Archives for posts with tag: Jimi Jaxon

bardo

Don’t miss Bardo:Basho at Kremwerk this Thursday, July 31st in Seattle. “Disco Droppings Presents” is in its second month, with Basho aka Kirsten Thom playing alongside Zoolab (debut DJ set), Sphyramid (live set, 7 Deadly Records) and myself. Kirsten has produced brand new music just for this show! She mentioned it being very rhythmic, can’t wait!

Let’s get to our conversation..

DD Hii Kirsten. We’ve known each other for a short while now. I did a live dj mix and interview on your show for Hollow Earth Radio back in May. Thanks again for that. How would describe your show?

BB Hi Trevor! That was really fun. My radio show emphasizes experimental electronic music, mostly on the darker tip. I play lots of techno, and some ambient, drone, and noise stuff. I also try to play as much local music as possible, and I make sure to represent female producers.

DD There are a bunch of sub groups in Seattle for electronic music. These often have many similarities to me, with differences in the genres and styles focused on for each crew’s parties. What’s the crew like that you usually find yourself with? That would be secondnature yeah?

BB I have a lot of friends who work on secondnature, who focus on hypnotic techno. I help out from time to time, and attend almost all of their events. That is probably the crew I am closest with. I co-curate an electronic music event series called Elevator, which tends to feature avant-garde and noise-oriented stuff. I also go to Motor as much as I can, along with Sweatbox parties..and I’ve been really impressed with some of the more post-punk and industrial-leaning events like False Prophet and Lust Strength, which both take place at Kremwerk.

 

DD Something told me to put on Blade Runner as visuals to this LP Sampler of yours. Fit together perfectly. Are you a fan of the film?

BB The last time I saw Bladerunner was a long time ago. I remember enjoying it, but I think it’s time for me to watch it again. I will take that as a compliment!

 

DD You should. This is your debut album correct? I’m curious about the path that’s led you here as a producer…

BB The album I recently finished (but have not yet released) is my very first as Bardo:Basho. I’ve been building my production skills for the past three years, and it’s been a slow process. I started out trying to make techno, but then I found that more vocal-oriented, home-listening type music was more expressive for me. Now that I know a little bit more about sound design, I’m making my way toward a more dance floor friendly sound. Before making electronic music, I sang and played synthesizer and rhythm guitar in a few bands, and played classical piano on my own.

DD “Meditative” is one of the hashtags on the LP sampler. Is this something you practice? Whenever I see you there’s a calm, collected energy that I sense.

BB Thank you! I don’t sit down and meditate regularly, but I try to always be present in the moment, and focus on my breathing for a few minutes a day.

 

DD You’ll be playing this month’s “Disco Droppings Presents” at Kremwerk on Thursday, July 31st. This will be a live set from you. Any hints you can give readers as to what you’re going for?

BB This set will be very rhythmic – think bongos and kettle drums – with layers upon layers of vocal loops, and a touch of acid synth. Thanks so much for having me! I’m really looking forward to Thursday.

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Bardo:Basho – Twitter Facebook Soundcloud

– Jimi Jaxon

 

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I hope to see you at The Crocodile this coming Sunday ($10 Advance TIX, FB event page). This is a part of Chance The Rapper’s ‘Social Experiment Tour’. That show at Showbox Sodo in Seattle, is sold out. Now, my feature on DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn and the prolific Teklife crew.

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As I read this recent interview with DJ Rashad aka Rashad Harden on Pitchfork, I connected deeply with his friendly energy. For someone of such influence and authority to be so kind shows me somethin’..nice guys can finish first.

 

It’s the same feeling I’ve gotten from my interactions with Machinedrum. After playing alongside him last year, sweatin’ it up at his Leisure System After Hours (w/ Jimmy Edgar, Jets) at Decibel Festival 2013, witnessing his Vapor City live show + the whole package around that album AND hearing his Essential Mix, I’ve developed such a strong connection with the man behind the music, Travis Stewart. Behind all this innovation and energy is a thoughtful and deep person that’s just very passionate about music.

