Monthly Archives: March 2014
Get more from this Belgium-based duo here.
The new ‘Deathwish’ EP from Martin Dubka is now available to stream on Soundcloud, and you listen to it now! On Monday, March 31st, the release will be available for purchase on Aeropop Records, which marks Dubka’s official addition to the family. Belgium’s most promising independent label just got a whole lot more analog.
Vito Deluca’s brainchild label is still new, but already gives home to releases from ATTARI!, and epic collaborations like Eurocrats (Aeroplane & Dimitri from Paris), and Beateria (Bottin & Aeroplane). Look out for the ‘Deathwish’ EP next week!
Ichisan, aka Igor Skafar, is a man of many melodies. The last winter months saw his official live breach into the US and over the recent weeks, followers here got an answer to a once unimaginable question: How does he do on stage? From the club infested Burroughs of New York City, to the smokey streets of Denver and back again, fans across the country finally got a proper introduction to our guest of honor, and the reviews are phenomenal. Last night you see, time was officially split into two parts for both he and his fans alike: The part before the moment happens, when anticipation is governing your nerves and all is unknown, and the part after, when the moment transcends into memory. We know our readers show their true colors in the moonlight, in a dedicated pursuit of the beats that bump in the shadows. We know all too well the endless search for the perfect note, and the perfect moment. We know what it is like to roll the dice on a musician you’ve never seen live before, but patrons hit a streak of fortune with Ichisan’s recent performances. House of Acid_Reviews founder Cody Bates got to catch up with him for an exclusive interview while he was in Boston last week, check it out below>
1. So, we gotta start with the name. Where did it come from? It doesn’t sound very-
Ichisan: ” -Slovenian? Haha yes I know. It all started with my co-workers at this photography job I had. “Ichi” is short for Igor in Slovenia, and one day I came in and one of them just yelled it: “Hey Ichisan!” Then I thought it could be a good moniker for me.”
2. Before, you juggled doing both professional photography and recording music, with occasional live performances as well. With this tour and the upcoming releases, do you still juggle the two?
Ichisan: “Oh yeah I still do photography. Lately it’s been a slow switch to doing the music thing full time, but I love photography. I will always do it no matter what.”
3. Do you see any future with Eskimo Recordings?
Ichisan: “I’ve been planning a solo album. I started it last year. I’ve been talking to Justin, my manger, and I decided I liked Eskimo for maybe doing the release. I’m good friends with the guy in charge over there. So yeah, the solo album possibly on Eskimo next year.”
4. I was able to meet Tensnake at his performance in Brooklyn the other week. He had mentioned you two were corresponding. Should we be expecting a possible collaboration or perhaps a shared live bill in the future?
Ichisan: “I don’t know, we didn’t talk about that we just met. We met before another time in Croatia at some festival and we became friends, and I don’t know, maybe. He’s here for three months he’s doing this huge tour. So I don’t know, hopefully yes, that’s all I can say I guess.”
5. Yeah he’s a blast to see. Are there any notable differences between playing clubs here versus Europe?
Ichisan: “Um, the United States is much bigger than Europe, and the venues are much bigger than Europe’s. US has a lot more people coming to the show, and, it looks like I have much more fans here than in Europe haha. I have bigger shows here, and that’s the main difference really.”
6. A lot of Americans idolize the European club scene, places like Ibiza, We Love.., Social Club, Ministry of Sound, etc. Do you find that sort of fascination where you come from for our “scene”? Such as the jam culture, like Phish, or The Disco Bicuits?
Ichisan: “I can’t really answer this question. In my view, I say yes, but I can’t really speak for everyone.”
7. Tell us a little about your performances. Do your sets differ from night to night? Do you improvise at all based on the vibe of the crowd?
Ichisan: “Yes, of course. I’m not the guy who is playing beginning to end the same tracks every venue. Actually I prepare 5 tracks, but the not the same as say last night. That’s how I start, and then I just go through the set and jam. I’m always watching the crowd. When I see what kind of music they’re hooked to, then I just go that way. On the second half of the tour with these guys [Boombox], I like to start off slow, maybe 110 bpms, slowly going up with the tempo. You know, you can’t open the show with a banger.”
