JDub is the lead vocalist, primary composer, and arranger for Astrotheque. As a self-described author of "songs of love and social-consciousness," his prolific songwriting has resulted in 12 full-length studio releases and over 70 album credits producing other artists. Also a seasoned band-leader, JDub is known throughout Austin as a soulful and risk-taking performer who engages the crowd and spreads love easily. A singer since birth, JDub lives a life of gratitude and wonder at the discovery of a continually growing body of work.
Ben Cohen's swirling arpeggios and staccato Tenor Sax blasts are the hallmark urban sound of ATQ 3.0. Ben's intuitive approach to harmony building has made him a powerhouse of support to the band both live, and in the studio.
"Compositionally, Ben is great because I can reserve space for him, but never can I quite predict how he will respond. I spend a great deal more time in the moment with the song working this way, and I get to let one of my best friends throw some paint around." -JDub
If Ben's sax is the city, Oscars congas are the dusty roads that connect them. A veteran player of the Austin scene with over 400 live appearances to his name, Oscar played for many years on congas/percussion for La Vida Buena, cutting 4 albums and performing live hundreds of times in their 7 year history.
Oscar's congas shake hips and lick lips. Their addition to an electronic band seemed a no-brainer to JDub, surprised to see so few digital artists with Latin percussion.
Origins of the "Library of Cosmos"
Astrotheque is the brainchild of two vibrant producers: charismatic lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist JDub, and Venezuelan-born arranger, programmer, and multi-instrumentalist Claudio Ramirez.
As JDub, a lifelong electronic composer, predicted the swan song of his riff-based rock band JDub and the Tease, he knew that it was time for the two worlds of his very different genres to merge. Arranging some previously written material and writing several new songs, he began programming many of the electronic landscapes that would become backing tracks for Astrotheque songs.
Enter Claudio Ramirez.
As the very necessary and long-overdue left-brain of the project, Clau streamlined the multi-tracks, writing synth bass parts, replacing drums, and sculpting the textures. He also contributed the name Astrotheque(literal meaning: Library of Cosmos) which reportedly came to him in a dream. The two fell easily into a natural, albeit nerdy workflow that allowed them both creative freedom and the ability to geek out on sonic and musical itches left unexplored in previous projects. Clau also contributed two instrumental sonic landscapes of his own, Sweet the Sound and Return to Form, which are of a decidedly different flavor aesthetically. JDub cites the ease with which guitar parts, lyrics, and vocal melodies came on these songs as another omen of their musical bond.
The duo added the jazzy and hard-hitting Dave Terry on trapset as part of the live team, and played 7 shows in four days at SXSW 2016. They then headed promptly into the studio to record their first full-length, Return to Form, now out on Spyjet Zero Records and available at all major online retailers.