This week’s column sees Feau review the new Blind Music EP, go have a ganders!
This week’s column sees Feau review the new Blind Music EP, go have a ganders!
On this week’s Darkfloor column Sublogos reviews the new Pinch b2b Mumdance studio mix out on Tectonic, go check it out!
As you may know, we’ve been doing a fortnightly show on Future Music, Wednesdays from 2200-0000 for the last few months. As we’re now looking to expand our written content in the future, we figured we should probably actually start posting the archives to this page as well for anyone who isn’t yet keeping up with us on Twitter or Facebook. The last show saw Sublogos and Tew return to the controls once more, sketching through lower-tempo architectures ranging from the brutalist to the baroque.
Pinch – Joyride [Tectonic Recordings]
Promise One – Ferro [Deep Heads Free Download]
Murlo – Coral [Kaizen Movements Vol I]
Timbah Ft T man – Tell Dem [Kaizen Movements Vol I]
Killjoy – Magnetic [Formula]
Walton – Aggy [Hyperdub]
Sudanim – Sideman [Kaizen Movements Vol I]
Dawn Day Night – Hold That Leg Up [Astrophonica]
Reso – Maintain [Hospital Records]
Wen – Nightcrawler (Devils Mix) [Keysound Recordings]
Rubi Dan & Famous Ft Fox – Terminator (Samrai remix) [Kaizen Movements Vol I]
Amoss – Tangent (Geode Remix) [Horizons Music]
Dark0 – Skelly [Lost Codes]
Pev & Asusu – Remnants [Livity Sound]
Sudanim – Lightmare [Her Records]
Dark0 – Phobos (Filter Dread Remix) [Lost Codes]
Paul Woolford – Erotic Discourse (Kowton remix) [Hotflush Recordings]
The Black Dog – Black Chamber Order (Blawan remix) [Dust Science]
Elmono – Baton Rouge (Colder Mix) [Cold Recordings]
Pev & Kowton – Beneath Radar (Kowton Mix) [Livity Sound]
Astronomar – Gargoile [Main Course]
Liar – Nosferatu [N/A]
Karenn – Limewash (Barelled) [She Works the Long Nights]
Furfriend – Endless September (Perc remix) [Perc Trax]
Trevino – Derelict [Naked Lunch]
Altered Natives – The Broken Promise [Eye4Eye Recordings]
Taraval – Streetways [Text Records]
J. Tijn – Nuke [Pennyroyal]
Liar – Lasombra [Infinite Machine]
Jon Hopkins – Collider (Karenn remix) [Domino]
Furfriend – Endless September (Instrumental) [Perc Trax]
The Black Dog – Heavy Industry [Dust Science]
Jesper Dahlbäck – No Control [Drumcode]
Stray – Triangles [N/A]
Calibre – Steptoe [Signature]
Fracture Ft. Dawn Day Night – Get Busy [Exit Records]
Alix Perez Ft. They Call Me Raptor – Villians 1 Heros 0 [Shogun Audio]
Stray – Dropping Bombs [Exit Records]
Alix Perez – Chroma Chords [Shogun Audio]
Alix Perez x Stray – Sludge [Exit Records]
Sabre – A Wandering Journal (Rockwells Club Mix) [Critical Records]
Thelem -Forces Of Nature [Artikal Music]
Lone – Aurora Northern Quarter [R&S Records]
So we’re gonna be doing a weekly column over at Darkfloor - just a series of reviews of upcoming tunes, mixes, events - anything to do with the music really, we’ll keep options open! First up though Sublogos reviews the new Moleskin EP out on Goon Club Allstars:
The next Inorganic Audio show on Future Music sees Slovenia’s Theejay out causing chaos with an hour long session representing our friends over at Modular Carnage Recordings. Alongside we also have DnB pressure from Inorganic crew members Sublogos, Tew, and mdX.
The May podcast offers a relentless eyes down session from Tew, presenting 33 mins of the most intransigent bassweight for your speaker.
Download available soon.
Wen - Play Your Corner (feat. Riko) [Keysound Recordings]
Akkord - Folded Edge [Houndstooth Recordings]
Rowl – Sirius [N/A]
Biome - Delta [Tempa]
Mumbai Science - Impact (John Roman Remix) [Lektroluv Records]
Alex Coulton - Too Much Talk (Tessela Remix) [92 Points Recordings]
Sleeper - Burn The Bridge [Osiris]
Wen - Swingin’ (LDN Mix) [Keysound Recordings]
Circula - Casio 93 [N/A]
Biome - Nomad [Macabre Unit Digital]
Biome - Cromos [Tempa]
Wiley - Born In The Cold (Klimeks Remix) [Terrorhythm]
We first came across TReen a couple of months ago through mutual friends and were instantly blown away by their vast hardware set up, their open minded attitude to music production, incorporation of mutant sounds, and of course their celebrated live performances. We’re thrilled to have gotten a chance to interview both Dave and Lou, learning more about TReen and their approach to music!
IA: Okay so the first thing we all wanna know about is the set up! What’s striking about the stuff you guys do is the amount of hardware you use – I know the likes of Karenn and TM404 share an extensive love of hardware, along with British Murder Boys and innumerable others, but the scope of what you guys have is very impressive! What’s in the studio?
Lou: Where to begin?!
The set up. Two samplers, one each – a Korg ESX and an MPC 500; a changing line up of synthesisers, at the moment it’s a xox box, an Access Virus Ti and a Bass Station 2 (but we’ve had a Moog Little Phatty, Yamaha TX7 module and a Korg Volca Keys along the way and just about to swap the Ti for a Snow); effects boxes – a Korg Kaos Pad and an old Echorder. All of this goes into a MIDI patch bay so all the machines can communicate and keep in time by running off the same MIDI clock – which is provided by the ESX, so that’s the start of the chain. All the signal goes into a 14-channel mixer, with the ESX kick drums being split off into their own channel. Finally the signal from Auxiliary 1 on the mixer goes into a 266XL DBX rack compressor to form a side chain compression, and that has its own channel on the mixer as well.
The stay-at-home MOTHER of them all is the Roland TR-808 which doesn’t come out to play (oooh except once! – when we played a set on Al iLLEagle’s original Terrahorns. We’ve sampled the fuck out of the 808 and use the noises through the ESX cos them lush ESX valves mean the sound is reproduced really faithfully to the original.
IA: So how long have you guys been making music together, then? What were the beginnings of TReen?
Lou: We’d been making music together since 2010 as Emily Davison vs The Tigerforce. Dave kicked it off when he bought the Virus Ti, I thought he was mad to spend so much money on a synth and then I heard it. It was just one of those Damascene moments; they don’t come around often, so you should grab them when they do. I was like, “Eeep! We’ve got to do a live set!”, there was no question; it was just obvious. We changed the name to TReen a couple of years later – because it would fit on flyers better basically! The capital “TR” is a homage to the studio backbone of our set-up, D’s modded Roland TR-808 drum machine. He bought it before we got together, back in the mists of time when 808s were neither as fashionable nor as expensive as they are today.
Dave: I’d been noodling on computers since all my old hardware packed up thru over-raving around 2003. When Lou suggested it, I thought, “Let’s do this properly”. I already had the 808 from a chance offer from a mate in Rotterdam but I didn’t really play out with it.
Emily Davison vs the Tigerforce
IA: What’s the least amount of gear you have done, or could do a show with?
Dave: It depends on the show, it’s useful to have two sequencers that you can mix the beats back and forth between like a traditional DJ set-up and then anything else can be patched via our midi split. We have a machine dedicated to the sub (Bass Station 2) and it’s good to have a couple of other synths on hand if one goes down, I bought a TX7 for £60 that exact reason and we’ve used an ipad in a similar way. Computers crash, hardware fails, that’s just life.
At one of our early gigs my MPC500 was placed dangerously close to a proper oldschool 70’s bass guitar amp belonging to the hardcore band ‘100% Beefcock and the Titsburster’; the magnets from the speaker drivers totally wiped the flash memory leaving me with only the midi data (stored on the ROM, geek fans!) so Lou had to basically do the gig on her own whilst I played the occasional live bassline from the Novation (BS1) and a couple of midi patterns. I had a Wavedrum that I hit a bit but they’re pretty shit-sounding so I held back out of embarrassment. But an ESX and a x0x on their own can still provide some tearing acid and Lou fucking stormed it. I still had an annoying hippy come up to us afterwards and tell me that we weren’t really playing live because they weren’t real instruments – despite my actually playing live on two instruments.
IA: It could be said there are advantages to having a laptop in a live setting, was the move to hardware prompted by anything in particular?
Dave: I started on hardware in the late nineties because computers couldn’t do very much and were really expensive, I yearned for a laptop so badly and got one in about 2001. It had 128mg ram and ran Reason ok but not well enough to trust dropping stuff in and out live.
