After a brief moment of channel surfing, Amelia Airhorn lands on a news story concerning the impending heat wave in New York. Like jumping through a painting in Super Mario 64, she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a psychedelic disco dance party on a sweltering NYC summer day, “NY is Red Hot” both bemoans the infamous summer climate of the city while simultaneously celebrating its unique way of life, with the refrain “New York is my life and I’m never gonna leave you.”
Who is Amelia Airhorn?
On a dark, glittering summer night in 1992, a girl named Amelia Airhorn stepped into New York City nightlife and never came out. She’s a living and breathing sample, slipping in and out of the hectic thrill of the city — kicked up high-tempo on flashbulbs and disco balls, easing back into the heartbeat of a crowd dancing in a basement and a couple making their way uptown at dawn. She’s everywhere if you know what to listen for, and on this experimental concept mixtape, NYC-based electronic duo The Knocks and nu-disco producer and vocalist Skylar Spence catch Amelia Airhorn’s silhouette.
The trio connected when Spence supported The Knocks on their Feel Good Feel Great North American headline tour. Afterward, they started working at The Knocks’ HeavyRoc Studio on the Lower East Side, mixing snippets of classic soul and disco with YouTube apocrypha and pieces of movie dialogue that float into the picture like the breeze on a late-night smoke break. With hand-drawn collage visuals by Ida Chelengar and a bitrate structure that keeps the tape on acid-trip logic, the end result is a gritty enchantment, a smooth psychedelic immersion. Amelia Airhorn is what it sounds like to want to be lost in a party and never be found again.