Archives for posts with tag: Kid Smpl

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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

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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

 

bondaxx

The very first post of 2012 on Disco Droppings was an interview with Bondax. I said that this duo, comprised of Adam Kaye and George Townsend had a lot of love to give, and that love has been well received by fans across the UK and beyond throughout the year. It’s safe to say they have blown up, presenting deep music straight from their hearts. Their newest single “Gold” has already gained 100k + listens in 4 days, they’ve toured with Star Slinger, started a fantastic label called Justus Recordings (with remixes from Justin Martin of Dirtybird and Star Slinger + brilliant originals from Karma Kid and Sweater Beats), gotten huge support from BBC Radio 1, put together solid mixes for Red Bull Studios London, Fader and Mary Anne Hobbs and are now on tour in North America. It’s always a pleasure to find distinct artists to feature on this blog, and I feel like a proud parent of sorts, watching them progress and evolve.

 

 

bondax

For those of you wanting to see Bondax live, they will be in LA tonight at The Roxy Theatre, followed by stops in San Francisco, Seattle (Decibel sponsors this show at The Baltic Room Friday 12/14, with support from Kid Smpl and Jason Burns, FB event), Portland and Vancouver B.C.

 

 

Bondax – Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

Justus Recordings – Soundcloud

– Jimi Jaxon 

It’s been nearly a year since I last talked with Daega Sound and I’m happy to report, they’ve been very busy. This duo from Vancouver showcases powerful tracks in the dubstep realm , an expanded live pa and a string of excellent releases in 2012, into 2013. Extensive interview below..

 

DD I was just up in Vancouver to see XI, thought about you guys. What are you up to in Canada? I still gotta see one of your shows. 

DS Yup we’ve been busy keeping up with our releases and forthcoming releases, as well as writing LOTS of new music for 2013.  We have 8 tunes slotted for release at the end of 2012 and early 2013. We are super stoked for our latest releases, our tune “Fonica” and the seriously banging Fonica remix by DJG out on limited edition 10” as well as digital on Crude Records.  Also our remix of Longwalkshortdocks “You Berg” out on King Deluxe. Forthcoming we have 2 dnb tunes coming out on Loxy’s CX:Digital label, Mind Like Water. It’s a half time very textured dnb bit and “Flight” which is akin to the older school dnb steppers but with a melodic and layered up Daega sound. Also a 3 track minimal style dubstep EP coming out on Dat Pressure Records. Our collab with HxdB, which has been super fun, will be out on 12” and digital on Crude Records. You can catch the dub of “Spheroid” (Daega and HxdB) being snuck onto SubFM and RinseFM by a select few Dj’s. Also a couple remixes we have done, “Regenerate” by Moldy, a super sick proper tune coming out 12” and digital on Tuba, and a remix of the notorious Mat The Aliens “Hsptl Wobble”..a mad mid bass wobbler we totally daegafied, for his label Really Good Recordings. So keeping that going as well as getting to work other new projects. We are working with vocalist Lady Maroo on a couple tunes, who has worked and released music with DJ Madd, excited to see where that goes, she has a great voice. Outside of the studio we are starting to book in some shows in Vancouver and are looking at the spring for a North Amercian tour.  In the immdediate future we’ve got some DJ gigs and some Live PA gigs in Vancouver comin up!

 

DD Judging by your new productions, I sense a distinct production evolution (the forthcoming “Fonica” on Crude Records is tough!). How do you feel you’ve grown in 2012, and how to you hope to build on that progress? 

DS “Fonica” is a culmination of new inspirations within the bass music realm and our new ever progressing experience in the studio.  The more time we spend in the studio, the more we learn. New information and skills are very inspiring, the results are in an evolution of the sound. We are also looking at the overall organization of what it is that we do and what we want to do.  Looking forward and building on the foundation that we have, we’ll be spending a bunch of time in the studio writing and finishing new tunes, and we also plan to be getting ourselves out on the road more.  All the while, we’ll be upping the focus on making ourselves more accessible and organized online.

DD The Daega Sound remix of Longwalkshortdock’s “You Berg” has a sick rhythm. The change up between the intro and drop is very unexpected. How are you connected with Longwalkshortdock, and what did you hope to accomplish with this remix? 

DS We had been playing the same festivals as Longwalk for a couple years before we actually met. Always loved his live performances, totally off the hook awesomeness; he can produce,  sing, and really put on a show. Once we all met, and nerded out for a bit, we totally got along and now try to catch each other’s shows whenever we can.  We liked Longwalk’s version of “You Berg” with the vocals, he sent the stems over, King Deluxe wanted to do a remix pack with a bunch of other producers and it was on. The format of the song is unexpected. This tune kinda just came out like that, we liked the contrast of the smooth vocal lines and build up from the likes of the original tune, then the way it just fell into a very different drop, which is very us, but still heavily influenced by the original. We didn’t really have an agenda with the “You Berg” remix, it was more about getting a project going with LWSD, cause we like him and his music so much.

DD When is this DPR Recordings release happening? I love the fluid, epic quality of “Falsehood”, and “Whirpool” is tight too. 

DS Thank you! We were going for a full sound using minimal timbre’s and a stripped back arrangement. Master’s of the tunes are completed and they sound awesome. From this stage the tunes begin their journey to the label to queue up for promo, then onto worldwide distribution on all major online retailers. We are waiting for a release date from distribution for the EP, we anticipate a late 2012 release.

 

DD I was sad to see III Cosby, head of Car Crash Set move from Seattle to Washington D.C.  He released the “No Northwest Cycle 2 EP #3” in May, 2012. This features your tracks “Legion”  and “Winter’s Horse”, along with productions from Kid Smpl and Keyboard Kid. “Winter’s Horse” stood out to me, I would love to include this in a future DJ set of mine. What kind of connection do you feel with your close neighbor, Seattle? 

DS Glad you like the tune, of course put it into a mix, that would be awesome! Well, from the few times we’ve been to Seattle, we played with Shackleton there in 2010 and had a seriously good time, we both really like it. We were into all kinds of rock and grunge when we were younger and some our favourite musicians (Chris Cornell, Kurt Cobain to name a few) all come from Seattle, so it was awesome to play there..and think about how many amazing artists have performed or come from Seattle. The influence from all those artist is still very there for us.  We’d both really like to be there more and get to know the city better, haven’t made it to Decibel Festival, its been in the plans for a couple years, we’ve heard so many great things about the level of production, and of course the line up always looks so amazing.

 

DD To wrap things up, what’s the best thing that’s happened to you guys this year? 

DS We’re not good at picking favourites, there are certainly a lot of highlights. Some highlights would have to include: releasing a limited edition 10” with an absolute banger of a remix from one of our favorite producers and good friend DJG (aka Grenier), releasing on Loxy’s label is big for us , he has been a sound hero for us since we were teenagers. The success of our new live pa set at this years edition of Bass Coast featuring the debut of a bunch of our new DnB and integration of ipads into our live set up, honing in our production and work schedule (there’s something to be said for time management) and having some space and time to write and prepare for the future.

Daega Sound – Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

daegasound.com

– Jimi Jaxon

 

 

No stranger to Disco Droppings, Kid Smpl is back once again. Download “Escape Pod” for free via XLR8R. You’ll have to wait until August 7th to pick up the full release (Hush Hush Records), but to hold you over I’ve talked with Kid Smpl about these new tunes and such.

DD First things first, I’m very happy you got accepted into the Red Bull Music Academy. The competition was especially fierce this year.

KS Ya I’m still in a bit of shock! Really excited for it, I think it’ll be a great experience.

DD How do you hope to be challenged by the program?

KS I’ve heard that it’s a non-stop and extremely focused experience, so I’m hoping that it challenges me to push my production to the next level, as well as make a lot of great connections.

 

DD Exciting stuff! Now, our friend Alex Ruder, contacted me about his label’s first release. Hush Hush Records begins with your “Escape Pod” EP. Is this the first time you’ve been asked to create a label’s starting release?

KS Yes, and I was pretty excited to do it. It’s one of my favorite releases, of the one’s I’ve done. The full length album that follows this release is probably my favorite project.

DD I’ve enjoyed this EP more and more with each listen, Especially “Pulse” and that remix by D33J. Alex describes the label as having a “multi-genre aesthetic, elaborating on the world of headphones, late-night travels, intimate encounters and contemplative rides on public transportation.” Do you appreciate these kinds of musical descriptions as opposed to genres?

KS Ya, I do appreciate the descriptions as they’re often not as limiting as genres can be. That particular description is often labeled “Night Bus” now, which is something I’m completely comfortable with, and that Hush Hush also embraces. I like it because the term isn’t necessarily the name of a genre but more of a vibe.

DD Mmm, I think it’s fitting and like you said, not as limiting as genres can be. Last question, your playing at Standard next month (The Baltic Room, 8/10). Have you thought about your set?

KS Ya I’ve thought about my set a bit. I think I’m gonna play some remixes of my own tunes that I’ve been getting in for this “Escape Pod” remix EP. Also, probably some ballroom, jersey club, and a bit of grime. That’s really the dance music that I’m feeling right now.

DD Can’t wait to hear it all, cheers dude!

 

Kid Smpl – Twitter Facebook Soundcloud Tumblr

kidsmpl.com

– Jimi Jaxon