I'm a true dilettante. I like to think I love music and comic books and that's what you'll see here. I do not own any of the material exposed. If it's yours and you don't want it to appear here, please contact me through coldwindears(at)gmail(dot)com. Support the artists: buy their material and attend their gigs!
I don’t know if you remember, but some months ago Spoek Mathambo announced to be involved in projects directly related to his African roots. The first results landed. Spoek’s new project is basically composed by covers produced with Nombolo One Crew. And who are they? Nombolo One are Spoek himself, Theo ‘Mthezo’ Tuge and Ayanda ‘Ayobah’ Sithole. The artist intended to pay tribute to South Africa’s musical tradition never forgeting classics from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. Besides, “All the songs on this album are covers and contain absolutely no samples.” ! OK, that’s why I liked it! Obviously, besides Spoek’s vocals, “a number of artists have contributed (…) namely: Siya and Ray (The Brother Moves On), Okmalumkoolkat (Dirty Paraffin), Syntax, Bra Solomon (BFG) and The Frown who added her delicate and beautiful vocal styling on the first single Melodi, a retake of the classic Mahlathini & Mahotella Queens song.”. The illustrations you see were made by the Love&Hate Studio. They’re giving away the first track, go & get it!
Artist: Spoek Mathambo
Title: Nombolo One, A Motel11 Roadtrip Tape (Mixtape)
We’ve previously discussed Sun Glitters (feat. RYAT) remix of “Still I Hear the Word Progress” on a previous post. I’m afraid at this point you got why I’m definitely not the right person to review or just simply to praise Lushlife’s highly anticipated mixtape. Due to its heavy burden of rap, clearly expressed on the guest-artist choice (Cities Aviv, Andrew Cedermark, STS, Jabee, QuESt, Heems, Dice Raw, Tim Meskers of Brown Recluse, SSG1200 Low Bias), almost all of them linked to this particular genre, as well as hip-hop, in a more discrete or obvious manner, “No More Golden Days” is a voice guided mixtape where words were chosen as someone who hunts for shells. They’re hard and strong, not that easy to listen. Completing them, in a more or less evident pathway are the flawless musical arrangements, actually the best feature for me, as the rest it’s not quite my thing, I must admit. Give it a listen, download it for free or add it to your cart if it’s your scene.
After all the tribulations this weekend, while finishing another college work I was surprised by this mixtape from an unknown girl. It’s not that usual to see a girl with such a musical taste and a consistent formula. Marlene made a perfect mix for chilling, despite not being downloadable due to having upcoming tracks (from artists I also love)… It’s more than one hour lenght, but put it playing while doing something and you won’t regret the company. The devil won’t torture your dreams tonight, ‘cos you’ll have sweet dreams, so, in this sense, he may care, yes.
Oddlogic who’s not “odd logic” made both video and song, sampling the piano from Jon Hopkins. Blah blah blah circles and life and so. Definitely you shoud listen the brilliant mix he made for a new blog in the place, Breathing Beats. Contains many inedited tracks… Because it’s so good I’m also streaming it here, but don’t forget to check its origin.
OMG OMG OMG may I behave like a crazy chick now? I’ve been loving so much Clams Casino stuff (mainly the instrumentals) and he’s getting some interesting highlights on the press and blogs. Have you checked his mix for FACT Mag? It’s the 258th, was released yesterday, here (as usual, it’s only for free download during three weeks). “Natural” is taken from “Rainforest” EP, out next Monday worldwide. via La 3e Heure
Don’t Be Afraid is a label celebrating its 4th and 5th releases, respectively, Semtek’s “West Acyd Shelter” EP and Mr Beatnick’s “Synthetes” EP, with two free downloads below, and an event tomorrow night (May, the 27th) in London (facebook link). If you’re keen on techno music, you have nothing to fear: we’re talking about pure techno, on its different shades. Plus, there’s also the mixtape on the bottom to listen to, made by these two fellas. via Jus Like Music
Genre: Electronic | Techno | House | Disco | Beats
You all know my relationship of love/hate with dubstep. Asa’s one of the youngest UK producers on the genre getting world’s attention, ever since his remix for Kito & Reija Lee (made together with KOAN). I include myself on this last group. He recently gave an illustrative interview to Greek magazine Freeze, which is being transcribed en bloc. He’s got also a friendly package of freebies who shouldn’t miss, including a heartfelt remix for Adele. Obviously, all credits of the interview go to dubstepforum.gr.