There is so much freedom with laptops nowadays, they are amazing. You can design tracks so they can be mixed together and never be performed the same way twice and Ableton seemed to get its shit together after version 7, as did the reliability of usb connections for controllers but it’s not the same as having a buffet of sound machines. I find latency thru usb can still be a bit looser compared to the feel of analogue especially on knobs and sliders. Basically, I think analogue signal is a glorious thing, it IS the sound of electricity and I love that fact.
Lou: I always wanted to do a hardware live set because DAW’s do my head in; I found them really frustrating to use when I was first working out the basic architecture of electronic music. Using the ESX-1 changed all that; maybe I’m just a tactile learner or maybe I just like flashing red buttons, but I learnt more about how decent tunes are structured from having to work from within the confines of the ESX’s framework than I ever managed when I was faced with a blank screen song file: I just never knew where to start. Plus, if I am being brutally honest, I think that when peeps play out on laptops they look a bit like they’re doing their accounts.
TReen live at the John Peel Centre
IA: On average, how much preparation goes into a performance? Are there pre-programmed sequences that you save beforehand, or is it all created from scratch?
Dave: When we play live we have two sequencers running a maximum of an 8 bar loop (usually 2 or 4 bar loops to keep the sequencers running to the same bar count) then everything is punched in and out live, either on mutes or faders on the desk. One song can have 20-30 layers and the combinations of each layer provides the build ups and drops. We try to keep key elements to certain pads (top right pad on the mpc is always the sub on the bass station for example,) so if it is dark or we are a bit confused(!), there are areas to ground or remind us what could happen next.
Other live tricks we use if we’re feeling confident, is the playing of improvised parts on the synths or messing around with the analog delay echo in a dub style.
Lou: A decent monitor set up is our main requirement as we tend to spend the first 10 mins in a blind panic troubleshooting the mix. When possible, we use the teknival method of playing in front of the rig and just using it as a very big monitor: best fun ever.
IA: You’ve got quite an eclectic output, we’ve seen you hammering out acid techno, footwork, even stuff with a real ska swing to it – I’m guessing when you guys start making tunes it’s an anything goes approach? Or do you tend to focus on a specific sound or sounds from time to time?
Dave: We’ve always been committed to getting people up and dancing. We’re both always listening out for samples and things we like that we can incorporate into the set, be it a style, a sound or a trajectory. It must be spirited in some way. No imitating – stealing outright is fine though ;)
Lou: Haha! It’s not stealing, it’s just re-contextualising stuff and bringing it into the unique hardcore/breakbeat folk tradition of the UK!
IA: If, for some reason, you had to abandon your entire record collection and could only save three items what would they be?
Dave: In the apocalyptic scenario of which you speak I think I would leave it all behind and just go on the rampage until I met with a swift death.
Lou: Haha I stupidly lost/gave away all my records to random people in a squat I was living in just off Old Street in 2003 because I “…didn’t want to be tied down to earthly things”. Perhaps if I could just have Rah Digga’s Lessons of Today back? That would be great. Cheers. :)
TReen and MC Gigante live at Maui Waui Festival
IA: Do you have any up-coming gigs you’d like to mention?
The Waterfront, Norwich this Friday 28 March. After that we’re taking a rest from live shows until Lou’s “Hyper-On Birthday Gala Experience” on 24 May.
Huge, huge thanks again to Lou and Dave for sharing their time with us! We strongly encourage you check these guys out, as you can see from the videos posted here they are extremely talented and very creative. You can get their EP’s “Footwerk Makes One Free” and “4 Trax 4 Electro Skankin” through the links below.
After dubstep broke and reforged the garage template last decade we’ve been waiting to hear some new paradigm shifting music once again. While a lotta great new music is undoubtedly emerging in the UK, Chicago (the birthplace of House music, once upon a time) has been shattering paradigms of its own. Though Footwork/Juke has been around for a while much of the world is only just recognising the sound as a vital and potent movement in the upper tempo stratosphere. With this said, we’re incredibly excited to have had a chat with Young Smoke, the real deal all the way from Chicago – we hope you’re feeling!
IA: So we really appreciate you sharing your time with us today at Inorganic Audio. Shall we start off with the basics? You go by the name of Young Smoke and you hail from from Chicago, the home of footwork. How long have you been involved in the scene over there, and when would you say footwork began? Who are the pioneers?