8. Yeah I hear you. Well congratulations on a sold out show! I’ve never seen this place sell out before. Boombox brought a lot in, but you had a lock on that crowd second set, and don’t you forget it! Speaking of the live aspect, tell us about the synthesizer collection you record with? Do you use any analogue?
Ichisan: “Yeah for sure. I have the Oberhiem 0B8, um I have a couple synths actually. I have the Juno 106, everybody has that synth and a small Roland SH9 which is a base actually. Um, I played some new tracks I recently made which are gonna be released later this year, and I used that small synth a lot. It’s a good synth for those lead and bass sounds. Let’s see, I have a Moog prodigy, and Fender guitars, uh a stratocaster and jazz bass.”
9. Yeah, you record with live instruments mostly, correct?
Ichisan: “I try to record as much as I can with as much live instruments. So I record with a lot of guitars and bass, and the snyths. Especially on the new record.”
10. One of the most notable characteristics of your mixes is the fluidity and mystery to your tracks. You hear some of these other chart mixes, and lot of the songs tend to bleed over. What is your tracklist process like?
Ichisan: “I’m really glad to hear that man! Actually I didn’t know that about these tracks. All the tracks, well a lot of the tracks, are like European producers or maybe English guys, or producers in the Norwegian scene. I love the Norwegian sound right now. It’s funny like Todd Terje is not so big here, well he is here a little, but Prins Thomas not so much. He is HUGE is Europe!”
11. Yeah I know it’s crazy! Todd Terje is starting to make his mark over here. Prins Thomas though, no, and it’s so weird because he’s playing like 11 hour sets over in Europe and doing all this great stuff.
Ichisan: “Yeah it’s funny to me that I’m here, but Prins Thomas is not. It’s ridiculous actually.”
12. We really enjoy the spacey side to your music, but we’ve noticed you get really heavy on the disco vibe as well. Which is your favorite to play? You have a very good blend of both.
Ichisan: “Yeah actually, when I’m doing clubs I usually do more disco stuff, more disco-house stuff. When I’m recording these mixes, I’m recording them more for listening and less for the dancey stuff. I mean I also like mixing them, from space sounds, to these disco sounds, to techno, and stuff I play live.”
13. That makes sense. I’ve met fans who go to bed and rise in the morning to your music. What do you like to wake up to?
Ichisan: “That’s a really hard question. I listen to so many kinds of music, so many genres, that’s really hard. Usually I’m not listening to electronic music when I’m home doing something. I like this Balearic stuff, spacey stuff you know?”
14. David Byrne presented his “Reverse Creation Theory” in his recent book on the analysis of music. This theory basically states that the common idea of a composer sitting alone in a room, getting a sudden rush of inspiration and furiously scribbling a masterpiece onto a piece of paper, is a false interpretation of writing music works. The theory contradicts that notion, arguing that music is product of environmental factors. What do you think are some the environmental factors in making the music you do?
Ichisan: “A hard question as well. That’s correct. Probably the music I’m listening to you know? The biggest influence. I don’t know, maybe also the country I’m coming from, formerly Yugoslavia, where I was born actually. You familiar with the story our country? Slovenia, where I live, is a former republic of Yugoslavia. The Yugo Tempo album I made with Nakova a while back, was inspired by our childhood. A lot of the tracks come from Yugoslavia country stuff. Maybe there’s some Yugoslavian funk in my music haha.”
15. The internet, social media, and places like Soundcloud have changed the face of music in it’s entirety. The free trade of music has subsequently changed the recording industry. What advice do you have for upcoming producers/musicians trying to make music professionally?
Ichisan: “The music trade is great. I would just say just don’t quit, just do it. Go for it. Upload music, put music up for people to hear. You need to have to some, I don’t know, luck as well, but just do it. Don’t stop, just go for it and it will happen.”
