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Interview With Swedish Electronic Artist Sophomore

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(Hey guys I recently was put in touch with an electronic artist that has a really chill sound. I hope you enjoy the interview!)

Derek Kortepeter: So tell me how you got involved in music?

Sophomore: In the late 90’s I bought a microKorg and since then I have played on and off (mostly off). Its only in the last couple of years that I discovered a true fascination for synthesizers and how they sound and why.

DK: I hear various influences in your music, from ambient to minimalist composers, how did you create your style?

Sophomore: I wouldn’t say I have a style of my own. I sometimes wish I did but I don’t, but the upside to that is that nothing is ever “wrong” and everything goes as long as its interesting or sounds good. My first CD was Speak & Spell by Depeche Mode and I have listened to a lot of electronic music during the years. Since I’m not a trained musician but instead keep a hobbyist’s perspective, machines are great to work with. You never know what’s going to happen but something will happen and then its up to you to see what to make of it.

DK: Can you talk about your single “Duck and Cover?” What were you trying to convey with the video and how did the song come into being?

Sophomore:The song is based on a chord progression I wrote on an old home keyboard many years ago. I sampled the actual sound before I let the keyboard go and it has turned up in various shapes. This time I happened to record an improv and it was only some time later that I decided I was going to make a video out of it. The moving images are found footage (yes!) cut up to match the music, as well as building my own new and somewhat ambiguous narrative. I guess I was intrigued by the combination of the chill and dreamy character of the music together with the nostalgia of old footage portraying scientists, missiles and other forms of violence. I found making a video very inspiring and giving new life to the music.

DK: You mentioned to me that “I only work with hardware and everything I do is recorded live so no computers involved, therefor nothing becomes perfect or according to plan.” To me as an electronic artist I find that fascinating as I am the opposite and use computers all the time. Is this approach what comes naturally to you? Do you think computers ruin the songwriting process?

Sophomore: I have tried working with computers and software but the endless possibilities that comes with the territory has a paralyzing effect on me. And as I mentioned before, I like working with physical machines and using them as musical instruments with all their limitations and constraints. Every piece of gear has its own personality that colors the music.

DK: You are from Sweden, is the music scene receptive to the type of music you are putting out? Are there a lot of artists doing what you do?

Sophomore: Well…,I don’t really know to be honest, but I would like in the future to be more connected to others doing a similar thing, both in Sweden and abroad.

DK: What do you hope people take away from your music when they listen to it?

Sophomore:  A different musical experience than they’re used to. A spark…

DK: Are you currently performing your music live? If so what kind of experience do you create for the audience?

Sophomore: I am not performing live for the moment, but hopefully in the future. I have not ruled out teaming up with other people to form a band or some kind of collaboration.

DK: What can we expect from you next musically?

Sophomore: Another music video :)

DK: Is there anything else you want to say before we end the interview?

Sophomore: Nope, Thanx

Sophomore can be found at https://soundcloud.com/ollejohan

Review: KLOQ “The Gun EP”

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You may remember the UK electro-rock band KLOQ from my interview with them a while back. I was given exclusive access to their upcoming EP called The Gun which drops a few weeks from now. From start to finish The Gun EP is a blast of aggressive and grooving electronica infused rock. The synths of Oz Morsley wash over you as the rest of the instruments pull you into a chaotic world that you don’t want to leave. Dean Goodwin’s lyrics and vocal melodies hook you from the start, Alex Baker‘s (who has now been replaced by Ben Woolf) drum beats punch you in the gut with their sheer force, and Tim Jackson‘s bass lines flow through the songs like the thread holding the whole thing together.

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KLOQ describes their sound as “Punktronica.” This label really makes sense in light of my listening through The Gun EP as there is this primal force contained within this record that is just as alive and unbridled as a punk show. This is no ordinary punk rock experience, however, as it is a trip into dystopia and a psychotic dream-state that becomes almost like a drug you need.

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If you want to take a break from all the niceties that infects today’s synth-rock scene (indie or otherwise), I suggest you give KLOQ’s new record a try. The Gun EP is coming soon (free limited time download on August 28 and official release on September 26), you should get it and experience it for yourself when it releases.

Black Flag- “Police Story”

Hardcore punks on police brutality, the song remains true as all truth can be.

I Recently Was Interviewed…

http://www.justaplatform.com/la-music/

Hey Guys!

I was interviewed by my friend Abed Hathout from Khalas and the music startup I belong to named Indiepush for an awesome independent news site. I talk about my music and my perspective of being a native of Los Angeles in relation to its music scene.

