Camp Bisco XI Artist Spotlight: Binary Bits
Next artist to check out this year at Camp Bisco is Binary Bits, Philadelphia composer/producer/performer Zach Catarelli. Best known for his efforts as half of the duo Beam&Deem, Catarelli also takes a fresh approach to production to deliver smooth, melodic beats with carefully crafted synths, driving rhythms, and manipulated samples as Binary Bits.
I caught a Binary Bits’ sunrise set at Uphoria in May and was blown away. Think a synth-heavier, swaggier Flying Lotus; when I first heard Binary Bits I immediately thought it sounded like it came out of Flying Lotus’ label Brainfeeder. His smooth melodic style is perfectly suited for a late night Silent Disco set, so if you like beautiful, tightly produced beats, you should get in line for headphones at the Silent Disco for his set 2:00-3:15AM Thursday night (Friday morning) and prepare to get down.
Have you ever played or attended a Camp Bisco before? If so, how’d you like it?
I’ve been to several Camp Bisco’s and its always bonkers. I played at the Silent Disco last year with my project Beam&Deem, it was a very cool experience and I’m happy to be getting back this year. Maybe next year they’ll get me on some speakers.
Tell me a little bit about Altered Ego Collective, how did you guys come together?
Altered Ego is a fairly new entity and we’re still coming up, but I’m really digging how it’s going so far. It started from the idea of bringing fresh music and art to Philadelphia and the East Coast. We really love what a lot of the artists on the West Coast are doing, and for some reason it just hasn’t hit as hard on this side of the country. There’s certainly no shortage of dance music, dubstep and electronica out here, but the more abstract, off kilter beats thing hasn’t really made a big impact yet. So we’ve got Beam&Deem, chrisAre, FLOTE, Nommo, and myself all here in Philly, and we thought to combine the efforts and try to make something happen, and we’re happy with how things are coming together. There’s some great collaborations in the works, many of them with our good friend Dan Kassel on cello. Altered Ego also has an art sector featuring very cool paintings, sculpture and wearable art by Fresh and Wholesome, Gnomes Grown, and Totem Soul. Basically what we’re trying to do is offer up forward thinking music and art for the open minded individual.
Check out Beam&Deem with Dan Kassel on cello:
How would you describe your sound to people who aren’t familiar with Binary Bits?
I always have a hard time with this… I think the best and simplest way I’ve captured it in a nutshell is “synth heavy beats”. I use hardware synths and plenty of field recordings to breathe some life into the music. I’ve heard it described as smooth, sexy, bouncy, funky, future, melodic, downtempo, and so forth. I try to keep it interesting while still being able to keep the dancefloor moving.
I see you’re playing with FLOTE on the Silent Disco stage late night Thursday. Are you guys tag teaming the set? What should people expect from your performance?
Be ready to hear original music from both myself and FLOTE, as well as some collaborations and a few fresh tunes from our AEC beatmates. We’ve both got some brand new never heard material to bust out, so be prepared to hear something fresh, even if you are familiar with our music. Don’t expect to hear anybody else’s tunes, straight Altered Ego sonnnn.
Are you going to have any time to check out the festival? If so, what/who are you psyched to see?
There’s TONS of great music this year and I’m in it for the long haul. Amon Tobin ISAM is at the top of my list. Also Shigeto, Daedelus, Tycho, Thundercat, Mux Mool, Eliot Lipp, Bonobo, and my fellow Philadelphians Damn Right!, Brothers Past and Greg D. There’s plenty I’m leaving out, and I hope to check out some new acts I’m unfamiliar with. And of course the band that’s responsible for all this, the good old Disco Biscuits.
Where else can people find you playing this summer?
The summer calendar is pretty limited for me this year. Beam&Deem is playing at Mint Green Music Festival next month, and I’m working on a few Binary Bits dates in July and August. Fall is shaping up to be pretty huge, so stay tuned for more show announcements and a fresh release.
Check in with us over the next week for additional artist spotlights and Camp Bisco coverage!