Big Up Thirteen - Whipper Snapper Issue
Whipper Snappers isuue, featuring HAPPA, Darling Farah, Shlohmo, Flume, and Kahn. With art by Sergey SBSS, Rik Oostenbroek, Tom Buch, and Crajes. To subscribe to Big Up in print go to: http://big-up.myshopify.com.
DARLING FARAH SHLOHMO KHAN HAPPA FLUME SERGEY SBSS RIK OOSTENBROEK TOM BUCH FREE CRAJES +++ BIG UP VOL.13 COVER ARTIST: SERGEY SBSS HOLLER: Advertising Opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.org Art Submissions: email@example.com Writing Contributions: firstname.lastname@example.org Music Reviews: email@example.com General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing Address: PO Box 664, New York, NY 10150 THE LUCKY THIRTEENTH ISSUE OF BIG UP WE DEDICATED TO THE VERY YOUNG AND THE INSANELY TALENTED ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS WHO ARE ROCKING OUR WORLD AND BLOWING OUR MINDS BY OUT-DOING NOT ONLY THEIR PEERS, BUT ALSO THE GROWN-UP ESTABLISHED CRAFTSMEN IN RESPECTIVE INDUSTRIES. SOME ARE STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL, SOME ALREADY HAVE DREAM CARREERS, SOME STILL NEED TO CONVINCE THEIR PARENTS IN THE AUTHENTICITY OF THEIR DREAMS. THEY TALK ABOUT THEIR BATTLES, INSPIRATIONS, AND ASPIRATIONS IN THEIR FRESH BUBBLING LIVES. YOUNG IN THE WORLD, BIG IN THE GAME. IT'S THE WHIPPER SNAPPERS TIME. Send us cool shit, whatever it is. PO Box 664, New York, NY 10150, USA The advertising, features, and reviews appearing within this publication reflect the opinions of the respective contributors, and not necessarily those of the publisher or its affiliates. All rights to art, writing, photos, design, and/or likeness and copyrights are property of respective owners, and no assumption of ownership is made by this publication or the publishers. The publisher will be glad to correct any mistakes or omissions in our next issue. The content may not be reproduced in part or in whole without written permission from Big Up Magazine and the respective contributors. ÂŠ2012. Big Up Magazine. HAPPA DARLING FARAH FLUME RIK OOSTENBROEK SERGEY SBSS 7 25 55 31 61 SMS AUDIO STREET HEADPHONES Beats by Dre are so 2012. In this brand new world it's all about 50 Cent's new SMS Audio headphones. The foldable, compact Street on-ear headphones have enhanced bass quality for all the tunes we recommended in the New Music section. $$$: 180 bucks at smsby50.com iPHONE WOOD COVER - ARTIST SERIES Thin but durable, real wood veneer covers for the iPhone, with peel-and-stick backing are easy to apply and remove without damage to the phone. Crafted by Lazerwood Industries, they are designed by artists like Shepard Fairey, E-Dub, Genevieve Gail and ATTAK. $$$: 30 bucks at lazerwood.com ASHES57 SLIPMATS A pair of slipmats, designed by the lovely Ashes57 for 12 inchs turntables. Grace your decks with style. $$$: 30 bucks at ashes57.com PHOENIX BY BEACON AUDIO Boasting an 8 hour battery life on a single charge, cablefree syncing with almost any Bluetooth device, and ability to blast huge sound from a small package, the Phoenix is the ultimate take-with-you-anywhere speaker. $$$: 100 bucks at beaconaudio.com LITTLE PRINTER. Little Printer lives in your home, bringing you news, puzzles and gossip from friends. Use your smartphone to set up subscriptions and Little Printer will gather them together to create a timely, beautiful miniature newspaper. It’s like having your own printing press, newspaper and a dog to fetch it for you, all in your front room. $$$: 325 bucks at bergcloud.com PINHOLE ART DIY CAMERA Dazzling square-format images, all dreamy and softfocused – wouldn’t that be nice as enlargements? This medium-format cardboard and paper pinhole camera can deliver that – and can be tweaked to take 35mm film, too! $$$: 50 bucks at lomography.com LAPKA. PERSONAL ENVIRONMENT MONITOR. Maybe this whole doomsday thing’s got you thinking, “Hey, I could really use an aesthetically pleasing little device that plugs into my iPhone, tests for radiation and determines which foods are truly organic or not. Also, a Fig Newton would be lovely.” You’re on your own Newton-wise, but here’s that other thing. $$$: 220 bucks at mylapka.com STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL, 15-YEAR-OLD WHIPPER SNAPPER HAPPA (OR SAMIR ALIKHANIZADEH TO HIS VERY SUPPORTIVE PARENTS) HAS ALREADY RELEASED HIS MUSIC ON LABELS LIKE R&S, CHURCH AND TEXT, LABELED BY MARY ANNE HOBBS AS "MIND BLOWING PRODUCER", REMIXED FOUR TET AND HE'S NOT STOPPING RIGHT NOW. SO PREPARE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT HALF A PERSIAN PRINCE AND. WHAT WERE YOU DOING WHEN YOU WERE 15? Hi, I'm HAPPA and I thoroughly enjoy… …eating tremendous amounts of dried mango. Nice one! Tell me about your first rave or club experience. How did it affect you as a producer if at all? It was actually my first time ever playing out, at a Waxxx party in Liverpool. It was extremely surreal, and I didn't have a clue what to do throughout the whole night, yet I absolutely loved it. Just the whole atmosphere and the speaker system gave me such a buzz! I've been falling more and more for deejaying since. Yet I wouldn't say it affected me as a producer at all to be honest. I absolutely cannot stand, when I get asked about... … whether I like this new "sick dubsteb track", and then it turns out to be some midrange turd. What tools do you use to produce? I use Ableton Live 8 as my DAW, and I also occasionally use Maschine for beats, percussion, etc... I would love to (and aspire to) introduce a lot more digital and analogue hardware into the ol' "studio". So many young people are doing things today that no 13-15-year-olds could even think of about 10-20 years ago. Many attribute it to the power of Internet. What do you think? Yeah, I would say the internet is a big factor. But I also think the fact that it's so easy to do it all from you bedroom has drawn a very large young crowd into it. Also, I think the link with deejaying might have added to it, as deejaying is very "cool" nowadays. And as I said, the two are kind of interlinked. Do you know a lot of producers your age? I have been in touch with a few producers around the 17 year old mark, but personally I don't know and have never properly met any around my age. After I have finished at the lovely place that is school, I plan to go to Leeds Music Of College, to complete a course in music technology. Nice one. Do you ever want to try yourself in any other creative fields, besides music? Yes, definitely. I really want to go down the route of soundtracks for films, and possibly even the actual production and direction of films. I have been listening to a lot of soundtracks lately, like Brian Eno for Lovely Bones and Daft Punk for Tron. Both out of this world albums in my opinion. Are your parents supportive of your music career? My parents are so unbelievably supportive! They have contributed so much to help me get to where I am now, and I'm sure will keep on doing so. I'm hopefully setting the right patch for a career and having the rest of my family behind it is exceedingly lucky. Amazing release coming up on Church. What else is in the pipeline soon? It pleases me that you think so! Yeah, I have the Four Tet "Jupiters" remix, which should be out via Kieran's label Text soon on 12", and I am also releasing "Freak" via a 2nd Drop compilation, but they are yet to confirm a date for that one. 8 Would you say that your inspiration comes from online sources? I can't really pin point an exact source for my inspiration – and it may sound a bit cliche – but everything around me, involved with me, everything I hear, do and see inspires me. Are you planning to go to College or Uni after you graduate from school? There are a few things in the pipeline, which I cannot mention right now, but keep your eyes peeled! What was the strangest reaction you've gotten to your music? I don't think this was an actual direct reaction, but one of my friends asked If I made my tracks using "pots and pans". She was being deadly seriousâ€Ś but I think I am actually going to sample loads of kitchen utensils now. Can you come up with the name for your future debut album right now on the spot? HalfAPersianPrinceAnd. Thom Yorke TOM ALEX BUCH LOVES WHAT HE DOES. AND HE DOES A LOT. ILLUSTRATION, GRAPHIC DESIGN, 3D MODELLING AND MOTION GRAPHICS ARE JUST A FEW OF THIS 23-YEAR-OLD OXONIAN'S PASSIONS. AFTER TRYING TO MAKE HIS OWN MUSIC AND "FAILING DRAMATICALLY", TOM OPTED TO USE MUSIC FOR INSPIRATION, AS A SUBJECT OF HIS VISUAL ARTWORK, AND OF COURSE DANCING. interview by Alicia German What's your first memory of having an interaction with art, that moved you to create art on your own? Hmm, I can't remember a time when I've not been into art. I've always had that direction, and was the kid that loved drawing from my first day at school. My mum is a more traditional artist, she sells paintings in galleries. I think this must have influenced me, if I was to try and think further back... I vaguely remember being obsessed with Lego. I didn't see the point in making the model via the instruction, the fun was in creating something new. How important is music in your creative process? What are you listening to when working? Music is integral to my work. It helps me focus and seems to unlock creative avenues for me. It makes me work faster and importantly keeps me upbeat. Sitting at a computer for days on end can get to you, and you need to find ways of inspiring yourself. I listen to nearly all genres. I spend a lot of time with my headphones. There is music that I only listen to while working though. Minimal house music or ambient electronic stuff really comes in handy when I need to focus. A sad truth is that I start dancing if I really get into something. One of my aims is to buy a stand-up desk. Haha! That must be the favorite part of your creative process then? That, and also finishing something I've both loved and hated doing for weeks on end. The satisfaction of producing something you're proud of, and getting paid to do something you enjoy, really is a gift. I've seen that you just joined Facebook a few months ago. How come you held off for so long, especially being a part of the Internet generation and all? I've always used Facebook in my personal life. I just never got round to creating a fan page for my artwork before. Recently I've taken building a brand for myself more seriously. It's fun! I bet! Do you still need to spend a lot of your time for selfpromotion? Or have you reached the stage when projects come through the word of mouth and your previous exposure? I spend very little time on self promotion. I should spend a lot more time on it. I always set aside time for it, but then just get too excited by my next project. I release work on all of my sites and online portfolios and then tweet and facebook about them. Recently my works had some features and snowballed into magazines and blogs all over, which is great! We found you through Facebook actually, so it is working! Was it ever challenging working with major clients being so young? Did your age ever get in your way? To be honest, the big brands I've worked with have been clients through a design studio I work for. I've learnt a hell of a lot from them! And I think I could now hold on my own. It's an interesting idea, with a lot of freelance work emails and phone calls getting the ball rolling. The age/challenge thing only applies when I have to face the client in person, and I've not been challenged like that yet. Do you ever wonder about other fields for you to explore except for being an artist? Sure, I've thought about making my own music (tried and failed dramatically). Writing stories (loved doing this as a kid), but it's not something I think I could pick up now. Maybe when I'm a lot older and have lots of time. Oh, and sport! I'm quite competitive and have fallen in love with many sports on and off. Tennis is my thing currently. I have wondered what I could have done with it, if I focused fully on something. I like to think I could be very good, (almost definitely fantasy). Closer to home I'm moving towards motion graphics and film. I've now got the skill set and it excites me. 12 If you could design any album cover, that you haven't designed yet, who would you pick? Hmm, I haven't thought about my next album cover. Inspiration can strike when I'm listening to the music or after a "long think". I'm too busy to be getting excited about a new cover at the moment! In the back of my mind I'm thinking my next cover should be something cult and popular. If you can work on something people can relate to and love, it gives you more chance with exposure. But if there are any artists, producers or record labels that want to work with me, then I'm ready to roll. What is your next big project? I'm pitching for work with one of the biggest DJs in the world. It could be a game changer. Early days. Best dinner for one under 10 quid in Oxford... Sushi bar in the cupboard market. The world would be a better place, if... Pokemon existed. Neil Armstrong ON SCREWED MUSIC, SLOWING DOWN & STRANGE SITUATIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. By Rebecca Bratburd JUST BEFORE HENRY LAUFER (SHLOHMO) MOVED BACK TO LOS ANGELES FROM NEW YORK CITY, WE HAD THE CHANCE TO SIT DOWN WITH HIM AND CHAT ABOUT HIS MUSIC AESTHETIC, HIS INVOLVEMENT WITH MAINSTREAM ARTISTS AND ODD ENCOUNTERS ON TWITTER. Let’s talk about your music a little bit. One question I always have when listening to your mixes is, why do you slow down pop songs? I’ve always been a huge fan of screwed music and just slowing things down in general. It makes things better. Besides that, with pop music specifically, it is the reappropriation of something familiar. It’s kind of the same thing as sampling. You flip the break of that song that everyone likes, so when it loops back, everyone is like "oh shit, it’s a sample, and not the song," you know what I mean? So when it’s a super slow-ass song, you’re like "oh what is this? It’s Christina Aguilera, I remember that song, but it sounds so crazy slowed down." It’s a really simple thing. I like to hear it; people like to hear it. But I thought people were going to hate that that’s part of my aesthetic. What is the deal with producing all your music lo-fi? Firstly, probably because I don’t have the means of hi-fi things. Well, I guess that’s not true. Anyone with a computer can make things sound however they want. I’m just not that good at mixing things, or anything. My aesthetic has always just been shitty. I like things that sound aged, and things that have a certain quality to them that is irreplaceable, like super old gospel, or old dub, old reggae. It’s such a specific recording quality. There’s something on every track that sounds different, and specific, and old. Like old Hypnotized Minds stuff—there’s something about the dirt in that recording, all the bit crush, two times cassette ripped back and forth, copied a million times. “Smoked Out, Loced Out” wouldn’t have been the same mixtape without that. If it was the same shit, but super hi-fi, it would have sucked. There’s something really specific about scary Satan rap that sounds like shit. If that sounded good, it wouldn’t be real. I love most pop music, so I wish it was easier to be like, "What’s up Trey Songz?" But I don’t think it works like that even if you know them. It’s a really obnoxious and boring process, and everyone gets fucked over, and labels suck and whatever... I’m just trying to keep it cool. I’m not doing this because I want to be famous. I’m doing this because I like it. I want to have fun. I’m not going to wait for somebody to use my shit. If it’s eight months down the line, I’m going to give that track to someone else. I want to make things, and put them out. I still want to work with people. I just wish it wasn’t such a bullshit process. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on Twitter? There was this girl who said she was drunk on Twitter. If you have to say you’re drunk on Twitter, you’re probably not drunk. She was saying very lewd things to me, very crude things. She was like, umm, trying to figure out where I was playing and… [laughs], and she was like, "If I see you at the club tonight, I am going to suck your dick." It was like a threat. "If I fucking see you, I’m gonna suck your dick." Did you feel threatened? It was flattering and terrifying at the same time. It’s not that I don’t like those kinds of people, it’s just I don’t choose to get my dick sucked by those kinds of people [laughs]. You know what I’m saying? I feel bad for her parents. You know she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Yeah, you know she actually does have a boyfriend. A few boyfriends. So that was really… funny. And I have a girlfriend too, so it makes the whole thing weirder. Do I say, "yeah, thank you, that’s nice of you,"? [laughs]. Do you think you’ll approach The Weeknd, or another more mainstream artist, to collaborate with or do remixes for again? Some of that stuff has already been going on a little bit. But I find it difficult to work with “big people,” just because no one actually wants to make anything. No one wants to work. I want to make music. I really like doing it. When I say I’m going to make something, I do it. If I don’t do it, it’s actually because I didn’t want to do it. There’s that. And I’m really bored with people hitting me up, being like "I’m whoever, let’s make some shit," and then I send them a bunch of stuff and they’re not emailing me back for months. 17 Last question. What is the last dream you remember? I was with a friend yesterday, and we were talking about Dwight Howard getting signed to the Lakers. We started talking about Steve Nash too. And then I dreamt that I was reading on the Internet that Steve Nash died. It was weird, because I don’t fucking care. I’m the most apathetic sports person ever. It was super weird, because I dreamt about it really apathetically. I dreamt that I read it on my timeline and was like, "Oh shit, he died."... But no disrespect. Don’t die unless it’s time. 19 HIGH TIMES & LO-FI WITH COLLECTIVE SPEARHEADED BY SHLOHMO FINDS BEAUTY IN DAILY MEDIOCRITY. By Rebecca Bratburd photo by Barney Patterson 20 WEDIDIT IS: Shlohmo | Henry Laufer D33J | Djavan Santos Groundislava | Jasper Patterson Jonwayne | Jon Wayne Juj | Julian Burg Melonius Drunk aka Nick Melon | Nick Meledandri RL Grime | Henry Steinway Ryan Hemsworth | Ryan Hemsworth 21 photo by Barney Patterson SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, WHERE PALM TREES SWAY IN THE OCEAN BREEZE, THE SUN SHINES AND KIDS SKATEBOARD YEAR-ROUND IS WHERE THE SEEDS FOR WEDIDIT WERE PLANTED, SOMEWHERE IN THE SAND, PROBABLY NEXT TO A CIGARETTE AND A FEW DROPS OF TAR... Henry Laufer (Shlohmo), Nick Meledandri (Melonius Drunk aka Nick Melon), Jasper Patterson (Groundislava), D33J (Djavan Santos) and others started deejaying parties and according to Meledandri, they were some of the best times of their lives. “Henry used to have a bunch of air-horns in his Honda Civic. We used to ride around blasting folks with the air-horn, screaming ‘WEDIDIT,’” Meledandri said. It has already been a huge year for WEDIDIT. With two releases under their belt and Henry Laufer (Shlohmo), 22, promoting the house name during his tours in Europe, nothing can slow them down now, except, well, Shlohmo. to Jasper Patterson (Groundislava), 22. “If there’s one unifying aesthetic about WEDIDIT, it’s the weird fashion,” Patterson said. The crew often sports vintage sneakers, bucket hats and off-thewall accessories. Laufer has the outline of a skateboard tattooed above his left knee. Many involved with WEDIDIT are visual artists; Patterson and Laufer went to art school. According to Patterson, “WEDIDIT has been a backhanded means of expressing ourselves.” A WEDIDIT fashion line is slowly coming to realization, and Nick Meledandri (Melonius Drunk aka Nick Melon), 22, has highminded goals. “We want to integrate high-fashion elements into it, like monogramming luggage. ‘WDI’ on luggage,” Meledandri said. “The luggage comes first, and the music comes second to pay for the luggage.” Calling trends comes easily for Meledandri. “Monogramming is hot right now, which is why we’re starting now. We have to be realistic,” Meledandri said. “By the time we raise enough money, we’ll be able to catch [the monogramming trend] when it comes back around.” Further, Steinway asserted that “Merk Jacobs” collaborated with the crew in the creation of “safari R2M hats” that were so rare that “only three were made.” SHLOHMO SHLOHMO WEDIDIT’s first release was RL Grimes’s EP entitled Grapes. It came with a patch in the shape of a tombstone and read “WEDIDIT 1990-2012.” Henry Steinway (RL Grime), 21, said WEDIDIT is “an exciting group of friends interested in rap fame.” He joined WEDIDIT a year ago when he met Laufer et al in New York City. “When we met in person and became friends, we were all into the same kind of music,” Steinway said. “It made sense to work with them.” The collective’s latest release, Ryan Hemsworth’s EP entitled Last Words also comes with a patch: an upside down hand with the numbers 420, 69, 1990 and symbols penned on it, a coffin, four drops of blood and a phone number: 1-800-KILLURSLF. WEDIDIT added Ryan Hemsworth, 22, of Nova Scotia, Canada, to the collective after he met RL Grime in a Boiler Room chat room. “I’m really exited about this EP because we’ve got a Shlohmo remix on it, a Baauer remix, [and] Supreme Cuts,” Hemsworth said. “All these artists that I’ve been a fan of are now around me and supporting me, so that’s crazy.” As a new recruit, Hemsworth is learning the ways of WEDIDIT. “They have some cool ideas,” Hemsworth said. “They’re really left-field, so whatever they end up doing, it won’t be in a normal way. It’s never a dull moment whenever you’re talking to them.” Djavan Santos (D33J), 22, said WEDIDIT is a ‘lyfestyle’ choice one makes when joining the clique. “We have a special hazing for new artists [involving] Lean, three drops of blood, Mac G5 towers, weed and Haitian candles,” Santos said. “Ryan Hemsworth is still feeling the aftereffects of the ceremony, but should be recovering soon – all 4 1, 1 4 all.” WEDIDIT is as much a lifestyle trademark as music collective, branded by “a balance of weird, ridiculous, stupid, ugly and like... sleekness at the same time,” Hemsworth said. “I think we all grew up on MTV, and we’re such consumers digesting so much weird stuff that it explodes out in our music and our visuals.” On the whole, WEDIDIT is a fashion-conscious crew, according 22 In a digital age, WEDIDIT strives to become a multimedia brand.