After weeks of grueling work on Kanye West’s “Donda” album, producer and self-proclaimed ‘synth god’ Mike Dean is ready to kick back with a new project of his own.
Two sold-out solo headlining shows at the Echoplex in Los Angeles on August 21 and 22 provide the contents of a new visual album, “ECHOPLEX (Live 2021),” released Friday, September 3.
Directed and produced by Jonathan Josell, the hour-long, live visual “ECHOPLEX” project — heavily strobe-lit with a hoodie-wearing, blunt-smoking Dean engulfed by banks of synthesizers and laptops — is based on his last two albums, “4:22,” and his pandemic-isolation mixtape, “4:20.” The visual album features two guests across its 21 tracks: video game music composer Sarah Schachner on “From Death Echo,” and singer Rahim from Christine and the Queens, with whom Dean is currently working, on the hypnotic “Rahim Lives.”
Christine and the Queens is but one of the acts that Dean has produced or collaborated with in the last several years. In addition to helming many Travis Scott records, Dean worked on “Astronomical” for the video game “Fortnite,” collaborated with Sarah Schachner on the score for “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” and produced nearly every Kanye West project as well as albums from Scarface and the Geto Boys, Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, and The Weeknd.
“This project came together really quickly,” Dean said in announcing “ECHOPLEX (LIVE 2021),” adding: “Although it was a mad dash it provided a lot of creative relief in my life. With live shows slowly coming back, I hope that the video can make people feel like they are experiencing a live concert, in their very own living room.”
Dean, earlier this week, also dropped a new merch collaboration with his M.W.A team and the Toronto-based sustainable collective This Is Your Brain on Plants, including an Echoplex T-shirt design from Shepard Fairey. Dean and Fairey also paired up earlier this year for an NFT collaboration, OBEY 4:22.
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