This is a big day for D.C. electronic duo Protect-U: The pair (Aaron Leitko and Mike Petillo) released its debut album, Free USA, via local electronic imprint Future Times. It was a record that almost didn’t happen, as Bandwidth’s Valerie Paschall wrote in March:
Near the end of 2012, Protect-U’s European tour experienced an abrupt and nasty ending: Thieves lifted all of Mike Petillo and Aaron Leitko’s equipment from an allegedly secure back room after a show in Paris. With their gear in the wind, it looked like the pair’s 2012 single “Motorbike” would be the last thing Protect-U would release for a long time.
But thanks to the help of Protect-U’s friends and supporters, Leitko and Petillo raised enough money in a crowdfunding campaign to help rebuild their electronic arsenal.
In advance of the album that almost wasn’t, Protect-U (whose members are friends of mine) stopped by WAMU to record two tracks: an untitled composition and album cut “F-USA.” There’s a good chance that Protect-U’s dark, hardware-driven tracks are a first for the station’s beloved Bluegrass Studio, where both were recorded. Enjoy.