Mark Reeder speaks about the history of electronic music & new 5.1 reMix collection

markreeder

Investigate in any length the history of electronic music in Europe and sooner or later you’ll run into the name Mark Reeder.

A legend amongst those of us raised on the musical experimentalism of early synth pioneers, and later the birth of dance music, Reeder began his journey on the Manchester post-punk scene (in The Frantic Elevators with Mick Hucknall) before setting sail, in 1978,  for the avant-garde music/art underground of Berlin where he became a producer, engineer and Factory Records German representative. It was in Berlin that Reeder became embroiled in the new electronic music and would later be instrumental in the creation of the Berlin dance music scene, and by-proxy dance music worldwide. After setting up his own electronic music label, Masterminded For Success, in 1990 Reeder met, and would go on to mentor and guide to international celebrity, a young Paul Van Dyk.

Having worked with, and reMixed, almost everyone under the SynthPop sun, Mark is currently gearing up for the release of his latest collection. Titled Five Point One, the album compiles eighteen of Mark’s reMixes for a line up that reads like a who’s-who of electronic music. From classic artists such as Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Anne Clarke and John Foxx, to some of the best new artists of recent years, Echoes, May68, and Marsheaux, all these reMixes have been lovingly, and painstakingly, remastered in 5.1 surround for a truly unique listening experience.

We caught up with Mark so he could fill us in on the album and his time in the world of the synthesizer:

Thanks for taking the time to do this Mark.

ER: So, tell us about your long background with music and how it all started.

MR: I suppose my love for music all started with ‘Telstar’ by the Tornados. I thought they were aliens ‘cos they wore sunglasses and polo necks. I also listened to The Beatles, The Shadows and tons of twangy sixties bands, then I graduated to the thrilling music of Barry Gray and John Barry which started my passion for TV and film music. When I was about 7 I wanted an electric guitar which was on offer on the back of a Kellogg’s Cornflakes packet if you sent in a million box tops and a postal order for 25 quid. It looked brilliant, with 6 pick-ups and loads of switches and buttons, but my mum wouldn’t let me have one because she thought you plugged it in like an iron and I would get electrocuted.

So I got a violin.

As a kid I wanted to play the violin because I loved the sound of sweeping strings and I still do to this day. We had a teacher who would play us pieces by Grieg, Mahler and Gustav Holst.

So classical music played a big part in my early musical life.

I remember being in awe watching Jimi Hendrix playing his guitar with his teeth on the telly, he made it look so easy. An elder cousin introduced me to progressive Rock music like Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath or The Who and in my early teens I listened to lots of it, as there wasn’t much else, but by 72 I had also discovered radically new sounding stuff like Roxy Music, Bowie, The Stooges and even Gary Glitter. As I spent most of my Saturdays in record shops, I eventually ended up working part time on Saturday afternoons in a small Virgin record shop and from there I had unlimited access to a whole range of music. I could feed my addiction for synthesizer music and expend my musical horizons by listening to even Jazz, Funk and Disco. I initially studied to be an advertising graphic designer but I ended up working there full time just as Punk Rock was starting to explode and being the only store in Manchester with the guts to stock such controversial music, I was in the thick of it. Our shop became the Mecca of Punk and it was in this tiny shop I became pals with people like Pete Shelly, Rob Gretton, Tony Wilson and many others. I enjoyed the vibrant early Punk Rock scene and even formed a band with Mick Hucknall (The Frantic Elevators) but as the excitement started to fade into New Wave Rock, I found my musical tastes were progressively becoming more and more driven towards Disco and electronic and this style of music was being made in Germany. I was attracted to darker sounding electronic music (which probably comes from listening to deep progressive rock as a kid) and Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ album was hugely inspirational and naturally Kraftwerk. I decided the sound I was looking for was not to be found in Britain, but abroad. So, by 1978 I had enough and wanted to explore the European music scene and Germany in particular.

ER: And when did you first discover electronic music, how much of an impression did that make on you?

MR: My earliest memories of electronic music were undoubtedly very impressive. They came from listening to music like ‘Telstar’ and the original 1963 Doctor Who theme which is a masterpiece and the electronic sounds of Barry Gray which he used in Doctor Who and the Daleks, Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and UFO. I think though my awareness for electronic music really hit me though when I was about 10. I went with my elder cousin to look at a stereogramme (a horrific 3 meter long sideboard cabinet thing with a pathetic cream coloured record player in the middle, loudspeakers at each end and in-between compartments to put magazines, bottles of alcohol and wine glasses, which always rattled about when you turned up the volume).

You have to understand that at that time, a stereo was something very new. A hi-tech development to the 60s mono home. Vinyl records were even released in both mono and stereo versions.

To demonstrate this fashionably new way to listen to music – in stereo – the seller played us an album called Switched on Bach by (the then Walter, now) Wendy Carlos. This album is the entire Brandenburg Concerto and every instrument is played on a Moog synthesizer. I couldn’t believe it, it sounded like nothing else on earth. It blew me away. I glued myself to the speakers in awe. I was utterly amazed. Not only by the fact it was in stereo, which was amazing enough to a small child who had only heard music in mono up until that moment, but the sounds were so familiar yet superfuturistic. it was science fiction and I was hooked.

♫ May68 – The Prisoner (Mark Reeder’s Runaway reMix)

ER:. What first attracted you to Berlin in 1978? What was it’s appeal over Manchester.

I suppose it was music. Tangerine Dream came from Berlin, Klaus Schulze also lived there and Bowie had made two amazing electronic sounding albums there. He must have been inspired. I thought this must be the place to go… and it was.

Berlin was also attractive to me back then because no one could really tell me anything about it.

Everything I read or heard about it was always quite negative. People would say you don’t want to go there, it’s a divided city surrounded by Russians, or it’s miserable and depressing. It all sounded good to me. I have to admit, the history of the city was also quite attractive too, the second world war ended there and the cold war began there. It was the city where two ideologies clashed head on. I wanted to discover more about it. Berlin had an irresistible image that was unique.

When I got here, I could sense instantly that it had much more to offer.

Most of the buildings appeared to be falling apart and bullet riddled. Paint flaked off them and everything appeared black and grimy.

Yet it was also very green. The streets were lined with trees and there were beautiful parks and although decrepit, it had lovely architecture. I also discovered people were not any more miserable or depressed as anywhere else.

West Berlin had a vibrant night life and its own weird little music scene. It was very exciting.

However, I think my first trip to East Berlin a few days after my arrival probably cemented it for me. Here was another part of the city that was a mere stone’s throw away, but because it was cut in two by a bloody big wall, it was a completely different place. It was an unknown, parallel world. It was like visiting a set from Star Trek. Going there was like being transported back into the early 50s or something. The place appeared to be on constant red alert. Conscripted soldiers seemed to be everywhere. To me it looked like they were on their way to manoeuvres, but at a second glance they had normal nylon shopping bags and were just going shopping like anyone else.

The border crossing into the east was a fascinating yet very serious affair too, you couldn’t crack a joke or be silly otherwise the threat of a free train journey in a cattle car to a Siberian Gulag was the price to pay. The tension kept you quiet.

Once over the border it was like being in the great escape. You knew this state had secret police and each table decoration was absurdly tested for a non-existent microphone. there were few cars, virtually no advertising, restaurants had aluminium cutlery, cracked cups and ersatz coffee, monopoly money and uniforms were everywhere, and the entire city was enveloped in the smell of two stroke engines, coal fires and cabbage. I asked myself what else? This can’t be it? did they have an underground music scene? Surely. I had to find out. In my quest, the STASI came to consider me as a subversive element out to corrupt the youth of East Germany.

The West Berlin music scene was very different to the Manchester scene I left. I had just experienced the exciting rise and fall of punk and the beginnings of new wave but in berlin they had their own brand and own idea about this musical revolution. It was very unconventional and I found that a very refreshing approach, as it wasn’t driven by the dream of having a commercial hit record like in the UK. Their music was more a political and artistic statement.

ER: What was the difference between the emerging electronic music scenes in Germany and England back then?

MR: Germany has always had a tradition of electronic music and since the early 70s, I had tried my best to get anything and everything that was played on a synth. Working in a record shop certainly helped me achieve that. Most synth music seemed to come from Germany, but it was usually a lot of doodly sequencers. Besides, in strike-riddled Britain no ‘working class’ kid could afford a synth, as everyone was unemployed and on the dole.

