Toronto Producer, Dance Move Cops, Drops Debut EP Spy Plane
Do you ever wonder whether people are ghosts or superheroes or maybe some dazzling amalgamation of both? This duality — shadows and wonder — is exactly what Brendan Ferrie has managed to capture on his debut EP after a dreamy nighttime sighting inspired him a few months ago. Based in Toronto, Ferrie grew up playing classical piano but eventually honed in on his talent as an electronic producer. Today, he releases Spy Plane, the debut effort from his moody production moniker Dance Move Cops.
Spy Plane features just four fleeting tracks, each one swirling with gritty DIY flavor. They’re not your typical dance bangers or electronica anthems — Ferrie treats his production thoughtfully, mixing moments of percussion with swells of synths for a ghostly effect. “I recorded Spy Plane in my bedroom over the last few months. Whenever I got stuck on something, I’d go for a long walk around the city. One night as I passed a building, I noticed a man facing a dark corner and slowly bouncing a basketball. He seemed forlorn and spectral, like he had drifted out of a different reality. I felt like I was witnessing a secret moment,” Ferrie tells us. “That’s what I’m trying to capture with my music — the mystery of a silhouette, the sudden stillness of a strange midnight vision.”
The EP opens with “Party Boys,” a title suggesting we’re in for some high-energy hook action. From its first down-tempo strum, we know this isn’t the case. Ferrie’s resigned, quivering vocals lead the track, awash with the discordant wail of blooming keys and buzzy synth. It’s easy for the lyrics to fall to the wayside, hidden in the shadows that make up so much of Dance Move Cops’ style, but focus on them — Ferrie’s approach to songwriting is remarkable as he spins a narrative you can see in your mind’s eye, these images interspersed with line after line of quick, clipped truth like “I’ll never know a person’s brain the way I know their body.” It’s almost like Ferrie doesn’t even want us to hear him spout his quiet profundity, lost as they are amongst the electronic treatment.
Next comes “Haunted Beach,” plinking along with droning neon keys like a slow-burn 80s comedown before slaps of percussion join the arrangement. Later, quick beats emerge in rapid-fire succession from the song’s shadowy depths, all these slow, saddened elements fighting each other for space in a bittersweet song. On “Freight Train Scandal,” Ferrie builds a dark soundscape of warring rhythms like warbles of layered beats and then the fleeting grandiosity of synth, like a backwoods karate fight for ghosts. Spy Plane ends with “Slo Drugs,” aptly named with its slinking nature. There’s no urgency here (except maybe in the sparkle of keys climbing into the background) — just languishing beats making their way slowly through the rest of the song — until later when a sweet crescendo builds like vines around Ferrie’s palpable vocal delivery, heartbreaking in its hidden quake as he sings “Please just push me down the stairs and call it love.”
On Spy Plane, Dance Move Cops creates a heartbreaking collection of bedroom-built electronic soundscapes waking up from a lifetime of living in the ash of its creator’s battered soul. There’s life here too, but it’s all mostly ghost, and it hurts. Brendan Ferrie might work from the shadows trailing behind him, but if this debut is any indication of what’s to come, he’s got a lot of good to see ahead of him.
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Featured photo by Carlo Perrotta