Bear In Heaven has been on our minds since Pucho reviewed their latest album I Love You, It’s Cool back in April. So much so that we sought them out to perform here in Miami for the first time. The Brooklyn-based band offers a unique brand of indie-pop music that’s both haunting and uplifting. Combining electronic elements with experimental rock and shoegaze these guys have a knack for song-making recognized by an impressive list of remixers including Lindstrom, Studio, Eskmo, and CFCF. If you like what you hear, Bear In Heaven will be performing LIVE tonight at Bardot. If it’s not too late, you can purchase pre-sales HERE or at the door. … MORE
Back in July of 2010 we featured an interview with an emerging project by San Francisco’s Mikey Maramag called Blackbird Blackbird. This was in the heat of the so-called chillwave hype and during that balmy Miami summer, we were more than happy to let a little “chill” into our hearts. Now with summer of 2012 quickly approaching, we finally have the opportunity to bring Blackbird Blackbird to the tropics. Chillwave is alive and well. Haters take heed … MORE
Tonight Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) will be making his way to the Bardot carpet for a live performance. Anyone who knows electronica, knows Four Tet. Going back to 1998, Hebden has a track record that only legends can boast. With influences ranging from hip-hop to folk, jazz to IDM, he’s remixed Aphex Twin, toured with Radiohead, collaborated with Burial and Thom Yorke and released seven full length albums and three remix albums.
In a last-minute celebration of tonight’s show, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the 20th person who correctly answers this very easy trivia question:
Bardot Lounge celebrated their 2 year anniversary with style on Thursday night, hosting Canadian electronic pop stars, Junior Boys. The event was an intimate affair with the trio performing at floor level as the first in Bardot’s “Living Room Sessions.” Though it was a little tough to see through the thick crowd, the band did not disappoint. With an impeccable sound team at the venue’s back, the delicate and minimal synths, percussion, and especially the beautiful crooning of singer Jeremy Greenspan’s voice were as crisp and lush as the recorded albums.
Nightdrive had the privilege to host the night at Bardot and chat with Greenspan right before (and as you’ll hear, during) soundcheck. He gives us a glimpse into the stories behind some of his songs, his take on music today and even his Facebook habits.
CLICK ON QUESTIONS TO HEAR JEREMY’S ANSWERS
ND: After four full-length albums starting with 2004′s Last Exit, your latest release seems to be heavily influenced by R&B. Musically speaking how else do you feel your sound has evolved? Are there any new trends in music that you can cite as an influence?
ND: You’ve made your rounds through Miami quite a few times. Back in 2007, you were brought down by Poplife at the now retired Post venue, then again in 2009 at The Vagabond for their Halloween bash. You then spun as DJs at The Electric Pickle’s one-year anniversary in 2010. Now you’re back for Bardot’s two-year anniversary. As honorary experts on the South Florida circuit, what stands out about Miami’s cultural landscape?
ND: Ok, without getting too personal, tell us one little-known anecdote from your tour thus far.
ND: You’ve been with UK-based Domino Records since the very beginning. Can you tell us about your relationship with them and why you’ve stuck with them through thick and thin?
ND: On your website, your album description paints a grim outlook on the state of music today. You describe contemporary music as “more about gimmickry and branding than it is about the art.” Is there any saving grace or is it all downhill from here?
(Fan Question) Diana: What inspired you to make Bellona?
(Fan Question) Erik Alexander Gonzalez: Double Shadow is one of my favorite songs, but no matter how many times I hear it, I have no idea what it’s about… Is there more to that song than just a sick beat?
(Fan Question) Diego Arredondo: Where was the first place you ever performed together and do you have any memories that are worth sharing?
ND: Finally, do you like the new Facebook?
Classic Junior Boys Remix tracks:
Sally Shapiro- Jackie Junior (Junior Boys Dub Mix)
Yoko Ono- Give Me Something (Junior Boys Remix)
OK Jacques, most of these interviews go something like this:
‘What inspires you to play disco?’, ‘How did you get into dj’ng – remixing – editing – and then producing?’, “Is your name really Jacques Renault?’ This is not that interview. We’re only going to ask important questions, deep stuff, the stuff that the people need to know, want to know, have to know!
Q&A with JACQUES RENAULT…
Nightdrive: Seriously, Tequila or Scotch before your opening set and do you enjoy a light buzz during your sets?
Jacques Renault: Haha. I’ll have a drink when I play. I need to be a little loose…
ND: Your dream gig, have you experienced it yet? If so, where and when, and most importantly, why? If not, describe what you envision it being like.
