Musicians Pruitt Poythress, aka Pruitt, and Ricardo Bilonick, aka Sinistar, both come from the South — Pruitt, who has lived in Denver for eight years, hails from North Carolina, and Sinistar comes from Panama. Although these artists have never met in person, they share a love of G-House, aka Booty House, which is basically to house music what trap is to hip-hop. And no, it's not because of its syncopated, trilling hi-hats. Rather, it's the pure sacrilege of it all. If sodomy had a soundtrack, this would be it.
Pruitt and Sinstar's interpretation of the genre is rooted in a tradition that harks back to the late ’80s. Their March release, "They Movin'," samples the ’92 classic "There's Some Whores in This House," by Franki Ski, the legendary Baltimore G-House DJ. From there, they add a modern aesthetic to the track that beefs up the original song with audio compressors, multi-oscillating synthesis and other effects.
The two, who met serendipitously online, couldn't be more different. Sinistar is an introspective multi-instrumentalist and full-time casino representative, working out of an office in Panama City, Panama. Pruitt, an Asher Roth type, steeped himself in the CU Boulder party scene.
The combination of Sinistar's introversion and attention to detail and Poythress's revelrous extroversion defines the song and mirrors the aesthetic of G-House.
Westword caught up with the musicians and talked with them about the track, their cultures, and how they managed to collaborate despite being separated by seven countries.
Westword: You two are divided not only by land, but by culture. How did you initially come together, and what made you find common ground?
Pruitt: Ah, man, I think around the summer of 2015, I messaged him on SoundCloud, complimenting one of his tracks, and I knew right off the bat we both had the same taste and feel for the music that we wanted to create. We both had that hip-hop/house flavor.
Sinistar: Yeah, I was making a lot of music in 2015 when we first connected via Soundcloud. I received a message from Pruitt, first giving positive feedback about my work and then asking if we could do something together. My first question for Pruitt was, "What are you producing on?" And he said, "Ableton." I told him, "Me, too." He said he had some projects, mostly drums. We exchanged email addresses, and then he sent me the first project for us to collaborate together on in 2015.
It took years for you to eventually make a track together. Why do you think that is?
Pruitt: I mean, I think timing is everything. It was the perfect idea for the both of us to make something out of! Glad we did, because I love the finished product.
Sinistar: I believe a lot in destiny when it comes to music. If you think about it, no song that is created can ever be completed unless all the things that happened for it to be created happened. So my thoughts are that when we first talked about collaborating, we needed to connect first and then wait six years to get better at mixing on Ableton, making music, being a DJ and getting gigs. This time we were a bit more serious about getting it done, and Pruitt’s work is really inspiring to me. So collaborating with him was a true pleasure; it was very easy for me to come up with my parts on the track.
What tools did you use in order to collaborate? Did you discuss a process that you were going to follow so that you didn’t step on each other’s toes?
Pruitt: Ableton is our go-to as far as a DAW. Being able to share an entire project file makes it ten times easier to bounce ideas back and forth. I had this idea with the famous sample of Frank Ski’s "There's Some Whores In This House," and once everything started to stick, I instantly thought about how this would be a perfect fit for Sinistar to collab on.
Sinistar: Finally, over the course of the years, we had the chance to make music together — the pandemic being a key factor for the cause of all the extra time for making music. Pruitt was talking to me again about collaborating on a project he had made during lockdown.
He sent me an Ableton project via WeTransfer, which is one of the best methods for collaborating, since you get to see if the person actually downloaded the file or not. Hence, this way you can tell if the person is making you waste time. In this case, I was determined to collaborate with Pruitt, I knew he was a very good producer since we first met, and I also saw he had recently played a show with FISHER, who is one of my favorite producers and is a great DJ, too. So I was going to give it my best. When I opened the project, Pruitt had laid down some of the sickest drums, glitches [and] rolls, and had a very good vocal arrangement in the break.
We sent the project back and forth to each other to add and change things. We never told each other what to do or what not to do. And when the track reached its current form, we were both really happy with the result.
Panama and Colorado are both experiencing the pandemic. However, the way they each responded is pretty different. What has been your experience during this time, and how has it affected your ability to be creative?
Pruitt: It gave me a lot of time to reflect on doing the things I love to do, and that’s making music. Going through this pandemic was tough on everyone. I'm grateful to be healthy and being able to have time to sit and work on unfinished projects. Having all this time on my hands made me come to the realization that music is a part of my life, and it's something that I will never stop being a part of.
Sinistar: The pandemic was and is definitely the biggest global event I have experienced in my entire life. Knowing that we could all be in danger in this situation — our loved ones, friends and colleagues. The economic shutdown, the rules and lockdown were scary at first.
I lost my father last April. I had quarantined myself at the beach, and I received a message saying my father died. He suffered a heart attack at home. It was the hardest and scariest day of my life. It took me a couple of months to be able to get back into my studio and actually feel good while I was producing, mostly because of depression and fear of the pandemic and the economic situation in Panama. My worst fear was not COVID, but in fact losing my day job. I'm the representative for the casino brand Novomatic, from Austria, for the Caribbean, and since airports started to close down, the business side of things was being hurt by this.
Once things started to get a bit more stable, cases began to drop, and the economy restarted here in Panama. Then I felt that the best thing to do during lockdown was to get real serious about music production and being an artist. I think Pruitt and I began this collaboration around early December 2020. By then I had a lot of time practicing new mixing techniques in Ableton and got myself a better studio to produce in with more acoustic materials, and I had a more professional approach to everything regarding music production.
Can you two compare and contrast how you got started in the Panamanian or Colorado electronic music scenes, as well as your experiences within it?
Pruitt: I moved to Colorado about eight years ago. I came out here after winning a DJ set at GLOWFEST in Boulder. I think that was the year that they got ranked the number-one party school in Playboy mag. And yes, they def partied that night. I fell in love with how everyone out here had the love for music like I do, so I knew I just had to surround myself with that type of vibe. I've been blessed with love here in Colorado. It's a great feeling to call this place home. From the five-people-strong crowds, or getting to share stages with Fisher, Zeds Dead, GRiZ, along with being invited to STS9’s WaveSpell festival, people really embrace the music I love out here. Absolutely blessed with what this scene here has helped me do. Cheers, Colorado! We ain’t done yet!
Sinistar: For me, it all started around 2012. My younger brother Antoni was always listening to deep house in his room on his sick sound system. He would listen to Art Department, Adriatique, Stimming — you know, great producers and DJs. I was still in the hip-hop, rock, jazz, blues and reggae mode since high school, and I was a very good guitar player. I even once had the nickname Tito Hendrix, and me and my friends would love to jam a lot every day, mostly in those styles I mentioned. I played a lot of piano, bass and drums, too.
Then once, at a party, whilst very high on MDMA, I heard the set Mono Meets Loud, by Amine Edge & DANCE. It has their track Halfway Crooks in it. My mind as a producer and sound engineer began to realize the marvel that was electronic music composed and mixed by only one or two people. The sounds that came out of the speakers, the bass, the drums, the vocals — the whole groove just blew my mind completely, and from that day, I have been a G-House producer.
I also like to make all kinds of house music, but that was the first genre that really made me switch from playing instruments with bands and friends to actually sitting down and making a whole track alone and mixing it to sound good in a club.
After a couple of years, some people started asking if I could play as a DJ, and the rest just started to flow little by little until now. My last gig was right before the pandemic, in the Tribal Gathering, where I had the chance to get the decks right after DJ Mike Polarny. And since 2012, I have seen some DJs in Panama like Seth Troxler, Lee Curtis and Amine Edge & DANCE.
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