Spectoral, the stage name of producer singer-songwriter
Andrew Bitto. Combining his trademark future-soul vocals with textured and detailed production techniques, Spectoral has spent the past few years honing his craft with a plethora of notable industry heavyweights. Readying a sophomore EP with names such as Tim Watt & Tim McArtney (George Maple, Flume, Touch Sensitive), Ben Feggans (The Kite String Tangle, Ngaiire), Sebastian Ivanhov (Alius, Blake Rose), Robin Waters (Darling James, Ella Hooper) and Klaus ‘Heavyweight’ Hill (Pnau, Kilter, Ministry of Sound Australia), Spectoral is positioned to kick increasingly ambitious goals in 2018.
Spectoral’s Top 5 Collabs
Kanye West & Kid Kudi – Kids See Ghosts
Starting the list with one of my fav albums of 2018, the surprisingly great Kids See Ghosts. Kanye has always been on creative form for me, but Kudi hasn’t released anything that really got more than a “meh” from me for years. It’s super clear that these two have brought out the absolute best in each other creatively. Kanye’s influence on Kudi with the ever-changing tapestry of production pays off, it’s like a patchwork quilt that sees switch-ups and guest vocalists come out of nowhere every second minute. Meanwhile Kudi brings his dark, almost grunge atmosphere to the project, even sampling Nirvana. It’s magic in a bottle. Don’t know if they could pull it off again, but I hope they try.
James Blake & Bon Iver – I Need A Forest Fire
As soon as I heard Bon Iver and James Blake were doing a track together, I fanboi’d quite hard. Match made in heaven, right?! Especially in the same year that Justin Vernon dropped that experimental-as-fudge album, “22, A Million”. It was a bit hit and miss of an album for me, but I appreciated him breaking new ground like that. Him teaming up with Blake, for what would go on to be a highlight from his 2013 sophomore “The Colour In Anything”, was the perfect move. This collab resulted in this controlled, minimalistic, earwormy ballad where their two male vocals blend in and out of one another’s hauntingly. I’m never really sure who is singing what. Two of the greatest falsetto singer-songwriter producers in the game right now.
Herbie Hancock & John Mayer – Stitched Up
It’s no secret I’m a massive Mayer fan to this day. I envy the guy’s ability to write super contained lyrics so eloquently and personally about moments in his life, sharing so many vulnerabilities, while being one god damn fine guitarist. I’ve never even played a chord on a guitar, but damn. So when jazz legend Herbie Hancock teamed up with Mayer back in 2005 and make it the lead single from his 39th studio album (not a typo… now he has 41) it was the first time I’d heard Mayer leave the guitar behind completely and sing over jazz piano. It works so well, it’s one of the catchiest songs you’ll ever hear in the genre.
Ben Gibbard & Jimmy Tamborello – The Postal Service
The Postal Service’s one and only album, Give Up, is one of the biggest influences on not only my music but probably every electronic singer-songwriter who came after 2005. It proved that deep, introspective, thoughtful, “alternative” lyricism could be blended with envelope-pushing bleeps-and-bloops and textures and be a commercial success without sounding like Fireflies by Owl City. An absolute classic in every sense of the word, the album makes every top list of the 2000s, and I consider it a tragedy that both Dntel (Jimmy) and Death Cab For Cutie (Ben & co) have let both their solo projects slip into a bit of mediocrity in order to keep pumping out material, instead of coming back together to bring the most out of one another in a new decade.
Kendrick Lamar & Flying Lotus – Wesley’s Theory
I still can’t believe 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly didn’t get a Grammy for Best Album and lost out to Taylor Swift’s 1989. So few artists manage to write a commercially successful Billboard topping album that’s chock full of cultural significance, political and moral significance, be the absolute zeitgeist of the times, be cohesive from start to finish and operate like a concept album, AND have the most incredible blend of hip-hop, jazz and trap production I’ve ever heard. Hands down. Jazz on a hip hop album? Bring in FlyLo, who said, via Tweets, “I played him a folder of beats that I was keeping close for my next @xCaptainMurphyx project. Gave him all the beats like fuxk it. Later that night he told me he had the concept for the album. He gets no credit for being a producer but he had a vision for this album. Dude gets involved w the whole process. Sad thing about that folder of music is I heard he recorded to every one of those songs. Probably never gon hear those. Ooof. I produced a version of “for sale” that will probably never come out. I’ll probably use those beats for something else but damn. It could have been.”