Gonjasufi has just released his second album, a mini-release on Warp called MU.ZZ.LE which you can read about here. Now there is an accompanying video for the track ‘The Blame’, directed by Neil Krug. Bleak, yet sunny, the clip follows Gonjasufi as he explores the empty streets of a windswept and dusty L.A grappling with the personal demons that infuse his music and this song in particular. It’s pretty sweet, although slightly tense. Take a look below.
The eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed last week that we posted on our Facebook page a Photek track from the latest !K7 release, DJ Kicks The Exclusive Tracks. However, as far as we knew Photek hadn’t actually made a mix for the long running series. Well guess what? He’s just has. The UK veteran who pioneered new and interesting strains of drum & bass in the nineties, and has recently been picked up as an influence by both UK bass community and LA beat heads, will be releasing his contribution in April. Photek describes it as “… introspective. I imagined that this would be the mixtape that you listen to later on—after the club.” Judging by the track-listing below that sounds exactly right to us!
01. Photek – Azymuth
02. Kromestar – In 2 Minds
03. Hot Toddy feat. Ron Basejam – I Need Love (Morgan Geist’s Love Dub)
04. DLX – Modern Man
05. DJG – Here Come The Dark Lights
06. Dustmite & Kuru – Bare
07. Photek & Pinch – M25FM
08. Photek – No Agenda
09. Baby Ford + Eon – Dead Eye (Original Version)
10. Marco Effe – Sexgas (Arnaud Le Texier Remix)
11. DJG – Say Something
12. Guy J & Miriam Vaga – No Under But You
13. Daze Maxim – Tomorrow Universe
14. Sepalcure – Taking You Back
15. Photek – Levitation
16. Photek & Kuru – Fountainhead (DJ-Kicks)
17. Synkro – Look At Yourself
18. Photek – 101 (Boddika’s Drum Machine Remix)
19. Parxe & Grincheux – The Art Of Nothing pt. 1
Rainbow Arabia are husband and wife Danny and Tiffany Preston who combine dance pop with the obscure side of the world music spectrum. Think Nguzunguzu or Crystal Castles playing a DJ set in a scene from Disney’s Aladdin. The ‘Rainbow’ part of the band’s name speaks volumes about their kaleidoscopic sound. They were darlings of the eclectic Manimal Vinyl label and this year picked up by Kompakt for their new album Boys and Diamonds. Right after their recent Berlin concert we caught them backstage for a chat, while Danny was wrapping his gear and Tiffany got lost…
Electronic Beats: Your show was really, I mean really amazing. I always thought you were only two on stage, but now I also saw a drummer. What’s the deal?
Danny Preston: This is our second tour and we just got started with that. We already knew Butchy Fuego before very well, he produced our EP Kabukimono and he is also the drummer from Pit Er Pat, Boredoms or MIA. Before that we used drum machines on stage, now we only have the bass and some incidental sounds and percussions and filters coming from the machines. We wanted to try some new arrangements, but we only have a small budget available.
How do you like the gig today?
We got some credits over here already, it is just starting to grow. The audience tonight was very responsive.
Now you are on a German label, how does that feel?
For the moment we feel satisfied with the set up, plus we have a bit more money for the band.
How did the connection between California and Cologne appear?
Actually the contact just came via the internet. We have been working on some projects and within the work on a remix the relationship got tighter. Once we wanted to release our album, it didn’t seem to be the perfect match, but in another way it turned out to be very interesting.
Your latest album Boys And Diamonds is unmistakably a pop album but also one that comfortably fits in with Kompakt’s long-standing lineage of genre-refracting releases.
Definetely, and we took the chance. They always have been very supportive of us, going wherever we want to go. Helping us to get seen and stick with us through all developments. They would never force us to produce a techno track. And we very much appreciate this good relationship and much of confidence.
Your first album on Kompakt, which is just your second album, shows a lot of different variations, can you show us some of the influences?
We listened to a ot of different music, but most ideas came from experimenting with lots of eastern keyboards which were a big inspiration to me. Everything around the recording of the album happened in our basement, we were just playing around and created that sound.
Back to Cali. A lot of interesting music is coming out of California these days: I think of the hazed pop made by Puro Instinct or the work of the Brainfeeder imprint. Why’s that?
Honestly we think, California became such a creative space, because living in Echopark is really really cheap. You can get a decent house for a ridiculous price. Around ten years ago people started moving here, because the weather is nice, living is cheap and there are a lot of interesting venues to play in, so of course this attracted a lot of artists. It seems to be very similiar to the development in Brooklyn and other places. Artists want a place to live cheap. I mean, it is way cheaper than New York. But it is also very different from Chicago. People share, a lot of people are sharing the houses for example.
Is that true? You mean soon people will move to LA because Berlin isn’t longer the cheapest cool place in the wolrd? That would be something.
I mean, we really love Berlin. It would be cool to live here for maybe half a year or a year. Some close friends just moved here. And everybody knows, that more and more musicians are coming to Berlin.
Hmm, this sounds familiar.
Berlin or LA are just very relaxed cities. I don’t know how one can manage to live in London for example.
