In the spring of 2017 Doza (Carlos Mendoza) was combing the the beach of Inapupan, a small island in the Philippines, when he saw something both strange and familiar: a weathered bit of shell peaking out of the sand with orange and ivory tiger stripes. He recognized it as the armor of a nautilus, one of the planet’s oldest and deepest-diving animals. He held it in his hand, imagining the bioluminescent monsters it’s creator might have witnessed during its dark, cold dives. “Nautilus” is a latin word derived from the ancient greek “nautilo” meaning “sailor.” A sailor himself, Doza arrived home inspired to soundtrack this creature’s funky nautical journey.
Electronic musicians today have access to a vast ocean of sounds from soft-synths, soft-samplers, mobile apps, boutique hardware and modular synths. When Doza began making music in the late 90s as half of LawnChair Generals (with Peter Christianson), the equipment available was expensive and cumbersome by today’s standard. In a way those limitations were a blessing in that they forced the Generals to extract as much function and creativity out of each piece of equipment as possible, and to learn their instruments inside and out.
To stay focused on The Nautilus, Doza eschewed soft-synths and complicated outboard set-ups for the sounds from one of his first pieces of equipment, the PC2x. This tank-like stage keyboard was created in 2001 by Kurzweil Music Systems, a company founded by renowned futurist Raymond Kurzweil and Stevie Wonder (yes, that Stevie Wonder).
Although short on sounds relative to other larger keyboards of the time, the PC2x has the famous Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology (V.A.S.T.) and, in the hands of a tinkerer, is capable of morphing, organic, other-worldly tones. The result of this self-limited production technique applied to the deep-sea daydream is The Nautilus, an immersive dance floor voyage complete with evolving drones, pitching and swelling textures, and growling encounters in a swirled up auditory expanse. All of this sits atop a disco-tech structure and latin battery that is vintage Doza, supporting a locomotive synth bassline that dives and rises again like the intrepid little creature of the deep that inspired it.
Stay up to date on upcoming EDM events in the Seattle area by following the EmeraldCityEDM Event Calendar, and enter to win free tickets to local EDM shows on the EmeraldCityEDM Contests & Giveaways page.
Sign up for our email update list to emailed about new releases from local producers, show announcements, Seattle area EDM news & free show tickets: