Standout Track: No. 6, “Ashe,” from Themes, the second album from Columbia Heights’ Rory O’Connor, aka Nitemoves. The whole LP is filled with soft-edged electronica, but “Ashe” has a particularly sparse and lovely ambiance—and it was almost lost. “The project file got corrupted so I had to make do with a previous monotape bounce,” says O’Connor, 29. The tune is built from acoustic-guitar samples, including drumlike sounds he made by tapping the guitar with his finger. “Later I went back did a few takes of arpeggios and pads on the Poly-61 [keyboard].”
Musical Motivation: With its warm production, Themes sounds like something that could have been made in the 1970s or ’80s, and even the downtempo ’90s-style songs have an aged timbre. “I have a small but utilitarian selection of synthesizers, and with this album I wanted to utilize them more and avoid doing everything on a computer screen,” O’Connor says. “All of the instruments were either recorded to or processed through cassette tape, which is what gives it all that kind of saturated sound.”
Workin’ on His Nitemoves: O’Connor came up with the name Nitemoves when he was visited in his sleep by Saint Bob Seger. “[I] had a really strange dream involving Bob Seger on a motorcycle,” he says. “I woke up…with the TV still going and it was playing a really awful ad for this low-rent stripclub called Nite Moves. The next morning…I saw this abandoned motorcycle I had seen every day for years, but this morning someone had written the word ‘NITEMOVES’ on it. The synchronicity of it all was kind of weird.”
Listen to “Ashe” after the jump.