New York-based electronic duo A.M. Boys features two accomplished and grizzled scene vets:
- John Blonde (synths, vocals), is an electronic musician and singer/songwriter, who was a principle member of JOVM mainstay act House of Blondes. As a solo artist, he releases material as Muscle Club.
- Chris Moore, a producer, engineer, mixer, multi-instrumentalist, and electronic musician. As a producer and engineer, Moore has worked with David Bowie, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Scarlett Johansson, Foals, and OSEES. As an electronic musician, Moore has released solo work as Light Vortex and through a variety of other aliases through the years.
Blonde and Moore can trace their collaboration together back to meeting at an Aphex Twin listening party they attended back in 2014. The duo struck up an instant chemistry that resulted in a batch of original songs in 2018 using analog synths, drum machines, space echo and voice that paired clean, post-punk minimalism with a contemporary approach to rhythm and arrangement.
They sent Suicide’s Martin Rev one of their earliest tracks “Distance Decay,” and by the next day, they were offered an opening slot with the post-punk legend. The duo have shared a stage with Deerhunter side project Moon Diagrams, and they’ve played one of the most memorable sets at local, experimental venue Spectrum. As DJs, they’ve spun sets at Jupiter Disco, Troost, Sundown Bar, Wythe Hotel and several other spots across town.
The New York-based duo’s full-length debut Distance Decay is slated for a June 3, 2022 release. Written and recorded by the duo, at their Brooklyn-based studio Glowmatic Sound with additional vocal recording by Jeff Berner at Studio G, the album’s title is derived from a term that describes the pattern of criminals committing fewer crimes, the further they travel from their homes. Sonically, the ten-song album sees the members of A.M. Boys focusing on an intimate and minimalist approach to instrumentation and composition through the juxtaposition of rippling rhythms with melodic synth lines and ethereal vocals.
The album’s material as written during darkly lit, late night jam sessions influenced by post-punk and coldwave, along with their revered trinity of Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin and Prince — with one song being directly influenced by Throbbing Gristle. The recording sessions were deliberately pared down to allow the pair to recreate the songs live. For the duo, the minimal approach helped to yield material that develops a deeper emotional resonance with repeated listens. “We knew we didn’t want to layer too much, we felt that the songs sounded stronger with less. A lot of modern music can be fussy and cluttered, we wanted to present the music simply, gaining a transparent power,” Blonde explains.
During the height of the pandemic, Blonde and Moore holed up at their studio and recored an entire second album — and are currently working to incorporate some of that new material in their live sets. But in the meantime, Distance Decay‘s second single, “Traveler” is a mesmerizing and hypnotic track featuring skittering beats, glistening and oscillating synths paired with Blonde’s ethereal vocals and spacey feedback. While nodding at John Blonde’s previous work with House of Blondes and Kraftwerk, “Traveler” fittingly possesses a trippy cosmic air, the end result is a song that seems to be a perfect for late night space travel.
Directed and filmed by New York-based motion designer David Lee Fiddler, the accompanying visual for “Traveler” was a deeply collaborative effort between Fiddler and the duo that incorporates live, in-studio footage shot by Doug Young, animated still photos taken by A.M. Boys’ John Blonde, which were used for the album’s cover art. The end result is a trippy and mesmerizing video that seems perfect for those with ASMR. The duo credit Fiddler with being an energetic director that “seemed capable of translating any idea we had into reality.” Blonde adds “The ‘Traveler’ video is what we think the electricity looks like inside our synthesizers.”