Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Terracotta Blue: talking new album Takoma Park

TERRACOTTA-BLUE-HEALER-BY-GEO-LAW
Healer by Terracotta Blue. Illustration by Geo Law.

From the enigmatic thump of Arcade to the Japanese inflected strings of Healer, murmuring beats of Lake Autumn and blissed out vocals of White Cloud, Terracotta Blue impresses with new album Takoma Park. Read on to find out more about the enigmatic Jay…

Arcade

Who is Terracotta Blue, and what does the project encompass? I understand that Terracotta Blue is just one of 5 aliases – what else do you do?


I would say that Terracotta Blue is an outlet for my more melancholy, electro-inspired endeavours. And there’s absolutely no back story or special meaning to the name; I just thought it sounded cool! 

I dabble in all sorts of genres – essentially anything that has alot of samples, synths, and hard drums. Yes, I release music under four other aliases (which includes Electronic Dance Music and hip-hop), but I’ll keep that under wraps… at least for now. I can say with certainty is Terracotta Blue is not a side project of any popular superproducer/DJ. I’m just a guy trying to make a living off of his music like countless others out there. The anonymity thing just adds to the mystique.


Terracotta Blue by Gareth A Hopkins
Terracotta Blue by Gareth A Hopkins.

You’ve drawn comparisons to the oh so trendy chillwave trend as well as ambient, synth-pop and hip hop, what do you think best describes your music?
I’m a fan and listener of everything you just listed, but I would say that hip-hop is the one constant that ties everything together. From the use of sampling to the grittiness you hear in many of my tracks, the hip-hop influence is undeniable. I’m also fascinated by the inherent freedom electronic music allows me, in all its forms. So I’d best describe my music as sample-based, hiphop-tinged, electro chill music. Hopefully people will just regard it as good music.

Healer

Terracotta Blue - Healer by Rukmunal Hakim
Terracotta Blue – Healer by Rukmunal Hakim.


How did you get into music, and where did you learn how to play?
I played the saxophone and trumpet in the 4th and 5th grades, respectively. But it wasn’t until I tape recorded myself playing on this Radio Shack keyboard that I became truly fascinated by the synthesis of sounds. I eventually started experimenting by pause-mixing beats on karaoke machines and then recording drums machines and samples on 4-track recorders. I bought my first ‘real’ piece of equipment—the MPC2000XL—in 2000. Then in 2005 I was introduced to Reason and FL Studio software—I’ve used the same programs ever since.


Terracotta Blue - Takoma Park cover
What inspired the creation of new album Takoma Park? What were you doing at the time, and what subjects and ideas suffuse the songs?


My music reflects the changing of the seasons, and it’s been like that for as far back as I can remember. I’m thankful to be living in an area of the states where there’s so much contrast between the seasons. Takoma Park was definitely inspired by the sights and sounds of my favorite time of the year—autumn. There was nothing particularly interesting happening in my life during the making of that album; I just wanted to present the sounds I was hearing in my head at the time.

Lake Autumn

Terracotta Blue_Equinox by Jacqueline Valencia
Terracotta Blue – Equinox by Jacqueline Valencia.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now? What have your roots brought to your music?
I grew up right outside of Washington, D.C., in Silver Spring, Maryland—that’s where I live now. D.C. is known for its percussion-heavy funk music called go-go, but I was honestly never really into it growing up. I was that kid sitting quietly in the corner bobbing his head with big headphones on and a backpack full of hip-hop cassettes and CDs.

terracotta blue Arcade Healing3
What next for Terracotta Blue? Any special releases or free downloads that you would like to share with my readers? Have you thought about how to get your music on itunes?
I just released my new single Arcade b/w Healer, available for free download on my bandcamp page, where you’ll also find One Million Sunsets and Takoma Park. I’ll probably release another free EP in the spring and aim for an iTunes full length release in late summer, early autumn. I would also love to collaborate with more artists in the near future, so hopefully I can make that happen in 2012!

White Cloud

Categories ,Arcade b/w Healer, ,Chillwave, ,Electronic Dance Music, ,FL Studio, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Geo Law, ,Healer, ,Hip-hop, ,interview, ,Jacqueline Valencia, ,Lake Autumn, ,Maryland, ,MPC2000XL, ,One Million Sunsets, ,Radio Shack, ,Reason, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,Silver Spring, ,Takoma Park, ,Terracotta Blue, ,White Cloud

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Amelia’s Magazine | Interview: The Books

Emma and I had been told to arrive at the ridiculously grand 33 Fitzroy Square for a “Townhouse Party” at 7pm punctually; but we’re both crap at being on time and we ended up ten minutes late following a drastic dash across London. Tut tut. But it didn’t matter at all, malady capsule and we ended up having what we both keep referring to as ‘the best night of our lives’ (perhaps we are slightly over-dramatising it, approved but it was amazing).
 
Where to begin? The party was collaboratively held by girly cider makers Jacques and David Carter, founder of the 40 Winks boutique hotel, so naturally the whole thing was like a grown up version of Alice in Wonderland. There were even some rabbits, although rather than clutching pocket watches (and squeaking “We’re late, we’re late!” as Emma and I had been doing earlier) they were made of wood and bedecked with pink bows. As soon as we entered the building we were each given a map, printed on to a handkerchief, and a golden key for ‘unlocking’ the bar for some free drinks. As the theme for the night was a swap shop party – whereby each guest brought up to three items of unwanted clothing with them to trade with other people’s – we were also given the equivalent number of ‘tokens’ for each item. The tokens were large playing cards, in fitting with the Alice theme. The event was both ethically and fashionably motivated and everybody was a winner – people were getting rid of unwanted gladrags whilst also finding some unexpected new gems, and it didn’t cost them a single penny. Mankind has yet to determine a more glamorous way to help the environment.
?We went upstairs, where the bar and cupcake classes – yes, dear reader, cupcake classes – were both to be found. Impeccably attired and utterly charming staff floated around, complimenting guests and making jokes. We headed over to the cupcake table, held by yummy-scrummy company Vintage Patisserie. Lead lady, the fantastically named – and fantastically dressed – Angel Adoree, gave a brief talk about how to throw the perfect tea party, and then guests were encouraged to come forward and design their own cupcakes.
?Rubbing our hands gleefully, we and 100 or so other guests took it in turns to create our own cupcakes. The tables were littered with tubes of pastel-coloured icing and a huge variety of decorations, and we were encouraged to get creative. “The trick to icing a cake,” explained Angel beforehand to the hypnotised audience with a raise of her arched eyebrow, “is to hold the icing away from you, squeeze until you have as much as you want and then turn it precisely 180 degrees.”
 
Anyway, I deviate. Before this turns into a cookery/maths lesson, allow me to give you a very brief description of the location and the house itself. Fitzroy Square is nestled cosily a couple of streets behind the BT Tower; in the middle of the square, there is a communal garden for those who live there, and the houses are peppered with blue plaques.
 
Each room in the house leads – well, drifts, really – into the next. There were beautiful decorations everywhere; everything was stunning. Next to the cupcake stand, there was a long table covered with a white tablecloth and the most incredible decorative (i.e. not edible) cakes that I have ever seen. Every single one looked far too beautiful to eat (which was convenient, considering that they were made of cardboard) and they reminded me of the decadent French wigs worn in Marie Antoinette’s Paris. Other toppings included ships, ballerinas and, my personal favourite, dolly mixture. There were also trees sprayed silver or gold and decorated with lacy pompoms, illuminated by soft lighting. The whole place was like Narnia mixed with a bit of London Fashion Week – cosy, retro (there was a 1940s-style record player, for God’s sake) and oh-so achingly cool.
 
The clothes swap went on in a room just outside the bar, and throngs of women – and the occasional awkward-looking gent – scoured the racks of clothes for hidden treasures to take home with them. Meanwhile, in the basement, transformations were taking place. Courtesy of Benefit, guests were given the option of either having a full makeover or instead having a pair of incredible false eyelashes fitted. Emma went for the makeover, whilst I opted for the eyelashes (which were so heavy that I could barely keep my eyes open!) A photographer asked if he could take some pictures, and we posed – in an entirely casual way, obviously – with some Victorian-style props: Emma teetered on a painted rocking horse whilst I tried to hold a parasol in the coquettish manner of an artist’s muse. Needless to say, this was much easier to imagine than it was to actually carry out.
 
The party ended at nine, and clutching our goodie bags and a few left-over cupcakes, we left behind the shimmery glamour of 33 Fitzroy Square. Needless to say, we have already both planned to buy the house sometime before we turn 30, so we’ll be seeing it again soon. As we walked away the building faded into the darkness of twilight. As we gradually lost sight of it, and as it lost sight of us, we wondered if we had fallen down a rabbit hole and it had all been some kind of a wonderful dream.
emma_block_jacques_town_house
All illustrations by Emma Block.

Emma and I had been told to arrive at the ridiculously grand 33 Fitzroy Square for a “Townhouse Party” at 7pm punctually; but we’re both crap at being on time and we ended up ten minutes late following a drastic dash across London. Tut tut. But it didn’t matter at all, rx and we ended up having what we both keep referring to as ‘the best night of our lives’ (perhaps we are slightly over-dramatising it, but it was amazing).
 
Where to begin? The party was collaboratively held by girly cider makers Jacques and David Carter, founder of the 40 Winks boutique hotel, so naturally the whole thing was like a grown up version of Alice in Wonderland. There were even some rabbits, although rather than clutching pocket watches (and squeaking “We’re late, we’re late!” as Emma and I had been doing earlier) they were made of wood and bedecked with pink bows. As soon as we entered the building we were each given a map, printed on to a handkerchief, and a golden key for ‘unlocking’ the bar for some free drinks. As the theme for the night was a swap shop party – whereby each guest brought up to three items of unwanted clothing with them to trade with other people’s – we were also given the equivalent number of ‘tokens’ for each item. The tokens were large playing cards, in fitting with the Alice theme. The event was both ethically and fashionably motivated and everybody was a winner – people were getting rid of unwanted gladrags whilst also finding some unexpected new gems, and it didn’t cost them a single penny. Mankind has yet to determine a more glamorous way to help the environment.

emma_block_jacques_town_house_cakes.jpg

?We went upstairs, where the bar and cupcake classes – yes, dear reader, cupcake classes – were both to be found. Impeccably attired and utterly charming staff floated around, complimenting guests and making jokes. We headed over to the cupcake table, held by yummy-scrummy company Vintage Patisserie. Lead lady, the fantastically named – and fantastically dressed – Angel Adoree, gave a brief talk about how to throw the perfect tea party, and then guests were encouraged to come forward and design their own cupcakes.

?Rubbing our hands gleefully, we and 100 or so other guests took it in turns to create our own cupcakes. The tables were littered with tubes of pastel-coloured icing and a huge variety of decorations, and we were encouraged to get creative. “The trick to icing a cake,” explained Angel beforehand to the hypnotised audience with a raise of her arched eyebrow, “is to hold the icing away from you, squeeze until you have as much as you want and then turn it precisely 180 degrees.”
 
emma_block_vintage_patisserie

Anyway, I deviate. Before this turns into a cookery/maths lesson, allow me to give you a very brief description of the location and the house itself. Fitzroy Square is nestled cosily a couple of streets behind the BT Tower; in the middle of the square, there is a communal garden for those who live there, and the houses are peppered with blue plaques.
 
emma_block_cup_cake_class

Each room in the house leads – well, drifts, really – into the next. There were beautiful decorations everywhere; everything was stunning. Next to the cupcake stand, there was a long table covered with a white tablecloth and the most incredible decorative (i.e. not edible) cakes that I have ever seen. Every single one looked far too beautiful to eat (which was convenient, considering that they were made of cardboard) and they reminded me of the decadent French wigs worn in Marie Antoinette’s Paris. Other toppings included ships, ballerinas and, my personal favourite, dolly mixture. There were also trees sprayed silver or gold and decorated with lacy pompoms, illuminated by soft lighting. The whole place was like Narnia mixed with a bit of London Fashion Week – cosy, retro (there was a 1940s-style record player, for God’s sake) and oh-so achingly cool.
 
emma_block_benefit_makeover

The clothes swap went on in a room just outside the bar, and throngs of women – and the occasional awkward-looking gent – scoured the racks of clothes for hidden treasures to take home with them. Meanwhile, in the basement, transformations were taking place. Courtesy of Benefit, guests were given the option of either having a full makeover or instead having a pair of incredible false eyelashes fitted. Emma went for the makeover, whilst I opted for the eyelashes (which were so heavy that I could barely keep my eyes open!) A photographer asked if he could take some pictures, and we posed – in an entirely casual way, obviously – with some Victorian-style props: Emma teetered on a painted rocking horse whilst I tried to hold a parasol in the coquettish manner of an artist’s muse. Needless to say, this was much easier to imagine than it was to actually carry out.
 
The party ended at nine, and clutching our goodie bags and a few left-over cupcakes, we left behind the shimmery glamour of 33 Fitzroy Square. Needless to say, we have already both planned to buy the house sometime before we turn 30, so we’ll be seeing it again soon. As we walked away the building faded into the darkness of twilight. As we gradually lost sight of it, and as it lost sight of us, we wondered if we had fallen down a rabbit hole and it had all been some kind of a wonderful dream.
emma_block_jacques_town_house
All illustrations by Emma Block.

Emma and I had been told to arrive at the ridiculously grand 33 Fitzroy Square for a Townhouse Party at 7pm punctually; but we’re both crap at being on time and we ended up ten minutes late following a drastic dash across London. Tut tut. But it didn’t matter at all, link and we ended up having what we both keep referring to as ‘the best night of our lives’ (perhaps we are slightly over-dramatising it, recipe but it was amazing).
 
Where to begin? The party was collaboratively held by girly cider makers Jacques and David Carter, founder of the 40 Winks boutique hotel, so naturally the whole thing was like a grown up version of Alice in Wonderland. There were even some rabbits, although rather than clutching pocket watches (and squeaking “We’re late, we’re late!” as Emma and I had been doing earlier) they were made of wood and bedecked with pink bows. As soon as we entered the building we were each given a map, printed on to a handkerchief, and a golden key for ‘unlocking’ the bar for some free drinks. As the theme for the night was a swap shop party – whereby each guest brought up to three items of unwanted clothing with them to trade with other people’s – we were also given the equivalent number of ‘tokens’ for each item. The tokens were large playing cards, in fitting with the Alice theme. The event was both ethically and fashionably motivated and everybody was a winner – people were getting rid of unwanted gladrags whilst also finding some unexpected new gems, and it didn’t cost them a single penny. Mankind has yet to determine a more glamorous way to help the environment.

emma_block_jacques_town_house_cakes.jpg

?We went upstairs, where the bar and cupcake classes – yes, dear reader, cupcake classes – were both to be found. Impeccably attired and utterly charming staff floated around, complimenting guests and making jokes. We headed over to the cupcake table, held by yummy-scrummy company Vintage Patisserie. Lead lady, the fantastically named – and fantastically dressed – Angel Adoree, gave a brief talk about how to throw the perfect tea party, and then guests were encouraged to come forward and design their own cupcakes.

?Rubbing our hands gleefully, we and 100 or so other guests took it in turns to create our own cupcakes. The tables were littered with tubes of pastel-coloured icing and a huge variety of decorations, and we were encouraged to get creative. “The trick to icing a cake,” explained Angel beforehand to the hypnotised audience with a raise of her arched eyebrow, “is to hold the icing away from you, squeeze until you have as much as you want and then turn it precisely 180 degrees.”
 
emma_block_vintage_patisserie

Anyway, I deviate. Before this turns into a cookery/maths lesson, allow me to give you a very brief description of the location and the house itself. Fitzroy Square is nestled cosily a couple of streets behind the BT Tower; in the middle of the square, there is a communal garden for those who live there, and the houses are peppered with blue plaques.
 
emma_block_cup_cake_class

Each room in the house leads – well, drifts, really – into the next. There were beautiful decorations everywhere; everything was stunning. Next to the cupcake stand, there was a long table covered with a white tablecloth and the most incredible decorative (i.e. not edible) cakes that I have ever seen. Every single one looked far too beautiful to eat (which was convenient, considering that they were made of cardboard) and they reminded me of the decadent French wigs worn in Marie Antoinette’s Paris. Other toppings included ships, ballerinas and, my personal favourite, dolly mixture. There were also trees sprayed silver or gold and decorated with lacy pompoms, illuminated by soft lighting. The whole place was like Narnia mixed with a bit of London Fashion Week – cosy, retro (there was a 1940s-style record player, for God’s sake) and oh-so achingly cool.
 
emma_block_benefit_makeover

The clothes swap went on in a room just outside the bar, and throngs of women – and the occasional awkward-looking gent – scoured the racks of clothes for hidden treasures to take home with them. Meanwhile, in the basement, transformations were taking place. Courtesy of Benefit, guests were given the option of either having a full makeover or instead having a pair of incredible false eyelashes fitted. Emma went for the makeover, whilst I opted for the eyelashes (which were so heavy that I could barely keep my eyes open!) A photographer asked if he could take some pictures, and we posed – in an entirely casual way, obviously – with some Victorian-style props: Emma teetered on a painted rocking horse whilst I tried to hold a parasol in the coquettish manner of an artist’s muse. Needless to say, this was much easier to imagine than it was to actually carry out.
 
The party ended at nine, and clutching our goodie bags and a few left-over cupcakes, we left behind the shimmery glamour of 33 Fitzroy Square. Needless to say, we have already both planned to buy the house sometime before we turn 30, so we’ll be seeing it again soon. As we walked away the building faded into the darkness of twilight. As we gradually lost sight of it, and as it lost sight of us, we wondered if we had fallen down a rabbit hole and it had all been some kind of a wonderful dream.

It’s nigh-on impossible to define The Books, click or the genre of music that they create. Because they are relying on an everchanging source of material as their inspiration, pill so too does their music morph and flow into new directions and styles; a constant evolution of sounds. If pressed, you could say that they were a ‘folktronica’ band, but even then, this doesn’t appreciate the complexities of their music. Building a track out of a computer can sometimes render a song as cold and clinical as the software on which it was created, but The Books have a warmth and deftness of touch that permeates through their work and makes each song seem human. It’s no coincidence then that the men behind The Books, Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong are both highly attuned to their surroundings, appreciating and needing to be immersed in the natural world in order to do what they do. I caught up with both of them on the phone recently; I was sat in noisy old Brick Lane, they were calling from their homes in New York State. I was a little jealous.

Can you talk me through the creation and the concept of your new album, The Way Out?
Nick: Basically the primary instrument of The Books is the sample library and Paul is the master librarian. So I will let you fill him on the creation of that…..
Paul: Since we’ve started I have always been a collector of sounds and images. When we started going on tour about five or six years ago I had the opportunity to visit a lot of different cities in the US and worldwide, and when there was time, I would try to hit as many thrift stores and book stores as I could find and pick up LP’s and tapes and video tapes. So by the time I would get home I would have a room full of new material that I could then get cut into new samples. In the past four years the library really grew enormously. I had so much material about certain subjects that they kind of presented themselves out of the library, it gave us a real choice to find a body of samples that deal with a certain subject that we can then create a new narrative from. In the first track of the record (Group Autogenics I) there are a lot of samples from hypnotherapy recordings and self help records. We had a lot of those samples so we had the opportunity to use the best ones. The way these people speak makes them really easy to cut because they separate their voices and they speak very slowly, so we could move their voices around at will and create a completely new narrative out of that.
Nick: Then the next step in the process is to figure out how it all fits together, which is an equally obsessive process!

Are your roles clear cut? How does the creative process work?
Nick: There is a significant crossover in our roles, but the basic dynamic is that Paul is the collector and I am the composer.

If you are assimilating that much material in your library, I’m guessing the process of recording an album must take a long time.
Nick: Definitely, it’s hard to finish one track in less than a month!

So, when you create your work and put that much effort into it, does it automatically have to lead to an album? Is it too much effort to just create one single?
Nick: No, we have done some one-off singles in the past, and we have also done remixes for people.
Paul: We made a song for the Cultural Ministry in France for their elevators recently and we recorded a Nick Drake song for a compilation. (Featured on Louisiana; compiled by Kenneth Bager). So we do shorter projects but we like the idea of having an album and a body of work. It’s a good reflection of a period of time and work for us.

Is there a particular concept or narrative to this album?
Nick: There is no center to it, necessarily. The hypnotherapy samples frame the record, I think; we are trying to go deeper, not in an overbearing way, but in kind of a playful style.

I see what you mean about the playfulness…. In the hypnotherapy samples, I distinctly heard the Doctor say “you will get fat and lose your self esteem”. That doesn’t sound like typical hypnotherapy to me!
Nick: Of course, that wasn’t its original form. That was Pauls mission, to turn a weight loss record into a weigh gain record! (laughs) So he was able to pull different fragments from the same tape and rearrange them to mean their opposite.
Paul: Nothing is quite what it appears to be. Not that the original songs can’t stand by themselves, it just means that in this new narrative they take on another identity. The only track that is completely undoctored is the track of Ghandi making a short statement, which is something that is so beautiful in itself and so deep that you don’t want to change it, you just want to pass it on.

Is there is a particular way that your tracks come together? Is it samples first, then lyrics?
Nick: I think that Paul and I are always working in parallel, while he is putting the library together I am sketching out melodies and different kinds of musical textures. Eventually the work that I am doing and the work that Paul is doing comes together somehow and there’s a kind of resonance; we call it the ‘critical mass moment’ where it looks like there is something that is worth exploring in a deeper way. Once you have the body of samples that you want to use and a rhythm and a melody you can start to figure out where the beginning is.

You both clearly have a symbiotic relationship, but do you ever come to each other with ideas that doesn’t mesh well or work out?
Nick: I think that’s most of the time (laughs) There is so much going on in both of our computers that there is always something in there that’s worth pursuing, but yeah, there is a lot of trial and error. I sometimes think of it as an evolutionary approach to music. Brian Eno has used the word ‘emergence’ which I like. There is a lot of chaos and a lot of sounds going every which way and every once in a while, the sounds find each other in a way that is really unexpectedly beautiful. You know, like the way that organisms will mutate and change over time into something completely different. I think, we look at those moments that are worth saving and let them grow on each other and eventually we have something.

Was there anything in particular that was inspiring you while you were creating this record, or was it a case of just having your ear to the ground and seeing what comes your way?
Nick: It’s both, for sure.

I was wondering if your surroundings affect your work; you both live in the Catskill Mountains (in New York State). I can imagine that it’s quite an experience to be surrounded by such peace and tranquility.
Nick: Yeah, I have spent a lot of time in my life living outside, and to have that more direct connection to the natural world has always been a way for me to stay sane.

Do you mean that you have literally lived outside?
Nick: Uh-huh, I spend a lot of time camping and hiking, going on extremely long hikes. (pauses) There is the standard existential crisis that you have in your twenties when you realise that you are probably going down a path that you really don’t want to be on, and hiking was a way for me to reset my life at that time, so now living out here in the mountains just makes me feel at home, it always brings me back to that deciding moment in my life.

Do you switch off when you are hiking, or are you busy thinking up new melodies?
Nick: It’s more of a complete emptying of my thought process; that’s been its value to me, a time where I can leave everything behind. That’s where everything starts from, the silence, and I could never find it in the city, it was so chaotic and noisy that I needed to change my surroundings in order to make the work that I wanted to make.

I have read that you both have your own recording studios in your homes.
Nick: Yes, that is a key part to it, we never pay for studio time.

I’m guessing that this gives you the freedom to experiment when you are not watching the clock, and paying for the time.
Nick: Definitely, it’s sort of a complicated idea, but I think what we are doing is nu-folk music; people are taking technology out of the hands of corporations and big businesses and into their homes. The folk instrument of our time is the computer, and it’s changed how people make music. You see a lot of music coming out of the woodwork now where people are living with the music instead of doing it in a rush in some expensive place, they can pick away at it.

I’m curious if you focus as much on visuals as you do on audio; do you incorporate visuals into your live shows?
Paul: Yes, the visuals came about because we really didn’t start as a live project at all, we were just making music at our homes in our studios, and once we found out that it’s really the only way to sustain ourselves with our music – to go on the road, we saw that as an opportunity to create something around our visual interests so we started creating videos. In the beginning we retrofitted our videos with our music, and now we are moving towards creating a video library which is being created in the same way as the sound library. When we are on the stage we call the video screen our frontman. It’s more than just a light show or a vectorial, it comes more to the foreground than the live musicians.

You’ve recently been touring around Europe. Do you have plans to do more touring, I can imagine that the whole process takes a lot of effort!
Nick: Well there is no effort in the sense that we don’t jump on stage very much! The real limitations are that we both have young children so we don’t leave home too much at this point in our lives, but we will be back in Europe sometime next year.

YouTube Preview Image

Categories ,Folktronica, ,Ghandi, ,new york, ,Nick Drake, ,The Books, ,The Way Out

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Amelia’s Magazine | Let’s Go Extinct: Fanfarlo introduce the video for current single Cell Song

The Cell by Gemma Cotterell

The Cell by Gemma Cotterell.

Fanfarlo‘s released their stunning third album Let’s Go Extinct back in February. As the title suggests the lyrics were inspired by human evolution and possible futures, ideas that have been melded into big beautiful pop songs. Here founding member Simon Balthazar introduces their new single, Cell Song:

Cell Song is a song about the body. Most of us think of ourselves as an individual, a unity. Some sort of lone spirit living inside the head of a soft machine. But really we are the product of billions of little organisms that at one point decided that they were better off together, and so gave up their independence and joined together in a pact for survival. Maybe this constant noise of thoughts could be thought of as the incessant nattering and negotiating of all those billions of little creatures trying to settle their differences and act as one.

Fanfarlo, Cell Song by Tom Watson

Fanfarlo, Cell Song by Tom Watson.

Fanfarlo portrait

It’s a beautiful thing, how the body is at once one and many. Like an evolutionary love story.

The video sees Ewan Jones Morris employ his prodigious imagination and thousands of individually inkjet-printed sheets of paper to create a surreal stop-motion world, teeming with bizarre cutouts from childhood science fiction and story books, and a cast of topsy-turvy biology gone decidedly strange.

Fanfarlo by Emma Jackson

Fanfarlo by Emma Jackson.

Fanfarlo-Let's Go Extinct album cover

Fanfarlo‘s new album Let’s Go Extinct is out now on New World Records.

Categories ,Cell Song, ,Emma Jackson, ,Ewan Jones Morris, ,fanfarlo, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Let’s Go Extinct, ,New World Records, ,Simon Balthazar, ,Tom Watson, ,video

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Annie Dressner and review of EP East Twenties

Annie Dressner by Karina Järv
Annie Dressner by Karina Järv.

American songstrel Annie Dressner crafts beautiful tunes that deal with love and loss, melodic folk that lovers of the likes of First Aid Kit are sure to adore. Having forsaken her hometown of New York in favour of love on UK shores she is now gearing up to release her new EP, titled East Twenties. I caught up with the honey voiced singer songwriter to discuss inspiration, lyrics and the importance of a good cup of tea.

Annie Dressner by Carley Chiu
Annie Dressner by Carley Chiu.

What prompted the move from NYC to the UK last year, and was it a good move?
Love prompted the move. It was definitely worth it for that. I do, of course, miss my friends & family and New York City (my home). That being said, it’s been a really exciting year musically for me – and I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to tour around the UK a lot, which has been fun. I learned how to drive on the left, eat beans for breakfast, understand how to make Builder’s Tea properly without having it tossed down the drain (uncool) and deal with the wide variety of weather that any given day can bring. I have not yet, however, adopted the accent. I’ll always be a New Yorker!

Annie Dressner by Gemma Cotterell
Annie Dressner by Gemma Cotterell.

Are your love songs inspired by life? How much is the writing of them like catharsis? Do you feel better afterwards?
Yes, they fortunately or unfortunately are. I’d say sometimes a song is like catharsis, where as other times it is not. When there is something I find very difficult to deal with in life, it sometimes comes out in song. Maybe it is easier for me to express myself clearly that way – at least in a more clear way than as just pure thoughts. It is hard for me to answer whether or not I feel better afterwards – I would say that it really depends on the song and what I am experiencing then. I am always happy to finish a song that I am proud of.

Annie Dressner by Jihyun Park
Annie Dressner by Jihyun Park.

Why is the new EP titled East Twenties? It sounds as though it might be a reference to a district of New York?
That’s right! I grew up in the East Twenties in New York City. Since a lot of the songs are inspired by things that happened in my life, I thought it made sense since many of the experiences were near there.

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When did you first discover your love of song?
I have always loved music for as long as I can remember. There was a lot of music in my family – my Dad plays the piano, my Grandma always was playing violin in orchestras, my Aunt was a singer/songwriter and sound engineer, etc… I started to play piano when I was 4 and played violin for about five years starting at the age of 5. I always loved to sing – it’s my favorite thing to do. I started to write when I was 18. It oddly never occurred to me before that time that I could write my own songs. I started to play guitar the day that I graduated high school. Rather than going to my high school graduation party, I went home and picked up a kid’s guitar that had been untouched for my entire life from the corner of my living room & started to attempt to play it. After two weeks of attempting to play, I finally was starting to make some sense. Anyway, I just really enjoyed playing guitar & slowly but surely got the hang of it and started to write a few (maybe three songs over three years) songs for myself – I never really played them for anyone. One day, I played some of my songs for a friend and he said that I should either take it seriously or not do it at all — I have decided to do it seriously – and most of the time it is a lot of fun!

Annie Dressner by Sylwia Szyszka
Annie Dressner by Sylwia Szyszka.

Who inspired you the most when you were discovering your musical voice?
I learned how to play guitar from a Simon & Garfunkel book and always loved them. I also listened to a lot of Belle & Sebastian, Carly Simon, jazz, classical music, James Taylor, etc… I couldn’t say who exactly inspired me – as I am sure all of the music that I have listened to has, in some way, inspired me.

Anne Dressner by Simon McLaren
Anne Dressner by Simon McLaren.

Where can fans look forward to seeing you this year?
I am going to be playing all over the UK, including some festivals, such as Green Man, this summer. I am also going to be playing at Rockwood Music Hall on May 5 in New York City. A complete list of my tour dates are on my website.

Annie Dressner
When can we expect to hear a new album from you, and what themes are most inspiring your next set of songs?
My new EP East Twenties is out on April 8th. I am currently writing more songs, but don’t want to promise when you will hear them. I would hope that I will have another album out in the next year to year and a half — just need to make sure it is good enough first (and write a couple more songs). As far as themes – I really don’t know yet — and the one idea I have I’d like to keep quiet until I have attempted to write some songs. It’s a fun idea though & I hope you think so too!

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Can you tell us more about the Songs from the Shed venture?
Songs from the Shed is a really great video session for musicians in the UK. I heard about it & got in touch and luckily they let me come in and sing. Yes – it really is a shed. I went in the winter and it did become quite hard to feel my fingers! It was a whole lot of fun.

Annie Dressner by Katy Edelsten
Annie Dressner by Katy Edelsten.

Categories ,Belle & Sebastian, ,Builder’s Tea, ,Carley Chiu, ,Carly Simon, ,East Twenties, ,First Aid Kit, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Green Man, ,James Taylor, ,Jihyun Park, ,Karina Jarv, ,Katy Edelsten, ,Rockwood Music Hall, ,Simon & Garfunkel, ,Simon Mclaren, ,Songs from the Shed, ,Sylwia Szyszka

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Amelia’s Magazine | Johnny Foreigner

While trawling through the internet yesterday afternoon Dearbhile happened to come across a picture of myself and Tanya on the Elle Magazine website.

Tanya and I faintly remember a lovely lady asking to take our picture at the Swarvoski Rocks Giles party during London Fashion Week, cialis 40mg information pills but what with all the cocktails, store here and bizarre celebrity sightings, price we thought nothing more of it. Turns out our hounds tooth prints caused quite a stir. According to Elle they’re bang on trend this season, which is great news considering both items were fairly cheap vintage discoveries.

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Visit the Elle page here and read the story of our night on the website.

Nestled in one side of London Fashion Week’s cavernous exhibition is the fascinating, more about intriguing and enlightening Estethica mini exhibition. Now in its fifth season, it is a celebration of all things eco, organic, and environmentally friendly.

Truthfully, Monsoon has only ever conjured up thoughts of a high street chain store catering for people on a budget who were clinging to the boho chic look of, oh you know, decades ago. Quel surprise! Monsoon are actually a strong force in ethical fashion markets and I was embarrassed by my naivety towards this fascinating label, which works with communities around the world to meet ethical standards of work and runs trusts to support children, working communities and families. Their clothing and accessories feature the finest examples of craftsmenship from around the world to ensure these glorious techniques stay within the public realm – embrodiery from Afghanistan, printing in India.

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Monsoon here represents a host of fabulous brands who are challenging the constraints and, frankly, sticking the fingers up at fashion power houses. They are proving that there is simply no excuse for not being ethically minded. The handout states ‘only through a combined effort can designers, industry, government and consumers create a more sustainable clothing culture’. Agreed.

The heads of Estethica are having their feathers ruffled, though. In a society where everyone is becoming more aware of their social responsibilities (some, albeit, slower than others) it’s long become fashionable to be ethical. Sadly (but not surprisingly) brands are jumping on the band wagon. Labels are including ‘vintage scraps’ in their collections just to appeal to the conscious fashionista, or using fairtrade cotton in one t-shirt line and shouting it from the rooftops. Oh dear. So how do we know that this isn’t going on here? A green logo or a photograph of child smiling happily as he/she worked in cotton fields wasn’t going to be enough. Well, this season Estethica have appointed the Estethica partners – a team of individuals and organisations who subject anyone claiming to be ethical to rigid analysis and thorough checks. Okay, I’m convinced, now show me some hot looks!

Well, first up – Nitin Bal Chauhan. His vibrant, decadent jump suits and elegant (but still wild) tailored suits would fit perfectly into any fashion confident wardrobe. Launched in 2005, his fashion label promotes the ‘Himachal handloom and handicrafts industry by using exclusive fine woolen fabric,’ which is hand woven by skilled craftmen in Delhi, India. A eco-concious man, Nitin’s fashion label sisters his film and art projects, which promote similar causes to great effect, and to critical acclaim – no less than a nomination at the Asian Film Festival. A talented visionary and you should expect to see a lot more of him in the future.

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If you were looking for a celebrity endorsed ethical label, look no further than the Environmental Justice Foundation. Luella Bartley and Christian Lacroix have already provided (free of charge, I might add) their own designs to apply to their ethically produced t-shirts. This season, step up http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/fashion/article3369780.ece, Allegra Hicks, John Rocha and Zandra Rhodes, who provide their own take on earth matters. Giles’ tee is expectedly minimalist chic – a simple flower design, whilst Zandra’s is vibrant and playful. They’re designed with childhood as a theme – a tribute to the million plus children forced into labour. Suitably, all the profits go straight back into charitable causes, so grab one of these ‘must have ethical items’ before they’re gone.

I had a very interesting chat with a fabulous woman known only to me as Agent Zuzu. She wasn’t as illusive as her name sounds, and she did tell me her real name, mind you, but the second she told me it I knew I’d forget it. I’ll have to refer to her as Zuzu, sadly. Her assistant was a big fan of the magazine (natch), even quoting the countless bands and designers that Amelia’s has been a platform for. Zuzu (I’m sorry) is the promoter behind the eco label Makepiece who produce beautiful clothing, right here in the UK, with a conscious. They too want fabulous outfits – but they also want human rights, environmental sustainability, reduced chemicals and carbon footprints and an end to the landfill. They trust who they work with and all of their pieces are compostable (like you’d be throwing any of these items away). From the tightest knitted dresses with ruffle cap sleeves (produced ethically in North Yorkshire) to casual tops and skirts, fashion and style are no obstacle here with a range of colours and cuts.

Not all brands were about womenswear. Brazilian, youthful footwear brand Veja (Portugese for ‘look’) produces stylish footwear, not dissimilar to Shoreditch plimsolls – but with more of a choice than black or white. Organic cotton and wild rubber from the Amazon are fused together by Brazilian workers who are paid fairly for the craftsmenship, to produce stylish and practical footwear for fashion concious men and women.

Continuing with shoes, Beyond Skin claim to produce ‘beautiful AND ethical footwear’ and they proved this at the exhibition with a mixture of stiletos and flats in a varied colour pallete – neutrals, which seem to be popular this season, and brights.

…and there was so much more. I was exhausted. I was just about to leave this fascinating area of creativity, heading for the nearest, chicest bar where I could get a Chambord cocktail or a mug of tea, and I stumbled across Bllack Noir. This Danish label dispells any fears fashionistas might have about having to wear a shapeless hemp sack to wear ethical. Their lavish frocks and luxurious fabrics hold a secret – they’re ALL dreamed up and manufactured ethically. Luxury silk trousers, sharp, glittered tailored suits and bias cut dresses all feature and sit side by side any fashion powerhouse rival.
To see it for yourself visit their website which features all of their looks and displays an interesting (if not a little lengthy) code of practice to which all of their products are made.

There were over 40 brands on display in this part of the exhibition, too many to go through each in detail. If you’re interested in ethical fashion, do check out Article 23‘s fusion of smart menswear and sportswear, produced in India by a women’s cooperative; Deborah Lindquist‘s brave and edgy knitwear, made from – amongst other materials – recycled cashmere; Junky Styling and Revamp’s fantastic recycled clothing, catering for a the hip end of the market (where no two pieces are the same – everything re-cut and transformed from recycled charity shop goods); and so on.

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Refreshingly though, this segment of the exhibition didn’t throw it in your face, as I had feared. I understand that this emotional technique is often needed, but I don’t think it was that necessary here – and after all, we’re here to interpret fashion. I think too much Save The Planet flapping would have distracted from the clothes themselves, and the resounding point is that with careful consideration, research and a conscience, you can still look fabulous.
1950s & 1960s is showing at the Photographers’ Gallery until the 16th November. The exhibition is a selection from three sources: Jean Straker, about it David Hurn and The Daily Herald newspaper, more about all of which document aspects of Soho during its rather peculiar epoch.
Images, historical images, rarely fail to spark up some sort of intense flash of nostalgia within me. Perhaps because such images show things gone forever: beautiful things, exhilarating and ominous things, which create a sense of loss, of missing out on a bygone era.
At the moment of the 50s, beehives and gin hummed through London, somewhat more voraciously than any previous 50s revival. It’s quite nice then to plunge into the place from which it all derived.
It seems today’s Soho is all but a faint charge of the former sexed up version, being now composed of some rather dreary sex shops and a denizen of bars. Maybe history romanticized Soho in the 50s. However I think Soho was, most certainly awash with something dark and glittering.
Unfortunately this isn’t really shown at The Photographers’ gallery, not really. There’s lots of nudes, and yes, that was a huge part of Soho, a vast part even, but it’s a bit dull after awhile. The photographs by David Hurn are quite funny (I just hope they’re supposed to be). They document Soho’s strippers both at work and resting. The strip clubs themselves are the funny bit. It’s a rather odd set up-the way seats are arranged around a boxing ring. Members of the audience have hilarious expressions, riddled with awkwardness.
There are some edited photos, accompanied by cuttings, all by anonymous photographers of the Daily Herald. These are the most interesting part. They capture the rush of excitement, the buzz that you think about when you think of Soho in the 50s and 60s. A plethora of crime, music, gin and Tommy Steele (whom I’d hadn’t ever heard of, and am not embarrassed to say so; but I am sure he was and is-for he still remains with us-spectacular. He looks like an awful lot of fun regardless.)
Soho Archives is ultimately a historical exhibition: it doesn’t really do anything. It only presents a small fragment of Soho which feels slightly limp.
Along side Dryden Goodwin’s exhibition Cast, this is going to be the last exhibition held at The Photographer’s gallery before it moves. Featuring an exhibition such as this does show the Galleries value of the importance of photographic Archives.

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The London Vintage Fashion Fair takes place every six weeks at either the Hammersmith Town Hall or the Olympia Hilton hotel in Kensington.

In this tough economic climate, cheap there’s an abundance of lifestyle features about the art of credit crunch chic. “swap clothes with your friends” they suggest, more aboutinvest in classic pieces, healing ” they murmur. My cheap chic solution? Vintage. Or TK Maxx, but vintage sounds much classier.

It’s perhaps serendipitous then that The London Vintage Fashion Fair took place recently. A hallowed six-weekly affair hosted by either the Hammersmith Town Hall or the Olympia Hilton hotel in swanky Kensington, that was dreamed up by vintage dealer Paola Francia-Gardiner five years ago.

The London Vintage Fashion Fair is not the only brainchild of established antiques purveyor Francia-Gardiner. A long-time vintage maven who is said to have coined the now omnipresent term ‘vintage fashion’ and founder of the popular fair which attracts more than one hundred vintage dealers from the UK and abroad, Francia-Gardiner’s fair offering pieces dating from 1800 to the 1980s.

Hammersmith is conspicuously absent from my go-to list for clobber, having resisted the urge as a student to frequent the area’s once flagship Primark. But, armed with a map, a longing for genuine – i.e. not of supermarket provenance – vintage and a determination to find this so-called vintage fashion Mecca, I made a rare foray into West London.

With fabulous Art Deco crocodile bags from £35, original seventies costume jewellery by the likes of Givenchy and Kenneth Jay Lane at upwards of £40, and a wealth of vintage clothing from manifold decades, the organisers’ description of the fair as “the Rolls Royce of the Vintage Fashion Fairs” is not hyperbolic.

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The fair I attended appeared to have an emphasis on earlier vintage but gladly my current favourite fashion epoch, the covetable British boutique movement, was represented in the form of a fabulously psychedelic full length Zandra Rhodes confection and a rather chic Janice Wainwright jersey column replete with panels made out of tricky-trend-du-jour lace.

My only cause for concern was the changing rooms – or rather lack thereof. Needless to say it took some time to become accustomed to trying on sixties Parisian couture in the imposing Art Deco hall’s toilets, but this is a very small price to pay for access to this incredible fair’s stock and refreshingly friendly sellers.

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Despite the wealth of beautiful vintage on offer, I left the London Vintage Fashion Fair empty handed, but armed with a new go-to place for vintage. The London Vintage Fashion Fair is indeed a vintage Mecca; and a pilgrimage for any vintage lover.

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As if the boom of green living (just what do we print on exactly?!) wasn’t enough to fill designers with fear, information pills the current collapse of the economy doesn’t exactly leave much hope for us creative minded.

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Climate Camp 2007 on the march for Heathrow, click cardboard images represent a cross-section of the worlds population created by John Jordan and the Climate Camp team

Yet, cialis 40mg as Jody Boehnert of Eco-Labs writes in Creative Review designers are actually an important player in the move toward a sustainable society, defined as “key intermediaries between science, policy and the public.” Furthermore Alastair Fuad-Luke author of the Eco Design Handbook outlines us as designers employ “the power of the design process to engage, raise awareness, amplify existing capacity and generate transformative actions.” A perfect example of this is the manifestation of Climate Camp in the bringing together of diverse individuals to create peaceful protests demonstrating the importance of change, particularly in our dependance on fossil fuels. Workshops, meetings and marches culminated to successfully shut down the Kingsnorth power station this year.

“The camp makes sophisticated use of the media and its networks through an extensive communications strategy” remarks Creative Review. Not only in the handling of the media, but the artwork it employs to target awareness of change acts to “transform voices of activists into legitimate high profile calls for change.”

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The Swiss army knife logo was found pasted around London, on flyers and as the opening image on the Climate Camp website

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A spread from the Climate Camp newspaper “You are here”

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Map from the Climate Camp newspaper

Take the Swiss army knife identity for this years Climate Camp created by Manchester based studio Ultimate Holding Company and how it intelligently depicts all tools of activism… a wrench, book, wind turbine, loud speaker. Or this years newspaper entitled “You Are Here,” which cleverly uses word and image to draw you into the debate slowly, climate change is not mentioned until you’ve read a few pages. John Jordan, activist at the camp and contributing designer of the paper explains the idea of the paper, “to make publicity materials which have the slickness of corporate media yet the punch of rebel flyers, the poetic writing of literature yet the political analysis of radical theory.” This combined aesthetic Creative Review claims to hold similarity to anarchist revolutionary visual codes of earlier activists movements, yet the effect is to be attractive to everyday people. Perhaps this explains why there was such a varied background was achieved at at this years camp (including all of us from Amelia’s!).

A fresh perspective with the brief of saving the world now, designers need to engage participation and desire, to “create a sense of a generational mission and help build understanding of a very real planetary emergency.”
Denim, stomach that noble savage of fabrics, approved is a tough one to get overly excited about. Granted, pills there is nothing like the comforting hug of an old faithful pair of jeans. And it has been a pleasure to get reacquainted with the stonewashed species after years in the cold. But any attempt at something ‘different’- embellishment, embroidery, paint splashes, frills, feathers-no matter how expensive or supposedly tasteful, always seems to end hideously.

So it was with trepidation that I approached the ‘Lee Cooper 100 years‘ auction project, part of a year long cavalcade of events celebrating a century of the Cooper family business. Designers, celebrities, companies and, erm, Playboy were invited to create unique and iconic pieces from denim, for sale at a special auction in Paris on 29th September, with all proceeds going to the French Red Cross and Aids charities.

This kind of affair, a celebrity endorsed event for famine/climate change, does tend to have a distasteful odour around it. Ideally, the bidders and celebrities would just donate money without all the palaver, but the world doesn’t work like that. One has to be pragmatic about these things- especially for such undeniably important causes.

It would be great to say some aesthetically unexpected and wonderful emerged from all of this; say Linford Christie as London’s next big design talent, perhaps? However, it seems to be the usual suspects doing their ‘iconic’ thing, with the rest as a heavily embellished filler.

Giles Deacon heads the pack with an armour-like, precisely cut dress that looks starched to within an inch of its life. It is a glorious combination of (literal) toughness and softness, almost like a prom dress crossed with a nun’s habit; serious in its high, austere neckline but playful with the accompanying vampire smiley necklace. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac matches Giles for barminess (the people would expect nothing less); a jacket and sofa heave under numerous denim teddy bears. Visually more kaleidoscopic than it sounds and a sunbeam of humour.

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Giles Deacon dress

The rest is fine to unpleasant, with some bad paintings and even worse embellished denim, but there are a few (nice) surprises. The denim Playboy bunny suit is a collision of two American icons and is trashily good fun. Jade Jagger’s contribution is surprisingly good, with a little help from a certain rocker; a denim jacket with a gold pair of the Stone’s melting lips emblem on the back.

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Jade Jagger jacket

Some of most arresting pieces aren’t clothes at all, such as the denim Marshall amp and upholstered Landrover. The auction itself promises a few secret surprises- the denim version of the eccentrically attired fashion blogger Diane Pernet’s signature get-up sounds the most intriguing. A few stand out pieces, plus the promise of more on the day, maybe isn’t such a bad lot after all.

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Johnny Foreigner are a glimpse of what the world would be like if we all still loved Blink 182 as much as we used to. Filled with an overbearing predisposition for teen angst, sale I can imagine a lot of people walking away saying little else than, pill “Well, price they were a bit annoying and whiney.”

There are moments where all the Dude Ranch influence is teamed with some very English, Hot Club De Paris style guitars and vocals. It seems to work in a really wrong way. It’s the kind of music you of have to lower your music taste to enjoy fully. I found it best just to forget the fact that I stopped listening to bands like this about the same time I realised how awful the Austin Powers movies are – sorry if this makes me sound pretentious, but it was more the fact that bands like this have been around for ages. Go to any town and you’ll find a band with a similar sound. There’s no doubt that Johnny Foreigner do it well, it’s just not what I’m accustomed to enjoying anymore.

One wonderful thing about the gig was that it was the first time I’ve seen a crowd go genuinely wild for quite some time, especially in a club like Madame Jo Jo’s. The crowd seemed to be almost tidal, with people literally being thrown around. People screaming along, with their hands aloft – I think if a band can have that effect on a crowd you can’t really fault them.

The end of their set saw the guitarist from Dananananaykroyd join them on stage. I was sorely disappointed to have missed their support slot (manly due to lengthy, mad dash around Piccadilly Circus trying to find my friend before the gig). It kind of made up for missing them, and the lead singers crowd surf was well worth staying to the end for. The entire gig seemed to be one big guilty pleasure.

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Amelia’s Magazine | Celebrating Women in Music: Producing It For Themselves

FKA Twigs by Tiffany Baxter
FKA Twigs by Tiffany Baxter.

The music industry would have us believe women are dominating the music scene right now. Fierce, female, singer/songwriters are in abundance. We’ve got Miley on her wrecking ball, Beyonce grinding her surf board, Lady Gaga covered in ham. We’re winning ladies… I digress, we shouldn’t be laughing. Whilst the dominant, mainstream female artists claim to be writing their own music and be heavily involved in the creative process, the other side of the mixing desk is another story. The domination does not extend to production.

Trina Shoemaker mixing desk
There are plenty of high flying women in other areas of the music business. But despite the BBC starting to train female sound engineers in 1941, it is still a predominantly male playing field. Trina Shoemaker is a brilliant exception to this and was the first woman to take home a Grammy for ‘Best Sound Engineer’ in 1998 for her work on Sheryl Crow’s album Globe Sessions.

Women in music illustration Louise Andersone
Women in music: illustration by Louise Andersone.

However, only three women in history have been nominated for ‘Best Producer’ at the Brits and Grammys and we are yet to see the day a woman goes home with the prize. Perhaps this isn’t even a gender issue. According to The Music Producers Guild, women only hold 4% of the equity in music production. There just aren’t enough women in the sector. There are an array of arguments on the reasons behind this figure, ranging from women being disinterested in the technical side of things to sexism, to the age old restraint of becoming a mother and its incompatibility with the lifestyle and all consuming nature of a being a studio producer. Who knows what the truth is. Perhaps it’s a mish mash of the lot of them and then some.

Joni Mitchell Clouds Album Cover
Joni Mitchell complained that whichever man was in the room with her when she was recording, he would take credit for her work. Bjork has recently echoed a similar sentiment in a recent interview with Pitchfork stating that time and time again she has been denied due credit for the production of her albums. In another Pitchfork interview in 2007, the highly skilled MIA laid into the interviewer regarding the production of her records, ‘I just find it a bit upsetting and kind of insulting that I can’t have any ideas on my own because I’m a female… After the first time it’s cool, the second time it’s cool, but after like the third, fourth, fifth time, maybe it’s an issue that we need to talk about, maybe that’s something important, you know.’

Delia Derbyshire Radiophonic Workshop
Despite their low numbers, there have been some formidable women sitting behind that mixing desk throughout the history of recording. Take Delia Derbyshire for starters. Delia who? Derbyshire. Despite being told in 1959 by Decca Records that the recording studio was no place for a woman, she persevered and joined the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 1960. A genius to sound, Derbyshire was responsible for the recording of Ron Grainer’s Doctor Who theme in 1963 and earned herself an incredible reputation as an innovator in sound before the age of the synthesiser. At a time when groups and composers were exploring Psychedelia, she was feted by musicians all over the world including McCartney, Hendrix and Pink Floyd and in her latter days she co produced with Sonic Boom and heavily influenced modern experimental groups including Portishead, Orbital and The Chemical Brothers.

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Remember The Sugar Hill Gang and their hit ‘Rappers Delight’? Product of a woman. The first commercially successful rap recording that brought rap music to a global audience was produced by the late Sylvia Robinson in 1979. For this alone she should be a household name, but by no means was that the extent of her success. At the age of 16 she had a number 1 hit in America, she penned hits for the likes of Ike and Tina Turner, produced one of the first ever disco singles and founded multiple record labels. In the late sixties she was one of the few women to be producing records and in 1979, when she started Sugar Hill Records, almost all of the recordings were still produced in house and overseen by herself. That other big hip hop classic ‘The Message’ by Grand Master Flash? She was the driving force behind that too.

Women may be few and far between in production roles but that doesn’t take away from their ability. As music technology is becoming more accessible, a new generation of self taught, self sufficient, women are rising, producing their own records, and taking the music industry by storm. Check out this lot.

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Lykke Li
Lykke Li plunged onto the music scene back in 2007 with her debut EP ‘Little Bit’. Her voice was quirky and her tracks an intriguing take on indie pop. Writing her own songs, composing melodies and recording demos, Lykke has then worked with male counterparts Björn Yttling and Lasse Mårtén to produce the finished product. As co producer on her latest LP ‘I Never Learn’ she had more creative input than ever and has come up with all the ideas for her music videos since she started. Having established herself as a credible artist and three albums into her career, she still notices and comments during an interview with The Guardian that ‘the rules for women in music are tacitly different… If I’m on stage and it’s warm and I don’t want to wear trousers all of a sudden I’m a victim, but if Iggy Pop takes his shirt off? Oh, that’s fine.’ Thought she was just another female performer surrounded by great people producing and directing her? Think again. She’s business savvy too having created LL Recordings in 2007. Releasing all of her work under her own label to protect and give herself freedom, this woman is a power house of vision.


Tw-ache – Twigs remixed one of her first tracks ‘Ache’, co directed the video with Tom Beard and shows off her dance moves. A force to be reckoned with.

FKA Twigs
English Singer/songwriter FKA Twigs has taken the world by storm. After teaching herself the music software package Ableton, Twigs went on to produce her debut EP in 2012 entitled EP1, which she self released on bandcamp. In 2013 she worked with top producer Arca and released her second EP, EP2. Having proved herself, Twigs collaborated with several other producers including Arca, Emile Haynie, Devonté Hynes, Paul Epworth and Clams Casino on her debut album LP1 to help her fill in the gaps in areas she felt she needed guidance. Both male and female artists employ these methods. As a professionally trained dancer, Twigs has also taken full control of her music videos. She knows what she wants and refuses to sacrifice her creativity for popularity. It seems to be a winning philosophy as in her few years on the music scene she’s already been nominated for a Brit, a Grammy and the Mercury Prize. This woman is fierce and a real inspiration to young women.

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Video for Snowapple’s latest single ‘California’

Snowapple
This unassuming, all girl trio are another wonderful example of women taking control of their music. Snowapple play dozens of instruments, layering beautiful harmonies over the top, creating an eclectic folk sound. Being entirely responsible for the creative side of things they’ve gone one step further and are also in charge of their own bookings, management and production. The Amsterdam based trio have many self made women as colleagues and see a shift in the way things are moving, ‘The music industry is still an old boys club but we believe the decisiveness of female entrepreneurs is very powerful and we are conquering more and more space!’ Their new album ‘Illusion’ is out now.

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Isolde
An emerging artist from Bristol, Isolde is yet another young female, producing her own material. Creating each track from scratch, she then gets busy fleshing them out with instrumentation and samples. She knows what she wants to hear and has taught herself how to communicate that. However she notes ‘I feel a lot of pressure, when entering this predominantly white, affluent, western male playing field, to prove my ‘techni-ness’. What I care about is the music, and how the technology enables me to create it.’ I don’t think she has to worry too much. Her debut EP ‘Seed Bud Bloom’ is a glorious patchwork of sounds she has collected over the years and full of her own personal essence.

There is a real platform now for women to have a shot at commercial success as producers and artists in their own right, moving away from the traditional glamourised and sexualised image. Women are becoming more confident in their abilities in all aspects of the music business and are reflecting their own identities and ideals.

It’s been a long road and there is still a considerable amount of distance to cover but it’s an exciting time as more and more women are challenging traditional perceptions.

Categories ,Ache, ,Arca, ,BBC Radiophonic Workshop, ,Best Producer, ,Best Sound Engineer, ,bjork, ,Björn Yttling, ,Brits, ,Clams Casino, ,Decca Records, ,Delia Derbyshire, ,Devonté Hynes, ,Emile Haynie, ,EP1, ,EP2, ,FKA Twigs, ,Globe Sessions, ,Grammys, ,Grand Master Flash, ,I Never Learn, ,Ike and Tina Turner, ,Illusion, ,Isolde, ,Joni Mitchell, ,Lasse Mårtén, ,Little Bit, ,LL Recordings, ,Louise Andersone, ,LP1, ,Lykke Li, ,MIA, ,Music Industry, ,Music Production, ,Paul Epworth, ,Pitchfork, ,Rappers Delight, ,Ron Grainer, ,Seed Bud Bloom, ,Sheryl Crow, ,Snowapple, ,Sonic Boom, ,Sugar Hill Records, ,Sylvia Robinson, ,The Message, ,The Music Producers Guild, ,The Sugar Hill Gang, ,Tiffany Baxter, ,Tom Beard, ,Trina Shoemaker, ,Women in Music

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lounge on The Farm: Festival Review

So what do you do after you’ve taken back the gown, viagra approved order after you’ve drunken all the champagne, seek there after your parents have cried as much as physically possible and you’ve uploaded all the pictures of your friends throwing their hats in the air onto Facebook? When you leave the warm bosom of your university institution after doing a creative degree what’s most important, page even more so than talent, (although that helps) is to surround yourself with likeminded individuals. This is something David Angus, Rafael Farias and Andrew Sunderland have kept in mind during their first year of university free existence. They all met at the Maidstone Campus of the University of the Creative Arts and have been working together under the name Bumf since they graduated.

How Bumf Collective works is that one member of the group sets a time limit and a rule and everyone makes a piece of work which must be viewable on the internet and not discussed until the project hand in. Rafael studied graphic design, Andy video media arts and Dave photography and media arts which means the work they show on the website is an interesting mix of the conceptual rule framework (1. Must be edible) and just brilliantly clever and simple design responses (a brain made out of bread titled Food for Thought)

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Food for Thought – Rafael Farias

“Basically we wanted to form a collective, but we have different ways of working. Raf is more graphic design based and I was more video and Dave is more photography so it wasn’t that we had a similar theme and we wanted to work together it’s that we wanted to make work separately almost against each other.” Andy tells me as we search for somewhere cheap (we are all struggling artists after all) to have a cup of tea in Bethnal Green where two out of three of them live.

They all admit to how hard they’ve found it since leaving full time education and with a big focus on photography and video for Dave and Andy lack of equipment is something they’ve struggled with.
“You instantly lose all facilities that you had, you lose your space to work in and it’s already harder. I was always in the dark room doing film and now most of the projects I do are digital and that’s annoying for me.”
“The one thing people say when you leave uni is to keep making work, you leave quite a structured environment. Coming out of university nobody cares about you.” It was from this realisation and the need to stop art from becoming “a kind of side project” because of the time demands of day-to-day life that Bumf was started.
The rules that govern the projects seem to have been implemented to make up for the loss of structure from leaving university. The rules can be anything from the fairly simple (the title must be Woman), to the more abstract (100 meters) and they increase every time. “We each start off doing a rule each and then we go onto two rules each and then three rules each and then we’re gonna keep going until we’re doing sixty rules each forever!” Andy tells me.

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Rafael Farias
Type-lace Typeface (Uppercase)

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David Angus
Untitled (Flash)

However what’s interesting is how the rules have been manipulated by each artist to meet their own interests and to challenge each other.
“What I found interesting when I set that typeface challenge was to see what someone who doesn’t do graphic design would come up with. Like with the edible project, it was so that they couldn’t use a camera to see what would happen.”
For this project all the artists had to create a typeface with a single found object. Rafael having trained in graphic design obviously found the project easy, creating a visually pleasing yet fully working alphabet. Interestingly Dave still managed to gear his work to photography by using as his found object a camera flash. He also managed to use the photographic process by making a contact print out of food colouring for the ‘must be edible’ rule.
“I find that each of us manages to fight our own corner for our own discipline. These two are always slagging off graphic design so I’m always fighting my corner, so it’s interesting to see how we represent our own backgrounds.” Rafael tells me.

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Andrew Sunderland
Portion #1 (Pink/Green)

Daveedible.jpg

David Angus
5×4 contact on edible paper with food colouring

There are times though when the artists have been forced to completely change their practice, like the project in which the work couldn’t be anything manmade. With Andy and Dave relying heavily on video and stills cameras for their own practice they were forced to try something completely different. Dave turned guerrilla gardener with his East London turf work and Andy, in my favourite work from the website, documented bird pooh for the series Bird Made 1-6. It is in this way that the website becomes more than just a game and a way into making work and evolves into something that makes them challenge what ‘type’ of work they make and therefore what ‘type’ of artist they are.
“The thing that is almost annoying in art college is that there’s always this need to mould you into this polished artist. You get into a rut of making similar work and you have an idea but think if I do that it doesn’t look like any of my other work.”

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Andrew Sunderland
Bird Made 1

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Rafael Farias
Stone Fruit Family (Cherry, Plum, Peach, Apricot, Nectarine)

They started the website because they naturally wanted to index the projects, but it’s fast become a reason in itself for making work. Despite art often being a sensory and tactile experience with Charles Saatchi using his website as an ‘interactive art gallery’, and Amelia’s Magazine now showcasing new talent online, your computer is becoming an acceptable way of seeing art work. I ask them whether showing their work in this way effects the making of it.
“I think about it a lot, that’s graphic design for you, it’s all about presentation. There are a lot of things we don’t do because it wouldn’t look good on the internet. No one’s done anything really sculptural because it wouldn’t translate well.” Rafael tells me.
“Well the internet is the whole reason for doing it and it’s quite interesting that we put in a rule at the end which is that if you make anything physical, like an object then the work is the image of it. If you make a sculpture obviously you can’t put it on the internet. We make these things but all of them are very temporary. The one that I did with the skittles in the end we ate them.” Says Andy.

The group don’t see Bumf as their main focus, the name itself meaning “waste and all these little things that you either pick up or you don’t”. Not that the projects are throwaway, just that with all the artists heavily into process, the outcome isn’t their main concern.
“I don’t think the projects are there to make an amazing piece of work, they’re good but it’s more something to keep your mind in a creative flow.” Says Dave.
”I see it as a creative bookmark so it’s something that might not be finished, but I’ll bookmark the idea for another project.” Rafael adds.

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David Angus
Red, Green, Blue

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Rafael Farias
The Grass Is Always Greener (On The Other Side)

With our drinks empty and the boys needing to drop off work for an exhibition at BASH Studios I ask them if they have any advice for new graduates.
“Yeah keep making work!” Exclaims Andy. “Even if it’s bumf keep making it because it means keeping up that creative process. If you don’t make anything for a year it can be really hard to get that back. Follow the Bumf rules and send it us!”

A website and some friends is all you need to avoid falling into a black hole of obscurity, you heard it here first! To look at all Bumf projects past and future or to view the individual artist’s work, click the links to their websites.

Thumbnail: David Angus – East London Turf
Having emerged from the Farm, symptoms picking straw out of my hair and ears still ringing, my first thought was – well, to have a bath – and then, to tell everyone I know how amazing Lounge was this year, and how I wish I was still sat beneath the stars, listening to Gong with my cup of tea.

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Lounge is very much a local festival, for local people, and local bands were very well represented in every tent. Our weekend kicked off with The Psychotic Reaction, who hail from Whitstable and make a sound like no other…part Joy Division, part librarian rock, they sing of the cupboard under the stairs, hand-me-downs and the trials and tribulations of living in a small town. The Boxing Octopus, all from Herne Bay, brought in the funk on Saturday morning, and had the whole Furthur Tent dancing before noon – quite an achievement! Syd Arthur put on an absolutely amazing show, their haunting psychedlia filling the Furthur Field.

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So often their songs deceive you, starting off laid-back and mellow and becoming all encompassing tidal waves of sound to sweep you off into the stars and beyond…Dancing to their soul-filling songs in a field full of hippies is certainly an experience I won’t forget for a while! Current torch-holders for the Canterbury sound, they’ve moved on from Wilde Flowers and Soft Machine (well, it’s been forty years) but not without using their influence for good and emerging with mellow yet powerful tunes to sway to, dance to or completely lose yourself in. These guys are also part responsible for the Furthur Tent and creating the atmosphere which makes the Furthur field so unique. Back in the Sheep Dip, The Ukelele Gangstas rocked their pimp hats and tiny guitars, while Hotrods and Dragsters brought out the hula girls.

Oh, the music? We shimmied and jived to the upbeat blues they were rocking, as did the rest of the tent and shame on the fools who missed out. Dropping the beats in the Bar tent was Mr. Wolfe, a young Canterburian with beat-boxing skill that begged the question ‘Why only an interlude?!’ Hopefully, next year, a longer set for Mr. Wolfe, preferably in the Hoedown. (Oh, if I ruled the festival world…) The coup, for me, in terms of Canterbury bands though, was Gong. Nothing prepares one for the rambling, overwhelming psychedelic journey that the progenitors of the Canterbury sound produce, short of a cup of mushy tea.

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We sat in the Furthur field watching the stars, lights and pixies in their teapot taxies fly past – definitely the perfect way to experience a band whose music often seems to lose its train of thought and ends up at quite a different station to the one you bought a ticket for…

There were a few bands who travelled further than five miles to perform at Lounge, and while nothing beats home-grown talent, they did pretty well. I did drop in on Mr. Scruff who played a six hour set, perfect for dipping in and out of like a hobnob in early grey. He began the afternoon with laid-back beats, working up to a dirtier evening set which got the crowd moving. He doesn’t look quite as cartoon-esque in person, either. Upon hearing the cry ‘The Aliens are in the Cowshed’, it didn’t take me long to head there for a good look, and well worth it too. Comprised of three members of The Beta Band, they mix psychedelia and rock with a smattering of cheery choruses (chori?) into a sound which creeps up behind you and pokes you ‘til you dance. Jouis surprised us at the Further tent, starting off with some spoken word, creepy fairground-esque songs, then switching singers and moving into a more sixties groove – perfectly complemented by the guttural, earthy tones of ‘the hipipe’ as I dubbed him.

After chatting to the sax player, we were directed towards Jonquil – two lads, a keyboard and trumpet – whose music reminded us of Patrick Wolf, but less whiny. They generate a mellow, organic ambience wherein you can almost see the layers of sound filling the tent (or equivalent!). Far and away the best set of the weekend though (closely followed by Mr. Wolf) were Alessi’s Ark. One girl, her guitar, an incredible voice, and the Ark. Her melody-led lyrical stylings are whimsical and sweet, but never sugary, and she was hardly phased when someone with trousers on their head and shoes on their hands wandered in, telling them the next song Dancing Feet was perfect for them. Talking of libraries and similes, her lyrics were ideal for cleansing my mind of all that psychedelia… I spent my last pennies on her album, which came in a cd sized knitted bag!, and only just had enough left for dinner.

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Talking of food, Lounge on the Farm cannot be faulted in that department. Almost all the food is locally sourced by local people. Merton Farm had their own barbecue stall, – ‘Less than a mile from gate to plate!’ – which we bypassed on the way to Al’s Hogroast. Does the fact I was vegetarian for a month prior to the festival say more about the deliciousness of the soft white bap, filled with freshly roasted pork, smearings of apple sauce and dollops of stuffing…Sorry, where was I? Food! Yes. Wonderful stuff. Vegetarians were equally well catered for with the Good Food Café on hand providing soups, sandwiches and beetroot brownies. I had a very filling cous-cous sald with chickpeas and pitta from some lovely ladies who admitted to never having done anything like that before, in between belting out eighties classics…Tasty food though. For breakfast we went to Strumpets with Crumpets, delightful women serving baked goods in corsets – Eggy-fried crumpets with cinnamon and icing sugar?! My favourite. And they did tea too. Tea, and caffeine lovers, were not forgotten – The Tea Temple gave good brew, though no homemade flapjacks this year. Luckily, the Mole Hole Café, an eco-sustainable café up in the Furthur Field, had biscuits for ten pence as well as chocolate brownies and squishy strawberry cheesecake. Enzo’s Bakery provided us with gorgeous pastries, chocolate filled lobster tails and pain au chocolate, while Ana’s Sweets served Portuguese style desert, and the most divine cheesecake ever, according to my thorough researchers. And, as always, the Groovy Movie Picture Tent could be relied upon for chocolate fudge cake, infinitely strange films, and yet more tea, well past everyone else’s bedtimes.

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The Groovy Movie Picture Tent is the only solar powered cinema in the UK and makes it aim to play independent films, animations and documentaries. This year’s top GMPT picks have to be Nina Paley’s Sita sings the Blues, which switches between a heartbroken New Yorker, gossiping Hindu gods, and Sita, singing the blues. The film is available for free at Ninapaley.com and is well worth the perusal. On Friday night, after Gong, the GMPT held an exclusive airing the BBC South East documentary about the Canterbury Sound; featuring interviews with Daevid Allen, Kevin Ayers and Steve Hillage as well as Joel and Liam Magill or Syd Arthur- passed to the tent only an hour before the showing. Highly informative and worth a watch, especially if you have no idea about the Sound to which I keep referring!

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This year’s Lounge was definitely the best so far, and between running around from bands to burlesque, burlesque to fire shows, fire shows to portaloos, we also managed a lot of lounging- although I never did find the petting zoo. Still, Lounge on the Farm is only getting better and if I could get a lifetime ticket, I would. In the meantime, The Farmhouse will just have to tide us over until next year.

Photos by Amelia Wells

Categories ,Festival, ,Folk, ,Indie, ,Kent, ,Review, ,Summer

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Amelia’s Magazine | Interview with Laki Mera and review of new album The Proximity Effect

Laki Mera by Abi Lewis
Laki Mera by Abi Lewis.

The Proximity Effect is the second album from Glasgow based Laki Mera, order a band who excel in the creation of their own unique trip hop influenced sound. Focused around the luscious vocals of singer songwriter Laura Donnelly, the album moves sleekly between ambient textures and big folk inspired melodies, plucking the best from the electronic and acoustic worlds to create something utterly new. I caught up with the talented foursome: Laura Donnelly, Andrea Gobbi, Keir Long and Tim Harbinson.

laki-mera-The-proximity-packshot
How do you work together to create music as a foursome?
We write in a few, different ways… Some tunes start more as acoustic tunes written by Laura which are then arranged by the band as a whole – introducing beats and electronic feel. Some tunes start off as electronic ideas, from jams or individually from Andrea or Keir. At any stage of the process though, the collaboration between all of us is what creates the Laki Mera sound.

Laki Mera by Michelle Pegrume
Laki Mera by Michelle Pegrume.

Do you all bring different musical inspirations to the table – and if so what are they?
We have a really wide and varied bank of influences ranging from folk and acoustic music to minimal electronica. To list a few… Beck, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Bjork, Radiohead, Datasette, Zombie Zombie, Bat for Lashes, Portishead, Massive Attack, Advisory Circle, Benny Greb… there is a lot of good music coming out of Scandinavia at the moment – Little Dragon, Efterklang, Lykke Li, Fever Ray

Laki Mera by Evan Smith
Laki Mera by Evan Smith.

What brought Italian Andrea Gobbi to Scotland and what keeps you there? 
I travelled up from London in 2001 and instantly felt attracted by the Glasgow music scene… collaborations were born and I got deeper and deeper into both the indie and folk music scene, both as a musician and a producer engineer.

YouTube Preview ImageFool

Is there anything that you miss about Italy? 
I obviously miss my family and friends, but as far as music is concerned not very much at all, I’m afraid… I’m very happy in Scotland! 

Laki Mera night
What’s best about living in Scotland?
Definitely not the food!

Laki Mera by Dan Lester
Laki Mera by Dan Lester.

The Proximity Effect is named for a studio technique – what does it mean and how was it used in the making of the album?
Our album The Proximity Effect was named after the interesting combination of the audio technical term ‘proximity effect‘ and the philosophical meaning behind how people react when in the proximity of other people, how people interact in the proximity of each other and how important these connections are. The actual meaning of the technical term proximity effect… well, it is simply a way to describe how microphones react to the relative closeness of the sound source you are recording… say for instance how a softly spoken lyric would come through when spoken directly into a microphone (i.e. with your lips touching it). 

Laki Mera by Sarah Jayne Morris
Laki Mera by Sarah Jayne Morris.

I haven’t heard the first album, how does the new one differ? 
The first album was a production which took several years, during which studio electronic music experiment and song-writing took their time to develop! The outcome was a very deep-layered production with a much calmer and reflective feel about it. The Proximity Effect still has moments of pause and reflection but it’s a much more direct record, based around tracks that were born playing live rather than in the studio… Most of the electronic music production on this album was inspired by the tracks and not vice versa. 

Laki Mera
How do you ensure that you retain an organic feel to the music when applying so many electronic textures?
Retaining an organic feel to the music is very important to us as we are well aware that electronic music can become too sterile and repetitive if not handled properly. We have a good mix of acoustic and electronic elements to the band and when working on the electronic arrangement we use many analog synths such as Korg Sigma, Korg MS10, Roland Juno 106. We also create our own sounds from samples of real sounds. Also, when playing live we ‘play’ everything rather than relying on pre-recorded loops as so many electronic acts do. This is more fun (if a little tricky sometimes) for us and more interesting for an audience to watch.

Laki Mera by Joana Faria
Laki Mera by Joana Faria.

You recorded some of the new album’s songs in turf house in a small Highland village – what lay behind the decision to decamp? 
We recognised that there was a bit of a difference between the tunes on the album and we wanted to embrace this. We made the decision to spend a week in a remote part of the Highlands to concentrate on the more acoustic, song-like tunes on the album. We felt that the hustle and bustle of our city studio did not provide the right kind of environment to properly capture the more sensitive feel of tunes such as Reverberation, Double Back and Solstice. We needed somewhere with a more quiet feel and a slower pace. 

YouTube Preview ImagePollok Park

Does living in Glasgow influence the sound of the music?
Glasgow has always been a very musical city and I think that’s partly why we have all been drawn there. With its long, dark winters and brooding, grey skies it definitely lends itself well to writing dark, introverted tunes!

Laki Mera laura donnelly
What else does everyone do when you’re not involved in Laki Mera?
Andrea & Keir are both sound engineers, Keir is also a piano teacher. Laura works on graphic design and art projects and Tim has recently completed a masters in Social Ecology.

Have you got any collaborations in the pipeline? 
We’re working on it, so watch this space…

YouTube Preview ImageOnion Machine

The Proximity Effect is out now on Just Music.

Categories ,Abi Lewis, ,acoustic, ,Advisory Circle, ,Andrea Gobbi, ,Aphex Twin, ,Bat for Lashes, ,Beck, ,Benny Greb, ,bjork, ,Dan Lester, ,Datasette, ,Double Back, ,efterklang, ,Electonica, ,Evan Smith, ,Fever Ray, ,folk, ,Fool, ,glasgow, ,Highlands, ,Joana Faria, ,Just Music, ,Keir Long, ,Korg MS10, ,Korg Sigma, ,Kraftwerk, ,Laki Mera, ,Laura Donnelly, ,Little Dragon, ,Lykke Li, ,Massive Attack, ,Michelle Pegrume, ,Onion Machine, ,Pollok Park, ,Portishead, ,radiohead, ,Reverberation, ,Roland Juno 106, ,Sarah Jayne Morris, ,Sarah-Jayne, ,Scottish, ,Social Ecology, ,Solstice, ,Tim Harbinson, ,Trip-Hop, ,Zombie Zombie

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