Archives for the month of: June, 2013

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I recently wrote a quick piece on Graze for Bottom Forty, but one feature just isn’t enough. I cannot stay away from this debut Graze EP. So now, I go further into the depths of my admiration here on Disco Droppings. Anyone who follows me knows I’m a die hard lover of XI. He’s joined forces with Adam Marshall, head of the phenomenal label, New Kanada for Graze. As a production pair so far, they’ve brought 6 productions to life .

 

In a rad new interview with Truants, Marshall talked about the idea behind this powerhouse group. After first hearing XI he said..”I heard some of Christian’s (XI) music and I didn’t know what to call it, but it was quite innovative.” Both felt a strong connection to the music each of them represented and produced. With Graze they, “wanted to get a project together to specifically perform live. That was the plan, assuming it all worked. The underlying idea was to get something we could tour, jam and perform live with.” Impressively, their first show was at Mutek 2013 in Montreal.

 

The very deliberate intentions with Graze are perfectly understood by me, after hearing the music. The pieces and structure of each track sound like they can be cut and pasted live with ease; reworked and tweaked into a unique live experience. I can hear Marshall’s techno style in the tracks stable nature, and I can hear some of XI’s signature drums and percussion as well as his alien sonic textures. Stay tuned for a full length Graze release, coming soon..

 

Graze – Twitter Facebook

graze.cc

newkanada.com

– Jimi Jaxon

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When I listen to Phon.o, some wonderful things happen. The stable, confident sense of rhythm invites me to move, and the emotional vulnerability calls for a deeper experience. His productions meld with my sensitive personality and my desire to feel something real. It’s a combination of approaches that I find most impressive, and this man has it down. We talk about his newest release on 50 Weapons (Modeselektor’s label), his thoughts on channeling emotions as a producer, his free Live Pack for Ableton and my favorite track of his, “Fukushima”..

 

DD Hello Phon.o. Thank you for taking time to talk with me on Disco Droppings.

P.O Hi Jimi. 

DD You have a new release on 50 Weapons. It’s a nice balance between the dark, emotional “Schn33” and the more fun, upbeat “Go”. What goes into choosing which tracks get released? Did you know these were the ones you wanted to put out, or was it more of a collaborative effort with Modeselektor (heads of the label) sorting through a lot of your productions and deciding these were the ones?

P.O When I work on songs, I leave the sketches for several days and go back to them to check if they’re worth arranging into a full-length. In this case I was very happy with these tracks and was sure they’d come out great if I arranged them well. So in the end, I did these 2 songs and gave them to Modeselektor. They liked them immediately which was great. There were just a few hints Gernot gave me concerning the levels of the rides in “Schn33”. But that was all he had to “criticize”.

 

DD My recent feelings of loneliness and introspection have helped me connect to your “Black Boulder” album. It sits right between coldness and things shifting towards the positive..

P.O Somehow, I am always suffering when I am doing music, because I think “oh damn… that’s not good enough” or “is it worth releasing?” and so on. I guess this kind of fight with myself has an affect on my music. It’s a good and necessary struggle you find yourself in as a musician. I love to make songs and not just tracks especially for an album. That means I always use melodies or harmonic progressions to create songs. And for sure, I love melodies :] I need to get an emotional moment in the studio while I am working on songs. I can’t just do a rhythm. It would be boring for me.

 

DD I’m really enjoying the sounds included in your free Live Pack for Ableton. You mentioned in your Ableton interview that about half of the sounds used in “Black Boulder” are included here. Some artists can be very protective of the sounds and samples used in their tracks, what to you is the benefit of being more open-handed?

P.O Yes, it’s true that a lot of artists protect their samples. I don’t understand, because with drum samples you can’t make songs or create impressive ideas. And that is what matters in the end. I see the drum samples just as a tool and I am happy if people can use a sound here and there. I was never interested in creating a blue print sound for myself. I just do what I like and if people come afterwards and tell me that it’s a typical “Phon.o sound” I am happy. I guess this comes how I do the songs, the beats and how I mix them at the end.

 

DD I opened a recent set of mine with your track “Fukushima”. It is refreshing to see dance music reflect society as this track does. The emotional and dire intensity you’ve created, matches the real life events surrounding the title. Was this a deliberate connection? 

P.O When I did the sketch for this song this big disaster was happening at Fukushima. I just saved the project with “Fukushima” as a working title. Months later I opened it up and realized that there was some drama going on and that the name fit really well. I added the sample “save me” to emphasize this dramatic feeling of the synths and it was done. I am a political or better yet quite critical person, but I don’t often put political content in my music. Here and there but not too often.

 

DD What do you hope to accomplish in the remainder of 2013?

P.O I start working on my album after my holidays and hope to finish it in autumn. Besides that, U am working on a great project with a singer and musician called “Born in Flamez”. I am doing co-production for it. It’s very interesting to me, because its musically very different and more arty. I will learn a lot.

 

Phon.o – Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

50weapons.com

– Jimi Jaxon

Event Participant - Performance

About a week after I opened for Bok Bok via Decibel w/ Sounds In Silence (another dB resident DJ), he was over in New York doing this lecture for Red Bull Music Academy. I remember him mentioning a future trip to NY for this presentation, and I’m so pleased with the way it came together. Although I did an in-depth observation of his Night Slugs Infrastructure for Disco Droppings pre-show, I was very laid back with this intriguing man in person. I wasn’t able to go deeper into his mind, and talk about music and the NS aesthetic. Lucky for me, RBMA took care of that, organizing a lecture/interview running a little over an hour.