S: I’ve been Involved on the footwork scene since 2006 when I first started footworking with a group called Bang Squad that alone is when I first started making tracks. Footworking began on the west side of Chicago I think around the early 90’s it came from the projects when they used to throw house parties but it so many different stories of where it started from you would be confuse and I don’t know who are the pioneers.
IA: So like many people in the UK we first became aware about this Chicago sound from the footwork-influenced “Footcrab” tune which Addison Groove put out on Swamp81 back in 2010. I know Planet Mu had put out Bangs & Works Volumes 1 and 2 as well which are considered a big part of the footwork sound spreading globally. Had the music spread beyond Chicago at that stage or was it still a local thing?
S: At the time it was a local thing but now it is spreading world wide with different sounds.
IA: And it must be pretty sweet having your own album out on a well-respected label across the world! How did the album come about, and are there any plans for more?
S: Well first off I will like to thank Mike Paradinas for giving me a chance for my sounds to get heard. He saw something in my music that a lot of other people did see or hear and that’s how it became about me releasing my first album The Space Zone.
Actually it was a blessing for me at a young age to have my first album put out on Planet Mu it was a big surprise for me and I still get a lot of feedback from the fans that still listens to it so I want to thank Planet Mu for giving me a chance to get heard world wide. I have plans for this year for the new album release in 2014 call the Futuristic Arcade its basically going to be little bit more focus on stories telling’s like action movies, Lounge music and video gaming soundtrack all in one mix. I’m trying to make it have the feel like you’re sitting at a movie theater or playing the game.
IA: The thing that strikes me about your tunes is that they’re very, for want of a better word, “musical” – there’s a greater emphasis on melody and harmony in your stuff than with a lotta footwork material we’ve heard. I’m thinking particularly of tunes like “Let Go” and “Space Breeze” which I feel are really blissful/bittersweet tracks with a proper “4am” kinda vibe. What kinda tunes do you appreciate outside of footwork, or what musicians, if any, do you see as having an influence on your sound?
S: I have a couple of influences outside of footwork I like Liquid Stranger, BlueTech, Solar Fields, Mystical Sun, Lemon Grass, Solar Empire I like some of Net Sky music I listen to a lot of Lounge music because of the mellow feelings. That’s about it.
IA: How do you feel about footwork going global, and when did you first start to notice the sound spreading?
S: I actually think that’s good thing that the Juke sound is spreading and having a influence on new artists to come hopefully soon it will be bigger than what it already is.
IA: Can you tell us a little about what is meant by “the footwork lifestyle”?
S: Footwork Lifestyle title came about on reminiscing on the older footwork days from the year 2006 before Juke and Footwork became what it is today it was taking a trip back in time to show and let people hear how far it has come until this day.
IA: In an interview with Fact Magazine, DJ Rashad mentioned folks from the UK showing him people like Goldie and those guys who were pioneering their own up-tempo sound back in the 90’s. Over here right now it seems like Drum & Bass and Footwork are coalescing a bit – like Alix Perez just debuted a collab with Spinn and Rashad on BBC Radio, while Om Unit did some footwork-inspired versions of old Drum & Bass/Jungle tunes as Phillip D. Kick. Is there much going on in Chicago to do with DnB/Jungle or is it not really that popular there?
S: Not really I don’t hear a lot of Drum and Bass and Jungle music getting play out here in Chicago probably in certain parts of Chicago I hear people talking about the music but it’s not that popular as far as city wide.
IA: What do you produce your tracks with? Do you use any hardware or do you tend to stick with software?
S: I use FL Studios I make a lot of my sounds from VST plugins. I try my best to be different to stand out and make what’s going to be hot in the future.
IA: I know a lotta the media focus on footwork tends to centre on Teklife and that crew, and we’re feeling what those guys are doing too, but do you perhaps know of any less well known producers who you’d encourage people to check out? Any up-and-comers who you’re feeling?
S: At the moment I’m still giving every one a ear to see who I like but none at the moment.
IA: And finally! We’ve seen the vids of people footworking, it’s crazy! And I hear the dancers over in Chicago take it real seriously. Do you dance too or just make the tunes?
S: Yes I dance I was dancing before I started making tracks but the music that the DJ’s used to play at the events is what started me to make tracks.
We wanna give a huge thanks to Young Smoke again for agreeing to answer our questions! If you wanna hear more you can check out his album The Space Zone on Planet Mu or you can hit up his Bandcamp page at the links below!