Austin ambient electronic producer Shawhin Izaddoost makes a bold Holodeck debut under the moniker VVV with his new mixtape Why El Paso Sky (HD038). Since 2010 Shawhin has been composing and releasing as VVV with several EPs, a full length and countless digital exclusives in his extensive discography. Izaddoost’s prolific output of dark, atmospheric tones and samples set to two-step drum patterns has cultivated a dedicated following both domestically and abroad. Why El Paso Sky is a large collection of various b-sides and rarities that showcase VVV’s signature mixture of half-time swing rhythms gracefully interplaying with elements of house beats and experimental IDM. Varied and dynamic, Shawhin takes full advantage of the mixtape format to display the complete breadth of forms and techniques behind VVV.
Born in Iran and raised in Austin, Shawhin grew up playing several traditional instruments such as guitar and piano. Once he started to learn the process behind recording and engineering, Izaddoost’s focus quickly shifted to electronic and experimental composition. VVV’s cold yet catchy take on ambient dance music is a unique composite of influences ranging from musique concrète to UK garage. Shawhin uses his talent with live instruments and recording to seamlessly process his own takes of string, horn, percussion and synth performances into his arrangements along side samples and other virtual instruments. Shawhin’s attention to design and structure is architectural in nature, often minimally working from the negative space of silence and allowing individual elements to rotate the focus of the listener. “Lens & Filter Repair Station” starts off with a soundscape of scraping metal and breaking glass that eventually builds up to a throbbing beat followed by heavy, ominous synth chords. Songs like “Gauss Patterns” and “Metcalfe” have roots in the traditional worlds of dance music but are still dripping with elaborately designed and precisely placed sound effects. “Fly Paper” and “Black Fences” never leave the realm of industrial experimentation and are instead entirely abstract and raw in nature. Completely mixed and mastered by Izaddoost himself, Why El Paso Sky is a comprehensive look at the VVV project. Shawhin joins the ranks of the Holodeck elite with follow up releases currently in the works.