Archives for the month of: August, 2012

 

Some of you may recall my past interview with the very talented Beeple (Brainfeeder). His most recent project empowers VJ’s (aka visual jockeys, aka the dude controlling visuals at shows) with four.color.process; a free pack containing 10 clips of a similar theme. Use these Creative Commons licensed clips to amp up your next VJ sets. Under this license, clips can be edited to your liking for any/all commercial and non-commercial purposes. Got nutz. The “four.color.process” link contains all of the Cinema4D project files used to make these clips, plus Adobe Illustrator files used to make some of the textures and similar graphics.

Music by Strangeloop

Beeple - Facebook Twitter

- Jimi Jaxon

When I first saw the lineup for Decibel Festival 2012, Actress stood out as my #1 artist to see. I insist you attend the XLR8R Presents showcase, where Actress will headline live (tix available here). His music transports my mind to bizarre and new places. Mixing techno, house, dubstep and experimental music with an other-worldly perspective, his music constantly challenges me. Genre boxes seem so limiting to what he does, and I encourage you to push off from these reference points as you listen. His album’s “R.I.P.” and “Splazsh” are distinct entities, and it would benefit you to also hear his “Hazyville” lp.  He’s an enigma of sorts; laying out a sonic environment that few come near.

 

 

I saw Teengirl Fantasy here in Seattle a little while ago at The Vera Project and was delightfully impressed. This 2-piece group from the U.S. performs live with no laptops or backing tracks. I remember being amazed at their ability to effortlessly produce their dance floor intended songs on the spot. Their off-kilter reflection of house music took me a second to get used to, but after more listens I’ve come to respect their aesthetic.

 

 

Gulls from Portland, Oregon will be opening the show. He runs Boomarm Nation; a collective of artists putting out “experimental sound system music”. Feels like a fitting way to round out this lineup. 

 

Decibel Festival – Facebook Twitter

- Jimi Jaxon

I recently interviewed a producer from Australia named Bosstone. During our conversation he mentioned his buddy Lucid, so I headed over to his Soundcloud. After listening through some tracks my thoughts were, “Damn. This dude has some crazy shit”. I hooked up with him, and we decided to talk a bit beforehand, so the interview would move in a more effortless way. The result is the most comprehensive interview I’ve ever done. I’ve followed him around virtually for weeks while he tours Europe, and eventually he will end up over here in America to play some shows! We begin with his early hoodlum days, and move to his love for Nintendo, his mindset towards music and the people that have helped him along the way. So here is Lucid, in-depth. I suggest you hear his Thy Lucid EP on Pelican Fly (“Based” is my fave on here), and The New Reprise on Nightshifters (“Togo” has been in my recent DJ sets).

 

DD Whatsup Lucid? Of all the artists I’ve featured for the first time, you’re the one I’ve gotten to know most leading up to an interview. We’ve been talking a whole lot on AIM..

L Hello Trevor, I am well! I’m in Brussels, packing my bags cause I’m outta here. I like the fact that I got to know you before doing this interview, it makes it a lot more personal and easier for you to ask me relevant questions, rather than just he same old ” future plans” and ” what’s your top 5 songs?”. It’s also easier for me to answer the questions, because I know how you work and respond to certain things. I much prefer actually talking to the person who is interviewing me, makes me a lot more comfortable and not as under pressure. 

DD I wanna rewind things, go back to your early interests with music before you were a producer. What does hip hop mean to you? You’ve been listening to it since 13-14 right?

L I started listening to hip hop when I was about 14, in year 8, when I had no respect for teachers, and I would walk around at school all day with my Walkman listening to “Shorty Wanna Be A Thug”. 

 

I guess it was more the well known, commercial side, artists like 2Pac, Biggie and Eminem and to some extent Wu-Tang, but not as much as the other 3, I was so obsessed with 2pac. I just found the music to be like poetry to me. I have always thought of him as a musical poet of some sort, and the music just clicked with me. But it wasn’t only hip hop. I used to listen to a lot of punk music, NOFX, Millencolin, Bad Religion, and I even had a brief moment listening to SKA music with the likes of Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and Gold Finger. But this style couldn’t compare to how hip hop made me feel. I just had a connection with the emotion that 2Pac would bring out in his music. And yes I was an Eminem fan (no shame) and I still am to this day. His earlier albums “Marshall Mathers” and “Slim Shady” are definitely my 2 favourites from him. I never really got into “Infinite” for some reason tho. I just found his music to be so energetic and fun to listen to, even tho a lot of the lyrics are pretty fucked up. It was fun and dumb.