16. Where do you see your career a year from now?
Ichisan: “Oh that’s another hard question to answer! Uh, it’s this, yeah it really is. What I’m doing right now, playing in clubs and venues like this for you guys, just having a good time. I love it.”
Amphitheater and stadium shows have their merits, but in those situations the experience is limited to the music, and the individual listener perceiving it. In the end it is about what you endured, the musicians themselves might as well be silhouettes in the big arena context. Their emotional tie to the music being played is irrelevant on some level, because you don’t get to really see it. This also leaves the performer(s) in complete control of the situation. Sure this is always true; it is up to them to command your indulgence, but in a big arena you’re taking the human connection out of the equation. In that context, connection only occurs in the audience. With these smaller club shows, the playing field is much different. The musician is on your turf as much as you are on theirs, and they are forced to connect and take responsibility for your intrinsic reactions. The eyes of the fans and of the artist playing are much, much closer, and when they meet it is on a deeper level. In this context, if the musician gets a lock on you, it has a significant emotional payoff that you just can’t get in the bigger venues. Ichisan apparently has this concept down, as this was the case in his performances.
Having just culminated his North American tour with Boombox last night in the beautiful white mountains of Vermont, Ichisan will be heading home for now. His next EP is scheduled to be released on the Prins Thomas label, Internasjonal, this summer. Add that to the success he has had with multiple sold out shows over his stretch here, and we’re sure he can find an excuse to come back. Yes, the journey is far from over. Deathwaltz Media Group has their hands on him, and they’ve built a solid reputation for hearing the demands of the fans. You just might see him here in the States sooner than you think.
Still waiting on those American tour dates guys, but this new mix will have to suffice for the time being. Carried out with the elusive Drop Out Orchestra code of conduct, we have one solid collection of unforgiving disco beats packed together in a time machine of a mixtape. With two DOO releases, an old school edit of Thelma Houston, and Shit Robot’s new collaboration with Nancy Whang “Do That Dance” in the mix, we could think of much worse ways to spend an hour. We do have to say though, we could listen to Nancy Whang sing over disco and house rhythms all…day…long
Yes, that’s right, James Holden is appearing for a special extended set at Output in Brooklyn, NY at the end of next April, courtesy of The Bunker. The acoustically arousing, Funktion-One equipped venue is a perfect fit for an artist of this caliber. Selling out basically every show he books in the US, this will probably be no different, so we advise getting tickets immediately. Did we mention this is the only show he has announced in the US? We’d also like to say it one more time in big letters, EXTENED SET. In fact, posting this article will probably aid in our staff not being able to get tickets. Holden will be joined by Bryan Kasenic, Timothy J. Fairplay & Scott Fraser, and Mike Servito. You can find the link to tickets below.
Where as James Murphy used LCD Soundsytem to celebrate music in it’s entirety, James Holden examines the chronicle of technology in music, and it’s particular attributes in different contexts. He’s really similar to Roger Waters in the sounds that he designs, and that’s probably no coincidence. He’s been known to showcase synth-based tracks in his mixes ranging from the 60’s, to present day. His finesse with careful, expansive, psychedelic layering, is distinct to say the least. He’s also a shining example that you don’t need a heavy drum beat or bass line to make digitally produced music (that’s your Que, Pitchfork). Once acquainted, you’ll be able to identify his style anywhere. Last year saw the release of his album ‘The Inheritors’ on Border Community which sealed his canonization into both electronic albums and as a legend alike. It’s hard to truly fathom that this musician first made his mark on the charts in 1999. We could vaguely refer to him as a Minimal producer, and that would only serve the purpose of catering to human nature’s need to understand what’s being presented. I’m sure James could relate to that. The man is certainly on a different plane. If there was a subject deserving of the label “existential techno”, his music would inherently fit. This is because every sound, note, and effect, every instrument used to produce it, is being implemented for a specific reason. If you read some of his interviews, you’ll find that there is a unique method behind each of his releases.
