Music / Features
Track by Track:
Purple Dye - Like Ecstacy
Words by James Lynch
Thursday 9th June, 2022
Following the release of their heady debut album last week, we got in touch with Purple Dye to dig into the mishmash of experimental instrumentals, psychedelic soundscapes and imaginative grooves that makes up Like Ecstasy.
The first time we heard from Purple Dye, the illusive project between local noisemakers Dean Kalb and Alex Kelaart, was in August last year when the pair shared their debut single ‘Time’. Appearing fully formed seemingly from nowhere, ‘Time’ played as a mesmerising intro into the duo’s burgeoning sonic universe, a world that’s now grown more expansive and kaleidoscopic with the release of the full record.

Refusing to stick to one particular lane, Like Ecstasy zigzags joyously across its 30 minute runtime. While ‘Time’ was made up of an alluring concoction of samples and warped vocals, ‘Hearing The Argument’ instantly reveals another side to the project, building around a reliable indie-rock backbone with its sturdy groove and jangling chords while uncanny sounds swirl at the peripheries. Tracks like ‘Italiana’ and ‘Have It All’ revert back to the opener’s brand of intoxicating sample-based psychedelia, while the title track and closer ‘The Last Dance’ feel indebted to bedroom-pop songwriting, sound equally as enthralling with an extra sense of fluidity. Forever twisting and turning and bathed in a glorious haze from start to finish, it’s the kind of album that is as fun to nerd out to with headphones as it would be to pop on in the background while you spend an afternoon in the sun.

To dig a little deeper into Like Ecstasy, Dean has kindly peeled back the curtain on the creative process behind the album and walked us through each track.

A lot of the parts came from Youtube. I was trawling through to find some free samples and I found these cool "whisky bar" jazz loops. The piano is sped up quite a bit from the original part whereas the saxophone is slowed down. The synths were taken from a Nord tutorial and I just sampled a one-note and used it to make the synth line that comes in and out of focus. Kel (Alex) was about four hours late to recording the vocals but he really got into it and we placed his take in random spots hoping for our ears to prick up.

Hearing The Argument

This was by far the quickest song to record vocals for. Kel just felt it and the lyrics are repetitive so it was just a matter of feeling it and moving on to the next song. This was originally a Singing Lessons demo but all the chorus-soaked rhythm guitars gave it a 2000's feel. It kind of feels like a bike ride. The cornets took so goddamn long to manipulate into time. The snare is taken from Alchemist's secret sauce drum pack.


I used an eight bar drum loop from another demo and it felt really beefed up with the bass. I was indulging in some mindless Hendrix pentatonic doodling but deleted like 90% of the shredding so we could get some semblance of a song. The vocal loop is doubled with harmony and the chorus used to have a ton of handclaps until we decided they weren't so great.

Like Ecstasy

Kel and I have written many different versions of this but I really enjoyed listening to the four chords on loop while driving. The original version abides by a more traditional song structure but I knew when Kel was feeling out the vocals during recording that we'd gotten something pretty cool. Again, there were many happy accidents with the placement of his vocals and the autotune really works on his low register.

Have It All

I always imagine someone rolling dice at a casino when the congas come in for some reason. We got a bit more trip-hoppy here and I thought it was appropriate to include snippets of the bedroom demo in the right speaker as the song progresses. You can hear it as a counter-rhythm but it's just an iPhone recording of when we first jammed it in 2019.

Mad Dog Needs A Latte

It's the album's pseudo intermission before the instrumental tail-end. I think the happy accident idea is way more obvious here as we tried to make some nice out of Kel's warm-up takes but it's still incoherent. We think he's singing "bum da da da nothing". It's as close to an instrumental as possible and this mad dog needs an espresso, pronto!

Hopeless (In D Minor)

I was thrashing ‘The Partisan (live in Helsinki)’ by Leonard Cohen at the time and wanted to do something on the nylon string with a four-to-the-floor kick - similar to what Javier Mas does on the 12-string bandurria. I used to run to this demo in Darebin Park during the early lockdown days of 2020 trying to figure out life as well as the hi-hats.

The Last Dance

I originally sang in this track but it was just too much. I spent days slowly editing takes to get a choppy/jazz-rock/lo-fi feel. This is a good example of us trying to make beat-loop music by following our nose.

Like Ecstasy is out now in all the usual places - head to to grab the album on limited edition cassette.