THE NEW self-titled, six-song split just dropped by Savannah locals Dormir. (Joe Harris) and Kola Hak (Derek Lynch) is the perfect soundtrack to round out 2020. With gripping, sonic tones likened to Portishead and Massive Attack, the downtempo instrumentals take the listener on a journey of circuitous melodies and ambient energy.
“It’s more about an atmosphere and a feeling,” explained Lynch. “It’s very cold sounding, a chill vibe.”
Fans may recognize Lynch from his stint on guitar with the popular punk band, A Girl A Gun A Ghost. His previous band is actually how Harris knew Lynch.
“I’m a huge fan of A Girl A Gun A Ghost, and when I just got off the plane in Savannah from Indianapolis, my friend was picking up some rent money and was like, oh hey, this is Derek,” Harris said.
An admitted “fan girl” moment, it was actually another moment led by that same friend, well-known Savannah musician Gx Rettig of Bands w/Melody and more, that sparked Harris and Lynch’s collaboration.
“Gx told me about these new beats that Derek was making and that they were in the wheelhouse of my new stuff, so I hit him up on Instagram and asked if he wanted to work together,” said Harris.
Shortly afterwards, the six-track EP emerged. What appears to be a long stray from Harris and Lynch’s post rock/punk roots, Lynch contends fans can still hear the influence in his tracks, 2 (NEONSUNK), 4 (PANAMA), and 6 (XEV).
“I still think I take a lot of influence from these hardcore rock bands,” said Lynch.
Harris, who has fronted several punk and hard-rock bands and quite memorably fronted the Outkast tribute band for Jinx-O-Ween in 2017 at former hotspot, The Jinx, also feels the influence is in the undercurrent of his tracks, 1 (Longing for Resolve), 3 (Nostalgia), and 5 (The Abyss).
While the two don’t share any tracks, according to Harris, the collaboration helps to broaden the spectrum of who will hear it.
“Hopefully, it brings more ears to both of us,” said Harris.
The pair may have a lot of common in terms of contextual sound, but their processes are fairly polar. Lynch plays 99% of his music organically and does not tend to sample beats.
“It doesn’t feel pure to me,” explained Lynch.
While Harris’s music may not naturally come from the strum of a physical guitar, the beats are composed by him completely, and he tends to come up with his melodies first with a pad element or lead line. Lynch, almost the antipode of his counterpart, lays out his bass lines first with melodies succeeding, almost in the foreground.
Despite these differences, the palette of flowing synths, segueing between fundamentalist and electronic tracks, creates an EP that is dynamically engaging. It’s like hip-hop gone sonic-raw with a pulse and rhythm that instead of feeling naked without lyrics, feels free and open. It’s worth a listen and if you are ready for it, a download.