Synth music was classed as progressive kraut-rock and non-commercial, until Tangerine Dream had a massive selling album and naturally Kraftwerk changed everything with ‘Autobahn’ and ‘Das Model’. Then the introduction of synths into Disco, gave it a whole new arena to play on, one that seemed so much more suitable. I couldn’t believe how most people at that time could just simply dismiss it so readily. Couldn’t they hear it? I suppose Disco had a bitter after taste, but to me Moroder seemed so innovative, and I was totally converted, especially after I feel love and Donna Summer’s ‘Bad Girls’ album and ‘E=MC2’. Yet although the synth was identifiable with Germany, Britain did have some brilliant and very innovative electronic artists too.

Eno was one of my earliest electronic inspirations at that time, but also lesser known ones like Todd Rundgren, Tim Blake of Gong, the Groundhogs’ guitarist Tony McPhee or Pete Townsend also dabbled with synths. As the Punk and New Wave scene developed, daring new sounds and styles began to emerge.

Gary Numan and John Foxx’s Ultravox were two of the earliest to pioneer the UK synth-sound scene and hot on their heels were bands like the Human League, who undoubtedly helped to create a proper SynthPop scene and avant garde art bands like Throbbing Gristle. This in turn fuelled bands in Germany like P1/E to make their own kind of SynthPop. It was very exciting and very inspiring. So much so I too desperately wanted to have a synth on my own Unbekannten records. So you can imagine how happy I was when Bernard Sumner gave me his old Trancendent 2000 that he had used on the early joy division recordings and eventually Klaus Schulze gave me one of his old Moogs.

ER: What excites you now musically, what genres and artists are you listening to right now?

MR: I usually let my mood dictate the music I listen to and that can be all kinds from techno to film music to rock to classical or pop from all eras. That said, I am listening to a lot of new music and I am really grateful for specialist websites like yours that present new electronic artists. I’ve discovered quite a few really excellent artists who would have otherwise fallen under the radar. Echoes were one new band that really impressed me, so much so I asked them if I could remix a track of theirs to include on my five point one album. That certainly wouldn’t have happened without you.

Recently, I’ve been listening to Queen Of Hearts and Apparats album and lots of film music and I also thought the recent single ‘Colour, Movement, Sex And Violence’ by Section25 was also great. It’s very Manchester sounding… like we all love.

♫ Echoes – Ice Cold (Mark Reeder’s Cold As Ice reMix)

ER: So, what was the inspiration for putting this remix collection, Five Point One, together?

MR: The inspiration was most probably the fact that I am really into the idea of wrap around surround technology and I think the next step for music production is three dimensional. It really makes you have to think when you are making a 5.1 mix. Sure, it is a bit futuristic and takes some getting used to, but it is fun and very challenging.

I know some people are already too eager to fob off 5.1 as a flash-in-the-pan trend, but that was also said about stereo and synthesizer music too. It took stereo over 30 years to become the household norm in the late 60s and now it’s time to embrace something new. This will happen once 5.1 sound systems become cheap and affordable and even more so once they are wireless.

The music industry and retail outlets have to have the balls to adapt and support it too, especially now that you have 5.1 chips in the next generation of smartphones and the like.

After all, most people hear music on their phone or IPOD and play CDs on their computer or DVD player and what’s the point of having a bombastic wide flatscreen tv only to listen to the sound in traditional stereo?

Re-remixing all the tracks in 5.1 was a real challenge to do and that was also very motivating.

Besides, I’ve always wanted to have an album featuring Depeche Mode, The Pet Shop Boys and New Order (in my case Bad Lieutenant) and so I decided to make one out of my reMixes for those bands.

Of course not everyone has this technology yet and so I have included two CDs of traditional 2.0 stereo mixes, to make up the triple disc album package value for money.

I also can’t deny the fact that an added inspiration was the 5.1 Depeche Mode and Nick Cave albums as well as Pink Floyd, King Crimson and FGTH. So I also wanted to make an album in 5.1 too, but my album features a balanced mixture of well known and unknown artists and not just one artist.

fivepointone_450px

ER:  Is there anything you would have liked an the album that not made it, or anything you would have liked to do with it but were not able?

MR: Yes there was. I really wanted to put my 5.1 version of ‘A Forest’ on this album too, but due to the strict contractual obligations that Blank & Jones have with Robert Smith they sadly couldn’t give it to me. So that reMix remains available only on ‘ReOrdered’ and I also wanted to reMix a track called ‘If You Love Me Tonight’ by Maya and I even asked them if I could do it, because I really liked the track and would have loved to have included it, but they never got back to me.

♫ Depeche Mode – Sweetest Perfection (Mark Reeder’s Sweetest Conception reMix)

ER: What’s in Mark Reeder’s studio? Are there any favourite, or go-to, bits of gear?

MR: Micha (Adam) and I have quite a few analogue synths and equipment, but my favourite synth is my Roland Juno 106 which I bought in the mid ‘80’s when I played with Shark Vegas. I also have a 1970s Fender Telecaster which gives me that twangy 60s sound.

ER: How was it remastering your remixes in 5.1? Did it present any technical hurdles?

MR: Absolutely! Micha and I didn’t just remaster the tracks, we completely reproduced and reMixed them from scratch to achieve a true 5.1 surround mix. That means, we took all our original soundfiles and repositioned the instruments and atmosphere so that they would be balanced within the entire track.

Basically, we went back and recreated each reMix so it sounded similar to my original, but in surround.

Sounds easy, but it isn’t. When you mix in stereo, you can layer and hide and edit parts to fit, but in surround you can hear everything, as the sound comes from everywhere. The main key was in getting the balance right, yet in the end it all boils down to how you have set up your sound system to suit your individual taste.

ER: If money was no object, what synth, or bit of studio gear, would you get?

MR: I have never thought of it as I have never been in that position. I would like a real Jupiter 8, I’ve always wanted one of those and a Fender Stratocaster from 1968.

♫ Parralox – Sharper Than A Knife (Mark Reeder’s Cutting Edge reMix)

ER: What’s next for Mark Reeder after Five Point One is done?

MR: Apart from making a few new remixes, I am planning on remastering and releasing Die Unbekannten ‘Don’t Tell Me Stories’ album on CD, as that has only been available on ltd edition vinyl and I also plan to release the remaster of Die Vision’s ‘Torture’ album, which was an album I produced in East Berlin and was to become the last album ever made in communist East Germany for their state owned record label AMIGA (which incidentally became known as Zong after the fall of the Berlin wall).

I also plan to … err

ER: Are you more of a cereal or fried breakfast kinda’ guy? Would this change after a night in the studio?

MR: I am definitely a cereal man. I prefer a healthy breakfast. I usually eat crunchy Musli with yoghurt and in the winter months I also eat porridge and on rare occasions even bread and cheese. When I feel like it, I will eat a cooked breakfast though, but it is never full English and always without meat.

The main thing for me in the morning is a big mug of very strong English tea (preferably from PG, Typhoo or Tetleys tea bags). That is essential.

No, I don’t change my breakfast habits after a long night.

♫ John Foxx – Inderpass (Mark Reeder’s Sinister Subway reMix Edit)

You can pre-order Mark Reeder’s ‘Five Piont One’ here or here.

Buy Mark Reeder’s music from:

 

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Human Error Week: Fear Of Tigers speaks some words

fear of tigers

This Friday (11th November) London’s 93 Feet East play’s host to one of the best ElectroPop line-ups of the year. Brought to us by Human Error, Friday’s event will see Fear Of Tigers, Visitor, The Sound Of Arrows and Queen Of Hearts share the stage in one amazing night of the best electronic music London has to offer. This week, to build your anticipation, electronic rumors will be talking to each of the four acts involved…

Ben Berry, A.K.A. Mr. Tigers A.K.A. Fear Of Tigers is one of the most constantly awesome producers in the UK. The words ‘(Fear Of Tigers reMix)’ after a song title is pretty much as good a stamp of quality as you can want. Again and again Fear Of Tigers has wowed us with his reworkings of some of the hottest ElectroPop tracks around. Taking cues from everything, from old school Electro, to ‘90’s House, to Trance, to Disco and hammering them into the prefect Pop package, Mr. Tigers can take any track and make it a dancefloor monster that appeals to both the feet and the emotions. His original work is no different, his début album ‘Cossus Snufsigalonica’ (which he gave away free BTW!) was ten tracks of the finest big room tunes loaded with retro sounds and catchy hooks. ‘The Adventures Of Pippi Longstrump’ has become a modern classic and an inspiration to all of the Nu-Disco and Dreamwave scenes. In a short four years Fear Of Tigers has become one of the biggest names in our little corner of the music world with a reputation that lead to him reMixing some of the top names in Pop, including Kylie and Ellie.

On top of all that he also hosts a weekly podcast, ‘The Guestlist’ that has become many people first stop for new music.

Despite the fact that all that sounded like I’m about to hand Ben a lifetime achievement award, I’m not. What we are going to do, though, is give you a brief glimpse into the world of Mr. Tigers as Ben took the time to share with you guys.

