smells, conversations. The things one hears in the distance, what one sees in the distance. An album for the city – any city, your city, where you are from, where you are at. Stylistically speaking, the sum of all my influences, a convergence.” He continues: “The album is constructed as scenes, sequenced out. Not entirely linear but nonetheless connected, coexisting. Think of it as a someone’s photo album. If you found a random photo album on the side of the street, looked at it from cover to cover, you can probably get a good idea of that person’s world. There’s a sincerity you can’t replicate.”
‘Dog’ and ‘Just U,’ two highlights from the album, unfurl as twin snapshots of the same space, the smudged, reverberant keys and synthetic murmur of the former track’s ambient interlude winding up into the restless, 2-step skip, pining synth line and smoked-out, pitch shifted vocals of the latter, the pulse of the city felt with a full heart. Director Allek Bien‘s hyper-saturated visuals reveal a dog’s eye view of LA at night, dust particle tracers dissolving into technicolor powder, ghostly graffiti blurred into a single, continuous texture, the city’s subway tunnels stretched into infinity. Holodec’s words surface fleetingly amidst the city lights, like phrases momentarily glimpsed from a moving car: “sound of city / sounds of cities in which I formed / sounds of cities in which I survive.” Picking out an instinctive poetry from the humming polyphony of their home, Holodec and Bien paint a portrait in superimposition, the continual condition of the streets they grew up on. As shaky pet cam footage is layered on top of itself, the artists depict a city both past and present, a gesture which is both a “statement” and a “toast,” a sentiment which leads back to the potency of the album’s title, an affirmation that looking back will show you the way forward. “Past lives become this life, this life becomes the next life,” says Holodec. “The title speaks to the spectrum of one’s evolution. Remember where you came from. Savour the present. Build the future.” Though transmitted from the complexity of immigrant identity within the cursed history of contemporary America, Holodec’s message pulls focus on the kinds of optimism one can find in solidarity, “a toast / all dogs come from wolves / we survive together.”
‘Dog’ and ‘Just U’ are taken from All Dogs Come From Wolves, which is out now on Scorpio Red. You can find Holodec on Instagram, Bandcamp and at his website.
Dog / Just U Credits:
Music – Holodec
Director & Editor – Allek Bien
Special thanks to Cash and Minji
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