Our co-founder Bram E. Gieben alias texturemusick starts a new podcast for The Skinny magazine, exploring the world of netaudio:
The NETVERK column ran on The Skinny site for several months as a link-blog, posting and embedding new music from the world of netaudio – we shared tracks from the finest internet-based (netlabels) around, and scoured Soundcloud, Bandcamp and the wilder outlands of the internet for the finest up-and-coming (and forward-thinking) electronic artists.
After a few months off beavering away in the lab, NETVERK is back as an audio podcast hosted by The Skinny’s Staff Writer, Bram E. Gieben (@t3xtur3) and Pete Ross (@rosslpete). Each month, we’ll bring you an hour or so of new tracks, interviews, gossip and news from the bleeding edge of online music!
This month’s show features an exclusive track from the forthcoming album by Scottish hip-hop originator Loki, plus new music from Flying Lotus as Captain Murphy, psychedelic hip-hop duo The Underachievers, the post-dubstep gorgeousness of Koda, more homegrown hip-hop from Louie of Hector Bizerk, and much more.
We’ll be back in a month’s time with a new show – if you want to present your tracks for consideration in future episodes of the series use The Skinny’s SoundCloud Dropbox, or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org!
PLAYLIST FOR NETVERK #1
UNKWON – Know (Fractures, Aural Sects)
TWOS – Slow Down (Feel, Aural Sects)
The Underachievers – Herb Shuttles (Indigoism, BRAINFEEDER /DatPiff)
Captain Murphy – The Killing Joke (Duality, BRAINFEEDER / self-released)
microcosmos – HYPY FYN (For Someone Who’s One, Fluorescent Records)
Uncon Sci – Fucked Up (Tiger Mustache, Liquid Geometry)
Lucianblomkamp – You & Me ft. Rosebud Leach (Lucianblomkamp EP, self-released)
HAARPS – Tlen ft. Skeletonkids (self-released)
Koda – Leaving (self-released)
Owsey – Places We never Went Together (self-released)
All Flags Burn – A Little Magyk (All Flags Burn, self-released)
Loki – Wall Of Silence (unreleased, Volition)
Louie – Glasgow (Lost On Hope Street, self-released)
Hailing from Glasgow, NEVADA BASE are the newest addition to the Black Lantern roster. Celebrated for their live performances, which have seen them play high-profile support slots for the likes of New Build, Metronomy, Silver Columns, Late of the Pier, and Memory Tapes.
Combining elements from indie, synth-pop, disco and electro, they are quintessentially a tight, rhythm-driven band with killer pop hooks, and their label debut FORESIGHT is an earworm track which will stay with you for weeks after you hear it.
Black Lantern’s roving reporter ALEX BURDEN interviewed the band in advance of their new single, which you can stream and download below.
You are one of the newest additions to the Black Lantern camp – how did you get involved with the label?
We became aware of BLM after they put out some tracks by our good friend Magic Daddy.
Where did it all start for you as a group? How did you meet, and how did the idea of an electro pop band form?
It started out with Andy and Albert just jamming together, discovering Kraftwerk and italo disco, picking up a mad keyboard player (Gus) and finally a German exchange student called Johannes who brought the whole thing together. He introduced us to Ableton Live (a company he now works for) and we recorded our first demos with him. Look out for his remix of Foresight under his Raketenbus moniker…
After a few months he had to head back to Germany before we’d played our first gig. We started off with purely electronic beats but now have live drummer Calum for added groove (and balls) as well as James on synths and samples.
Most exciting moment onstage so far for you?
Supporting New Build at a sold out Captains Rest. Loved that show.
So, the ‘illiterate Talking Heads’ description from your Facebook page – can you tell us a little more about that?
Haha! That was a review of our first single in The Skinny by guest reviewers The Phantom Band. I believe they gave us two stars for being “difficult to pigeon-hole.” I’ll take it.
What hardware / software / real instruments or sounds do you use?
On stage we have drums, bass guitar, guitar, synths (Prophet 08, Korg R3, MicroKorg) a Roland SP404 for samples and an MPC for sequences.
