Darien Pasulka's new hip-hop Da$Htone album, "Futuristic Reminiscin'," out this weekend, explores the sacrifices inherent in connection and how the illusion of control affects human behaviors. // Courtesy of Da$Htone

Chicago’s Da$Htone drops weighty new album for release show Friday

Darien Pasulka’s new Da$Htone release looks back on how our decisions and behaviors make us who we are.

Darien Pasulka’s passion for writing started at a young age. Raised bouncing between separated parents in Chicago and River Forest, he said he found solace alone in the woods near his childhood home.

“I kind of had this longing for this thing that I’d never known but I’d see portrayed in the media. So that’s been interesting to grow up with especially when I did make friends when I got a little older and I was around their families and stuff because mine just didn’t really happen like that,” he said. “It’s probably why I started writing at a young age, to have some kind of expression that I maybe didn’t feel like I always had. So I spent a lot of time in Thatcher Woods hanging out with deer and writing poetry.”

This weekend, Pasulka and his hip-hop crew Da$Htone release the next progression of that lifetime of writing with the album “Futuristic Reminiscin’,” a seven-song collection that speaks to mankind’s perceptions of reality. Da$Htone will be performing the new songs at Subterranean Friday along with sets by Violet Crime (with Geneva natives Jeff Mills and Tom Goier, Mundelein’s Kevin Nagel, and Selina Doran and Kasey Gandham), Louisiana-steeped Chicago-soul group Barry and the Fountains, and Chicago rapper F.U.R.Y.

In his early teens, Pasulka started getting into music, but the lyrical aspect of it.

“A lot of people have instrumentals, but I had like the reverse of instrumentals, which is just the lyrics with the music removed,” he explained. “I was always perplexed by how much of music had to do with the character creating them and not the words themselves, because I was just so writing-centric.”

Between lessons he learned playing sports in high school, his artistry and later studying psychology, he started to understand how it all connects. Now 32, with a son of his own and working in a specialized mental health and rehabilitation facility, Pasulka found his life saturated with inspiration.

“I would say that I think everything influences everything. I don’t think you can ever really completely separate experience from expression,” he explained. “Like if I saw a butterfly fly past me right now, I wouldn’t ever consciously cite that as inspiring anything in my life, but it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t. I believe that everything has ripple effects across your consciousness, and it’s unavoidable. And I don’t know why you’d want to.”

“Futuristic Reminiscin'” by Da$Htone

The album centers around the ideas of connection, loss and our attachment to the roles we give ourselves in relating to the world around us, he said. Through both his lighter metaphors and his more serious songs, Pasulka explores relinquishing the illusion of control, especially on the title track.

“Futuristic Reminiscin'” refers to the concept of re-examining what determined one’s path and how much emotion and ego played in both good and bad decisions.

“When you look back on it, you don’t have that ego, right? You can just see things objectively and be like, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s all these factors that I just wasn’t choosing to acknowledge because I really wanted this thing.'”

Through the main character in the song, Pasulka tries to look ahead to foresee what he might notice looking back on this very moment from the future. That behavioral exploration — and attempts to shift behaviors accordingly — runs through the entire album (and an upcoming video due out soon) as Pasulka was working things out in his own life.

“If you look at Top 40, it’s either about love or money or just being really cool. And I’ve never felt like any of those things,” he said. “My goal wasn’t to make music that people would consume necessarily, it was just to battle my own demons and express myself and create something beautiful. And with this album, I’ve truly succeeded at my goal.”

• • •

Da$Htone album release with Violet Crime, Barry and the Fountains, F.U.R.Y.

Presented by Kickstand Productions and Chicago Sound Check

When: 8 p.m. Friday, June 24
Where: Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., Chicago, subt.net
Tickets: $15

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