Two College Kids Find New Funk And Beyond
Synthetic Chocolate's latest release was recorded entirely over the internet from two separate studios over 1000 miles away from each other. The two members of this electronic pop duo decided that distance couldn't keep them from jamming on a regular basis, so they set up a server for passing the tracks back and forth and made the promise to write and record a song per week from now on.
"The process is fantastically fun!", says producer Supaflower. "Everytime you get the track back, it's morphed into something new and excitingly different. I think this may be the most enjoyable record I've ever produced - and you can hear it in every note."
"It had been ten years since our last album. I was touring solo non-stop since then, but I always kept Synthetic Chocolate in the back of my mind", comments JTIB. "And then one day, I called him up and said let's do this thing! It was the right timing to start back up. We agreed to an aggressive schedule and suddenly we had an album."
It all started while the two were attending school in Bakersfield, California in the early nineties. The duo accidentally met while hanging out on the lawn in-between classes. Discovering they were both Prince fans, they soon made arrangements to trade copies of rare recordings. But when JTIB showed up at Supaflower's place, he discovered a cache of vintage keyboards and recording equipment. Plans immediately changed! Before the afternoon was over, they'd recorded a track together.
The music kept on flowing: over the next couple months, they'd recorded enough tracks for a full length cassette. Ring was released 1990 to a receptive local audience. Although it had a fairly amateur sound, it was fun to listen to - mixing skits with comedy and a diverse array of styles.
Their follow up effort, 'Style', showed off a much more polished sound while keeping the indie touch. Again, the diverse styles can be noted, from Hip-Hop mixed with Jazz to Rock and Pop.
By the time they released 'Sodapopular', they'd generated a bit of a buzz. They were invited to play a much sought-after gig: Modesto Unplugged. They did radio interviews on local college stations. And with fame came all of the pitfalls one would expect: wild parties, women, and drugs.
They chronicled these trying times in their fourth album 'Xylophone' - a rock opera very loosely based on the band. After critical praise, it failed to produce a hit. Was Synthetic Chocolate over? Broke and discouraged, they went back into the studio to record a simple album - much like their debut. 'Live In The Studio' was the last album released in California, and many of their fans felt a connection to the raw and true sound of Synthetic Chocolate.
At the end of 1994, Supaflower relocated to Seattle to pursue other musical endeavors, but the pair kept in close touch reuniting on several occassions to record. In 1999, they had finished up a brand new record - the first in over six years. 'Green' or 'the Green Album' (as fans call it) was an instant hit, charting several hits. Their vocals had matured and were better than ever; Their playing and recording abilities had blossomed. Keeping with their pattern of extremely varied styles, 'Green' is a non-stop booty shaking masterpiece! Sometimes it sounds like the Beatles, sometimes like Prince, and sometimes like nothing you've ever heard before.
So what does the future hold for Synthetic Chocolate? Their first new album in ten years is now finished. Yet they are keeping to their promise to record a new song every week, meaning there will be more albums to come - and let's not forget the bootlegs. Stay tuned!