The core of ambient music is the idea that the textures and emotive qualities are more important than groove. You are trying to create a world that the listener can interact with and essentially escape to. The record Eitt is an album that does just that. It was created by Icelandic musicians Jón Ólafsson & Futuregrapher who describe the album as fusing “the beautiful piano melodies of Jón Ólafsson and the atmospheric ambient of Futuregrapher to create a lovely, evocative album.”
There is a sense of journey through a place where time is not of much importance in this record. You are allowed to float with the atmospheric tones and flowing piano melodies/harmonies without worrying about your attachment to this world. I find that ambient music, and I speak as an ambient composer, when done right should accomplish exactly what Eitt does.
Whereas some ambient music like Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music For Airports can be used as background music, Eitt is ambient music best experienced in a quiet space with a view of the outside world. This allows you to drift and dream while melding the music’s realm with your own.
I love this record, and I highly encourage you to get a copy for yourself if you want to go someplace else for a while.
Eitt can be found at http://mollerrecords.com/releases/eitt/
I have always been a huge advocate of music that blends numerous styles. I find musical purism to be lacking and dishonest, so when an artist comes along that shows syncretism I am quite pleased. The Serbian guitarist Bosko Martinovic’s LP Time is an exercise in moving in and out of various musical worlds.
There is funk, jazz, rock, and western classical all found within this record, and each track on the record reflects these influences. One minute you will find yourself getting a dose of fusion jazz rhythms and chord progressions, then before you know it you get blasted with metal shredding. It works so well as your brain is never allowed to get bored because the music is loaded with complexity.
The band moves the music along as one cohesive unit as Bosko’s guitar melodies dance over the backing musicians. Time is a record that really feels like it was meant for musicians, namely the ones playing on the album. I say this to evoke the analogy of bebop musicians who weren’t concerned with making music danceable, but making music that they enjoy. There aren’t any cliches here, Bosko’s music has a mind of its own. Even when you hear the echoes of people like Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson, that is all they are…echoes. Bosko has a command of the guitar that even I as a guitarist envy.
If you want something different that challenges you as a listener, give Time a chance.
Time can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/Time-Bosko-Martinovic/dp/B00SKMAW4Y
Hey everyone, you might remember the recent interview I did with the awesome Swedish electronic composer Sophomore. He just sent me this new music video and the music on it is great. It is especially great set against the backdrop of corporate greed.
Here we are, another year has passed. With my sporadic memory it is rare to find a day that I remember everything; from waking up to going to bed. 9/11/2001 is one of those days.
The world hasn’t gotten any safer since then, nor do we care about each other more since that point in history. People in the media and political spheres have always loved to exploit the loss of life to suit their ideology. It doesn’t matter if it is a liberal or a conservative, there is always a “9/11 proved to us” thinkpiece or rant somewhere that eventually leads to “we need to do X Y Z as a country.”
In all of these arguments, the loss of life of that day becomes a weapon somehow. Somehow we forget that thousands were massacred. So many were wrought with the questions and decisions nobody should have to make:
“Do I jump or get burned alive?”
“Will I get through to tell my family I love them one last time?”
“I don’t want to die, why do I have to die?”
Tragedy desensitizes us. I wrote this song for the tenth anniversary of 9/11 for the victims and their families. I didn’t write it to push a sociopolitical ideology. I didn’t write it to be patriotic. I didn’t write it for it to be used as a form of aggression.
I wrote it because a beautiful September day turned into the very definition of hell.
I wrote it to bring the human face of the victims back to our consciousness.
You want to talk to me about war, government surveillance, and every other issue that the aftermath of 9/11 brought? Fine, but talk to me about it tomorrow. This day is a sacred day to remember, to mourn, and to realize that human life is far more important than our stupid need to argue about everything.
I remember being in New York in Spring of 2007 for a high school orchestra competition, and at that time the memorial pool had yet to be built at the WTC site.
It looked like an empty construction zone.
As our bus drove past the site people in my high school band all clamored to take pictures like it was a fucking spectacle. People were smashed next to the windows so they could get a good picture. All I could manage to do was shake my head in disgust.
This was where people took their frantic last breaths, and people want a goddamn souvenir from it?
I was sitting next to my mom who took vacation time off work to come to New York with me, and we both looked at each other with the same disgusted reaction. My mom was nearly certain she had lost her best friend in that attack (thankfully she did not), so maybe that grounded us more. But it seems like we love pain as a society. I saw it in that bus, and I see it everyday I wake up. We have a sadistic need to see suffering as a form of entertainment. As Maynard James Keenan sings in Tool’s Vicarious:
“Eye on the TV
’cause tragedy thrills me.”
All I ask is that we deprogram ourselves from making tragedy a circus act. Remember that we are all stuck on this planet for an indeterminate amount of time, and every life is fragile and precious. As this song plays, remember the fragility of those that left this earth on a gorgeous East Coast morning where everything seemed OK until it wasn’t.
My buddy Matt Olmedo (aka Writhmic) and I have been friends since middle school. As we grew up together I began to notice he had a burgeoning talent as a rapper; something I most strikingly noticed when he did a spoken word performance in front of the school in our senior year of high school.
