Money clothing is becoming one of the most must have street wear brands of the last few years and the this years new Spring Summer collection looks set to be another crowd pleaser.
Money clothing has come a long way since its launch as a t-shirt brand at the Las Vegas trade show ‘Magic’ in 2003. Now stocking a range of products from jeans, hoodies and accessories. Not wanting to get lost in today‘s wide variety of choice on the high street, the brand has a bold and distinctive look. From jeans with $1 notes sealed into the back pocket to brightly coloured, printed and embellished tees and hoodies, Money clothing is not one for the shy, retiring types. The king ape is now a recognised and respected logo both on the high street and on the music scene.
For the trend conscious of you out there, have no fear, Money clothing has embraced the spring brights with their ‘Colour of Money’ collection. With printed tees, crew neck jumpers and hoodies in all summer’s vivid yellows, greens and blues.
Loved by celebrities both in the UK and across the pond, Money Clothing is one of few brands repped by artists in various musical genres. From hip hop and ‘r n b’ artists like 50 cent, Tinie Tempah and Roll Deep to grime artists such as MC Marger and RoXXXan. Even style icon David Beckham is a fan. With t-shirts starting from £35 and jeans from around £80 thankfully you don’t need the bank account of these celeb fans to get your hands on this gear.
With festival season just around the corner its time to start thinking how to look cool and stand out from the crowd. We’re predicting quite a few king ape logos on the festival scene this summer. So the question is will Money Clothing be on your festival shopping list? Cos its certainly on ours!
Money clothing is becoming one of the most must have street wear brands of the last few years and the this years new Spring Summer collection looks set to be another crowd pleaser.
Icicle – Under the Ice LP Review and Q and A
This debut LP from Icicle, released on Shogun Audio, could well be one of the most important drum n bass albums of theyear, with possibly only Breaks latest LP to contend with. Under the Ice shows versatility and promise for yet more drum n bass production of this standard in the future, upping the game for the producers of years to come. Don’t get me wrong; he delves into other genres;
Breathing Again has a strong moving female vocal which leads into a deep crunchy dubstep onslaught, backed with amazing contrasting atmospheric synths, a big tune!; 1, 2, Go has a 2 step minimal vibe at around 130bpm with an almost 80’s style synth leading the melody; Also Icicle ventures even further away from drum n bass for the final, and hidden track of the album, (as to why its hidden I haven’t got a clue). It has no name because it’s hidden, which adds to stupid idea of it being hidden. But it’s a mediocre deep house tune…
… which is why I previously mentioned Under the Ice to be potentially one of the most important drum n bass albums of the year;
The opening track “Step Forward” is a great intro to an album of such high calibre of production. It eases the listener gently into what is yet to come. A soothing male vocal helps the percussion and breaks rise, creating atmospheric timbres many producers these days in dnb are too afraid, or are simply unable to create. The following track Dreadnaught, which
features a catchy verse and hook courtesy of SPMC, takes the sound raw and heavy. It contains rumbling bass hits and crisp breaks that never stop and sound like theyr’e capable of destroying raves to pieces, however the vocal could get a bit annoying after more than several listens. Personally I believe the better vocal track on the album is Bitter Taste featuring Manchester DnB/Hip-hop don MC DRS.
Top of the Page is a stand out tune. A full on hard-hitting deep rave vibe with hypnotic percussion, which drops into filthy sub bass and chopped breaks.
Nausea is the deep roller of the LP. It creeps in without any obvious build up and contains that very signature Icicle sound that’s been present in his production from the start of his career, never failing to pay attention to detail.
Definite originality awards go to Arrows, which features a mandolin led build up with panpipes that drops into a mash up of breaks that sound incredibly like an array of arrows flying towards you, narrowly missing your ears!
The euphoric “I Feel U” keeps up with the high quality production of the whole LP whilst adding another element to it, one of techy sounds and more experimental beats and build ups, whilst the final (listed) track on the LP, Europa, provides a fitting outro to the milestone in drum n bass production that is Under the Ice.
Its downtempo half time dnb breaks, with a range of eclectic minor scale synth sounds make this not only sound a bit like the ending credits for a French art film, but also that Thom Yorke could have actually produced it for Kid A a few years back.
I highly fucking doubt he could have produced the rest….
(rating out of ten:eight and a half)
Example : Icicle where are you from and how did you get into electronic music?
Icicle : Im from Eindhoven in The Netherlands. From a young age I was playing piano and keyboard and playing the drums. I guess I got into electronic music gradually, from house music on MTW when I was really young, to Techno and Drum and Bass when I was 15 and started blagging my way into clubs.
Example: Which came first, producing or djing??
Icicle : Probably producing. Although at the time I was just messing around really, I Think I bought my first decks when I was around 14 so It kinda went parallel.
Example: What was the first and last piece of music you bought?
Icicle : The first piece I couldn't remember but I'm sure it was crap. The last piece, Marcel Dettmann's latest 12", I think?
Example: You've had success producing dubstep and drum and bass which would you say you prefer??
Icicle: Both! It really is the same music anyway apart from the Tempo. Drum and Bass is special because I grew up with it, but Dubstep is great because its newer and there is more room to experiment?
Example: Your album is out now on Shogun Audio this month.? How did you go about putting it together and was it difficult trying to make tunes for an LP compared to 12"s ?
Icicle: I started about 2 years ago, from a concept phase. I was thinking about how it should be different from what I had done already and how I wanted to still keep it sounding like it was an icicle album. I decided i wanted it to be a real album in the sense that it needed a start a middle and an end. It shouldn't just be a bunch of DJ music but also work on an iPod. It has been really difficult but that because I made it as hard for myself as i possibly could. I decided as long as I wasn't 100% happy, I'd keep working on it.
Example: do you have a favourite track on the album?
Icicle : I don't think I have. There are a few I like more than others now, but they are all quite different and i like them for different reasons. I guess redemption is pretty special in the sense that I got to work with Robert Owens.
Example: What do you listen to outside of drum and bass??
Icicle: Anything thats good. Which for me turns out to be a lot of techno these days. Theres nothing like a bit of decent jazz on the iPod either!
Example: Give us an interesting fact about yourself?
Icicle: I'll be the first DnB Dj to play on Mars.
Example: What do you think you would be doing if you weren't making music??
Icicle: The only other thing that seems likely to me is leading an oppressed people to freedom, kinda like a messiah.
Example: If you could collaborate with anyone alive or dead who would you choose??
Icicle: Michael Jackson for the cash and just to bring him back from the dead, Jeff Mills because i wish i made 'the bells'.
Example: What tunes are never out of your box at the moment??
Icicle : Spinline - Tokyo has been in every set since I had it. Also 'Four Days' by BC has made a return to the record bag.
Example: Do you have a favourite place to play? ?
Icicle : I love travelling so anywhere far away from home. But then gigs in London always have such a unique vibe. So really, I wouldn't know.
Marcus Intalex has rightly become a figurehead for intelligent and soulful drum & bass. His many years in the scene and his commitment to signing and releasing consistently great music through Soul:R throughout the label's history have made him a key tastemaker for DJs and listeners across the globe. After a brief hiatus, his club night Soul:ution is back and it continues to go from strength to strength with line ups featuring sought after artists like Calibre, dBridge and current man of the moment S.P.Y. There's always been something missing though…
Finally, 21 is here.
It's amazing to think that with such a lengthy career already behind him and such a revered position within drum and bass that this is Marcus' first solo LP, so thank goodness is was worth the wait! The title apparently refers to the 21 years Marcus has spent in the industry and as you might expect the record itself draws on the wealth of influence and knowledge he has amassed over that time. Having been vocal in his support of the detroit techno sound and instrumental in popularising the current trend for the minimal and musical dnb styles that have evolved from those roots, it's no surprise to hear this as a major element of the record. The trademark funk and soul synonymous with Soul:R are present too making this a collection suitable for the iPod or the dancefloor.
The final cut features 12 tracks the main part of which are dnb tempo although there are a few excursions into the 130-140 bracket which serve to break up the record nicely. From the moody opener 'Make a Raise ft. S.P.Y and Ras Tweed' , the pace and sound morphs comfortably from track to track with a good selection of guest appearances making this a cohesive and varied collection.
The are a few surprises, including a cover of 'Climbing up the Walls' from Radiohead's seminal OK Computer record featuring Lynx and Fierce. This rendition is a nice variation on the original and brings some fresh ideas to the table but it lacks some of the terrifying claustrophobia that made Radiohead's version so intense. The summery dub-reggae vibes of 'Paulista' are a welcome if unexpected addition to the album and are just begging for the beach and barbecue season to begin properly.
Other particularly noteworthy tracks include the uplifting liquid of 'Celestial Navigation', the airy drumstep of 'Regrets' featuring the etherial vocal talents of Riya, the fantastically named 'Wacky Races' and the chilled out breakbeat flavoured 'From the Ashes' .
The closer 'Make Way' is a reflective number with Soul:R mainstay MC DRS at his most soulful, offering "All this'll make sense one day, my times running out and I'm still trying to make may" It left me pondering whether in penning the track the writers were voicing their own feelings, and if so, on what level. Artistically at least, I think 21 brings Marcus pretty close to his goal. Let's just hope we don't have to wait another 21 years for the next LP.
F2D CLothing, the Birmingham City streets born brand was created by a trio of long time friends Gary Thompson, Marcus Isaac & Daniel Gardiner. From the start, F2D Clothing have brought limited edition alternative wear to the normal high street labels you see plastered all over most people these days.
Worn by Dizzee Rascal, J2K, Ghetts & Leo Gregory to name a few, F2D embodies the UK street lifestyle translated into raw material and will constantly strive to keep it fresh. F2D explains their new concept, The Survive Series Concept.
"F2D is neither street wear, high street, or high end, we are somewhere in between, We Are F2D!
Their Survive series concept is based on the reality that we all need to survive and provide for each other and ourselves It is also a celebration of the adversities the label has come through on its journey to get to where it is now and SURVIVE
Check out the full collection on the website ...
words by Lucien Heritier
Kemp Town Carnival Extravaganza was a sensory experience. Held in Concorde 2, the lights and performers were visually exciting, colourful and imaginative. The music was an innovative mixture, from orchestral psy-Drum and Bass with Carnival Collective, to african tribal beats, and more, with Kalakuta Millionaires in room one, and gypsy, “Carnivalesque”, Dub Step and Drum and Bass (including Djs such as Afrobase), to heavy Dub with Roots Garden in room two. It was an Extravaganza in all senses of the word!