JR: I always talk about how it would be the Paradise Garage, or Music Box back in the days. Something like that. Those parties looked pretty insane…
ND: Hands down, what DJ out there, past or present, makes or has made you boogie down on the floor or at least feel like doing so?
JR: Listening to those Ron Hardy tapes definitely are inspiring…
ND: Most people know you as a DJ, edit man, remixer, and producer, but not many know you’re also a skillful handyman of sorts, a true carpenter, sort of like J.C., as in Jesus Christ, or so it has been written. Anyhow, what’s the coolest project you’ve ever been involved in and do you continue to strap on the tool belt?
JR: I wouldn’t say I was a true carpenter but I was definitely handy. I used to call it ‘utilitarian,’ haha. Retail windows, photoshoots, loft buildouts and odd jobs. I’ve done some good work for a few artists you would know. I don’t build too much these days, unfortunately. But I have a few personal things I’m planning on, including a new studio buildout here in Brooklyn.
ND: Ok, music question coming up, for a good while there dance music began revisiting the much beloved piano and Chicago house sounds of past decades and like everything, things have a cyclical life span, what’s hot now is not so hot tomorrow. With that said, what’s hot now, what’s that “money track” in your record bag, come on Jacques, what’s that sound?!?!
JR: Ha I’m not sure what to say. You’re right, things come and go, it just turns into other things. I’ve been playing this Weekend Express track recently that’s been my jam. Look it up…
ND: Off beat question, A Certain Ratio or King Tubby? No, seriously, what other sound are you into other than Disco and House and do you see yourself getting involved in it. If so, in what fashion and if not… just totally disregard the question and let us know, Post Punk or Dub?
JR: I just worked with my friends The Hundred In The Hands last year. We did a bunch of different things and I would say big influences come from dub and Factory stuff too. Mark Verbos and I just remixed VHS or Beta and we’re from different places musically but it worked really well. Always good to collaborate and bring different ideas together, that’s how all this new stuff is born.
ND: Scenario: You’re djing a killer set, all of a sudden your record skips and then begins to loop uncontrollably, but it sounds live, as in good, do you:
A. Freak the ‘F’ out, drop the gain on the channel, and throw on the closest record your hands can reach for. Or…
B. Keep cool, crack a smile, bob your head to the loop, and wink at the crowd, convincing them you’ve done this on purpose?
JR: This just happened to me with a record of mine that never skips, in this case the tone arm was stuck (note to clubs- keep up on your maintenance with your gear!!). I usually bump the need myself so we move on further into the song. If it still doesn’t work, I bring the volume down and laugh about it. Usually people get it since I’m playing vinyl. But I’ll have something handy to get in the mood right where we left off if all else fails.
ND: Aside from being a talented DJ, remixer, producer, and co-owner of a label with Marcos Cabral, the second half of Runaway, you’re also a talented musician with previous ties to projects in various bands. Which has brought us to this question Jacques, the world wants to know if RUNAWAY is going to take their show on the road and play their music live, as a… wait…. wait…. wait for it… A Band?
JR: Oh we’ve definitely been working on it, it has been evolving a lot lately as we keep changing the set up. We want it to be the best it can be, of course… soon soon.
ND: Ok back to serious stuff. Since you’ll be in Miami in the coming week, I figured I would play a quick ‘fill-in the _______’ with you specific to Miami. By the way, aside from the world reading this, all of Miami will be reading along so make your answers count, you’ve been forewarned.
When in Miami, my first stop, aside from my hotel room, is ______
JR: ...that diner I can never remember the name of! Help me on this one, I try to go there every time I'm in town.
ND: The truth about cuban coffee is _______
JR: ...that I love it.
ND: Walking down the street, someone yells out, "Oye Jacques, me gusta tu musica", to which I respond in Spanish ________
JR: "...Me gustaria hablar español."
ND: Hands down, Miami has the best _______
JR: ...art deco architecture ever. What a great snapshot in time. (remember Jacques, Miami's reading).
ND: Ok, lets bring her on home with the last question of this interview. What are your immediate plans for the future specific to your music career and when can we expect another amazing remix, edit, or track from Mr. Jacques Renault?
JR: I just wrapped up a remix of Breakbot’s “Fantasy” on Ed Banger and Kaine Featuring Kathy Diamond for Defected Records. Those are out soon and expect some party breaks and more goodies too soon to talk about!
