Way back a few ages in New Mexico geologic time, when the sun was a little closer to the desert floor and the seashells on top of the Sandias were still living clams and crinoids, Marty Crandall and Nick Noeding Jr.’s parents were unknowingly attending Sandia High School at the same time. Indeed, that old Albuquerque mythos was already at work bringing High Desert together. Marty and Nick sniffled on the same springtime pollen, batted the same dirty t-ball around their mutual neighbor kid’s backyard, ordered the same breakfast burritos at The Frontier, and finally met as roommates in the early aughts at the legendary Burque band house 1620 Silver. There, Marty’s bands Flake Music and The Shins, and Nick’s beatsy solo recording projects, shared the same basement practice space, backyard chiminea, thrifted four-tracks, and stickered-up refrigerator full of Tecate.Read more
After parting ways for more than a decade while Marty played in The Shins and Sad Baby Wolf, and Nick continued his strange solo beat evolution, working with Ninja Tune artists and honing his production skills, they reunited to form High Desert, a marriage of Marty’s fuzzed-out record collecting soul and Nick’s bedroom beatmaker heart. The collaboration developed quickly, and before long had grown into something unexpected and strangely cohesive. Their influences come through fairly clearly, with the likes of dreamy Creation Records fuzz joining forces with Warp Records electronics to create a lush and dense soundscape with subtle complexities lurking below the surface of catchy melodies and chunky rhythms.
High Desert will help guide you down those dusty southwestern backroads. They want to hold your hand while you look out the window of your ’86 Corolla, smiling and bobbing your head. We’re driving out to the open space in the foothills tonight, where you can see the lights of Albuquerque all the way out to the West Mesa. When we get there, who knows what’s going to happen.