Week in Pop: Confident Hitmakers, Lulu Lewis, Nihilist Cheerleader

Sjimon Gompers

Dylan Hundley of NYC's own underground rock institution Lulu Lewis; photograph courtesy of Ilegalia Records & Pictures.

Confident Hitmakers

Confident Hitmakers’ own Logan Wells; photographed by Eli Wengrin.

Oscillating between the Stockton scene to the Bay Area & further outward is a super-group/secret society. A crew that has known one another for a lifetime, forever dedicated to combining powers to create future pop music constructs. A crew that focuses their disciplines to advance their own sounds that can invert the modern day currents with trace echo elements that indicate the stylistic fads and trends that are soon to follow. We are talking of course about Confident Hitmakers who have been celebrating their hotly anticipated cassette Gold: 209 Goku available now through eoo music. Comprised loosely of Logan Wells, Wesley Allard, Nicholas Coleman (Nicholas Fisher), Sam Regan (Baseball Gregg), JPV (Craft Spells’ Justin Paul Vallesteros) & Eli Wengrin; the group represents their 209-area code home turf with a cycle of songs that have been in the works & spread out as a plethora of singles throughout the past few years.

The collection of Gold: 209 Goku is like something that practically exists on another planet. There is a feeling that the collective has absorbed the spirit of the lesser-heralded west coast enclaves of contemporaneous scenes & styles & has synthesized them into a mind twisting new creative brew. 209 Goku bridges the Central Valley scene with Super Saiyan strength, beginning the trip with yacht pop hedonism on the squeaky & slippery synth indulgences of “Cocaine Comedowns”, sliding into the neon casino glow of “Vegas Bigshot” that dips deep into the subterranean & plush undergrounds on the auto-tuned entrance to the allure of infinite cisterns of sound on “Another Time”. The tape showcases the sporadic nature of the group as witnessed on the pensive moods of “Heavenly Encounters”, to the modern art pop dream-machine beauty of “To Be Haunted” (that succeeds at creating a particular cadence that will not leave your consciousness, complete with Stone Cold samples), right before sailing out to the sun with “Live Slowly” that leaves you way more lifted than when you first began the tape.

Presenting the world premiere for the “Escape to a New Paradise” visual, Confident Hitmakers blend a host of vintage found-television footage that marries urges & fantasies of escapism as experienced through the effect of channel flipping & flashing through the networks available. Logan & company sing a sentimental song about desires & ambivalence as images of lights, car races, cruises, natural vistas, car & candy bar commercials come into view. Nature videos of winter wonderlands pass by, as we see footage of Logan hitting up the bowling alley lanes, to posting up at his window as the sweet fashioned synth progressions wash over your senses. Confident Hitmakers send out a message to live the life you want to live, blending hazily edited televised images that are spliced with the group’s own footage that creates the sensation of watching television late at night while the latent hopes of the unconscious begins to enter the free-play associations of the half-awakened consciousness. “Escape to a New Paradise” in both sound & vision transports us to the places that we wish were were dwelling in, utilizing the media-obsessed platform of channel surfing as a vehicle speeding toward those destinations of wishful desire.

Into the psychedelic haze with Confident Hitmakers; photographed by Eli Wengrin.

Confident Hitmakers’ own Logan Wells provided some reflections about the compilation tape 209 Goku that features the single “Escape to a New Paradise”:

“209 Goku” is a compilation of songs recorded and released in 2015 and 2016. Initially I meant for these songs to just be stand alone singles but after some time I felt like grouping them together in some sort of release so I put all the songs in Ableton and added fragments of songs that never got finished and other sampled material to use as transitions to try to make it work as a more consistent piece of music.

Catching up with Logan Wells from Confident Hitmakers; photographed by Wesley Allard.

I don’t know how successful I was in doing that because it kind of sounds more like a fucked up mixtape than a proper EP but it still sounds cool to me, I dropped out of high school so I don’t know what you can really expect from me. God bless you and god bless Confident Hitmakers.

Confident Hitmakers’s new 209 Goku tape; photographed by Eli Wengrin.

Confident Hitmakers’ anticipated new cassette Gold: 209 Goku is available now via eoo music.

Listen to more from Condifent Hitmakers via Bandcamp & the group’s own site.

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