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Friday, 12 September 2014

Bestival 2014

Last week I made a return to the Isle of Wight to party at Bestival, in an attempt to relive it here's a low down of the weekend. The festival is the final goodbye to the summer and this years headliners included Outkast, Foals and Chic ft. Nile Rodgers.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

from cherry hill

Liking this production from Bristol boy Woz which was released last week courtesy of Black Butter.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Doorly & Green Velvet production 'Money'

Late with this one but the vibe on this one is spot on, found it the other week but I probably heard it in Ibiza too.
Sports cars, designer watches, big houses. Drugs and prostitutes.

Bass problems

Ordered Mak & Pasteman's Brown Bread/Drownings release on Naked Naked. One of my favourites from last year and I found a good deal on discogs. It's my first proper dance record and it turns out my player isn't accustomed to the heavy bass elements and so the needle skated across bits, important bits!

A forum's suggestion of using blu tack seems to do the trick, pretty sure this could cause some damage to the vinyl though so going to get a new needle and leave it alone or try playing without the slip-mat.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A visit to Berlin

Drawn in by the rich history and art, I wanted a taste of Berlin and joined a couple of friends for the first leg of their interRail journey. Since being reunified over 20 years ago its evolved to hosting a decent nightlife known for being a techno hub. The transport system takes a couple of tries to become used to, once you've got that sorted the whole of the city is yours for exploring. 

On the Wednesday, Hot Since 82 was playing so we headed to Watergate, where I got my first taste of being rejected from a club in Berlin as me being 20 years old was a problem. I reckon the door people can be swayed if you put up a bit of a fight and display a genuine interest for the event, an ability to speak German helps too. Instead we checked out Tresor, one of the original techno clubs in the city which has been moved to an old power plant. Once inside you'll find lively lighting and aggressive sound systems, the upstairs floor plays out some groovy house/techno stuff with a bar and seats to chill out on. A tunnel with only a flashing laser running through it guides you towards the vault room where heavy techno awaits you from a DJ in an iron bar booth.

Another highlight was my trip to Sisyphos, located in Rummelsberg. It throws parties that regularly go on for a couple of days, the vibe resembles a festival or beach party with the outside area being sandy with beds for resting, pizza to nibble on and decor featuring lampshades and disco balls. I spent a lot of time in the wintergarten enjoying a four hour set from Joyce Muniz, can't resist a DJ clearly enjoying themselves with a set of deep house, techno and even some dub.

The nightlife starts a lot later than what I'm used to in London, some headliners not coming on till 5am for instance. The grotty graffiti covered club toilets resembles the basslines you'll hear, you can see how the hedonistic lifestyle of parties all through the week charms young people to the capital. Also went to the clubbing destination Ibiza for the first time too this summer but I found Berlin's music scene to be more relaxed, cheaper and with less vocal lines.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

I don't understand, what have I become to you

Been neglecting this blog as my uni year reached it's unavoidable stressful end. Now that's over I'm free until September, although my computer seems to of died on me so updates may just be whenever I get a chance to kidnap borrow my brothers laptop. I do like to keep in loops with the world but it's nice to not be so attached to the internet, this is my chance to create art and music rather than mostly consume it.

In musical news I got my copy of Chet Fakers' debut album but as both CD players I own are broken I'm going to have to camp in my mums car at some point to indulge in it. '1998' is the only track I've heard from Built on Glass, it has a funky house vibe to it. Excited to hear the rest, I've previously raved about the Australian ginger bearded fellow here.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

New Jamie xx

His music seems to take me on a little journey, with some floaty synths and sampling used sparingly. It is sort of sleepy in a way, really interesting electronic music.

Out on Young Turks May 5th.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

So Long, See You Tomorrow

Bombay Bicycle Club released their fourth studio album So Long, See You Tomorrow back in February. The band have come far since winning the Virgin Mobile's 'Road to V' competition back in 2006 which led to them playing at V Festival when they were just 16. They started releasing music in 2007 then their music was indie rock. Their sound does vary, 2011 release A Different Kind of Fix introduced electronic elements and frontman Jack Steadman solo work shows he has a soft spot for electronic music.

My favourite of the album is 'Feel', it's got Bollywood sampling from Steadman's travels through India.
Opening track 'Overdone' has rattling cowbells, this and 'Carry Me' have prominent lively elements.
'Home By Now' starts of with a hip-hopish beat and transforms to a stunning duet with Lucy Rose.
'Luna' is gorgeous, featuring vocals from Rae Morris who joins the band in their tour. Check out this remix Steadman has done of one of her songs.

