Week in Pop: ETA, Kristen Barredo, Micah E. Wood

Post Author: Sjimon Gompers


The future & past wisdom of PASTHYPE; photographed by Kathryn King / @kathryncking.

LA polymath ETA, aka PASTHYPE, is an artist of many diciplines that continues to create moving works from the mediums of film, music & curating fine arts for POC artists event under the Moonroom brand/moniker. From aspects of audio & visuals, ETA beckons the audience to come along on journeys through glimpses of the future built out of the fabrics & feelings from the past’s extensive archives of memory. Like the expansive videos from ETA, the PASTHYPE compositions are cinema soundscapes that ignite the internal theater projectors that exist in the ear & mind’s perceptive eye. PASTHYPE elevates the ethereal energy that exists in the atmospheres that we share, where the air that we breathe is expressed through intuitive aural illustrations that levitate skyward from the earth and upward to the mysteries of the heavens. The ETA/PASTHYPE universe is one that feels sincerely steeped in the material world that we all know with an open-consciousness that ebbs into the transcendent pools of the supernatural.
Presenting the world premiere of the new PASTHYPE single “Skyhook” featured off their upcoming Heaven’s The Ceiling release, Cullen Griffin & ETA craft a song that plays with the idea of a connective mechanism that bridges the gulf between the heavens & the earthly ground. With Michael Klein supplying additional keyboard treatments for the ambient piece, PASTHYPE continues the creative evolution of ambient work that floats like a specter seeking to understand the intricacies from the known realm & the curious array of inspirations that lay in the allure of elusive dimensions. Like a more ambient update of Alan Vega’s immortal classic “Keep Your Dreams“, PASTHYPE recalls the cycles of life from birth to fading away into the spaces of memories in an intimate poem to the universe and its inhabitants. The seesawing blend of looping keys & chords gently surround like a bath of winds & breezes that imagines staircases & chariots to heaven that connect the audience with the title lifting device of “Skyhook”. The guitars & synths are supplied to the mix with a calming restraint that subtly lulls the listener to the feeling of being in the stratospheric spaces between two worlds.