ER: Hey Ben, thanks a lot of doing this.

FOT: Thanks Clive, it’s great to be here

ER: So, Ben, where did the music come from? What’s your background with production? How did you get into it and was it always this style of music?

FOT: My older brother was in an indie band so I was always playing around with his bits of gear. I started off making ambient techno when I was about 14 or so. I was also in a terrible covers band. We toured the working men’s clubs of Leeds and Bradford playing eye watering covers of tracks like Bobby Brown’s ‘Two Can Play That Game’ and Tasmin Archer’s ‘Sleeping Satellite’.
From there I got into house music made a few records and became a full time DJ (6 nights a week for 3 years) in Spain.

ER: And where did Fear of Tigers come from, both as a name and as a concept?

FOT: I quit music. I thought it was forever. It had been a few years and I didn’t really miss production to be honest. I went to work at a record label and then as a journalist. Someone at work lent me a copy of Logic, I put it on the computer just to see what it was like and I ended up remixing the Infidels which came out on Wall of Sound. It rekindled my passion.

♫ Fear Of Tigers – The Adventures Of Pippi Longstrump

ER: What influences you and your sound, not just musically?

FOT: For me I have the most fun naming my tracks and the inspiration usually come from the things I like reading about outside music: Languages, Tove Jansson, Zen, M Theory, Mythology, Cooking. I also love thinking about what music will sound like in the future. When I was a kid I used to be able to compose crazy music in my head but I could never express it as I didn’t know how. Now I can express myself better but I’d love to be able to dream of some sounds that don’t exist yet so I’ve tried some hypnotic techniques to try and get me into a new way of thinking.

ER: What prompted you go release your first album for free? Did you expect it to become such a classic and do you regret it being free based on how popular it was?

FOT: I’d do it all again. For sure. It helped me build a bit of a profile and in general I was really pleased with the result. I’d love to think that it had some impact even if just a small one.

♫ Fear Of Tigers – Study Hard Drugs School

ER: How did The Guestlist come about?

FOT: I’ve wanted to do a podcast for about 5 years but never had the balls (something about hearing my own voice I think). Then one afternoon in April, I don’t know what came over me, I just thought – let’s do it. I recorded it pretty quickly and loved every minute of it. I much prefer speaking and playing music than writing!

ER: In the last few years you’ve dropped a string of amazing reMixes, what’s the reMix you’ve done that your most proud of?

FOT: I love the Infidels remix, it was so easy and was the genesis of Fear Of Tigers really. More recently I actually love hearing the Studio Killers remix. I must admit I had some reservations about the track but it was really really fun to do.

♫ Fear Of Tigers – Please Don’t Leave

ER: So you’ve played around a few places. Any crazy rock ‘n’ roll stories from your adventures?

FOT: Being busted by the police several times in Spain. Pretending to be Jeremy Healy and getting mobbed for autographs at the end of the set. Mostly falling down drunk whilst the club’s in full swing. That’s my party trick.

ER: So what’s in Fear Of Tigers’s studio? Do you have a favourite bit of kit?

FOT: I think the whole analogue Vs. digital is a load of baloney. I’m more into what I’d call the cutting edge of sound generation such as harmonic content morphing and binaural recording.

ER: If money was no object, what piece of studio gear would be your dream to own?

FOT: A grand piano. Of course I’d need the space for it but I’d love to spend £50,000 on a good one. I really doubt I’d ever buy an analog synth. I’m just not a fan. They’re nice to look at but that’s as far as it goes for me. I would like a Theremin though.

ER: The show in Friday is billed as Fear Of Tigers live, how does that work? What’s the live setup?

FOT: I’m going to be on stage with The Sound of Arrows and Visitor, they’re going to do the vocals for some of my tracks and we’ll play some of theirs and of course a few live renditions of the remixes. Don’t worry, there’s no drummer!

ER: Do you prefer to perform as a DJ or as a musician?

FOT: I’m a DJ at heart. I hate being in bands to be honest.

♫ Fear Of Tigers – Calling Your Name

ER: How Fridays show going to be? Who else are you most looking forward to seeing?

FOT: Really looking forward to the Queen Of Hearts set.

ER: Is Fear Of Tigers a Cereal or a Full English Breakfast kinda’ act? Would your answer change the day after a show?

FOT: Yes I love a meat free Full English. So it’s hash browns, quorn sausage, grilled tomatoes, poached egg, fried mushrooms, baked beans (just a few) piece of toast, cup of queens English tea (PG Tips pyramids).
I also do a mean meat free bacon roll. Which is homemade bread, rocket, fried haloumi and a slice of meat free bacon.

Thanks dude.

Visitor will be playing as part of this Fridays phenomenal Human Error line up at 93 Feet East in London. Full details can be found here.

Human Error

Buy Fear Of Tigers’ music from:

Human Error week: The Sound Of Arrows speak wonders

the sound of arrows

This Friday (11th November) London’s 93 Feet East play’s host to one of the best ElectroPop line-ups of the year. Brought to us by Human Error, Friday’s event will see Fear Of Tigers, Visitor, The Sound Of Arrows and Queen Of Hearts share the stage in one amazing night of the best electronic music London has to offer. This week, to build your anticipation, electronic rumors will be talking to each of the four acts involved…

The Sound Of Arrows are currently riding high on the critical success of the just released début album ‘Voyage’. With the album, new singe and new video we’ve featured them quite a lot in the last month, and for fans of pure electronic Pop it doesn’t come any better than The Sound Of Arrows. Clean, crisp production in their music allows the big , euphoric lead lines to shine through. Their approach to seeing everything with eyes full of wonder permeates every track, lending it an innocence but at the same time an insight. It’s this, as well as some seriously catchy melodies, that has seen The Sound Of Arrows rise to the top of the ElectroPop pack in the last couple of years, and now their album is finally out, world domination can’t be too far behind.

But we’ve talked about them enough in the last few weeks, time for them to talk about themselves:

ER: So, The Sound Of Arrows, where did it all begin? What’s your background with music? How did you get into it, were you in other bands and was it always this style of music?

TSOA: It all started with us becoming the best of friends and wanting to do creative things together. First we wanted both to work in films and started collaborating on music videos and such things. Then we stumbled across a Yamaha SK20 and the rest is history. We’ve both been in pretty horrible bands, doing all kinds of genres before. I am happy to say that TSOA the first mom-approved act. A definite sign of quality!

ER: And where did The Sound Of Arrows name come from? What’s the meaning?

TSOA:The fancy explanation would include some vague rambling about forward-movement and adventure but the truth is that we liked the word ‘Arrows’ in a purely aesthetical point of view. The sound of was tacked on to make it a bit more broad.

ER: What influences you and your sound, not just musically?

TSOA: To us we’re equally influenced by films as we are music. In our world these both elements are 50/50. Sometimes a song starts with an idea of a scene or a picture rather than a melody. The films that has meant the most to this album are; Stand by Me, Last Picture Show, Lost Boys, Legend, My Summer of Love, Mad Max, When The Wind Blows, Star Wars and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Music-wise the acts we’ve listen to the most during the birth of the album are Vangelis, Enya, Boards of Canada, MGMT, Cut Copy (2nd album) and Niki And The Dove.

♫ The Sound Of Arrows – Wonders

ER: You new album ‘Voyage’ is released this week, how proud are you now it’s finally out? If you just met someone on the street, how would you describe the album?

TSOA: We would describe it as grand, melancholic and euphoric widescreen Pop. With a touch of Dreamrave thrown in for good measure.

ER: The album, as a whole, seems very optimistic, very hopeful. Would you say that this was your outlook on life personally or is the album an attempt to make, what can be a shitty world, seem a bit better.

TSOA: First and foremost the latter. But truly, the album to us is quite melancholic. Escapism and nostalgia is very much a bittersweet thing. Magic, for example, was originally written from a fatalistic POV – everything is going to shit so you might as well try to have fun while it lasts.
There is Still Hope is about looking past obstacles and dark times and never surrender.

ER: Was the move from Stockholm to London purely a music industry thing? Has working on The Sound Of Arrows changed now you are here?

TSOA: Of course it’s changed us! All experiences in life shapes who you are.. This album has been such a journey for us, mostly for better but also at times for worse, and our lives will never be the same. London is a great place but we truly belong on the countryside. Big, open landscapes, that’s where our hearts at.

♫ The Sound Of Arrows – M.A.G.I.C.

ER: We have to talk about the MAGIC video? How epic was that? How did it come about? How did you feel when you first watched it?