Carnival Collective are a truly spectacular spectacle. They are as much a visual experience as well as a musical one, and, after having listened to there music on their myspace before going to see them, it is clear that this is a band that must be seen as well as heard. They are a group made of 30 to 50 musicians and dancers and it was something in itself to see that many performers fit on the stage! Originating from the Sussex Coast, the group began as mainly percussive but now also include a large brass section, guitars, bass, several vocalists, and synths. Besides being a collection of serious musicians who are evidently skilled, they are also fun. Fun to watch, fun to listen to, fun to experience!
Headlining the event, Brighton-based Kalakuta Millionaires took the place by storm. Their energy was magnetic. Their dynamic front (wo)man’s performance was strong, her powerful voice and presence was infectious. She bounced around the stage, her expressive personality dancing her songs. The group comprise of 16 musicians, brass, percussion and vocals. A fusion of Latin-American sounds with traditional African beats, the group have recently surged in to the lime-light with a session for Mark Lamarr’s Radio 2 show ‘God’s Jukebox’ and exposure on ‘Craig Charels Funk & Soul Show’ on BBC 6 Music.
Set up in 2005, Roots Garden is a label which represent UK artists and producers who focus on traditional Reggae and Dub. Their presence at the event fused brilliantly with the highly varied, yet thematic, other acts. Bringing bass and beats that ripped through the dancers in room two, contrasting nicely to the faster tempos of Carnival Collective and Kalaktua Millionaires.
Also in room two, the imaginative selection of Dub Step and Drum and Bass from Carnivalesque Djs added to the atmosphere of fantasia. From circus inspired gypsy, balkan beats to disco, to asian, global beats, this collective brought an added creative element to the already varied mixture of sounds and vibes.
The event was put on by Cook-the-Rabbit events as a fundraiser for the Kemp Town Carnival to help bring it back to George Street this June. The Kemp Town Carnival usually takes place annually to celebrate the area, drawing attention to its unique energy.
“The event is expected to draw an audience of up to 10,000 people, with attractions on the day including; The Parade of Flowers (very large samba parade), 3 /4 live band stages with...... a robot parade, a small army of street performers, Capoeira displays, choirs, dance troupes, graffiti workshops, break dancing, a fashion event, art and book fairs, community market, a children’s area, magicians, creative workshops....and more!”
Enei is a Drum&Bass producer hailing from Russia. He mixes old-school Neurofunk and Techstep with fresh and trendy futuristic minimal Drum&Bass. Enei has had releases on the likes of Critical, Hospital, Med School, C.I.A., Brand:Nu, Metalheadz, RAM, Bounce, 31R, Fokuz, Blu Citrus, Icarus Audio and D-Style to name a few. Recently, he placed third in the Russian DnB Awards 2011. We caught up with Enei to discuss his Drum&Bass career so far, his non DnB projects and future plans.
Example: Hey, how're you? Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about you, what’re you doing besides music?
ENEI: Hi, My name’s Alexey Enei, I own a studio in St.Petersburg, Russia, where I’m working with sound. I’m helping musicians to improve their sound, make mastering and also I do movie voicing. So, generally everything what I’m doing refers to sound and music.
Example: When did you start producing (DJing) Drum&Bass? How did it all start?
ENEI: I started Djing first and then producing about eight years ago. My friends had shown me some jump up mixes of the late 90’s and I really liked that music. All those solid bass and jungle beats. Later on I decided to make my own music, but at that moment I was interested in a darker side of Drum&Bass, so my tracks were sounding like those of early Kemal and Bad Company’s ones. Photek’s album Solaris had a great impact on my music and I guess I still get inspiration from his tracks.
EXAMPLE : What does your name mean?
ENEI: Don’t try to find any meaning in it. It's just a four-letters word. Me and a friend were inventing some cool names and he suggested NA. I liked it, but it could be regarded as Not Available, so I’ve transformed it to Enei. I know it’s a bit hard to pronounce for the Europeans, but I like it.
EXAMPLE: Do you have favourite Drum&Bass producers?
ENEI: At the moment they’re Icicle, SPY, Alix Perez always makes great music, Breakage, Loadstar and many more.
EXAMPLE: How did you feel when your first track was released?
ENEI: It was such a big moment for me! I was striving for it for a long time and finally achieved it. Though, at the moment I’m not satisfied with the result.
EXAMPLE: What do you consider was your greatest achievement? And what are you goals?
EN EI: I’m one of those people who don’t mark out something in their work. As it’s said, to achieve you can’t stop. But to be honest, at the moment ‘Cracker’ smashed the charts and this fact’s really increasing my self-esteem.
EXAMPLE: Have you been DJing abroad and in what countries?
ENEI: Yes, I’ve been DJing several times in Europe: in Slovakia and Belgium. Not a long time ago I went on a tour to Israel. And last year I went to New Zealand for the first time in my life and played three cities there.
EXAMPLE: And what about UK?
