The Guiding Five: Selections by Jack Whitescarver of AMITURE

The New York creative uncovers the roots behind his blissfully luscious musical output.

amiture
Photograph by Liam Wrubel

A month ago today, Dots Per Inch Music gave way to AMITURE's debut outing, The Beach, a record that resembles the peaceful connotations associated with the album title. As tranquil as one knows beach walks to be, the record itself isn't fully at ease. The dazzling, synth-laden atmospheres present throughout are often met with trance inducing rhythms that make The Beach one maelstrom of emotions. AMITURE, which musically could very loosely be described as equal parts She Past Away and Severed Heads, manages to bridge elements across the spectrum with seamless cohesion. Track after track, The Beach immerses listeners into a cinematic experience of somber elegance, radiant energy, and reflection intertwined, all through a collision of club, dance, synth-pop, and more. In short, The Beach is one mature and conscious composition that proves its worth despite it being the only the first incarnation under AMITURE's belt.


We asked AMITURE mastermind and filmmaker Jack Whitescarver to list five key releases that have been instrumental in guiding the spirited approach to his craft:

Gesamtkunstwerk - Dopplereffect (1999)


Like so many before me, this was the first time I came into contact with Detroit Electro and Techno and realized it was something that I connected to in a deep way. I’m fascinated by the constant tension of joyful play and the overall dark atmosphere. Techno and electro in general usually embody that, but this is a masterclass.


Sonic Youth - Bad Moon Rising (1985)


For me, this is the Sonic Youth album I come back to over and over again and when I was first performing Amiture live, I would open the set with a cover of “Brave Men Run” because it was such a key song. I will never tire of the theatrically apocalyptic stories that are told on this record and the beautiful guitar textures - the cherry on top is Kim Gordon's static drawl.

James Welling sonic youth
Cover photograph by James Welling

Yello - Stella (1985)


An important counterpoint to 'Bad Moon Rising', but similarly theatrical and with worlds I could get lost in forever. 'Stella' is foundational in how I came to understand the technical demands of this kind of electronic music- even if my version is purely an impression.

Cover art by Ernst Gamper

Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain (2000)


I’ve been listening to this album since I was 8 years old - I was never able to make sense of it even to this day and I think it’s really important to have those things that you are attached to and return to. Part of its allure is its pure inscrutability. Beyond the mystery of its ethos, Allison Goldfrapp's voice and distortions are fixed in my approach to singing and the way she really chews words and spits them out into the mic excites me beyond belief.

Cover photograph by Joe Dillworth, Sleeve desing by Alison Goldfrapp

Marie Davidson - Adieux Au Dancefloor (2016)


Nothing better than an album of dance music that is all about rejection of dance music. The production here is always the best combination of hard and funny and the melody on the title track will always be the perfect example to me of the beauty of minimalism and pop.

Cover photograph by Corinne Schiavone

Despite their varied backgrounds, the selections mentioned here are ever present throughout the varied soundscape that is The Beach, even if subtle. The beauty of having such a diverse sound palette to pull from is how organically it all comes together, making itself onto the record subconsciously and resulting in a richly layered work that sets the bar high for AMITURE's subsequent tunes. There's much to love and from the infectious groove of opener Thief to the solemn beauty of the closing Let's Talk, The Beach stands tall as a composition accessible to all. Let it be the soundtrack to your late night drives for summer is coming and AMITURE has delivered beauty in sonic form.


The Beach is out now via Dots Per Inch Music. Order your copy of the record HERE.