Aiming for the Simple and Innocent Things with Alex Paterson of The Orb (2 of 2) [Listen 22:37] S04 Ep06
Special Guest: Alex Paterson (The Orb) (Part 2 of 2) is a major player in the Electronica genre, splashing on to the scene at a transitional time in the genre's history: the period when European musicians were just starting to pick up on the new Techno revolution happening in Detroit and the Acid House scene from Chicago. The Orb were one of the leading bands playing their own form of Electronica at the beginning of the biggest electronic music explosions--the UK Rave scene in the late 80’s to early 90’s--and were fundamental in the direction that Acid House took; spawning "Ambient House" in the new "come down" or chill-out rooms of the rave clubs.
In this podcast, we continue from where we left off, and get into the details of sampling and all the fuss therein, what he's been doing with Lee Scratch Perry, and what he might like to do next. Have a listen
Chiptune: What's Old is New Again . . . And It's Really Old
As some musicians are striving to get the latest sounds and technology, other musicians are turning to old technology and hacking, modding, and stripping things away to make something new, something better. And they're using technology more than 20 years old.
It can be fairly technical, from adding additional chips, to just ripping some of the parts out haphazardly to see what kind of noises it'll make. It comes from several sources, but most often from old video game technology such as Gameboy and old pc's such as the Commodore 64.
Chiptunes and modding has always had a large place in the computer demoscene, but the exact origins are debatable. They could be attributed to Eno from the days of Roxy Music fiddling at the controls of the board on stage, and with The Yellow Magic Orchestra, more closely with sampling computer game music.
But the interesting thing about it is that it hasn't died. The advancement of technology has only promoted the love and furthered the interest. And to show that everything is circular, it's made it's way back to vinyl. I'm mot talking about converting classic albums to 8 bit chiptunes--although that's been done--I'm saying that the format has gone from being the "new medium" that was going to knock vinyl off it's throne, to being discarded as refuse and come full circle to be revived to earn a place in the history of music on vinyl.
While Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, and Leafcutter John have been known to put elements of hacked and modded synths in their music, the indie artist, Jim Guthrie, might be the one who's been infected to the highest degree of chiptune into his music. You might have to call it "Chipfolktronicatune," if you weren't afraid for another lame subgenre label coming into usage. What a long strange trip it's been for the medium that was to be the killer of vinyl, to the bottom of the technological scrapyard, and back into vinyl again. What's next; videos of astronauts covering Bowie classics in space?
Dub Gabriel Interview (Part 1 of 2) [Listen 30:43] Wondering about the revolution with Dub Gabriel S04 Ep04
Revolutions, remixes, and peace with Dub Gabriel1 Special Guest: Dub Gabriel (Part 1 of 2): is a producer, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, and is one of the biggest names in dancehall, dubstep, and global bass to come out of the U.S. and is one of the most in-demand and respected dub producers in the world. He has worked with a diverse set of musicians including Michael Stipe (of REM), Reggae Toasting legend U-Roy, the Scientist, punk icon Keith Levene, David J, Balkan Beat Box, and many more. His new album “Raggabass Resistance” is an ambitious project taking three years to make, spanning continents and brings together an array of artists and musicians all collaborating on the album.
Dub Gabriel is set to release his 4th album, Raggabass Resistance, on limited vinyl on the 20th of April. The fantastic list of collaborators include: U-Roy, Warrior Queen, The Spaceape, Brother Culture, Jahdan Blakkamoore, Dr. Israel, MC Zulu, Juakali, PJ Higgins, David J, Pedro Erazo, and Mark Pistel
Fall of Greenwich
Perhaps for most people, upon the mention of Greenwich Village, Bob Dylan immediately comes to mind. But besides Dylan, much more came out of Greenwich Village. Would you believe Maya Angelou sang blues there? By her own admission, not very well. But the artists and movements that came out of that "most significant square mile in American cultural history" are incredible and prolific. To get into everything notable that came out of there would fill a book; and has many, of course. The significance is so extensive and broad.
the artists and movements that came out of that "most significant square mile in American cultural history" are incredible and prolific.
Greenwich has been described as "the place where everything happens first." The setting and people who came to settle the area came to be accepting of differing cultures and ideas, perhaps out of necessity because of the different cultures brought in to live in close proximity in that polyglot population, not only Americans of different cultures and lifestyles, but also exiled Europeans just off the boat. But this acceptance, and true melting pot ideal carried on through the inhabitants and throughout generations despite outside attempts to gentrify the area and to push the settled inhabitants out through gross rent increases, police harassment, and the type of behaviour that has the same stink on it. Unfortunately, after all the inhabitants have survived, and the resistance of the community to these onslaughts, the final blow seems to have fallen, and Greenwich is now home to movie star royalty and top political retirees and their bastard children. Whatever America had culturally doesn't seem to hold any value against real estate profit and fashion outlets where you pay too much money to look like everyone else. This includes threatening to push out vinyl havens, Bleecker Street Records, and Bleecker Bob's. The more I learned about the Village and the fate that's befallen it has proven to be damn disappointing, but not sadly not shocking or unfamiliar, although it severely dampened any enthusiasm on writing the article which I was feeling initially.
this acceptance, and true melting pot ideal carried on through the inhabitants and throughout generations despite outside attempts to gentrify the area.
The independent documentary that sparked this article "The Ballad of Greenwich Village" doesn't do any justice to the scope of tragedy in losing the heritage. Mostly the documentary focuses on reminiscences of notable artists and persona from the area and shows one artist who's losing their home something of 30 years, but that doesn't show the death of a cultural and intellectual centre. Many residents have relocated nearby, and the historic buildings are to be preserved, but once something is killed, it's gone, despite the best attempts to revive and recreate it elsewhere. It's like trying to force yourself to have a sequel to a fantastic dream you recently had. You can pretend, but you can't will your unconscious.
once something is killed, it's gone, despite the best attempts to revive and recreate it elsewhere. It's like trying to force yourself to have a sequel to a fantastic dream you recently had. You can pretend, but you can't will your unconscious.
To demonstrate what forward thinking institutions that came out of there, Greenwich Village gave birth to the first racially integrated night club in the United States, Café Society. Which helped launch the careers of Sarah Vaughn, Big Joe Turner, and Lena Horne among others. And besides the American Folk Music Revival, new movements if not sparked from the Village, took root and were fostered there. The American Modernists, the Beats, the American Realists, and the Theatre of the Absurd all had a prominent place in the Village. The social and cultural significance the area has is now a simply a draw for cash and a tourist attraction. And what does it say to the eccentrics, intellectuals, and new bohemians across America and exiled forward thinkers? Make your own Mecca, it's not here any longer.
Watch the documentary here: http://ww3.tvo.org/video/162855/ballad-greenwich-village
Special Guest: Hauschka (a.k.a. Volker Bertelmann) (Part 2 of 2): is a wonderful example of a musician bridging the gap between the vibrant but challenging sounds of modern classical music with a more traditional and conservative style of playing, keeping classical music moving forward but doing it without substituting beauty or taste. Hauschka started his musical education as a child studying classical music on piano, but stopped around 18 to study medicine and economics, only to be drawn into hip hop and electronic music a few years later. His music has shifted away from the straightforward hip hop and electronic sounds that we know in the clubs today to a more classical vein (ala John Cage with his interpretation of the prepared piano), using the piano as an experiment and adopting natural instruments but with electronic music in mind. Recently he teamed up with one of the biggest names in classical music, Hilary Hahn, to record Silfra. In the interview, we talk about his evolution as an artist, the virtue in amateurism, we get into his remix album, wax philosophic on the concept of remixing, and we discuss the next progression in music.
Love for Collectors
According to some academics and professors of psychology, everybody collects something. The reason for collecting can vary, from monetary gain to simply the enjoyment of the pursuit, most people fall somewhere in between. Of course, another distinction can be made; that is, between collecting and hoarding, and this is a subject that has gathered great attention for the psychologists all over the world. The father of Psychology, Sigmund Freud, drew a connection for the collector to the early days of toilet training, I'll forgo all the graphic details, but Freud stated that loss of what the child produced was a traumatic event and the collector is trying to gain back not only control but “possessions” that were lost so many years ago. A lot of Freud's theories can be seen as a little wack, but before you go criticising his theories, ask yourself if you've created a school of science.
But for the collector, collecting is good; a passionate and enriching interest, and in fact, thanks to the collector, vinyl remains, and reigns as the medium to reproduce music. If not for the collector, vinyl may have disappeared a long time ago.
I need to be clear here, what I mean is the collector, not the hoarder. Those who trade in the medium for the love of the music, not those who hoard the records for an item to posess and store away in a closet to keep from others.
Experts have described the psychopathology of hoarding as “repetitive acquisition syndrome.” Fortunately, thankfully, Freud sees nothing wrong with the collector, collecting falls within normal behaviour; hoarding is the abnormality; the abnormality of the hoarder shows up in those instances where the aberrant behavior interferes with an otherwise reasonable life. This can sometimes even include gross interference into the lives of others, even leading to enforcement issues in some circumstances. But we're trying to clarify the distinction here, between the collector and the hoarder; normal, and abnormal behaviour. A lot of times the behaviour of the collector comes down to whomever is making the judgement. Unfortunately amongst the collector's circle of friends and family, some may see spending so much time and money a waste. I'm sure every collector knows one. Often, they're quite vocal in their disapproval. Some place so little value on music that they think any and all time and money spent on music is a waste; unfortunately, I don't think that this article here can save any lost causes. But even if you're not that a fan, or into collecting, you should appreciate the impact on the medium and the influence of consumer demand on the economy.
