Monthly Archives: March 2013
Allow us to introduce to you The Acid Symphony Orchestra, a shining example of what separates menial elementary DJ’s from the innovative and original artisans. My Favorite Robot Records’ own Jori Hulkkonen conducts a collective of instrumentalists playing compositions exclusively on analogue synthesizers. The evolution of electronic music has both blessed and cursed the industry. Technology gives true artists the ability to translate their ideas in the most accurate way possible, but has also caused an influx of laziness in the mainstream. The Acid Symphony Orchestra has somehow not only evaded that conflict, but stepped far beyond its boundaries as well.
This is an orchestra in the purest sense of the word. There is no light show. Everyone on stage remains seated, and there is a conductor to guide them. Their music weaves through psytrance, delicate interludes, minimal, and sound exploration. Each member operates a Roland TB-303 Bassline Synthesizer and a TR-707 Drum Machine, which are completely analogue. This is live electronic in its rawest state. These instruments are not hooked up to any triggers other than that of the musician themselves and have been in use for over 30 years. The TB-303 debuted in 1982 and syncs directly with the TR-707 Drum Machine, allowing each member to be completely in tune with each other at all times. The analogue quality feeds into a nostalgic Electro sound that’s unlike anything used today, and with the right mind behind it, can sound better than the software available now. These instruments were initially made to replicate, in the best quality possible, the role of a bass and drum player for those who did not have access to one. Thus, the dawn of one single musician being granted the power of creativity and authenticity of an entire band. However, here we have 10 members in control of these instruments. Regardless of the technology gap, the principal concept remains the same, and leaves almost unlimited musical potential for this act.
Jori Hulkkonen is most definitely aware of this. He has been making music since 1988, and has been referred to as “the most underrated producer in the world” by DJ Magazine. Born in a different generation of electronically produced music, Hulkkonen is a musician of a better era, at least in his tastes. Predominately a house artist, he mostly produces deeper and instrumental tracks under his own name but has many other side projects. In the past he has done remix work for The Presets, Chromeo, and Goldfrapp. Over recent years he has been heavily affiliated with My Favorite Robot Records, one of the most respected labels in underground house music. It is here that he seems to most comfortable, and where has can freely manifest his creativity.
Acid Symphony Orchestra is simultaneously moving forward and backwards through time. They’ve only played 12 shows since their formation in 2007, and each without flaw. No matter what kind of music you may be into, this is not bound by genre. This is sheer musicianship.
Make way for Evanton, a fresh Italo-funk duo from Greece just making their professional appearance in music less than two years ago. Their debut self-titled album came out of nowhere and with almost instant success. Anton Manetas and Evan Zacharopoulos provide a stylishly new take on synth-pop and disco, a genre that is becoming increasingly relevant again and unfortunately a tad flooded. Have no fear, with one having a background in 80’s electrofunk and the other specializing in Italo styles, the convergence is destined for greatness at the get-go.
Their newest EP Hit After Hit, released earlier this month on Binalog Productions, is pure merciless funk that hits the floors with a cool breeze and a heated edge. What we have here is vintage instrumental soundscaping applied to more modernized house style arrangements, a blend most notably achieved by Cinnamon Chasers. By straying away from vocal samples, they leave you to focus on the progression of the music. What is so integral in making this duo unique is the vividness of the sounds used and the above average mixing. Evanton fully embodies the 80’s atmosphere, while at the same time seamlessly progress through the realm of disco-house. Rather than hearing colliding notes of each influence like in other artists, you hear them as one entity, creating something new. The production value of this duo is undeniable, and we can’t wait to see what they do next…
Hot Since 82 is an honest portrayal of a better era of house music, and a successful triumph in keeping it going. This artist does not try appear as anything but himself. Producing all his own tracks, and devoid of obnoxious synths and pop samples, this is house music in its pure, now primitive state. In this interview you’ll hear him speak about his creative process, the components of his live show, and what music is to him. You can also check out his productions below. Enjoy
The cosmic and mysterious Space Dimension Controller recently released his album Welcome to Mikrosektor-50, paired with a digital EP consisting of 4 tracks off his first studio album in years. Endlessly dynamic and devoid of any set formula, this proves to be another stunning piece among his all too stellar discography.
The EP starts out with his most genre-influenced track to date, and actually took us by quite the surprise. “Welcome To Mikrosektor-50” initiates a high octane, Galactic-funk intro that would most likely reminisce the spawn of Midnight Star and Dieselboy had they conceived a child together. Although in the realm of synth-based 80’s electronic, true to his modus operandi of dissolving formulas it is a breed of its very own. Following the intensity of the introductory track he transitions into his trademark of mystic and astronomical soundscapes with “While I Was Away”. This opens with an array of soft pads and soothing bass lines that fill the canvas of his work with an oceanic atmosphere, but at the same time somehow gives you a sensation of high altitude. That may very well be the intention of Mr.8040 as the next track is labeled “It’s a Cold Planet Without You”. It is here that we are subjected to the Drum and Bass influence of his music. The rolling drum tracks begin and although always present and rhythmic, are nothing short of mind-blowing. They lay the main theme of the song and never repeat themselves; there is always a series of notes to differentiate each measure from the last. “Music For Spaceports”, appropriately named, marks the culmination of the EP and serves as a testament to the limitless creativity of SDC. The sounds created in these tracks are what make this artist so special. Never repeated outside the boundaries of a track, and always vivid to the point of manifested imagination, the effects and the arrangement in which they’re placed leave you submersed in a colorful dream sequence almost too surreal. We give the Welcome to Mikrosektor-50 release a 7/10.