Hip hop to me, is a big part of my producing now. I get a lot of influences in my songs from it, and I think it can be easy to tell at times. Maybe not so much hip hop from the 90’s and early 2000’s, but a lot of it does come from the genre itself. It’s clear to me, and I think a lot of other people can hear it in my songs too. Eventually, I would like to go into producing it, but not right now. I think it’s something that I would like to do once I’m a bit older, with more experience.

DD Would you bump your hip hop while playing Nintendo? One of the best things you’ve said to me is, “my childhood is an N64″.

L Hahaha you know what, I would rarely listen to music whilst playing, which is odd now that I think of it, considering how much music was the main thing in my childhood (apart from video games). I think I’m going to have to relive those years, play Mario Kart and listen to “All Eyez On Me” for hours. 

 

DD We’ll have to have a Mario Kart showdown when you get over to Seattle. What was your life like when you got interested in dance music? 

L You will be embarrassed. At the time when I got into dance music, I wasn’t in a very good place. I was suffering from quiet severe depression, and I was turning to alcohol and drugs a lot of the time. At the time I didn’t really have a purpose, I was working as a carpenter. It’s a odd story, how I got into dance music, I’m sure there are others with similar experiences. But I don’t look back at it and and regret it. If I didn’t go through that phase, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now, and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. 

I didn’t start listening to dance music till 2007, it was when I first started going to clubs and “partying”. We were all around 19-21, the prime age for going out I guess…? Eventually I got sick of going out just to get drunk and everything else that goes with the club scene, and I started to notice that I was paying attention to the music/the DJ/ the crowd. I would end up just watching the DJ and become hypnotized. Seeing 1 person control a room full of people with music? It really mind fucked me at the time, cause I had no knowledge of dance music, it just really intrigued me. 

It’s a very strange how I got into dance music, but as I said, i wouldn’t change it. It’s made me the person I am now, and I like to think that good things can come from something bad.

 

DD Well we’re kinda similar, 2007 was my introduction to electronic music as well. Before that, I was listening to just indie, some hip hop, christian rock. Probably the only dance songs I knew where “Blue” by Eiffel 65 and “Sandstorm”. Kinda funny I ended up here with this blog and stuff talking with you :]

L Hahaha I know, it must be our calling to do this interview. I remember you telling me the story not long ago, that we had very similar introductions into dance music. But It’s obvious to me that dance music is the next logical step in music after listening to stuff like rock and hip hop..the next step up.

DD Yes yes. Now as you started paying more attention to the DJ and dynamics with the crowd, you started to become more aware of the intricacies. When I talk to you about music, you’re very aware of what you’re hearing. You’re sharp and critical and what you listen to and what you make yah?

L I am very critical of my own music and others, I’m a perfectionist. A lot of the time I go way into details with my music. I guess it’s a flaw of mine, because there have been numerous times when I have spent HOURS on the smallest, minute detail, cause I could never get it to sound the way it was in my head. I used to over analyze my music a lot to. Its only been in the past 6-8 months that I have actually been happy with my music, not thinking so negatively towards my production, which I used to do A LOT. It was something that I would let get to me, but now I’m still critical with my music, but not negatively. I use my criticism in a positive way (TYBG). 

 

When it comes to others music I am critical, and I think it’s because I hear so much music these days that’s just lazy to me. It sounds cheap and rushed, just to have some plays on Soundcloud or make a few $$$. There is simple music, and there is lazy music. I take pride in my work, which I think a lot of people don’t do these days. There are many that do take pride tho. That’s one thing that has led me to being so sharp when it comes to other people’s music, even my close friends, I’m just an honest person. So if I like something I will say I like it, if I don’t, I’ll tell you I don’t, by using constructive criticism. I think it’s better this way, it allows the producers to build on the criticism and become better. BUT in saying that, at first, depending on the person, I don’t take to well to criticism haha. But it lasts for only a few minutes, and then when I think about it, I will more than likely agree (unless your a dick and I don’t like what you are saying, but that doesn’t happen often).

I think a lot of this also comes from Sam Tiba. I’m very close with him, and he has always been super critical with me, and I thank him a lot for that. It’s easier to tell someone “yo this is dope” when you don’t like the song, to avoid confrontation, but he’s always been upfront and honest with me. I get a lot of the GOOD criticism from Sam. Obviously, there are times when we will disagree, but I think there needs to be disagreements and arguments, in order to become better producers.

 

DD When someone goes this route of being critical it can be alienating. Sam Tiba is one person that’s helped you improve and be in a more positive place. Who are some other people? You’re crew and such..