If, you're still in doubt about the value of the vinyl collector, consider that in this economy, (largely a market economy) the businesses and providers will try to push what is easiest and cheapest to provide. As long as it's bought by consumers and meets demand, nothing better than the cheapest and easiest is going to be provided, and what's cheapest and easiest to provide is digital content, the lower the bitrate, the better. It's the cheapest and easiest to produce, sell, store, and ship. Collectors demand their favouite medium. Stubbornly, thankfully, they trade in the medium that provides the best production of sound. Their desire, love, and passion fueled the drive for vinyl to continue, and is largely why so many have realized it's worth, and have sought it and returned to it as the medium to reproduce music. Thanks to you, collector.
Joey DeFrancesco Interview [Listen 30:40] – S02Ep07 (1 of 3) – Riding the Big Wheel with Joey DeFrancesco
Interview Date: March 25, 2012 @12pm EDT
Special Guest (Audio) Joey DeFrancesco (Part 1 of 3): Nicknamed “the finest Jazz organist on the planet,” Joey DeFranceso and GTV present you with an exclusive and in-depth interview, plus his full concert performance in Toronto.
Coming from a long line of established organ players, DeFrancesco started his career off as a child prodigy (starting at age 4) playing with all the greatest organists in the world. He has developed his skill to the point where he dominates the Hammond B3. When DeFrancesco was 17, Miles Davis called him up to ask him to tour with him and play on his 1989 album, “Amandla.” Since that time he has gone on to play with many other "who’s who" in the Jazz world and often being paired with some of the greatest guitarists in Jazz such as Pat Martino, Paul Bollenback, Jimmy Bruno, Dave Stryker, and John McLaughlin. In this podcast we talk about his early years, playing with the greats, and his introduction to Miles Davis
Special Guest (Print) John Broven (Part 1 of 1): I have been in contact for quite a while with John Broven, the author of one of my favorite music books, “Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the Independent Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneers.” The book chronicles the history of the independent rock’n’roll record industry, covering the beginning in the 1940’s through to the 1960’s. It tells the amazing story of the record industry; it covers topics like how and why we went from the 78rpm to the 45rpm format, the history of the independent music scene, the musical significance of the jukebox, and even how the record store was born. Through his research, he was able to talk to, interview, and recount the amazing stories of people like Marshall Chess (Chess Records), Jerry Wexler, Ahmet Ertegun, and Miriam Bienstock (Atlantic Records), Joe Bihari (Modern Records), Art Rupe (Specialty Records), Sam Phillips (Sun Records), and a ton more. He goes into topics like the trade magazine “Cash Box,” Payola, and Nashville radio station WLAC, and he describes how they affected how we listen to music today. We are both hoping to post a full written interview to the site sometime in the future (when he gets off his world tour for his book). Until then, he was kind enough to send me an unpublished questionnaire on "Record Makers and Breakers" just after his book came out.
I agree that the indie record business is “an ode to the genius of American capitalism.” Somebody told me recently, “This is a great American story.”
I think it’s fair to say that as the interviews and research progressed, I realized:
(1) Just what a small industry the indie record business was at the start – I called it a “cottage industry”;
(2) How the record men had to learn the business from scratch: not just the art of recording but also building pressing plants themselves, setting up distribution systems, learn publishing, etc. etc. (see Art Rupe's wonderful new rules, chapter 25).
(3) How everybody seemed to know each other and worked together to a large extent;
(4) How the nascent industry was dependent upon several integral cogs in the machine i.e. record distributors, jukebox operators and distributors, radio/television, disc jockeys, promo men, retail outlets, trade magazines etc. It wasn’t just about the record makers – or indeed the artists.
(5) I was aware of the cover version syndrome and like everybody else put the blame on the "nasty" major labels, but then I began to understand that indie publishing companies were pitching their hit songs to majors – and recorded covers themselves. So it wasn't all one-way traffic.
(6) Must admit I didn't realize the full extent of the majors poaching the indie hit artists until I started listing the artists and the labels.
* Tell me about the importance of the jukebox market (compared to radio and retail).
Just to say that, as stated in the book through New Orleans’ Cosimo Matassa early on, the jukebox operators were terribly influential in dictating the sound of the record, also the length of the record – the shorter the record, the more plays. Basically jukebox play was free promotion – and represented bulk sales to the indies. The jukebox people, whatever their business practices, were very important cogs in the rock ‘n’ roll machine.
March 16, 2012
Welcome to part two of a two part interview with Bob Croutchman. If you have not listened to the first half you might want to go back and start there?
Some back catalogue and interesting related music to checkout:
Della Reese – to be honest I really had no idea who Della Reese was before this interview. I picked up some of her albums afterwards and really liked them. I would put her under the category of solid secondary listening material.What I mean is, she isn’t Elle Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, or Billy Holiday, but rather the next step down; i.e. dame good. Some albums to lookout for are:
Della Reese live on ABC – Paramount – A great time capsule of a great live act; great atmosphere that is fresh and definitely not