BROKE BLDGS is a collaboration between musician Rick Mitchell and visual artist Lauren Medsker. They both came of age in Philadelphia’s punk/screamo/indie/D.I.Y. scene, with Mitchell playing in countless bands, including SPRCSS and The YMD. He also currently plays bass with Amanda Blank and creates instrumental music as 12 Letter Alphabet.
Having spent thousands of hours listening to music together, Medsker and Mitchell decided to create their own. Their debut album Resurrect Dead — named after Philadelphia’s mysterious Toynbee tiles — pulls various elements from their record collection, drawing from electro, post-punk, and minimalism. The music both honors and reinterprets the couple’s influences over the years – from GSL to ZYX Music, from the circuitry of a Moog to the propulsion of Brazilian hand drums.
The vocals are blurry, distorted, fucked-with. The synthesizers are dark, dizzying. The percussion is somewhere between a party and a gut punch. The album embodies the anger of the moment we’re living through and the estrangement that comes when the world shuts down. But it also reflects the hope of rebirth — resurrecting what was once thought dead and building up from what was broken.
Resurrect Dead was written, recorded, and produced by BROKE BLDGS with additional production, mixing and mastering by Matt Coogan (One Era, FSQ). It sees the light via PurpleGator Records October 8.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering “Razor Candy,” in advance of its release tomorrow. Mitchell says this of the track:
“I first recorded a demo of ‘Razor Candy’ with our producer Matt Coogan a few years ago. We rediscovered it during the recording of the BROKE BLDGS album and ended up putting on the finishing touches while working remotely during quarantine. We intentionally kept the arrangement minimal and stripped down, and the vocals a little eerie. I think we returned to this track because it captures some of the mood of the last year: dark, slightly ominous but also slightly hopeful for change.”
Photo by Katey McGrath