In the studio we work mostly in Ableton Live but tend to use more classic synths - a Roland Juno 60 and Moog Rogue feature on Foresight. Yamaha CS01 is all over Hindsight.
Tell us about ‘Foresight’, your new release for BLM.
It’s our first recording with live drums and shows the more discoey, funky side of our sound. B-side “Hindsight” is another flavour of our sound with a more downtempo, hypnotic, almost hip-hop vibe.
Who are the electro pop artists you rate the most, and why?
Georgio Moroder is responsible for Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. Just a beautiful song produced in such a futuristic way.
What sounds are integral to your productions to capture the electro vibe?
We use a lot of arpeggio sounds; often driving 16th notes that give an almost mechanical feel to contrast the live instruments. We use some samples too, as well as sequencing for some baselines which again gives a more clubby feel because it’s much tighter. Also essential is a drummer who can play tightly in sync with these electronic elements.
Who does what in the band, and what element(s) do you think each member brings to the music?
Calum plays drums and brings sheer energy.
Andy provides the solid low-end on bass guitar (often with added funk) as well as occasional synth duties.
James provides synth soundscapes from driving bass rhythms to spaced-out chord sequences, as well as funk guitar on some tracks.
Albert’s guitar playing also tends towards the punk-funk side. He’ll occasionally bash away at some keys. Or a cowbell.
Albert leads the singing, though we do make frequent use of group harmony vocals onstage.
Who would you most like to tour with and why?
Talking Heads. They might tell us about some good books to read.
What has been your most enjoyable track to produce to date?
Foresight. Recording to analogue tape at Green Door studios was a new and exciting experience, both sonically and in terms of workflow. Definitely something we want to repeat.
Which synth is the most favourite to use and why?
The Roland Juno 60 just has an incredibly simple interface and such a lush sound. The Roland 101 is similar too - these old synths are just so immediate. No menus or screens, just twist the controls and see what happens…
What are the themes you like to tackle in your lyrics?
This has changed over time. I mostly try to sing about things that I think or feel strongly about but place them in a context or story that anyone can hopefully relate to.
Having said that, technology is a recurring theme… I’m sure there are others.
How do you NOT want to be perceived, or who do you never want to be compared to?
It’s not something we’ve ever talked about really, and I don’t think comparisons with individual artists mean that much. One thing we have discussed is how we have quite a diverse sound from song to song, and we’d like to keep it that way. There’s always a temptation to “define” your sound; to settle on some “formula” and I hope that’s something we never do. (We won’t.)
Where do you want to take the band in 2013?
We want to finish more recordings and put them out. We have a lot of stuff in various stages of production so we’ll be working hard on that.
We always love playing live and have some great shows lined up already. More of that would be just swell.
Your music straddles both club and gig scenes, easily entertaining both audiences - is there one you personally prefer to the other and why?
Club nights are fun because they’re generally much later, the audience is more lubricated, there’s lots of dancing, jumping and physicality.
But a great gig usually feels more special. You feel like you’re connecting with people in a more personal way. And gigs can get pretty sweaty, too…
Are there any not so obvious / subtle musical influences in your music? I just interviewed a glitch hop artist whose main influence was John Carpenter compositions…
Lead singer Albert is of Lebanese descent and you can hear hints of Arabic melodies and percussion sounds and so on. The percussion in Hindsight is a good example of that.
Also, I’m sure we’ve nicked at least one synth line from Dr Dre…
Who would win in a fight amongst these early titans of synth-pop: the Pet Shop Boys, Erasure or New Order?
It would be New Order, hands down. You could probably prove this mathematically.
“The brilliant Nevada Base blend arpeggios, synth lines, house beats and live instrumentation with harmony vocals, plus flashes of New Order and The Beloved.”
Vic Galloway, BBC Scotland.
Low pounding tribal drums and percussion introduce Foresight - the sumptuous new single from Glaswegian electro outfit Nevada Base. The drums soon give way to bubbling synths, driving disco bass, and an irresistible vocal hook. B-side Hindsight retains the single’s tribal refrain before heading off on a trippy, low-tempo groove, while a remix from Magic Daddy (releases on Optimo Music / member of Machines In Heaven) takes the track into bass-led electro territory.
