2017 Rewind: Bryan Chapman

Bryan-Chapman

How was 2017 for you?
Bryan Chapman: Yeah, really good. Finally found, I believe, the ability to be creative without boundaries and restrictions. Hugely liberating.

Highlights?
Launching my own record label, Monotony, which had three releases out this year with the fourth due early 2018. Vice also wrote a piece on the art I create and how this links into the music I write.

Lowlights?
Any moment awoken by an alarm.

Song of the year?

Rhyw – “Aversion To Memory” (Avian)

What’s your New Year’s resolution?
To keep going.

2017 Rewind: Ilona Maras

Ilona Maras

How was 2017 for you?
Ilona Maras: I cannot complain. 😉 I made some great life decisions, did and released several good tunes, got on some of my favorite labels and collaborated with a few brilliant minds, travelled a lot for music, gigs, and came across some craziness out there which I love.

Highlights?
I believe I got more mature and refined when it comes to my music selection, creativity and overall experience with production and DJing. I moved to one of my favorite places on earth and reconnected with good souls around me. I am finally living in the nature, which inspires me greatly.

Lowlights?
Starting again in the new environment can be challenging. My transitions were never too easy on me, pushing the career in the right direction, to basic life experiences (finding the apartment, new neighborhood, friends, etc.), adjusting to new rules and regulations (again), establishing new work relationships and reviving the old ones, finding a solid new studio to work in etc. It’s a bit time and energy consuming, which I would rather use for music. At the end, it’s necessary to go through it and it’s also minor. I somehow learnt to like it even when it’s tough. It brings the best out of me. On top of everything, I am lucky to have a great group of positive friends and family around, and that’s what really matters and keeps me going.

Song of the year?
That’s a hard one. There are plenty that took my heart this year:

Boxia – “Point of No Return”

Anton Dhouran – “Osmekha” (Ruede Hagelstein Remix)

Schaarup, Alfakat – “Made Of Love” (Andrea Martini Remix)

What’s your New Year’s resolution?
More music, more originals, more techno and add French to my language list.

@Ilona Maras

[Video] Secret Shopper: Tower Records (Kyoto, Japan)

Tower Records Kyoto

During a recent trip to Japan, Big Shot paid a visit to Tower Records’ Kyoto store. It’s located on the 9th floor of a building on a busy street in the Shijō Kawaramachi district.

Since Tower Records is no longer in business in America and much of the rest of the world, it was an extra special treat to see the shop.

For me it’s a throwback to a bygone era — there were listening stations, end-cap displays with the latest Japanese music releases and a handful of store employees who weren’t exactly concerned whether you bought music or didn’t.

We browsed the electronic music aisle and discovered a decent selection of ambient, techno and house music. But…NO VINYL! (Otaku alert: the store does have a plentiful selection of manga and anime.)

Watch our full report below and get a feel for the Tower Records shopping experience.

Big Shot Guest Mix 340: Ashes

Ashes

From his days attending drum ‘n’ bass parties in Los Angeles to gravitating toward industrial music, Ashes eventually found his true musical calling — techno — and hasn’t looked back. Elements of the genres he’s explored on his artistic journey continue to influence his evolving sound, and that’s the secret sauce behind his productions.

In October the Berlin-based technocrat released his debut Angel of Dissolution EP on his Nox Recordings. It’s a hard-hitting four-track effort that wraps its arms around all of the previously mentioned styles (and more). It arrives after the previously released Dream Pusher and Relic EP on Volute Records.

Ashes takes the helm of the final Big Shot Guest Mix of 2017. It’s a 16-track session featuring dark, unrelenting tracks by DustmiteRegalKryptic Minds & Sleeper and The Scientifics.

He says of the mix: “The focus of this particular mix was to create a narrative around the Angel of Dissolution EP and to set the tone for my label, Nox, by pulling inspiration from the past and present; hinting at what can be expected in the near future.”

