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When it comes to origin stories, The Knocks have a good one. After meeting at The New School in New York City, Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson both found themselves in need of a place to live. The two moved in together, and quickly set about making their neighbors hate them. “Our apartment was this small, shitty Avenue C apartment with paper thin walls. We both had studio set-ups in our rooms,” explains B-Roc. “It would be loud as hell, and the neighbors hated it. They’d knock on the walls and bang on the ceiling. We would go into each other’s rooms and say ‘I just got the knocks.’”

Declared by the NME as one of the “20 hottest producers in music” as “cred-pop’s answer to the Neptunes” by The Guardian - they are now one of the most buzzed-about duos on the electronic circuit. JPatt’s background in soul and funk and B-Roc’s years spent immersed in trip-hop and hip-hop beats has allowed them to quickly ascend the production ranks. Initially gaining recognition for their remixes for artists including Haim, Santigold, Foster the People, Two Door Cinema, Ellie Goulding, Chiddy Bang,Passion Pit and The 1975, they eventually found themselves experimenting with sounds of their own. B-Roc and JPatt didn’t think much would come of a nearly five-minute track they had been building, all tense beats and tingling synths. “It kind of started out as a joke,” says B-Roc. “But people were liking that more than the stuff we produced for other people,” says B-Roc. “It felt right.” The duo quickly discovered a newfound freedom in creating their own songs. “It's better because it's ours, and we can do whatever we want with it,” explains JPatt.

When The Knocks realized the chord they’d struck, they opened their own custom-built studio Heavy Roc Music on the Lower East Side in New York City. Over the past three years, the duo has been jet-setting around the globe for DJ gigs, sharing stages with Grouplove, M.I.A., Two Door Cinema Club, Dragonette, Sleigh Bells, Chromeo and chrome… all while releasing infectious singles that have turned The Knocks into blog darlings. After releasing “Dancing with the DJ” in 2010 via Heavy Roc , the song shot to #1 on Hype Machine and hit #1 on Japan’s Electronic Songs Chart, with heavy rotation at JJJ. Their Magic EP showed a more mature side, continuing that progression on singles 'Modern Hearts' featuring St Lucia, and the new EP Comfortable - out on Neon Gold Feb 17th. Be prepared, because The Knocks will be knocking at your door and stereo very soon.


The Band: ASTR is a duo that lives, works and writes music in New York City. Multi-instrumentalist Adam, and vocalist Zoe-Anna met three years ago in a Manhattan yoga class. What they discovered was a shared musical and artistic sensibility informed by cinema noire, Miami Vice and urban dreamscapes. ASTR was soon born. “The name felt androgynous and cosmic,” says Zoe.

Background: Zoe was born and raised in New York. Inspired by her family's love of music, Zoe always knew singing was her calling. Signed by a major record label fresh out of high school, Zoe tired of the formulated sounds she was being boxed into. She took a hiatus from music to explore the world via spirituality and Yoga. It was during that time period that she met Adam, and found the unification of music and Yoga via Astr. Adam lives in Brooklyn by way of Boston. A former raver, he played in several high school bands he describes as "painfully bad," including one named “Jimmy Wang.” Adam plays anything with keys, preferably vintage synths, and also guitar and bass. A recovering vinyl addict, he has a penchant for 60's / 70's cinema score and "loves" Disco. Sound: ASTR captures fleeting sensations: Winning big and cashing out. Leaving behind life's responsibilities. Wasting away on a tropical island. Paradise lost.

Songwriting: Adam and Zoe write songs together exclusively. Generally, Adam makes a beat and outlines the vibe. Zoe then begins to color in the lines with kitschy bits and musical phrasing that evolve into fully formed songs. “You have to really be in sync when you’re songwriting together,” Zoe says. Adam and Zoe write constantly. At any given time they are working on five or six songs. "We jump around from idea to idea all the time. Maybe its artistic ADD" says Adam.

Music: ASTR’s new single “OPERATE" has opened the world to their hybrid sound sometimes referred to as "Noire & B" They’ve also released a homemade video that is an ode to the psycho-thriller film genre. The song was written in a single studio session, a day they both describe as foggy. "Some days you get together and everything just clicks" says Zoe.

Style: ASTR is a band of discerning tastes “We’re really picky when it comes to our ideas,” says Adam. “We’re picky as fuck about everything. Clothes, food, health, everything,” says Zoe. They’re also self- described perfectionists. Inspirations: Janet Jackson, Disco, Portishead, Aaliyah, Kendrick Lamar, the movie Boogie Nights, Joseph Campbell and the cosmos,

On Stage: ASTR first started performing around New York City clubs. Picture small and dodgy sweat boxes that inevitably had terrible sound systems. They’ve also played Tammany Hall, Webster Hall, Knitting Factory and Ella.

For now, it’s just Adam and Zoe doing all things ASTR, a couple of kids making music.

An ASTR EP is in the works… stay tuned


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