By Jess Goulart
Photo courtesy of Soft Touch.
It’s a new year, don’t you feel like dancing?!
Mark Palgy, of Saarid, and Morgan Z, of Chrome Canyon, are a duo of producers based in Brooklyn, New York, who want to help you out with that. Their recent single “Swim In The Night”–released under the moniker Soft Touch–sounds like disco-inflected pop music with a dash of R&B. Between that track and their quick follow up, “Get On Up” (that’s slightly jazzier but just as fun), they’ve stolen our hearts.
That’s why we tracked down Palgy to ask if there was full length in the works.
BTR: Let’s start with some background about yourself and Morgan?
Mark Palgy (MP): So Morgan comes from a band called Chrome Canyon, which is like an awesome synthesizer sound track kind of thing. I had a bunch of different projects going, and we had a mutual friend that suggested we work together. We just got a good vibe going in our New York studio and eventually started to put some originals together.
BTR: Have you always been making music?
MP: I’ve been doing it for a few years.
BTR: What would you say are major influences on this project?
MP: Somebody in the press called us… ambitious pop? Wait, no, adventurous pop, and I thought that was really cool because I’ve always wanted to be a producer that manages to somehow do weird but also fun stuff that actually ends up being radio friendly. Like [how] Mark Ronson can do a song with Bruno Mars and it sounds like a Gap Band record from the 1980’s but for some reason it’s still awesome.
I always wanted to do throwback stuff that still has an older era pop sound, but not cheesy pop, just [pop from] back when the music on the radio was so good. I’ve always been interested in older stuff–Morgan as well. Morgan is into disco and synthesizer music, so we try to bring all those things together, but not be too out there. You can be a house producer now and make really cool underground stuff, and that’s a great thing to do, but I always wanted to have a bit more mass appeal.
BTR: What was the evolution of Soft Touch like?
MP: The first thing we released was this song called “Real Love”, which was a really small release. We had a Facebook page but not many likes and we were working on stuff but not really thinking about how to market anything. We released that song, which we really dug, and then it made a little bit of… well, not a splash, but we got some interest.
Then we released [the track] “Swim In The Night”, [and] then we released something called “Get On Up”. It was surprisingly popular online–which was like “woah!” We weren’t expecting to get 20,000 plays overnight. “Swim In The Night” was something we had been waiting on and it took a really long time to get released because we did a vinyl release as well.
Image courtesy of Soft Touch.
BTR: Do you have a full-length in the works?
MP: Right now we have another single that we are gonna release next year with remixes and stuff that [and we] will have our friend Javi singing on it. But in the meantime we have some really, really fun edits. But I don’t want to tell you who of because they’re hilarious and fun. When the holidays are winding down we’ll release them, and then a proper single next year. I don’t know if we really need to do a full-length. It seems like you just keep releasing singles until there’s a need for one. We’re really confused in the marketplace for what people want, so I just feel like right now just making really awesome songs is what we’ll do for the first half of next year.
BTR: What’s the writing process like? Does one of you handle it mostly?
MP: We’re both producers, but it’s very, very, very collaborative. Morgan is a classically trained musician, and I come from a band background, so it works well. When we do stuff in collab it’s usually [where] someone comes in with a topline–meaning the music is not done exactly but a vibe is established and we are like, ‘hey this person would be super great with this song.’ And we invite them in and see what happens.
That’s the fun part, seeing who would be great for the music.
BTR: Where do you guys record?
MP: Well before Morgan moved to LA he [had] a gigantic recording studio in Greenpoint, New York, and we did a whole bunch of music there. So a lot of stuff is already completed, and I also was in LA recently and we did a bunch more. He’s the real technically amazing wizard behind the desk.
BTR: Is it hard having one of you on the East Coast and one on the West?
MP: I go to LA enough because I have some family there, so it works out. It’s nice to get out of NYC when it’s freezing, and we always end up doing a bunch of work there because it’s never, like, a task. We just are like, ‘yeah let’s hit the studio and do a bunch of stuff because it’s really fun.’
[Getting together] can be a little difficult but at this stage it’s not a full-time endeavor–though who knows what will happen. For now we’re just trying to realistically make awesome stuff. I was really pleased with how people responded to “Swim In The Night” and “Get On Up”. I usually go into something thinking no one’s going to listen, so I was pretty happy and surprised that people were digging it.