ENEI: I and some guys from the UK are working on it. Don’t want to show all the cards yet.
EXAMPLE: Who would you like to collab with?
ENEI: I’d really like to create something with Icicle and Alix Perez. I really like their sound and ideas. They always make the dance floor rollers, but of course in a more intellectual way. That’s what I’m trying to achieve in my music.
EXAMPLE : Tell us a bit more about forthcoming release with Subwave on Metalheadz? When is it gonna be released?
ENEI: To be honest I don’t really know all the details. I can just say that two tunes with Gleb (Subwave) will be included in his album. Probably some of them will be released as singles.
EXAMPLE: Do you have any other projects (not Drum&Bass)?
ENEI: Yes, I have several. Giant is my second most important alliance after Enei. Me and my friends are making Dubstep. We’re not actually doing anything at the moment, because we got fed up with the usual sounding of Dubstep. We wanna try to make something new. Also I experiment with Ambient music under the name of The Plain. And also I try to develop the House music. I’ve got a different name for that as well - Miami Call.
EXAMPLE: But what do you prefer to produce? Drum&bass or something else?
ENEI: It’s hard to tell. From time to time I just like to search and find something in the library samples and make something interesting out of it.
EXAMPLE: What are you using for production?
ENEI: I use FL Studio as a sequencer. And in regards to mastering I use Power Core from TC Electronics.
EXAMPLE: Where do you usually start when making a tune? How long does it take to make one?
ENEI: I always start with drums as I’m a drummer myself and this is always a heart of the track for me. To finish one tune it usually takes from 5-6 hours to a couple of days. I don’t find it reasonable to work more than that on a tune. That’s the same as overcooking the spaghetti.
EXAMPLE: What are you working on at the moment? Are there any releases planned in the near future?
ENEI : I’m working on the album and some other tunes that are going to be released on Critical Music. I’m really happy that Kasra literally gave a shelter to me. We get along really well workwise, in regard to that is our last release with Cracker and Danger Dance tunes. I really enjoy working with this label. Kasra releases the music that I really like. Now I’ll tell you a bit about my plans for the future. In June look out for my EP on Critical Music. There will be a remix on Cracker from Jubei and also absolutely new tune featuring Riya. There’ll be also some vinyl releases on Blackout, Revolution, and Metalheadz. Also, on April 18th look out for my remix on Distance – Falling that will be released on major label Island Records.
Example: Finally, there’re some quick questions, What’s your favourite season?
ENEI: Midnight Express, directed by Alan Parker
Example:Your favourite ice cream flavour?
Example: Favourite drink?
ENEI: Gin and beer
Example: Do you have any fears?
Example:Favourite university subject?
ENEI: Architecture acoustic
Example:What annoys you most?
Example: And finally do you want do add anything?
ENEI:Listen to more music, read books and try to be less nervous.
Words: Anna Ludvig
Beardyman. Beatboxer, MC, comedian; his refusal to be put in a box and pushing himself way beyond what most beatboxers would consider limits has managed to secure him sets all across the world, including support slots on Groove Armada's tour and performances on huge festival main stages.
Bouncing onto the scene in the mid noughties, Beardyman (real name Darren Foreman) has come a long way. Frustrated with the restriction of the human mouth, but obsessed with its unparalleled capabilities, he quickly became a leading figure in the trend of live-looping, introducing Korg Kaos Pads as a live-looping tool.
After all this success, Beardyman is still not satisfied. This year sees the release of his debut album 'I Done A Album', showcasing some of his own crazy, comical creations. With so much going on right now in Beardyman's career, Example thought it would be rude not to catch up with him.
Example: Safe Beardyman, can you introduce yourself to the readers and give us a little bit of background information about yourself?
Beardyman: I am Beardyman, it's not my real name, but it's sexier than my real one so i changed it by deedpole. My real name is Nufral Demara. My parents are both adopted. I started beatboxing when i was 3 and was consistently told to stop it, until one day someone gave me a microphone and the resulting noise catapulted me into superstardom where you find me today, a rotting hulk of a man poisoned by fame and riddled with a deep and all-pervading paranoia.
Example: So, what initially got you into beatboxing?
Beardyman : Rahzel. His album was a revelation. I'd always beatboxed but never before thought that it could be anything other than a vaguely annoying habit. I ended up gigging loads and always incorporating comedic stuff into my sets, just cos i felt like it. Then i won the UK championship twice in a row. Then i had a bath.
Example: Your sets comprise of a variety of different genres. Do you have a preferred musical genre?
Beardyman: No. There's good, bad and excellent in every genre. Why seperate things by genre anyway? My favourite pieces of music are impossible to define. I'm all about Ween and Jon Hopkins at the moment.
Example: How would you describe your style?
Beardyman: pass. . .
Example: How has the involvement of samplers and various other equipment in your sets changed the way you perform?
Beardyman: I couldn't do what i do without the technology. Beatboxing is for kids. It's never really interested me. It fascinates me in the same way that religion does, fascinating but i want no part in it. It's a means to an end. A way of making music, a component. The sampling and looping technology which i use is what i'm really excited about. . and beatboxing is just a way of getting ideas down quickly, and luckily i'm not bad at it.
