Today we are incredibly excited to be bringing you a brand new EP from our good friend Real Slow. This Australian producer has been a member of the alaya family since the very start and we are so happy to be featuring him in our seventh release in the alaya special friends series. Real Slow is […]
The Australian label Spinning Top has recruited an intriguing new artist, Fascinator. The only real information out there about this band/DJ is that he’s from New York City. Honestly after listening to Jagwar Ma’s edit for Fascinator’s, ‘Showin’ Off’, that’s all we need to know. We’re fans. Check out the culinary music video below and keep an eye on Lord Fascinator, what he creates under his new aussi label is bound to be interesting.
Oh, and grab the free download from Spinning Top Music here.
Today one of my personal favorites, Saturn, released yet another track. This time it’s a remix of Sound Remedy’s ‘We Are The Dream’. Although I’m not a huge house/electro fan, this one has won me over. I feel like Saturn is consistently able to put his own spin on things, and I have a lot of respect for that. In this remix he utilizes his progressive-styled layering and fading effects to keep a smooth yet upbeat tune throughout this track. His intense synth usage during the drops make for a more intense, deep house style, somewhat similar to Cashmere Cat. Saturn manages to really pull it off. I also found that the vocals were accentuated really well in all the right spots and had some nice harmony with the synth at the end. All in all, this is a very solid tune so feel free to check it out! If you want to learn more about this 16 year old producer, take a peek at our artist spotlight from last week.
There’s nothing quite like the experience of listening to a great artist for the first time, especially when the track you listen to is at the standard of this release by Night Beds. The 23-year-old songwriter from Nashville’s newest track ‘Me, Liquor & God’ is quite different from his usual indie releases (which I tore through after hearing this), but the electro-driven vibe is certainly fitting to his raw, emotion fueled vocals. It’s hard not to become lost in this track and it will definitely be on repeat for me in the weeks leading up to the new year.
Being an avid Porter Robinson fan, witnessing the success that he has had with his debut album has been insane. Worlds is by far my favourite album of the year. And to accompany the original tracks, there have been a multitude of great remixes and covers across several different genres. Today I have the privilege of premiering a brand new cover of one of Porter’s title tracks, ‘Sad Machine’ by our friends CAFUNÉ. The NYC-based duo consists of singer-songwriter Sedona and electronic music producer Testudo. By combining Sedona’s indie/folk vocals and Testudo’s flawless production, the two have created a beautiful indie/electronic rendition. I had the opportunity to ask them about the inspiration behind the cover and here’s what they had this to say:
“We love the the themes and images Porter created with “Sad Machine” and [his album] Worlds,” says Testudo. “This is our attempt to re-capture that energy and spirit and make it our own. We wanted to see how Sad Machine would change when performed with a human female vocal, with vocoded background parts.”
They have been kind enough to offer it up as a free download, so be sure to grab the DL and support CAFUNÉ on their social links. Enjoy!
Featured this week on Artist Spotlight is Gab Strum, otherwise known as Japanese Wallpaper, a 17 year old musician from Melbourne who crafts uplifting and emotional beats often accompanied by peaceful vocals.
Japanese Wallpaper’s moving “dream-pop” style has gained a lot of attention. A unique style along with his instrumental talents have helped to grow the passionate fan-base he has today. Strum’s techniques in music creation have enabled him to stick out in the widely popular indie music scene, something that can be fairly hard to do.
We had the opportunity to talk to Japanese Wallpaper about all kinds of stuff and picked out some of his music for you to listen to. So kick back, listen and learn from one of our favorite artists.
Hey Gab, how are you?
I’m really good thanks. Just about to get into bed actually.
How did you come up with your alias Japanese Wallpaper?
The name came from a band name generator – I was really indecisive about what to do with my music and was quite self-conscious and nervous about putting my first demos online so I decided to use an alias and pick the first name that the website generated.
When did you first show interest in creating music?
I first started playing piano when I was six… From the very start I loved playing music but the *creating music* thing happened much later I think – maybe when I was twelve or thirteen. I was in a very heavy Beatles phase at the time and remember my life ambition being to make a record as good as their ‘Sgt. Peppers’ album. That’s still my ambition, come to think of it…
Do you have any stand out influences?
Yes! James Blake is a big one (as he is for most producers at the moment I think). He was really the first electronic artist I got into I think… Otherwise Teen Daze, The Shins, Bill Evans, Oliver Tank and Nils Frahm had all had huge effects on my musicianship in one way or another.
