The electronic group Chromatics are pioneers of a dark, sexy, cinematic disco sound that’s landed them on Twin Peaks and the soundtrack for the 2011 film Drive.
• Chromatics began in Portland, Oregon, as a noisy post-punk group founded by multi-instrumentalist Adam Miller. They released two albums—Chrome Rats vs. Basement Rutz (2003) and Plaster Hounds (2004)—before Texas-born auteur Johnny Jewel took over as producer and musical director.
• Now featuring Miller, Jewel, drummer Nat Walker, and beguiling singer Ruth Radelet, the group debuted a new dark-disco sound on their 2007 breakthrough, Night Drive.
• Jewel composed an entire soundtrack for the 2011 film Drive, but composer Cliff Martinez ultimately got the gig. Chromatics did, however, land one song, “Tick of the Clock,” on the film’s soundtrack.
• Rapper ScHoolboy Q sampled the 2013 Chromatics track “Cherry” for his single “Man of the Year.”
• The moody, synth-driven music of Chromatics has long seemed aesthetically aligned with the work of filmmaker David Lynch. So it’s fitting that Chromatics perform the song “Shadow” in a 2017 episode of Lynch’s Twin Peaks revival.
• In 2014, Chromatics announced that their fifth album would be titled Dear Tommy. As of 2021, that LP had yet to materialize, though Chromatics have since released Closer to Grey (2019) and Faded Now (2020).
• Jewel also heads up the label Italians Do It Better, home to side projects like Glass Candy, Desire, and Symmetry.