Have you ever just known deep down that you made the right choice about something? An unshakable confidence in your decision that no variable could alter? That’s what it’s like eating at In & Out Burger, or seeing Holy Ghost! spin live. Except the music is even better than an Animal Style cheeseburger. Last weekend they played their first stretch of DJ sets in almost a year, and in the process gave Boston the most proper Friday night they’ve had in who knows how long. (No offense Boston, your promoters just don’t book enough acts.) With this duo riding out the success of their live band over the last few years, it’s become a rare and special thing to see them tour on the decks. After last Friday’s experience at the Sinclair, however, I’m glad to know that one truth remains after all these years: There’s nothing like a Holy Ghost! DJ set ladies and gentlemen. Read the rest of this entry
Goldenvoice announced the lineup for the annual Coachella Music Festival, which will take place in Southern California this April. Every year it’s a huge debate whether to go back or not, however, this year the decision was much easier to make. We just don’t see it this time around. The lineup (pictured above) certainly includes some must see material. The newly formed Todd Terje live band and the super-duper techno group J.E.S. + S (featuring Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Skream, and Seth Troxler) would be enough to get our pants off, but not for the $1500+ we’d have to spend to see them. Money should never interfere with music, that’s not what we’re saying. It’s really not that glamorous is all. Diversity is rarely an issue for this festival, and in the case of this lineup it still isn’t. There’s just no “bang!” to the lineup, and from the feedback we’ve seen across the music community, we’re not alone in that sentiment. Apparently people still don’t care about AC/DC. It just seems like the organizers took the top 50 acts from every hipster music forum and made a bill out the averages, and then threw the world’s most generic rock band on top. Perhaps they should stop relying on Pitchfork for input and connect with the fans again, something that Coachella was once very respected for. What do you guys think about it?
Were you starting to wonder where all the world’s cosmic tuneage went? Maybe just a little? Well put on your helmets, strap yourselves in, and say goodbye to gravity folks. It’s time for a brand new release from Ichisan. You may swoon accordingly.
Earlier in the year he told us he’d be doing a couple of releases as a precursor to his debut album (which is still in the works). This summer he gave fans a taste of his Extra Ball EP, due on Catune Records this fall. Now, a man of his word, here is a preview of the ‘Kristina’ EP, his second installment of space-laced dance tunes! The Kristina collection is set to drop September 15th on Internasjonal Records and includes two new originals. Despite it’s short length, the EP ranges from the soothing psychedelic overtones one might hear in his mixes, to the more dance-fueled guilty pleasures we hear at his shows. Both tracks showcase a more upbeat and raw sound this time around, an atmospheric result of his synthesizer collection no doubt. Read a full review and preview both tracks below! Space disco, we’ve missed you dearly. Read the rest of this entry
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.
For any musician in the electronic circuit, regardless of class or rank, it is an honor to be invited to BBC Radio One Essential Mix. Just this past week, Todd Terje hit the decks for his edition of the exclusive two hour mix. Pete Tong and his show always seem to bring out the best in artists’ abilities, and this installment is no exception. Over the last few months we’ve noticed a high demand for good disco. We join fans with the artists that have something of value to bring to the table, and you’ll find a lot of disco on this website. Just in case our fellow fans of the groove have forgotten, we’re going to do something extra for the disco fans. Tits and Acid Reviews would like to present to you the first entry in our Limitless Disco Review Series.
Todd Terje reigns from Norway, along with fellow disconquistadors Lindstrom and Prinz Thomas. Since he grew up land-locked in a small village where access to new music was scarce, influences weren’t really part of his initial evolution as an artist. Early in his adolescence he started making jungle and house music with a basic PC, until experimenting with disco at the turn of the millennium. From there on out he would embark down a path that he would never quite stray from, breaking boundaries and pushing the envelope with each step. His niche in disco laced house and ear for creative mixing has earned him the attention of Prinz Thomas who has continually worked with Terje since 2001. Over the years he has carved a permanent place into the history of the Norwegian electronic music culture.
Terje might as well be signed to DFA with a tasty vintage mix like this one. Bereft of anything tied to modern chart hits, this extremely diverse collection features classics like Jim Morrison, Paul Mauriat, Herb Alpert, Tanner Ross, and Steve Miller Band being worked into a very unique environment(sorry we’re going light on the spoilers). After a delicate introduction and a mix of smooth soul and gritty space, things start to get heated up around a half hour in. His edit of Traks- “Wild Safari” is worked into the mix perfectly, and will without a doubt throw you into a dancing frenzy. Followed by that is the Chuck Norris dub of Men At Work- “Land Down Under”, which let’s face it, is timeless and just plain awesome. Now he has your attention, and just in time for him to really unleash the funk. What ensues is a mammoth stretch of vintage glamour beats executed by a true professional.
There is production, there is the eternal live aspect, and there is the concept of an authentic DJ. Todd Terje has nothing to prove in regards to the first two contexts of musicianship. The recently released collaboration with Lindstrom, titled “Lanzarote”, will echo through the airwaves for eternity. His piano soaked original “Strandbar” , released in three different versions, has been recycled by artists like Drop Out Orchestra, The Beat Broker, and The Magician. His releases on the Soul Jazz, Full Pupp, and Olsen Record Labels are solid additions to his resume as well. When it comes to his skills as a real DJ though, he has simply swept us away with this Essential Mix. The man is a storyteller. Whether you’re an aficionado, or simply throwing this on to fill up the silent air, the mixing is noticeably immaculate. The transitions flow without any friction, carrying each song into the next as if part of an oceanic current. There are certain formulas you can pick up on in a lot of DJ mixes, though it is clear that Terje doesn’t. The arrangement is certified genius.
Over the last few months people’s flare for the modern disco seems to be fading. Now don’t get us wrong, trend is never our focus, and to each their own, but we figure it’s our responsibility to make sure the general public has access to real musicians. What the basic listener’s demographic doesn’t realize is that this extremely vague genre has been experimented with for over 4 decades. This narrow view makes sense in the grand scheme of the revival of the EDM craze, since most of these fans are looking through the scope of one decade. The lens on that scope needs some adjusting however. Disco is indeed a set genre, but it can reach any mood, whether it be solemn or invigorating. It can breach any atmosphere, and fused with any style to reach all regions of the mind, body, and soul. If you stick to the charts and go to the same watering hole every time, you’re going to get bored. Think of it as the car you drive everyday. You might be in the same car, but the destination could be different every time. This is now the DJ’s responsibility to bring you new and old music that you wouldn’t of heard otherwise. If a DJ hops on the decks and spins nothing but the hits you hear in every other mix, then what motivation is there to dig deeper?
We’re aware of the on going dilemma, but that’s why we are here folks. Todd Terje is a great start to broadening your horizons, even if you’re familiar, this mix will open some doors. The disco scene in Oslo, Norway is smaller than some, but the members of that community are heavy hitters indeed. What the genre and fans need is imagination, and that our funky readers, is abundant if guided in the right direction. So along with the plethora of various artists that we feature on here, T&A will bring you a special look at some of the Disco oriented musicians worth a first, or even 2nd viewing to fuel the fire. Keep an eye out for The Limitless Disco Reviews here on T&A.