Are there any specific artists that you would love to work with?
I’d love to work with Kimbra – I really love the way that she writes and her attitude to music in general. It seems like we have a very similar approach to our crafts and I think she’d be a great person to get in a room with and write a song.
What are your favorite aspects of creating music?
This would have never been my answer until about a month ago, but doing shows is my favourite aspect at the moment. So often, with the nature of the music industry at the moment, success is represented in Soundcloud statistics or Facebook likes – not necessarily something that translates to people passionate enough to buy a record or come to a show. Being able to play in front of roomfuls of people is the perfect antidote to that, a really special opportunity to connect with people.
What’s your opinion of the music scene in your area?
It’s amazing – I couldn’t think of a better place than Melbourne to be making music at the moment. The scene is so varied in terms of styles but it’s nevertheless fairly tight-knit and always really supportive. There are so many Melbourne bands killing it at the moment – even just thinking about it gives me the *warm fuzzies*
What’s something that goes unnoticed in your life?
Now that I’m on the topic of Melbourne, how picturesque this place can be sometimes.
What’s your favorite animal?
My manager’s dog Oli.
Could you give us some advice on life in general?
Having positive vibes will get you just as far as making good music :’)
What does the rest of 2014 have in store for you?
Not sure yet! I’m in the middle of school exams at the moment but after that I’d love to spend some time doing more writing. Hopefully a couple festivals and headline shows around the place too, but we’ll see what happens…
Check out more from Japanese Wallpaper on his facebook and soundcloud!
Interview by Simon
Written by Sam
Going into this, I had no idea what I was expecting. Then I listened to Grand Inc’s newest 3-song EP, SKR005, recently released through our friends over at Sturm & Klang Records. Then I listened to it again, and I’m going to be honest, I still have no clue what I’m listening to. What I do know is that I like it. It’s off the wall, it’s esoteric, and it is catchy. These are some of the most inventive beats I’ve heard in a while. As I listen to it I keep hearing new little artifacts popping off into oblivion, another subtle layer to that synth, a little break-fill here that just barely refreshes the beat. It feels like someone tried to hook up a CDJ to the master volume on the track and started scratching. It’s weird, it’s funky.
This effect is especially prevalent on the middle track, ‘Japans Fear (As Her Grandfather Past Away)’. It’s almost like watching a fencing match between space and not-space. It just keeps hopping in and out, without pattern but behind a strong rhythm. Real chill, real smooth. Grab this one off of Sturm & Klang Records’ Bandcamp. It’s three euros minimum, but you can always give more. Definitely worth spending on, these are great tunes for sitting down and letting yourself get lost. It’s almost finals week, I know a lot of us could use it.
Josh Pan has been just killing it these past few weeks. His latest release ‘touch the sky’ samples the one and only Kanye. This song is the epitome of club EDM with high energy and amazing dynamic between Kanye’s rap and Josh’s samples. Pan beautifully recreates Kanye’s urban swagger with dashes and pinches of beats. Once this track gets going, there is nothing that can stop the energy that comes with it.
Riley Wingfield, the man behind Oshan, puts out his edit of ‘Permission to Love’ by Hayden James. Shimmering vocal samples from ‘Permission to Love’ are backed by touchy synths and fat bass lines. With ever so slightly changing melodies and synths, the beats and samples are placed perfectly for a relaxed funky feel that hits surprisingly hard. Check out ‘Permission to Love’ from the Australian native, Oshan.
- Drew Jensen
For our fifth release in the alaya. special friends series we collaborated with our close friend Tydes on a beautiful two track EP. Tydes has been a part of the alaya family ever since the start and we couldn’t be more excited to be releasing this incredible EP to all of you. Blossom, his collaborative track with Petit Biscuit that was featured on issue 01 was incredibly well received so we knew that he was the perfect artist to feature next on our alaya. special friends series. Tydes demonstrates a growth in his sound with the Atlas EP, featuring intricately crafted vocal samples and powerful synth leads. We could not think of a more perfect release to have for asf005 and know that you guys will absolutely love it.
We recently had the opportunity to interview the mysterious beat-smith known as Fortyone. Although you may not have heard of Fortyone, he already has a plethora of releases under his belt dating back to 2003. Not only was he kind enough to answer a few of our questions, but he crafted an incredibly unique mix for us. His most recent release, Magical Crackle, was a collaboration with our close friend Ryan from Nomadic Firs. Fortyone took 41 different Nomadic Firs songs and utilized them to craft a new album. This mix features not only the songs that Fortyone crafted himself, but examples of each Nomadic Firs song as well. We are incredibly excited to be working with this artist and hope that you enjoy our interview and guest mix from Fortyone!