We had a chance to talk to ETA about the new single “Skyhook”, the upcoming Moonroom hosted event APAHM 2018 and a whole lot more:
Tell us stories about the inspirations & evolution of your musical disciplines that informed the hazy, sky-bound single “Skyhook”.
“Skyhook” represents a breaking point for me. It was a culmination of all the anxiety, disappointment, sadness I’ve had over the last couple years that came to a head. I was just tired, man. I reached my pain threshold. I was a crumbling pebble in a dense undertow grasping for firm sand before I entirely disintegrated. Looking back, I realized my last three tracks, “2020”, “OLD AGE / PERPETUAL BABES” with Tomemitsu and “Skyhook” all share that sentiment, kinda like a trilogy. They’re all somber songs seeking reconciliation, but ultimately deep with optimism.
From ETA visual productions to your PASTHYPE musical creations; what ways have you noticed your music has informed your visuals & how have your visuals continued to inspire your music?
When I edit video, I always slice the clip at that millisecond the action’s leaning forward. It helps the overall piece feel like it has a flow to it. If you listen to my music, it shares that value. It’s fluid. It surfs, undulating in perpetuity. I’m just the sweet dolphin in the wave. Visually, they’re simple, meditative compositions that I’d pair with verite montage sequences.
Cullen Griffin, one of the collaborators for PASTHYPE, has been integral to that aesthetic. I’ve been fortunate to develop a shorthand with him. He’s a mad talented, versatile musician. Really, I’m just curating. He’s the one painting the pictures. He’s barely tapping into his creative potential, so I’m excited to see where he goes.
Tell us about all the latest moonroom developments & promotions and what we can expect to witness with the upcoming APAHM 2018 event. Give us some insights into the curation process of booking, arranging & the overall creation of the APAHM 2018 showcases.
Last year was the 1st time we had these showcases which highlight Asian American Pacific Islander artists and musicians in the local scenes. The call-to-action for me came when I went to the Chinatown Lunar Fest show a few months prior. The main stage was presented by Buzzbands and LA Weekly and the four bands that played that night were predominantly white. The idea for the showcases was essentially an annoyed response to that because I couldn’t believe not one Asian American-fronted band was booked. It’s a damn event celebrating Chinese New Year in Chinatown. So Moonroom teamed with Redacted and we curated seven showcases across LA, Long Beach, and Orange County.
APAHM 2018 almost didn’t happen. But, once I reached out to a few alums from last year and saw how enthusiastic they were to do it again I couldn’t resist. That really buoyed me. So as a way to broaden the event’s scope—and as a self-preservation tactic—I had the notion to delegate the curation of individual showcases to artists, bands, and collectives. Because of that, this year’s slated to have richer genre diversity, the number of showcases and participating acts has doubled and we’ve expanded to San Diego. This year’s theme is More Visibility and if you’re a booking agent or promoter in the local SoCal scenes, now there’s no excuse because here’s 50 quality AAPI acts in your neighborhood.
How have you found that your work with visual & audio arts has expanded and/or enlightened your own consciousness?
Making music helps me understand myself better while filmmaking enables me to get a better understanding of others. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to return to visual arts and get started on my follow-up feature, but lately I’ve gotten more comfortable with letting things play out. Right now, music’s a phase I need to fulfill. I’ve been a mess for awhile, so it’s that conduit to help me (re)discover who I am again and who I’m gonna be. Then, maybe the next @sixruns will rise outta me from old me ashes.
Other local artists that have been inspiring you lately, to the fellow multidisciplinary artists that have continued to inspire your own creative paths?
These APAHM showcases are definitely gonna get me outta my room. Similar to last year, discovering new AAPI [Asian American Pacific Islander] artists and bands I didn’t know about has been a lot of fun, especially the electronic noise acts. There’s a few I really wanna see live and hopefully collaborate with in the future, so imagining those possibilities have been inspiring. Not to mention the collectives like Condina Records, OnThree Management and all the participating artists that have been so willing to assist and get involved. That kinda surge of support has been invaluable to the process and so inspiring. Also, anytime I see Pegasus Warning play live, I’m stirred. His purity of expression up there on-stage goes unrivaled and it always serves as a reminder for me to take chances as a performer. I recently walked for a Come Tees x No Sesso show too. That was a boost being around by so many creatives making positive, inclusive moves and a larger aesthetic with intention and meaning behind it.
Summer & fall goals & dreams and Projects you are excited for?
PASTHYPE has a couple EPs planned, the 1st being ‘Heaven’s The Ceiling’. I’m most excited to hear the title track off that EP on headphones recorded and mastered. Every time we reunite with Michael Klein (who wrote the original melody) to rehearse, that song always moves me. It’ll be cathartic releasing “Heaven”. That batch of songs all mark a mournful span of my life that I’m ready to separate from. ‘Sweetness x Anxiety’ will be a lot more fun and playful. Also, of course, my next feature. Over the last few months, the concepts have really crystallized. But, like I mentioned, I’m in no rush. Other than that, just looking forward to sharing intimate moments with friends I haven’t seen in awhile, making new ones, and taking a few trips around the bend.
Upcoming events you care to announce?
Yes, check out @moonroomie for a complete listing of APAHM showcases in May. There’s 12 shows and counting right now scheduled across LA, Long Beach, Orange County and San Diego all throughout the month. Come through and support your local AAPI artists. PASTHYPE will be playing our first show in awhile as part of the festivities. It’s at Offbeat Bar on June 19 with Tomemitsu. It’ll be the first time him and I are playing together, so that’s a cool vibe. He just released a new EP called The Cave, so I was able to lure him outta his. Also, Eddington (Again)’s gotta residency at Bootleg Theater every Monday in May with Tolliver that should be fire. If you haven’t heard it yet, Eddington’s “Sweet” is one of the best tracks of the year. It’s a beautiful experience hearing it live, so show out.

Parting words of wisdom & light?
Thank you Sjimon for your tireless work as an ambassador for DIY artists and emerging acts over the years. Looking forward to your next play. I appreciate you.
Keep up with ETA via Instagram & follow Moonroom for all upcoming events. APAHM 2018 events listed on the flyer below:

Moonroom presents APAHM 2018: More Visibility