L The other main one would be DJ Slow. I’ve known him for about a year and a half, and after working with him on my Pelican Fly EP, he was someone who was able to guide me in the right direction. When it comes to music, I will always listen to what he has to say, his knowledge of music is like no one I have ever met. So much diversity and range..99% of the time if I think I have found a really good song that no ones heard, Slow has heard it, and he probably heard it a year prior. He’s always been very direct with me, there are times we disagree, it’s human, we can’t always just say “yes I agree!” it doesn’t work like that. He has always told me how it was, what I should do, what I shouldn’t do etc etc. I think Slow and Sam are my role models in the music world. I look up to them a lot and respect them; for who they are and how they have helped me. I will often turn to them for guidance, even if I don’t want to hear what they’re saying. They will never let me get too far ahead of myself, which is really important. I don’t think I would not be in the position I am right now if it wasn’t for those 2. I’m sure there are other people, but those 2 are the first that popped into my mind, when it comes to this question.

DD This Triple Lucid Life mix is fantastic. I’ve listened through it many times..

L Thank you! I got a great response from this, a lot better than I thought I’d get, so I’m really pleased with how it went. The decision to do an all Lucid mix for me was really easy, I just wanted to show everyone the work I had been doing over the months. I had mentioned when I talked about the mix, that I think a lot of it won’t get released, not even for free. It gives an insight into the music I have been making. It varies a lot, and that was the point I wanted to get across. I can make a lot of different styles of music. I guess it was a small showcase of Lucid is some ways. 

 

I make a lot of music and I’m very productive. On a normal week, I would start maybe 10 projects. Out of those 10, I think I would finish 1 or 2 if I’m lucky, so it’s a lot of trial and error. I’m sure a lot of other producers do the same as me, it seems pretty natural when it comes to dance music to have so many unfinished songs. But one thing is, I never delete any songs. Many times I have gone through old files and found some really cool ideas that I then used in more recent songs. As it was a promo mix and for myself it was all Lucid material, I would never put that many Lucid songs in a mix for a site/blog.

DD Let’s switch it up and talk R&B. Now if you made a “cry/lovemaking” set, what would it look like? 

L

 

Omarion – Ice Box

The Dream – Ghetto

Jeremih – Birthday Sex

Jeremih – Love Don’t Change

Ciara – Ride

Miguel – Quickie

Brandy and Monica – The Boy Is Mine

Aaliyah – One in A Million

Mary J Blige – Real Love

The Dream – February Love (via Sam)

Ginuwine – So Anxious

Usher – Climax (Jr Blender Remix) (this isn’t R&B, but I had to mention it)

Lucid - Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

- Jimi Jaxon

 

Danny Brown is another name I’ve heard about lots, but just recently looked into. In preparation for my forthcoming Lucid interview on Disco Droppings, I’ve been in hip-hop mode. I gave this Boiler Room a listen, and woke UP. I get lit off these videos; Danny Brown has a rad mix of hilarious antics and genius vocal delivery. Add fiery beats and you have a Molotov cocktail of energy. The Boiler crowd can be sedated at times, but Danny got em’ hyped saying, “blunt, after blunt, after blunt, after blunt, after blunt, after blunt..”. I’ve listened through this set about 8 times now, I’ll be doing whatever and all the sudden I’ve got “She rubbin’ all on them titties like my name was Biggie. But I dont know no Diddy, but got Dirty Money with me”, stuck in my head. Makes me laugh. Hear “Witit”, “Radio Song”, “Lie4″, “I Will”, “Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)” and “Blunt After Blunt” live.

 

Have to include Danny Brown’s interview with Nardwuar. Totally unaware of this Canadian wonder. As an interviewer myself, this guy is exactly what I aspire to; making artists feel at ease, and doing your homework out of respect for all their hard work.

“The Hybrid”, Danny Brown’s first album was released in 2010 (Rappers I Know), followed by “XXX” in 2011 (Fool’s Gold Records).

Danny Brown - Facebook Twitter

- Jimi Jaxon

Gotta go with the Surefire Presents showcase for Day Two of Decibel Festival 2012. After hearing 2 Boiler Room sets from Objekt, he’s instantly become one of my favorite DJ’s, behind Erol Alkan and Pearson Sound aka Ramadanman (who co-runs Hessle Audio, the consistently unique label which released Objekt’s Cactus/Porcupine) . These sets move in unexpected ways, inducing a hypnotic journey rather than an aimless collection of tracks. I’ve posted his 40 minute set, but I suggest you head over to the Boiler Room site, make a free account if you haven’t already, and view his 60 minute set. Both are intriguing to say the least, but the latter mix really got to me.

 

 

As a producer, Objekt melds techno, dubstep, house, garage and 2-step in fearless ways. I’m eager to see this dude DJ at The Baltic Room come September.

Also on the lineup, we have Kuedo, performing a live set.

 

Pulling from the visions of Blade Runner, combined with dreamy interpretations of southern hip-hop, rap and footwork, his album Severant (Planet Mu Records) was released in October of last year.

 

XXXY opens the show with a live set as well.

Decibel Festival - Facebook Twitter

- Jimi Jaxon

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