-Derek

Interview With Two&Two Records Founder Neil Pruden

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(I’m pleased to present an interview with the founder of Two&Two Records, a UK label specifically for ambient and experimental artists. You guys know that I love this genre as I write this music also, so I hope you read and give the label some love.-Derek)

Derek: Tell me about Two&Two Records, how did it get started?

Neil: I started Two&Two back in November last year and basically I was at a point where I felt comfortable enough from everything I learned co-managing Dred Collective that I figured why not do it myself. I’ve loved that kind of music for a long time now and wanted to play a part in bringing it more attention.

Also recently a good friend of mine Rhamy has come in to co-manage the label which I think will work well. Rhamy and I are pretty much on the same wavelength and we don’t take ourselves too seriously, which is quite key I think, just because some of the music we release is dark and moody it doesn’t mean ourselves or the label should be.

Derek: What inspired the label to be a representative of ambient and experimental artists? What is your mission as a record label?

Neil: Just for the love of it basically, that’s all there is to it. We’re passionate about the music and want to help it along, we just want to keep growing and see how far we can take this.

I’ve got a long list of people that I would like to be involved with the label at some point. That’ll just continue to grow as we’re always looking for something new in experimental and ambient music. So yeah that and hosting events, something a bit different though, we’re going to take our time with it and make sure it’s spot on. Apart from that we’re just taking it as it goes.

Derek: The music industry has a lot of distribution methods, why should an artist choose Two&Two over another label or doing a DIY approach? What makes you guys better than the competition?

Neil: I don’t believe we’re better than the competition; In fact I have a lot of respect for the labels that are already established in this genre. I’m proud of what we’re doing and how it’s gone so far but we’re still very young as labels go, saying that we do have plans and definitely want to delve into all different areas of experimental music, so I think in that sense our palette of releases will be broader in comparison to other labels.

I think this compilation will show the variety of sounds we’re into and want to be more involved in, so if we were talking to a producer or someone came across us and felt they would be right for the label then we’re happy to have them involved obviously.

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Derek: Say an artist is in the ambient/experimental genre and they are interested in joining your label, what do they need to do? Or do you handpick artists?

Neil: It’s a bit of both, we’re set for a number of releases after the comp and I’ve got people in mind I would like to work with in the future like I said. But all someone would need to do is either send us a demo or drop us a message.

Derek: How many artists do you currently represent and what regions of the world are they from?

Neil: Well we’ve had 4 artists release EPS on our label so far located in Belgium, Colombia, France and Australia

Derek: Being a London-based record label, would you say that your city is a hub for this type of music?

Neil: I would love to say it is but it isn’t in my opinion, nowhere near. There are things going on around the city don’t get me wrong, but when it comes to this type of music it’s not a hub. I think Italy or France has that down; a lot of decent producers are rising from there in this genre.

We’re soon to be Bristol based anyway, Rhamy already lives there and I’m planning to move over there soon. It’s such a good city in terms of openness and diversity with music so hopefully we can build a hub there, who knows.

Derek: You have finished a compilation album that showcases artists with Two&Two, when will it be available to the public?

Neil: All the tracks will be up on the 15th for preview and then released on our bandcamp on the 25th for free.

Derek: Is there anything else you would like to add before we finish this interview?

Neil: Erm just a thank you to yourself and everyone who has supported/ been involved with the label so far, we’re having a lot of fun doing it and it’s been a pleasure to work with everyone. Oh, also we’re planning a collaborative night with another label, one that I’ve been a fan of for a while, so look out for that!

Two&Two Records can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/twotworecords

https://twotworecords1.bandcamp.com

https://twitter.com/twotworec

R.I.P. James Horner

Music just keeps losing giants of the art. When you heard the phrase “Hollywood Heavyweight Composer,” alongside John Williams and Hans Zimmer, James Horner always would be mentioned. He always will. The body of work that Horner produced will stand the test of time as a unique and powerful testament to music’s fluidity and depth. My first mentor in ethnomusicology worked with James to create the music for Avatar, and from all accounts he truly was a solid guy. He will be missed.

Charleston

I’ve said my piece on social media, but I have to do it here also. Americans, we have a racism problem. We always have and always will unless we do something about things like this. The media is spinning the incident one way, the politicians are spinning it another way. The fact is a white supremacist terrorist marched into a historically black church and murdered parishioners in cold blood because they were black. That’s it. There is no other point to take away from this. I am so fucking tired of this stuff happening, but we really just don’t seem to care. Care, for the love of the future generations, care.

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