Archives for posts with tag: New Kanada

 

Reflection. Expanse. Change. Liberation.

These words come to mind as I listen through New Kanada’s Ambient Parks Compilation. “Hydro Lines” and “Quazar” have shown up in my DJ sets lately. A wonderful way to clear the sonic space that’s come before and start fresh. 

Let your energy flow, embrace it all. Let the music guide you towards an evolution. You have great power.

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– Jimi Jaxon

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Graze is extremely effective at creating a journey with its productions, and this recent live set is no exception. The debut of this live show happened at Mutek 2013 in Montreal, and received significant recognition at the festival and in reviews. XI (Christian Andersan) and Adam Marshall (head of New Kanada, a personal label favorite) know how to demand motion and imaginative thought. While still being immersive with a wide spectrum of emotion, their tracks as Graze can have this dirty sassiness with the rhythms, and I absolutely love their execution. I’ve listened to this mix at work; washing dishes and cleaning tabletops, as well as at home cleaning my room. These can feel like mundane tasks, but as their live set sound tracked my actions I was immediately taken to another place, a placed dreamed up and translated by this duo. I hope to see Graze live in the near future, their fluidity with performance is of very high quality. I’m happy that this live session is available for download via XLR8R. Fine job with the eq’ing and/or mastering of the mix, ultra crisp. So many mixes I hear are missing that final touch, and I think it can do a disservice to the collection of tracks. 

 

I adored their self-titled debut EP. I wrote multiple blog features on the release, and played out several tracks such as “On Board” and “Ques”. After hearing that an album was fast approaching, I had no doubts that it would be major. I believe it will further show that Graze makes consistently strong statements about musical quality and graphic design. This new track “Skip/Crush” is a sonic triumph, pleasing on headphones and blasting out a club sound system. The video’s design demonstrates that Graze is just as strong with visuals and they are with beats. It astounds and inspires me that all the graphic design for Graze, including this new video and all the graphic productions for the New Kanada label are done by Adam Marshall. A one man machine, I see such talent in his able to create cohesion, making art pieces with lasting potential. This visual element of New Kanada deserves it’s own feature, but for now I want to give Adam credit for such mastery of the eye.

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Today marks the eve of the ‘Edges’ release, Graze’s debut album. They’ve built it up very well, with all signs pointing towards a very strong presentation. I hope that it brings listeners together from many walks of life; from techno heads to dubsteppers, bass music fanatics to ambient chill people’s and everyone in between. The walls between genres are being broken down and mutated once again. Graze are a perfect example of two people coming from different ends of a landscape, and through mutual respect, creating distinct common ground.

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You can now stream the entire album, with commentary from Graze via Self-Titled Mag.

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– Jimi Jaxon

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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..

 

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– Jimi Jaxon

Released this month, XI presents his Joy/Fear EP on New Kanada. As you’ll see in this interview, I’m quite fond of this guy’s style, and had a fun time getting to know him.

 

 

DD Welcome, XI. You’ve easily become one of my favorite artists to feature on Disco Droppings. How’s it goin’?

XI Maxin’ and relaxin’ all cool, just shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school.

DD Before I read into some of your past interviews, I listened to your music and noted a similar reaction with Actress. In both instances, I get the feeling that I’m in some alternate, almost alien environment, and I like it. If you’ve heard Actress’s R.I.P album, how has it impacted you?

XI I take that as a massive compliment because I don’t try to parallel my own productions with his, but I find his music massively inspiring and consider him probably my most favourite electronic music artist of all time. R.I.P was one of the albums I was eagerly awaiting this year and the circumstance under which I heard it for the first time was as wonderful as the album itself. His is some of the only stuff these days that puts me into an alpha state, much like you are describing. The divergent reality effect. Since 2006 his music has been the soundtrack to much of my life. Current favourites off the record are title-track “R.I.P”, “Tree of Knowledge”, “Uriel’s Black Harp”, and “Ascending”.

 

DD What video games have the best soundtracks, in your opinion?

XI There are many classic soundtracks that spring to mind, one that sticks out (due to the emphasis on the music itself being part of the package) is Quake 2, another is EVE Online (which I’m open to admit playing semi-regularly). Video game music is a unique breed that sits somewhere between movie scoring and just free writing. Games like Katamari have soundtracks with music that simply wouldn’t go outside of the game environment. Some classic NES titles (some of which I have sampled) that I love are games like Shadowgate, Mega Man, and of course the Final Fantasy series (Jenova boss music ftfw).

 

DD What would a game, with a soundtrack by XI, look like?

XI I think I would do best scoring a future-fantasy epic. Something that takes forever to finish with a twisting story line, probably to do with the origins of the universe and involving some bit where the main character is in some extra dimensional plane contemplating the nature of reality. I’m talking plate worlds, sub orbital strongholds, loads of spacecraft, innumerable star faring races, plenty of chronicled inter-galactic lore, large-scale wars. Oh yeah, and it would also have to primarily be a love story. But the main character doesn’t get the girl at the end and the bad guys win.

 

DD Your new “Joy/Fear” EP on New Kanada has an incredibly distinct atmosphere. The track, “Nightlif” creates such a confident mood, very deep and emotional. What was the most rewarding thing about making this release?

XI Putting out this latest record was great. I was really happy with the tracks and could feel that they really suited where I’m at artistically and express exactly what’s going on in my mind currently. Working with Adam Marshall has been a great experience, and all the tracks on this record have been directly inspired by my new found life here in Berlin. Over the last year the way I make music, the way I think about it and how it actually ends up sounding has changed drastically, so I’m glad to have some of this new stuff see the light of day AND be received so well across the board. Even the free promotional give-away track Glythe was something I was really excited to get out there.

DD Going way back to a release you did in 2008, Smoke Signal/Strategy on Off Road Recordings..”Smoke Signal” is a mammoth track dude! Wow, was not expecting a track like that. Was your mindset much  different back then, or is this just a different approach to making beats?

XI Back then, comparatively, I had no idea what I was doing. So long as it had complex rolling drums and a huge baseline I was satisfied. In ’08 I was primarily concerned with writing tracks for my DJ sets that would get people moving and work out the sound systems. I am still cognizant of sound system workouts in my new stuff, but I’m personally getting more satisfaction out of making more expressive music, some might say I’m moving more into listener territory these days, and whether or not that is true, one thing I can say is that I’m much happier with my output lately than I have ever been.

 

 
DD Where do you plan to take XI in the rest of 2012?

XI Live set, longer records, more story telling, more trance inducing melodic sojourns, more Bill Withers appropriation, getting slower and slower, and taking over the world by sword or subterfuge.

 

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– Jimi Jaxon