“We’re really into design and clothing, and have always wanted to make stuff ourselves. We have very specific aesthetics that aren’t necessarily represented in all this other stuff we like,” Laufer said. “I find beauty in shitty things. The worse it is, the more endearing it is.” WEDIDIT’s slogan is “professionally unprofessional,” according to Laufer. He explained that what makes their aesthetic special is the rarity of the ideas it seeks to produce combined with a certain level of apathy. “It’s the accidental-elderly-Chinese-man swag – they always end up looking the coolest, but they buy the shittiest things,” Laufer said. “It’s the coincidental DGAF-aesthetic and the things they buy that make them look so good. It’s doing right with things that are wrong.” Santos said that in some ways, the visual and aural aesthetics of WEDIDIT match. “Our look is us trying to convince you that these shitty things you see on your day-to-day look good. The worse it is, the more we like it,” Santos said. RL GRIME With music, Santos explained, “We’re not all about making hyperpolished club bangers but we’re also not like, ‘fuck music, make noise’ either. A lot of us like to exist somewhere in between the two; one’s stoned tapping on a bedroom desk could be the kick for some lo-fi club anthem.” GROUNDISLAVA WEDIDIT continues to build their brand and is actively expanding their roster. “We’re using the Internet, like everyone else does, to talk to more people. We’re talking to this 14-yearold in the U.K.,” Meledandri said. “I can’t say anything about him but he’s literally the next big thing.” Further, with much of the squad relocating to Los Angeles, WEDIDIT will be making big moves towards establishing themselves as a record label. “We’re getting more legit about being a label. Right now there’s nothing about us that says we’re a label,” Patterson said. “We’re working on it. It’s a process, but I think we’re slowly building legitimacy. We’re going to get it cracking with hats and t-shirts for sure.” Santos said the migration back home “wouldn’t be a bad thing,” because “we each carry a very rare, very spicy gem that are the most powerful when we’re together,” Santos said, whose gemstone is a ‘cool blue.’ “We joke about running a big warehouse in downtown Los Angeles with mad interns working away at making bed sheets, coasters, color changing mugs, yin yang burkas and pizza ponchos.” Except it’s not a joke. “We actually want that. We’re all moving back to L.A., so this is definitely something we are focused on doing,” Santos said. WEDIDIT will “run operations from a central location” and “prepare more fashions and musics for you guys.” WEDIDIT has beanies and hoodies in the works for this fall as well as more music to release. “At the moment, I’m harboring a lot of secrets and working on some other projects,” Santos said. “Since graduating a few months ago, I’ve been able to spend most of my time producing and playing more.” D33J As for Hemsworth in Canada, he hopes to book more shows with WEDIDIT. “I want to meet all my Internet friends and stuff as well,” Hemsworth said. “I haven’t met any of those guys except for Shlohmo, but they’re all super sweet.” Steinway echoes that sentiment, saying the past year with WEDIDIT has been the best of his life. “They are my best friends and I wouldn’t trade them for the Earth. I don’t even like their music but they are my family so I pretend to,” Steinway said. To clarify, “Life is a big journey. You gotta wear the right shoes, and sometimes you need friends to help you tie your shoes. That’s what they are there for.” photo by Jonangelo Molinari LONDON VIA DETROIT, BY WAY OF ABU DHABI, DARLING FARAH'S SOUND TRAVELS FREE OF BOUNDARIES TAKING YOU TO THE PLACES YOU'VE NEVER BEEN BEFORE, BUT HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MISSING. AT HIS 20, KAMAU BAAQI (CURRENTLY LIVING AND ATTENDING SOUND DESIGN PROGRAM IN LONDON) HAS RELEASED THREE EPS AND A FULL ALBUM 'BODY' WITH A FOLLOW-UP REMIXES EP ON THE RESPECTED CIVIL MUSIC IMPRINT. ALTHOUGH HUMBLE WHEN TALKING ABOUT HIS PRODUCTION SKILLS, DARLING FARAH NATURALLY CREATES MATURE AND EVOLVED SOUNDSCAPES. WE CAUGHT UP WITH KAMAU OVER THE PHONE RIGHT BEFORE HIS LIVE SHOW IN LONDON... interview by Katya Guseva Hi Kamau, you're performing a live show tonight, please tell us more about it. I'm basically performing a live show that I've been working on for a while. It's on Ableton with a midi controller. It's going to be a collection of all my music that I've been working on since my first EP and a lot of stuff from my album. All original material. Is there any visual element to the show? Not for now. But I'm speaking with some visual and video artists whose work I'm really into, and in the future I will add that element to the show. That's impressive! A lot of musicians struggle with album track listings for a long time. Yeah... I didn't spend much time with the tracklist. I was lucky enough to know the direction I wanted to take the album in, so it wasn't difficult to put the tracks together. I like how the title track "Body" sits nicely right in the middle of the album. Well... it's a single word and I think "Body" was the one track that I felt sums up a lot of what the album talks about sonically. So I named the album Body as well. The standout track on the album to me personally is "Bruised". It sounds very different from the rest of the album having a lot of space in it. I hear you. I think it had to be done for the album. I didn't want to put out an album that would not have that hard sound that I've always been into. As much as I like deeper music, I'm still a fan of the brashness and loudness of heavier techno or whatever. "Bruised" was a good way to express that. It's kinda sparse like 2-step, but also has a harder drum and bass, old school Metalheadz sounds. It reminds me of "Stereo Freeze" by Untold. It has that same "empty" space that you can fill in as a listener. Space is definitely something I keep in mind when making tracks. It comes from me first hearing 2-step, breakbeat, or IDM-styled music where there would be these small gaps in the rhythm. They just sounded really good. Sometimes the grooves were so out of synch, but thatâ€™s what gave them a whole new dimension. Can you tell us which artists you have in mind? The AU Agency. They're directing videos and making visual art and photography with a very unique style. I've been into their work for a while and we're getting some ideas together for visuals to go with the music, in various mediums. I absolutely love the cover artwork for the Body album. Thank you, I'm happy how it turned out. I was introduced to this photographer Jonangelo Molinari and have been working with him since EXXY EP. He did a great job taking photos for the new album cover. We had to do a lot of takes to get the shot right... I was choking up in all the smoke clouds. Speaking of your album, I read that you wrote it in a threemonth record time! Yeah, I got into this routine of starting the day, coming home, staying up late and working on music. And there wasnâ€™t really a down time or a huge gap in the output. That's why I think it happened so quickly, 'cause I just got in a little zone. There was only one track that was finished before the album was started. "North" and "Realized" were one of the first tracks. And the last one finished was "Telling Me Everything". That's how they flow on the album as well, isn't it? It's weird, but all of them are in the same order as I made them. I just put the track list together and it flowed nicely like that. It might be a coincidence... Working with a lot of textures it's very easy to go overboard and have too many things going on. When do you know that a track is finished? It's a tricky question... whenever it sounds right I guess. I know when it's going overboard, and I don't want to reach that point. I just know when I should stop, and I end up scrapping the whole thing if it gets too out of hand. Sometimes I get obsessed with each little sound and listening to them over and over again. After a certain point I just kick myself into sending it out for others, after sitting on the track for so long. 27 Everything seems to have come very naturally in your production. Why do you think that is? I think it comes from the lack of the knowledge in production. I think if I knew a lot more about how to produce, maybe I would try to think, "oh, I should add this or that, cause that's how it's supposed to work." But it stays very natural now, because I know less about the production than many other people. I mean, I get around pretty well in my studio, but I know I'm not as experienced as maybe other people are. That's very humble of you. So you don't have any formal music training? I didn't have it before, but I'm going to school now for sound design in London. They only teach production. That's why I originally wanted to take this course – to learn more about production. But I ended up learning a lot about theory, and the art of making music, rather than concrete studio-head stuff. That's what I'm learning now. But before this, curiosity was one of the reasons why I learnt to make music. If I didn't know how to do something, I'd always be curious and find out myself. Detroit or even America. When I got to experience other parts of the world it changed my view on a lot of stuff. So by the time I finished high school I didn’t really feel like I had to go back to Detroit. I could experience something new again in an entirely different place. That happened to be London. Music was a huge factor in coming here though. Was Berlin not an option? At the time it wasn’t. The colleges I applied to were in the UK, so Berlin wasn’t really an option in that way. People must be all over your American accent. They just point it out pretty fast! It's funny to me when someone just goes “Wait, are you American?”. So back to the album, you mentioned that you were writing it at night, correct? A lot of my music I'm making at night, leading into the morning hours. At least with my album, that was the routine. It wasn’t a conscious thing. It was based on how my days went and when I had time to start making music. I'd start making music late at night till early morning, then shut my eyes, pass out and start the day when I wake up again. It helped though. Night time made me feel more comfortable making music maybe. It's interesting to know, especially with the album being so dark and sort of... reflective. Are you an introvert? Did you start making music in Abu Dhabi? When I was still in Detroit, I was doing music but I wasn't that serious about it. My dad turned me on to turntablism, scratching and that kind of stuff. It's when I moved to Abu Dhabi, I started getting behind the sequencers, sitting down and writing an actual song rather than just freestyle. I had a lot of time to myself there. There's not much you can do there anyway. I had a lot of time to find out what's happening music wise everywhere else, discover new stuff. So that was cool. And then you started deejaying? My first live show was in Manchester in April this year. It was cool... Of course I made some natural mistakes. You know I'm kinda new to Ableton, I was using Fruity Loops before, so with each gig it's kinda like I'm learning something new. For that one gig for example, certain levels weren't right with the sound, so I had to go back and change them up... But I'm taking it as it goes and still learning. That's very exciting though that you're in London and have the opportunity to be in the middle of it all. I moved out to the Middle East from Detroit when I was 13. At the time I didn’t really know what it was like living outside of I wouldn't describe myself as an introvert. The album is reflective of the sounds and feelings in music that I like, that do come from personal characteristics. But it's not as serious as being an introvert. I do leave the house. Do you use your headphones then? For most of the album tracks I just used my Apple iPhone headphones to hear what I was making. Then a friend let me borrow some other headphones, which were actually intended to make music with. I have monitors now, so I'm used to hearing things clearer and louder. But at the time it was pretty annoying using random headphones. Basically I wrote my album on any headphones I could find in a room... It was annoying. I can imagine. Do you take a lot of snack breaks in the studio? Yeah, a lot of cranberry juice, ginger beer, and random foods. What's your favorite cheap food place in London? Such a good question! This Bagel Shop in the area is good for cheap food. It has a lot of different pastries, and cakes, and of course bagels. Really good food, plus it's open 24 hours. 