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
Whether it’s Neil Young singing about his roadie and friend Bruce Berry in his landmark tune, “Tonight’s the Night” or Charlie Parker naming a classic Bebop tune after his drug dealer, “Moose the Mooche,” musicians have realized that it’s the people in the background that are often the ones with the interesting lives. Professionals who not only drive the buses, make the costumes, or run the soundboards, but also help give context and life lessons to the artist’s work. Aside from making stuff happen behind the scenes, these over-looked workers sometimes take centre stage. Take for example Lemmy; did you know that before he got famous as the lead singer of Motorhead that he was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix? He is not the only one either. David Gilmour was a roadie for Pink Floyd before they asked him to join them as lead guitarist. In fact, Noel Gallagher(Oasis), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedy’s), Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) and even Henry Rollins (Black Flag) all got their start as roadies. 1
There are guys like Owsley Stanley (nicknamed “Bear”)
When I first approached John Ashley about doing a podcast for the site, the first question I asked him was “what album would you like to cover?” His answer, 1980’s ‘Remain in Light’ by Talking Heads. I couldn’t have been happier; my favorite album by one of my favorite bands. As a child I remember being at a friend’s place and seeing the record cover for the first time; I was entranced by the cool bizarre computer generated artwork. I remember at the time really liking the music too but wasn’t able to fully get into the album until I owned the record myself a few years later. It’s as listenable today as it must have been in 1980. Although “Remain in Light’s” sounds and structures have had years of being ‘borrowed heavily from’ (as most cutting edge records have), what becomes clear is that this album hasn’t lost