Stream: Airbird & Napolian, In the Zone / Special

Sjimon Gompers

Joel "Airbird" Ford & Ian "Napolian" Evans (captured by Abby Ross)(cover by Megazord)

Airbird & Napolian is the collaborative and creative meeting of Software Records operator Joel “Airbird” Ford and Software artist Ian “Napolian” Evans who begin their adventures with the In the Zone single from Cascine. If the psyched-out pierside cover from Megazord hadn't already clued you in, this single is even wilder than a neon summer seascape matted and mixed by Salvador Dalí himself.

With “In the Zone” adorned by the presence of Erika Spring's vocals, the rhythmic keys move in progressions like time cues taken from the gilled breaths of tropical creatures. The coastal paradise creates a feel familiar while brimming with the feel of a not-too-distant future. Intersecting where dance and hip-hop production values intertwine, Ian provided some behind the scenes elaborations. “On 'In the Zone' I was going for a classic west coast feel, really laid back drums very D.R.E. like.” Joel describes his own contributions with praise for Erika's presence on the single. “Napolian came to me with the basic beatscape, and I wrote and recorded the bass part. I also wrote the lyrics / vocal melody, and brought in Erika to sing. Her voice is amazing.”

“Special” brings that sample cut fresh from the vocal cutting board with the loop of “my feelings” that run throughout the track at different pitch settings. Ian described how the 2 managed to bottle the summer's electronic breeze with the utmost humility. “On 'Special' Joel had most of the track laid out for me, all I did was a couple mix adjustments and added the minimal breakdown bit in the beginning.”

The Software label owner and -sometimes collaborator from Ford & Lopatin gave us one more glimpse of the future from both his imprint, the forthcoming Airbird & Napolian full-length for Cascine, and a brief introduction to the first splash dive off the boardwalk harbor. “I co-produced some tracks on the Napolian [Incursio] LP, out soon on Software. Those sessions led to a full-on collaborative record, to be released via Cascine. 'In the Zone' is the first single.”

Airbird & Napolian's single In the Zone is available now from Cascine. Their collaborative full-length is expected later this year.

Napolian's Incursio LP is in progress now and also slated for release later this year on Software Recording Co.

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