Example: How do you go about memorising your sets?
Beardyman: I don't. They're improvised. Sometimes i'll take a rough plan, attempt to stick to it and end up completely going off piste and landing up somewhere totally random and doing nothing which i planned to do. . I'm not sure what my problem is. . . but i think it's something to do with drugs.
Example: What's been your best gig to date?
The biggest has been Bestival 2010 where 15,000 people turned up to see me. . . it was crazy. The best gig though. . . i can't possibly choose. . . I love all my children equally. . apart from the bad ones who must be punished because they are witches and ruined the crops.
Example: Have you had a worst gig yet?
Beardyman : yeah. . . i played a wedding for some gangsters in 2008. terrifying. Never again.
Example: You played a sold out run of solo comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Do you think being the 'funny man' has helped push your career forward compared to the 'standard' beatboxer?
Beardyman: Spose so - more strings to your bow isn't it. I mean, i don't want to be a beatboxer. . . no one's ever bettered rahzel as far as I'm concerned, and why should they bother. . its a very juvenile thing to do. Pretending to be a drum machine. . yeah. . clever. OOh look at me i'm a drum machine!. . . no your not, your a grown man now stop being silly and get a job.
Example: When you play live you look like your having a right laugh and seem like your on a level with the crowd. Is having fun a very important part of your performances?
Beardyman: I figure - if I'm not enjoying myself then nor will they. . . people pick up on the tiniest things. . . Stop for a tiny pause or snigger or raise an eyebrow or just do some tiny micro expression and depending on the context of what's going on the audience can, en-mass, pick up on every detail of your emotions and thought processes. And since I'm improvising i do have to genuinely be in a good mood, or I'll just churn out shoe-gazer/Jack dee/IDM.
Example: Your new album 'I Done A Album' is out very soon. What was the idea behind this album?
Beardyman : The idea was to make an album. So I did. I didn't want to build in any restrictions, like everything being made form my voice, as my shows don't have those restrictions either. Playing live, I have keyboards and synthesisers and other noise machines. . There are no restrictions when i play live so why restrict myself when i make an album.
Example: Have you always wanted to be a 'songwriter' and release albums or is this just a natural progression for you?
Beardyman: I've always written songs. . since i was five. I learned piano and guitar as a kid and have played constantly. . . there are surprisingly few actual songs on the album though. Lots of tunes, hip hop homages and concept pieces, and some weird song-type things but there are no guitars on it and very little actual proper singer-songwriting, although, saying that, there ARE, just not in the way which i used to write songs when i was a teenager: guitar/piano chords, lyrics, middle eight, solo, cry-wank etc. .
Example: Live performances have obviously made you the recognisable figure you are today. How different do you find recording to live performances?
Beardyman: Well, live recordings generally happen in a studio and end up on a CD or as a digital download, whereas live performances happenings performed to audiences at live events. I'm being facetious... because I'm a knob, but it has actually been interesting trying to avoid the distinction between these dictating the feel of the album. I wanted the album to reflect the immediacy and spontaneity of the live sets but sound more polished. . . my next album will be even more flowing i think. This album is tracks and skits. They flow into each other but are still discrete tracks. I'd like to do a Goldie and make an album which has no tracks at all, so you can never be arsed to put it on. That'd rock.
Example: What can we expect to see from you this year?
Beardyman: Many, many gigs, some new tunes, many new and exciting things to be put up on youtube, possibly a DVD and many weird projects I've been involved with will be surfacing too.
Example: Any dates we should be sticking in our diary?
Beardyman: Many, watch this space! Go to Beardyman.co.uk and sign up to the mailing list and i'll tell you about everything coming up! BIG!
Example: Do you have any vices?
Beardyman : Yes. Coke and Whores. . .oh and murder.. i just can't stop murdering. . . it's a problem. . i'm seeing someone about it. . we're working through it. I haven't killed in a while. We're making progress.
Example: Any tips for anybody out there trying to make it into the music scene?
Beardyman: Yeah, get a job you useless layabout. This country needs drones. Oh and pay your taxes, also take as many drugs as you can get your hands on. Also, join the army, shit yourself whenever possible and whatever you do, don't talk to strangers they may be evil strangers.
Example: Any shout outs?
Beardyman: Big up my mum. Massive respect to Lionel Blair and Matthew Corbet, Sooty crew, Big up Vanessa Feltz. Massive. . genuinely huge.
Example: Finally, marmite, love it or hate it?
Beardyman: indifferent. . don't believe their marketing bullshit. Think for yourself. Be the change. Start stockpiling food now. . all is lost.
Macsen Alexander Flook is a recent graduate of Illustration with Animation at Manchester Metropolitan University. Macsen is currently based in North Wales and has recently become interested in the darker side of traditional children’s stories like Little Red Riding Hood. He experiments with typography and appreciates the link illustration has with popular culture and music: album artwork, flyers, fanzines and music video animation. His work has a graphic, playful quality which contrasts delicacy of line with bold forms and composition. He creates his stories in magical worlds filled with quirky characters. He is currently developing a website and blog of his work so keep en eye out! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason is a hip hop artist with San Francisco based Froth’n Records. The newly released 7 track EP consists of chilled out hip hop tunes. Throughout the EP tracks are mellow, introducing soft vocals and concise rhythms in different ways. This relaxed vibe is perfect for chilling out to during the soon to come warm summer evenings. Why not take some time out to read the 2,500 word essay he wrote in answer to our two questions. We haven't got time to go through it and correct it.
