Back From Fusion 2013

Throught the rabbit hole

I'm back after my 6th year at Fusion Festival.

The maddest, coolest most beautiful place on earth. A place where Shakesphear's "all the worlds a stage and all the men and all the women merely players" really makes sense. It's more of a huge absurd theatre than a festival. A place where sights, sounds and experiences all melt together.

A total Alice in Wonderland experience (whether or not you're on shrooms), as exemplified by this years deco on the Tanzwiese stage, with huge lamps and an absurd clock.

Obvoiusly, these things can't be caught by camera or video, so I won't try to. What I'll do is to give a couple of the more odd musical recommendations I found (and show this one picture of huge dragon-kites that were flying around amongst each other at night, changing colors and being mind blowing).

Now, Fusion is mainly electronic. But house and techno recommendations are kind of crappy IMO. This guy played a great set and that guy was cool live. But it's all sort of the same, and everybody's preference is a little bit different. So these recommendations are non-house/techno.


Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate

We came down to the festival Wednesday. It doesn't start until Thursday, but coming down early, sinking in the sights, feeling the vibe and starting out early the next day is always a good idea.

Walking around, one stage was already going with a SoCal type Sublime hiphop reggae sound with a madman rocking a 21-string African harp like Jimi. Mental!

Huge surprise for an evening where nothing was expected to happen. After that we came across a huge fire organ. Yes. A fire organ. People playing with fire. Litterally. Playing music with fire. It was awesome. We were in awe.


Puppetmastaz

I saw these guys a couple of years back. The strangest, coolest thing ever.

Basically a hiphop puppet show. Which sounds really lame. But aren't the coolest things those which sound really lame, and then aren't because it gets pulled off?

The puppets are funny as hell, the rapping is mind blowingly good (especially the raggamuffin rabbit), the music is funky ... the show is amazing.

When I first saw them, it was just the crew of puppets. Apparently though, they have taken a break, and in this new show, R2D2, Yoda and much more shows up. Plus the human rappers (aka the Puppetmastaz From The Future) make an appearance on stage. All very cool.

Probally not something you want to listen to at home, but if you ever get a chance to catch the show: DO IT!

 

Wintergatan

This was almost TOO magically emotional to run into at the end of a long and hard festival full of loud dance music.

Suddenly, my girlfriend and I were sitting in a little magic forrest by the Neuland stage with these melodic strange instrumental kind of sweet sweedes. Huge tallent. Strange instruments and stranger chord structures. They're playing on Roskilde Festival Sunday I hear. Tip!

Wintergatan translates to the winter street and is the Swedish way of saying milky way. Nice!

 

Of course, there was loads of house and techno. But you probally don't need me to tell you Matthew Jonson vs Minilogue, Aril Brikha, Troy Pierce, Der 3. Raum and so on are nice, do you?

Supreme Sound of Copenhagen

Get your box on, get your box on honey

Out good friends over at Sound of Copenhagen just made the most retardedly cool thing: a limited edition 10 vinyl box set with select tracks from the first ten SoC compilations.

I'm honored to have my track Factotum featured on it. I'm sharing grooves on disc 2 with some of my personal Copenhagen heroes: Rune RK, 2000F and Atle, plus my favorite new commers Ukendt Kunstner.

But wait, there's more! They also included a pair of Skullcandy Navigator headphones in the package. And it's all bundled up in a nice box.


So go on and get your box on! It's a limited edition of 500 copies available from some hip stores and websites. More info at the Skullcandy website!

Hiatus: We Can Be Ghosts Now (feat. Shura)

Start Motion

I've mentioned Hiatus a couple of times on this blog.

He's a London based musician and producer. Cinematic with that UK bass music background. An amazing combo, methinks.

I've been a huge fan since I bought his album Ghost Notes, and I'm glad to have him as a sort of musical email pen-pal. A correspondence I was extra stoked about Thursday, when he sent out the video for his new track (feat. Shura), We Can Be Ghosts Now.

Hiatus has this amazing way with melody and harmony. Using notes that are just perfect, but never predictible or banal. Ghost Notes I guess. Shura's delicate delivery fits the mood quite handsomely as well. This is me trying to be as cool and understated as the track's general vibe.

The video is a stop motion love story between triangles. Which is pretty cool and nice as well.