28 photo by Anna Rose photo by Jonangelo Molinari 2012 AT THE AGE OF 17, RIK OOSTENBROEK FROM HOLLAND DECIDED TO BECOME A FREELANCE ARTIST. HE IS NOW 22, AND HAS A CLIENT LIST LONGER THAN PANIC! AT THE DISCO SONG TITLES. EVERYONE FROM IDN MAGAZINE EDITORS TO NIKE ADVERTISEMENT TEAM FELL FOR THIS ARTIST'S DYNAMIC FORMS AND EXPRESSIVE COLORS. WE'RE GIVING YOU A GLIMPSE INTO RIK'S CREATIVE PATH, AND HE SHARES WITH US HIS DREAMS, PASSIONS AND ADVICE... When did you realize you wanted to become an artist? I think after finishing high school. I knew it would be a risk, but I couldn't decide to study Communication or Economics in University. I took a year off and before I realized, I got an agent who represented my work worldwide and some awesome online exposure. All totally unexpected. I knew it was a huge risk to become a freelancer at the age of 17, but I never regretted the decision. So you're a self-taught artist! Would you say education is irrelevant to visual arts? It can be pretty challenging, to be honest. I had lots of embarrassing moments when clients had to adjust my PSD's, I had my own selftaught workflow (which is quite messy), and clients always came back to me since they couldn't understood how I've built my files up. The trick is, when being self-taught, to be open to learn more things. In school you go through courses about every software, sketching, typography and so on. And I had to teach everything myself, from typography to layout design, to 3D, to Illustrator... living the "sex, drugs, and rock & roll" life, and sometimes I made irresponsible mistakes because of the lack of experience. After realizing this would be my income probably for the rest of my life, I decided to be more serious and put more effort into dealing with the clients! In the last few months I had the pleasure to work with brands like Nike, Cirque du Soleil and Ubisoft at the same time, which can be challenging, but it's just a matter of giving up sleep and hanging out with friends! What part does music play in your creative process? It's a huge part actually, I would love to combine my passion for music and art a bit more in the future. I had the pleasure to pitch for the BET Awards and some cool album designs for other artists. It felt so good. The fun thing is listening to the client's music while working on the design for it. I always come up with some lyrics related stuff. I think I can't work without music. I've never tried either. The MTV shorts and bumpers were one of the main reasons I started messing around with design in the first place, so that says it all I guess! If you could design any album cover, that you haven't designed yet, who would you pick? That's probably the hardest question ever. Of course I can say Daft Punk, Kanye West or Justice but for now I want to be more original and will pick a album cover for M83. Their music fits my style and I feel really connected to their songs. I've been listening to their stuff for a year now and still can't get enough of it! I would love to do one for the Rolling Stones too, but I guess they won't bring out that many albums anymore so that would lower my chance to 0,00001%. After all I think talent, networking, and taste are the most important things to gain success in this business. Especially the networking is an underestimated part that can make you successful. You need important people to spread the word for you. Of course, to follow the rules, you can spend four years in school, but being passionate about what you do is the key to make it work. What other challenges have you had on the way so far? The main challenge was to stay confident in my own work. It's not always easy to keep the momentum going, especially after seeing overdose of digital visual pleasure on the web. Sometimes it can make you feel really small. And I certainly have had lots of struggles with that fact. I don't think you have anything to worry about if you keep the young and hungry attitude. You already have an amazing list of huge clients. Was it ever challenging working with them being so young? Did your age ever get in your way? It was quite hard to deal with clients myself at this age. I was still What new media would you like to work with next? I'm currently trying to create my own motion shorts, like MTV. They are far from good now, but I enjoy experimenting with it a lot. I found out that the process of making a video is much more time-consuming, compared to the still images I usually do! What are your dreams? 32 Owl My dreams are random, just like my thoughts and goals are. I thought of creating a bucket list for myself next year, just to keep my dreams a bit more organized. I actually achieved most of my dreams earlier then expected. Like being on the covers of magazines, billboards, solo exhibitions and the pleasure to speak at OFFF next year in Barcelona. So I can't complain at all! My dream job is obviously to direct and create an MTV short movie or collaborate with my favorite musicians directing music videos. If you could direct a documentary, what would it be about? Probably about digital art. Just because I feel it's way underrated. Especially here in Holland. The market here is small and the focus is still on traditional stuff here. Why do you think that is? Maybe it's because there's never any media attention for anything like that. It's always about street artists and graphic designers. Or maybe I would direct a documentary about the work we, artists, do. Sometimes people think it's easy money for just drawing. But the fact is it can be totally exhausting trying to put your inspiration and vision on paper and make it work for a client. I would love to be able to capture the hectic times of the jobs of Art Directors and designers in general. How do you know when something you're working on is finished? I never know, I just ask opinions here and there, and whenever there are no comments from my design friends, I decide it's close to being finished! After that it's just a matter of a couple hours of detailing stuff out. What do your parents think about your art? They love what I do and they want to know everything about it! Their house actually has some huge prints of mine in the hallway, which is cool! And my mom is trying to catch up and collect every client product or project I've done in real life. I think they respect the fact that I went my own way, even without knowing too much about it. 34 Rush Karma Next Level photo by Joshua Hughes-Games photo by Joshua Hughes-Games Can you remember one specific musical experience which made you want to make music? As far back as I can remember I've always known I've wanted to make music. I can't really name just one experience. I was brought up going to music festivals and through my parents I grew accustomed to all manner of styles and music from different cultures. It's just something I've always known was my path. What were the hardest challenges on this path so far? Getting over my own insecurities about my work. Which I think affects most people who create anything. Part of me genuinely doesn't care what anyone else thinks, and it helps to have that kind of attitude at times, but I also feel that having that unshakeable scrutiny of your own work pushes you to be better. I hear you have some family ties to the Sufis (correct me if I'm wrong) and you've traveled extensively growing up. Can you talk about the influence it's made on your music. I don't have any Sufi family ties but I have travelled a fair bit, or more importantly I've experienced a lot of authentic music from different cultures. I love Sufi music, Qawwali music in particular, as I love many other sacred musics from around the world. You've got a release coming up on Deep Medi, which is a "seal of approval" for many in the bass music scene. What is your relationship with the Deep Medi camp and did you write the tracks specifically for the label? It is indeed an honour to be asked to release my music on Deep Medi. They're a label that I've followed since I was a teenager and they've released some of my favorite records over the past few years. I had already written the tunes which are to be released, and I'd been playing them out on dubplate for a little bit. I passed the tunes on to Mala, who then began playing them out this year and I was lucky enough to be asked to release them on the label. 42 5-MINUTE RECIPE FROM KAHN. You've done a pile of remixes for many notable artists. What attracts you to making remixes as opposed to original tracks? I love doing remixes, and I particularly love working with vocals. I find that having source material that isn't my own kind of sparks off a different part of my creativity and allows me to get ideas together quickly. What are your favorite toys in the studio? I have an air horn which I like to blast at unsuspecting guests in my studio. It's really fucking loud. The theme of this issue is "whippersnappers" (the young and the talented for the lack of the better definition). What do you think attributes to the fact that so many talented upcoming artists are so young these days? (15 year-old Happa, 19-year-old Viers, 21 Darling Farah and yourself.) I think the software and technology that young people have access to nowadays makes "producing" a lot more accessible. And with sites like SoundCloud it's very easy to upload your work, get instant feedback, and even make a name for yourself. Any young and talented whippersnappers we should include in this issue? My tip at the moment is Jabu, who are part of the Young Echo Collective that I'm involved with. They make some of my favorite electronic music and Alex Rendall who is the vocalist is an amazing lyricist. What do your parents think about your music? My parents have a lot to do with why music is such a big part of my life, and they've been nothing but supportive all along. If you could write a soundtrack to a film, which one would it be? I can't think of a film I like that would need a new sound track. But I could imagine having fun writing music for some sleazy, silent black and white vampire flick. If you had to choose between producing and deejaying, what and why would you pick? That's a strange one. I could only imagine not being able to do one of them due to some freak accident or something! Right now, I'd say producing. Just because I think I'd eventually get bored of just playing other peoples' music. I do love to DJ though. 5-minute recipe from Kahn. Boil some fresh tagliatelle. Grill some sliced peppers, courgettes and pine nuts with a little olive oil. Mix that ish with some fresh basil pesto and devilish chillies. Take the rest of the day off. It's incredibly useful in a lot of ways, but I do often wonder about people's relationship with the music they consume through free downloads and YouTube, as the internet can make everything strangely "non-existent" or unreal, if you know what I mean. It's been the case in Bristol, where I'm from, and I'm sure a lot of cities. A lot of kids that would have been in bands 10 years ago are now all becoming producers and DJs. Creative energy in the youth seems to have shifted into different areas over time. And a generation of people who have grown up with computers and programs are creating their own, new musical environment. 43 THE NEW BIG UP SHIRT BY SERGEY SBSS AVAILABLE IN ALL SIZES AT THEBIGUPMAGAZINE.COM TWO YOUNG LADIES, FOUR HANDS, ONE BIG DREAM AND LIMITLESS CREATIVITY SHAPE THE TALENTED ENTITY THAT IS CRAJES. THE ALTER EGO OF CARLA RENDON AND JESSICA RUIZ, CRAJES PUTS SIGNATURE ON SURREAL DRAWINGS, PAINTINGS AND MURALS OF DEWYE-EYED GIRLS SURROUNDED BY EVIL SCULS AND TWISTED POP CULTURE ICONS. CRAJES THEMSELVES, HOWEVER, TALK ABOUT THEIR CHARACTERS VERY VAGUELY, LEAVING A BLANK CANVAS FOR DIFFERENT OPINIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS. CARLA AND JESSICA ANSWERED SOME OF OUR QUESTIONS AND SENT US THEIR ARTWORK THROUGH A VERY SLOW INTERNET CONNECTION THEY HAD IN THE PHILIPPINES, WHERE THEY WERE WORKING ON THEIR SOLO EXHIBITION... interview by Katya Guseva You describe yourselves as an artist and a dreamer. Who is who? And why? We are both dreamers and artists. Crajes is just one artist made up with two very different personalities but with thoughts and dreams in common. We are always setting new goals, we want to learn as much as we can to make sure that our work improves every day. Ok, great. Then can Carla describe Jessica and Jessica describe Carla in one sentence? Carla: Jessica is a perfectionist and really eager for thoughts. Jessica: Carla is hardworking and persevering. How did you decide working together and what was your first collaboration? It was not a decision. It was something that came up by itself. We have a lot of things in common, very similar aesthetic tastes and we both love cinema. So we decided to write and produce an experimental animation short film called Amok in 2009. That was our first project together. And the rest came naturally. While we work, we are like one person with four hands, although it may sound weird. Is it challenging working together? Do you get into arguments about your artwork? How do you resolve it? It involves a challenge, above all, in the beginning of a project, when most decisions have to be taken, and when we have to decide what exactly we are going to do and how we are going to approach it. That's the time when most arguments appear, but it is just momentary. It's all about trying to convince the other in the Malleus Maleficarum I The Sons of God Wormwood suggested idea and make her feel just as enthusiastic as you are. As we said before, we are both very curious and imaginative. We work on concepts that we transform into fantasies. So it's not really difficult to get an agreement between us. What part does music play in your creative process? We always try to listen to music while we work. It helps us to concentrate and changes our mood very quickly. It's funny to take a break to sing and dance in our studio. Would you be interested to design music album covers? And who would you design it for? Yes, we would love it. For Mozart, Queen, and The Beatles... We love them, but it's not possible. As for the contemporary music, Grimes, Die Antwoord, Air, Laura Marling, Deerhunter... The truth is that we love a lot of bands, so it's difficult to chose just one. Your artwork seems to incorporate the good and the evil, the angelic faces with skulls. Is one of you responsible for the pretty side, and the other one is the evil twin? No, it is more like a conceptual matter. We try to portray the duality that all people have. We all have a bit of good and bad side at the same time. We have ideas that we interpret with our own style to tell a story. Skulls don't need to be something negative, considering that we all have one inside, it is part of every animal. But it also symbolizes death, so the audience have to take a decision about what they read in our artwork. Birth Akelarre II Juda's Kiss If you could direct a documentary, what would it artists very interesting. And how humans have been hiding our crap using religion as an excuse. The question that tortures us is: Who are the mad ones here? You both are self-taught. Do you think formal education is irrelevant in the visual arts field? We don't think it is irrelevant, but we believe that it depends a lot on the person. We like and enjoy learning freely, and keep on being trained day by day. be about? We would probably end up making a super weird documentary. We find all matters related to madness, serial killers, deserted places (the story behind them), the allegedly mad scientists and Art is completely subjective, so education in this field is not essential in order to be able to create. It's something very personal, the artist leaves a part of him- or herself in every work of art. We had to believe in ourselves and not allow our parents' point of view affect our dreams and confidence in our work. We wouldn't be able to say if they have the same thoughts about it today, although they do seem more optimistic now. If you couldn't work together anymore, would you pursue solo careers? We are not considering that. Crajes is like one person, who has a really solid personality, and is above our respective "I". Our alter ego is in the first place for us. We have a lot of strength together and it would be very hard doing this alone. What do your parents think about your art? We come from working families, which are not really used to art. So in the beginning it was hard for them to believe that what we were doing was art. For them, this was not a real job, it was a hobby. Malleus Maleficarum II Bishop Nurse HARLEY STRETEN, KNOWN TO THOUSANDS OF HIS FANS AS FLUME, HAD A DREAM TO HAVE A MUSIC CAREER SINCE HE WAS 11. HE STARTED PRODUCING AT 13. AT THE AGE OF 20, THAT HE IS NOW, HE TOPS AUSTRALIAN ITUNES CHARTS WITH HIS DEBUT SELF-TITLED ALBUM, TOURS THE WORLD, AND IS LABELED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES AS ONE OF THE "SIX HOPEFULS WORTH WATCHING AT THE CMJ". WE HAD A PHONE CALL WITH HARLEY ALL THE WAY FROM BROOKLYN TO SYDNEY AT 8 IN THE MORNING... interview by Luke McCann Hi Harley, how are you doing? What time is it over there? Hey, it's actually 8 in the morning right now. But It's all good. It's gonna get me out of bed. Otherwise I'll sleep in. Oh wow, I would definitely not want to be talking to me at 8 am. Ok, let's jump right into it then. I wanted to ask you about your name. How did you come up with that? Actually it came about after I was listening to Bon Iver tune called "Flume". I was struck by the name. I was really into that song of course, but I also loved the way the word looked from the typography perspective. It's a really nice looking word and the sound of the song was the kind of music I wanted to make. So I went with Flume. I heard that a cereal box launched your music career. Can you tell me about that? What happened was I went shopping with my dad one time and there was this cereal that had some promo CD in the box. It was a very easy music-making program. I asked my dad to buy it, got home, put it in my computer and ever since then I've been addicted to making music. It was a really basic program, just a few loops that you can track together. But what really got me was the fact that you could put synths on one line, vocals on the other line, drums on the another line... The whole layering process of music blew my mind. So since then it's been my hobby till about maybe a year ago. Damn! The coolest thing I've ever gotten from a cereal box was a toy race car. So what sort of tunes were you producing until about a year ago? I've always had a broad range of taste in music. I've never really stuck to one. I started off writing weird stuff like '90s trance and euro trance beats. Then I kinda regretted it and started branching out to all sorts of pop, rnb, experimental electronica... literally every genre you can imagine. I would sit down every day and just write whatever came to my head. It was a different sound almost every day. And it wasn't until around the time I wrote "Sleepless", when I found the sound I could call my own. You definitely have your own sound now. It gives me hope man. Where does your sound come from? What it really is, why my music sounds the way it does, is the influence of 90's trance emotional and intense chord progressions, French electro drums and snares, and the hiphop influence of artists like Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke etc... 55 photo by Daniel Shipp photo by KatieKaars I remember the time we had to memorize phone numbers and when we used our phones just for calling. Now we use it for everything else, but calling. Yeah, it's kinda strange talking to you on the phone right now. Tell me about your live performance. What does it consist of? At the moment it's pretty basic. I got a bunch of midi controllers, and I'm mucking around in Ableton Live. And I've also learnt to play Launchpad a bit like a piano. So I do that live. We've also been having a few meeting with my team recently, and we've cleared a bunch of money towards getting a really cool live show set up. I don't want to give away too much right now, but it's going to involve an infinity mirror and these hexagonal things... We should be doing it at SXSW. Sounds interesting. Can't wait to check it out when it's ready. Which of your own gigs surprised you the most? Do you remember life before internet? Do you think internet is the main reason why so many young producers are emerging right now and achieving so many things so fast? Totally. There's no way I could have achieved what's going on now without the help of internet. I've been watching YouTube and SoundCloud take over, and it's definitely been an online thing for me personally. I can't actually remember the time before the internet to be honest. I remember the old dial-up modem sound. And that's about it. 57 Once I was supporting TEED (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs), and my set was announced just one day before the show. But when I got there and started playing it felt like it could have been my own show, because people were really into it and knew all the songs! That was very surprising to get such reaction, especially it being the last minute thing. That's dope. I also just saw you had a gig here in New York. How did you like it? Do you plan on any more shows in USA? Yes, I really liked it over there. All New York shows were quite hectic. They were all in little basements and random places. We did nine shows in the span of four days. We did three shows in one day and then the next day we had three more shows, so it was pretty busy, but it was a really cool experience. I'm just glad I'm not a band. Imagine having to set up an entire band for three shows in one day... But in the end the whole aim was to spread the word as much as possible. We spent so much money to get out there, and having so many shows was a good thing. We had some amazing shows, my favorite one was playing alongside Chrome Sparks. That's impressive! Do you have any special diet, or a formula that you depend on when you have to travel this much and work this hard? I think being 20 has a lot of perks. I can party a lot and get away with it. True that. What has been the biggest challenge on your way so far? Well... when it concerns getting the work done, I really try to do as much as I possibly can. And I ended up stretching myself too thin over the past few months. It's unhealthy in a way, and you can let the work suffer. I have another project now, called What So Not. It's a heavier, club-firendly, dance music. And we had a bit of success with that one too. We did a bootleg and Diplo picked us up, so a lot of things have been happening. Basically, right now I'm the head producer for two different projects, and it's getting pretty hectic with the workload. So I'm trying to pick and choose and be very careful with what I take on right now. That's very wise. What was your proudest achievement in your 20 years? Since I was a kid, I've always daydreamed about playing big shows like I am now. And my goal this entire time, since I was about 11 or 12, was to make a comfortable living doing what I love. That happened two months ago. I can now say that I have a good income, don't have to worry about money, or trying to do night work or any of that shit. And that for me is the biggest thing by far. To be able to solely rely on music. Congratulations on that. With that comes a lot of freedom. And you're definitely on the right track. What do your parents think about your music? They're totally into it. I've given them both CDs and they've been smashing it in their car. My dad helped me out with buying my computer and never complained about the noise or any of that stuff. So yeah, they've been very supportive. Do you have any formal music education? And do you think it's relevant in the music industry nowadays? I think it's become less relevant nowadays, but I think it's very important to have some sort of a formal training. Even just to learn a little bit of music theory. It's going to save you a lot of time and frustration. I always like to say a little music theory goes a very very long way in electronic music. In any kind of music really. I actually played saxophone in a school band for nine years. But I have yet to experiment with putting it in a track of mine. That would be dope. You've cited Flying Lotus as one of your main inspirations. Have you ever met him? No, I haven't. Would you ever consider smoking what he smokes? Haha. I used to. All the time. And wouldn't get anything done. Not anymore though. But with FlyLo, I'd definitely sit down and have a few. Haha, alright man, last question. If we came down to Sydney with Flying Lotus and we were starving, where would you take us for food? Oh man, there's this really nice place in Newtown. I forgot the name, but they do these amazing burgers. Real deep food. How much would we have to tip? We don't really tip in Australia. Only if the service is really really good. But nobody would get upset if you just paid your bill. 58 photo by Justin Vague IN HIS BARELY QUARTER-CENTURY-LONG LIFE, MUSCOVITE SERGEY SBSS (ALSO THIS ISSUE COVER ARTISTS) MANAGED TO ACCOMPLISH A LOT. BUT FINDING AND SECURING HIS OWN UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL STYLE CAN EASILY BE HIS MAIN ACHIEVEMENT AS AN ARTIST. 90 PERCENT OF HIS WORKS ARE CREATED FROM SHAPES AT A 45 DEGREE INCLINATION. IT MAY SOUND LIKE A VERY SIMPLE CONCEPT, BUT SERGEY MANAGES TO MOLD IT INTO CREATING LIMITLESS DIMENSIONS AND ENVIRONMENTS ADAPTABLE TO VARIOUS SURFACES AND MEDIA. FROM T-SHIRTS AND SNOWBOARDS TO RUSSIAN DOLLS AND SNEAKERS, SERGEY HAS PUT HIS ARTWORK ON VIRTUALLY ALL SURFACES, BUT THE YOUNG WHIPPERSNAPPER IS NOT GOING TO STOP HERE... Can you remember any particular experience when you realized that you wanted to become an artist? I realized this when I painted my first picture with acrylics. Before that I drew illustrations and designed flyers for music shows, but it was just for fun. I didn't think that it could develop into something serious down the line. But then, piece by piece, a certain uniform style started to emerge in my work. I tried to show my artwork to people, and some works got into small, local exhibitions. So I decided to try and draw something on the canvas, like a real artist, but I wasn't sure if I could actually do it. That's why I drew my first picture on a piece of plywood, and it came out perfectly! The rest is history. What was the hardest thing when you were starting off? When I just started off, the real riddle for me was how large well-known brands get in touch and collaborate with artists and designers. But I quickly realized that when you become engaged in creating something seriously, all the gaps begin to fill with necessary information. calm to hard and fast. Everything depends on my mood. Among many genres in my playlist I've got ambient, disco, electro, IDM, minimal techno, drum'n'bass, jump up and even hard core. If you could design any album cover, that you haven't designed yet, who would you pick? With great pleasure I would work on a classical or jazz album cover. Lots of visual artists nowadays start very early and a lot of them are self-taught. Would you say formal education is very important in visual arts? Personally, I started off learning the main graphic design software programs by myself, and also learnt various nuances of graphics through the Internet (video-tutorials, forums with detailed descriptions etc...). But although you can find and learn some general information on your own, formal education still gives a lot larger volume of information and some very useful, necessary details, that are very hard to learn about from your individual experiences. After all without these important details and information, you're only making it harder for yourself. What new media would you like to work with next? I'm very interested in print right now, and it's great to see my works in books and magazines. But what will happen next, time will tell. I'm always open to new suggestions. You've got an amazing list of huge clients. Was it ever challenging working with them being so young? Did your age ever get in your way? It wasn't difficult. On the contrary, it was very interesting. The main thing is to understand why you are doing what you're doing, and why it is necessary for you. The age here never played any role in particular. The only thing is that I had way more free time earlier than now. What part does music play in your creative process? I listen to many styles of electronic music, from soft and 61 If you could direct a documentary, what would it be about? I would make a documentary about development and cooperation of the world of design, architecture and graphics with people and their thoughts in different time periods. How do you know when a piece is finished? My drawings usually start off as a chaos of details, intertwined with my thoughts. The big mess of unnecessary and the right forms mixed together. I would compare it with a cut of a diamond or creation of a clay sculpture. Over time, all the shapes take their places in the eyes of an Speak Blast 3D sculpture Silence Tempo artist and the piece is finished. Sometimes it's not easy to bring the work to the end, because of small details, which are either extra or lacking. What do your parents think about your art? At first my parents didn't take what I do seriously. They wanted me to became an economist instead of the artist. Now they like my works, but to tell you the truth, they say that they don't understand what it is that I draw. It's pretty funny. You already designed bags, vinyl toys, sneakers. What else would you like to put your artwork on? I really tried many surfaces for my artwork. But now I think it's time to show my work on its own. In the near future I plan to hold a personal exhibition at a gallery space. I'm working on new canvases for it. Bodhi Wolks Crystal Mind Gokim Mind ELPIS TRIANGLE ALL CLOTHING BY: LONG TRAN MAKEUP: ZARIELLE WASHINGTON STYLING: DREW BRANDO HAIR: KIET PHONG SET DESIGN: LONG TRAN & NATALIE RIVERA MODELS: ALEXANDER & KENNAN @ RED CITIZEN, JAMISON @ ADAM NYC, CLARA, VICTORIA, GINA @ RED, STEPHANIE @ ENVY PHOTOGRAPHY BY: LONG TRAN 70 HERE WE SELECTED SOME OF OUR FAVORITE SOUNDS OF THE NOW AND THE NEAR FUTURE. INSTEAD OF WRITING 3-STAR REVIEWS, WE PICKED ONLY THE SINGLES AND ALBUMS THAT WE WOULDN'T BE ASHAMED TO PLAY TO OUR FRIENDS MUSIC SNOBS. AND TO YOU OF COURSE. WE HOPE TO HELP YOU DISCOVER SOME OF YOUR NEW FAVORITE BEATS HERE. 75 Luisine – The Waiting Room Sigha – Living With Ghosts TM404 – TM404 Matmos – The Marriage of True Minds Label: Ghostly International Release Date: February 18 For the fans of: electro pop, everything experimental, indie coffee shops, Detroitinfluenced techno. Stand out tracks: "Panoramic", "On Telegraph", "Without A Plan", "First Call", "Stratus". They say: This is an album that's both cerebral and visceral, a record that's both rewarding of a serious headphone session and also warm and melodic enough to make listening as engaging in an emotional sense as it is in an intellectual one. Label: Hotflush Recordings Release Date: November 19 For the fans of: classic UK techno, banging heavenliness, perfect morningafter come-downs. Stand out tracks: "Puritan", "She Kills In Ecstasy", "Scene Couple", "Dressing For Pleasure (ideal)". They say: Since his 2009 debut on the label, Sigha has organically shifted further and further into the straight 4/4 realm of techno, embracing the subterranean, darker soundscapes of his new production homebase, Berlin. However, hiding under all that bass, one can still hear the whisper of many long forgotten shoegaze numbers - My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and Slowdive, some of Sigha's heaviest influencers, vibrate throughout. Label: Kontra Release Date: February 4 For the fans of: Cinematic soundscapes, ambient dub, one-take live recordings, Roland Instruments. Stand out tracks: "202/303/303/303/606/606", "303/303/303/303/808". They say: The songs have all been recorded live, in real time in the studio. A unique way of operating within today's electronic music. Everything is recorded in one take. Nothing is post arranged, and this might be Andreas Tilliander's most ambitious album ever. Label: Thrill Jockey Records Release Date: February 19 For the fans of: psychedelics, toetapping, stomping techno, eerie synth jams, musique concrete, Latin rhythms, and Ethiopian music. Stand out tracks: "Very Large Green Triangles", "You", "In Search Of A Lost Faculty", "Aetheric Vehicle". They say: The album features an array of sonic tactics, and a broad swathe of musical styles, but this diversity is joined together with a common purpose: the translation of this archive of psychic experiments into a delirious hybrid of conceptual noise and electronic pop. KRTS – The Dread Of An Unknown Evil Alex Smoke – Wraetlic Hint – Daily Intake Remix EP Ben UFO – FABRICLIVE 67 Mix Label: Project: Mooncircle Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: cinematic rides through the chaotic New York City underground, family business, Stand out tracks: "Close the Closet Door", "The Dread Of An Unknown Evil", "Regret To Retreat", "Strange Boys in Blue". They say: The ten tracks of The Dread Of An Unknown Evil form an intimate LP from a musician battling to make it between cities, families, loves, losses, and futures — on to the next chapter. Label: Convex Industries Release Date: February 4 For the fans of: Jon Convex, SCB, dBridge, complete darkness, melancholy, failed relationships and hypnosis. Stand out tracks: "Skinflint", "Better The Devil", "Rats", "Scunner" (Jon Convex's Deconstructed Mix). They say: Wraetlic is Alex Smoke’s most fleshy, seething and livid work ever. Its life served on an uncomfortable bed that screams nocturnal pathways, yet has its eyes angled at the far off stars. Listen hard; you may hear your own neurotic murmurs and twitches closer than you think. Label: Tru Thoughts Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: funk, freaky puppet masks, jungle, unnerving subject matters, UK Bass, Natalie Storm. Stand out tracks: "Watch The Media" feat Profisee, "Aliens Enter (ft. T-Fly)" (Alphabets Heaven Remix). They say: “Watch The Media (ft. Profisee)” features on the EP, alongside remixes of other album tracks from Darq E Freaker, LPZ, C.O.N.E., Alphabets Heaven & Hint. Label: Fabric Release Date: January 21 For the fans of: Quality electronic music, cohesive mixes that take you on a journey, and exclusive dubs. Stand out tracks: "Raw Code" by Pev & Kowton, “Zug Island” by Kyle Hall & Kero, Blawan’s “And Both His Sons.” They say: it is not a straightforward mix of house, bass music or techno; neither is it filled with exclusives or unreleased material. It is an indicator of where we are at and where we have come from, and a statement of intent. It is a considered and highly textured mix consisting of 28 tracks and traversing multiple styles. 76 Low Limit presents – Ouroboros Compilation Ctrls – Centrally Process Unity Uffe – Stræss Maya Jane Coles – Easier To Hide Label: Innovative Leisure Release Date: November 27 For the fans of: long playing lush houseleaning numbers, bizarro techno, moody 2-step-meets-Boards Of Canada. Stand out tracks: Background Sound "Speak Easy", Machinedrum "Whatnot", Obey City "Nightmare Cafe", Low Limit "Uppercut". They say: In the end, almost none of the tunes on the record drastically resemble each other. And that's the point here. It's ok to be unique, even while giving a nod to those before. Label: Token Records Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: Pure machine funk. Stand out tracks: "Evident Mechanics 002", "Limited Competition Digital". They say: Ctrls upgraded his formula but stayed close to his very distinct sound: menacing grooves, rattling drums & twitchy synths. Label: Tartelet Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: sample-based, houseand techno-inspired pop music, grooveriding, rear-moving Stand out tracks: "Blurred", "Vocaldonuts" Slugabed remix, "Knocks". They say: Using carefully considered musical elements and song, Amsterdambased up-and-coming producer Uffe Christensen, aka Uffe, has concocted a singular brew of electronic music that baffles the mind and moves the rear. Label: I Am Me Recordings Release Date: December 7 For the fans of: house and electronica, guitars, vocals, and Maya Jane Coles herself. Stand out tracks: "Run With The Wild", "Back To Square One". They say: This release serves only to further illustrate just how broad Maya's musical palette is, but with a sound and sensibility that is unmistakably threads through the package tying the work into one well rounded whole. MPIA3 – Your Orders Indigo – Celestial James Zabiela – The Healing Myth Syzer – HYT Label: R&S Release Date: December 3 For the fans of: raw, industrial, seriously funky, acid techno. Stand out tracks: "Crusty Juice", "Roly Poly Babs", "Acid Badger", "Your Orders". They say: This is heavyweight music built for proper soundsystems and dark rooms. The six tracks on the EP straddle different tempos with some slick drum programming, but are tied together with some razor sharp synths and a healthy dose of acid. Label: Apollo Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: off-beat percussion, foggy nights and early mornings, dystopian sci-fi, disembodied vocal sounds, terse atmospherics. They say: With this EP, Indigo has transcended the confines of musical vogues and fashions and, in doing so, delivered a selection of music that seems set to stand the test of time and live on beyond the ever shortening lifespan of the vast majority of modern music. Label: Born Electric Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: atmospheric soundscapes, Burial, Clubroot, dreamy vocals and beautiful reflections. They say: ""The Healing" isn't a dance-floor track. It's a personal song. Something that is as much organic as it is electronic, something that could appear on my album, should I ever write one." James Zabiela. Label: Plug Research Release Date: Out now. Free. For the fans of: slow mo, low fi, fly lo, free downloads, and synths. Supported by: “This is the music I love and the sound I want to achieve right now. To picture it, take a slow-motion surfer who on a at midnight tsunami surf. He falls, he’s gonna drown, he drowns. My music on this EP tells about this wave and his fall, in low-fi.” Myth Syzer 77 Aleph – Fourteen Dreams Per Night Deech – Urnite Benjamin Damage – Heliosphere Ram Drum & Bass Annual 2012 Label: Lowriders Recordings Release Date: December 11 For the fans of: soul influenced electronics, beats, synths, skewed & crooked, Siberian beatmakers. Stand out tracks: "Saint Killer", "Submortem Nightmare", "Its Easy Coz U". They say: The EP reads like a full circle in a sleep hypnogram with stages of REM and brief awakenings but all in another state of mind. Somewhere between IDM, house, electronics and 8bit. Label: Activia Benz Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: abstract bass explorations, lasers, electro, video games, broken beat, synths. Stand out tracks: "Beach’N’Vine", "Urnite" Slugabed remix. They say: Deech comes from Minsk in Belarus and makes music that is both sensual and engaging but with a rough edge, like Robert De Niro. Here, on the Urnite EP, he has created four infectious tracks that work just as well on the dancefloor as they do on the bedroom floor. Label: 50 Weapons Release Date: February 22 For the fans of: Berlin techno, sci-fi techno, Plaid, Black Dog Productions, Boards of Canada. Stand out tracks: "Laika", "Delirium Tremens", "Spirals", "End Days", "Heliopause". They say: Heliosphere is a sonic sci-fi techno album which brings to mind the flavor of 1994 without losing the sense that we’re into 2013 as of now. It is equally straight and beautiful, ear-catching murkier numbers, some merciless bangers, beautiful soundscapes ranging from melodic to dark, rough and sweet, all at once - it's dance music with conviction. Label: Ram Records Release Date: December 9 For the fans of: dnb, energy, rave and Ram Records. Stand out tracks: Cyantific "Infinity Plus 1", Rene LaVice "All My Trials (feat. Ivy Mairi)", Wilkinson "Automatic", Chroma "So Alone". They say: Label staples such as Culture Shock, Wilkinson, DC Breaks and Hamilton line up alongside Ram’s album artists Calyx & TeeBee and Loadstar, showcasing a deluge of incredible drum & bass packed with all the energy you’d expect. Meanwhile Ram showcases a set of more recent signings, including Frankee, LoKo and Wickaman, Hoodlum & Mavrik who weigh in with a selection of tracks released on Ram’s new sister label, Program. Iron Curtis, Ultrademon – Shift 002 George Fitzgerald - Needs You EP Aaron Alexis – Kill The Lights Changez – As Above... Label: Midnight Shift Release Date: January 21 For the fans of: deep house, seapunk. Stand out track: Ultrademon "Goonchie Blunch". They say: Once again, a notable split EP from Midnight Shift with each of the four tracks owning its unique place in the world. Label: Hypercolour Release Date: December 3 For the fans of: garage house fusion sound, progressive steps, the rounded, bouncy bass, the polished melodies and tight woven percussive patterns. Stand out tracks: "Needs You", "Every Inch" Deetron remix. They say: Clean and crisp, these are two more precisely cut weapons from the Man Make Music boss that explode to devastating effect. Label: !K7 Release Date: April 3 For the fans of: electro-pop but, soft intimate vocals, indie, melody. Stand out tracks: "Kill The Lights" Kyson remix. They say: From his base in Brooklyn, Aaron has given us a glimmer of his unique persona and colorful style in this twin EP. The tracks are full to the brim of exquisitely assembled, humble melodies and mesmeric vocals, which swell with a quieting resolution. Label: B.YRSLF Release Date: December 18 For the fans of: multi-genre crosspolination, samples and synths and drum machines. They say: debut release by Changez, with more coming in early 2013 ... So Below EP. "Everytime we played this one, anywhere people got mad, just sayin..." 78 Diva – Paris Stabbing Laurel Halo – Sunlight On The Faded Dense & Pika – Crispy Duck Jay Weed – Tunnel Label: New Kanada Release Date: December 12 For the fans of: deep house, club music, motor city madness, abstract disco vocals. Stand out tracks: "Paris Stabbing". They say: Inspired by the vocal histrionics of strobe lit sirens such as Loleatta Holloway and Jocelyn Brown, DIVA calls on the protean roots of basement club music. Label: Hyperdub Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: sinister, bassy dub techno pulses, choked samples and illusory FX. They say: "Sunlight On The Faded" is energized and geometric, with lush chords built around hard, sparse drums and Laurel's harmonized vocals. Like the Original the Dub is equal parts dark and positive, both ideal for late nights and early mornings. Label: Hotflush Release Date: December 3 For the fans of: modern underground techno, Detroit and beyond. They say: Breaking onto the scene in 2011 with a series of hand-stamped white label 12-inches, anonymous duo Dense & Pika re-emerge for their debut on Scuba's Hotflush Recordings. Kicking off with a chugging A side with it's deadly shuffle, Dense and Pika claim the dancefloor with "Coil" a tripped out up-tempo techno track, abound with hi-hats and fist-pumps, followed by "31", a rough and ready tune that melds 4/4 with acid and dub grooves. Label: 2084 Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: stripped down bass heavy sounds, old DMZ as well as early UK Funky sounds. They say: "Tunnel" is a track that would not feel out of place in a Pearson Sound or Loefah set. "Tunnel" is back by a slow motion House remix from Kansas City's bastion of drug house Huerco S. Will Saul & October – Light Sleeper Youngstar – Pulse X Remixes The Others – Red Planet Insomniax – Friday Comes (The Re-Manuva) Label: Aus Music Release Date: December 17 For the fans of: Synths, drum machines and outboard FX. They say: Following up his EP String Theory on Simple, Julian "October" Smith has teamed up with label head Will Saul, for Light Sleeper, Aus Music's final release of 2012. The EP comes with a remix from Kompakt boss Michael Mayer. Label: Liminal Sounds Release Date: January 21 For the fans of: Visionist, Blackwax, Slackk, Pedro 123, Elsewhere, grime. They say: Widely considered to be the first grime track ever made, "Pulse X" is one of the most important, influential and recognizable tracks the scene has ever birthed. It is testament to the lasting impact of the track that it still regularly draws rewinds in clubs every weekend, finding its way into the bags of an incredibly diverse range of DJs. Label: Dub Police Release Date: December 21 For the fans of: dubstep 2012, big drops, rave-influenced vocals. Stand out tracks: "Spaceman" ft. Joker, "Antithesis" ft. Stamina, "The Way You Make Me", "Feel It" ft. Breakage. They say: Over twelve tracks, Red Planet’ gives The Others the canvas to showcase the full breadth of his talents like never before. Amalgamating the many influences that inform his productions, the album’s dubstep backbone is bolstered by glimpses of breakbeat, jungle, techno and progressive house, resulting in a brilliantly crafted and coherent artistic statement. Filled with light and shade, impact and intricacy, ‘Red Planet’ is much more than a collection of club tracks; this is an album in the truest sense of the word. Label: Ernest Endeavours Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: marching military drum manoeuvres, cascading arps, womb-like pads and shoulder lean drums. They say: Certified legend of the UK’s hip-hop game – Roots Manuva stamps his authority on "Friday Comes", embellishing the riddim with trademark panache. 