Listen to this stream of the EP while you read...
1. What inspires your music?
Whoa talk about broad. I’ll truncate this shit or it could become an epic like Gilgamesh. Hmm, the weird the random the genuine… Riding the bus to work. So like I ride on the bus with all these kids from UCLA and Santa Monica community college and just coping the scene is nuts. Like for example, UCLA kids are all like poorly sophisticated like trying to look fly on a budget, and then the SMC kids are like DIPPED, fucking fresh to death head to toe, and crazy ‘not having it’ faces on.
Everybody just shitting on you with each glance, like psh you ain’t shit, I’m like dressed like Chris Brown. Yeah I said it. Chris fucking Brown. Community College kids in west LA apparently think Chris Brown’s fashion is like mind boggling. I mean no one has ever said it, but you just look at everyone there and you want to fucking barf. So that’s inspiring. Mix in a couple homeless people with shit on their pants still and like a standing room only bus packed full of people going nowhere with life and you have inspiration galore.
I have this ipod shuffle I bought used for like 20 bucks that I put the beats on and just ride the Big Blue Bus with this like 1000 yard prison yard stare-fucking not having it to the max-biceps exploding out of me sleeves which is hilarious because the beats are like “It’s gonna be alright”. Hahah. Just happy shit. Music I made because it was like stuff I wanted to listen to and nobody I respected or was down with was like making it. There was like this void. The abyss, ever see that movie?
Where like in the end some fucking alien spaceship platform raises out of the Mariana Trench or some shit. FUCKING SEA ALIENS. Yeah they inspire me. Did you know squids are like the smartest ocean animals. Everyones on this like dolphin, oh the Navy has them trained to defuse bombs bullshit, but it you were like legit with your information you’d realize Squids are above and beyond the smartest animals. Seriously. Google it. After the world ends they’ll most like inherit the earth.
My sister has a paranoia about sea animals and I just like dropped this fucking gamma ray burst of squid FACTS fiction science fiction whatever on her and legit changed her life forever. More than likely leviathon is a squid, and yeah yeah yeah also the ancient reference to a period in time of destruct seas aka tsunamis like now. Lifting weights inspires my shit. My life is pretty concise at this point. I live super on the low. I sleep on the floor. No mattress none of that bullshit.
I don’t wanna get comfortable in life you know? But yeah just nestled between piles of records, some fucking janky recoding equipment which consists of some cheap desktop speakers I legit bought for 20 bucks in a craigslist ad that I use for mixing and mastering (if you can call it that), a computer and an M-Audio controller. Oh yeah some really bad usb turntable so I can import shit. I’m not into the whole hi-fidelty thing. Before we paid someone to master these, which consisted basically of me just turning the levels down below zero, I would pump everything super hot like 8db plus. I’m into that. Poor sound quality that is. Hiphop is raw. It’s fucking sloopy.
It’s all emotional. I feel like that’s why it can be transformative when used correctly; like that “Its gonna be alright” cut last track on the A side, which isn’t the name of it, there are no names, fucking labeling sucks dick, but yeah that song to me…. Man I made that like 8 years ago. I STILL bump that on the regular. It’s a timeless emotional message in that way. I always felt like, fuck, if Mos Def got on the beat, it would change the world. Hahah, bedroom illusions of grandeur, but who cares you know?
A man can dream can’t he? So that’s a source of inspiration too, when you make a beat like FUCK if Ghostface was on this, or Jay electronica, or Shabazz the Disciple (most underated emcee possibly ever), like fuckkkkkkkk we’d be bumming people out. But that isn’t the case. It’s just me laying on my floor bed like its some fucking grade school slumber party staring at that Alice Coltrane album cover from Lord of Lords where she has that fly afro on the cover (to my right), my fine girlfriend naked splayed out as an inspirational muse (center) and a bench press, curling, free weight station (to my left). I always lift weights when working on beats. It’s like lay some drum tracks, set, play a lead, set, scour some records for ill shit, set, grab a tit, set, read a page of Grunch of Giants, set… Mind body spirit all in one little vessel. My humble bedroom. I had this whole period where I got rid of everything I owned and lived with nothing, on some ascetic St Anthony in the desert type shit. It was like being in solitary confinement by choice. After that I just became my own best friend. I like would just make beats (the only thing I kept, seriously no fridge or stove).