HEY FORTYONE, HOW ARE YOU?
Hey! Ok I guess.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST SHOW INTEREST IN CREATING MUSIC?
Elementary school. Played alto sax and made a rap album using the beats off of a Casio keyboard. As far as what I’m doing now, 1997.
DO YOU HAVE ANY STAND OUT INFLUENCES?
The Bran Flakes. They really inspired me and inspired my use of childrens records. Early Ninja Tune such as Coldcut, Funki Porcini, 9 Lazy 9, and Kid Koala. They made me want to make electronic/sampling/turntablist music. Wayne Butane. He made me want to be a better sound collage artist. And the genius Eboman. He makes me drool. And davyforce.
DO YOU HAVE A ROUTINE IN YOUR WRITING AND PRODUCTION PROCESSES?
Yes, and I call it Magical Randomness. Loosely defined that’s going out and getting a bunch of records and usually sampling them as I make the albums as opposed to all at once. I’ll do some larger ‘sampling sessions’ to begin with but the main idea is that I just put the records on and record everything that jumps out at me or that I think I might be able to use. Often times themes develop early on and so then I’m on the look out for samples that fit those themes but I never go back and re-sample anything. I do not plan the tracks out before I sample. I make the tracks in the order that they appear on the albums and I do not “over-produce” them. It’s astonishing sometimes how everything usually seems to come together, *knock on wood*, and for example after I recorded the Nomadic Firs samples where he sings the word ‘radio’ I happened to find quite a few other samples of people saying ‘radio’ and that’s not the best example but I hope you get the idea. Magical Randomness.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC ARTISTS THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO WORK WITH?
Although collaborations have been talked about I’ve yet to work with The Bran Flakes or Wayne Butane. That would be cool. I’d also enjoy doing more with Nomadic Firs as several ideas and themes are still there, unexplored, and it might be really cool to do some sort of collaboration album where he supplies the vocals and I the beats and we actually make songs together. But I don’t know. How about Biz Markie? I think he’s got a record collection like you wouldn’t believe.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ASPECTS OF CREATING MUSIC?
Coming up with something that makes me smile and start dancing. Finding sample gems in weird places. Finding those weird places to begin with. Really, just making stuff that I really enjoy and think is good and then wondering what other people will think. That’s fun.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR LATEST RELEASE WITH Nomadic Firs?
I went through and sampled 41 of his tracks, grabbing everything that I thought was really funky and that I might be able to use. Then I went out and bought a batch of fresh old records. Then it began. The only hard part was spacing out the Nomadic Firs samples so that I’d have enough, and making sure that I had a foundational one to feature on each track. Because remember, once sampled I do not go back and re-sample. I wanted this to be a completely original Fortyone album, not a straight remix album, but that also strongly featured Nomadic Firs sounds. I tried to find that balance. I love concept projects and this one was very fun.
WHAT’S SOMETHING THAT GOES UNNOTICED IN YOUR LIFE?
Hmm, if I’m not noticing it then I can’t tell you about it. What I think others do not notice is the fact that I’m… Uhm. Well, I don’t really know what to say. I’ll tell you one thing that won’t go unnoticed… my complete failure at answering this question. Sorry.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL?
Duck. I guess a duck. This used to be an easy question and now it’s almost impossible. It’s changed over the years but now I don’t think I really have a favorite animal. Pigs? Pigs and ducks appear in my music more than any others so let’s say it’s one of them!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLANT?
COULD YOU GIVE US SOME ADVICE ON LIFE IN GENERAL?
Don’t believe everything you read. Don’t believe everything you think. Don’t believe everything you’re told. Don’t do anything to your mind. Don’t tell others what to do or not do. Remember that you owe your solitude to other people, saints need sinners, you are the universe you’re not “in” it, and I’m not qualified to be giving anyone any advice.
WHAT DOES THE REST OF 2014 HAVE IN STORE FOR YOU?
I don’t know. No real projects planned for the rest of the year. If the creeks don’t rise hopefully I’ll do some in 2015 and also do the Holiday & Fortnight songs/videos again. That’s a new song on the 1st & 14th of every month and on most major American holidays. Cheers!