Big Shot Guest Mix 340: Ashes

  1. Archivist – Star In A Circle
  2. Ashes – Crystal Oblivion
  3. Dustmite – Lightwall
  4. Regal – Trave Generation
  5. Ashes – Drug Sorcery
  6. AnGy KoRe – Flat Tummy
  7. 7.Opål – Capillaries
  8. Jan Fleck – Control
  9. Kryptic Minds & Sleeper – Axis Shift
  10. Kryptic Minds & Sleeper – Solarized Formation
  11. Coefficient – Inverse Dub
  12. Struction – Kreen
  13. The Scientifics – Dirty Love
  14. Andrea (IT) – Void
  15. Struction – Warrior
  16. Ashes – Relic (Faru’s Submersion Remix)

2017 Rewind: John Debo

John Debo Mindwarp Records

How was 2017 for you?
John Debo: Creatively, it was a productive year, with quite a lot of new music written and many a remix finished. Personally, it was most interesting, to say the least, starting much like the year prior: Sequencing Technology instructor at Full Sail University by day, writing and producing music in my home studio by night. The next thing I know, it’s end of June, and I find myself packing the entire house into a 28-foot truck, for a full-fledged relocation from Orlando, FL, to Boston, MA. I recently signed on with the crew over at Bijou as one of their resident DJs, and am heavily involved in the reorganization and rebranding of their five-year-old Friday night party. Having played an active role in the development of underground electronic dance music culture in Boston, it goes without saying that I am really looking forward to being back, and for what lies ahead. They do say everything happens for a reason, do they not?

Read: King Britt x John Debo: The Big Shot Interview

Highlights?
Moving back to Boston was major! I honestly didn’t even realize I missed home until the first time I descended into the T (Boston’s subway system) after being back — that smell, man. I really did miss home [laughs]! Equally as major was my willing embrace of a cataclysmic workflow change in the studio, parting ways with old gear, habits and thought processes, making space for new tools, fresh ideas, and a completely new methodology. If you’re ever in a creative rut, change up or limit your palette of tools. Removing yourself from your comfort zone may prove to be a most liberating creative experience.

Lowlights?
I realize this may sound contradictory, but leaving Orlando — Full Sail University, to be specific — was a major bummer. While I never fancied myself an educator, turns out, I absolutely love teaching. There is nothing quite like sharing your experience with those who dream your dreams. Moreover, Full Sail is a special place in itself, with a brilliant, talented, passionate faculty, incredible facilities, and a student body with a seemingly endless appetite for knowledge. Completely inspirational, completely missed.

Song of the year?
Glenn Morrison – “Jade Garden” (Colin Benders Remix) — hands down. I can’t get enough of this one. Colin’s mix is a blinder. Organic. Musical. Emotional. The way it unfolds … I’m talking all the feels.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?
My resolution is a goal personal in nature. When I started building a modular synthesizer back in 2016, I began conducting a series of tests and experiments to fully understand the modular workflow. This “research” has evolved into a cohesive collection of fully developed ideas, which are the basis of my first ever artist album, to be completed in 2018. Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive 2018!

@John Debo

2017 Rewind: Ashley Beedle

ashley beedle

How was 2017 for you? 
Ashley Beedle: From a producer/remixer’s point of view, it’s been brilliant. Working with the North Street crew – Darren Morris & Jo Wallace — completing untold North Street remixes for Blank & Jones, Steve Cobby, Greg Blackman feat. Duncan Mackay, Mr Bird, Tom Glide, D.B Cohen, Future Unit, The Dissent, Shea Face, Glenn Davis, Mute Noise, Stan Serkin, Strandtuch, Waterson, Frederick – it’s a big list! Then there’s all my solo production work (with Darren Morris), including my remix of “Unmask Me” by Mama for Hannah Holland’s Batty Bass label – Andrew Weatherall played it and caused an internet meltdown! From a DJ’s point of view, always good including guest sets on Worldwide FM and NTS Radio.

Highlights?
The radio shows on NTS Radio and Worldwide FM. The success of “Unmask Me” and Stan Serkin’s “Save Me.” The North Street remixes of “Old Skool Dayz,” “Soul Train” and “Never Trust Another Man” getting played on Tony Blackburn, Jeff Young & Trevor Nelson’s soul shows.

Lowlights?
The closure of iconic clubs. People using their phones in clubs – put them down people and enjoy the moment! Not enough vinyl pressing plants and the majors clogging them up, preventing the independents from getting a look in.

Song of the year?
Thundercat – “Show You The Way” (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)

What’s your New Year’s resolution?
I never do them. I just pray for a better year for everybody and look forward to listening to more tracks and making marvelous music. Stay blessed!

@AshleyBeedle

Image © Jo Wallace