His sound is hard to define in terrestrial terminology but could be lightly compared to Amon Tobin, Flying Lotus, or Mars Volta, but basically it’s sound in general. This is an artist truly dissimilar to anything you’ve ever heard. The most familiar or genre-based characteristics he displays are vaguely like Drum and Bass and notes of funk, but describing him in even those terms is blasphemous. His music induces states of childlike curiosity and imagination thought only to be achieved in dreams. You can almost touch the notes, and you can produce a detailed image in your mind of every song. The only reoccurring truth in his productions is that it carries an uncannily electronic and spacey vibe. Among the avid experimenters of sound production and those who don’t follow the formulas of rhythm, he is without a doubt a master of space and technology.
Every album and EP he releases is a conceptual installment to the mythos of his origins and journeys. Each individual track is a like a paragraph to a chapter, and each album a chapter to a story. Artists like the Mars Volta and Daft Punk have reoccurring characters and themes in their songs, but nothing we’ve heard is so true to detail and consistent as SDC’s works. Rather than use one compilation or series of tracks to make up an opera, everything he does is the opera, or in his unique case, Electro-Opera. It’s Stephen Hawking meets Mozart.
Signed to R&S Records with some of the most respected artists in the industry, be sure to check out his previous releases and grab your copy of Welcome To Mikrosektor-50 today!
Belgium just doesn’t stop, it almost seems that talent is a criteria for residing there. Synth-house extraordinaires Spirit Catcher released a new EP earlier this month, with the initial track already being featured in Aeroplane’s March mix. We highly recommend this one guys, we guarantee your satisfaction or else we’re simply in the wrong business. Oh did we forget to mention that these guys play their songs LIVE?!
LCD Soundsystem frontman and co-founder of DFA Records James Murphy filed suit against former label partner Tim Goldsworthy. On March 1st Murphy appeared in the Manhattan Civil Supreme Court along with the interests of DFA Records to seek almost $100,000 from his ex-partner.
Tim Goldsworthy allegedly left the country in a breach of contract three years ago neglecting to inform his business partners of his departure. He is being sued for outstanding debts to the company, deliberate misuse of the company’s funds, as well as the legal costs of the lawsuit in progress. Murphy and third party founder Jonathan Galkin claim that they attempted to resolve the situation on multiple occasions with fruitless results and no cooperation from Goldsworthy. In a statement that Galkin made, they had no word from the defendant and moved on with business in his absence, but Goldworthy still attempted to claim rights as a co-founder of the label.
Goldworthy claims that he went back to Britain to be with his family and had no idea of the issues at hand. We’ll see what happens in court I suppose.
Jas Shaw of the UK minimal house kings Simian Mobile Disco was the focus of some controversy this past weekend.
Last Friday Jas Shaw took the stage in Warsaw, Poland to commence his DJ set only to have his music received in a rather unpleasant reaction. Fans gathered at the Wynajecia Club for what they thought to be one of the reputable live performances from the duo, but were instead greeted with the polar opposite. Promoters billed the event as a live show unbeknownst to Shaw or James Ford (the other half of SMD). When only one of the two members appeared on turntables, and the live rig nowhere to be seen, dismal confusion ensued quickly. Although having just released a new live album recorded during their fall tour, they initially wanted the show billed as a DJ presentation. Due to the fact that the event flyers and advertisements were in Polish, the error sadly escaped the attention of Simian. By neglecting their wishes, whether intentional or not, the promoters of this event showed an immense lack of professionalism which was unfortunately reflected on the artists themselves.
Musically the live act is a lot different from their DJ sets and also carries a higher rate for selling out venues, which probably contributed to the frustration. Despite being the same artist and though there are similarities, the contents of the two vary in many ways. For example their remix catalogue is more limited to the confines of the turntables, as opposed to their productions which are tweaked and performed live, and often improvised.
In response to the solemn atmosphere Shaw, played the event from 1:30am to sunrise and James Ford made a formal apology yesterday. Any artists of principal are indifferent to whether or not their show sells out or make headlines. However, nobody wants a house full of angry disappointed fans, especially when the artist in question is inadvertently to blame. Put simply, bad promotion is substantially worse than no promotion, and these two made respectable gestures to give their fans some closure.
For starters, here’s a BRAND NEW remix from Betoko