Saturday, 23 June 2012
At the moment all I can see from out my window is dark and rain, but I understand that the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is about to enter into Summer, so here are some feel-good summery vibes for everybody:
This track by Oakland CA's Trails & Ways has been out a couple of weeks but it's so feel-good it'd feel pretty wrong not to include it on some sort of summer themed playlist:
Perhaps even more feel-good than the last track is this positively delightful remix of Tennis' song Petition by Vacationer, also it's possibly one of the best things I've ever heard:
Finally this is Poolside, chilled out and disco/funk inspired it's perfect for - well - relaxing by the poolside really:
Thursday, 14 June 2012
As some of you may know I'm currently trekking my way around the USA for the next couple of months, so will be not be able to get online nearly as much as I would normally wish. However the great news is that I've enlisted the always magnificent Kasia from In Love Not Limbo to step in and provide guest posts in my absence.
I'm going for a bit of girl power with this pick. I mainly blog about electronic music in some form or other, and it's a pretty male dominated world but recently I've been finding that the best picks are coming from some fellow gals:
You may or may not have already heard Py's Tripping on Wisdom mixtape. She collaborates with a lot of talented producers from the UK dance scene on this but It's more of an arts project than anything, an exploration of how the voice can be used and adapted to suit different styles of music. So even if dance isn't your thing I'd still recommend giving this a listen.
Bijou Winters is another vocalist who often collaborates with electronic producers, but I find this cover/mash-up thing she did between Shlohmo & Bon Iver absolutely beautiful.
I came across Carling Ruse really recently, she makes beats but they're very cleverly crafted as well as being super dreamy. The below track is her most recent and by far her best, it's got this summery nostalgic feel to it that makes me feel all fuzzy every time I here it:
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
This is #2 in our series of guest posts from the bands we adore. Today we have Drew from Is And Of The run us through the music thats soundtracking his life at the moment. As well as give us a world premier of a new track of his.
When I was first making the beat that became this song, my roommate was frying some sausage in the kitchen. At some point I got frustrated with not being able to find what was missing in the mix and took of my headphones, then had this revelation that I should layer in the sound of the sizzle. Thus the name. Months later Tom dropped some vocal knowledge and Ocko laid down some groove in the second half. Hope you dig it.
Just listen. It’s love.
This was my favorite album that year, and kind of what I modeled our sound off of for our first album. They find this really cool middle ground between traditional song structures and plain fucking around with sound, mixing guitars and live drums with electronic instruments so well that it took me years to even realize they were doing it.
Random sounds as percussion, a field recording of rain and birds, using sidechain compression to turn a piano into a completely different instrument– this dude is brilliant in terms of his production, but he does that AND tears my heart out at the same time. When I’ve seen him live, he adds so much energy and excitement to his tunes, but this one was so damn restrained and precise. You can’t miss him the next time he comes around.
Monday, 11 June 2012
As any of you who have been following us for the last couple of months will know we have fallen head over in heels in love with almost anything the young Oxfordian North Bay has touched, so we thought we would bring him in for a guest post; here is what he had to say.
I was listening to a minimix/podcast thing by some music blog, and it was all fairly middle of the road and uninspiring, that is until the gorgeous piano loop, which forms the bedrock of this track, chimed in. In a lot of ways it’s a stupidly simple song, it uses essentially the same chord progression throughout, there’s only one line of lyrics, which is repeated sporadically during the song, no real distinction between chorus/verse/bridge/anything else. Yet despite all these things I’m left entirely transfixed for all 304 seconds of the track, which is due to all the glistening layers and guitar shimmers floating in and out of the song. If I were to try and describe it to you, it’s a bit like Bombay Bicycle Club’s Shuffle mashed with Clock Opera, which in my eyes is quite the compliment. Also it’s worth listening to it until the very end, if you do then maybe you’ll understand why I always end up picturing a small Japanese girl, performing disruptively at a spelling bee.
If you don’t know who/what Slow Magic is, don’t worry, no one does. As far as I’m aware, he still hasn’t revealed his true identity to the world, he simply jives about wearing the mask from Crash Bandicoot, and makes really intelligent chillwave. To start with, this track feels like it could develop into a pounding, electro dance number, but before you get carried away, it breaks down into a poignant set of piano chords, before building back up to the initial riff. Loads of chillwave artists have emerged over the last few years, a lot of them are excellent, some aren’t, but I have to say Slow Magic is definitely one of the most original and exciting out there.
It was ridiculously difficult to decide which track to put choose here, because quite frankly he’s put out two EP’s, and they’re both stunning from start to end, but this one is probably my favourite. EWOK FUR is the moniker for Sven Weisse, a producer who takes a lot of influence from African and tribal beats, which he then combines majestically with beautiful guitar melodies and textured loops. I can’t recommend EWOK FUR enough, especially seeing as all his material is free to download on his bandcamp page.