TSOA: Bah! We did it ourselves together with our good friend Andreas Ohman. No surprises there when watching the finished thing! 😉

ER: Any crazy rock ‘n’ roll stories from your adventures from giging as The Sound Of Arrows?

TSOA: We’re not a very rock n’ rolling band to tell you the truth but there’s been some crazy-crazy nights.. Especially in Spain – our fans there are crazy, in the best, most fun possible way!
Another, less party-based story would be when we were in Austria this summer my voice just died on me after coming down The Alps. It was completely gone! I had every treatment imaginable. Acupuncture, herb-medicine, proper hard-core medicine, massage, alcohol and two needle-shots of something really, really strong. It barely worked.

♫ The Sound Of Arrows – Into The Clouds (Fear Of Tigers reMix)

ER: So what’s in The Sound Of Arrows’ studio? Do you have a favourite bit of kit?

TSOA: Our synths man. It’s what we live for. We love them all like they were our own spawn but the absolute favorite is our Yamaha SK20, such an underrated piece of equipment. There Is Still Hope is 70% SK20.

ER: If money was no object, what piece of studio gear would be your dream to own?

TSOA: Easy. A Yamaha CS80 – the classic monster of a synth that Vangelis made famous.

ER: How does The Sound Of Arrows live setup work?

TSOA: Me and Oskar and two of our very best friends have loads of fun together. And lotta’ video-stuff. Projections and TVs etc…

♫ The Sound Of Arrows – Nova (II Figures reMix)

ER: How Friday’s show going to be? Who else are you most looking forward to seeing?

TSOA: Friday’s show is not a proper show. We’re doing a weird mashup-DJ-medley together with our friends. You should come down to Cargo on the 16th when we and Niki and the Dove are playing together at a Neon Gold club event.

ER: Is The Sound Of Arrows a Cereal or a Full English Breakfast kinda’ band? Would your answer change the day after a show?

TSOA: Def cereal. No doubt about it. With Soy milk. We’re a bit twee that way.

Many thanks to the guys for taking the time to talk to us.

The Sound Of Arrows will be playing as part of this Fridays phenomenal Human Error line up at 93 Feet East in London. Full details can be found here.

Human Error

The Sound Of Arrows’ ‘Voyage’ is out now.

Buy The Sound Of Arrows’ music from:

Human Error week: Visitor drop some science

visitor

This Friday (11th November) London’s 93 Feet East play’s host to one of the best ElectroPop line-ups of the year. Brought to us by Human Error, Friday’s event will see Fear Of Tigers, Visitor, The Sound Of Arrows and Queen Of Hearts share the stage in one amazing night of the best electronic music London has to offer. This week, to build your anticipation, electronic rumors will be talking to each of the four acts involved…

Visitor are the band that keeps us wanting, unlike many of their contemporaries this Australian born, London based duo have resisted the temptation to flood the internet with their latest productions. Choosing instead to release tracks and choice reMixes only when they are absolutely perfect. A year ago they released their first, and only to date, release, the ‘Los Felling’ single on Alan Braxe’s Vulture Music label. So good was it, and such an impact it made, that twelve months later we are still gagging for their forthcoming début album. On the basis of one release, a year ago. That’s quality music!

Their combination of classic SynthPop songwriting, contemporary dance production and and Indie sensibility has made their music, to date, exciting with a feel that is nostalgic, but at the same time fresh. We’re definitely looking forward to catching them live this Friday.

Anyhoo, enough of me waffling on, let’s see what Visitor have to say for themselves…

ER: So, what’s Visitor’s history, where did it come from and have you always been into making this sort of music?

V: We met in Australia in high school, and were involved in a series of bands until we formed Visitor as a way of embodying everything that we wanted to create.

ER: Who influenced you to make music of your own, and who influences you now?

V: There are a lot of influences, but the ones which would best help describe our sound would be:

Alan Braxe, Stuart Price, Röyksopp, M83, Lifelike.

♫ Visitor – Los Feeling

ER: How did Diamond Cut become involved?

V: He did a remix for a band we were both involved in, and it made us realise that that was what we really wanted to be doing.  He loved the idea, and we’ve been working together ever since.

ER: How does it work, working with someone the other side of the world and in a nearly opposite timezone?

V: We write the songs up until a point before we all collaborate on it. The final pass is done by DC where he adds his signature sound.    We all have a good understanding of what we’re trying to achieve, so somehow it all comes together.

♫ Visitor – Love (Club Edit)

ER: When’s the album coming out and what can we expect from it?

V: The album is written and we’re just dealing with the final stages of production and mixing now.  As soon as that’s done we’ll be ready for the world to hear it.  We’ve worked extremely hard to make it as amazing as it can possibly be.

ER: If you could support anyone live, living or dead, who would it be?

V: Queen.  Roxy Music. David Bowie.  Daft Punk.

♫ Monsieur Adi – Fire Fire Fire (Visitor reMix)

ER: So what’s in Visitor’s studio? Do you have a favourite bit of kit?

V: Mostly it’s just soft synths and samples on our laptop.  Apart from guitars and vocals.  DC has a lot of outboard stuff he uses. Due to the long distance nature of the project, it works a lot better being able to email each other whole projects without relying on hardware.

ER: If money was no object, what piece of studio gear would be your dream to own?

V: Akai MPC3000, E-mu SP-1200, Yamaha CS80.

♫ Amy Meredith – Young at Heart (Visitor reMix)

ER: How does Visitor’s live setup work?

V: It’s a very electronic set at the moment. It’s getting bigger every time we play.  Eventually it will be a full blown production, but for the moment people can expect an intimate and energetic set up.

ER: How Fridays show going to be? Who else are you most looking forward to seeing?

V: I can’t wait to see Ben.  Apparently he is hiring some sort of costume, which I think will top things off nicely.  If he doesn’t, I’ll be very disappointed.  We’re all joining together at the end of the night, so it’s definitely going to be something that hasn’t been seen before!

We’re especially excited about this show.

ER:. Does this see the start of Visitor playing live a lot more?

V: Absolutely.  We haven’t wanted to do anything but make a great album.  Now we feel like we’ve reached that point, we’re going to be playing a lot more.

ER: .Is Visitor a Cereal or a Full English Breakfast kinda’ act? Would your answer change the day after a show?

V: We don’t eat meat.  In fact, neither do Sound Of Arrows or Fear Of Tigers.  So…  It’d have to be cereal I guess.  Maybe a croissant?

Many thanks to Visitor for taking the time to chat to you lot.

Visitor will be playing as part of this Fridays phenomenal Human Error line up at 93 Feet East in London. Full details can be found here.

Human Error

Buy Visitor’s music from:

     

Human Error week: Queen Of Hearts; An interview with ElectroPop royalty

queenofhearts

This Friday (11th November) London’s 93 Feet East play’s host to one of the best ElectroPop line-ups of the year. Brought to us by Human Error, Friday’s event will see Fear Of Tigers, Visitor, The Sound Of Arrows and Queen Of Hearts share the stage in one amazing night of the best electronic music London has to offer. This week, to build your anticipation, electronic rumors will be talking to each of the four acts involved…

Does Queen Of Hearts really need an introduction? Go type the name into that little search box on the right and you’ll be presented with a document of one of the hardest working women in ElectroPop’s rocket-ride of the last six months. If there’s anybody we feature here on our little corner of the internet that I would put money on being huge, it’s Queen Of Hearts. Working with some of the best acts in the business, from Diamond Cut to The Sound Of Arrows to Monarchy with a voice full of passion and an edge to her lyrics, the Queen is our best hope for thoughtful, authentic (I hate to use the word ‘authentic’, but I really mean it here) ElectroPop to dominate the charts once more. And dominate the charts she will.

The Queen kindly took some time from being all regal and wotnot to let you in on a little of a monarch of SynthPop.

ER: So, Queen Of Hearts, where did it all begin What’s your background with music? How did you get into it, were you in other acts and was it always this style of music?

QOH: I’ve always been into ElectroPop. Growing up I was surrounded by a lot of Wham, The Human League, Howard Jones, Michael Jackson and Prince. I knew exactly the type of music I wanted to make and the kind of artist I wanted to be, so it was about finding the right people to work with and help develop my ideas and sound. I started working with Dreamtrak about a year ago, and Freestyle was the first track I ever wrote for the project. After that, things just grew quite organically, other producers came on board and Queen of Hearts was born.

ER. What influences you and your sound, not just musically?

QOH: I’ve always been influenced by strong women – icons; Grace Jones, Annie Lennox, Madonna, Bjork, Robyn. I think there’s nothing sexier than a woman with power and grace, and that plays a big part in everything I do, from the clothes I choose, to the way I perform and how I want to be portrayed.
Musically, I’m SynthPop through and through. My iPod has unhealthy amounts of Goldfrapp, Hurts, Empire of the Sun, Marina and the Diamonds, Frankmusik, Robyn, Yelle, to name a few.

♫ Queen Of Hearts – Where Are You Now? (Produced By Diamond Cut)

ER: You know when you first came out, with the 30 second video teaser etc…, I questioned your authenticity. But you soon won me over, not just with the music, but seeing you speak about ElectroPop with a real passion turned me around. I think my cynicism about new female ElectroPop artists comes from the fact that so many of them make an awesome first album then shrug off electronic music like they are relieving themselves of a embarrassment. Recently both La Roux and Ellie seem to be walking this road announcing Folk albums in the works. Make me feel like ElectroPop was just a stepping stone. With that in mind, what’s your second album going to be like? 😉

QOH: You’re forgiven. 😉
There’s no major label machine or hype powering what I do – the type of music I do often isn’t the most commercially viable, but I simply write music I would want to buy, play out loud and dance to on a night out. What’s the point otherwise?? If you don’t love what you do, how can you make others fall in love with it? Electro/Synth led music gives me goosebumps.
I don’t plan on radically switching styles at any point – I always think a second album should be about consolidating your sound and making it stronger, rather than reinventing yourself.

ER: Rewinding to the present, you must be so proud of your début EP (you should be!), how did it feel when it was finally released?

QOH: It’s great to finally have something out there. The support I’ve had this year is amazing and knowing that people are buying and more importantly liking it, is just amazing.
I’m really proud of all the songs, and I think each one tells a slightly different story and shows off a snippet of who I am, and what is to come.

♫ Queen Of Hearts – Shoot The Bullet (Produced By The Sound of Arrows)

ER: You’ve worked with some amazing production talent, do you find them or do they find you?

QOH: A bit of both really, some producers have contacted me, and others I’ve had to flutter my eyelashes at or give up a limb to get in their studios. Twitter for me, is the best networking tool. If you want to work with someone, give them a tweet and you never know, they just might say yes. I’ve been very lucky so far.

ER: Do you think we’ll see you trying you hand at the production side of things yourself in future

QOH: Never say never. I really admire producers, they spend hours and hours finding sounds, manipulating vocals, mixing levels. I’m not sure I have the patience for it, but I do find it fascinating.

♫ Queen Of Hearts – Black Star (Produced By Devils Gun)

ER: I’ve always felt the 3m30s Pop song can change your life, or at least define a time. Are there any songs that so totally define a time and place or changes your perspective completely?

QOH: I 100% agree! For some people it might be a smell or a certain place that brings back a memory, but for me, it’s always a song. I have a habit of playing an album on repeat for weeks and weeks, absorbing every lyric, every adlib, before moving onto the next. So, when I hear a track from an album I haven’t heard in years, it takes me right back to the very first time I heard it and I get tingles. It happens everytime.

ER: Any crazy rock ‘n’ roll stories from your adventures from giging as yet?

QOH: Team QOH like to party hard. What happens on tour, stays on tour.

ER: What’s the songwriting process for you, is it sitting at a piano or scribbling on the bus?

QOH: I have lots of bits of paper in my handbag with lyrics scribbled on them. Melodies come quite naturally, but sometimes writers block hits on the lyric front, so when an idea pops in, I grab a pen and run with it. I work with a set of producers who really understand my style and together we create instrumentals for me to build ideas on top of until we have a song, and ideally, a hit song. I’m quite a perfectionist.

♫ Queen Of Hearts – Freestyle (Produced By Dreamtrak)

ER: How does Queen Of hearts live setup work?

QOH: Depending on the size of the stage or the mood I’m in, it can be me just on stage, or with my dancers, or even with a full band, dancers and a kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. I like to mix things up and try and make each performance different from the last. For me, a show should be a show, I like to dress up and have some fun.

ER: How Fridays show going to be? Who else are you most looking forward to seeing?

QOH: I’m really looking forward to it, it’s exciting to be billed alongside bands I really like, and I think the whole night is going to be a lot of fun. I have a new song to premiere and some other bits up my sleeve, so I’m hoping it’ll be a great performance. I’m really looking forward to seeing The Sound of Arrows, as I haven’t had the chance to yet.

ER: Is The Queen a Cereal or a Full English Breakfast kinda’ gal? Would your answer change the day after a show?

QOH: You can’t go wrong with a good bowl of cereal. I’m partial to a Coco-Pop.

Queen Of Hearts will be playing as part of this Fridays phenomenal Human Error line up at 93 Feet East in London. Full details can be found here.

Human Error

Queen Of Hearts’ ‘The Arrival’ EP is out now.

Buy Queen Of Hearts’ music from:

Mustang. EP. Interview.

mustang

Today sees the long awaited release of Mustang’s ‘Shooting Love’ single on Different Recordings.

In just to years together Mustang have cemented their reputation as one of the go-to names for synthesizer Disc. Their reMixes, their mixtapes and their original tracks have all earned them critical acclaim and massive blog hype.

Their new single, ‘Shooting Love’, paces slick analog Disco with ElectroPop sensibilities in a track that’s as catchy as it is groovy. Hovering up influences from Italo, Disco and Classic house in a Pop package and that live synthesizer feel that Mustang excel at, ‘Shooting Love’ has already firmly planted itself of one of the tracks of the year.

The guys kindly took some time to fill you lot in on the good, the bad, and the ugly of Mustang:

ER: So, Mustang, I guess you guys are either really into muscle cars or really into horses? Or really into random words? Where’d the name come from?

M: In fact, there’s no real meaning for this… We are not especially car lovers, the same for horse riding, it is not really our thing. When we were looking for a name, after some ridiculous ideas and proposals, Renaud came up with “Mustang” and that was it.

ER: How did you guys get together to make music? Were you drawn together by the scene in Belgium? Is there a scene in Belgium? Did you start off always making this kind of music or has it been a musical journey to end up here?

M: We know each other since a long time, we met first in a Club called Dirty Dancing in Brussels, 5 years ago. Then we tried a studio session together to work around a reMix for a band called Ghinzu. The result was OK, we had a good time, and we decided to move on. After that we finished our first tracks and Gomma Records signed them. The ideal start for us. After the release of ‘Chameleon Circus’,  we started to receive some reMix proposals (for Vitalic, Morcheeba, Ali Love, Two Door Cinema Club… to name a few) and we released 2 new EP’s after that.
In a few days, our 3rd EP called “Shooting Love” will be release on Different Recordings.
Next to that we have reMixes for Crystal Fighters and Arnaud Rebotini upcoming.
Belgium is a small country with a kind atmosphere between artists. We all know each other since a long time. So yes, we can say there’s a Belgian scene, very productive and interesting.

♫ Mustang – Shooting Love (Radio Edit)

ER: What would be your preference, to perform as a DJ team or as a musical outfit?

M: At the moment, we only perform as DJ’s but we make a lot of edits en cuts to setup our own kinda’ sound/set. We are both DJ’s for a while. We were both lucky, by being residents at the main alternative clubs in Belgium. The plan will be to grow in to a live performance in the near future.

ER: How is performing in Belgium? What your favourite place outside your home country you’ve played?

M: Playing in Belgium is very exciting, you can go very eclectic en very musical at the same time without throwing hits non stop, but we’re lucky to be one of the main residents at Libertine Supersport Club in Brussels, voted as one of the best clubs in Europe! A lot of guest DJ’s from foreign countries who played alongside us says it’s a challenge to play in Belgium, and it’s true. We had great times at Beiruth, Athens, Beijing, Paris and Perrugia, these are our top 5 places at the moment.

♫ Mustang – Shooting Love (Jeremy Glenn ReOrder reMix)

ER: You blew up online with a string of amazing reMixes, what’s the reMix you’ve done that your most proud of?

M: It’s very difficult to say because we all enjoyed them by making. We like all of them at the end, because they are linked to some periods of us growing in the studio…Let’s say the 2 last ones we did, for Arnaud Rebotini and Crystal Fighters because they reflect more our sound of today.

ER: We can’t really not ask you about your influences, ‘Shooting Love’ has got such an ‘80’s Electro/Boogie/Soul feel, what were you listening to when your were producing it? What influences you in general?

M: In fact we share the same passion for electronic, melodic music, Andy is more into Italo, Psyche & Disco stuff and Renaud  is more into New Wave and Pop music. Let’s say we’re fans of The Human League, The Cure, Lucio Battisti, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Eric Satie, Carl Craig, Talk Talk, Serge Gainsbourg to name some examples… A large spectrum isn’t it ?

♫ Mustang – Shooting Love (Black Strobe reMix)

ER: So you’ve played around a few places. Any crazy rock ‘n’ roll stories from your adventures?

M: Last year at the infamous Calvi On The Rocks festival… After an already heavy drinking night, we left the beach heading to a club who was “not so far”. We were 13 in a small Van (with Dixon on top of us singing some Deutsh songs and crying because Germany just lost the semi final of the World Cup). The driver completely lost his way and we arrived in the middle of nowhere with 250 sheep screaming around us. Finally we found the club after 1h30m of driving and we all finished naked in the sea in front of it. Can’t even remember the return to the hotel.  : )

ER: So what’s in Mustang’s studio? Do you have a favourite bit of kit?

M: We use a lot of Roland, Simmons & Linn’s Drum machines. I think our favorite is still the Jupiter 8 but we’re using the Matrix 1000, SE-1, DX-7 or MemoryMoog a lot to!

ER: If money was no object, what piece of studio gear would be your dream to own?

M: An SSL Mix table, a Yamaha CS-80, some Chandler Limited compressors, TubeTech Pré-Ampl, GML EQ’s and Lexicon 480L Reverb. What else ?

♫ Mustang – Shooting Love (Fat Club Mix)

ER: Is Mustang a Cereal or a Full English Breakfast kinda’ band? Would your answer change the day after a show?

M: Not that much Cereal, for sure ! And the day after a show, we usually visit a friend called “Ronald”… He’s everywhere  : )

Many thanks to the guys for taking the time to chat with us.

‘Shooting Love’ is released today!

Buy Mustang’s music from:

Futurecop! talk music, cartoons and breakfasts

futurecop_03

Today sees the long awaited release of Midland’s ElectroPop heroes Futurecop!’s new EP.

In true Futurecop! style the EP is titled ‘The Adventures Of Starpony’ and the cover references just about every anime archetype there is. Inside is six tracks, some new, some reworkings (the Futurecop! way) of tracks you’ll already know and MPM’s winning entry in the Starworshipper reMix competition. Futurecop! truly are are the forefront of the current ElectroPop scene, their music is clean, crisp and instantly nostalgic in a way no-one has really been able to emulate.

To celebrate the release of the new EP the guys took some time to chat with us about where they come from, what they do, to clear up some misconceptions and to talk cartoons.

Read on for words from the wizards.

ER: So where did Futurecop! come from? How did you guys get into making music and get together?

F: We met at university, we were both very different I into punk rock and Pete was more the clubbing type. But our obsession for the 80s made us best friends. We’ve always been in music; Pete was a DJ and I was in an punk band. Futurecop! started after university and looking back I think Futurecop! stemmed from us trying to escape the real world, so we setup a website with ‘80’s artwork and decided to recreate the ‘80’s sounds of our childhood movies, cartoons. Few blogs picked it up randomly, and we started getting shows all over the world, it was happening really fast, we never intentionally made it for anyone but ourselves, so it was amazing how people liked us all the way in Australia or USA. We had no knowledge of music production or the industry, we created tracks by just messing around, I remember a producer (Mylo’s co-producer) once looked at our files and was amazed in the unconventional way we made songs. It was fun though, as we were just kids making sounds in our rooms then suddenly being flown all around the world. Its only after our huge 2009 USA tour we realised there’s something special we got here, not just sounds.

♫ Futurecop! (Feat. Keenhouse) – The Only Way

ER: And how would you like your music described?

F: It’s definitely Pop music, inspired musically and visually through our childhood ‘80’s cartoons and movies and our love from Sci-Fi. I saw a blog once referring to as retro, cute, poppy, heartfelt, space music; which is spot on.

I think a lot of people didn’t know where to put us at the beginning, Dance or Indie. I think when a new sound comes out people just panic and get worried so they start making sub genres of music which doesn’t make sense, once someone called us Fantasy Disco. When I started I thought Disco was ‘70’s john Travolta stuff, haha. Our music isn’t about whether it contains Rap, Dance, Rock – it’s more about a uplifting nostalgic feeling. Just like the cartoons we watched when we were kids.

♫ Futurecop! (Feat. My Tiger My Timing) – Far Away

ER: Who are your heroes and influences, both musical and otherwise?

F: Overall the influences for Futurecop! stem from the ‘80’s as we were born in this decade, but I think everyone’s childhood whether in the ‘70’s or ‘90’s is a big influence because of its cute, innocence, fun, heartfelt nature.

For Futurecop! I think our biggest influence is Stan Bush haha! from his soundtrack to the ‘80’s TransFormers movie. Then there are other ‘80’s soundtrack artists like, Van Halen, Kenny Loggins (‘Meet Me Half Way’ from Over The Top),  Rock ballads and countless more eighties soundtrack music.

However personally we both like all different genres of music, whether it’s Passion Pit, Sigur Rós to Phil Collins, Goo Goo Dolls or even Taylor Swift! Growing up though I came from a more Punk Rock background, e.g Funeral For A Friend (massive fan) Enter Shikari, Deftones. While Pete’s always been into Dance and Hip Hop music, he introduced me to artists who bought Indie and Electro together like Mylo, Cut Copy, Daft Punk and Justice. Daft Punk and Justice influenced us a lot, especially for me as I used to see people that were into Dance/Techno like the popular type kids which was never my thing, but these artists mixed the genre into a more Pop sound, which was really cool.

ER: What band do you see as your contemporaries, do you feel like part of any scene?

F: We like to see ourselves as different (I guess all artists do) but there’s loads of bands, with similar vibes that are creating the same type of music like Fiero, Black Cards, GRVRBBRS, Renegade, Chromeo, Robots with Rayguns, Family Force 5. The synth ‘80’s vibe is the future for Electro music. There’s so much Dance music on the radio but the problem is they are all sound the same, even commercial acts are trying to sell out using House/Electro music, this usually happens when a scene is just about to end and lose credibility. There needs to be something new to the Electro scene.

♫ Futurecop! (Feat. Jane Hanley) – Street Hawk

ER: Where do you find your collaborators, both for your music and your artwork?

F: Friends we have met though touring or Facebook and MySpace. We make sure the people we choose feel and understand the overall purpose of Futurecop!, it’s very important the artist feels what we are doing for individual tracks. Some of the new tracks we made have taken from only few weeks to more than a year to create.

ER: If the TransFormers had crashed not on earth but on Third Earth, would The ThunderCats have been able to kick Megatron’s ass?

F: Yeah !! I think Mum-Ra would unite with the ThunderCats and kick ass!

ER: If you could have written the soundtrack to any movie, what would it be?

F: TransFormers (1986 movie) / Flight Of The Navigator.

♫ Futurecop! (Feat. Renagade) – Afterburner

ER: With your amazing début album ‘It’s Forever, Kids’ already available in Japan (http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=CSMC-3) when do you think we are likely to see a domestic release?

F: I think a lot of people got confused about this release. This was a Japan only album release, the label found us a year ago and wanted to release an album, so we decided to create an album with a Japanese touch, which meant researching Japanese pop culture now and in the ‘80’s therefore watching immense collections if Anime, which was a great project!.

But on Tuesday we will be releasing our second EP: ‘The Adventures Of Starpony’. We are very excited about it and we have lots of cool reMixes, Tees and even a music video to come out soon!

starpony
ER: Would Futurecop! be able to blow Jem & The Holograms off stage?

F: No way dude! Jem would totally win, we haven’t got a chance!

ER:  So, what’s in Futurecop!’s studio studio? Do you have any favourite synths/drum machines?

F: Linn Lindrum LM2 and Juno 60 is our favourite.

ER: And what makes up your live rig?, How does playing live work for you?

F: There are 2 types of shows we do depending on the promoter’s requirements. As its Electro and Indie we end up with Dance promoters asking us to play clubs, here we play what we call ‘Synth House’ ,we basically choose very uplifting, retro sounding, big build up House music, and then we have Indie promoters wanting us to play a stage. The DJ style consists if us 2, where we mix our tracks and play synths/samples over it, the live show consists of drummer, lots of synths, guitars and singers.

ER: If money was no object, what synth would you go after?

F: The cosmic key from the Masters Of The Universe movie, hah.

♫ Futurecop! (Feat. Captain Capa) – Is It A Crime?

ER: Are Futurecop! a cereal or fry-up for breakfast kinda’ act? Would that change the morning after a gig?

F: Cereal; Special K for Pete and Crunchy Nut Clusters with chocolate bits for me, f**kin love that sh*t!

ER: If you could support and band in history who would it be?

F: Manzur: Weezer, Peter: Daft Punk.

♫ Futurecop! – Starworshipper (MPM reMix)

Many thanks to Manzur and Pete for taking the time to chat with us.

The tracks featured here are from Futurecop!’s new  ‘’The Adventures Of Starpony’ EP, which is out today!

Buy Futurecop!’s music from:

   

Van Go Lion: New single and some words!

Portland’s purveyors of perfect Pop Van Go Lion (that’s my clever writing quota for the year done!) release their brand new single ‘Body Moves’ today on Ninthwave Records.

Unashamedly ambassadors for electronic Pop music, the duo of Josh Loerzel and Amy Paige have been quietly and constantly putting out the kinda’ of tunes that make you smile and make you dance for the last year or so but the release of ‘Body Moves’ should give them a bit more exposure and propel them into the ElectroPop limelight. The track features everything we’ve come to expect from VGL in the last twelve months. Josh’s kicking dancefloor production with a synthetic twist and Amy’s powerful vocal delivery and lyrics shot through with a streak of humour.

It’s actually interesting that Ninthwave is putting out the single as in retrospect Van Go Lion are, in many ways, the spiritual successors to the 90’s Modern SynthPop scene. A lot of the elements of Modern SynthPop are present in VGL’s music but with added savy when it comes to contemporary music and dancefloor production (something Modern SynthPop always failed miserably at). Maybe that’s what Van Go Lion represent, Modern SynthPop all grown up and ready for the big time.

With the huge, anthemic, ElectroPop of ‘Body Moves’ Van Go Lion will defiantly be seeing a lot more attention. Listen for the “show me moves made of sweat and a bassline” drop…awesome!

Amy and Josh were kind enough to share their thoughts on this, that and the other. Here’s the ‘words’ bit:

ER: How did you guys get together? Was is always to make electronic music? Were you in bands before you got together?

Amy: I moved to Portland from NYC in ’09 and Josh answered by ad on Craigslist for a band. We’d both been in some bands over the years, but nothing serious. Band sluts! Originally Van Go Lion was a four-piece alternative-pop band, but we decided to do our own thing in early 2010 and it immediately went toward pop. It was totally natural! All it took was the two of us sitting down and listening to a little Tears for Fears, a little Madonna, and that was that, we were synth-pop.

ER: Van Go Lion? What does that mean anyway?

Amy: Haha, we get that a lot. So back in the 80’s there was this goofy show on PBS called ‘Zoobilee Zoo’ where the characters were humans dressed up as singing and dancing animals. Watch it now and you’d probably be horrified, but as a kid it was the most amazing thing. Van Go Lion was one of them. Plus we thought it’d look cool on t-shirts.

ER: Who are your heroes and influences, both musical and otherwise?

Josh: Queen, Billy Ocean.

Amy: PRINCE!

ER:The 3m30s pop song is one of the most important things on the planet and can change your life. Discuss.

Amy: Totally, that quintessential pop song can change your life, so true! A few years ago I would have completely agreed with 3m30s, but now that I’m doing it I’d have to bump that up to 4:30. Lots of the classics are there, Vogue, Billy Jean, they all go up to about 4:30. I think I’m taking this too seriously…but this is serious business.

ER: What movie would you have liked your music to be on the soundtrack of? And what song in what scene?

Josh: Top Gun, the volley ball scene.

Amy: Sex and the City, one of those scenes when the four of them are walking down the street all dressed up and you’re all like, “Watch out, THOSE ladies are OUT ON THE TOWN”

ER: What’s in Van Go Lion’s’ studio? What are your favourite bits of kit?

Josh: 2 Macs, a condenser mic, a couple keyboards and speakers. I like my cool plug-ins galore.

ER: And how does that translate live, both with gear and performance?

Josh: Lots and lots of sampling and live singing.

Amy: The gear is minimal but the sound that comes out is big. Our goal is to make our live show as close to the recordings as possible and I think we do that well.

ER: If money was no object what synth would be your dream purchase?

Josh: A Roland AX-1, red. KEYTAR!

ER: Who would your dream support slot be supporting?

Josh: Madonna or Lady Gaga.

Amy: Robyn, Pink, Sam Sparro or Lady Gaga.

ER: What does the future hold for Van Go Lion?

Amy: Releasing more music! There’s a whole debut album no one has heard yet, plus we’re constantly working on new tracks and on becoming stronger writers and musicians. ‘Body Moves’ is our official single so it’s just the beginning. We really want to get our live set out there. Also, the future will hopefully involve keytars.

ER: Are Van Go Lion more cereal or pile of pancakes for breakfast kinda’ band? Would that change the morning after a show?

Josh: Cereal!

Amy: Cereal, but I’d prefer a big disgusting pile of pancakes any day. Oh yes, especially after a show.

Cheers guys.

Check out title track from the single:

Van Go Lion – Body Moves

‘Body Moves is released today:

Van Go Lion @ Beatport

Van Go Lion @ Juno

Van Go Lion @ Amazon

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Binary Week: NightWaves

I doubt NightWaves need much introduction to readers of electronic rumors, they are the heart and soul of the Binary family.

As NightWaves Josh Legg and Kyle Petersen, besides founding Binary Entertainment and inventing the term ‘Dreamwave’, make the kind of music that epitomises everything that Dreamwave should be. Optimistic and aspirational, their songs conjure up memories of loves and losses, heartbreaks and sunsets, the best times in your life revisited, the times when nothing else mattered.

From their first single ‘She’s Electric’, through compilation appearances, to last years ‘Sweet Carrie’, NightWaves are evolving at a rapid rate, yet keeping this evolution organic sounding. The duo’s début offerings were pretty straight ElectroPop. Their 80’s inspired melodies and vocals stood-out amongst the emerging retro synth scene as being particularly true to the classic SynthPop sound. Their most recent single ‘Sweet Carrie’, though, was a dreamy Indie-Electro summer soundtrack that came a both a shock and a gift. I will admit that I’m always a bit weary of synth bands who start using guitar (in an ‘another one bites the dust’ kinda’ way, but that’s my problem, I’ll deal with it!) but within seconds of ‘Sweet Carrie’ opening you could tell that this was such a natural progression for NightWaves, it sounded so right. The track blew up online, and rightly so. Synth and guitar blended in to a whole that was so much bigger than the sum of it’s parts. ‘Sweet Carrie’ encapsulates, I think, the Dreamwave philosophy, good times and a summer that never ends.

While working on their début album NightWaves has kept their fans happy with remix after blog destroying remix that have gained them DJ support and radio play all over the world.

NightWaves, ambassadors of Dreamwave, here’s what they had to say:

ER: So how did you guys get together, where you in other bands previously?

J: Yeah Kyle and I have both been musical our whole lives. I played cello for a number of years and Kyle can play the trumpet quite well. We both dove into being in rock bands in our teens. I was a bit of an acoustic singer songwriter in the early 2000’s, as was Kyle (and a hell of a lot of other young males). Its a bit corny to listen back on, but I do believe it broke our songwriting chops to be stripped down to just a guitar and voice. I think it gives NightWaves a big leg up to have written so many songs that way while a lot of other electronic producers are just starting to learn how to construct a song well.

ER: And what came first, NightWaves or Binary?

K: Binary came first, but not by much. Josh and I started Binary in early 2008, and then by mid-2008 we were moved into our office with Binary being our main priority. Since we had some space in our office, we thought it would be a cool place to bring our music gear and have a little space dedicated to being creative and making music. So within the first few weeks of the full launch of Binary, NightWaves was born in some early moments of free time. It was a pretty spontaneous beginning that started with some pretty amateur sounding early demos, haha.

NightWaves – Sweet Carrie

ER: Who are your heroes and influences, both musically and otherwise?

K: Hmm, well that can probably be split into a few groups. There are a ton of musical influences that shape the music I try to make, ranging from pop punk groups like Saves the Day, to Phoenix, Daft Punk of course for their amazing ability to create a spectacle, Miike Snow is influencing how I want to make music now…there are a ton of random past influences. My heroes in music relative to my life are people like Busy P and James Murphy that have built very unique entities and had the resilience to stay at the top of their game and make a lot of the right moves to build their own brand of sound and scene in their towns. And I’d have to say my parents…both are very musical and always supported me in music and inspired a lot of my taste in music and I wouldn’t be able to do this now without them.

ER: ‘Sweet Carrie’ introduced us to a slightly more guitar oriented sound, more of a chilled summery indie vibe. Was this a natural progression for you?

J: Absolutely. I think we would’ve incorporated more live instrumentation into our earlier songs if we could have. Its pretty difficult from a technical standpoint to incorporate live instruments into a mainly electronic mix and it took some time for us to get ‘good’ enough to make it work. We grew up on guitar music and I think it was very natural for us to start to include more guitar in the songs. You’ll definitely hear more guitar on our record, although in a lot of cases the style won’t be quite as out there in the mix as the guitars were on “Sweet Carrie”.