Mr. Renault will grace Miami with his presence tomorrow night at Bardot for a killer set in dance with support from Jonathan Brody and Carlos Llanos. 10th person to email email@example.com with the correct answer to this question will receive complimentary admission for two to tomorrows show. What is Jacques Renault’s real name?
Roberto Carlos Lange is the South Florida born and raised son Ecuadorian immigrants and grand master of Helado Negro. A band that has been exploring new corners of “psyhe-folk” or better said, a band that can not be defined by any one genre. I was fortunate enough to ask Lange a few questions that have been brewing in my mind since listening to Awe Owe. I hope this gives us all a bit of insight to what we are listening to and what will come from Helado Negro. For more on Roberto Carlos Lange go to: asthmatickitty.com and cargocollective.com/robertocarloslange
ND: What encouraged you to begin making music? How old were you?
HN: Curiosity encouraged me and some unnameable force inspired me. I started playing guitar when I was 10
ND: Growing up in South Florida as a hispanic is something that is interesting and at times difficult to explain. How do you feel your up bringing effected your music?
HN: Its a large part of what I do and who I am. Its the basic elements that make me up. From there Ive continued to pull from those roots and see how many new things can be derived from it and discovered. Musically Latin Americans have the most diverse history and backgrounds in music it seems like most of it was represented in south florida and all of it affected me in some way or another.
ND: How did the concept of Helado Negro come to fruition?
HN: Helado Negro was a natural progression to the music I had been making. It focuses on my voice and it created a whole new world for me in terms of performance.
ND: Are members of Helado Negro transient or are they a permanent collective?
ND: There came a point in your career when you began to shift your production style away from Hip Hop driven beats and drum loops to more experimental methods of production. What caused this shift?
HN: Its hard for me to say what Im doing isnt that. Everything released is a bookmark of where my mind is at with this form of communication. The shift is more inspiration that led to curiosity and exploration.
ND: As well as having an extensive catalogue with numerous monikers /projects (Epstein, Boom & Birds, ROM, Bear In Heaven, Savath & Savalas) you have also created sound sculptures and developed scores for film directors. How do you approach projects individually? What is your creative process?
HN: Music is a very community based idea. Even listening to any record or at least most you can sense community somehow or another. When I collaborate with something that isn’t a traditional format like a record album I bring that same idea of community. You try to leave your ego aside and so how two minds can build one thing.
ND: What is your favorite piece of equipment?
HN: My blender that makes smoothies
ND: What will you be working on next?
HN: Im currently in Atlanta working on a sound installation that ends this friday (www.fluxprojects.org)
ND: Who are some of your favorite current musicians?
HN: Jason Ajemian, Jullianna Barwick, Leb Laze, Prefuse 73, JayTram, Lobisomem, Colin Stetson, Chris Devoe, Adron, Sunless, Keith Sunset, Comic Wow, Warm Ghost, Straight Angular, Mike Slott, Matt Crum, Nori Tanaka, Greg Jamie, Shedding, All Tiny Creatures, Michna, the list can go on…
ND: If you could explore any other creative medium, what would it be?
HN: I think I can explore them all. one that Im trying to find more time for is just slowing down. creatively slowing down.
Helado Negro- Regresa
Helado Negro – Adios Mundo Maldito (Pink Floyd Cover)
Along with artists Arthur Baker, Eli Escobar, Woolfy, Still Going, Team Rojas and Entresol, New York City’s Jessica 6 will be in house tonight for what’s sure to be an amazing live performance on the intimate carpet of midtown’s Bardot lounge. In town for Nightdrive’s One Year Anniversary, the other half of Hercules and Love Affair will be helping us celebrate in style. With Nomi Ruiz’s sensually deep vocal stylings and a sound that derives from classic house, electro, punk to soul, the threesome are more than ready to throw down their mix of dance. With such an intimate environment awaiting everyone attending the festivities I can only imagine this to be a night to remember. BRING US CAKE!
May 24th will be the day Jessica 6 release their forth-coming album ‘See The Light’ on Peace Frog Records. In anticipation of the new album they just dropped a nice little remix of the single ‘White Horse’ by House legend Todd Terry, Check it!
JESSICA 6 will also be doing a live DJ set on WVUM 90.5 FM (stream online at wvum.org) on Electric Kingdom from 7-8pm.
