LOS ANGELES, CA It rains for about half the year in Eliot’s hometown, Tacoma, Washington. Los Angeles is lucky if it gets a tenth of that. With friends and family on his mind, Eliot recorded during the blazing Los Angeles summer. Laying down a bedrock of notorious breakbeats under his signature Sequential Circuits and Korg MS-20 leads, Eliot has created an impeccable beat record that also serves as an autobiographical chronicle of love, longing and a soulful testament to the love for his hometown. Eliot’s instrumentals pour forth more emotion than most modern-day crooners, and his beats are on par with today’s best producers. Listening to his record automatically transports you to a crowded California freeway, with the wheels pointed north. It begins with dry desert leanings, and before long the rain starts to drip on the windshield, giving way to a full on finger-snapping downpour.
As someone whose creativity is directly aligned with his environment, the California climate proved a fickle muse for Eliot. “Tacoma just rains all year round,” he said. But a blistering summer alone in his apartment enabled him to see his home in a different light. Tacoma took on new meanings, as the attitudes of a small working-class city slammed up against the expensive ennui of Los Angeles. With images of home tucked into the back of his mind, the album took on a life of its own.
He moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and brought the cats and dogs with him. A usually barren city, the winter of 2005 would go down in history as one of the wettest winters on record, helping to bridge memories of Tacoma with his new experiences in LA. Eliot hunkered himself down in the studio and even when it was time to rest, he cuddled up to a temporary bed made of bubble wrap and cardboard that once housed his gear. “But it doesn’t feel like a sob story,” Eliot jokes. “I moved here to do music full time and I knew I just had to do it, make it work.” New Year’s Eve he resolved to quit his coffeehouse job, devoting himself full-time to music. Already an energetic self-promoter and disciplined producer, Eliot wanted to act on his day job daydreaming.
“For me, Los Angeles is a temporary place. This is where I am physically, but emotionally, my mind isn’t here,” he says of his current home. He sees LA as a place of opportunity, and his previous homes of Chicago and Tacoma were bubbles. “I didn’t want to get trapped in a local scene with a false sense of popularity.” The irony is that Eliot never received recognition in Chicago until he moved away. “Now they’re willing to take me seriously, because I’m not always around.”