When I first heard the new EP from Melbourne’s Chubbie Boots, I got the same gut reaction I had when hearing Royalty or Clap Rules latest material. This EP, released on Audio Parallax, seamlessly fuses so many techniques and genres in a way that is both experimental and accessible. With very obvious house, dub, electro-funk, and soul influences the EP is beautifully produced. The four songs on The Cracks Are Starting To Show display a range of styles while maintaining a cohesive concept.
First we have Adlerwerke, a balmy tropical dub piece with lush texture and echo-y guitar work. Next, the title track most closely resembles the work of Clap Rules with an electro-funk piece that sounds like a balearic Zapp & Roger.
We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Wurli, my favorite of the release, comes third with a stunningly beautiful jazz-house track that seems to borrow some sonic tricks from LA beat makers. When the jazz vocal samples hit me two minutes in, overlapping with a soloing keyboard, I knew it was love.
The final track How Could I Forget brings back the twinkling guitars for rather minimal doo-wop chop-up. With very little bass, this beat-driven lullaby fades to a repetitive crooning vocal sample.
Check out Chubbie Boots’ Soundcloud HERE and purchase The Cracks Are Starting To Show HERE
Chubbie Boots- Adlerwerke
Chubbie Boots- The Cracks Are Starting To Show
Chubbie Boots- We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Wurli
Chubbie Boots- How Could I Forget
This is my first post since my move to the Netherlands and might I add that I am particular excited about this one. I had the unique opportunity yesterday to speak with Scott Hansen of Tycho, a talented aural architect and San Francisco-based graphic designer who is signed to the likes of Ghostly International, a label of worldwide acclaim whose artist pool reads like a roll of honor.
The music Tycho makes is the kind of stuff dreams are made of. From nostalgic Boards of Canadaesque soundscapes to folk-influenced, electronic surf rock, listening to him gives you a sense of calm while activating your visual cortex. If you like things like the sky, waves, and sunny days outside, Tycho is right down your alley.
This interview is particularly important to me because not only is Tycho on his first Trans-Atlantic live tour, but he is also one of my favorite contemporary American electronic musicians, graphic designers and the creator of the ISO50 blog, a seamlessly executed music, culture and design blog that is the only blog I turn to on a daily basis besides Nightdrive (of course ).
I skyped down with Scott as he was driving through the highways and byways of swampy central Florida with the hopes of gleaning some insights from the auteur.
You seem to be a jack of all trades. Apart from Tycho you are also a graphic designer and the creator of a blog with the same name, ISO50. What is ISO50 and what was your reasoning for creating it?
I mainly wanted to have a way to update often about my new design and music projects. Jakub, my manager suggested a transition into in a music and culture blog and it slowly became an opportunity to be more than just a platform for my expression but also a way to present the work of other artists and aspects of culture that tie into our aesthetic.
Though you are touring as a musician, via your blog posts on ISO 50 you really get sense that design and form really drive your artistry. How do your two passions, music and graphic design, tie into each other?
I wouldn’t say they are separate things. My work in design and music grew out of each other. Although they are different they are not a separate projects. Both ISO50 and Tycho are moving toward a single vision, kind of like a movie, you wouldn’t watch a it with only the sound on.
Talk a little bit about the A/V aspect of your show, as it seems to be the synthesis both your musical and visual capacities.
I created the visuals myself but I am working with Charles Bergquist, a director who is also a contributor to the ISO50 blog. We are redoing it all in HD to incorporate different posters and design elements you see in the blog. It will be similar to our old A/V show but I want it to have more of a real narrative. We actually showed the rough cut of the HD visuals but I think by the time we get the Europe the live show will be in its true form.
I use VDMX for all A/V sequencing. It gives us the ability to manipulate and render the video you see at our live shows in real time via the instruments. We have triggers on the snares and kick drums so when we can manipulate everything you see on the fly.
Eventually, I want the music to be a soundtrack to a visual experience where both the audio and the visual aspects of the live show are equally important to the audience.
This is your first tour with a live band. Listening to Dive you can still feel the Tycho sound but there seems to be a more organic approach to it. Was there any major difference in the recording ethos between Dive and your previous efforts?
Yes. It was not a conscious decision but there was a natural progression in the sound. When Science of Patterns came out back in 2002 I just knew keyboard. I learned guitar about five or six years ago and then I started working with acoustic drums and electric bass.
Current technology allows us to do a lot of awesome things while producing near studio quality sound live. I like to use a lot of analogue in the studio but that kind of equipment tends to be impractical for long tours because it is heavy and their age tends to lead to reliability issues. Thankfully the emulation software we use on the road, though not perfect, works great live.
