I’m from a small town. I’ve lived in Berlin for 10 years. I’m married and I have a kid. I’m failing to finish university for about 8 years now. I’d like to be a scientist but I’m not.Falk wrote and named this track after Laika, the first dog in space. He remembers seeing a black and white photo of Laika in an old childhood book.
I stumbled upon this picture again when I was in my late 20s. My grandma died and me and my family were taking the stuff out of her appartment — and I saw this picture again. And there was this feeling again.
I did some research on Laika and was fascinated by her story. For instance, they searched for a stray dog on purpose. Because it’s tougher than other dogs. Or that the kosmonauts let their kids play with the dog, that she became part of a family. Or that Laika died after only a couple of hours, because the air conditioning didn’t work. Or that the sputnik with the dead dog inside did burn up not until it took 2570 orbits. Or that there is a place on Mars named after her.
Normally my “studio setup” consists of a multitrack recorder and a microphone next to my desk. For the recording of “Laika,” I borrowed a white laptop and an audio interface from our drummer. I used some recording program I forgot. I recorded in our rehearsal room which is located in an old Telekom building.
I perform every two or three months in some club in Berlin with “Falk & Die Wiese.” We have a small fanbase of people who have bands on their own whose fans we are. Nobody’s got any record deals. We did two bigger tours, both with “D.Cooper & The Pigbirds”. The second one was organized and also accompanied by Sibsi (Issue #04). Without him, we would be nothing.
I’m a nerdy, bearded little Jewish Canadian ukulele player, and I’m getting pretty old. Too old to be playing music anymore, they say. But I don’t care. I didn’t start writing or performing seriously til I was 28, which I sort of think means I get another 10 years at least before I have to worry about a best-before date.
I wrote this song about a year ago, and it all came out in a rush. I had never intended to write an autobiographical song, but after the lyric “My name is Mathias and I came to say this…”, it seemed like the obvious way to go. So yeah, it’s a song all about me, which you can either view as honesty or self-indulgence, though it’s probably both.
I quit my old job and started recording and playing music because at that point in my life it was the only thing I really enjoyed doing (and in some ways it still is, though I also now enjoy dog-sledding and clowns).
As for what I dream of doing? Buying a big old boat, installing a small recording studio, and spending the rest of my life on the river recording songs with the people I meet.
We record some instruments at our rehearsal space and drums and vocals in a studio. We use a lot of different instrumentation including electronic synthesizers and drum machines, piano, mellotron, flute, trumpet, etc. Anything and everything goes.I like the way they describe their songwriting process.
We really love to create stories and themes within a song. Some bands create concept albums; we like to create concept songs. We are not too concerned if an album flows together — lyrically anyway. The songs that make it on a record make sense in somewhat of a linear fashion. We tend to think very visual when we are writing; Where is this song located? Who is involved? A lot of times that won’t be realized until the music is complete. We try not to set up any guidelines before we start to write.
Throughout the 50’s and 60’s, the CIA started a program testing brain manipulation. It used many techniques including psychoactive drug, sensory deprivation, etc. I thought it to be a really captivating subject to write about because it can be so expansive. I wanted to write from the experience of a test patient, so the “wildest village” is really just an illusion of the patient’s mind. Intense, I know…Warning: I’ve woken up with this song stuck in my head almost every morning the last two weeks. Listen on repeat at your own risk :)
It’s a pretty nice deal. They have a lot of pianos. The rooms aren’t really soundproof, but everyone is there to make noise, so I don’t really feel bad hooting and hollering.Bombadil has been around as a band since 2006. Each of the members is a multi-intrumentalist. Each sings.
“We try to wear different hats; like one person will be the songwriter for one song and that person can kind of delegate or control how the song gets produced or played or recorded. Sometimes two people write a song together. I really didn’t write any songs until we’d probably been playing full time for like a year, so historically I have a minimum of songs. I’ve been writing a lot more lately”In the obligatory Small World Department, it turns out that Stuart and I were both in Oberlin, Ohio back in 2002. He was there for a summer, taking an electronic music course. He got bored with the course, and noticed that there was a baroque music program going on at the same time.
They had auditions while I was there. I’d never played a harpsichord before….but it looks like a keyboard. I had some old Bach tunes up my sleeves, so I did that kind of at the same time.Bombadil has a new album coming out soon. It was recorded back in January on a farm outside of Portland.
Friends of ours have a barn and they have one building that they’re trying to dedicate to music. I think we were the second group to sort of camp out there full time and try to pull an album out; the Decemberists had done that before us”
Born from the Mudlands of Catatonia, these musical brothers built their own ship out of construction paper and wires and found themselves pioneers in the community.“Crazy” is listed on their website as their first single. I asked Jeff for a bit of detail on how they ran into Taylor (vocals) and how this track came about.
