Archive for the ‘New Labels’ Category
Bleep: With a few aliases to your name, why the new one? Does it refer to something specific apart from being the act of ‘non-intercourse’, sexual exercise?
Sensate Focus: I think at first I was drawn to the word ’sensate’ in terms of the sensation of sound, as opposed to it being some kind of means of expression or communication. My music doesn’t aim express or communicate anything. So the idea of sensate was to focus on the sound as the main area of interest. In this sense, the point of the music isn’t directed at the goal of understanding its message. So the idea of Sensate Focus seemed to fit my agenda here.
In this case the sound is not meant to be anything unusual, for example its not an exercise in creating radical new synthetic sound textures. Instead it focusses on the chordal and percussive sounds and patterns found in some forms of club music. Particularly chord stabs and pads you might hear in House and Techno music. In this it follows a similar template to my work with Mat Steel, as SND, but is slightly different in terms of the specific sounds and patterns it explores.
B:Can you elaborate on where you might be taking Sensate Focus as an artist? I.e. some of your work as Mark Fell crosses into the realms of installation and audiovisual performance.
SF: Ideally the label will release work that can be played in clubs and people can actually dance to is. The label and project will be including other producers but all released under the name Sensate Focus. I already have a few people on board to work with. Also my solo work tends to be quite messed up, so i wanted to make a stylistic distinction between that and this.
In the solo projects I have been releasing recently, the work uses some simple programming structures to generate the patterns. Whereas with Sensate Focus, the initial idea is that everything should be made with the pencil tool in a grid based music editor, for example: Logic, Cubase or Digital Performer. I never use this tool in my solo work to create patterns. So this is the main difference in terms of production and thats why the logo for the project is the pencil, also Peter at Editions Mego had loads of pencils made. They are meant to look like the pencil in Logic or something similar, I liked the idea to give this some kind of physical form outside the software.
B:Is this to be an output for more accessible Mark Fell productions? What’s the connection with Editions Mego?
SF: It’s not meant to be any more accessible, popular or less experimental than any other work I do; those kinds of questions don’t really interest me. Primarily it’s meant to be music i like. I have a big problem with the whole idea of calling some music experimental and others just popular. Think for example of the beginning of acid house music, for me this was as experimental as anything coming out of research centres or more ’serious’ musical practices. Obviously some music sounds weirder than others but i would just put this down to a question of familiarity or more or less unusual; not that one is more normal and one is more experimental. So for me editions mego is an ideal platform to undermine that distinction.
I also like the kind of relationship between the same group working in different combinations and under different pseudonyms. Think for example of the amazing work done by Tack Head, Fats Comet and Mark Stewart and the Maffia. It seemed like different versions of the same song would turn up in different guises – that situation fascinates me. For me, the best example of this is ‘DJs Dream’ by Fats Comet and ‘Hypnotised’ by Mark Stewart – two versions of the same thing that form a dialogue with one another. Not knowing the story behind the production of these records perhaps ‘Hypnotised’ is a car crash of a remix of ‘DJs Dream’, or perhaps ‘DJs Dream’ is a polished remix of ‘Hypnotised’. But it seemed to me the tension between the two releases, and words ‘ream’ and ‘hypnotised’ articulated a complex position in relation to the political climate in britain at that time.
B:Can you give us an idea what’s next for Sensate Focus as a label and Sensate focus as an artist?
SF: I’m just working on the second release and a remix of the first release. I think i will make a track with my son who is a DJ based in Leeds and I think I might also ask my dad to work on something with me. Which would be quite mental….
This week, a brand new label emerged. Promising in output and vision, the name of the label is Public Information. It is run by Alex Wilson (who you may know from our very own Bleep podcasts) and good friend and former colleague – Lionel Skerratt. We decided to speak to Alex about what we can expect in the near future…
Bleep: Can you tell us the story behind Public Information? From what den of esotericism did the label spring from?
Alex Wilson: Public Information started as a germ of an idea about eighteen months ago, sitting in the bowels of a global Sound Archive. Four million records, the nation’s collection. Many never heard of, never found, never blogged about, never released… sounds that had to rise again. We have some of these lined up. But we also love New Music, so I enlisted the help of close colleague – Lionel Skerratt…
We are thrilled by the possibility of a catalogue that sits electronic tape-loops from 1957 beside next-wave 4/4 techno. Sweet Somalian pop music from 1982 in a cat-number frisson with blackest sci-fi drone, 70’s Library Music nestled on the shelf with contemporary cut-paste disco… subconscious links across decades, continents, tones, textures.
Public Information Influences:
B: What statement of intent best sums up the Public Information music policy?
AW: A survey of electronics… noise… psych… industrial… house… dub… wyrd-pop… library… techno… art… design from the last seven decades… 1950-Tomorrow. New-Archive. Light-Dark. This may be a good starting point, but this is not the end. If it feels good, sounds right, genre means little to us.
B: How did the collaboration with Gatekeeper’s Aaron David Ross come about?
AW: We approached the brilliant Elon Katz of (Whitecar, Streetwalker) about reissuing a micro-run cassette he made called The Pylori Program (Catholic Tapes) a little while ago. During such discussions he hipped us to a record his friend from Chicago was making. Whilst we were fans of Aaron’s Gatekeeper material the stuff he submitted as ADR was much more suited to Public Information. Perfectly as it turned out…
B: Why the name “Public Information”?
AW: A long, long, arduous process in Hackney hostelries… torn up bits of paper… spilt beer…strange combinations of words… periods of gestation… terrible combinations of words… some more gestation….
Then one dark, wet Tuesday night… two words felt right / gathered the least laughter from our associates. Public Information.
It was either that or ‘Warboys’…
B: Were you in any way inspired by Mordant Music’s exploration into Public Information films from the 70s and 80s when choosing a name for the label?
AW: Labels and artists that we admire greatly such as Mordant, Ghost Box, Café kaput, Broadcast, are devout followers of that classic wave of Public Information films from the 70’s and 80’s. Undeniably creepy images, great soundtracks, a golden era of unease…
However we were too young to be freaked first-hand, inspired by these films. Youtube serves as our only portal, not memory. In all honesty, Prodigy sampling the Charly Says… Public Information film was probably more of a direct influence.
We’re personally more drawn to the images of a time longer ago, way before ours… the 50’s and 60’s of Lindsay Anderson, John Krish, John Schlesinger, the films of the C.O.I. To the sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, The Philips Studio, Scott, Morricone, Ortolani, Moog, re-shaped, landcruising down a rain slicked Detroit highway.
B: Following on from the ADR release is an EP from Canada’s No UFO’s, can you tell us a bit about that release and what else the future holds for Public Information?
AW: No UFO’s is a young man from Vancouver who first piqued Public Information’s attention with his incredible Soft Coast cassette of 2010. Very much in a similar vein he presented 7 tracks of mixtape-concrete-wyrd to us… we fell in love. Mind Controls The Flood is set to land in late October… It’s like Madlib was raised on Kosmische.
The latter is to drop an EP in January 2012 for us, but before we have a jaw-dropping archive release from a peer of Derbyshire, Oram, Baker by the name of Fred Judd. We have been given full access to his rarely/never heard before life’s work. It is a truly special. Watch this space…
We are always on the look-out for brand new labels and one of recent has definitely grabbed our eye. Only 2 releases deep, we caught up with Claudio Lillo – one-half of the brilliant new London-based label named Five Easy Pieces.
Bleep: Tell us a little bit about the background of Five Easy Pieces (how it came about etc.) and where did you get that name from? The Jack Nicholson / Karen Black classic?
Claudio Lillo: Five Easy Pieces was originally founded as a club night a few years ago when Tom and I were still programming Cargo. We were booking a few successful inhouse parties there and thought that we might as well start up our own “brand” that we would be able to export to festivals and other cities around the UK and Europe. We did a few really big parties at Cargo and some cool small ones at other venues around London but then the venue was sold to a rude, ignorant miscreant so we stopped it. Tom went to work for Modular and I stayed at Cargo for a while, but left to do bookings for The City Arts & Music Project. Once we settled into our new jobs we thought it would be cool to resurrect it, but as a label.
The name is taken from that film… so yeah, we aren’t that original! Basically, both Tom and I are crap at coming up with names – we both like films a lot, especially New-Hollywood and French New Wave, and that name kind of stuck after we threw around a bunch of other titles.
B: What’s up next for the label?
CL: Our second release is out this week, which I’m really happy about. Its a trippy, drugged out house record that one of my good friends made. I’ve been really lucky to work with friends on both releases. I’m looking to do a label party in a few months too. Otherwise, digging for other acts to sign and trying to spread the word.
B: Which other artists do you think that you’re going to be working with in the near future?
CL: Yesterday we confirmed a remix from someone we massively respect for the next Royalty record, which I’m really excited about. That is coming out in October. I don’t really want to say who because I’d like it to be a surprise. Don’t mean to sound boring but I’d also like to keep other potential collabs close to my chest.
B: Tell us who you’re really into at the moment and why?
CL: I’ve been rinsing quite a few LPs lately… Tune-Yards, SBTRKT, Mo Kolours, Samiyam, Little Dragon and Machinedrum have all put out amazing records recently. They are all special – and all really different. I always laugh when people talk about new music being horrible or say that everything was so much better in the “good old days”. I find the current musical climate very exciting.
Recently, we ran a ticket competition for a forthcoming Unknown to the Unknown party in London hosting a performance by Dopplereffekt… We don’t know much about Unknown to the Unknown other than that it is run by producer DJ Haus of Hot City, also known as… errr… Unknown to the Unknown.
We decided to speak to the man himself to see what this is all about.
Bleep: Can you tell us how UTTU came about and the idea behind it?