How did you start producing music? Did you start out in electronic music and move to bands or vice versa?
I didn’t make music until I was 20 or 21. I never was in a band and was just messing around until Science of Patterns came out when I was 23. I started only with keys and computers and slowly progressed.
What is your opinion of the current trend in the music scene where blogs — though a useful way for artists disseminate their craft and individuals to share the things they like— are leading to the “pitchforkification” of music? In the past music lovers would pick up albums, enjoy them as complete pieces of art, and listen to them years later with the same passion. In the present it seems that some people are obsessed with listening to the hottest bands/producers/DJs that are being hyped then moving on to the next ‘cool’ band one month later
I grew up in a world where physical media was still dominate so I definitely see what you call the “pitchforkification” of music. Blogs have become the dominate way many people understand and consume music.
Definitely, it really seems people can’t seem to remember anymore and are outsourcing certain brain functions to the cloud, allowing computers and technology to remember and choose for them
That is just the way things are now, for some music has become a disposable art. The idea behind what I am doing is trying to create music that steps outside of that boundary and fits in the moment, giving it a little bit more longevity so people can have more of a personal attachment to it.
And finally, how has the tour been so far? has the live band and new A/V format been getting a good response from audiences?
Definitely, it has really been amazing. To be honest this is our first long term tour as as a live band after doing a stint with Little Dragon earlier last year. Starting in Chicago, moving towards Montreal and down the east coast, we are now we are in Florida and enjoying the scenery so…it’s going to be nice.
Tycho will be playing at Bardot in Miami this Saturday January 28th, you can buy tickets here. He will be
continuing his tour to Europe throughout February and will be doing at least SEVEN showcases at
SXSW this year so, all you Austin kids better be there or be square!
Here’s another funny mystery producer off the Editainment label (home to Tiger & Woods + Cleo & Patra). Pop & Eye claims to “sail his ship alone” when producing tracks and also keeps his connection to Tiger & Woods on the down low besides being label buddies. A few blogs have suspected Pop & Eye is just a moniker for a T & W side project and have posed the “what’s the connection” question in interviews, P & E seems to avoid a straight answer every time. Tiger & Woods on the other hand claim it’s not them! Who knows… just enjoy the music.
Aiight guys this post is going to be a straight copy paste type deal. The info is straight from the band and I would rather you guys read it directly than paraphrase:
We Have Band are back with their new LP Ternion, due for release on February 28th
Here’s a few words from TomWHB on Ternion Aside: “it was inspired by The League Unlimited Orchestra’s ‘Love and Dancing’ Album. The idea of taking component parts from an original album recording and re-imagining them – creating a new and unique piece of music from what already existed whilst trying not to take a conventional remix approach. The 1st 5 tracks from ‘Ternion’ all worked within this concept and we love the way the music becomes something else.”
Dede Wegg-Prosser: The first album was us getting together and having fun. We really weren’t expecting anyone else to hear it or come watch us play it. Whereas this time we knew we were making a record with the knowledge that people would be listening, it gives you a very different mindset.
Darren Bancroft: We were very aware of where out first album sat and whilst we were happy with it we knew it wasn’t a place we wanted to revisit. We knew there was a task ahead of us in writing this record; we needed to write a different kind of record. People would say to us oh you’re a ‘buzz band’ or ‘you’re an electro band’ and that was fine, but for us it was also clear it was time to move forward.
Hot Creations is on a fucking roll. It’s not often that I see one label be so consistent, but lately they’ve been pumping out the jams. They’ve had their finger on the pulse of the contemporary house aesthetic and I’m soaking it up. Here is my little Hot Creations jukebox. These tracks are well worth the price.
We don’t post much dubstep on this here blog but when one of our praised local producers comes out with something awesome we just have to share it. Juan Basshead and Bats (Ryan Daniel) just released a dubbed out remix of one of my favorite freestyle ladies- Shannon. It doesn’t get more Miami than this. Make sure to keep up with Basshead music here.
Shannon – Let The Music Play (Bats & Juan BassHead Remix)
That’s right kids STRFKR is finally hitting Miami. The Portland indie dance poppers will be playing Bardot’s red carpet this Friday January 20th, it’s an early show so don’t be on the typical Miami-time schedule. Patrick and I will be spinning some tunes before they go on, I’m excited.
We first blogged about Starfucker about a year ago so if you’re looking for biographical info please check out our last post. However, if you want to get to know front man Josh Hodges’ personality a tiny bit better keep reading:
We have a great time finding name alternatives for the band when playing their songs on FM radio… What do you guys like best: Star-effer, Starfudger, or Starfurker? Any other suggestions?