Saturday, 9 June 2012
Another interview from the amazing Kasia from over at In Love Not Limbo. This time she gets the lowdown on one of London's most exciting young producers Great Skies.
I love the chilled vibe of your music, but I have no idea what to call it. So for anyone who isn’t familiar with Great Skies, how would you define your music?
Ah thanks very much! It’s been called so many things over the past 2 years and each time it’s a new crazy subgenre haha. I usually just call it Ambient Dance Music or Armchair Dancefloor because it fits it so well!
How did you start getting into producing your own music? What’s the appeal of making electronic beats instead of picking up a guitar or banging about on a drum kit?
I guess I’ve always wanted to make music but have never really had a medium to put it all together. When I came to university I bought a MacBook Pro and it had GarageBand on there so I started on that on the first day I got it. After a while I upgraded to Logic Pro and havn’t looked back since haha. Making stuff electronically seems to just give me more control over how it sounds and it’s a lot easier to experiment.
What are the inspirations behind the music you make?
I’ve tried to dissect my music in the past and say ‘oh that is definitely inspired by..’ but I can never really nail down what inspires me. For the most part I just think of an emotion or atmosphere I’ve experienced and make something that has that feel to it. When I first started out I tried to make music like different people but in the end it was just a lot easier to make music that’s just me.
How did the name come about? Were there any embarrassing name ideas before settling with Great Skies?
Ah I’ve been wondering when this question would be asked haha. I think I did what most producers do and I sat at the Soundcloud sign up screen typing in different names until one was accepted. Great Skies is the name of a song by a band I’m really into called Smoosh, and it just seemed to fit the type of music I wanted to make. Before that I made music as EndlessDark, which was a little gothier haha.
As a listener, how much of an effort do you make in keeping up with the trends in bass music?
I do like to check out what’s going on every now and then. A lot of the time bass music just gets thrown at me because I have a lot of bass music loving facebook friend’s haha.
How come you never really put out remixes? I heard your Grimes one and thought it was genius.
Ah thanks a lot! I think its that when I started making music I only made remixes and got a following for that. Eventually I became known as ‘The Dubstep Remix Guy’, and I don’t want to be that guy haha. Plus the Grimes one came about because when I first heard her music I just thought ‘Ah I would love to hear her sing over something really chilled’. I actually had a conversation with her management through a load of emails asking if I could produce a song for her..they said no haha.
Your work with Ivan Dubsky proves you’re pretty good at collaborating, so if you could work with anyone in the entire world, who would it be?
My stuff with Ivan Dubsky is probably the only collaboration I’ve done in person with someone. I actually went to school with him so it turned out to be a really easy process and we have a good laugh.
I guess Grimes has got to be one person I’d love to do some stuff with as well as Bjork, she’s incredible. Context was someone I really wanted to work with and I think my production with his songwriting works really well.
London’s got such a strong bass/electronic music culture, do you think living there’s provided you with more opportunities as an artist with stuff like resources and exposure?
I know there are a lot of producers and artists in London doing the same kind of stuff as I do but I can’t say I’ve met many of them. I guess living in London has made it easier to meet up with Context and go to gigs and stuff but it hasn’t done much for me in the way of exposure. Also, it feels like a lot of artists choose London as a place to do studio time so that’s been a lot easier. I think if I played live then London would be the ideal place to live so if I ever decide to do live stuff then I’m in the right place!
Most producers shy away from doing anything live until they feel they’ve perfected themselves, have you played many live/DJ sets?
I’ve never played a DJ set unfortunately. I’ve had a lot of really great offers that I’ve had to turn down because I’m not a great performer, I’d be too nervous haha. Also, my music is way too chilled for DJ sets I think, I don’t think people would be able to dance to it or anything haha.
Ideally, how do you want people to feel when they hear your music?
Strangely I think a lot of people interpret my songs differently to how I write them. I see a lot of comments and they say things I had no intention of conveying but I think that’s awesome and if people can relate to my music in anyway then I’m happy with that.
One last thing, what's your favourite song of all time?
Ah that’s a tough one.. I know it’s a little bit embarrassing but my favourite song is probably We Are Our Own Lies by Smoosh. I listen to that song when I’m stressed, sad, happy or anything, it’s just so good.
Friday, 1 June 2012
Three more tracks today. Sorry once again for being so unregular with the posting. Is's just so hectic here what with moving and all.
The first track comes from DIIV (formally Dive), a band featuring Beach Fossils member Zachary Cole Smith. Their debut Oshin is due on the 26th of June.
The second track is actually pretty old in blog terms, clocking in at 5 months or so. It comes from Californian shoegazers Highlands.
And the final track comes from the Parisian garage pop band Psycho Horses.