Here's some more music from the Hiatus/Shura collab. It's a nice collab.

Check out some of Hiatus' favorite tracks from when he did a Secret Selector Selection for more of that sweet blend between cinematic and bass music.

Finally, Hiatus says the album will be out "May 13th, I think... definitely early-ish May". More to come.

Santiago

Melancountry

A few weeks ago, it was Social Media Week.

I signed up to go to a panel discussion on music and social media at the Danish conservatory. Looking forward to it, I hurried to make it in time. Sweaty, I was disappointed to see there was a warm-up band.

I have this prejudice to conservatory bands. It's stupid, I know. But I always think these insanely talented musicians will be stale, boring, lifeless.

As often with prejudice, I was proven horribly wrong. The band was called Santiago. A country/folk kind of outfit (I think - I have no idea what things are called in this type of music). Especially the song writing was amazing. Melancholy country.

The panel discussion sucked and I left after 15 minutes. But Santiago stuck with me. Unfortunately, I couldn't find them on the internet, but I thought they might show up sooner of later.

Sure enough, this new video turned up in my Facebook feed yesterday.


I don't really know any other great music in this style. So I guess this is a first: Doing a blogpost for a single track.

I'd love tips for similar melancholy folk country music though.

Album Inspirations

Inspiration Celebration

It's Friday. And ever since Secret Selector Selections ended, I've felt something missing.

That nice end-of-week sharing of cool tracks.

Here's a fun playlist idea I've had for some time: Inspirations from my album.

Inspirations are strange. Some times, you blatantly steal something. A sound, a chord progression, a sample, a production technique. Some times you don't know you're inspired until someone tells you, or you hear yourself and notice it. Often for me, I draw on inspiration from things I don't listen to much at all. It's always different.


Boards of Canada: High Scores

BoC was some of the first electronic music I ever listened to.

I love them, but actualy they aren't an act I've spent too much time listening to or digging in to. So it wasn't until I was in the middle of my track Droogs I noticed it sounded a lot like High Scores.

After noticing that, I BoC'd the track a bit up, adding that bad tape recorder pitching effect and a bit of extra distortion on the drums.

Funny story about Droogs: I actually wanted to change the song structure a bit, have some more stuff happen. But I'm an idiot, so I had lost the project file and was forced to just use the semi-early version I had made ages ago.


James What: It Feels Wrong


When I started the track that ended up being Countact, I wanted to make a track with a tremelo synth, like It Feels Wrong.

I had a version of that track for like a year, and it just, well, felt wrong. So I spent ages changing the synth and the drums and little details. Luckily in the end, I decided to make an album, so I was sort of forced to just get on with it and finish the track.

The synths aren't that tremelo any more. But that was the starting point.


Stimming: Sunday Morning

Speaking of Countact, the strings and breakdown/buildup are inspired a bit by The Field, but more by Stimming.

Especially this track. I love the way it builds up, holds the suspense juuuuuuuust a bit longer, and the nothing big really happens. What a drama queen!


Burial: Archangel

This is not rarity and the inspiration probably isn't a big surprise for those, who have heard my track L'Assassin Menacé.

I had written the piano and strings parts one night at home, fucked after going out. I actually never make music like that.

The beat was crap though, but I thought something Burial-like would fit. And so I spent over a year trying to get the beat to sound just right, going through loads of different methods in beat-making.

In the end, all that was missing was that just right kick drum. After fighting with the track so much, I said "fuck it, if I want a kick drum that sounds like Burial, I'm fucking just gonna sample Burial".

Actually, that's not true. There's like four different snares in the track, and one of them I sampled from El-B: Digital, because I also wanted that exact snare.

An other inspiration for L'Assassin Menacé is the Magritte painting that inspired the title. After decidig on that name, the track got a bit more of that mysterious vibe. And those assassin footsteps as well.


Frankie Knuckles: Your Love

This one should be pretty obvious if you know both tracks.

I basically just stole the synth line for Return to Love. It's a high pitched 303. Or, in my case, an incredibly crappy emulation of a 303: Synthedit PD-303.

Actually, my original inspiration for making a track with up-pitched 303 was from Newcleus: Jam On It. But it's quite clear I basically stole the synth from Your Love.