1.Thank you for your time Asa and this interview for Freeze magazine and the dubstepforum.gr. So who are you ?
No worries. My name is Asa that is my birth name as well as my ‘alias’ or whatever you want to call it. I am a producer/songwriter from the UK; I am based in a small city on the south coast of the country, about half way between London and Bristol.
2.When did you start with producing and where does your style derive from?
I started ‘producing’ back in school, when I was about 15, I guess? But of course it was nothing serious, at the time my musical background was in choirs and I played piano - which has definitely contributed towards the way I write a lot of my music now. But in all honesty I’d say my production derives primarily from being sick and tired of hearing so many generic artists, I just wanted to hear something different. I make tunes for myself mostly, it’s like therapy, ya know? It’s personal and it’s intimate, well it’s intimate until it’s released anyway. Then it’s the listeners property, which is the way it should be. For me, it just has to evoke an emotion in the listener, wherever that be on headphones in a dark room by themselves or it be on a huge sound system amongst thousands of other people - it’s got to induce some sort of emotional response. That’s the purpose of music, right? Otherwise there is no point. In terms of dance music, I grew up listening to mostly garage, just a lot of 2-step and some DnB really, amongst a lot of other music of course. Bands like Sigur Ros & Incubus amongst plenty of others have as much influence on me as my contemporary ‘dubstep’ producers. But that is definitely where a lot of my rhythmic patterns stem from, for sure.The Skippy 2-step drum patterns, I love them. I still find my garage collection to be the most varied and interesting music I have, obviously there is a lot of nostalgia involved with my relationship to the tunes, but garage did get killed off and recycled into dubstep and grime pretty much. That’s the way this music works, there is this continuum of bass music in the UK that just keeps churning out new ideas. Hence why I get so frustrated with generic production traits - it’s the downfall of scene’s in the context of this music, you HAVE to do your own thing, and I think that principle is where my style derives from. I do my own thing.
3.What do you respond to the whole thing about dubstep and heavy bass. Is it just a trend?
Well it’s just the ridiculous amount of midrange lFO abuse I hear. I mean, I mostly only hear it when residents are playing that stuff before me at bookings. But don’t get me wrong, the producers I’m closest with like KOAN Sound, Statix & Culprate - theymake some of the hardest stuff around - but it’s so well executed, I get just as excited about a new Culprate tune as I do about a new Burial one, and that’s the way it should be I think. Good music is good music. But there definitely is a lot of poorly produced dubstep, I know that much. There is not enough space in the mixdowns in most dubstep tunes now. No room for the sub frequencies to be the prominent focal point in the mix. Which was the only ‘rule’ in Dubstep in the first place, if you can even call it a rule. It had to be around 140bpm and have emphasis on sub bass, the rest was up to the producers individual creativity. That’s how it should be. Me and a few of my friends have all been writing music around 100bpm recently, after becoming somewhat disillusionedwith what people think ‘dubstep’ is now, we have just reached a point where making music defined by one tempo just isn’t plausible. We don’t want to do that, as much as dubstep is and will continue to be the home for our music. There really has been a very notable divide in the scene over the last year or two; it’s clear to everyone involved on either side. A lot of people on one side hold a lot of animosity towards what is now commonly associated with the tag dubstep; as a result they are deliberately pushing further and further away from the cliché production techniques which is a positive creative drive for sure, but I for one am still more than happy for my music to be tagged as dubstep. I still think the best thing about the genre is its diversity, so if producers like me try and distance ourselves from dubstep, and then what hope does it have? Creating sub-genres is like pushing yourself into a corner, setting up more boundaries; it will only limit people’s creativity.
4.Your last release is “Sweeter Things” EP and let me tell you, we like it so much. What’s next? Are there unreleased or new tracks coming up?