Strange, I always had the vision of LA as a huge city, where you cannot go from A to B without a car. Which is the opposite of relaxed, at least for me.
Definitely you need a car in LA, there is no other way to go. Of course Beverly Hills is really beautiful, but also super expensive, they are surrounded by the ghettos and Echopark belongs more to the rural area. It is actually kind of nice, plus people can still afford to buy a house. The problem in the ghettos were mostly the gang fights and those are over. Of course there are some places I wouldn’t walk alone at 3am, but this is adviceable in any other city as well. We did not have any problems up to now at all.
I remember a music video from you very well, it was shot in the desert with only Tiffy, and she was painted. Tell me something about that.
The video was shot for our first EP The Basta, which we recorded in three months and one month after some friends asked us to produce a music video with them, very short-termed and basically only for fun.
Tell me about your future? What is coming next?
Well, first we will visit the UK for a couple of weeks for touring, and afterwards we are going to take a little break after travelling so much. Then start writing again for a better, a second album.
Rainbow Arabia’s full-length debut called Boys & Diamonds is already released via Kompakt. Listen to a brand-new Rainbow Arabia mix below:
Dutch techno & bass producer and DJ Martyn is going to release his next album on L.A’s Brainfeeder label the imprint run by Flying Lotus. Since he released his debut album Great Lengths in 2009 Martyn has become increasingly associated with the fertile breeding ground between techno, house and the myriad forms of post-dubstep music.
The first single from the album Ghost People is ‘Masks/Viper’ and although we cannot embedd, you can stream it over at the the page of Martyn’s own label 3024 by following this link.
Pulsating kryptonite jams from outer space arriving on the radio in 22nd century Los Angeles. Welcome to the world of Ras G, someone I first became really got into when I heard his album Ras G and the African Space Programme. Sackfuls of samples and idiosyncratic, lurching beats that veered from the sublime to the terrifying, it bought to mind everyone for Terry Riley to Tackhead as well as Jamal Moss and a whole load of experimental hip-hop. A bit more digging revealed a literal universe of music of Ras’ creation and the fact that this cosmic crusader was involved with the Poo Bah record label and shop (one of L.A’s best places for experimental sounds) made him all the more intriguing. However, as Ras was quick to point out, he is actually just an employee of the shop / label – not the owner, as the internet seems to suggest.
His latest record Down 2 Earth (read our review here) explores the world of ghetto-sci-fi, dusty samples and Rastafarianism and is to be blunt, a stone cold classic. With that in mind, I seized the opportunity to find out some more in an interview about someone who I guessed to be a pretty interesting character, and whilst I expected the answers to my questions to be esoteric, I perhaps wasn’t prepared for quite how odd they would be – slightly infuriating as he refused a phone interview, but also kind of endearing – they are pretty off the page.
Gregory is my Strawman u can call me Ras
What does ghetto sci-fi mean to you?
Ghetto Sci- Fi is what I call my approach two making music because I’m still doing my music with drum machines and samplers using records, so the approach would see, rather “GHETTO” to those of the technology but theres a SCIENCE 2 how I do what I do that amazes people once they hear it, but to some its fiction because they don’t believe you can make the stuff I’m making with the tools that I have when one hears it.
You use a dizzying number of samples – do you still dig for them, or do you do “21st century digging ” on places like YouTube as well?
I do it all I record samples on my phone whatever.
What do you think makes your compositions stand apart form a lot of other sample based hip-hop jams?
I’m not sure maybe I’m thinking about so much as just doing and being it which maybe why I don’t have an ego about what it is that I do.
They are also exclusively short – do you like to work quickly?
Depends. On Down 2 Earth those are just raw hip hop beats shit I make when I’m smoking blunts vibed out off records or whatever and just start playing with my sampler. I make music how some people play video games instead of playing Tekken (I know somebodys laughing I know shit about video games) I loop up records and re arrange or just loop up my favourite parts and that usually don’t take me long.
Have you always worked under the Ras G moniker?
Yes I have.
The beat scene in L.A has really blown up in the last few years – has this changed things ( for better or worse ) for you?
It’s good hella kids are striving to be as creative as they can i am not mad at it!
What is your philosophy for making music?
Don`t think feel……
It looks like some kind of space travel will be available in our lifetimes – would you like to go or is the ‘unknown’ more interesting?
i have already been there…………..my unknown is a mystery to some.
How does your belief in Rastafari influence your music?
NIYABINGI!!!! It`s the heartbeat of life Rastafari is life ain`t no religion as portrayed Ra`s Tafari. Ras meaning head creator king, Ra meaning the Sun,Tafari meaning awe inspiring mystical youth.
You have run your label Poo Bah since 2005 – how have you found the experience?
Haha this is always a mistake I don’t own POOBAH, I’m just a employee who orders music and does record trades for the shop to the record shop and an ear at the record label.
What are your plans for the label in the future?
Two release SPACEBASE IS THE PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my next LP double 10″ im excited about that release stuff of mine I play all the time that my fans get to finally get in there collection.
And what does the future hold for Ras G?
EVERYTHING AND NOTHING CREATIVITY 4 sure.
You can download the track ‘Black Dusty Radio’ for free below.