Paten Locke has always been a huge proponent of bringing the funk of soul into his music, both as an artist and as a producer. By teaming up with Jay Myztroh (pronounced “Maestro”) to form Stono Echo, he establishes that he’s funky enough to get down in any setting. With Locke handling beats and scratches while Myztroh flexes the vocals, keys, and tenor sax, Stono Echo stretch their creative legs into the realm of hip-hop soul, R&B, and a little bit of gospel. It’s all executed to perfection on the cut “Holdin” from their forthcoming debut EP Black Diamonds set to arrive in stores courtesy of Full Plate this Friday, December 15th.
“Holdin” is dominated by a spare saxophone playing, understated keys, and a minimal drum track. The track is mixed so immaculately to give it a dusty, vintage feel that it’s never quite clear whether it’s Myztroh displaying his musical gifts or Locke mixing some samples to go with the live instrumentation. Myztroh’s voice is powerful and wracked with raw emotion as he goes through the five stages of a break-up. He starts off with anger and works his way to acceptance, as he tries to figure what he did to make his woman feel like he did her wrong.
The accompanying video directed by Notsucal and Myztroh —and premiering today here at Albumism—is similarly simple, but creative. Myztroh deals with the immediate aftermath of a fight with the mostly unseen heartbreaker, first shouting to the world, then trying to FaceTime her as she drives away. The ending sequence of Myztroh splitting himself in two to play simultaneous sax solos, while Locke taps away on the MPC, wraps things up nicely.