Hailing from San Antonio, eclectic sound pioneers Diego Chavez and Daniel Stanush are the duo behind A.M. Architect. The breadth and scope of their artistic prowess seems limitless, blending together a diverse palette of lush, floral tones, pinpoint sound design, meticulously mutated foley, and their own skillsets as cinematographers and motion graphics designers. On November 11th, 2017, A.M. Architect released Color Field, an extensive downtempo journey through the sonic multiverse. In tandem with the musical release, the duo released an accompanying short film and a special “artifact” to bring a personification to the spirit of the LP.
The album is an interwoven matrix of tonal blends, nuanced percussive elements, and atmospheric colorations that speak to a softer side of the human musical spectrum. Each song is its own gift-wrapped adventure. Every moment of tension and point of release is entirely unique and curated to fit the motif like a tailored suit. A mesmerizing flourish of pianos, synthesizers, guitars, disembodied vocals, and subterranean bass lines mesh together to create this auditory masterpiece.
The accompanying video, also entitled “Color Field”, is a melancholy immersion into the ethos of the Color Field album. It opens with a woman in her bathroom staring into the mirror with a pervasive sense of situational abandonment. All comfort is thrown out the window in favor of hair-splitting anxiety. As the film progresses, the woman listens to instructional tapes created by an entity known as “The Spectra Institute”, which seek to explain an experimental therapy that claims to rid the user of self-doubt, lethargy, and painful life experiences.
“At the Spectra Institute, our sensory enhancement programs are structured to help you exist at your fullest potential. Memories connected to a physical or emotional trauma are held by circuitries in the limbic system. These memories can be accessed through reflections, refractions, inflections, and specific wavelengths of light.” What began as an incredibly muted color pallet gradually begins to expand and increase, following the trope of discovery, a return to situational awareness. The films’ thesis presents itself when the woman begins to read a book, entitled “Light on the Path”, and a small newspaper clipping falls out. The headline reads “Will man see more than he knows?”, with the address for the Spectra Institute. It implies a kind of awakening, a form of realization wherein man might leave Plato’s cave of ignorance, and be touched by the light of emotional truth and healing. It is an astounding visual companion to the album, making the release a multi-sensory experience of top-flight design.
As an added token, a limited number of audio-visual “artifacts” have been released, alongside an accompanying 20-song extended soundtrack. The artifact is a visual fx processor that creates gradient, chromatic environments and can be hooked up to larger screens and speaker equipment to amplify the experience. It is variation on a similar device seen in the short film that engages the user’s emotional memory. Altogether, it is the final touch on this artistic exploration of the senses and their interconnectedness.
A.M. Architect continues to push the envelope of arrangement, composition, production, sampling, and the interplay of art mediums with an unparalleled grace and focus. Color Field is an ode to our emotional sensibilities, and the very human ties that bind us to our memories and experiences. Keep an eye out for future releases from A.M. Architect through the multi-medium art label, 79ancestors.