WATCH: Chillwave Goes Shoegaze with on 'Pure Ecstasy' by Speculator, the Latest Signing to Angeleno Cassette Label, Leaving Records [MP3]

L.A.'s Nick Ray lives the "Lifestyle" as Speculator
L.A.'s Nick Ray lives the "Lifestyle" as Speculator

Shoegaze + Chillwave = Sneakerbreaker? You heard it hear first. And if you haven't yet heard anything from L.A.'s Speculator, a.k.a. Nick Ray, listen up. The dude's got an excellent new tape out on local cassette label of note, Leaving Records. That's the cover of Lifestyle up above, and you'll find a song from it down below.

Also a video by Samantha Cornwell for that same song, "Pure Ecstasy," which cleverly overlays what appears to be L.A. Weekly's rather risque personals section over car-shot footage of Echo Park at night. Watch/listen/download:

In an interview with Tiny Mix Tapes, Ray described his creative process:

Usually the sample is the beat or groove that fills out the song. Then I sing and play guitar over it. The mix tries to blur everything and make it all sound the same, like one organism. I've been making my own beats recently, so some of the stuff is all original, but since I don't really have all the gear or knowhow to make the kind of beats I want, I just grab them from other places.

I've noticed that a lot of bands (mostly from the 1980s) had really amazing first four bars of songs, but after the intro the band starts singing and the music changes dramatically. "Too Shy" by Kajagoogoo is a great example -- love the synth/drums intro, and what a killer bassline!

Download the song for free and purchase the cassette for money at Leaving Records. Also, dip over to Pitchfork's Altered Zones offshoot to grab another joint, "I Wait All Day."

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >