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Will Clarke Blog

July 9, 2019

 

Bristol is renowned to be a generator of exciting fresh talent in all aspects of art. The fact that the bearded booty-cuddling machine, Will Clarke, is from this part of the world is no surprise to anyone.

Two years after Will’s ‘Big Booty’ was being played in every club around the globe from the likes of Jamie Jones, Seth Troller, Eats Everything and MK (just to name a few), Will has rocketed to great heights in the house and techno scene. Will has become a family member in the DIRTYBIRD flock, and has released a plethora of chart topping records such as ‘The Goog’, ‘Can You Funk’, also collaborations with Justin Martin with their track ‘Back To The Jungle’ and a collaboration with Shiba San, ‘Give It To Me’. Staying on the DIRTYBIRD theme, Will has just released his Booty Percolatin’ EP (which if you haven’t heard yet, you are missing out). Alongside Will’s original releases, he has also churned out remixes for Riva Starr, Lee Foss’s label Emerald City, Hot Natured, Azari & III just to name a few.

In 2015 Will took it upon himself to start his radio show ‘The Barber Shop’ which has now had guests such as Groove Armada, Kolsch, MK, Yousef, wAFF and the list goes on. With over half a million monthly listeners across multiple platforms, Will’s Barber Shop is causing a little bit of a fuss.

Will Clarke’s live DJ sets are full of his unreleased music, edits and reworks. The fact that he played over 100 shows worldwide in his first year touring, proves that he is a force to be reckoned with. So if you are into Booty’s Percolatin, beards or cuddles then make sure to check out Will Clarke.

Credits to: Resident Advisor

Will Clarke is an electronic music producer based out of Bristol, England.His sound is categorized under the House music variety. [4] Will is known for his signature beard and facial hair.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Will was born and raised in Bristol to a family that loved music. His mother was a singer and his father had a distinct taste in punk rock. Will’s earliest memory of house music when his brother gave him a CD of Dance Mania 95 when he was 5 or 6-years-old. When he was 13, he played his first set at a club in Bristol, which is considered the Bass capital of the UK, and when he was 16 was invited to play in Ibiza a few years later. At 18, he decided to pursue music full-time and moved to Ibiza to work and spin in the scene for several years.

Growing Prominence and Dirtybird

Clarke grew in traction with the song ‘Big Booty’. He soon caught the attention of Dirtybird Records founde Claude Von Stroke, who signed him to his label. [8] He dropped the “Booty Percolation” EP later that year. His collaborations with Justin Martin with their track ‘Back To The Jungle’ and a collaboration with Shiba San, ‘Give It To Me’ played in clubs across the globe. [4] He has traveled the world playing sets under his “Barber Shop” tour as well as the Dirtybird Campout. [8] The hashtag #doingitforthecuddles was started by his friends. as a reference to his preference of cuddling over anything else. [9]
With a substantial following on social media, as of July 2017, Will Clarke had over 11.5K followers on Twitter, 23K followers on Instagram, 19.5K followers on SoundCloud, and 37K likes on Facebook.
Credits to: Everipedia

 

“The more people that listen to my music, the bigger and stronger my beard gets… everyone’s a winner, baby.” Dirtybird-affiliated house producer Will Clarke introduces himself.

WHO ARE YOU?
A 25 year old non-drinking, non-drug-taking, bearded DJ and producer based in Bristol (well, the outskirts, but I always say Bristol as I can’t really describe where I live – it’s in the middle of nowhere…).

WHAT DO YOU SOUND LIKE?
In between ghetto house and house with a touch more bass.

WHY SHOULD WE LISTEN TO YOU?
I don’t like telling people they ‘should’ do anything, however if you like a little mid-week boogie or if you’re reading this before you go out on the weekend then give my tracks a listen and it may put you in the mood. Plus I have worked out that the more people that listen to my music, the bigger and stronger my beard gets… everyone’s a winner, baby.

WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU GOT COMING OUT IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
I’ve had a couple of releases on Dirtybird called Badness, The Boogie Woogie, Jackintosh, and 808 Frenzy. I’ve done a remix of Azari & III‘s ‘Reckless’ on Turbo Recordings. In the future I have a release coming out on Defected in September.

WHAT SONG SUMS YOU UP? WHY?
Detroit Grand Pubahs – ‘Sandwiches’. It’s fun and weird, plus I love a good sandwich.

Credits to: Attack Magazine

DJ Awards Feature Interview – Will Clarke – The Bristol scene has always been a solid place to be bought up in, although I was never that into Drum n Bass at a young age there was always amazing parties going on somewhere

As part of our support for the DJ Awards, we sat down recently with a number of the Newcomer nominees to discuss their careers, the nomination and more. Next up is Bristol born house artist Will Clarke.

Will first blew up on the scene in early 2014 when his Big Booty EP was released on Worthy ’s Anabatic label, later picking up support from Jamie Jones and MK during the festival season that year. Like many artists, Will Clarke’s sonic palette comes his experiences and influences from home and afar. The roots of his sound stem from both his hometown of Bristol and his seasonal home in Ibiza, which has forged Will’s style; a style that fuses the best of Bristol’s bass elements with the upfront house music sensibilities of the white isle.

UK Editor Simon Huxtable sat down recently to chat to Will about his nomination, Life on the road and more.

Hi Will, great to meet you. Thanks for finding the time to chat with us from Decoded Magazine.

Hi guys, thanks for having me.

Congrats on the nomination for Best Newcomer at this year’s DJ Awards. Aside from industry validation, what does this nomination mean to you?

So yeah the nomination, it’s crazy really, it’s not something I would’ve thought I would be nominated for. However for me, it’s nice to be recognised for what I’ve been doing over the past 12 years of hard work and finally making my hobby into a career.

Like me, you’re a West Country lad. How do you think the diverse musical heritage of your hometown has shaped your tastes?

As I’m sure you agree the Bristol scene has always been a solid place to be bought up in, although I was never that into Drum n Bass at a young age there was always amazing parties going on somewhere. I used to go to hip hop parties, techno parties, the occasional psytrance event and then would get roped into going to drum n bass nights too. So I guess my music has taken influences from the early days of when I would be in Bristol. That’s also the thing I like about artists from the city, nobody is afraid to be an actual artist and stand for what they believe in. It’s an amazing community to be part of.

Let’s head back a few years to when Big Booty dropped. Can you tell us a little about the back story behind getting signed the Anabatic?

It kind of started with a bit of pot luck really, I was really into the label and some of the artists signed to Anabatic were getting bigger names for themselves. So my manager sent a couple of tracks over to Worthy. Honestly, I didn’t think he would get back to us, although a week later we received an email saying he wanted to sign ‘Drop it’ but wasn’t too keen on the others and needed a B-side.

This is where Big Booty came into play, I had it sitting in my folder of unsigned tracks, I loved it but I didn’t think anyone else would so I didn’t send it out. On an off chance we sent that over and Worthy said it was perfect for a B-side. It’s crazy to think about as I wrote that track in about an hour.

That EP really put you on the map with support from Jamie Jones and MK to name but two. How did you feel at the time?

Fucking awesome. Even though I’d been producing for years before that it was my first track that got real support from all the artists I aspired to be. Words can’t describe that shit.

Of course following that, Claude Vonstroke contacted you and you began your adventure with Dirtybird. How has the stability of having a world renowned label behind you affected your creativity and output? Do you feel a pressure to produce a certain way?

After “Big Booty” came out it was actually a super hard time for me if I’m honest, I didn’t know what direction to go down I was trying to copy other sounds and be like other people rather than myself. I actually took a break from music for about a year and was going to open a club.

Thank god the club fell through and I got the music bug back, I just went back into the studio with a fresh head on me and I started to make music that I enjoyed. That’s when my tracks started to get signed to Dirtybird. It was mad because I signed my first track then Claude signed another 5 tracks off me that year. I think then it wasn’t pressure of actually signing tracks but it was the pressure from me of wanting to write better tracks each time so every release I did was better than the last.

We understand you have a few collaborations with some Dirtybird label mates out soon…

Yeah, well I’ve had ‘Back to The Jungle’ which is a collab with Justin Martin which actually came out on his album in April. Myself and Shiba San have just released a track called ‘Give It To Me’, that’s on the Secret Sauce EP on Dirtybird. Other collabs have been done but we are still touching up some bits before we announce them.

What else is forthcoming this year?

Well, I’ve just had a remix released on Lee Foss’s Repopulate Mars, I have another remix coming out on Cajual and an EP on Dirtybird in September time. Then off for another tour of America in October along with gigs in Europe throughout the summer.

We all love a good tour story. Can you recall any funny times on your recent Dirtybird Australia/Americas tour?

This is always the hardest question I swear…. Yes, there are always funny stories, I was playing at the Dirtybird Campout and I was playing my track ‘Spandex’ (silly track talking about superheroes) then all of a sudden two pink Power Rangers come up behind me and start dancing. But the thing is I didn’t realise they were there and everyone was trying to grab my attention and I was too focused on what track to play next. Anyway, they eventually got my attention and it was fucking hilarious two guys about 6ft tall dressed in pink Power Ranger suits. Genius!

Haha and you’ve toured again this year already. How was ‘Will & Bills Excellent Adventure’?

It was so much fun I actually based myself in LA at the time as well, so I fully got into the American lifestyle. But the tour was crazy I think we did 30 shows in 3 months touring 3/4 times a week, we got to play in so many cities.

Touring life is hard. I was speaking recently to David August who found the late nights really didn’t agree with him. He said by the end of the tour he felt very demotivated about everything because he was constantly tired. How do you deal with the pressures on the road?

Yes, I totally agree in some ways, however, I like to keep healthy so I don’t drink or take drugs, even though I love a good burger I tend to eat well, for nearly every show I go to the gym beforehand or do some sort of exercise. At the end of the day, I look at it as there is going to be some downsides to having the best job in the world. I can live with being tired, it’s a small price to pay.

Brexit has been on everyone’s mind these last few weeks. Social media draws out the political commentator in all of us, but is it the right arena for the discussion to take place? Does it fuel the fire of hate? What are the alternatives?

Personally, I feel we should’ve stayed in however I do feel now that the country has decided to leave I think everyone should pipe down and just get on with it. Media is the fuel to every conflict in the world, 95% of politicians talk shit, I just wish people would actually realise this and ignore it. The day we ignore the media and get on with our lives is the day that the world will be a happier place.

Will, let’s finish off things there. We wish you the best of luck for the future and with the DJ Awards nomination. Is there anything is closing you’d like to add?

Thank you so much, guys. I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone that has followed me along the way. Also, party hard, keep safe and don’t forget to cuddle… It solves all your problems!

Credits to: Decoded Magazine

Will Clarke at 1Up [The Barbershop x Great Depressurization]

Special guests Creedence, Zasz, Obi Wan Solo & 4 Bang

10pm | 21+

Discounted room rates, mulitpasses and tickets at www.GreatDepressurization.com

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Walker & Royce at 1Up

June 27, 2019

 

New York City’s Sam Walker & Gavin Royce have been producing their emotive, subdued and groove-heavy house since 2011

Walker & Royce started when Sam and Gavin, having known each other in and out of the dance scene for years, finally began working together in 2011. Crosstown Rebels boss Damian Lazarus noticed one of their very first releases. The result was the Crosstown Rebels EP “You’re Not Welcome” and with that, Walker & Royce was launched into the dance music spotlight.

Around the same time, Walker & Royce released a track on OFF Recordings that went on to become a house anthem: “Connected”. The song became a mainstay in Solomun’s performances and with that set the stage for a diverse range of sounds from the pair. Their EP on Moda Black entitled “Sister” was picked by Pete Tong as his Essential New Tune, and their chart toping remix of Baunz’ “Out the Window” on Pets Recordings garnered support from many of the biggest artists in electronic music. Most recently the duo has joined the ranks on Claude Vonstroke’s seminal Dirtybird Records with the release of the “Boy” EP and “Hit Dem Draws” and Green Velvet’s legendary Relief Records with their chart toping release “Peep This Cat”, and “3 4 Shake It” with fellow Dirtybird artist Will Clarke.

Having solidified their unique sound, you will hear Walker & Royce’s music in many of the top DJ’s from around the world! From Sasha to Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex to Gorgon City and Eats Everything to Locodice, they continue to break down the genre barriers and turn heads….

 

 

Credits to: Resident Advisor

GET TO KNOW WALKER & ROYCE, THE DUO MAKING THUMPING HOUSE MUSIC FOR DIRTYBIRD

 

It took Sam Walker and Gavin Royce until they got into the DJ booth to notice what was happening in the crowd at last year’s Dirtybird Campout. As they peered out, “In Tha… Butt” signs were being held aloft in front of them – the phrase coming from their 2016 release ‘I.T.B’ on Dirtybird.

“It was fandom to a level we’d never thought about before,” says Gavin. After “years of disappointment”, the New York duo finally felt things were starting to work for them.

Walker and Royce, both 38, first met back in 2005 as interns at the music distribution company Studio Distribution in New York. The two became friends, but it was years later that their creative relationship began: Gavin called Sam to help him out with a track he’d been working on. It started the pair on a path that saw them continue to spend time together, both in the studio and in the booth.

Their first release – a remix of Saarid’s ‘Future Lately’ on Nurvous Records where Gavin also worked as an A&R – counted Danny Daze and Damien Lazarus among its admirers. “It was like being a struggling fashion designer,” explains Sam, “and having some celebrity suddenly wearing your clothes.” It was this moment, back in 2011, that properly kick-started the New Yorkers’ career. Releases on Moda Black, Crosstown Rebels and Dirtybird have followed, each growing closer to the deep, hard-hitting, groove-riddled house that feels fully realised on their forthcoming debut album.

Dropping on Dirtybird, ‘Self Help’ sees the duo push in directions that are groovier, deeper, and even weirder than they’ve traversed before. Tracks like ‘Best Track Ever’ wriggle with electro energy, hip hop vibes stack up on ‘Role Models’, while ‘Reaching’ has eerie r’n’b vocals spinning throughout.

“We never try to repeat ourselves with any kind of sound,” says Gavin. “We wanted it to work for people, but also make a strange, ‘out there’ album.”

Walker & Royce have picked up plenty of praise from their peers over the years, including Pete Tong, Maceo Plex and Adam Beyer, to name a few, but only recently has the fandom finally found its way to their gigs.

“It’s only now that people aren’t mistaking me for Eats Everything!” laughs Gavin.

Credits to: Mixmag

Walker & Royce: 5 things we’ve learned about music production

“Ideally, the track feels like it writes itself,” say the acclaimed house duo

Groove-laden house hounds Walker & Royce – Samuel Walker and Gavin Royce – return today with Bodies Do The Talking, a two-track release on Dirtybird that represents the duo’s first time back on the label since the release of Self Help, their 2017 debut album.

Their story actually started long before, though: they began life on the New York underground scene and were signed by Damian Lazarus to Crosstown Rebels in 2011.

As they embark on a busy summer of festival appearances, we asked Walker & Royce to distil their accumulated music-making knowledge into five pieces of production advice.

1. Finish your tracks quickly

“The longer you work on a track, the more you lose perspective on it. You need to try to finish arranging a track before that happens.

“When you lose perspective, you lose the ability to know when it’s time for things to change. Your brain will tune-out certain elements so that you think more needs to be added, and even things that are great will start to seem boring. It usually happens after only a few days.”

2. Come up with more sets of ideas than you will use in the final track

“There’s nothing that kills a track faster for us than starting to arrange it and saying ‘OK, now what?’. We want to feel like we have more than all of the parts of the track to go to when we start arranging. We want it to be obvious what to do next, to make the track more spontaneous.

“Ideally, the track feels like it writes itself. So we usually come up with way more than will end up in the track so we never have to start adding more parts when arranging.”

3. Producing is more about working for a long time on something and less about being in the right moment

“We’ve written in a good mood, a bad mood, in the afternoon, at night. It’s much more about taking the time to experiment than to trying to plan out when you’re in the right mental zone. You scare up good ideas by working, and the longer you do it the better the ideas get (to a point- see tip 1).”

4. Mix as you go

“In any kind of dance music, the music is only as good as the mix. Make sure your studio’s acoustics are controlled enough to be making the right decisions throughout the entire process. You are trying to save time – while you can write on a crappy system and then fix it later, it’s better to get it right from the beginning. Also, always assume that you are responsible for the finished mastered product.”

5. Don’t get caught up in worrying about bitrate, sample rate, analogue/digital, etc

“It’s important to know your DAW and what effect, if any, it’s having on the elements of the track (for example, warping in Ableton has blatant effects which shouldn’t be ignored). But, outside of that, don’t get too bogged down worrying about technicals.

“Keep your DAW at 44,100Hz. It’s way easier on your CPU, which will allow you more creative freedom. 99.9999% of the time no one is going to hear the difference if you produce your track at a higher resolution, and it may end up making things worse if you forget to up-convert your samples and the DAW has to do it (badly) on the fly.

“Likewise, stop worrying about using analogue gear. So many great tracks are written with plugins and samples, or recorded in bad conditions. Analogue gear is great, but also has its limitations. It’s much more about knowing which tool to use for which job.”

 

 

 

Walker & Royce performs at 1up on September 3rd, 2019 in Reno, NV as part of The Great Depressurization.

Special guests TBD

10pm | 21+

Discounted room rates, mulitpasses and tickets at www.GreatDepressurization.com

Get your tickets now!

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Howlin Rain – Revision Brewery

June 25, 2019

Unapologetically influenced by the strong but easygoing grooves of West Coast ’70s rock, Howlin Rain represented something of a change of pace for guitarist and singer Ethan Miller, who previously fronted the psychedelic noise rock ensemble Comets on Fire. After the recording of Comets on Fire’s final album, Avatar, in 2006, Miller was eager to explore the more melodic direction the group had begun pursuing, and with bassist Ian Gradek (who had known Miller since high school) and drummer John Moloney (a member of the like-minded band Sunburned Hand of the Man), he formed a new band, Howlin Rain. Since then, they have recorded sporadically with a constantly evolving lineup. Miller is also a member of Heron Oblivion, Feral Ohms, and the Odyssey Cult.

The independent Birdman Records signed Howlin Rain and released their self-titled debut in 2006, while the band hit the road, touring as an opening act for Queens of the Stone Age, with guitarist Mike Jackson beefing up their lineup on-stage. After touring behind the group’s album, Moloney returned to Sunburned Hand of the Man, and while writing material for the second Howlin Rain album, Miller assembled a new version of the band. Jackson joined Miller and Gradek as a full-time member, alongside new recruits Joel Robinow (ex-Drunk Horse) on keyboards, horns, guitar, and backing vocals; Eli Eckert (also of Drunk Horse) on guitar and bass; and Garrett Goddard (of Cuts and Colossal Yes) on drums.

Rick Rubin, a noted fan of classic ’70s rock, was impressed with the material for Howlin Rain’s second album, and 2008’s Magnificent Fiend was jointly released by Birdman and Rubin’s American Recordings imprint. The band released the digital-only 12″ “The Good Life” in 2010, followed by a limited vinyl release the following year. Also in 2010, Belle & Sebastian selected them to perform at the second Bowlie Weekender in the U.K. (produced and presented by All Tomorrow’s Parties). Howlin Rain subsequently recorded their third full-length, The Russian Wilds, which was co-produced by the band and Tim Green and released by American Recordings/Birdman in early 2012. Concert recordings from the tour were later collected and released in 2014 as Live Rain. Miller had been working on a trilogy in the studio at the time of its release. The first part of that project, Mansion Songs, appeared in January of 2015. After incessant touring for the better part of two years, Miller assembled another incarnation of the band–Daniel Cervantes, bottleneck slide guitar; Jeff McElroy, bass and Justin Smith, drums–for the second installment in the Mansion Songs trilogy, The Alligator Bride. Recorded by Eric “King Riff” Bauer, the band cut everything live to tape in first or second takes with no overdubs. Their attempt was to capture the spirit and vibe of recordings such as the Grateful Dead’s Europe ’72, Mountain Bus’ Sundance, and Free’s 1969 classic Fire and Water. Miller categorized the sound of the record as “Neal Casady Rock,” in honor of the inspiration of the unofficial patron saint of the Beat Generation writers. The Alligator Bride was issued in June of 2018 on Miller’s Silver Current Records label.

Credit to: Allmusic

Howlin’ Rain on what it’s really like to work with rock-n-roll yogi Rick Rubin

Formed in 2004, Howlin’ Rain are connoisseurs of the soulful sounds of California circa 1969 – the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Little Feat – albeit salted with an extra dose of psychedelic bite. During the late ’00s, the San Francisco-based quintet got an unexpected windfall when it caught the ear of record producer Rick Rubin (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Johnny Cash), who not only offered to produce their next record, but also signed them to his label, American Recordings

.And then… four years went by. But now Howlin’ Rain has finally reemerged with a new LP, “The Russian Wilds” due out on Valentines Day. With the band performing at Red Palace on Friday, guitarist and singer Ethan Miller recently chatted with the Click Track about the record, Rubin, and why it’s hard for a bunch of working stiffs to make an album on an Adele-style schedule.

It’s been four years between your last album “Magnificent Fiend” and “The Russian Wilds.” Where have you guys been?

I don’t know what the deal is exactly with that. It’s one of those things. Your whole life can be like this if you’re not careful. One minute you’re collecting old newspaper scraps from Pearl Harbor from the late ’40s, and then suddenly 20 years go by. Luckily, our obsession stopped at the four-year mark.
But really, what took so long?

Let me lay it out: We toured “Magnificent Fiend” for about a year. When I got home, I thought, ‘What can I do to prepare for this next record to make it go more quickly?’ Write songs. So, I began my part of the songwriting process then. Also, once we came off the road in 2009, that current lineup of the group was breaking apart. It boiled down to just me and Joel [Robinow] and we had to put a new group together. That’s always a trial. We took our time to make sure we got incredible guys who we liked as people. And then we began rehearsing the record. At the time, I was still going back and forth to Los Angeles to meet with Rick. And then we worked all these tunes that Rick and I were going through. All of this stuff too a second to do. Rick pushes you to [write] a lot of songs. Howlin’ Rain songs aren’t just tiny little songs, either. To put 30 or 40 songs on the table takes a lot of time because they’re these crazy ten-minute epic things. And then, in that long span of time, at any given point, things could be going smoothly with Rick and then he’d disappear for a while. That was happening here and there at inconvenient moments.

All of that stuff starts adding up. And on top of that, you start forming a mild to severe obsession about how long it’s been. It starts to consume your whole life. You start becoming kind of a little crazy about it as a survival instinct. I mean normal bands at our level, that don’t have a lot of financial means, usually just disintegrate when they try to make things happen over long periods of time.

I mean, nobody in their right mind wants to work on a record for that long. Especially when they’re just starving artists collectively working on one project for four years. Then we got it done, but we just couldn’t quite get it out under the wire during the dead time Christmas. All these little pieces create this gigantic period of time extension. It became this glacial thing — it’s too big, but it’s still moving. It just keeps moving a little farther and a little farther. That’s the messed up thing, just looking around and seeing the world change. Band’s careers came and went. You’d become a fan of somebody and see them release two albums and a couple of 7”s and have a successful arc and fall out of music history and you’re still there pushing on this glacier. And it’s threatening to crush you.

Rubin is the guy who revitalized Johnny Cash’s career and got Anthony Kiedis, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to write “Under the Bridge.” In short: A heavy, mystical rock and roll presence. What was that like?

The artistic portion of the work is very rewarding. He’s very honest about the music that you’re working on. When you’re opening up into a deep place for your songwriting, it’s a very intimate place. It’s a place where you can easily be damaged by other people. Artistically speaking, Rick is honest to the point where you feel very quickly that you can rely on his musical opinion. He does sit on the inside of the project. He can say, ‘Try a phaser, that might be a cool effect.’ But he also listens to the core of the song. He can turn all that [technical stuff] off and ask himself, ‘Is this really just igniting me on all levels?’ It’s very interesting to have feedback from somebody like that. You don’t feel like somebody is just kissing up to you and you don’t feel like somebody is trying to attack you.

How did you go about working together?

We’d demo songs, he’d listen to them and then he’d give and initial assessment with his eyes closed. Maybe he’d be grooving. Or not. Whatever. First thing, he’d say usually, there’d be one of kind of three extremes: ‘I kind of hated that one, lets move on’ or ‘That one’s great.’ Or sometimes something in between: ‘I really liked the chorus and liked this part, but a whole lot that needs to be fixed there.’ He did a lot of deep, classic producer work – ‘Check out the lead after the chorus, the chord not quite enough suspense. Make it a Dylan-esque moment.’ If I would ever say, ‘I was trying to do this one with a poppy edge,’ he’d say to stop thinking about those things, that your best stuff is going to come from a place you can’t control. He’d tell you to open up and produce your music without thinking about it. I think all songwriters say that their favorite stuff that happens when they just can’t stop a thing from coming out. You know, when you’re scribbling out words and chords and then, suddenly, you banged out a tune. You can’t do that on command. You just get those moments and then write everything else as best you can.

Howlin’ Rain’s sound has changed considerably between the last record and this one. You guys are lot more easygoing now. “The Russian Wilds” has a lot of lightly funky moments – not in the slap-bass sense, but in the Little Feat, bluesy swagger sense. Was that a conscious move?

Most of what you’re hearing, thinking back, I can say that it was kind of a Rick influence. Initially, I was trying to do all these heavy Deep Purple-type songs. Rick said, ‘These are cool and stuff, but I miss the funky edge. There’s nothing funky about this song — it’s heavy, it’s fast, it’s got some Viking style, but I love the harmonies and that funky thing.’ It made me stop and think for a second. Even though we worked hard on that batch of songs, in my quest to keep changing and challenging the other guys, I thought, ‘I gotta be careful with going too far with that and becoming a chameleon.’ That was the point where I started trying to pull back and not let genre guide things as much.

Wait, you wrote a whole separate record that was discarded?

Oh, yeah. We discarded records and records worth of songs. The final song demos – everything written over the past two-and-a-half years – when you put it together, it’s about two 75-minute CDs-full.

So you’re finally done. What do you do now?

That’s the irony. No matter how long you’re making a record and pretending to be like a character from “Moby Dick” or something, in this game you release the record and then you get in the van and go do the gigs. You hope that successful things happen and you can continue making records. I feel, I hope, and by God, if I have anything to say or do about it, this kind of long-haul album making is a chapter that happens once in our lives. Maybe if someday I’ve got the funding, taking four years is a very convenient way to make a record — when everything is comfortable, when everybody is getting paid, and you’re not so far out of a cycle that people aren’t incredibly interested in booking your band.

Very literally, bands try to pursue the album cycles that they do in order to continue engaging with press, the fans, everybody. You buy an album, put it at the front of the stack and then it drifts off. After a couple of years it’s maybe in a box. You can see why people don’t want that to happen, professionally. Just as the buzz is just fading, you hit them with the new one and re-spark that thing. At the same time, I also believe that when you live by those cycles – when you make a record, take four months to set it up, and then it comes out, and then you try to keep that 12-to-14 month cycle going business-wise, a lot of time you find the albums don’t matter as much. In the new model of survival, very often, the album is just a tool to keep the talking points going. In that light, I’m very proud and very sure that we did something that completely and obsessively and sacrificially honored great album making. We honored the idea that an album is an icon, a fetish. It’s the thing that a band or a musician lives to do. It’s their novel. But I’m sure over the next ten years you’ll see us engaging in some yearly album cycles.

Credits to: The Washington Post

Ethan Miller Commuted to L.A. to Keep Howlin Rain Together

The Oakland psych-rock trio’s latest, The Alligator Bride, is a cohesive collection of sun-drenched, Crazy Horse-approved rock anthems.

Ethan Miller isn’t one to stress about the potential decline of the Bay Area’s music scene. Not anymore, at least.

“The ups and downs of it all — it’s not going to keep me up at night,” he says, sipping tea in his sunny apartment in the hills above Lake Merritt. The walls are lined with books — John Steinbeck, Paul Auster — and records sit 12-deep on the floor next to his couch. Incense fills the air. It’s a space that feels settled and lived-in, and Miller has been here for 15-plus years. He’s been a fixture of the Bay Area’s fuzzed-out rock world for even longer.

The frontman of Oakland psychedelic rock outfit Howlin Rain has been a local Sultan of Shred since his days with Santa Cruz garage-psych rock band Comets on Fire, before transitioning to Howlin Rain’s poetic, ’70s-soaked, epic rock stylings. Their self-titled debut, released in 2006, combined twangy banjo, feedback-heavy guitars, and winding song poems into a somehow logical whole. Since then, the band has released four albums — plus one live recording — each of which has a distinctive sound and feel, thanks to a regularly changing lineup. Their latest release, The Alligator Bride (2018), is a cohesive collection of sun-drenched, Crazy Horse-approved rock anthems, rife with wailing guitar solos, road warrior vibes, and Miller’s powerfully distinctive howl. It’s unlike any other Howlin Rain album, but, per Miller, that’s kind of the point.

“Here’s how I’ve always thought of Howlin Rain: I’ll create a band and I’ll lay down the gauntlet of that band’s spirit,” he says. “I’ll be the caretaker of it. But the changing band members will dictate what the flesh and blood of the thing will be.”

The nebulous nature of Howlin Rain’s membership proved to be a huge point of stress in 2014. The band had wrapped its third album, The Russian Wilds (2012), and essentially, disbanded — all of the other members opted to pursue their own projects. Miller understood, but needed to rebuild a touring band. He started making calls and struck out, again and again.

“The Bay Area was in this moment of flux — all of the musicians were fleeing to Portland and Los Angeles,” he says. “For a minute there, I was like, ‘Dude … This is a goddamn crisis!’ What does a band leader do?”

He did what any Bay Area inhabitant would do for the right gig: commute south. Way south.

“I adapted to being a Bay Area musician by commuting to Los Angeles and San Diego for rehearsals with my band!” he says.

The commute is intense, but worth it. Miller found kindred spirits in guitar player Dan Cervantes and bassist Jeff McElroy. Drummer Justin Smith joined as rehearsals began for The Alligator Bride. Miller thinks that the current lineup is the tightest, most effective iteration of Howlin Rain yet. He was so struck by the band’s chemistry, and fans’ reactions to it, that he dedicated the creation of the album to trying to capture the energy of the band live.

“I was going for almost a cinematic realism feel,” he says of the recording process. “I tried to keep all of the tracks pretty rough sketches. I didn’t want to demo them up with overdubs, or horns, or fucking glockenspiels! I wanted to capture the band speaking their native tongue.”

The Alligator Bride is the second in a conceptual trilogy that Miller developed back in 2014, when Howlin Rain disbanded and, “everything kind of disappeared, all at once.”

Mansion Songs (2015), the first album, was a representation of that moment: Miller had no band, but a lot of songs. He gathered musicians that he’d worked with previously in Howlin Rain and members from Heron Oblivion, with different groupings on different songs. He would give the band a key, but not much more direction. The resulting tracks, often recorded on the first take, were meant to capture the idea of the song coming to life, rather than the most polished version of it.

Miller had thought that the second album would go one step further, showcasing the sound of a band starting to come together and find its voice. But this grouping of Howlin Rain was way ahead of that.

“We’re already at that fully formed place,” he says. “So I’ll need to rethink what that third record is — where the story goes from here. That’s kind of fun, though. And really, who wouldn’t rather have a band over a concept?”

Miller’s waiting for that conceptual spark to come before beginning work in earnest on Howlin Rain’s next album. For that to happen, though, he needs to find some space for the ideas to come. That can be hard to come by: in addition to Howlin Rain’s often frenetic touring schedule, Miller leads two other bands, dreamy psych-folk Heron Oblivion, and scuzzy psych-punk Feral Ohms. He also runs his own record label, Silver Current Records, under which he’s releasing a few live albums, including one from local band Wooden Shjips.

“I’ve been so back to back with different projects lately that it’s been hard to find that moment of psychic vacuum,” he says. “Or, as David Lynch says, ‘When your subconscious can fall down into the deep water and see the big fish in the dark down there.’ ”

Until he takes the plunge, Miller has a West Coast tour with Howlin Rain to look forward to, including a Jan. 19 show at The Independent with Scott Law and Ross James’ Cosmic Twang and Garcia Peoples. Considering Howlin Rain’s current lineup, it promises to be a raucous, high-energy affair.

The band is “ready to climb the walls, do cartwheels and backflips and stuff,” Miller says. “Like, ‘Hey, settle down, don’t knock my amp!’ But mostly, they drive my energy up. Like, wow, we’re all looking like a Fraggle dust storm up on stage here.”

The musicians may be relatively new, but Miller thinks they may embody the quintessential Howlin Rain spirit more than any other. It’s a satisfying feeling of realization, or return. And it goes to show that, sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

“That kind of summarizes the Bay Area for me, a little bit,” he says. “I’ll go to a gig at the Nightlife or the Ivy Room, and you’ll still see a lot of bands that were playing when I first started coming down from Humboldt and going to shows in the ’90s. These East Bay punk rockers are still there, still playing, and probably will until the day they die. That feels pretty magical.”

Plus, we may be just an earthquake away from another artist’s renaissance in the Bay.

“You live long enough, things change over. At some point, the earth might open up the ground, and the artists will come back because it’s all fucked up and dangerous again!” He pauses and laughs, going to tend to the whistling kettle. “‘Make Oakland Dangerous Again!’ Put that on a bumper sticker.”

Credits to: SFWeekly

Howlin’ Rain and Buster Blue play the Reno As Fuck four year anniversary party at Revison Brewery on September 7th, 2019.

Psychedelic warehouse party with Howlin’ Rain and Buster Blue. We are bringing out all the stops with the Mad Alchemy analog light show.

HowlinRain.Com
Busterblue.Bandcamp.com/
M
adAlchemy.net/

21+
Doors 8pm
Music 9pm

Get your tickets now!

BLOG

Wajatta Blog

June 4, 2019
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Casual High Technology. Music by Reggie Watts and John Tejada. We make music so you can dance to it.

Wajatta – the new group formed by beat-boxer/comedian/musician Reggie Watts and electronic music artist/DJ/producer John Tejada recently released its debut album, Casual High Technology. Presented as a cosmic collection of funk-infused techno, Casual High Technology is the culmination of decades’ worth of Watts and Tejada’s favorite electronic music shaped to fit a new dance sensibility. Wajatta (pronounced wa-Ha-ta), as the name suggests, is a mash-up of the artist’s last names. Having grown up with similar musical influences, Austrian-born Tejada and German-born Watts draw from their love of urban, electronic music. Exploring the intersection between influences and innovation, the two describe Wajatta’s music as “electronic dance music with its roots in Detroit techno, Chicago house, ’70s funk and New York hip hop.” Tejada’s deep, melodic production makes the perfect backing for Watt’s wide vocal range and live looping skills.

Credits to: Resident Advisor

Wajatta’s Wickedly Funky (And Fun!) Casual High Technology

As a way of potentially creating something genuinely new, or at least surprising, the time-honored but perhaps neglected artistic scheme of melding or juxtaposing multiple dissimilar aesthetic beliefs or conceptual visions in order to birth a third entity, independent of its parents’ genetics, might be the best way to describe the resonant thrills encoded within the grooves of Wajatta’s debut album.

Fascinating, funky, funny and just plain fun, the appropriately titled Casual High Technology is the knockout result of a fortuitous partnering of beat-boxer/comedian/musician Reggie Watts and electronic music artist/DJ/producer John Tejada, whose backgrounds and areas of expertise, on paper at least, wouldn’t immediately suggest logically fertile grounds for collaboration. German-born, L.A.-based Watts is familiar to TV watchers as the bandleader on CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden, and for his 2016 Netflix special, Spatial, numerous major festival appearances and as co-host of the IFC variety series Comedy Bang! Bang! He’s an improvising comic motormouth known for an excellently fresh use of an array of looping pedals to avalanche audiences with major loads of surreally humorous vocal and musical quixotics.

Meanwhile, Tejada is what you’d call a West Coast electronic legend, a reputation the Austria-born/L.A.-bred tonemeister earned for his consistently satisfying catalogue of uniquely (within the “genre”) melodic and subtly opulent arrangements on labels such as his own Palette, primo Koln imprimatur Kompakt, Pokerflat and Plug Research; a major draw on the Euro club and festival circuit, he’s also due big tips o’ the hat for what in retrospect are groundbreaking remixes for the likes of The Postal Service, Bomb the Bass, Kevin Saunderson, Gui Boratto and Simian Mobile Disco, among many others.
A wickedly funky branch off the techno tree — yes, it’s great for parties — Casual High Technology is on the one hand a tasty batch of undeniable dancefloor fodder. Dig a bit, though, and the set reveals a lot more than that, and this is where the aforementioned “third entity” thing comes into play: As heard on tracks like the gorgeously harmonized opener “We Know More (Than We Let On),” “The Solution,” “Je Wa Soto” and “Synchronize,” this super-choice compendium of the best of a few decades’ worth of Detroit techno, Chicago house, ’70s funk and East/West Coast hip-hop is, while not overly studied, rather educational. Whether boiled down and studio-enhanced and transmogrified via Tejada’s advanced melodic and harmonic gifts, or perhaps owing to Watts’ special brand of this-absurd-life humor, virtuosic vocal-style references (hear him channel EWF’s Philip Bailey throughout) and unfettered sense of sheer sonic possibility, if one pays the record the honor of listening to it more than once, that lucky one will hear these initially infectious but merely charming tracks blossom and bloom, transforming into musically thrilling entities.

It’s not that electronic dance music has never seen real artistic depth before; it is fair to say however that the genre has rarely evinced the willingness or ability to venture there. And of course the wisdom behind great music of any type is how it rarely reveals its true nature, its resonance, its soul, till one has lived with it for an extended while. Owing mainly to Tejada’s wonderfully understated use of a gently progressive harmonic and textural palette, Casual High Technology’s tracks too do first come off as mildly engaging bits of danceable product — which apparently is about how high most other e-dance producers or DJs set their bars — so it is somewhat of a revelation to experience the flowering of these pieces into entities quite unlike what they at first appeared to be; “Get Down With Your Bad Self,” even, with Watts spouting deliberately wack-ironic “party” lingo, mutates in effect from eyeball-rolling tolerance to amused affection for the track.

Worth noting is the duo’s working process of conceiving and executing the album’s tracks: In what seems to have become the core element was the very idea of the quickness of action with which the tracks were generated, mixed and edited. This by now vintage idea of not letting the intellect interfere in the flow of creation — to not censor one’s self, to respond to one’s immediate environment and fellow musicians — was in Watt and Tejada’s hands/mouths a way of capturing an evanescent, spontaneous magic as if netting butterflys fluttering by.

There was a time when those hoary old new-wave types from the early ‘80s loudly proclaimed “Forget art, let’s dance!” Sure, but lately it’s become way clear that such simple dichotomizing between the two things is, well, it’s just not necessary. Casual High Technology offers the chance to chin-scratch-ponder a genuinely fine, high art sound, and shake your booty at the same time — should you so desire.

Credits to: Riot Material

Wajatta It shouldn’t be painful to have fun and make art

L.A.-based electronic duo Wajatta drop their debut album on May 11. They’re an unusual pair for sure — Reggie Watts is an acclaimed absurdist comedian, while John Tejada produces refined, melodic techno. Put it all together, and Wajatta make off-the-wall funk and hip-hop–inflected dance music by capturing, looping and layering Watts’ vocals over Tejada’s synth and drum arrangements.
Titled Casual High Technology, the album will be available initially as a digital release. The vinyl will be released June 29. The song “Slippin’” is getting regular play on KCRW, which recently hosted Wajatta on Morning Becomes Eclectic. “Runnin’” was released on 7-inch in March as a lead single, with a digital teaser first appearing in December.
Wajatta and their label, Comedy Dynamics, have kindly agreed to have L.A. Weekly premiere “Get Down (With Ya Bad Self).”

“‘Get Down’ started as a simple idea, which got totally transformed with the help of my frequent collaborator, Justin

Maxwell,” Tejada explains. “Justin took my linear idea, added the main vactrol bass pulse and spaced apart [Reggie’s] busy vocal into what is now the final version.”

Wajatta – the coming-together of electronic composer John Tejada and poet, musician and stand-up comedian Reggie Watts. Andy Hermannsat down with them in Los Angeles to dig into how this surprising duo works so well

John Tejada rises to greet the arrival of his friend and collaborator, Reggie Watts. “Do you remember?” he asks. “This is the spot of our first date.”

Reggie looks around. “Oh, right, that’s true,” he says, his ever-present smile widening.
They’re on the back patio of the Paramount Coffee Project in Los Angeles, a favorite hang of Reggie’s because it’s right down the street from CBS Studios, where five times a week he leads the house band on The Late Late Show with James Corden. After first meeting at one of John’s DJ gigs a little over a year ago, the two men reconvened here for a little coffee and conversation, bonding over shared passions — old-school hip-hop, 80s sci-fi flicks — and similar upbringings.

Long before they met, they were mutual fans: Reggie of John’s crisp, propulsive techno productions for labels like Kompakt and Poker Flat, John of Reggie’s surrealist comedy and improvisational vocal funk jams. Still, it took a while before John broached the subject of working together. “I didn’t want to force him into anything because I figure anyone who meets him is like, ‘Hey, do you wanna be in my thing?’ So we just hung out a bit.”

When they did finally begin working on the project they would eventually dub Wajatta — a portmanteau of their last names — their musical chemistry was immediate. Two of the tracks on their debut album, Casual High Technology, were recorded on their first day together in John’s home studio in Van Nuys, several miles north of Hollywood, where he lives on a quiet, tree-lined street that seems an unlikely source for his futuristic sounds.

“On Make Some Sense the first bit you hear was first-take Reggie,” John says, referring to the wordless scat singing that begins one of the album’s most classically four-on-the-floor tracks. “I work with a lot of people that are fast, but they need to hear it and write some lyrics and get the headphones and get used to it. [With] Reggie it was just like, I hit record and five seconds in, it’s what you hear on the record.”
“Yeah, it was pretty instantaneous,” says Reggie. “What he played me was really fun and awesome and it sparked a lot of possibilities in my head.”
Reggie is famous for working improvisationally, using vocal loops to build tracks from the ground up and then freestyling on top of them with an expressive, multi-octave voice that startles people who know him only for his comedy. It’s a style that seems at odds with John’s precision-tuned techno — but John, it turns out, likes to work quickly, too, rejecting the popular notion that producing electronic music has to be a laborious process.

“It shouldn’t be painful to have fun and make art,” he says. Once you’ve logged your
10,000 hours, you shouldn’t still be agonizing over getting the perfect kick drum sound. “This isn’t supposed to be a challenge. We both put 20-plus years into it. We should be able at this point to express ourselves without too much error.
“I agree with him 100%,” says Reggie. “I’m always looking for the fastest form of production. And it’s not about low quality — it’s about capturing the freshness. That’s the difficult thing. If you’re doing something long enough, what you’re expressing is not the thing you’re worried about. Like, I’m never worried about, urgh, will I have an idea?”

He says this matter-of-factly, not “tooting my own horn,” as he puts it. By his own estimate, he’s logged “about 15,000 hours of stage time,” most of it doing an entirely improvised mix of standup comedy and music constructed from vocal loops. “I’d say about nine or 10,000 of those hours — just into the ether. There’s no evidence of me having done it, no recording of it, nothing.” So when John asked him to collaborate, he was ready to tackle a project on which there would be a tangible, permanent record of his improvisations.

John, for his part, began producing techno in the mid-1990s and has become internationally renowned for a distinctively springy yet cerebral style, built almost entirely on analog synths. He’s never courted mainstream success by tailoring his sound to the trends of EDM, but his best-known tracks, including Sweat (on the Walls) and The End of It All, are the kind of underground classics that can fill any dance floor, from a dirty warehouse to a Vegas megaclub.

Both men are biracial and bicultural. Reggie was born in Germany in 1972 to a French mother and an African-American father serving in the US military; John came along a couple years later in Vienna, the son of an Austrian conductor and a Mexican-American opera singer. They both moved to the States at a young age; Reggie’s family settled in Montana, while John’s mother brought him back to Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, where he’s lived ever since.

“He was a little younger when he moved here, but some of that stuck in our heads,” John says of their similar backgrounds. Both men are hesitant to attribute too much of their creative identities to their upbringings, though Reggie does think it played a role in his ongoing fascination with language. “I love speaking in a way that sounds like a particular language,” he says. “When I toured Europe, I used to do fake Italian, fake Spanish, fake whatever.”

On Casual High Technology tracks like Je Wa Soto, Reggie strings nonsense syllables together in ways that sound like a lost African dialect, or possibly the patois of a particular Rio favela. “A lot of our improvisations, people say, oh, is that Brazilian? Portuguese? Which I kinda like, because that’s a beautiful, really sexy language.”

Their collaboration is an extension of their friendship. Everything is done together, in person — bouncing ideas back and forth in a studio, rather than over email. “You have to hang out,” says John. “You may have a bit of food, you have some beers, you make a tune.”
There’s an ease and warmth to the music on Casual High Technologythat makes sense once you know their process — and once you see the two of them sitting together at the very same table where they had their first “date,” sharing a slice of coffee cake and setting up the punchlines to one another’s jokes.

You wouldn’t call Casual High Technology a comedy album, even though it was released on a label called Comedy Dynamics that’s best-known for stand-up albums from the likes of Bill Hicks and Patton Oswalt. But it’s filled with a playful back and forth, as Reggie’s vocalese loops ping-pong between the snaps and clicks of John’s drum machines. Often, as on the subtly insistent mid-tempo groove of Slippin’, the sounds bleed together until you can’t tell where the vocals end and the synths begin. “A lot of the percussion, even though it’s not super-obvious, it’s his mouth,” John reveals.

Their chemistry peaks on Runnin’, which achieves a kind of weightlessness in its lush blend of layered, soulful vocals, jazzy keys and high-BPM techno gallop. It’s the embodiment of their philosophy of working quickly and keeping it fresh — 20-plus years of experience distilled down into five minutes of dance music as graceful and seemingly effortless as a ballet dancer’s grand jeté.

Things get ruined fast for us if it’s like, no, it’s not right, try it like this, try it like that,” says John. “Then it’s like, you know what? This song’s not gonna work.”

“Exactly,” Reggie says, laughing.

To perform live as Wajatta presents new challenges for them both. Reggie has to learn how to rein in his improvisations and recreate, at least in part, the melodies and phrases of the original album tracks. John has to learn to follow Reggie’s lead and embellish on the fly when inspiration strikes his partner, which it frequently does. “We’ve almost built these signals,” John says. “There’s certain things I do — like if I pull the beat out, he knows, here’s a change coming. And we just like … right?”

Reggie nods in agreement. “Eventually I hope John and I will have a portion of the show or moments in the show where we’re just kind of jamming together,” he says. “I’ll have a synth on stage and I’ll loop and he’ll be doing beats.”

At the time of our interview, they’ve done five live shows, including radio and TV appearances. In two nights, they’ll be doing a sixth, an album release concert at the Teragram Ballroom in downtown L.A. “I’m curious what we’ll be doing,” John says with a chuckle.
“I am, too!” says Reggie.

The show is a triumph. Once each track has achieved liftoff, propelled by John’s Roland TR-909 beats and Reggie’s vocal loops, Reggie steps to the front of the stage to work the crowd, unleashing his inner house diva with soulful shouts and a soaring falsetto. He’s clearly having a blast, bobbing his top-knot in time to the beat. Even the often stoic John moves to the sinewy rhythms, a shy half-smile etched across his face.

“This is a tune off our fourth album,” Reggie jokes at one point. “I hope you guys like it. It’s a song about love, loss and regeneration. Enjoy.” Then, unexpectedly and much to the audience’s delight, they launch into John’s biggest underground hit, Sweat (on the Walls), with Reggie paraphrasing the track’s original, spoken-word vocals in a deadpan, vaguely British accent: “Have you ever been a party where there was just sweat, dripping down? Dripping down from the walls?”

For the encore, they improvise. John builds a drum track on the 909, one element at a time. Reggie adds some vocal percussion effects, then loops the phrase “Get some.” John adds more synths. Reggie adds a keyboard part. He sings a falsetto lead, something that sounds like, “I know we should be able to know,” though it could also be the half-formed words of a made-up language. He looks back at John and they exchange grins.

It’s a moment no one will ever experience again. And like everything Wajatta does, it sounds effortless.

Credits to: Wepresent

 

BLOG What So Not

What So Not Blog

May 31, 2019

 

An electronic music project from Aussie producer Chris Emerson (better known by his stage name Emoh Instead), What So Not was founded in 2011 as a duo consisting of Emerson and Harley Edward Streten, the latter of whom operates under the nom de plume Flume. The duo issued a debut EP, 7 Dollar Bill, shortly after forming, and also began releasing remixes of artists like Major Lazer, Peking Duk, and Tom Piper. The year 2013 saw the release of a second EP, The Quack, which featured a collaboration with American rapper Action Bronson. Later that year, the single “High You Are [Branchez Remix]” arrived, followed by 2014’s “Tell Me,” a collaboration with RL Grime. Flume left the project in 2015, shortly before the release of the Gemini EP. The EP included the eponymous hit single, which featured Sydney-based singer and producer Jessica Higgs, better known as George Maple.

Another single, “Lone,” dropped the following year. That track appeared on 2016’s Divide & Conquer EP, which included collaborations with Kimbra and Rome Fortune as well as Maple. Instead reunited with Maple for that October’s “Afterglow,” a single by Australian rapper Tkay Maidza that also featured production work by Djemba Djemba. In late 2016, What So Not and Skrillex teamed up with Grime on the single “Waiting.” After the release of the stand-alone single “Better” in 2017, What So Not began the rollout for his debut full-length. Arriving in early 2018, Not All the Beautiful Things featured appearances by familiar faces Skrillex (“Goh”) and Rome Fortune (“Demons”), as well as an inspired roster of additional guests including Daniel Johns (Silverchair, the Dissociatives), Slumberjack, San Holo, and Toto.

Credits to: Allmusic.com

 

WHAT SO NOT AND SAN HOLO ANNOUNCE A NEW COLLABORATION IN THE WORKS

What So Not and San Holo have a new single in the works. The two previously collaborated on the former artist’s 2018 debut album Not All The Beautiful Things. The two producers took to Twitter to tease the collaboration, although the song itself its still under wraps.

At the time of writing, the song also does not have a release date. Although based on the context of San Holo’s post, it seems the song is nearly finished.

The producers’ initial collaboration “If You Only Knew” was well received, making a follow up track all the more logical. The high-energy future bass track complemented by guitar riffs from San Holo remains a highlight from What So Not’s debut album.

Stay tuned for more announcements to come surrounding this highly anticipated release from What So Not and San Holo. With all the excitement surrounding their announcement, we’re hoping it’ll arrive sooner than later.

Credits to: EDM

 

What So Not Announces Debut Album ‘Not All The Beautiful Things’, Drops New Single

Aussie producer What So Not (real name Chris Emerson) has announced his long-awaited debut album, while revealing a new track from the record.

Not All The Beautiful Things will be released on 9th March, and it features a huge array of guests, including Skrillex, Rome Fortune, San Holo and Silverchair’s Daniel Johns, who featured on Emerson’s last single ‘Be Ok Again’.

Surprisingly, it also features iconic American rock band Toto, whose hit song ‘Africa’ has been a staple of Emerson’s live sets for years.

The album has come together over a period of three years, and is a complete artistic statement with everything from the music videos to Emerson’s live stage being designed to fit together cohesively.

Not All The Beautiful Things is preceded by the new single ‘Stuck In Orbit’, which features vocals from Sydney musician BUOY.

The song was born during a jam session with Jono Ma from Jagwar Ma, and expanded into something else once BUOY was added to the mix.

“The vocals began as a sketch of adlibs from BUOY with only two words, drawn out across the verse ‘I ov-er comp-en-sate’,” says Emerson about the process.

“That set the tone for the entire piece; each word delivered with much thought and consideration.”

“I wrote the next phase of the lyrics whilst ‘stuck in transit’. I had just reached a point of feeling settled in a special place with amazing people around me when (as usual) I had to pack up my life and jump from city to city for months on end.

“Things came full circle as on this very trip I ended up crossing paths with Jono multiple times, jamming further on ideas for the song and when I finally returned, brainstormed the final elements of the vocal with Winona Oak and BUOY.”

Stream ‘Stuck In Orbit’ below, and pre-order Not All The Beautiful Thing is right here.

Credits to: ABC.net

What So Not returns to Reno on July 6th, 2019 at 1Up.
AWON • BUTTERZ
ENVI • RECESS (51-Fifty and Kwaby)
10pm | 21+

 

BLOG G Jones

G-Jones Blog

May 29, 2019

In just the last year, 21-year-old Santa Cruz producer G Jones has captivated young audiences across North America with his playful and expansive take on broken beat dance music. His live show weaves an ever expanding catalog of heavy knocking hip hop beats, cross-genre experiments, and expansive melodic riffs in a way that illuminates and drives the dance floor.

With his irreverent attitude toward unimaginative EDM, this young producer pushes the envelope and blurs the lines between musical styles while maintaining a meticulous balance of minimal space and heavy bass. His latest release Eyes (available on Robox Neotech) is an audacious energy enhancer comprised of premium West Coast bass music, a swift collection of cross-genre experiments and dubbed-out sub bass monsters designed for the dance floor.

This playful EP illustrates the artist’s signature reverb style with bulbous basslines, pulverized vocals and unexpected adulterations of spaced-out sounds. G Jones has recently garnered attention from several highly acclaimed producers, with his beats appearing in mixes by Pretty Lights, Zeds Dead and DJ Shadow on BBC’s “Diplo and Friends” program. Touring heavily in Europe and hitting U.S. festivals from Coachella to Symbiosis Gathering this Summer, G Jones generates music dosed with an undeniable sense of freedom and fun.

Credit to: Discotech

 

Greg Jones, better known as G Jones, is a bass electronic music producer based out of the Bay Area.

G Jones started playing guitar at nine and first started getting into electronic music by recording himself playing drums and guitar then overlapping it after. He eventually got into electronic music instruments and started messing around with house and hip-hop like beats. It was not until 2008 when he first heard dubstep that G Jones transitioned into making bass music. He first went by the name Grizzly J. [Some of his biggest influences are Aphex Twin, EPROM, Rustie, and Doshy.

Jones graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Fine Arts. He attended Palo Alto High School.

G Jones went on his first national tour in 2014, opening up for Minnesota. They have both worked on tracks together.

G Jones has worked extensively with Bassnectar on both collaborating on music and opening for his shows. G Jones has been featured on Bassnectar’s albums Noise Vs Beauty, Into the Sun, Unlimited, and Reflective.

G Jones has performed at festivals and events across the country, including Burning Man, Electric Zoo, Mysteryland, Electric Forest, Shambhala Music Festival, etc. G Jones uses Ableton Live for production and performances.

In October 2018, he released his debut album The Ineffable Truth.

Credits to: Everipedia

G Jones Breaks Down His Brain-Busting LP ‘The Ineffable Truth’: Exclusive

Time isn’t real. It’s a construct of mankind born from our need to make sense of our surroundings, growth and decay. Likewise, time is limber on Northern Californian producer G Jones’ assaultive 12-track album The Ineffable Truth. The project melts in and out of tempos and textures, bending the very fabric of space and sound as it pleases.

Percussion is the backbone of everything G Jones builds. Even the treble and bass hit in pulsing rumbles. It’s music so textural, you can just about feel it on your fingertips. If you’ve got even a half decent system, you’ll get lost exploring its layers.

There are highs and lows, breakneck speeds spat against introverted lulls. It’s fun and fantastical, massive and grimy, and there’s a sick live show on its way in support. Billboard Dance caught up with G Jones to get the backstory on each his albums.

“222/Unknowable”
I wrote this song immediately after I wrote “Forgotten Dreams,” and together, they form book ends for the album (and actually play nicely into each other if you play the album again after “Forgotten Dreams” ends). The beginning is one of many moments on the album with no set tempo. The project bpm floats around a lot until the beat finally comes in, before melting away again at the end. To me, this song feels like beams of light and unexplainable bliss.

“Different Sound”
This was the oldest demo I wrote that ended up on the album. I wrote this song some time in 2016 and held on to it, because I knew I wanted it on my album. Revised the mix and some elements of it in 2018, but the original demo was a staple in my sets since the Visions Tour era.

“Arbiter’s Theme”
In the live show, this song’s vocals play with an RPG style dialogue box featuring a many-faced character and lyrics in a mysterious language. I don’t want to say too much beyond that.

“Understanding the Possibility”
While writing this song, I started to understand the way I wanted the album to sound as a whole and how the songs would speak to one another. It was sort of (a) proof of concept for the sound world that became the setting for many of the other songs on the album, like “222/Unknowable,” “Forgotten Dreams,” etc.

“Soundtrack to the Machine”
This one had the working title “confusion.” I don’t know how to describe this song at all, but it is one of my favorites to play live. Definitely the cheekiest and least serious song on the album, which is something I love about it.

“Everything All At Once”
This is one of my favorite moments on the record, personally, and one of the only songs I’ve successfully written on a plane. The entire chord progression and vocal layer came together on a flight, and I added the acid synth, piano, shimmering sounds, etc., later in my studio. Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to play this on piano.

“In Your Head”
I have a special place in my heart for text to speech vocals. They feel like the sound of my childhood or something. I remember typing pages and pages of words or just random characters into text documents on my first computer and telling my old mac to read it to me. The end is one of my favorite moments. Totally raw, speaker-ripping noise.

“Time”
This song came together in about three days and was originally significantly shorter (particularly the middle section with no drums), but I kept thinking “no, this can’t feel rushed, we should linger on this moment for as long as the song wants to be here.” Ultimately, it turned out to be one of my favorite songs I’ve written and plays seamlessly into “That Look In Your Eye.”

“That Look In Your Eye”
I have rarely written music with vocals as a primary focus, but with this song, I built the whole structure around this vocal lead. The ending was one of the most time-consuming parts of the record to get right. The ending vocal “climax” strays from the tempo of the rest of the song, and I spent countless hours trying to figure out exactly how long each note should hold, how bright and loud to make each element, etc.

“Iridescent Leaves Floating Downstream”
This song is named after a spontaneous vision I once had during a difficult time in my life a few years ago. I don’t really want to say too much about the experience, but it was an intensely life affirming and reassuring moment that I will never forget. This song is dedicated to that moment and feeling.

“Forgotten Dreams”
To me, this song feels like a dream, and the feeling of almost being able to grasp some abstract idea or vision, but it feeling like sand slipping through my fingers. The finale is one of my favorite moments on the record.

Credits to: Billboard

G Jones Is ‘Understanding The Possibility’ of Bass Like None Other: Exclusive

You know the intro to the old black-and-white TV show The Outer Limits? All that about controlling the vertical and horizontal, focus and volume? Or entering The Twiglight Zone, opening a door with the key of imagination to a new dimension of sound and sight, shadow and substance?

That’s what listening to G Jones will do. It’s a mental minefield of sudden drops and stutters, bass lines that open holes under your feet and send you shooting sideways to some warped mystery land.

