Archives for posts with tag: Amon Tobin

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It’s great to come together for the purpose of co-creating. Vibe out to my conversation with HxdB and DJ Cure aka Greazus, and catch our show with em’ at Monkey Loft tomorrow. .

 

DD Hello Greazus! And a special greeting to Severine (HxdB) whose been a wonderful element of this blog over the years.

G Sup.

DD So with this collaboration of yours (which I’m loving!), are there certain individual strengths that come to the surface?

HXDB Patrik has a great knack for writing catchy hooks and getting raw ideas out quickly and bringing the heat on the keys. I on the other hand am the one that fusses over the mix and the fine details and the polish..Oh I write basslines like a muh tho! lol.

 

DD There is such power in rhythm to move and entrance. Do you guys have certain memorable experiences seeing certain artists or shows, where you could really lose yourself in the sounds and/or environment?

CURE Definitely. Something that sticks out for me was seeing Bonobo with his full band, they had 3 encores. It really made me want to become a better musician. Any time I’m at a festival and I’ve finished my set, I will let loose. That is my favorite time to let go and enjoy some music I probably wouldn’t get down to on a day to day basis.

HXDB I vividly recall seeing Amon Tobin here in Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom and being totally mesmerized by the sound. It was his “Foley Room” tour and he played in 5.1 surround. That sensation of being fully immersed in sound, that’s something we definitely go for in many of our tunes.

DD I was having a fun listening to my favorites from your Soundcloud, while watching my favorite anime “Yu Yu Hakusho” on mute (episode 88 called “The True Face of Sensui” if anyone wants to view). It was one of the more menacing parts of the series, and I could easily see the fierce attitude coming through in your productions. I know ya’ll have a fun approach to what you do, but are there some more darker influences coming through?

 

CURE For sure, a lot of these projects will get started on our own individually. For me its like therapy, you know? Taking your mind off life. I will get incredibly blazed and escape in the sounds. Its not all fun and games, and sometimes you need an outlet to blow off stream – might as well make some heavy beats.

 

HXDB I actually listen to a lot of heavy metal and have generally always enjoyed dark sounds, which I feel is a great way to deal with the fucked up things in your life and the dark, “real” moments . With Greazus, we try to strike a balance of dark and light moments and just have fun creating.

DD Looking back to the past in the D&B, hip-hop areas, are there any tracks that come to mind that help you guys lighten up?

CURE Hip Hop and Rap especially are a big part of our lives. I’ve always been a big fan of underground rap, but as far as lightening up, I experience guilty pleasures listening to really ignorant gangster rap. That shit is like comedy gold to me. Dudes like Juicy J (and Three Six Mafia), Asap Ferg, YG.

HXDB I’m a child of the 90s, so that shit is still my go-to for good times. Tribe, Organized Konfusion, Black Moon, De La, etc. I do love some of the new cats like Azizi Gobson and Ferg, but I definitely appreciate conscious rap more than the ignorant shit, even though it is a good laugh. In terms of D&B, I guess tracks like Klute – Phone Call, or old 4Hero always put me in a golden mood. I’m also mildly obsessed with the band Little Dragon and find myself simply, happy when I listen.

 

DD Who are some of your favorite artists interacting with your work, both through featuring tracks in mixes and collaborations?

 

G Our number one collaborator right now is probably Sinistarr, we have a number of tunes with him that we’re all really excited about. He’s kind of like the 3rd member of Greazus, haha. We have also done some cool stuff with our dude Kid Kurse, also from Vancouver (look out for that in the near future), plus our boy Subcorr, which we have a few things going with that are exciting. Sam Binga, has recently given us an incredible amount feedback and support, which has been a real confidence boost and source of motivation.

DD Thinking about rebirth, how has this new creation between the two of you given new life to your solo identities?

CURE For me, I have become more disciplined when it comes to starting and finishing projects, and doing it more consistently.

HXDB Personally, its been really nice to gain a new focus and perspective. I feel like I don’t have to cover as much territory with my solo act anymore and can focus my sounds a bit more clearly for each.


DD
Coming up tomorrow, we here at Disco Droppings along with Tom Kha will bring Greazu$ down from Vancouver to play the Spectrum show @ Monkey Loft. Whatcha guys got planned for this party, and is this your first time as a duo playing in Seattle?

G Here’s the thing, we never plan our sets. We play b2b ourselves and love to just wing it. Vibing with the crowd and picking cuts to hit the right places at the right time. We both have incredibly similar taste in music, so its really fluid for us to navigate through different styles and bpms and still build and maintain a strong vibe in the dance. We want to go off too! haha. This will be our first time playing together in Seattle actually, but we’re mad stoked to be playing at Monkey Loft and to rock with all our Seattle fam. Let’s git it!!!

