xl446 · CD · XL Recordings · July 2009
Discovery is the recording project of Rostam Batmanglij and Wes Miles, friends who began recording together in the summer of 2005. One year later they had committed themselves to their respective bands, Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot, but nonetheless continued to record together when they both found themselves in the same city. The project is many things: it's partly an attempt to realize Wes' concept of a band where everyone plays synthesizers, and of Rostam's concept for an album where handclaps keep the backbeat instead of snare drums. It's an embrace and also a commentary on the pop music of the past decade, of booming 808 bass and jittery sixteenth note high-hats. Elements of european electronic dance music skittering in double-time over steady R&B. If soul music is secularized, sexualized gospel, Discovery is an attempt to see if soul music can survive being plasticized, roboticized, quantized, chopped, and finally, screwed. The album, which was released July 7th, features Rostam and Wes each singing half the songs and guest vocals from Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) and Angel Deradoorian (Dirty Projectors).