Way José sounds equally familiar and strange. An eclectic mix of the past, it melds motifs from 60s folk, R&B, funk, and shamanistic world music. Each song is different. One’s subdued, yet still intense and introspective, then another funkier and grooving.
Way José is the solo recording project of the producer/multi-instrumentalist Daniel DeMento (also of Feather-Bright), who describes the project as a collective affair. “This was an exercise in mass collaboration.” Around 40 musicians, poets and photographers have contributed so far to make Way José. They hail from the US to Australia, with plenty of Bay Area locals, including DeMento. He recorded and mixed their debut EP, Stay In The Light, himself, having studied sound engineering in Los Angeles and going on to work with many bands from coast to coast, including stints in Miami. DeMento has lived in SF for 3 years but recently fell in love with Petaluma, where he finds the vibe and lower rent more suitable for a life of making music.
The process of writing songs involved extensive experimentation and jamming with the musicians that were available that day. DeMento recorded almost everything, and Way José is in part what was included and what was cut- the things that resonated with him, and what did not.
Way José has excellent music videos. DeMento, while open to playing live, recognized how difficult it would be to get so many performers together from all over the world, including the East Coast, and a finalist on Australia’s X Factor. There are varied instrumentation and many different vocalists, so Way José is primarily a recording project. He knew he had to focus on making the videos and music top notch, and it really shows. Recruiting Japhy Riddle and other talented videographers paid off.
“The Wind Came Up”
“The Wind Came Up” has some sounds from Gregorian chant, Simon and Garfunkel, and shamanistic ritual music. The vocals reverberate and shakers and percussion surround you. The video does a great job of accompanying this song.
“The Humbling Hum”
“The Humbling Hum” starts with fingerpicked strings on an affected ukelele and eventually greets us with a grooving, laid-back beat. Electric guitar comes in. “The Humbling Hum” is slated to appear on a Bravo Channel docudrama.
Check out the whole EP, but do not miss the videos.