What compels an artist to start their own record label? Is it a desire for unbridled creative freedom? Pure hubris? Revenge on The Man? All of the above? In our new series titled Why I Did It, we’re going beneath the surface and asking DJs, producers and musicians about why they decided to form their own imprint.
Launching a DIY project has always required a leap of faith. But what drives creatives to go through the hassle in an era when labels are faced with countless challenges?
For our debut profile we spoke with Brian Chase. A founding member of highly influential NYC trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Chase and his cohorts, Karen O and Nick Zinner, have eschewed trends to etch out a post-everything experimental sound on their own terms for nearly 20 years.
In addition to his work as a drummer, Chase works as a drone musician, performing and recording with the likes of John Zorn, Stefan Tcherepnin and Seth Misterka. (Chase’s drone style has been inspired by his time working at La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House in NYC.)
Along the way he recently launched Chaikin Records and just released Untitled: After, a provocative avant-jazz album with Irish saxophonist, improviser and composer Catherine Sikora. Below we asked Chase about how the label came together, what his YYY bandmates think of his label and plans for his new endeavor. Continue Reading
The Turbans are an energetic multi-member London-based dub/klezmer/gypsy band. In April, they released their world-music inspired self-titled debut on Six Degrees. Their album features musicians whose roots emanate from Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel, Iran, Greece, Spain and England.
Long-time friend and fellow Londoner GAUDI, who has played with the outfit in India, introduced the chaps to the folks at Six Degrees. The Turbans pay it forward by tapping him to reimagine their track “Aman” for the dance floor. We’re thrilled to world premiere his hypnotic, sweat-inducing remix.
GAUDI had this to say about his re-rub of”Aman”: “I personally picked this track and I reworked it with a different perspective and angle. I could feel it had an enormous potential as their next single but felt the track needed a different arrangement and approach in order to make it 100 percent solid and appealing to every type of music palate. The song was played without any click so it was very ‘live’ and quite difficult to create a constant solidity all the way through. I then created a fixed BPM and I adapted every single element to it. It was a very hard job, but the final result is so beautiful that every second I dedicated to this production was 100 percent worth it.”
Hit the play button below and get an exclusive first listen.
After news broke last week via Todd Osborn’s Technical Equipment Supply record shop that a pair of previously unreleased 1993-94 tracks by Underground Resistance’s Mike Banks and Jeff Mills — “Electronic Emotions” / “Like That” — would see the light of day on August 17, the perennially forward-thinking Mills has announced that Spiral Deluxe, an improvisational quartet he helms with bandmates Yumiko Ohno on Moog synth, Kenji “Jino” Hino on bass and Gerald Mitchell on keyboards, will release their debut, Voodoo Magic, via Mills’ Axis Records on September 7.
Don’t expect Mills to be perched behind a pair of decks. Instead, Mills contributes programming and uses his role in the four-piece to return to his drummer roots, a desire he’s apparently had for many years. The genesis of Spiral Deluxe dates back to a one-off gig at Museum du Le Louvre in Paris, where Mills had the opportunity to form a band for a one-off-performance. Things went so well that the crew decided to carry on.
According to a missive, Voodoo Magic‘s four-song release is a byproduct of a two-day recording session at Studio Ferber in Paris. Most tracks were recorded in one-take to “capture the moment.” In addition to the four cuts, Detroit DJ/producer Terrence Parker lends his soulful touch on a remix of “Let It Go.”
There’s no word yet if the group will tour. In the meantime, they’ve just dropped a teaser for “The Paris Roulette” — a tune that seems to meld electronic and elements of jazz — which can be viewed below.
- Voodoo Magic
- The Paris Roulette
- Let It Go (Original Mix)
- Let It Go (Terrence Parker mix)
Amine Akesbi (a.k.a. Amine K) is one of Morocco’s leading purveyors of electronic music. From his vantage point in north Africa, he’s developed a worldwide reputation for an emotive house sound that seductively transports dance floors to a state of ecstasy. Whether he’s helming one of his Moroko Loko concept events in one of dance music hotbeds or poised behind the decks at a festival gig, Amine’s emotive melodies and grooves will make you move your body.
With a discography filled with standout releases on Selador, Souvenir Music and Systematic Recordings — his rhythmically infectious 2013 smash “Dar Gnawa” is a great place to start for the unfamiliar — Amine teamed up with Sol Selectas boss Sabo for the just released opus “Tiniri,” which means “Sahara” in the traditional Berber tribal language native to Morocco. The mesmerizing track also features a remix from Michael Meyer. What’s notable is how the duo use traditional Moroccan instruments such as the krake, gembri and dharbouka to create the track’s otherworldly groove.
With the track in heavy rotation among some of the jocks on the global scene, we checked in with Amine to find out what he’s been playing this summer. Continue Reading