Final track 'So Long, See You Tomorrow' is initially a down tempo instrumental but blossoms to an upbeat piece. This is how the entire album feels, it will have some melodic, chill-out segments and then there will be a dance beat. The North London boys and their ever-evolving sound show no sign of slowing down and are doing well for themselves at the minute.

What was it like live?
They played stuff from their older work too which was great, I was left in buckets of sweat reaffirming their ability to play energetic shows.

This album has heavier basslines and a wider range of influences, there are some catchy moments and the music they make is unique and playful. The band obviously work well together as they continue to write delightful music with lovely lyrical content and interesting sounds.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Throwback Thursday #12

Janet Jackson song 'Got 'til It's Gone' from 1997 with its accompanying video, both equally brilliant. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Interview with Sam Wills

Sam Wills is a 21 year old singer-songwriter based in Hastings. He studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and has played plenty of gigs in the beloved hangout, The Tubman. He’s covered Bob Marley’s Jammin’, recreating it with vocal loops and his delightful voice. Also collaborated with the South Soul Project on 'Broken', which was released on Black Butter Records. Currently in the process of putting together his first EP - although he hasn't settled on a name, he hopes for it to be out by the summer. Apparently it’s going to be a mixture of neo soul, synth sounds and some acoustic stuff. I chat with Sam on how he’s finding life as a musician.

Is neo soul a style you really enjoy?
My voice lends itself to it and I've enjoyed listening to soul recently.

Do you write your songs instrumental?
I write the initial instrumental either on logic or piano and then with a producer either completely re-write it or work on it. For this EP that's how I'm going to do it.

Have you been singing your whole life?
I didn't really notice that I was singing and being all musical but I watched back some baby videos and I was singing all the time. I started properly when I was around 12, I'd play around on the piano. I wrote my first song when I was 12, it was utter rubbish.

I first came across your cover of 'Jammin'. Do you enjoy re-inventing a song?
I do. If I'm going to do a cover I either want to strip it down or build it up. Make it my own, somehow. With 'Spoons' I thought it'll be nice to put some jazzy chords on it and make some of the vocals more elaborate. I do covers in my sets sometimes but only if it's been rearranged.

Have you had any voice coaching?
Yes. I had classical training as well as doing my own stuff.

Is beat boxing and looping something you experiment with often?
Used to, not so much now. It was good for solo sets to add variety, rather than just having keys with vocals. I'm planning to get a band behind me soon in conjunction with the EP release, which I'm really excited about.

On performing - playing your own stuff and covers. Do you do a mix of both?
I do mainly originals and chuck in the odd cover. Some people may not of heard some of my material so it's always good to have some familiarity.

What is your favourite song to perform live?
Changes all the time. I do enjoy performing my song, 'Just Say'. I can play around with the vocals a bit and it gets a good response which is promising as it'll probably end up on the EP. Got a couple of working titles but haven't found it. Mid-summer release.

Are you managed by anyone?
Not currently, have a few people up for it but still choosing. Going to wait until I've finished the EP as much as possible then going to send it to a bunch of labels at that point.

What label could you see yourself signed with?
I'm really up for working with Tinie Tempah's label Disturbing London. It's got loads of sweet people on it, Sasha Keable for instance who sung on Disclosure’s track 'Voices'.

What is the music scene like in Hastings?
Wicked. There’s loads of good musicians down there and venues that support original live music. Blair Mackichan, who writes for Liane La Havas and helped write Palamo Faith's number 1 single 'Stone Cold Sober', he's really good to know.

Who were your massive musicals loves at 12?
Ever since I was 5 Michael Jackson has been my top inspiration. My mum bought a tape of his and I was hooked. For writing, John Legend and Jamie Cullum are influential. My influences and style has changed, back then it was sort of pop.

How did you end up on Forren’s track ‘This Time’?
Think he just dropped me a line. He said he had this track and if I liked it to jump on it. I sent him some vocals for it and it went down fairly well. It got uploaded to this YouTube channel 'MrSuicideSheep' and it got thousands of views overnight.

Was it exciting?
Yeah it was great, never experienced anything quite like that. That led to working with Shogun Audio, a drum & bass record label. Worked with a couple of things with Spectrasoul. The first one I sang on that got a release was 'The Gift' and 'The Curb’, which is on their album. I had a track on a Shogun Audio complication, worked with other labels as well.

What is the hardest thing about being a musician?
Personally, it's biding time. You've got the raw songs and you want to make sure they're produced by the right people. You write songs and want everyone to hear them but you have to make sure they're the best they can be. In the meantime you've got to wait around for people to get back to you and write new material.

Do you get nervous showing work?
It's still nerve-racking. I find it easier to do it live but it's always going to be part of the career.

FOLLOW SAM WILLS: Facebook  / Youtube