It was a dialogue with myself. My musings. My sanity, or lack there of. It was all I had. This invisible collage of the world inside my head. It’s like on some Hannah Hoch Kurt Schwitters shit. I’ve always approached making beats that way. From a fine art perspective. I went to Calarts out here as a design major. For some reason, even before I went to art school I was always approaching beats as this sonic collage. Grab some like 500 pound marshian chick from the cover of national enquirer, an ad for an escort from the back of la weekly, some paint, some pencil drawings of horses kissing, who knows and just compose it. Make it happen. That’s my approach to beats. You could replace any of those things I just mentioned with like ehhh whistling record, prophet
keyboard, random vocal styyyyylings, it’s all the same shit. It’s how you chop it. A lot of times, shit doesn’t even need to be chopped. I know with people like Primo and really everyone, 4th disciple, Rza, it was like chopping it, flipping it, etc. And yeah I do that, but really sometimes that loop is just so ill. Say James brown orchestrated that, who am I to fuck that up? Oh its suddenly fly because I pitched it at the end of 2 bars and added a drum roll from some jazz record? Neh. A lot of times I feel like I'm this archeologist like finding shit and trying to teach a class of disinterested community college kids whats up. Like man this fucking track you’d totally overlook because its not overcompressed with super simple synth lines, man I’ll just put some fucking hard ass drums and replay the bass out thick and just add some of this and that from so and so. Sprinkle some rosemary in this bitch. Blam. It’s kinda how I hear the songs in my head when they play. Like fuck if I had been Curtis Mayfield I just would have chopped it right there looped that out 4 bars, done a horn section toward the end, done this really great drum roll rev crash splash combo thing and shifted into a section from something else. Just take the whole mood to the next level. Fucking invisible dimensions. I’m trying to loop up infinty man. Saul Williams on the track telegram said,
Damn, that loop is tight
That nigga found a way to sample the way the truth the light
Can't wait to play myself at the party tonight
Niggas are gonna die
Like fuck! How many times have YOU felt like that making beats. Fucking people are gonna DIE. You’re just up in your room, lab, studio, hot box, sweat lodge, sex party whatever is your steeze and you just fucking loop up truth and light for that moment…. And its captured forever. Save. Export. Fucking copy it to like 50 cds incase it gets lost someday. Distill all the wisdom of Egypt or the Buddah into a sequence of chops from some records, drums patterns, fingers and mind states. That’s the goal. Sitting in my room. Alone. Staring at the heaviness of matter in some 45 plates. Staring at the monuments of time, records platters, like Saturn’s rings surrounding me. Vinyl testaments to the power of sound. Word sound. Nada Brahma and all that. And here we are full circle. This became Gilgamesh except its like a flood of words. I'm Sorry. I’ve spent tons of time alone ya know; then someone is like oh how’s your day? And your like well I’ll tell you sir, I’m about to drop Jodorowsky, Buckminster Fuller and Alexander Pike in a blender and serve it on a platter of Rza circa 1994 to you up in this BITCH….hopefully… maybe…
2. Who do you look up to?
Sun Ra primarily. Everyone is on the like Space is the Place, Astro Black tip, but I’m really fucking feeling God is More than Love Could Ever Be and The Antique Blacks. Even his early doo woop shit. I mean I love Sun Ra. My girlfriends always have dreams that Sun Ra comes to them as their spiritual guide. I take this as a positive sign, being that none of them knew about him prior.
Alejandro Jodorowsky. Holy Mountain is probably my favorite movie ever, hands down… El Topo was a bit too long, I felt like it could have been edited 45 mins shorter and been way more powerful but whatever. I fucking love that dude. I’m also pretty sure he married Marilyn Manson at Gottfried Helnwein’s castle in Ireland. How can you beat that?
Frank Zane. I love how he emphasized aesthetics over sheer mass. Yeah Arnold was like a fucking crazy overall specimen who ushered in the era of just like general monstrosity, and lou ferrigno was always too stocky and short for my interest, but there was this moment in time, this belly button window in the profressional body building world if you will, when all the planets aligned and Frank Zane just like nailed it. Total eclipse. Google him. That photo in black and white with the fucking beard is hilarious.
Wolfgang Weingart. Probably my favorite designer ever. His step typography forever changed the way I viewed swiss typography. I was hating on it, all that JM Brockmann grid bullshit. Like fuck power structures. How did Michel Foucault feel about Brockmann’s fucking grids? That’s what I want to know. Visual power structures. Bakunin would have shot that guy. But then out of nowhere comes this dude with tortoise shell shades and a crazy sidepart combover thing and just broke free from that, while still prancing all over its conservative tendencies. If you don’t know him man, google his shit. THAT is graphic design. Just bumming people out. Primarily typographic shit too. I want THAT dude to design for me in life. Real talk.
Buckminster Fuller. I mean if anyone has shaped my world view, its BMF. I’m not even talking all his eco shit that is so trendy to be into nowadays. Read grunch of giants then like his opus critical path after that. Then Britain and the British Seas by Halford Mackinder, father of geopolitics, heartland theory all that. Then maybe the Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins and after that Morals and Dogma by Alexander Pike. Then shoot yourself, because you’ll be just like fucked. You’ll be sleeping on the floor too. Laying low, hiding out, waiting to turn the tides.
Supermodels for having the determination to not eat and not feed their minds either. It’s fucking nuts.
Slinky, this cat my parents had, for being a survivor. Seriously. My parents had like 75 pets, well not really but like 20 in my life and they basically all got eaten by coyotes EXCEPT slinky, this unassuming Russian blue cat. Now initially I wasn’t into him but overtime and the fact that he attacked me as if he were feral basically everytime he saw me, led me to develop a profound respect for him as a MAN. He was the Tookie of the neighborhood.
