Chula Vista-based beat musician, promoter and DJ Santino Romeri is set to launch a new music project called The Most Hi. Romeri, who performs downtempo electronic music with Illuminauts and oversees releases and events through local label Kill Quanti, is pursuing a more noise- and reggae-influenced direction this time around.

Romeri says that The Most Hi's sound is "somewhere between dub reggae and post-punk" and will prominently feature heavy bass and drum sounds, with emphasis on echo effects and occasional vocals. Romeri creates and performs the music with loops and samplers, much like his approach with Illuminauts, though he's leaving the door open for The Most Hi to turn into something bigger.

"It's a one-man-band kinda thing," Romeri says, "but I wouldn't mind expanding into an ensemble."

The Most Hi began conceptually, with Romeri dreaming up the name of the project before figuring out what direction it would take musically. But soon enough, he started to conceive of a particular atmosphere for the project, and the pieces began to fall into place.

"The last few projects started the same way," he says. "I came up with a name, or a flavor, in my mind. I had this idea for a few years, and I started to associate certain sounds with it. It's just one of those ideas that stuck around. 

"I need some kind of parameters, a certain kind of sound," he continues. "I work better that way. It gives me some guidelines to work off of."

The Most Hi will make its live debut Thursday, July 11, at The Void in City Heights (3519 El Cajon Blvd.). Romeri says that people familiar with his work in Illuminauts should come expecting something different.

"I like to keep [my projects] separated," he says. "There's some common ground, of course, but I like to show another side of myself."

Chula Vista-bred psychedelic singer-songwriter Gonjasufi made an unexpected appearance on the brand new Jay-Z album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, which was released on July 4. The closing track, "Nickels and Dimes," features a prominent sample of Gonjasufi's "Nikels and Dimes," which was originally released in January 2012 on his album MU.ZZ.LE.

Email or follow him at @1000TimesJeff


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