Jessica 6- White Horse
Jessica 6 – White Horse (Todd Terry Remix) | Stream Only
We’ve been trying to get Eli Escobar booked in Miami for months now so we’re SUPER PSYCHED to hear him play this Thursday at Bardot for Nightdrive’s One Year Anniversary. Many of you know Eli from his Stevie Nick’s remix of “Stand Back” although he’s remixed, re-edited, and produced tracks by people like Diplo, Heaven 17, James Brown, Midnight Magic, Nacho Lovers, Amanda Blank, and Ali Love (the list goes on).
I had the chance to catch one of his sets last October during CMJ at the Standard Hotel rooftop and the guy was AMAZING! Not only is he an extremely skilled DJ but his music selection is impeccable and he’s ridiculously nice. We definitely wanted you guys to get a taste for Eli and his music so we sent him a few questions to answer.
I’ll also be interviewing him tomorrow at 6pm on WVUM 90.5 FM (stream on http://wvum.org) during VAMOS A LA PLAYA and can’t wait to see him wreck shit on Thursday night!
ND: Tell us a bit about your upbringing in New York in the 80s-90s and how that influenced the music you make/ play?
EE: Well I became pretty obsessed with music when I was very young and in the early and mid 80′s New York was really exciting because Rap and Electro were just getting started. We had WBLS which was the station most attuned to the street music that coming out. Now most my exposure to this stuff was actually in the streets and the subway and at school because my mom hated it and played Stevie Wonder and the Beatles at home. Of course this stuff ended up influencing me just as much. I guess my point is the music was all around you and it was hard not to be affected by it. I suppose no matter how far into House or Disco music I steer, the Hip Hop, Freestyle and Electro influences are always rearing their heads.
By the time the 90′s came around, I started clubbing and that’s when I really learned about House music and Disco. And of course becoming a DJ in the 90′s forced me to learn about different genres and what songs I needed to have in order to keep a NYC dance floor going for 5 or 6 hours. Back then you had to be at least somewhat well versed in Hip Hop, Reggae, R&B, House and Disco (we called it “classics” back then). Things are a bit different now of course!
ND: Was there anyone that really helped you get ahead or jump started your career when you started working in music?
EE: Yes, Bobbito Garcia who was from my building helped me a lot. He put me on the radio at a very young age and also put me on at some clubs. Opening and subbing for him led to my first residencies. He knew everyone worth knowing in the club scene at the time which is way more than half the battle breaking into nightlife here.
ND: You have obviously thrown, spun, and attended a good amount of parties in your day, what do you think are the key ingredients in producing a successful event?
EE: I’m still trying to figure that out! I think people really like to see and hear a DJ or DJ’s who are enjoying themselves just as much as the crowd. Some serious dude staring at a laptop all night is the worst shit ever. You also have to always make sure you’re a part of the same scene you want at your parties. Community is what a good party is all about. And, of course being a good DJ can help. Not in the technical sense but in the sense that you know your crowd and what they want to hear. No matter what anyone says, it’s fun to hear familiar songs and sing along to them! I’m the first dude to run into the booth and request Chaka Khan. I’m so not above that! I love to hear deep sets too of course, but a well-timed anthem never hurts.
ND: What’s the best way to find new music?
EE: GO OUTSIDE AND SHOP! Trust me. I buy music all the time on Beatport, and I have hundreds of CD’s with songs on them and I could not tell you how one of them goes or who made it! And it’s because I never had any real emotional investment in them in the first place. But every record I’ve bought I know exactly which mix to play, where I got it, what year it came out, and most importantly, how to play the song.
Obviously I’m overlooking the fact that most cities don’t have record stores that sell current dance music and even if they do, 12 inch records are absurdly expensive these days. So this is not an option for everyone. But, I still think it’s the best way. Plus you get exercise!
ND: Favorite track you’ve ever worked on and why?
EE: I did a remix for a group called Stay Gold out of Stockholm that has not come out yet. I really love it. The song is called “Justified”. Another one I love is “Count Your Lovers” by Clubfeet. I did a more old fashioned Extended Club Mix kind of thing for that one because I thought the song was so lovely it didn’t really need much.
ND: How does the re-edit work as far as sample clearance and licensing? Have you had any issues in this department? Do bands approach you to rework their music or do you find something you like and take it from there?
EE: Most of the people who are pressing up bootleg vinyl with re-edits are selling at the most 500 copies of a record. So there is not much attention brought to these re-edits and I don’t think anyone has had any problems. Now for a song like my “Love Thing Pt 2″ in which I used a Whitney Houston vocal sample, that would be an issue for licensing. A Trak played it on some TV show but we had to make sure he played a part of the song without Whitney in it.