Nevada Base have been been busy since the release of their debut single Love In My Mind, taking to the T-Break Stage at T-in-the-Park, playing a sold-out show supporting New Build (featuring members of Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem), as well as roof-raising gigs up and down the UK alongside the likes of Metronomy, Silver Columns, Late of the Pier, Memory Tapes and others.
The band’s original line up of Albert Kawmi (guitar and vocals) and Andrew Brown (bass) has also grown to include Calum Muir (drums) and James Vorley (synths and backing vocals). The addition of drums to the band’s live performance adds an astonishing energy, displayed to full effect on Foresight. Kawmi’s vocals travel from understated drawl to urgent command, Brown’s bass keeps everything tied to a funk groove. Muir’s drumming is tight and expressive, while Vorley knows how to reign his synths in then let them explode.
The single will be supported by live shows around the country including a launch party at Paradise in London on 30 April.
“Joining hands is all it takes to keep our enemies at bay. Don’t be afraid.”
Black Lantern Presents
released 25 April 2013
Eaters CD’s are available from their website - [HERE]
Ukraininan project Zelmershead was formed in winter 2012. Anton Pokrovsky and Lin Helly collaborated on their first EP named “WhiteSideBlack”. And now we here at Black Lantern have the pleasure of releaseing their full length project. Reflecting post-dubstep and 90’s Trip-Hop wrapped in the shadow of something dark and accompanied by beautifully hunting vocals that weave themselves in and out of this sonic world. Zelmershead ask you their listeners to forget about daily responsibilities and just think, look deep and inward and listen.
“beautiful dark and deep.”
music: Anton Pokrovsky
lyric’s and vocals: Lin Helly
cover design: Kira Kuznetsova
thanks to Alex Tsitsarev and Yury Buldymenko for hardware support
[BLM080] Black Lantern Music
Also available on CD [HERE]
Edinburgh - I will be in you on Monday to read a selection of old and new material at Syndicate #2: Real Time Strategy, alongside Lisa Otty, Jo L Walton and Justin Katko. Syndicate’s poetic investigation of the intersection of technology and culture will look at NEWNESS and a constellation of related concepts: the avant-garde, innovation, freshness, early adoption, cutting edge, the future, posterity, and signs of things to come. They will not spill wine on their laptops, or yours. They promise poetry, music, talking, flashing lights, memes and wine. I hope to see you there.
MAGIC DADDY, aka Glasgow-based musician Greg Hurst, has been writing and producing electronic music for 15 years. He has produced solo instrumental tracks and various vocal and band collaborations. He flippantly defines his style as ‘trifle-tech’, referring to his method of throwing everything in to see what sticks. In fact he has never settled on a particular style, preferring to be informed by current club trends but always trying to create something fresh. One thing’s for sure: he will never be accused of minimalism.
His first releases were the Black Rabbit Whorehouse EP (2005, Optimo nightclub’s Oscarr label) and the Insert Title Here EP (2005, on Stuffrecords, which later became Numbers). Since then he has been playing keyboards and producing for several Glasgow bands, including post-rock / post-bass synths-and-guitars outfit Machines in Heaven. His acclaimed remixes of Glasgow bands Nevada Base, How To Swim and For Abel have all been released in 2012. His Soundcloud page has been very active of late, having recently been updated with all previous releases and many unreleased tracks.
The Rock Hyrax EP on Black Lantern Music contains two tracks of slow / fast bass-heavy electro-techno-hiphop, informed by the current Glasgow / London / Bristol triangle of bass culture… but once again with the unique maximal Magic Daddy approach. And track three’s an acid electro banger!
Also be sure to check out Magic Daddy’s remix of NEVADA BASE, from their forthcoming single, out on Black Lantern on 27 April!
Red Dog Music are holding a competition to decide the best song in the ‘Electronica’ genre from recent Scottish releases. Our very own FIONA SOE PAING is nominated. GO HERE AND VOTE FOR DAYMOON SUN! She’s currently in 2nd place so we REALLY need you to vote, and help her win!