Star-effer is probably the most easily understood when you say it, so I think that’s the best one to go with.
Online sources say Joshua started theband as a solo project, how did the other members get involved and what inspired their addition? Did you guys all link up in Portland?
We just met at gay bars and I put ads out for musicians in different local papers. The reason I wanted other people involved in the band was to have more guys to hang out and talk with on tour.
So you guys dress in drag sometimes during live shows, any particular style you prefer? Do you guys go shopping for women’s clothing (if so where) or do you take it from family members?
Yeah! My mom likes the fact that we dress in drag, and my ex-girlfriend also really liked it so they both helped, but I haven’t gone shopping in awhile. My uncle is a Liza Minnelli impersonator so I grew up around it and believe that you should be able to do whatever you want. I’d say I look best as an old lady, like Barbara Bush or something like that, but Shawn (bassist) looks good in slutty clothes because he has the body for it.
Whats the strangest requirement on the Starfucker’s rider?
When we were in Austin we asked for banana splits and actually got them! They set up this cool ice cream bar for us. But no, we generally keep it pretty normal, water and beer and whatnot, try not to be stupid about it.
What band have you guys most enjoyed touring with or performing with and why?
Painted Palms, easily. They’re an awesome band and I love their music. Plus, they’re super nice guys and fun to hang out with on tour.
Favorite type of venue to play at? Do you prefer smaller intimate venues, huge spaces with tons of people, indoors, outdoors…? Where do you feel most comfortable?
I like indoor, medium-sized venues like Bowery Ballroom, Great American Music Hall or the El Rey in Los Angeles. We like to be closer to people and anything bigger than that creates a separation between the fans and the band. At our shows we try to create a united feeling so that there’s no gap between us and the crowd. Medium sized venues are conducive to that I think.
If you were to come to Miami for a vacation what would you do here? Any particular spots you would HAVE to visit?
Well actually we’ll be vacationing in Miami because the tour ends in Miami and we’ll be staying for a few days afterwards. My plan is to hang out on the beach and read. I don’t know too much about Miami, but I’ll probably try to get some Puerto Rican food or something.
Are you thinking the same things I do? If so I’ll see you at the Electric Pickle this Thursday for CREEP’S DJ set. This will be the second Girl’s On Top party at the emporium where they feature (as Trina would say) Miami’s baddest bitch DJs, I’m lucky to be on the lineup for this one along with Heather Holiday and Catherine Song. Cuci from AfroBeta will be hosting the night and making sure to keep it creepy.
Shame on you if you don’t know the Brooklyn girl duo, they were here last year at the Vagabond where they put on an amazingly creepy cool performance. Today the girls are releasing their latest single “Animals” featuring guest vocals from Holly Miranda so make sure to grab the remix below.
CREEP are producers/ DJs Lauren Flax and Lauren Dillard. Lauren Flax is an internationally renowned house DJ and producer. Their ghostly debut singles “Days” ft The xx’s Romy Madley-Croft and “You” ft Nina Sky came out earlier this year. Stay tuned for upcoming new releases from CREEP including their debut full length, which will feature collaborations with Planningtorock, Andrew Wyatt & more.
Here’s some non-intrusive music to start your week with, a little “zonked-out beat-folk” from Yalls out in Berkeley, CA. His actual name is Dan Casey and he’s asked you to name your own price for his album download off of beatcamp. I’m particularly fond of his new remix EP where he translates tracks by bands such as ABADABAD and Monster Rally into his own Yally style.
We’ve been keeping this guy’s music as a secret weapon for the dance floor, but it’s time to share the wealth. Sam Watts aka Maxxi Soundsystem just came out with his latest EP Make Or Break last month and it will make you jiggle. Check out the preview clips below and buy a vinyl copy here…. totally worth it.
“Before the runaway success of club hit ‘Criticize’ which exploded everywhere at the beginning of the year from Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show to being featured on Beats in Space Best of 2010 Sam Watts had been DJing, putting on parties and working hard in his studio for a number of years in his home town of Brighton.
With a strong drive to be creative and improve on each project Sam has been putting long hard hours in his studio this year and already remixed Wax Motif & Neoteric, Hercules & Love Affair, The 2 Bears and Retro/Grade. As a follow up to Criticize, Maxxi Soundsystem has been signed to Nervous Records new imprint Nürvous which is dedicated to the sounds of old house music (EP out this summer). Currently working with Miami man of the moment Danny Daze on new material and London vocalist Royston there’s some really exciting new music about to drop.”