79 Komatssu – El Poso Que Da El Tiempo Copout – False Rise Shifted – Razors Shine – Ghost Dance Label: Scheme Release Date: December For the fans of: epic and mind-blowing electronic music, visual art, clashes between the analog and digital sound, battles between drones and rhythms. Stand out tracks: They say: “We were fond of this project from the first moment we heard about it. The music is great and absolutely what we love to listen to, and all the people involved are highly professional and enthusiastic. We love how the sounds and the illustration / design fit together and it was a lot of fun working on it.” Atelier Olchinsky Label: Freshmore Release Date: December 17 For the fans of: sci-fi soundscapes mixed with dancefloor vibes, grimey synths, upbeat melodies. They say: Philly native Copout brings us into the new year with his EP False Rise. His debut release is one for the ages with 4 original tracks and 3 remixes from the likes of Krueger, Symbols cohort Jason Burns and new blood Parisian Kepo. Label: Mote-Evolver Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: dark industrial techno, big warehouses, hypnotic beats, feral bass, synthesized noise. They say: Across the Razors EP Shifted displays the range and diversity of his productions with refined electronic experiments, next to broken beats and strange atmospherica, aside lethal dance cuts. Label: Torque Release Date: December 17 For the fans of: chunky, dirty techno, funky energy, techhouse. They say: Recently launched Japanese label Torque returns with a superb second release featuring an all-star selection of artists from around the globe. Rising Osaka-based dj/producer Shine delivers Ghost Dance, a unique combination of minimal and tribal techno with strong cinematic elements, remixed by Angel Alanis, Alexander Kowalski, Masa Ueda, and Dj Hightech. Hataken – Ascension FaltyDL – Hardcourage Marcel Dettmann – Linux / Ellipse Bambook & Netzell – Once In Stockholm Label: The Konspiracy Group Release Date: December 21 For the fans of: analogue electronics, shamanic soul speaking through sonic landscapes, ghosts. They say: In Hataken’s own words “Life is what we choose, and sound can lead our thoughts. So, I simulate many experiences by music to realize what is important in life. This is why I make music for people! Ascension is very close to us and subtle. It is all around us, and manifests in natural ways if we are open. Surprising things happen which release us from the gravity of our usual life. When we tune in to these subtleties, our hopes, thoughts, and imagination change with this new perception of value.” Label: Ninja Tune / Blueberry Release Date: January 22 Stand out tracks: "She Sleeps" ft. Ed Macfarlane, "Finally Some Shit/The Rain Stopped", "Re Assimilate". For the fans of: love, atmospheric, souldrenched electronic music. They say: FaltyDL’s move away from a US take on garage has resulted in a masterful brand of atmospheric, souldrenched electronic music. Hardcourage is about when things are in Limbo and having the courage to carry on,” says Drew Lustman. Paradoxically, the end result is FaltyDL’s most definitive and assured release to date. Label: 50 Weapons Release Date: January 11 For the fans of: techno, techno and more techno. They say: As a very special guest Marcel Dettmann returns to 50 Weapons for a celebration of classic techno. Similar to his sold out “Deluge / Duel” single from December 2011, Marcel Dettmann affirms his love of purified, pumping techno. Label: Frameworx Music Release Date: December 28 For the fans of: deep house, techhouse. They say: The Stockholm based Bambook & Netzell are quickly establishing their selves as a force to be reckoned with. Bambook & Netzell invite you to the Swedish capital Stockholm with their first EP on Frameworx Music, so dress warmly and let the winter breezes take you on a mind-blowing trip. 80 Zanshin – Muddle In The Middle Kramnik – Dark Matters Jamie Lidell – Jamie Lidell Copy Paste Soul – The Fall Label: Affine Records Release Date: December 12 For the fans of: harmonic arrangements, nonchalant rollers. Stand out tracks: "Muddle In The Middle". They say: Creating rich wandering synth-lines, shivering hi-hats and applying accurate bass attitude "Muddle In The Middle" steps in a fast forward thinking manner into a smart balanced flux. "Cloud Atlas" joins the same formula of high voltage dance floor music while keeping a broken flavour. Label: Kram Records Release Date: December 17 For the fans of: progressive techno, atmospheric soundscape, intensely cerebral music for the true connoisseurs. Stand out tracks: "Harmuk", "Schirzo", "Pangea". They say: Altogether, Kramnik’s Dark Matters is as powerful, mysterious and compelling as dark matter itself. An album to be savored from an artist with a clear and uncompromising vision, Dark Matters is the kind of record that shapes and defines EDM for future generations. Label: Warp Release Date: February 19 For the fans of: exploring the ways man and machine can make music together. Stand out tracks: "Big Love", "You Naked", "why_ya_why". They say: The self-produced album was committed to tape and mixed at Lidell’s newly built studio in his new home in Nashville, the latest stop on a restless journey that has seen him move from his birthplace in the heart of England, through the musical hotbeds of Berlin and New York. Label: 2 Swords Release Date: December 17 For the fans of: Detroit techno, house, UK soul house. They say: CPS ends the year on a high, and presents to us "The Fall". Something slightly different from Copy Paste Soul, incorporating his love of Detroit techno with this new found fusion we call the UK house sound. Blacksmif – How The Fly Saved The River / Kang's Odyssey Easy Changes – Corpo Minore Mo Kolours – EP3: Tusk Dance Hav Lyfe – Hav Lyfe Label: Blah Blah Blah Records Release Date: January 28 For the fans of: percussive energy, exhilarating breakdowns, warm languid melodies. They say: Returning for his second release on the grass roots inspired Blah Blah Blah Records, Blacksmif delivers his biggest release to date with two tracks of simmering beauty and dance floor elegance. Lorca completes the package with his characteristically smooth, and essential, dynamism. Label: Sleep Is Commercial Release Date: December 10 For the fans of: minimal, delicate structures, made by organic sounds and click drum kits, future techno. They say: Mellow and deep Corpo Minore reflects perfectly and represent the sound we are into and we are glad to discover everyday that there are more and more elements as Easy Changes, that spread this idea of sophisticate and brain stimulating sound. We consider this music and the life style connect with, as a new and revolutionary art movement, growing all around the globe, that has in itself a reflection on the behavior of some people interested into it and a social impact that we are wondering were it will goes and what will gives born to. Label: One-Handed Music Release Date: February 24 For the fans of: soul, dub, hip hop, the Sega music of his homeland, and various electronic styles. Stand out tracks: "Will Be", "Bomptious", "D. Conference", "Laser Wind Tunnel". They say: Anglo-Mauritian popexperimentalist Mo Kolours completes his trilogy of EPs for One-Handed Music with EP3: Tusk Dance. The most introspective collection so far, Tusk Dance is the best opportunity yet to glimpse the otherworldly visions of this unique singer, producer and percussionist. Label: Sonic Router Records Release Date: February 4 For the fans of: raw, textural sketches, brooding crunched out rhythms, distorted loops. They say: “I don’t have much,” Hav Lyfe admits when asked about his production processes. “I work on an old Pentium and record straight to this little mp3 player I’ve got. It ain’t much, but it’s cheap and sounds weird and looks great…” 81 Tosca – Odeon Eskmo – Terra Forget Me Not – The Stronger Static – The Final Start Label: !K7 Records Release Date: February 5 For the fans of: ambient, lush, pastoral soundscapes, elegant darkness. Stand out tracks: "Bonjour", "Jayjay", "In My Brain Prinz Eugen". They say: "I don't like the term 'ambient' so much, but I use it as a recognition point," says Richard Dorfmeister. Rupert Huber clarifies further, "We don't mean 'ambient' like the ambient scene of the 70s and 80s, or Music for Airports, rather it's more like a sound collage. When we say 'ambient,' we mean no beat." Label: Ancestor Release Date: January 21 For the fans of: the unmistakable sound of Eskmo. Stand out tracks: "Shadow", "Push and Pull", "We Are All Terrestrial". They say: The follow-up response to his earlier Language EP, released in October also on Ancestor, Terra explores a dark yet fuller and down to earth side of Eskmo. Label: Losing Suki Release Date: February 4 For the fans of: bump and grind beat and watery vocals, prime garage cuts, hollowed out, steppy percussive rhythms, anything Bristol. They say: Forget Me Not is a trio from Bristol with a rich musical history and close association to the city from which they hail. As solo artists they have put out countless d&b 12"s and now combine their forces into an even more powerful production outfit. And that’s all we are telling you ahead of the release of their four track EP, Stronger, on Losing Suki. Label: Flexout Audio Release Date: January 7 For the fans of: liquid drum and bass, soulful vocals, icy clear-cut synths, junglist breakdowns. They say: Flexout's new golden boy Static has come fresh from obscurity with a release that's as deep as it is progressive, inspired by personal events, with a strong emotional connection to past and future drum and bass. Synkro – Acceptance Burial – Truant tshabee – Packet From Far Night Slugs All Stars Volume 2 Label: Apollo Records Release Date: January 28 Stand out tracks: "Acceptance", "Recognition", "Illuminations". For the fans of: organic textures, smoky reverbs, rhythmically complex, emotionally mournful sound sculptures. They say: There’s something very current about Synkro’s output - a kind of expression of how fractured and disparate life in the early part of the 21st century has become - where hyper modern production technology rubs shoulders with virtually untreated guitar and sad, distorted voices; where the constant chatter of electronic communication fails to distort the isolation of the modern world. Label: Hyperdub Release Date: December 17 For the fans of: rain, grey, fog, UK, and of course the sound of Burial. They say: Who cares what they say? When it comes to Burial, we just listen. Label: Chi Recordings Release Date: January 10 For the fans of: garage house, bass, ethereal, melodic electronica. They say: The guy claims to be an impressionist, and by listening to his stuff, we tend to believe it. One of the things we love about his music: being so playful and eclectic, it can not be accused of imitating anything else than what it is. Label: Night Slugs Release Date: February 4 For the fans of: club music of 2013, modern classics of rave. Stand out tracks: L-Vis 1990 "Not Mad", Bok Bok "Silo Pass", Egyptrixx "Adult". They say: All Stars 2 charts Night Slugs' move away from the early-digital world in which our music spent its infancy, and into a more developed, more textured universe. 82