Trade Secrets is a future synth collective founded by F.J. DeSanto. Initially conceived as a producing/remixing team with John Glenn Kunkel, the auteur behind Los Angeles synth superstars The New Division, the Trade Secrets roster has expanded to include Mike “Ash” Venezia, Charles LaBarbara, Damien Polak, and Peter Riley. United in their desire to make music that is forward-thinking but never retro, their sound reflects the group’s wide range of musical influences, spanning from synth pop to cinematic instrumentals and everything in between.
Their debut EP GOLDEN LIFE was inspired by DeSanto’s time spent in Tokyo before facing a life-threatening illness. These life-changing circumstances allowed DeSanto to immerse himself in his music, serving as a sonic journey through a bustling metropolis, while lyrically tackling issues of life, mortality and the promise of a better tomorrow. The project, initially conceived with no plans or expectations, landed a record deal and now Trade Secrets are ready to release their highly anticipated and debut full length, Before We Vanish. « The record is about re-entering the orbit of life and learning how to live it again. The first record was a dream and this one is about waking up from that dream and rediscovering who you are”, reveals DeSanto.
Before We Vanish highlights each band member’s strengths, creating something unique that represents the best of what these musicians have to offer. The songs were written across the globe, with members scattered in Tokyo, New York, Rhode Island and California. Having a variety of locations, experiences and backgrounds as their influences, Trade Secrets deliver listeners a distinctly genre-defying sound. DeSanto explains, « When we are working, we are always sharing obscure references from mid-80’s industrial b-sides to current Japanese pop music. We’re always hungry for unique sounds”.
Leading single ‘True North’ is a euphoric soundtrack with dreamlike soundscapes, driving electronic beats and synth-laden melodies. Thematically the track, as with the album as a whole, focuses on the emotional responses to swallowed up in the dark corners of a big city and in life in general, uncertain of what comes next. « It’s always fascinating and at least a little dangerous. It’s about looking out over a sprawling city and embracing being a tiny speck of dust in a giant world. It doesn’t matter who you are and where you are, there is always a desire to know what lies in the shadows of our hearts and souls”, confides DeSanto.
“This is triumphant music for lost souls”.
‘Broken Instincts’ takes a more industrial approach, with fast-paced rhythms, ethereal soundscapes and throbbing drums. The entirety of the release was written as one piece that ebbs and flows as an album should, however it’s easy to take a step back and appreciate each song individually. Adds Venezia, “This is triumphant music for lost souls”.
Trade Secrets aren’t looking to recreate an era, preferring instead to focus on pushing forward. “Technology should take us into the future, not the past”, states DeSanto. Taking inspiration from the likes of Peter Hook and Gustavo Cerati, the band emulate the diversity of their work and combine it with their own flare for modernization, pushing them to the forefront of the industry as a result. Before We Vanish is due for release September 7th, 2018.
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