John Burcham is the label manager at Gravitas Recordings, but he is perhaps better known as Psymbionic. Burcham focuses his energies on releasing quality tunes, rather than on playing specifically within one genre. His outside-of-the-box sound has an uncanny progression from album to album, where each song is a step on a longer journey of frequency and feeling.
This auditory adventure begins with a subtle yet intense energy, which grows as the album progresses onward. Psymbionic is well known for his varying sound, and this album is a great example of the explorations he made in his early days. The album features two fellow Texas-based artists, Pharo and Great Scott. The sound textures and styles are intermingled yet cohesive, with a little glitch here, and some breaks there. Even the title can be broken down as a nod to the “over-gentrification of electronic music,” says John of the album post-release in 2013. He truly does cover all bases in a seemingly short span of time, with the album having only six tracks and a run time of 28:40. It’s the kind of production that makes the listener lose track of the world, in the best way possible.
Parallels, Part 1: Storm
This album starts off on a high-energy level, as the name suggests. The album features primarily bass-heavy collaborations with many great features. Jay Fresh kicks things off as the album’s opener, as well as Vokab Kompany out of San Diego on the title track. Listening on, Colorado native VibeSquaD and Gravitas alum ONE4ALL, add their own unique elements. This is another collection where variety is essential, featuring elements of glitch-hop, drum-and-bass, moombahton rhythms, and more. It is an intriguing transition from Psymbionic’s previous album, and an even more interesting companion to his next release.
Parallels, Part 2: Eye
The perfect counterpart to Psymbionic’s previous bass-driven album, Part 2 is full of flowing, velvety feelings. The opening track features Cristina Soto’s angelic vocals, which perfectly compliments the warm production of the song. Next, Govinda’s sensual violin takes center stage on “How I Am Not Myself.” On “Silkscreen” SOULULAR, out of Arizona, lends his organic sound composition to Psymbonic’s downtempo-driven production. The Digital Connection adds his unique touch to “Sonder”, and ill-esha closes out the album with a glitch-melodic remix of “Silkscreen.”
Psymbionic himself describes this album as a challenge to his own patterns. For an artist who seeks to vary his sound as much as he does, this is a significant statement. Vision feels just as the title suggests: a culmination of otherworldly sounds and sensations. The collaborations on this album feature quite a few artists from Gravitas Recordings, such as Cloudchord co-producing on the title track, as well as Cristina Soto’s mesmerizing vocals on “All I Need”, and the fast-rising Space Jesus delivers out-of-this-world co-production on “The Last Quasar”. Maine-based Of The Trees helps to wind down the album with “2 Wicked”, and Burcham closes the album with two atmospheric yet cinematic sounding tracks, “Lowtide” and “Airhead.”
Psymbionic has consistently had some of the most intriguing album artwork in the scene. The art that accompanies the music has become equally important, whether it be album design or live visuals. So, the choice of whom to work with in order to achieve the artistic vision is key. Burcham’s careful choices and inspired eye are reflected in the stupendous caliber of every visual that accompanies his brand.
Joyce Su has done album art for Bro Safari and AWE, marketing design for The Glitch Mob. She has also done creative direction and artwork for the record label Symbols, in connection with artists such as Sweater Beats and Kastle. Currently designing for Apple Music and Beats 1 Radio, Joyce has worked with Psymbionic on releases Ride With Me, PostWaveFutureCore, and Parallels. This has allowed a flourishing creative relationship to form and grow. It is this relationship that allows such stunning results as the ones achieved.
GRYMLIFE, otherwise known as Seth Grym, this artist has spent the last decade or so dominating the graphic design scenes in Seattle and Denver. Recently, he has designed the artwork for the Zoolu Festival, Electric Forest 2017, and the String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2016, along with many others. Embarking on a new artistic relationship with Psymbionic, GYRMLIFE has lent his stunning talent to Vision and the Psymbionic’s newest release with CloZee, “Biohackers.” Currently, he is working for the renown Firm Graphics, an industry leader in electronic music branding.
All in all, it is obvious that Psymbionic’s sound is one that is ever shifting and evolving, and it leads to a live performance that is not to be missed. Be sure to catch Psymbionic and CloZee on their Biohackers Tour.
Check out his music here!
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