 

It is a true privilege to hear from Bok Bok in such a lengthy way. You’ll learn about everything from the ideal Night Slugs club environment to the beginnings of the label, the foundational grime influence, new producers to the NS family and the production manifesto for their Club Constructions series. Take notes, Night Slugs & Club Culture 101 commences.

 

Bok Bok – Facebook Soundcloud Twitter

nightslugs.net

redbullmusicacademy.com

– Jimi Jaxon 

 

 

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What’s so impressive about the latest from Kanye West to me, along with Daft Punk’s newest, is their ability to take expectations and rip them to shreds. These people do not owe us anything. They have changed the way this world looks and sounds. They have built their careers around following their own gut, and there’s no way that’s about to change. Yeezus and Random Access Memories sound very different, but the mindset is the same; trust yourself.

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I knew when I heard Kanye West perform “Black Skinhead” on SNL, this was the track Daft Punk was talking about. In their cover feature for Rolling Stone they said,

“We had a combination of live drums and programmed drums going..And Kanye was rapping over it.”

“Not even rapping, more like screaming in this very primal way..”

“He’s radical in the choices he makes..He doesn’t give a fuck.”

 

Daft Punk also said via Mixmag, “”When the first 15-second snippet of ‘Get Lucky’ came out, Kanye came to our studio in Paris and we worked on loads of different ideas together. We’re not sure how many tracks we will have on [his new, forthcoming] album yet.” A look at the credits for Yeezus show that Daft Punk contributed to 4 tracks; “On Sight”, “Black Skinhead”, “I Am A God (Feat. God)” and “Send It Up”. Another artist with his fingerprints on Kanye West’s new masterpiece is Hudson Mohawke. He’s credited on “I Am A God (Feat. God)”, “New Slaves” and “Blood On The Leaves”. There are some more intriguing artists who’ve worked on this new record including Gesaffelstein, Brodinski, Frank Ocean and Lunice. But all these wonderful people aside, this is Kanye West’s vision. It is raw, it is angry and it is not afraid.

In an exclusive interview with The New York Times, Kanye West had a few things to say about Yeezus. He describes it as “visceral, tribal” and when asked if he still feels like an outsider fighting his way in he responds, “No, I don’t think I feel like that anymore. I feel like I don’t want to be inside anymore. Like, I uninvited myself.”

He concludes the interview by saying, “I think that’s a responsibility that I have, to push possibilities, to show people: “This is the level that things could be at.” So when you get something that has the name Kanye West on it, it’s supposed to be pushing the furthest possibilities. I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.”

Amen.

Kanye West – Twitter

kanyewest.com

– Jimi Jaxon

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My dude Arctic is on the attack. Some may remember past features here on James Arctic. He’s shortened his artist name, and is showcasing some impressive, dark new sounds. He’s got a fantastic release on Coyote Records called the Shook EP which features two tough grime tracks and a remix by Kid Smpl. Hear from the man himself in this new interview for Disco Droppings..

 

DD Feels strange to say, but it’s been over a year since I last talked to you on Disco Droppings. Welcome back.. 

A I know, time has flown. Great to be back, always a pleasure mate.

DD Your Shook EP was on June 3rd. Look at you dude! First I see “Kings” in that Tracks 4 My Mom release, and now this EP. It makes me smile seeing my friends such as yourself pushing out and doing shit. How are you feeling about it all?

A Thanks man. I was stoked to be a part of the Tracks 4 My Mom comp. The “Kings” track was receiving a great response when I first made it (over a year ago now), but nothing much came of it, so when March’85 hit me up I jumped at the chance…It’s a great home and fits really well in the compilation. The Coyote EP is a real proud moment. Having my music pressed on wax has been a goal of mine for a while and seeing it all come together alongside an amazing back catalogue is such a great feeling. Tom @ Coyote has fully supported my music from the get-go and the whole experience has been a pleasure. 

DD You are really into Grime, a style of music I’m not too familiar with. How would you describe Grime and how has it influenced your new EP?

A What attracted me to Grime music back in the day was the old school clashes – the rawness & energy behind the productions and the hype between mc’s sending for each other. The sounds were unpolished, the quality didn’t necessary have to sound good, which I feel made it exciting & unpredictable to listen to. I like to think that comes across in my productions also. 

 

DD How’d you connect with Brackles? I see he’s played a remix of yours recently and also brought you on to do a 15 minute production showcase mix for Rinse.fm. 

A I initially wanted to run a tour with Brackles in Australia, so we were discussing plans for that originally. During that time I’d send over tunes every few months, which he ran on Rinse and were getting picked up on by a few blogs & dj’s. Not long after signing the Shook EP, Coyote organized a guest mix which Brackles requested a 15min production showcase…I was over the moon to say the least! 

 

DD How have your shows in Australia been going?

A The gigs are going well here, they kinda come along every few months or so. It’s usually my mates organizing stuff, sometimes international supports but mostly local events. I locked down a monthly residency at a bar in the city not too long ago, which I prefer doing the most. It gives me 5 hours to play whatever I like and get extremely pissed in the process…shouts to the E55 crew every time. 

DD Any last words? Hope our paths cross again very soon.. 

A Big thanks for getting us back and shouts to everyone supporting. The Shook EP is available  on select digital stores now and will be available everywhere & on 12″ vinyl as of June 24th. More releases to follow, keep an eye out!

Arctic – Facebook Soundcloud Twitter

– Jimi Jaxon