One time he beat up our pitbulls so bad they’re faces were healing from scratches for fucking weeks. We had to keep him inside away from the dogs. Talk about LEGIT. Then one day I serendipitously cruised down to San Diego only to find out that my dad had put the fucking cat to sleep because he was bored of him. How fucked up is that? This cat that lived like 15 years and out lived every pet ever, my dad is suddenly like, “neh he doesn’t respond when I call him anymore, I think he’s senile, lets put him to sleep and get something new.” So fucked. Dad I know you’re out there in the ether, and that was so weakkkkkkk. But when you hear the word Slinky, don’t think awesome metal thing that can saunter down stairsteps with ease, think SURVIVOR.
And I’ll leave it at that, because this could really go on forever. I hope you guys cop the EP. I made it in my bedroom. Laying on the ground talking to myself about pretty much everything I just wrote. A veritable cornucopia of self indulgence, perverted wisdom and boundless love for hiphop. I never thought these beats would come out, Ive got piles more, but this guy I work with was like “Yo, you should share this shit man…” So I did. Maybe some kid laying in his room like fuck my life will hear these tracks and be like, you know what. Fuck Jason, his beats aren’t even that good. I can make better. And they get up and do it. And put that shit out. And I pump it like fucking YES. Finally I can stop doing this and focus on like, lacing up a Victoria secret model and building that castle in Grenada I’ve been planning… If you’re in LA, hit me up, we’ll get wasted.
Errors all over. If it doesn’t make sense go cry to someone who cares – like God.
Acoustic guitar and a crisp vocal could not foretell what is to come in ‘Space Between’, when only moments in we are gripped by its driving bass and gnarly beats and plunged into its almighty drop. An unmistakeable drum ‘n’ bass rhythm fused with a sing-a-long hook and chorus make this track borderline schizophrenic, yet provide its unique flavour.
This certified party giant is accompanied by ‘BLVD’. Coveting sophisticated strings, subtle vintage nods and a stunning vocal, it certainly does not disappoint. The diva voice, clean beats and suave composition of this B-side ooze old-school superiority and demonstrate perfectly why Xample and Lomax are widely recognised as one of the most talented production pairs on the circuit.
Loadstar have managed to combine an emotive, ballad-like vocal melody, drama fuelled instrumentation and an energetic punchy bass line - with fantastic results. Creating such a balance is no mean feat; however it is a task that the Bristol duo and label mates, Chase & Status, master like no other. There is no doubt this is an e.p fit for both the duvet and the discotheque.
The new e.p, which is set for release on March 28th 2011, demonstrates a slightly more commercialised sound from Loadstar compared to its predecessor ‘Link to the Past’, yet the alliance of Xample’s raw dance-floor style and Lomax’s musical edge create the unmistakeable Loadstar sound.
Having grown up in and around the scene in Bristol and played all over the country, both men were scouted out by Ram records. They have enjoyed individual triumphs with tracks such as ‘Artisan’ and 'Heaven and Hell' and have been working together under the moniker, Loadstar, since 2007.
Previous single ‘Link to the Past’ won ‘Best Single of the Year’ on Drum & Bass Arena, and the duo look set to continue their success this year, having been tipped for big things in the annual radio 1xtra poll. With the powers that be in Radio 1 backing them, an album eagerly anticipated for late spring, and a string of stonking remixes getting air time, Loadstar look to be unstoppable in 2011.
Example: How do you go about working together in terms of studio time?
Loadstar: Each track seems to come together in a different way, but due to our work load its very rare for us to work on a track from start to ﬁnish together, so occasionally we have to divide our time and work. It works fine for us, we know how each other work and we can use this to our advantage, work on ideas separately and then bring it all together in our studio in Bristol.
Example: Do you feel that the upcoming e.p embodies both of your individual styles?
Loadstar: I think its a great example of how combining our sounds brings the best results. We wanted to approach ‘Space Between’ like a song structure, a musical vocal lead intro, followed by the chorus which acts as the main ‘drop’ and taking it in a different direction. It shows what we are all about, Nick has always had a strong musical edge to his solo tracks, and Gav has always proved he can smash the nuskool dancefloor sound, I think this track came together well as it embodies both of these elements. Blvd combines our sounds and ideas well, we have always loved using samples in an interesting way and this track just seems to 'flow' with its oldskool beats and raw feel. We both got into drum and bass at a similar time when the majority of our favourite tunes used old skool breaks and simple grooves so we also tried to capture that feel to it.
Example: What can we expect in terms of live performances from Loadstar?
Loadstar: We have a very hectic DJ schedule up to the album release and a few festivals over the summer so you will be able to catch us up and down the country and across Europe in the coming months. Once the album is done we are going to put together a live show, something we are really excited about and we are currently putting it all together... so keep a look out for that in the Autumn.
Example: You have both have experience producing individually and of course as as pair, do you
prefer working together or separately?
Loadstar: We deﬁnitely prefer working as a team as our best tracks come together with both our heads together. Its not always easy, even after working together for years! However as Loadstar we feel we are writing our most exciting music to date.
Example: Can we expect anything in the way of solo projects in the near future?
Loadstar: We are fully focussed on the Loadstar project and taking that as far as we can so any solo projects are on hold for now!