As far as remixing, usually I get approached. I did ask Midnight Magic if I could remix “Beam Me Up” though because I wanted to have an exclusive mix for my DJ sets. I did that with Mark Ronson’s “Somebody To Love Me” also ’cause I was so jealous he got to work with Boy George, I HAD to have the acapella!
ND: What’s next for Eli Escobar?
EE: More music and DJing. It never stops! I have a new single about to drop called “Desire” with Nomi from Jessica 6 singing on it. It’s sick!
Eli Escobar – Love Thing (DJ Mehdi Club Mix – Part 2)
Stevie Nicks – Stand Back (Eli Escobar Short edit)
Diplo – Blow Your Head (Eli Escobar Remix)
Midnight Magic – Beam Me Up (Eli’s Properly Replayed Mix)
This Friday we have the pleasure of hosting French synthpop artist and remixologist, Anoraak (aka Frederic Riviere) at Bardot Speakeasy Lounge here in Miami. He and the rest of the Valerie Collective crew were an early inspiration for me. I appreciated their minimal retro electronic sound and seemed to fit in with my affinity toward Italo Disco. I had the pleasure of putting together some questions for Riviere, to which he responded:
ND: I was first introduced to Anoraak with the release of Nightdrive With You and was quickly turned on to the Valerie project with Minitel Rose, The Outrunners, Russ Chimes, College, Maethelvin, and yourself. Can you explain how this collective of artists came about?
Riviere: It’s really simple, we all met in the same city (Nantes) at a time we were all making similar musics, with similar images, and all coming from different backgrounds. For exemple, College is coming from the techno scene, as I’m from the indie-rock part, but we have in common a passion for 70′s/80′s movies and music, and the popular culture we grew up with.
ND: Your style of electronic music is often seen as a direct response to the heavy Justice/Ed Banger movement that came out of France in 2005. What movements have you seen in French electronic music since then?
Riviere: I’m not sure to have the necessary step-back to tell exactly, but I think there is something more chill and disco/funk in the electronic music now, and it’s for my pleasure! And it’s not particular to France, it’s global.
ND: How do you think your music has evolved since that time?
Riviere: It’s clearly looking much more like the music I really wanted to make from the beginning. When I started Anoraak a while ago, I knew about guitars and drums, but not about computers, and my goal was and still is to make the good combination between the instrumental part and the electronic one. I did the same with the live show, which evolved to a 3 pieces setup, guitar/keyboard – drum – bass. Maybe in 5 years we’ll be 10 on stage ;D
ND: Our name, Nightdrive, was partially inspired by your first album, Nightdrive With You. We noticed the phrase used by artists such as Giorgio Moroder, Kavinsky, and The Chromatics, but we liked how you combined it into one word. Was there something special about that concept?
Riviere: When I wrote the song, it was late at night, cold outside, and i was dreaming about a sweet summer nightdrive on some Californian road with a lovely girl. That’s the concept ;D
ND: You collaborated with vocalist Sally Shapiro on your track Don’t Be Afraid on your latest album, and one of my favorite remixes has been of her track Anorak Christmas. What sparked that relationship and have you been able to work with her directly?
Riviere: I actually don’t remember how I found myself remixing Anorak Christmas, but this was the first contact with her. We didn’t have any chance to meet up since then, we worked with internet connections!
ND: What’s next for Anoraak?
Riviere: Touring as much as we can with the full live setup, remixing, producing, djing and a 2nd LP asap!
Ticket Give Away:
12th response to firstname.lastname@example.org with answer to the following question wins 2 tickets to the show!
Name 3 artists that have remixed Anoraak’s title track ‘Nightdrive With You’
P.S: ANORAAK is shooting a music video tomorrow (2/24/11) on the beach behind 5875 Collins Ave on Miami Beach from 9 am – 1pm and he needs extras. Come be in the shoot looking like a typical “beach person”…. Plus they’ll be giving away Anoraak beach bags, CD’s….
Tonight Miami welcomes more Chill Wave visitors from Brooklyn. Small Black is scheduled to play at Bardot which has been stepping it up lately with cool indie bookings (How To Dress Well, Toro Y Moi, Matt & Kim, Edward Sharpe, etc). Small Black is “josh y ryan y juan y jeff”, they make “Acousmatic Tape music”, soothe you during rush hour traffic, and have really nifty album covers. They’re currently on tour and we’re lucky enough to have made it on to their itinerary so make sure you put tonight’s show on yours.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself (tonight):