 Greazus – Twitter Soundcloud Facebook

– Jimi Jaxon

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dBx

It’s about time David Kwan is recognized for all his artistic work, and I’m happy to facilitate this. He is a close friend and one of the hardest working people I know. Learn about his efforts for Decibel as a graphic designer and VJ. You can catch him doing visuals live tonight at my Vermillion show. This event has been put together by Tremel; DJ, producer and writer for Disco Droppings and features performances from himself, dod, Max Taylor and me. Hope to see you there. 

DD What drives your graphic design role in Decibel? Are there major themes or concepts being focused on in 2013, for the 10-year anniversary?

DK This year’s creative drive captures the essence of Decibel. Each year of the festival is like a layer of ideas that builds upon one another. The approach was to capture all those ideas from the early beginnings and refine those sets of ideas. In the process I reviewed the profiles of past dB artists, listened to samples of their music, and went through tons of old photographs, down to observing the personalities of the staff. I wanted the 10-year brand to be about Decibel’s community and culture, not just what looks cool. What I discovered was an array of dark tones, which made sense being that the root of Decibel began from the deep underground–no pun intended. 

There was an untitled quote I read one morning on Facebook which said, “You can’t live a positive life without a negative mind,” which made me reflect a little further about this year’s theme. That quote rang true for Decibel and a lot of other things the more I thought about it. In a nutshell, you can’t have yin without yang, and you can’t discredit either. Historically, Decibel has hosted many stark and obscure events, which is what I wanted to extract and condense for this year’s theme. In doing so, participants will be able to witness and experience Decibel for what it really is, and be able to better appreciate it. The night might not be as bright as the day, but it sure as hell is sexy.

DD What led you to become a VJ, and what role do see visual artists playing in a show environment?

DK The funny thing is that I didn’t intend to become a VJ after I was done with college. Being a graphic designer is my full time job, but one of the tools I use to conceptualize new ideas stems from motion graphics. It’s important to understand the different fields of art to help enhance what you do as an artist. Knowing art is good, but it’s not enough to help you evolve creatively. Similar to being a plant biologist, if all you do is focus on plants, you might be missing key knowledge from other fields that may help you discover something groundbreaking. In the end it’s all about holistic thinking; that’s how I stumbled upon becoming a VJ. 

The VJ arena is still very much in its infancy and growing rapidly. It’s sort of overshadowing an era of expensive physical stage production and moving more towards affordable virtual reality as technology advances. That’s not to say building heavy stage sets will become obsolete, but it does mean that stage production is shifting towards a new paradigm. There is a time and place for physical stage sets — plays in theater, for example– but it’s not very practical when you’re talking about a low budget music show. The nice thing about having a VJ during performances, is that it grants stimulating visual access for musicians and their audience, which in the past might not have been possible. In many ways, VJ’s helps the musicians tell their story a little better while helping their audience understand their music a little more. A special dynamic occurs when you combine music, visuals, and a lot of serotonin resonating from the audience.

TobinAmon Tobin, ISAM / Visuals by LEVIATHAN

DD This will be our third time collaborating on a performance. How would you describe the direction of the visuals this time around?

DK This time around we’ll be entering a dystopian science fiction environment, where I’ll be taking everyone though space, then back to Earth and beyond. I don’t really want to spill the beans for anyone, but the goal is to follow the theme of the music set. With that said, your fans could probably imagine the journey I might take them on. Did someone say neo-noir genre? Yep, there’s going to be a lot of that in the visual set. I’m pretty excited to roll out some new eye candy.

943021_4900462314343_1993084720_nJimi Jaxon + David Kwan @ Bok Bok Showcase via Kyle Young aka Tremel

DD Your work as a graphic designer and VJ puts you in the background, where audiences may not see whose behind it all. Do you enjoy this perspective? 

DK “Lord of Light! Come to us in our darkness …'” sorry I couldn’t resist throwing in that “Game of Thrones” reference. I actually enjoy working in the shadows, it gives me the opportunity to focus on my craft behind the computer or behind the stage without a lot of distraction. Sure, it’s not the same as getting full attention from the audience, but I am touched when I see sparkling pupils of joy emanating from the crowd. Especially when I hit the soft strobe or fade in a scene of slow crashing waves headed straight towards the audience. If they’re happy, then I’m happy too.

dakwanDavid Kwan @ Andy Stott Showcase w/ Kid Smpl via Mollie Bryan

DD Where do you hope all this effort takes you in the future? 

DK I’m not really sure, but since I am in the business of creating virtual realities I guess I can go anywhere. :]

dakwan3David Kwan w/ Giraffage

– Jimi Jaxon