It’s pretty awesome, and it’s earned him collaborations with experimental juggernauts Bassnectar, DJ Shadow and Eprom. Aphex Twin plays his tunes, which should give you some idea of what to expect, though his track “UNDERSTANDING THE POSSIBILITY,” the lead single from his forthcoming debut LP, hopes to shatter your assumptions.
“UNDERSTANDING THE POSSIBILITY” is surprisingly beautiful. It showcases Jones’ signature complexity through a softer, more sensitive lens. It’s only when the song hits its brightest peak that the switch flips toward manic chaos.

The layers make Jones’ work really exciting, and “UNDERSTANDING THE POSSIBILITY” is rich and full. It’s got us really stoked for the full LP.

The mind-warping single was out Friday, June 15,2018.

Credits to: Billboard

G Jones’ tour smartly combines visuals and sound – By EVELYN YEH

February 15, Evelyn traveled to Philadelphia to see G Jones on tour for his debut album The Ineffable Truth. She had seen G Jones live three times prior to this show, but this would be my first time seeing him headlining. She had been anticipating it for months.

She arrived at the venue early enough to catch sets by openers Brainrack, Chee and Tsuruda, who all played hard-hitting experimental bass music as the sold-out show slowly packed in a dense crowd. She stayed on the rail of the balcony to maintain my view of the stage, armed with the knowledge that G Jones’ visual production for The Ineffable Truth was a part of the experience that was nearly as important as the music itself.

After the lights dimmed for the introduction to his set, G Jones slowly unveiled each element of his production. Self-curated visuals, a circular platform with strobes around the perimeter on which he and his equipment stood, pillars of rotating lights on the sides and more helped transport us into his black and white world of powerful bass lines and intricate melodies. Throughout the set, G Jones himself controlled the visuals on stage. His crew meticulously arranged and timed all aspects of his production to accompany even the most subtle details of his music. For instance, spiraling strobes and visuals signalled the arrival of “Helix,” and flashing lasers during certain synths of “Soundtrack to a Machine” incited an uproar from the crowd. G Jones and his crew had spent over a year creating the visuals and designing the lighting elements for the tour. This show put their impressive efforts on full, breathtaking display.

Since Evelyn seen G Jones three times before The Ineffable Truth and she can recognize a decent amount of his discography, the music he played was no surprise to her. Along with playing songs from the album, he included many un-released tracks and older ones from the Visions and Acid Disk EPs. Seeing him live again felt like stepping into a familiar home — except this home contained experimental bass that pounded through my body.

Highlights of the set included the interludes of “Everything All at Once” and “That Look in Your Eye,” which decelerated the aggressive bass lines and reminded the audience that the show was meant to be an artistic spectacle rather than a head-banging contest. Despite the frequent tempo shifts within his songs, G Jones demonstrated his mixing expertise with seamless transitions. His clever addition of production chops from “Fuck What You Heard” to “Helix” left me speechless.
Going to a G Jones show is an entirely different experience from listening to his music on headphones or speakers at home. The visual production is the biggest factor in this, but experimental bass artists like G Jones and his frequent collaborator Eprom undoubtedly put on the heaviest shows I have ever attended. Experiencing the live glitches, sounds and edits they skillfully infuse into their sets is unlike anything else.

The most interesting aspect of electronic music is that you can sample, synthesize and alter literally any sound that you want. While many producers stick to conventional sounds and arrangements to write radio-friendly music, some artists tap deeply into their personal artistic visions and create tracks that truly push the boundaries of what is understood as music.

With this understanding, The Ineffable Truth was without a doubt my favorite album of 2018. In my experience as a listener, the innovation of G Jones’ sound design on the album is unparalleled. His songwriting and compositions are masterful. The album takes me on a journey through his world of distorted bass textures and shimmering melodies that I never want to leave.

G Jones crafted the live show for this album just as meticulously as he wrote and produced the songs on the album. Every motion of light had a purpose during the set, just as every sound on the album was thought out and precisely arranged. Among the many shows she have attended, the creative brilliance of G Jones’ music combined with the experience of his live show is only matched by Porter Robinson’s Virtual Self. Ironically, G Jones himself was inspired by Porter Robinson’s Worlds tour in 2014 to develop his own show with an equally cohesive and well-defined vision. Four years later, he succeeded with The Ineffable Truth.

Credits to: The John Hopkins New-Letters

A new wave of genre bending bass music has started to take over the underground scene in Northern California.

It’s glitchy, it’s dubby, it’s trappy, and it’s been driving people absolutely wild. One of the most prominent artists responsible for driving this movement forward with his amazingly creative and hard hitting music is G Jones. Since 2012, this Santa Cruz native has been shaking up the underground scene something fierce, and in no time at all has risen to become one of the Bay areas hottest artists. Recently, his latest album Eyes, along with uniquely diverse collabs with Bleep Bloop, Grimblee, Mad Zach, & the Widdler have been receiving massive support from big names like Zeds Dead, Dj Shadow, Nastynasty, & Pretty Lights. When he plays live, no G Jones show is ever the same, his on the fly remixes and breakdowns of his own music keeps the crowd on their toes and begging for more long after he’s done.This is one artist that you will definitely be hearing a lot of in 2014 and beyond as his relentless rise to stardom continues at a startling pace. We recently had a chance to sit down with G Jones and ask him a few questions about his music and blossoming career. Check out the interview and some of his latest tunes below. Don’t sleep on this wildly unique new artist!

How long have you been making music? What got you started?

I started making music by writing songs on guitar when I was like 9, and then started making music with a computer when I was 13 by recording myself playing guitar and drums on Garageband. I got into music because my brother was into alternative rock music and played guitar, and I thought that was really cool. I started making ‘purely’ electronic music (just using software synths and drum samples) when I was 15 or so.

What do you use to produce & perform?

I use Ableton Live for both. I use almost solely Ableton’s built in synths/effects in my productions. My live setup is a sort of DJ-style set, in that I mainly mix using 2 audio channels and then have several more channels of acapellas, drum loops, risers, 1 shots, drum samples, etc.

Describe your music in one sentence.

Trippy, broken beat bass music.

You’ve become known for being uniquely genre defying, do you have any advice for artists who are trying to break out of the mold?

I think it’s a good idea to just make the kind of music that you enjoy most and that comes naturally to you. For a long time I worked mostly within genres (ie: making nothing but 140bpm dubstep for a few years). As I got tired of only producing/playing/hearing that style of music I started branching out more and taking influence from other styles I liked, like juke and hip hop. Now I try to take the ideas from all styles of music I like and use it all as inspiration to make something that is unique and maybe a bit bizarre, but also hard hitting and dance floor oriented. I guess my only advice is just to be open to making tunes that are a bit out of your ‘comfort zone’ and not be afraid to try something new.

How long does it usually take you to make a track?

Not very long. When I have time to produce music I usually write at least 1-2 songs in a day, and go back later to decide which ones are really worth fine tuning and releasing. Usually my songwriting process involves messing around with random sounds until I get some kind of inspired moment, usually discovering a cool melody or hook or drum pattern or something, and from that point I can usually write the overall progression and song structure within 2-3 hours. After that it can take as long as a few weeks or as short as another hour or two to get all the details (transitions, mix down, etc) cleaned up, and then it’s done.

Who/What inspires you to make your music?

I’m mostly inspired to make music because music makes me really happy, and producing beats is pretty much my favorite thing to do. I’m inspired by all kinds of music, from stuff my friends make to stuff I grew up listening to. Recently I’ve been really inspired by the sounds of UK Grime.

If given the opportunity who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
So many artists… a few at the top of my list would definitely be DJ Shadow, Mr. Carmack and Rude Kid.

What do you like to do when you’re not in the studio?

If I’m not making music I’m probably either playing shows/traveling, in school, or chilling with my girlfriend. I’m a senior at UCSC right now so it’s a bit chaotic juggling finishing college with touring and writing new music, but in a few months I will have a ton more time to work on music and hopefully some free time so I don’t always feel super busy.

You had the opportunity to play at Burning Man in 2013, tell us a little about that experience.

I’m part of Camp Questionmark at Burning Man, and this was my 3rd year going with them. Camp Questionmark at the burn is probably my favorite place to play music ever. We bring an insanely huge PK sound rig and build a huge scaffolding fortress that basically looks like an epic bass castle on the playa. I played there twice this year, once on Thursday night by myself and then again on burn night as a vs set with Minnesota, which was definitely one of my favorite sets I’ve ever played.

Do you have any specific plans for this festival season?

Lots of dope ones that I can’t announce yet!

Credits to: YourEDM

The Great Depressurization Chamber welcomes G Jones to Cargo Concert Hall on September 4th, 2019.

21+ (with valid ID)
Doors: 8:30 PM
Show: 9:00 PM

Get your tickets now!