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In that same vein, Rashad matches a bright personality with ferocious and diverse productions, that have vastly fostered new sounds and styles into the world. Search on Google for “DJ Rashad Interviews 2013” and you’ll easily find out, this man is a big deal. Tiny Mixtapes eloquently said, “He might not be the most veteran footwork DJ (that would have to be RP Boo) or the most batshit (there are lots of people in the running for that title), but it’s become increasingly clear since TEKLIFE Vol. 1: Welcome To The Chi changed the game that, flanked by his longtime partner-in-crime DJ Spinn, Rashad is among the kings of footwork and juke — as both hometown bastion and ambassador abroad. Welcome To The Chi was a huge landmark for what was until then a more or less underground scene, in one bold stroke defining footwork for a new international audience and pushing it to its breaking point.”

 

Rashad has recently teamed up with Kode9’s Hyperdub label, and the results have been huuuuge. I can’t say enough positive things about this label. The pairing has encouraged Rashad’s evolution as an artist; showcasing a broad range of sounds, textures and moods. There’s the I Don’t Give A Fuck EP, with energy so high I want to move until I pass out from sheer excitement. His previous Rollin EP, with my personal favorite track, the emotional and freeing “Let It Go”. His newly released 2nd album, Double Cup further demonstrates his variety as a producer. It’s got plenty of soul, with an ultra smooth flow. Equally relaxing and gangsta’ in the best way.

 

I can’t talk about all this music without mentioning the Teklife crew. DJ Rashad is the chief member of this Chicago based unit, and you’ll notice many of the others in production collaborations. The releases I mentioned above also showcase DJ Spinn, Freshmoon (Tony Mundaca Jr. and Lacey Mundaca), DJ Manny, Taso, DJ Phil and DJ Earl (+ Addison Groove from across the water). There are others such as Traxman (see Teklife Vol.3 The Architek). Click over to their Soundcloud’s and take in this massive collection of vibrant tunes.

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It’s such an honor to not only be opening for DJ Spinn for a second time in just a few months, but to be joined by DJ Rashad, who was unable to perform at dB Fest 2013’s Hyperdub Showcase. This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often; it seems the universe demands these two come to Seattle and wake the city up. It’s exciting to note that DJ Spinn is working on his album for Hyperdub as well..

 

DJ Rashad – Soundcloud Facebook Twitter

DJ Spinn – Facebook Twitter

– Jimi Jaxon

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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

 

jimi1

If you’re unaware, I have joined the Bottom Forty DJ collective, based in Seattle. Run by Nark, this crew acts as a resource for lovers of underground music. Via the newly released Bottom Forty site, each of the members (Nark, Riff-Raff, Spaceotter, Pavone, Tony Radovich and myself) will post about music every week. In addition, we have a podcast series, featuring exclusive mixes and interviews. Each B40 member is requesting mixes from people we like, and working on mixes ourselves to debut. I’ve asked some of my friends to create podcast mixes, so keep an eye out for those, along with mine which will hopefully be up in the next few weeks. 

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You’ll notice my Bottom Forty posts often piggybacking Disco Droppings features, giving additional support to artists I’m fond of. So far I’ve written about Rubix, Misun, Dreams, Sleepyhead, Karma Kid, Velour, Boston Bun, Qween Beat, Nacey and most recently, Mirror State. Almost all of those have links to free downloads. 

“Bottom Forty is a mirror ball in New York, a basement in Chicago, a cruise in L.A. and a night in the desert.”

– Jimi Jaxon

On Friday, July 13th 2012, I’ll be breaking in the first Standard night at Baltic Room with an opening DJ set, 9:30-10:30 (FB event).  Focusing on fresh, expansive, and at times unpredictable dance music, this monthly is tuned for audiences looking for diversity. I’ll be reppin’ my blog Disco Droppings with some personal favorites so far. Listen in for Seazo, XI, Azealia Banks, Minerva (forthcoming track on Car Crash Set), James Arctic, What So Not, Liar..plus some artists I’m hoping to feature in the future. I’ll also play a remix of mine from a past 7 Deadly Records release. The lineup also features Sky Rose, Ghostplay and Sounds In Silence. Come and get worked by some throbbing bass..

 

– Jimi Jaxon