UTTU: Sure, well it’s influenced by science fiction, squidgy black, Amsterdam and my new drum machine. It’s a multi-faceted (is that a word?) thing. The tracks are intended as snap shots of ideas, whereas Hot City is produced in a studio where I can pump shit out loud, the UTTU is the sound is more of a lo-fi / sci-fi rougher sound
specifically for you tube…
Which leads me on to my youtube channel which is probably the thing that’s most exciting me right now, more than making music or DJing.. I’m posting tunes from various artists whose permission I have such as Dem 2, Surkin, Slackk, Brassica, Ali Renault + many more. You can check the YouTube playlist I made for Bleep here: Just hit play and it plays all the songs continuously, you can also listen on a iphone or smartphone..
Then there’s the soundsystem which I do with my mate mackaveli… we have done club takeovers from Coccon Frankfurt , Geneva to Ibiza and our first London show is coming up on the 3rd June with Dopplereffekt+ many more. You can buy tickets for that here.
UTTU Bleep playlist:
B: The first release was a collaborative effort between you and Drexciya DJ, Stingray. Can you tell us how this happened and how you go about making the tracks?
UTTU:It wasn’t really a collaboration, I’d booked him to play in London but he had to pull out, so he ended up doing a remix for the first EP, and that has led to us meeting up in London at the UTTU Boiler Room show.
Then we ended up collaborating on a couple of tracks which I’m currently finishing off, they’ll be coming out in the summer I hope. Writing at 150 bpm is fucking tricky for me so it was good fun and I got pretty high.. the whole thing was pretty surreal actually…
B: We’ve heard a rumour that there’ll be a release from cult Chicago-based producer. Marcus Mixx. Please tell us more!
UTTU: One of Marcus’s best friends Vern English AKA Alias G, who has released some hip hop albums on TRAX back in the 80s laid down some hot vocals on the last UTTU release ‘Mystery Dragon’…
It was never the plan to release other people’s music, but when you have the opportunity to release songs about cheese and oral sex from a drunk Chicago house legend that‘s pretty hard to pass on…
B: Have else do you plan to collaborate with / release music from in the future?
UTTU: I have what I think has the potential to be a really big record from Capracara called Silvia Solar, backed with a Hot City remix dropping in June + an EP from Dubbel Dutch and more DJ Haus & UTTU tracks.. Me and Ali Renault have started some bits, just trying to find enough time to fit it all in..
Apart from that the new Hot City ‘Soundz Of Da Clubb’ EP is something I’m really proud of, first and foremost the majority of music I listen to is UKG & House music… I’ve been listening to Detroit techno & electro for yonks but only recently have I started to really obsessed with it all on the level that I am with UKG.. I love how you can suddenly become obsessed with something that’s been around you for ages but never fully grabbed you before..… that’s really what UTTU is about I guess….
With us recently adding his hard-to-find Wild Oats label to our catalogue and his recent new 12″ on Hyperdub, we thought it was time to have a little chat to one of the most young and exciting producers coming out of Detroit.
BLEEP: We’ve heard that you like to make some of your tracks live. how do you usually go about making a piece of music?
KH: The way i go about making a piece of music varies depending on what i’m feeling at the moment. Sometimes I just hit the record button on My digital record or cassette deck and Jam then thats it. Sometimes I use pause record methods with tapes. Sometimes I just do A whole song out of sequences in the MPC. There really are so many ways…
BLEEP: What can we expect to hear from your label Wild Oats in 2010?
KH: Currently Im working on another Kyle Hall 12″. Also I’m planning to possibly release some stuff on Wild Oats with Jack Hamill (AKA Space Dimension Controller). I have some young Special cats on the burner right now that I wanna put out. DJ Conspiracy is one of them. Hes from Southwest Detroit – Real Gritty Dude.
BLEEP: How did growing up in Detroit influence the sound of your music?
KH: I don’t know exactly. This is the only place I’ve lived so this the only direct regional influence I had. Maybe on a subconscious level, there is a lot of influence. I definitely listen to a lot of Detroit artists anyway. Nowadays you can listen to other peoples stuff on the net, so influence from music and sound can come from what ever you direct your mind towards.
The sleeves of the latest Wild Oats release used interesting DIY ethic. Can you tell us the reason behind the ‘recycled’ sleeve idea?
I thought it was sweet. It was the Dirty Thouz so the shit had to be dirty! But I think only a few distributers got the recycled Planet E sleeves – that was some special edition stuff. I gave some of those out to friends to. The idea of that was a rising of a new. In a way thats what everyone does, we take from the last generation and use it to define our own.
Those good folks on the West Coast, our friends over at Brainfeeder, and the great Low End Theory club night have just put together this podcast mixed by Ras G and Gaslamp Killer.
For more of this L.A. loveliness check out the latest Ras G album on Brainfeeder and the seriously good Nosaj Thing album on Alpha Pup.
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