Video: Holy Ghost! – Crime Cutz
Featuring an 8-bit beat shimmied over an expanse of futuristic synths, Wild Style soundtrack-inspired drum breaks, and the East Coast Singers Choir (whom the duo found online), “Crime Cutz” marks the beginning of Holy Ghost!’s triumphant 2016 return.
Out now on all DSPs, the new single and EP title track is the first new original Holy Ghost! music since the NYC-based duo of Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel released their sophomore album 2013’s Dynamics. As with most of their catalog, “Crime Cutz” benefits from Holy Ghost!’s insistence on tactile instrumentation with live drums recorded over the track to accelerate its tempo. Watch the official video below, directed by Ben Fries.
The duo are quite methodical in their output—shimmering bursts of disco, synth-pop, and lingering grooves—but that doesn’t mean Holy Ghost! is not prodigious. Over nearly a decade, they have gone from being DFA’s rising sons to triple threats: indefatigable DJs, producers remixing new life into the work of Cut Copy and Katy Perry alike, and inventive musicians who’ve released countless original singles. They’re again adding to their thinking-man’s dance repertoire with the vibrant Crime Cutz EP out later this year on DFA Records.
Holy Ghost!’s most recent release, 2015’s remix alum Work for Hire, was a mesmerizing time capsule of remixes that boldly traced the group’s aesthetic from their nascent days dabbling in groove to radical rethinkings of songs. It was, in certain ways, a necessary stepping stone to Crime Cutz. “Work for Hire was a good breather from working on original music,” Alex says. “It was a good way to get back into the studio. There’s a lot of pressure when you’re writing original stuff. We were able to focus more on groove and arrangement, rather than trying to write formative pop songs.”
The objective, Nick says of the forthcoming collection, was singular: “Aesthetically, Alex and I were musically, melodically trying to do so“ Some artists make music really rapidly—they put out mixtapes on SoundCloud, like, every few months,” Alex Frankel ruminates. Of course, Frankel and his Holy Ghost! bandmate Nick Millhiser do not fall into that category. “We’re so envious of that.”