This baby was born through divine intervention, light beer, taco bell, unicorn fairy dust and a mixing of the past and the future. We discovered Taylor through a friend, who had met her in a local Santa Monica voice class. Her magical voice really heralded back to those golden times for me. So after catchin the vibe from a track we had been working on, we wrote the song on an acoustic guitar and let our ears do the feeling around. We soon found a bit of magic and something we had never quite heard before.
I am from Boston and I have brown eyes. Life Jackets is my new project and my first as a solo songwriter. While these songs are of the indie-post/pop variety I’ve always been in way heavier bands as the drummer. I graduated from Berklee (boo this man!) and work as a producer/engineer.David’s music makes me happy. He did everything on this track: writing, arranging, playing the full band including drums, doing all the recording, mixing, etc. That kind of drive and dedication is something I respect very very much.
Do I play live much? With this project no, not yet. I’m still finishing the record. Anyways, I’d need band members for that. Know anyone? I’m Serious.I feel like I’d get along with David a lot in “real life” when he describes his tastes in music and marketing:
Do i want a record deal? Yea dude, I want a record deal.
I like whatever music. I don’t care. You know that song that goes “…EVERYBODY HANDS GO UP and THEY STAY THERE! AND THEY STAY THERE!” That is sweet. In fact I’d rather be playing that live show than this one.
What I don’t like about music is networking especially online. I rather not use exclamation points all the time and I don’t have a lot of online friends. Also, can someone explain to me the line between healthy self promoting and being a douche…seriously FACEBOOK ME!!!!!As someone who is most comfortable behind the scenes, I agree wholeheartedly. Pssst, did you like this issue on Facebook yet? Seriously.
I was born in Frankfurt. Moved with my family to Chicago in the mid 80’s. I love skyscrapers and giant bodies of water. I like seeing the horizon. I love writing. Stringing words together in funny ways.Her vivid imagination and playful lyrical style are what I love most about her music. Her stories just bubble out. The ride is always filled with enjoyable yet unexpected turns and twists along the way.
I had this strange catatonic feeling after waking up. Like I was on display in a museum. I couldn’t move. Maybe I was a wax figure or something. Sometimes I would just lie there for a long time and this frozen state started to scare me. What if this continued. What if I would lie there like that all day. What if I would never get my ass out of bed again. Then I had this idea that I was busy inside. That I couldn’t move outside because my cells had so much work that the outside had to be really still. Something like that.And her current status and dreams:
I am touring. I try to play a lot of shows. Playing shows has always helped me develop my music. I just got back from a one week Germany/Switzerland tour with my violinist Marko Hefele and we have been building little choreographed moments into our performance. Really fun. I want costumes. A record deal would be great too. But mostly I just want to keep doing what I’m doing. That’s my dream.
This song is about getting through times in life when you can’t rely on anyone. Independence and freedom from all.David found us through Nate Henricks (Issue #04).
I love music, and I love art, and I feel the two should be as one. I feel like there isn’t enough music that is at the same time “art”. I try to do that as much as I can.David’s recording setup is efficient and to the point:
I record with a Mac computer, small two input M-Audio interface and a couple microphones.
I’m 22, just finished my degree in Music Production at Leeds College of Music, in Leeds, England. I’m originally from Derry, in Northern Ireland, and fly back home often to see my family and friends.
I work in a busy nightclub which plays everything from pop music, to hiphop, to indie etc and I quite enjoy a lot of it (even POP!) I think there is a market for all types of music and that as an artist, it is possible to write artistic, creative and respectable music that is still able to reach a large audience.
All [my] recording gear is portable but I generally record everything in my bedroom.“Glazed” has a nice syrupy wall-of-sound feel. Jamie says it’s one of those tracks that sat in the incubator for a few years before being fleshed out.
Strangely enough, I wrote the main piano based progression when I was just in early stages of learning how to play and write music, it randomly popped into my head one day when I was jamming with a drummer a few years later. He was playing all kinds of interesting time signatures and it sounded pretty cool. I never really jammed with that drummer again and the song became lost in my mind for another year or so until I started to learn how to produce music.The track finally came together in one monster session:
After I got sick of trying to write music with vocals (I’m not much of a lead singer) the song popped into my head and I decided it could work really well as an instrumental. 12 straight hours later, the song was done.
Interesting fact, the little high sound you hear during the chorus as the “oohs” come in, is a hair dryer that I recorded and experimented with.
I hurt someones heart a long time ago for no good reason. “Nothing” is a bit of selfish therapy, simply me beating myself up for doing a hurtful thing to someone that was very sweet. I wrote the song hoping she might hear it one day and understand I was young and I am sorry for any pain I caused her.
