Levitation Interview: Pachyman

This week is the week! Hoping that I’ll be able to catch Pachyman this week, as I’ve been super jamming to his latest LP, Switched-On. It’s a collection of Latin influenced dub, with hints of indie and psychedelic grooves…and to be honest, a sound that’s probably more obscure than it deserves to be. So, we reached out, caught up…and here we go!

ATH: Who is the band, and where are you based?

Pachyman. Los Angeles, now!

ATH: Describe your groups sound to a new fan using only adjectives.

Spacey, cheerful, vibey, raw, tangy, sweet, repetitive.

ATH: You just released Switched On. Is there any relation to the Wendy Carlos album, of the same name? Or the Stereolab compilation? If not, where does the album title originate?

It definitely pays tribute to both Wendy and Stereolab. I’m a big fan of both and the whole Switched-On movement. This record is a step towards a more keyboard driven and synth heavy sound. It made perfect sense to give it this name since I took such a sharp turn in sonics.

ATH: Levitation has a pretty diverse lineup, but mostly dwelling in the darker corners of psychedelia, etc. How does Pachyman fit that mold? How do you win over a crowd that may not be familiar with your work?

I believe there is a lot of space for exploration in my music. some people might relate reggae and dub to a more “commercial” sound but it came from a place of actual experimentation and innovation. I believe my music being mostly instrumental and so effect driven fits the mold perfectly on a festival based on dark psychedelia. It’s also very different to everything else that is presenting this year at Levitation.

ATH: Similarly, there have been a few notable acts coming through with Latin influences in the “indie” scene, but by and large, it seems an overlooked corner of the genre? How can folks like us, or listeners be better about getting into that sound? Where should we be looking?

I believe given the systematic racism that lived in the united states for so long and that being exposed in such a way in the last 3 years because of obvious reasons gave everyone a moment to actually reflect on the current society we had and the things we were taking for granted. I truly believe that a vast number of people are now doing a better job at looking around at the diversity we have and actually getting interested and involved in their cultures. I think paying attention to the local community and being involved in it will yield a lot of art and things to discover.

ATH: If you could put on your own one day festival with say 5-10 bands (up to you) who would be on this bill? You may travel through time and use artists who are alive or dead or on hiatus… you get me. Where would this awesome concert be?

augustus pablo, cluster, stereolab, boards of canada, the wailers, mc5, beak>, steve reich, william onyeabor & laurie spiegel and it would definitely be in a beautiful place out in the country.

ATH: We always like to hear about what bands are listening to in their van/bus on tour. What are you spinning?

Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of NTS radio, especially the early bird show. I listen to a lot of dub and reggae compilations in long drives on tour but I’ve also been really into Woo lately and discovering some Terry Riley stuff.

ATH: The band gets to create their own taco pop-up shop at Levitation! What’s the name, and what sort of tacos will you have? Any sides?

Gildardo’s and its mostly Frito Pies.

Pachyman hits the Empire stage on Sunday at 8:30pm. Be there!

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