NightWaves – Fascination

ER: The video for ‘Sweet Carrie’ seems to perfectly visually capture the atmosphere of NightWaves, who directed it? How did that vision come about?

K: We discovered this really talented filmmaker named Cody Bralts. At the time I don’t think he’d even graduated high school, but he was shooting these gorgeous little videos of his life. They really captured the innocence that makes Sweet Carrie the song that it is. We approached Cody about shooting some footage for us and he was eager to let us go through his material. Our guitarist, David Urbina is actually a film editor during the daytime, so he took the footage and really turned the video into the perfect story to accompany the song. We’re really proud of the way it turned out!

ER: ‘Sweet Carrie’ kinda’ blew up on the blogs, have you seem that blog hype translate into much in the way of new fans or sales?

K: ‘Sweet Carrie’ definitely did well for us…the sales haven’t been very inspiring but I guess that’s a good picture of the music industry these days. But I think a lot of people took notice of NightWaves because of that song and the beautiful video that Dave and Cody put together. Some labels perked up their ears, and a lot of our musician friends were really into the song. Josh heard some dudes singing the hook at the Empire of the Sun concert that just happened here in LA, haha, so it looks like people took notice a bit. The trick is following that up.

ER: What lies in NightWaves’ studio. Do you have and ‘go to’ bits of kit?

K: Lots of delay, all day.

ER: And how does the NightWaves live set up work?

J: We perform as a four piece actually. Kyle and I play keyboards and electric bass. David plays guitar on pretty much all of the tracks. We’ve had a few different drummers over the last couple of years too. We rotate around a bit on stage depending on the song, since everyone can play a few different instruments. The only thing that stays consistent is that Kyle and I sing the songs.

NightWaves – Invincible

ER: If money was no object, what synth would you like to get your hands on?

K: A Jupiter 8…Josh and I probably both agree on that one.

ER: What does Dreamwave mean to you?

K: Dreamwave, to me, and this has some personal bias of course, represents a lifestyle more than anything else. The good life…appreciating being comfortable where you are in life, and beautiful weather, and memorable days hanging out having some drinks with your friends at the beach, and a general optimism about life and about the future. It has a very sunny feeling to me, and I know that it sounds very southern Californian, but I think the same principles can apply to anyone in their hometown. It certainly has the influences from 80’s music, but sonically that’s not really the point and it has more to do with youth and nostalgia, as we always mention. The ability to always feel young and carefree and looking forward to the next day. I think America needs (and is already starting to gain) a sense of things being alright and the future looking bright. Whether or not that will be the case is kind of irrelevant, because a positive mind can have a pretty profound effect on how we make our future.

Walter Sobcek – Je Me Souviens (NightWaves reMix)

ER: You’ve recently started writing your début full length record, how’s that going, what can we expect from the album?

K: Going out to Boston to record was a great chance for Josh and I to take some time away and really focus on the future of NightWaves and making some new music. I think you can expect hopefully a good mix of some darker atmospheric songs alongside some driving SynthPop anthems with big hooks. I want to get weird with this record, but not like, too weird. A nice eclectic mix of beautiful sounds. That’s my goal.

J: Yeah… I think we’re up to 18 or 19 pretty completed demos. We’re not quite satisfied yet, so I think we’re looking to write another batch of songs (5-10) before we’ll start the process of finalizing things. The response from friends and family has been great so far though. I think we’ve done a good job of maintaining our ‘sound’, but hopefully pushing our songwriting and production skills to another level.

ER: Are NightWaves more of a cereal or pile of pancakes for breakfast kinda’ band? Would that change the night after a show?

K: I never really eat breakfast, unless it’s a weekend brunch after a night out, at which point I’ll have some eggs benedict. That or I’ll have a bacon and egg breakfast burrito from Pete’s Burgers on Hoover and 24th St…best breakfast burrito in the city, nay, on Earth. And they have the best coke in the city too, with crushed ice, which is crucial. Were you looking for a deeper answer?

Empire Of The Sun – We Are The People (NightWaves reMix)

NightWaves’ ‘Sweet Carrie’ single is out now, as you heard Josh and Kyle are busy recording their début album. We can’t wait.

NightWaves @ Beatport

NightWaves @ Juno

NightWaves @ 7Digital

NightWaves @ Amazon

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Binary Week: The Kids Are Radioactive

The Kids Are Radioactive, A.K.A. Jordan Elliot, is they guy who brings a touch of rave to the house of Binary.

There’s no mucking about with TKAR, he wants to see you dance ‘til you drop.
I first notice TKAR on the forth volume of the free Masters Of The Universe compilation, back when the Dreamwave scene was a nameless thing that seemed to spend most of it’s life on MySpace. Since then he has always impressed with they way he brings bangin’ Electro-House tunes into the more melodic, musical realms that his Binary peers inhabit.

With a seemingly flawless knack for knowing what works on the dancefloor, as proved by his string of blog teasing reMixes, and as the youngest member of the Binary family, his productions show surprising musical maturity.

Also, Jordan is an internationally renowned Saxophonist, and if you’re going to play an instrument that doesn’t require electricity, the Sax is defiantly the coolest!

Let’s hear what the man has to say:

ER: First off, many thanks Jordan for chatting with us.

J: The pleasure is all mine.

ER: How did you start getting involved with making music?

J: Hmm let’s see.. The first instrument I learned how to play was the saxophone in elementary school. I studied both jazz and classical growing up¼ From there I learned to play several other instruments and I eventually got into recording my own music.

ER: who are your heroes and influences, both musical and otherwise?

J: My heroes list looks something like this: John Coltrane, Quentin Tarantino, Bob Dylan, Michael Crichton, John Lennon, Alex Ridha, John Bonham, George Orwell.

The Kids Are Radioactive – Cult Classic

ER: When did the Binary crew enter the picture?

J: I remember when Binary wasn’t anything more than an idea! haha. When they hit me up about starting some kind of music collective in 2007 I was just a junior in high school. Josh and Kyle did an amazing job putting the whole thing into motion, eventually it grew into the sick label and company it is now. Looking back on it I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time!

ER: Your music leans more toward Electro-House than the rest of Binary’s roster, are you flying the French-House flag in the Binary camp?

J: Maybe I was at one point, when I first started out that’s exactly what I was going for. It seems my taste changes every other week now. I just try to make tracks that will make people shake it on the dance floor.

The Kids Are Radioactive (Feat. LexiconDon) – Higher

ER: What’s in The Kids Are Radioactive’s studio?

J: A bunch of stuff.. I’ve got a Moog Little Phatty, Studio Electronics SE-1, some guitars and amps, an acoustic jazz bass, a saxophone, a trumpet, some midi controllers, a couple tape recorders, a talk-box that i built out of an old shoe box, some CDJ’s, an electronic drum kit, another real drum kit, and a couch (which is also my bed).

ER: And how much of your studio come out with you when you play live?

J: Usually just the laptop and some controllers.. although I’ve been thinking about starting to play live with more of my analog gear. Actually I’m working on a new live project with a friend of mine who designs lights and visuals.. so maybe more will be coming out soon haha. We’ll have to wait and see how that goes.

ER: If money was no object, what would your dream synth be?

J: It would definitely be a pure analog version of Native Instrument’s plugin “Massive”. That thing is a beast. I use it in pretty much everything.

ER: If money was no object, what synth would you like to get your hands on?

J: It would definitely be a completely custom modular system.. and it definitely would need it’s own room haha.

Lady GaGa – Bad Romance (The Kids Are Radioactive reMix)

ER: What does being part of the Binary family mean to you as a musician?

J: To me being part of the Binary family is always being able to go back to LA and call it home, from chilling on the streets in the Cali sunshine to the best parties and people all night. Croosh tunes and chill vibes all day.

ER: What can we expect from The Kids Are Radioactive in the future?

J: You can definitely expect more new music! Actually, I’m working on a new ep right now for a tune I finished a while back called “Sahara”.. it’s gonna’ have
some desert inspired tent music, haha. And hopefully more gigs out on the east coast while I’m finishing up school too.

ER: Is The Kids Are Radioactive more of a cereal or pile of pancakes for breakfast kinda’ act? Would that change the night after a show?

J: Definitely cereal! I’m a creature of habit.. and I have a certain ritual of eating Jack In The Box after every show no matter what. It’s cheap and it gets the job done. I guess I got into the habit from partying in high school.. it was the best restaurant open at 3 am every day!

Mark Knight & Wolfgang Gartner – Conscindo (The Kids Are Radioactive reMix)

Jordan is working hard on the new The Kids Are Radioactive EP, keep an eye on Binary for news.

The Kids Are Radioactive @ Beatport

The Kids Are Radioactive @ Juno

The Kids Are Radioactive @ Amazon

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