I am just a “normal” guy. Nothing fancy or flashy here.This track was recorded in a professional studio Joe was testing out. He also records with friends at home.
I grew up in a small town called Concrete, Texas. Our nearest neighbors were miles away. My simple upbringing taught me how to “feel”. Life was not perfect but love was around and I knew it.
I consider myself lucky. I work hard and lead a modest, simple life. Music, Design, Family… I live and breathe these things.
It’s called the “Beach Shack” Studio. Just a room in our small house near the beach converted into a limited protools setup. I have worked hard to gather some nice equipment so my friends and myself can put together demos for our music when the time comes.Joe on being a father:
I have been more of a father than a working musician as of late. Still gigging often, but honestly the birth of my son “Leslie Joe Koenig III” has filled my life with so much joy I have not had the urge to write music. I just want to spend my spare time with him and watch him grow.Joe on writing and inspiration:
There was a breakthrough moment for me just 2 nights ago, my mind and heart are back in the right place to write music so I started and finished my first song in 10 months.
The time for music is back, and I am glad I did not push it. I am inspired again.
I keep a running list of possible song titles which I choose mostly at random. The drums sounded tribal, so I chose the name “Chief Running Sauce.” No one likes runny spaghetti sauce.Extra bonus points were awarded for his sampling of an early electronic music pioneer.
One of Raymond Scott’s tracks shouted at me, saying “Sample me!” … so I did. That sample became Chief Running Sauce. The original track was called “Dinner Music For a Pack of Hungry Cannibals.”Steve comes clean on his recording situation:
My living room isn’t a living room … it’s a recording studio.Normally I don’t put it in the issue when artists say nice things about us, but I feel like Steve articulates very clearly why Ramen Music was started:
I chose Ramen because I’ve heard great things about them. They actually care about music and musicians. Record labels, venues, and promoters have been taking advantage of musicians for years now. I feel companies like Ramen can change that from the ground up.
Panda Bear Jones was formed in the 2000s by two bearded men (Ross Graham & Lloyd Jones). There isn’t a precise date, as they were in various states of existence for a number of years. Live, the band are now a five-piece.Yeah, but what about the name? We must know!
It’s nothing to do with the animal specifically. It’s because Lloyd had (in the past) an obsession/liking with China (the culture and at the time, the politics). Ross chose to use the name ‘Panda Bear Jones’ as a way of showing his disdain (ironically) at Lloyd’s obsession with China.These two men seem fairly proud to announce that the track was recorded in “probably one of the worst locations one could hope to record in.”
The song was recorded at Rigdale Studios, Eggbuckland at possibly the worst time of year to be IN Rigdale Studios: The power was frequently cut, there was no central heating and multiple layers of fleece were obligatory.
Nonetheless, the band arranged and recorded the song ‘Fountains’ in this environment, and it exists today as a reflection of that time period. Careful listeners can spot the sounds of nearby wildlife and other ill-advised auditory additions.
I’ve been writing and playing music for around 12 years, beginning with learning to play guitar. I moved to Cork City where I frequented open mic nights and also did my fair share of busking on the streets of that lovely town. In that time, I developed an interest in the production of music, cutting my teeth on a boss 4-track which helped develop a passion for the creativity made possible in the recording process.
I’ve been working as a live [sound] engineer for a small local venue as well so other people’s stuff is taking centre stage at the moment. I have always, and still do have ambitions to get my music out to a wider audience.Common amongst many Ramen-published artists, Shane records in his bedroom. He does both folky guitar-based tracks as well as electronic/ambient material and is currently on the hunt to “draw the two strands together.” I’d say he’s succeeding. I was sold on the first listen, precisely because of the calming mix of both electronic and organic elements.
The track just brought itself together really. It started off with some vocal samples which i mashed up to create a piano-like sound for the melody and progressed with the addition of bass and percussion lines. I think the best hook of the track is the sampled Ukulele, which I feel really gels the track together.
A spare bedroom is crammed with borrowed, bought and built instruments, a few mics, a laptop running Cubase and the severed heads of five felt creatures that would make a Muppet’s blood run cold.His current projects:
I’ve been slowly building a pump organ that uses soda bottles inside of pipes, and I’m writing music for a set of harmonicas with the top and bottom reed-sets swapped to create a unique scale for each harp.
The metallophone, (chromatic percussion instrument with tuned metal bars) was something I had made a couple years ago but only recently expanded to two and a half octaves with a dampening pedal. It is an unsightly thing: rusty steel bars, oddly cut PVC pipe, wood cannibalized from IKEA furniture. Ugly baby that it might be, it’s MY baby and I guess this tune is small birthday celebration for it.