Archives for posts with tag: Mad Decent

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My friend Astronomar is wielding monstrous sonic energy with his recent productions. I’m buzzin’ off these recent promos from Marlon and his Main Course label. After some time apart, we’ve reconnected and here’s our conversation. See how he’s doin’ in his new home of LA, the mindset behind some of his tracks and the inner-workings of the super-rad Main Course label. 

 

 

DD Whatsup man? It’s been exactly a year since I had you on Disco Droppings. How are you doing?

AST I’m doing very well thank you! Hard to believe a whole year has passed!

DD Originally from Alaska, we met during your time in Seattle where I’m still at. Your now in L.A., and I’m happy the Emerald City is part of your list of hometowns. How has your most recent move impacted your life?

AST Yeah man I love Seattle! Still come to visit and/or DJ relatively frequently. Being in LA is amazing. Creative energy is through the roof, and it’s so easy to feel inspired.

 

DD The new tracks of yours that first perked my ears up were Like This / Pay Attention. These two sit between a few styles in their own distinct and fun way. Equally playful and demanding. To me, you are a breath of fresh air to the dance community and a formidable producer/DJ coming up. It doesn’t surprise me that your tracks have sparked the interest of DJ’s playing clubs and festivals all over. What was your intention with this release? These tracks seem perfectly made for the environments I mentioned above.

AST Thanks dude happy you like them! Ya I kind of imagine them fitting perfectly somewhere in the middle of a banging club set. Not over the top face melters nor are they very deep; rather something wide & hopefully groovy enough to help people get loose and prepared for a more demanding set of tracks.

DD I think “Untrapped” is a brilliant little term and you really nailed these 3 remixes for your self-released Untrapped Vol. 2. My favorite is your edit of Djemba Djemba’s “Stahp”, really kool! These all seem very fun to put together. What’s your mindset like in the studio? Is a high fun factor something you aim for? I keep coming back to this theme of your productions being colorful and also filled with attitude.

AST I really enjoy making edits! There is so much inspiring music coming out all the time I can’t help but want to ruin them, haha. The whole untrapped thing started from liking what was happening in EDM trap, and  I wanted to incorporate those into house paced sets. So the mindset is really to destroy/rebuild while still respecting the original piece, as well as pushing my personal genre boundaries. For Untrapped 2 I made an old school jungle edit of DJ Fresh VS Diplo “Earthquake”. I sent it to Diplo, then a couple days later I got an email chain back from Diplo with Ministry Of Sound guys saying they wanted to do something with it. I doubt anyone would ever expect me to make a jungle edit of anything, but it was a personally enjoyable musical exercise and to have it be embraced is pretty rewarding.

 

DD One thing I notice in a lot of interviews are the same questions being thrown around like, “where does your name come from?” I like that your playing with people a bit, based on these different responses you’ve given to different people. No question there, I just think it’s funny.

AST f you want to know where my music name comes from its in a different interview lol!

DD I think we are kindred spirits in a few ways, one of them being that we both operate labels. You now have Main Course; which is co-run by Neoteric and Bot. I relate to your guy’s approach of getting good music out there, regardless of genre. How is the work load split in the running of Main Course? And how has this area of management improved other areas of your artist world?

AST Main Course is awesome! I run it with two guys I have great respect and admiration for. There are very few clear lines as to where the duties are split; we all help where we can, when we can, and make decisions on a 3-way basis most of the time. My role is a bit of a mover & shaker on the ground, listening to lots of promos and talking with the artists whom naturally grow into friends (if they aren’t already). But I feel like working with a lot of the incoming music has helped me listen much deeper than I used to, and has helped me give clearer and unbiased feedback. Then, I turn that same ear to my own productions.

 

DD How was your trip to EDC Vegas 2013? I went in 2011 and 2012 and I wish I could’ve seen you at that time!

AST EDC was incredible!! was unreal and hope to make it back to play again in the future.