Fast forward to 2015 and he drops this mixtape. I told him I was going to review it (so…let me do that right now). The Hopeless Flowmantic is an exercise in jazz and hip-hop mixing together in a brilliant way. Writhmic has a very relaxed flow, and this allows each track to capture your attention without hitting you over the head. He describes his sound as underground hip-hop, and that makes a lot of sense. Writhmic’s sound isn’t the sound you’d hear on the radio today, but in the clubs where people that respect the old school still exist.
Trust me, that’s a good thing.
The way Writhmic approaches each song is like the MCs of the late 80s and early 90s, just existing as a rapper without blaring it on the speakers. Writhmic invites you to experience his world, with humor and with a story to tell, as only he can. I see great things for this guy, so I think you should give this mixtape a listen.
(Hey guys! Here is an interview with an awesome singer who is making waves in the UK music scene. Enjoy!)
Derek: So tell me how you got into music?
Zoey: Music always played a massive part in my life from a very young age. My
dad was forever blasting out Whitney and Mariah. As I got older I found
that singing was my get away, I begun working with friends and recording
music we had written together on webcam microphones in my first years of
high school and continued from there.
Derek: Your new single “Siren” is brilliant, can you tell me what went into
Zoey: Siren was written with an amazingly talented writer I’m working with
called Claudia Kennaugh based in London and produced by Savvy. Savvy
brought the track to me as we had been performing together in the band
(The Savoir-Faire.) He said he wanted me to have a go at it as he liked
my vocal range. I demo it and he loved it so we hit the studio to record
the full studio version.
Derek: I’m always curious to know how artists see their own work, so how would
you describe your music?
Zoey: I’d say definitely emotional, with a vein of hard truths & blunt honesty
running through it I guess…. hmm this is hard as I always ask other
people what they think to be honest. But definitely honesty even when
the song is a bit, you know out there & fantasy based I’ll still thread
a bit of truth & vulnerability through the song.
Derek: Musically and lyrically where do you draw your inspiration from?
Zoey: My inspiration comes from day to day life, the emotions I feel and the
experiences I encounter. I believe the best lyrics come from the more
challenging days, the days that really make you feel raw emotion.
Putting these emotions onto paper which are then constructed into songs
that can really relate to others is what does it for me.
Derek: You have been touring the UK and supporting producer/rapper SAVVY and
his group Savoir~Faire at live gigs, what has that whole experience been like?
Zoey: Touring with Savvy and the band is quite a new experience for me. I’d
always been very shy and lacked confidence when it came to performing
live and would avoid the stage like the plague. I really had to face my
biggest fear head on but that first gig, the first time I got up on that
stage with such amazing people and musicians, it felt electric. The
whole experience of being surrounded by such a solid team really felt
uplifting. A massive confidence boost.
It’s been pretty damn good….very exciting and a huge learning curve for
me. There’s so much more to do than just walking on a stage somewhere and
singing from rehearsals, learning your lyrics as well as Savvy’s
learning how the live version of a track switches and changes up, How to
improvise as a live performer even how to let the public know where
you’ll be performing, you have to be so persistent. Social media sites
seems to play a big part in building up an audience over in the UK.
Derek: I’m from Los Angeles where every new artist is trying to make it big
musically and it is difficult. How about in the UK, is there a good
reception to new artists like yourself?
Zoey: Yeah the UK is the same but I bet nowhere near as crazy as LA. Its good
to always get the audience involved, Were in a good time in the UK at
the moment people are getting a bit bored again with the same old sound
and artists from a range of different genres are making moves, quite a
few with little to no backing as well. We’ve have some really good
feedback from DJ’s and listeners and the song has had its first BBC play
a week or so ago, that was very exciting and surreal at the same time.
We’re still counting down for the release of SIREN, it’s due to be
released on 27th September! As a new artist I have no idea how the
single will be received its quite a different track in ways a bit of a
mash-up of genres but I have to say so far so good
Derek: What can we expect next from you?
Zoey: Already hitting the studio finishing some more songs with Savvy, I can’t
tell you much about them at the moment but I’m thinking they will
probably be part of a collection of songs like an EP or something…I’ve
got one I’ve done called cabaret which I’m really happy with, really
looking forward to making the video for it too, some amazing ideas have
been flying around.
Derek: Is there anything you would like to add before we close the interview?
Zoey: Thanks for taking your time out to talk to me. Salute to Saving Grace
Music!! as the first lady I shall rep you well lol…..Erm a big thank you
to anyone that’s supported me in my career so far, fingers crossed I’ll
do you proud. Come check me out on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ZoeBrookJackson) & keep up to date with my movements, I should be coming to a town near you soon…
Chill. Minimal. Introspective.
These are all the words that come to mind as I listened to this record. I always look for music artists who take their own expression and make you grow as a listener. As I made my way through Artifuel’s Lost in the Moment I found a world that was like watching a painting unfold with long strokes of a small brush. Rather than flood your senses with a barrage of different musical colors, Lost in the Moment challenges you to see the little things that make music what it is.
You see each song being built from styles like glitch, trip-hop, downtempo and others. Ultimately the beats and the ambient tones coalesce to create a product that lets you think while listening. Some music forces you to give it your undivided attention, with Lost in the Moment you find yourself bouncing inner thoughts off of the music.
The songs are more like markers on a map, you are being told where you have been and what is coming next. I could easily see myself driving in the pouring Los Angeles rain with this album coming out of my speakers. If you like Aphex Twin and Autechre, I think Artifuel’s music should be on your listening list.
Download Lost in the Moment here http://artifuel.bandcamp.com/releases