Both members of The M Machine, Ben Swardlick and Eric Luttrell studied here at Pyramind back in 2008 and graduated from The Complete Program.
As with their many much-acclaimed remixes (such as their official reworkings of Bruno Mars’s “Locked Out Of Heaven,” Passion Pit’s “Take a Walk,” and Empire of the Sun’s “DNA”), the latest step in The M Machine’s artistic progression is both intensely club-oriented and boldly inventive. Revealing a supreme grasp of rhythm and groove honed in part from their lengthy live experience (including support slots on tours with artists like Porter Robinson and The Glitch Mob), ‘Just Like’ infuses The M Machine’s delicate balance of artistry and emotionalism into everything from the heady, bass-heavy throb of the title track to the heart-on-sleeve dream-pop of “Over/Love” to the sunny, spaced-out synth of “Don’t Speak.”
Both lifelong music obsessives who’d played piano and guitar since they were kids, Swardlick and Luttrell began experimenting with making melody-driven electronic music as students at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Though each brought his own distinct sensibilities to the collaboration—Luttrell grew up on new wave, West Coast hip-hop, and early-‘90s alt-rock, while Swardlick’s key inspirations include Gorillaz and the early electronic sounds of Herbie Hancock—the two bonded over a shared belief in prizing musicality over production finesse. Soon after graduating and moving to San Francisco, The M Machine crossed paths with Skrillex, showed their music to the six-time Grammy Award-winner, and ended up signed to his just-launched label by 2011. In April 2012, OWSLA put out The M Machine’s ‘Metropolis Pt. I’, a concept EP inspired by Fritz Lang’s groundbreaking 1927 sci-fi film. Like ‘Metropolis Pt. 2’ (a follow-up EP released in February 2013), The M Machine’s debut drew from the movie’s dystopian vision and constructed a lush but brooding sound that garnered serious critical praise and—along with the group’s appearances at major festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival, and Tomorrowland—helped the group gain a massive following.