DD I’d say you are a highly passionate and motivated individual. Are there reminders or pieces of wisdom you use to stay on your desired path?

AST Ayye I appreciate that! I am just grateful that my output is appreciated & realized. Any success no matter how inconvenient is one worth pursuing. Nourish the vibes where you can, shake the hands and recycle the cans.

 

Astronomar – Facebook Twitter Soundcloud 

maincourse.me

– Jimi Jaxon

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Released in early June of this year, Jeffree’s Volume 3 features my dude, Slick Shoota. He’s become a big part of my music world since I interviewed him for Disco Droppings, and I love watching him run and make some epic noise. Hear “Rasta”, “Percussion Skank” and “Wile Out” (Originally from Shoota’s “Percussion Skank” EP on Jeffree’s, now available in high quality) + music from Bwana, Baauer and Wiwek.

 

 

maddecent.com

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Slick Shoota – Facebook Soundcloud Twitter

– Jimi Jaxon

 

This guy brings the party. Such high energy music, I love it! Astronomar has releases on Top Billin and Mad Decent Jeffree’s, which are ace. Grab his recent mp3 ” courtesy of XLR8R – Interview below

DD Whatsup Astronomar? I believe the first time we talked (at the Rye Rye show?) you connected me with Michael Grunden of George Bashington Productions. I helped promote a few of his shows and ended up opening his Boysnoize Records showcase in Seattle. First off, thank you for introducing us! What are you up to? 

A No problem, Mike is the guy! Recently I’ve been working on music and trying to eat lots of fruits & veggies, haha! Trying to narrow down my remix work , though I am always experimenting on original tracks and also have a couple collabs in the works. June 25th my colab EP titled “Horse Code” with Swick (Australia) comes out on Enchufada, J-Wow from Buraka Som Sistema’s label.

 

DD Your first release “Had To Move On” is rad. I realized that I included that track in my tribal set for my label, 7 Deadly Records release party last December. Were you expecting such a positive reaction from this release? 

A Thanks man glad you like it! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was definitely hoping for the best. Though I was blown away when I saw a video of Crookers playing it at I Love Techno. its extremely inspiring to get support from any of your musical heros.

DD There are so many Astronomar tracks and remixes on your Soundcloud. Going back to your first attempts at producing, did you have a period when you thought you’d never get the hang of it? Were their certain producers and/or tutorials that helped you along the way? I bet their are some new producers reading this..

A Yeah, I think we all have those moments when we feel stuck in some way or another, but as long as you think it out and continue to work, you will progress. I didn’t really watch tutorials to learn techniques, the way I do things is a bit backwards and is mainly a result of trial and error.

DD You’ve had some very innovative producers feature your tracks in their mixes, including Crookers, Diplo, A- Trak and Cedaa. Whose done your favorite mix with a production of yours? 

A Yeah man it feels great to get their support! I can’t pick a favorite tho, I really enjoyed all those mixes and not only because they featured my tracks. Those are all guys I respect and would be happy to check out their mixes anyways.

DD From your experience playing shows in Seattle and getting to know the electronic community around here, is there anything you’d like to see more of? Certain styles getting more attention and such? 

A From my observation, there are a lot of talented people doing electronic music in Seattle, in a multitude of genres. It actually seems as though the artists outnumber the audience most of the time. So I’d have to say Seattle’s electronic music community would greatly benefit from having more open minded folks on the dancefloors.

 

DD The “Ya’ll Know EP” you put out on Top Billin is very very cool. I saw a funny ep teaser video for the release, did you have any input on the direction of this video? 

A Thanks man, happy you like it! Yeah my good friend Timbre made that video. I sent him a few silly clips to give him an idea of what I was aiming for, and he took it to a whole new level!

 

DD Brenmar, Four Color Zach yourself and others will be playing at Lo-Fi in Seattle on July 13th, 2012. How would you describe the overall feel of this show, for those thinking about stopping by?