Although we may not understand him, we can at least get closure in understanding his live methods/instrumentation. On stage and in studio (in which he typically records live) he uses a history lesson worth of equipment, including but nowhere near limited to, modular analogue synthesizers, effects pedals, MIDI and DOWO controllers, and various software. His performances are done with either a live band, which is comprised of him on synths, a drummer, a bass player, and other altering roles, or as a DJ set. Both have equal reward in experience. For a (likely) short window of time, you can seize the opportunity to see what all the fuss is about. What’s it gonna hurt to possibly see some genuine, unique talent perform in one of the most proper sounding nightclubs in New York City? The link to tickets is there if you want to click it 🙂
The snow is beginning to melt here, and we theorize that it is not because of the approaching spring season, but more so because of the heat from all this new music we’re getting. Zimmer, our French connection to savvy disco-house, dropped his March Mix Tape, titled ‘Birds’. Grab it below, and take it home!
While you’re here, you might as well check this edit he just put up for free download. A self proclaimed classic, this apparently is a tune he frequented in his live mixing. Boogie down friends, or shall we say, Descendre mes amis!
The Beat Broker just dropped a new tape for your free downloading pleasure, and it’s real calorie burner. One hour and thirteen minutes of non-stop full throttle space funk. This is that get down low and dirty kind of disco that just won’t quit, folks. We don’t have to tell you what to do, do we?
The Beat Broker’s new ‘Tower of Power’ EP is now available on Bear Funk Records too! You may have heard the neon sounds of “Come Back To Me” on some recent guest mixes from other artists. The EP features three new piano laden originals, including the titular track and an accompanying remix from The Main Stem. You can purchase the release on Beatport and iTunes.
Allen Aucoin, the quick handed drummer of The Disco Biscuits, is bringing his solo project Dr.Fameus to Western New York this Saturday, March 22nd! This is a great opportunity to see the bionic man do his thing in a smaller, more personal environment. We’d all love to see TDB tour again, but after a great couple of runs in Philadelphia and Colorado, and we’ll have to ride those recordings out for the time being. The Doctor is a blast to see live if you haven’t yet. Musically it’s nothing boundary breaking or innovative, mostly just Allen, in his raw form, playing over loops on Ableton Live. However, it is Allen Aucoin, so you’ll be watching one of the most mechanically fierce, and agile drummers of our modern day, drop those sticks like a madman right in front of you. It won’t cost you much either, you can find tickets in the link at the bottom of the post.
French Express Label’s ranking disco royality, Moon Boots, was generous enough to put his self released “Don’t Ask Why (featuring Kyiki)” up for free download! This collaboration is an excellent display of his ability to make true pop music. Kyiki’s soft and flirtatious vocals will take you right into the clouds. In the background, he carries on through the song with delicate synth arrangements, careful not take the focus away from her silky voice. Moon Boots’ productions are far from being simplistic, ephemeral, dance beats to be forgotten a year from now; he is a song writer. He can make you dance and fall in love at the same time. This is is the kind of pop tune you can enjoy getting stuck in your head. Download the song for free below!
There is a comforting embrace to be found in the darkness, and it can be found in Pink Skull. The Philadelphia-based analogue project just released their latest full-length album ‘Huitlacoche’. The album, released on My Favorite Robot Records, was available exclusively on vinyl, but you can purchase it on digital format here.
Cited as a “metallic, liquid, and raw affair, delving into urban landscapes and deep space industrial wastelands” by the carrying label, we couldn’t agree more. As a trio of musicians wielding analogue synthesizers, this band combines mechanical and organic worlds into one neon existence. These guys are connected to the music the entire time they are playing it, shaping the sounds right in front of you. It takes a particular breed of talent to master the patient and progressive methods of beat making associated with the Minimal House genre. It’s all about taking one theme and carefully developing it over time, pushing each individual layer to their evolutionary limits. By carefully altering the depth and texture of the sounds themselves, the right artists can sink further and further into a a limitless abyss. Pink Skull is a group of gentlemen who possess these characteristics at a DNA level.
> Purchase/preview ‘Huitlacoche’ here.
> Also check out the “Music To…Escape To” Mixtape, released as a precursor to the album, here.