Ahhh that’s awesome, I am glad you like the EP - I was a bit hesitant about it, I mean, it’s music I make for me and a few close friends to listen to and I know it’s not what most people are used to hearing. So it’s really good to know that some people have picked up on it and get the point of the tunes, that sort of thing is really cool. I really appreciate it whenever anyone tries to connect on a personal level and say that they like the tunes, that sort of thing really means the world to me. As for new releases myself & KOAN Sound just done a remix for Kito & Reija Lee’s EP on Mad Decent, which has been getting huge support and a great response recently which we are really happy with. Right now I have a whole bunch of remix’s due for release - the list is so long I wouldn’t even know where to start. The same applies to collaborations, I’m still working with my core group of friends more than anyone, mostly KOAN Sound, but I’m now getting to work with some of my favorite artists, which is something I am really happy about. I apologize about being so vague and not mentioning artist’ names, but I have realized recently that it is good to keep such things under the radar until they are completely finished and on top of that I’m simply just not allowed to talk about things until certain dates etc. I write music all day, every day. So there is no shortage of new music, it’s just an odd period for me and my friends at the moment – a lot of decisions being made with labels and all that kind of stuff, so a lot of our tunes are in a state of limbo at the moment.
5.Where do u see dubstep/step/future garage going?
I really do not agree with the whole genre branding thing, as I’ve said. To me - ‘Future Garage’ is one of the most ridiculous tags I have ever come across. I could sit here for hours and moan about why I disagree with it, but it’s not worth it. I just don’t agree with it. It’s dubstep, don’t call it anything else. There is something in it for everyone – that has been the whole point of this music from day one, it was the main principle that attracted me to it, ya know? The scene is thriving, regardless. There is so much good music consistently being put out. That’s all that counts - it is not a ‘fad’ or ‘trend’. It’s just another part of this constantly evolving bass music continuum that we are so lucky to have in the UK. Creativity is thriving; the underground really is glowing…
6.What do you know about Greek Dubstep in Greece in general and if you have any thoughts to play here?
I have a dear friend of mine who guys by the name of ‘Skru’, he goes by other alias as also, but he is a great soul and has so much passion for the music. He has always supported my stuff since I started, but other than that I know very little about the scene in Greece. I hear about events occasionally from my friend, but that is about it. It is obviously a place I would love to come and play, meeting people and travelling is one of the best things about music – it is what I am most thankful for out of all of it. I hope I am lucky enough to have a Greek promoter want to book me someday!
7.Tell us some of your favorite source for sounds. VST plugins , DWA’s, hardware…
I don’t like to talk about production methods so much, for a lot of reasons really… I think sharing knowledge about production and such things is one of the most important things, no doubt. But I prefer to do it on a one to one basis – I would happily teach or show anyone how I go about putting this sort of music together if they were willing to just sit there and learn. Making tunes brings people together, the people I value the most in my life are the ones I have met through music. The whole networking side of it so important. Production tutorials and things like that seem to be a bit too ‘paint by numbers’ for me, it cuts of that human experience of writing music. The fun and the vibe you can get from working on music with someone who approaches it in a completely different way is one of the most exciting things for me. Sitting around with KOAN Sound and just working on tunes have been some of the most beneficial moments of my life. Do you know what I mean? I will say this though - I record all my own foley sounds, I have my own production palette. Well, I hope I do anyway..
8.“I made this for you”, i have to admit that was my first ‘contact’ with your music, it’s one of my fav mixes and I have the question if the title and the whole mix are ‘personal’ to you. Maybe a girl?
Well, I really don’t know if I should talk about these things… but it’s ok I guess. I mean, I am personally invested in it all for so many reasons. But they are not going to be the same reasons for the listeners, if that makes sense? I really don’t want to come across as pretentious. I just like making tunes, that all. So yeah, essentially, a lot of the music I have made in the past was as a result of a very messy, break up from a long term relationship – a lot of it is about telling stories for me. It’s like therapy, it really is. That situation is well in the past now of course.So in regards to the mix entitled ‘I Made This For You’, it is in relation to another person… the key is in one of the first track names, that is all I will say. She knows who she is and that is all that matters.
Babe Rainbow was an artist I found last year on myspace after my incursion into witch-house (now six feet under). Yesterday he gave an interview plus a mixtape for Dummy Mag. On the interview he explains part of his influences, especially those found in the mix, and uncovers details from what he’s being doing: remixes for Grimes and Porcelain Raft, hip-hop, and a new EP on the go on Warp Records. The mix clearly can be divided on two parts (even he stresses that) - a first one more electronic, a second into hip-hop and rap, with sugary in between (but this is just me…). Most of the times it’s a happy set, freely downloadable as a bonus from the magazine.
Artist: Babe Rainbow
Title: Dummy Mix 69 (Mixtape)
Made for: Dummy Mag
Release date: 22nd April 2011
Genre: Electronic | Electro | Dub | House | Synth-Pop | Folk | Hip-Hop | Rap