A It will be really dope! We have a very musically diverse & talented line up, and its at a cool spot with cheap drinks. We just had Jubilee last month and that was really dope. 

Astronomar Soundcloud Facebook Twitter

– Jimi Jaxon


 

I sense strong vision and loads of fresh energy coming from this Australian duo. I talk with What So Not about the music community in their area, the idea behind the “Get Free” remix, their brilliant 7 Dollar Bill EP, out on Sweat It Out! and such and such. 

DD Whatsup? How’s it down in Sydney?  

WSN Yo dude! Sydney’s been awesome. Weathers great. Both Harley & myself bodyboard and the surf has been killer lately. Pretty much in the water unless we’re writing tunes.

DD I have some buddies down there in your area; James Arctic, Mirror State and Benson. It sounds like there’s some fresh diversity coming out of Australia, would you agree?

WSN Ah sweet, yeah I know Benson as well, good bloke! Yeah I’m loving so many Australian artists at the moment. Everything got a bit mainstream here for a while, but true vision & talent is starting to push through. Ta-Ku, Hermitude, Harley’s solo project Flume. At the other spectrum, bands like ‘Last Dinosaurs’, Parachute Youth & dance producers like ‘Peking Duk’ & Benson, all killin it! 

 

DD I’m forgetting which artist led me to your remix of Major Lazer’s “Get Free”, it was posted on their twitter a little while ago.

WSN I know Nero did a tweet bout it?

DD Ah! Shame on me for forgetting it was Nero. At 54k plays on Soundcloud, it’s getting a lot of love and for good reason. Of the remixes I’ve heard of this track, I feel yours stands at the top. Did you guys know straight away what you wanted to do with the original? That drop is very unexpected..

WSN Yeah the response has been crazy. Our good friend Nina Las Vegas (DJ & Triple J Radio host) sent it of to the Mad Decent team & they loved it. I think they must have forwarded it to their crew, cause all these big names started posting bout it & playing it.

We started an original that day, which is pretty much the percussion you hear in the track. Hitting a creative wall, we thought maybe work on a bootleg instead. Dropped ‘Get Free’ over the top of the drums & it fit really well. I left it with harley that arvo & he came up with the most insane left field baseline for the drop. Kid is a genius. 

 

DD Your “7 Dollar Bill” EP is crisp, clean and well balanced. It’s very dancey, with a nice amount of space between the various sounds. You two seem very in tune with your emotions after hearing “Love Theme”. I sense a lot of warmth in your productions overall. You use sounds that I hear in dance music currently, but there’s something special about the way you combine it all. Is an emotional element for What So Not a conscious direction?

WSN Harley has a very good grasp on chords, melodies & vocal bending, which often stimulates a lot of emotion in the tracks. I don’t know if it conscious, but both of us are very passionate about music. The most important thing for us is exposing ourselves to a wide variety of sounds, drawing inspiration & pulling it all together. 

DD This “Mega Mini Boombah Mix” boasts 50 tracks in ten minutes, pretty mad! With so many songs included, it doesn’t sound at all crammed. You definetely have a gift for clarity when working with a lot of sounds. Is this something you’ve been practicing a lot to deliver? 

WSN Ah thanks! I think a lot of that came from my years making complex mixtapes, bootlegs & mashups; layering various hooks, vocals stabs, beats, synth riffs & buildups to form a high density stand alone track for club sets.

 

DD What are your plans for summer and the rest of 2012? 

WSN Well we’re playing all around Australia at the moment which has been amazing. There are plans in the works to venture overseas & we have some really big international remix offers on the table, which I think will aid in that coming about. We’re also planning to have our second EP complete within a few months 

DD Last words? Hope to have you back on Disco Droppings soon!

WSN Thanks to everyone thats been discovering & enjoying our music! & thanks to all the blogs that are supporting us! (including Disco Droppings of course)!

 

What So Not – Facebook Twitter Soundcloud 

– Jimi Jaxon