Category Archives: DIY Recording

Hi Lo

Hi Lo by Tito Ramsey   (January 10, 2012) 

‘It Takes Control’ comes on frantically, swinging swords and pointing fingers, as it looks for a tangible resolution within its vastly mixed audio palette.  Tito Ramsey’s latest EP, Hi Lo, combines charming indie rock progressions with more experimental stanza structures, dotting melodies through an ebbing audio environment that lathers up the brain (if you want it to).  If not, you’re on your own.  Lately, I’ve been enjoying Portlandia, so it only seems natural to take a Seattle-loving, defensive stance.

Dingus 

Adam Pruss: Beyond Faded

Originally, this track was titled ‘Infinity Soldier’

While passing from poorly lit hallway to poorly lit loft, a bong is thrust into my hand before “hello” even crosses my mind. I’ve entered into the cave that is the mind of Adam Pruss (Flowers for Reagan), into a world that I’ve accepted is beyond my comprehension, a world where my ear drums will surely be assaulted, a world where holding on is your best bet.  

Before Gold Panda, before Four Tet, before the extreme rise in popularity that the soft-core-drone scene saw, there was but one native New Yorker writing the earliest pages of the genre’s history.  Flowers for Reagan, pre-reinvention, put forth Reaganomics in 2007, an album that was simply too far ahead of its time.  It existed only in CD format, and as a limited run, but more interestingly, some of the tracks have been hidden within one of the latest FFR releases.  These days, Pruss can be found making far less stable music under the Flowers name.  In fact, to most locals, the name immediately elicits thoughts of complete audio chaos.  However, there is some sort of solace in his early work, as if to suggest that Pruss has already been where we are, has already become more numb that the most jaded city soul and is on to the next one.

Dingus

Sidechained Lovers (From Home)

Sidechained Lovers, the duo (and couple) from New Zealand, help define the Kiwi music scene; a scene that seems embryonic but shows unlimited potential.  Enjoy our sit down with the group, where we talk about their hometown pride and taking the leap across the ocean.

Dingus:  Sidechained Lovers, if I’m not mistaken, is made up of a boyfriend/girlfriend duo.  How does this relationship affect the groups music making? Does it ever hinder the process?

Sidechained Lovers:  This seems to be the question on everyones lips. I mean, there is always a dynamic between people in any creative environment and this plays a role in the creative process. When making tracks, the way we’ve always felt is that the journey, the way the track is composed, is as important as the end result. You open this casm and let the ideas flow out, doing that with someone that close to you is a unique experience.  Already having a comfortability and familiarity lets you skip all the crap too – band politics and communication barriers – which is really refreshing. Theres always two sides to the coin but for every hindrance, there seems to be two positives.

As a duo, how do you compose a song?

The way we work is just passing ideas around.  I’ll have a guitar riff, or Lauren will have a vocal hook and we’ll go from there. Most of our concepts come from being composed on guitar or keys with vocal.

When you play live, do you use a looping system or preset backing tracks?

We try to keep it as live as possible.  The fact we can not escape is that we are at home in the studio and it impossible to play live all the elements of our songs with two people.  We use a Laptop + APC combination with various other instruments layered, including digital guitar, keys, electric guitar, bass and of course vocals.  We are about to move to New Zealands biggest city and thought’s of throwing a drummer in to the mix for our live show has been talked about. We also throw in the odd DJ set which is always a bit of fun, playing anything from future soul to folk to hip hop to dubstep.

What is the New Zealand music scene like?

NZ is a hard place to be a musician/artist, I think anyone here will agree. A lot of the industry here is dominated by offshore commercialism which makes it harder for more underground music to come forward. I mean to a certain degree it’s like that everywhere in the world but with NZ being so small we don’t have the population to form those underground niches that can sustain themselves. I see so many amazing musicians losing money and it’s sad to think if they were anywhere else in the world they would be massive. Saying that however the local commercial scene is full of awesome music by the style of what we’ve labeled our homegrown version of ‘dub.’ Soul mixed with funk mixed with reggae mixed with electronica which rounds off into a nice sound (Check out Fat Freddy’s Drop or Electric Wire Hustle for some good examples).

Here in NY we’re very lucky to have a dedicated sub-culture who appreciates and supports local and traveling acts that come to play our showcases, have you ever thought of traveling?

Yeah I’ve heard good things coming from NY. Travelling has always been on the cards for us, we actually intend on heading your way in 2013 One of us is going to study at Berkeley and the other is still pending, it will be interesting to check out the scene. We’ve always been interested in the L.A, Moscow and U.K scenes as well.

I firmly believe that the art world will bring us into the global community. How do you feel about seeing your music cross the ocean?

It’s always humbling to see the music you make enter the scenes that inspire you, hopefully inpiring more people to leave their bedrooms. I think a lot of bedroom producers are waiting for that day some major label stumbles over their myspace or something and goes, man that shit is dope, but in reality that’s never going to happen, you have to get out there.

 

The Snake (January 2012)

With the new year, comes a new set of digital singles from The Snake.  The tracks all range in genre and boast diverse geographic origins.  Briefly, I would like to take the time, now, to present January’s collection.  Everyone at The Snake would like to extend a warm thank you to the artists involved and to the readers.

The Young Obese

The Young Obese by Gorgeous Bully   (February 20, 2012)

Although the audio quality could be demanding for some, for us, it’s just another sign of the love put into the music’s creation. But where Gorgeous Bully pulls the damn thing off is in their harsh, slap-happy approach to songwriting.  Working within some of the most iconic punk pop structures, The Young Obese is a revelation, completely disassociated from the rock movement of the early 2000’s.  Check out the entire Art is Hard catalog.

Dingus

Miles Apart

Miles Apart by Existance   (January 5, 2012)

In keeping with the Cut Music legacy, Existance delivers this three track electronica slow dance that stretches itself from a Zero7 re-work through instrumental slides.  As the label has become known for, Miles Apart pays careful attention to the spacing and the punctuation of the music, which forces the stanzas to battle for domination.

Big Boss

The Hill and Wood

The Hill and Wood by The Hill and Wood   (November 11, 2011) *

We can think of more than a few musicians who claimed their albums would be a mix tape showcasing the breadth of their style, but we can hardly think of any that actually delivered.  Without feeling forced or awkward, The Hill and Wood’s self-titled EP showcases not only the band’s technical skill and talent, but also their fearlessness to employ it in creative ways throughout the record.

From the first track to the last, The Hill and Wood leads the listener through a sometimes folky, sometimes rock and roll, ceaselessly melodic journey. The album moves naturally, but carefully, going slowly one minute and fast the next – a smart move that makes the album virtually indispensible for the folk-rock fan.

Honey Baby