Where in the world is ©©? According to his label, Jungle Gym Records, the elusive producer (pronounced "Coco") is supposedly living off the grid somewhere in Germany, but the truth is nobody really knows for sure.
From wherever he is, ©© has sent a postcard in the form of his new album, People, Places, Patterns. The double-cassette—his debut on the Seattle-based label—comes after years of hitchhiking across the globe, making stops in Mexico, Rome, Amsterdam, and Berlin. With no home or studio to call his own, the producer's crafted his tracks via simple means, including using an iPhone.
Like entries out of a diary, each of the record's ten lo-fi songs captures a moment or emotion during ©©'s travels. "Fallin' Up" is lackadaisical boom-bap for "rolling up marble steps"; elsewhere, "U Try" features field recordings of a bustling crowd, and the sprawling "GJGJ Cake" is filled with glass clinks and bird chirps. Overall, People, Places, Patterns flows with a slow, ponderous pace that echoes the simultaneous wonder and loneliness of nomadism.
Speaking to THUMP over email, Jungle Gym head Caleb Draves recalls meeting the artist while the label was still in its conceptual phase.
"He had a little groovebox and a Kaoss pad running into a tape player, and introduced us to what would eventually become the Jungle Gym sound and approach: easy-going, one-take, improvising on cheap gear. It wasn't until after this that I felt we were ready to launch Jungle Gym, and that we had something to offer, which is why finally putting Nate's material out means so much to us… it might never have been heard otherwise."
Stream the album below and pre-order it before its release June 27.