We both keep experimenting with sound until we come up with something decent. We share the files with each other using internet and exchange opinions on it and try adding something or the other thing until it feels like a whole song.
Initially, it was just a boring *yawning* droning ambient piece clocking around 10 minutes as well as one of the first sketches done by the band.
The song name refers to change of sudden beautiful and dreamy weather which also resembles sudden change in people close to you as well. (Oh, but we hope the song makes you feel a little uplifted and dreamy though because we don’t like to get tagged as sad puppies always.)The band describes their sound:
First Tea/Coffee of the day with a cigarette on a shiny Sunday morning amidst the high mountains while waiting for nothing but memories to come.Noor debates the current status of music today:
I remember watching the “Press, Pause, Play” documentary and I pretty much agree with Moby in there. With tools being accessible, nearly any one can make music. Although it’s a good thing but on a wider view, we might get used to listening to average or mediocre music.On the other side…
I do not think there is any objective way to define what is “average” or what is “excellent” music. It’s personal and subjective.
Ernesty International is a non-governmental, non-profit organization whose aim is - by means of music - to fight global and individual indifference, self-delusion, manipulation, lifelessness, communication disability, misanthropy and solitude.Further history of the, uhm, organization:
Ernesty International was founded in 2007 when I transported a couple of instruments and recording devices (I wasn’t really sure I would be able to operate) in a borrowed car to a house in Aschach an der Donau/Upper Austria, where my grandparents had lived. I somehow succeeded to start the heating and furthermore to record some songs in this week in November.
I have no masterplan when I go there, I got some song ideas and I got all the instruments I can find, and then I mix it all together and sometimes I get excited about the things that come out of it. Like doing a journey on your own.The song’s story:
“Wait” seems to be a song about the old story of growing up, of finding one’s place on the world. And the hope that the world waits for you and shows some patience despite the biggest obstacles (with one’s own anger maybe being the biggest).Ernesty’s listening habits:
I last pressed play on Jazz songs from the fifties and sixties, “Fly me to the Moon” is a song that has been in my head for the last 2 weeks.
Richard and Jonan have been friends since the ages 5 and 7, respectively. Jonan’s older. And wiser. But then, Richard’s more practiced and talented. So the melding of the two musical minds is good for both of us.The duo is based out of South Africa.
Jonan works at a small, young residential film studio which has a little sound studio, with some awesome equipment we’d never be able to afford. In 2010, Richard came to share a room with Jonan at the studio. We recorded, mixed and mastered the entire album on Cubase, learning on the job.This track’s origins:
We don’t really know where it came from. Jonan played the intro guitar riff one day, and Richard chucked some drums over it. From there, whenever we met, we’d play it together in some form or other. It was inevitable that it would end up on our first album.
There’s a terrifying amount of good music out in the world today. It’s depressing sometimes. Then again, there’s a terrifying amount of awful music out there too. Music has become…thin. Sort of stretched, like…butter scraped over too much bread.
Music is a living thing, played by real people; and there’s a big movement towards experiencing music in a more visceral way and in smaller situations. I can dig that.
I am a Swiss singer, bass and ukulele player living in Vienna, Austria. After studying at Vienna’s academy of fine arts and spending too many lonely hours at my studio, I decided to switch from brushes to bass and make music instead of paintings.Her first album was released late last year and is completely self-recorded and self-produced.
I played, recorded, produced and mixed the songs for my album ‘Chasing Atoms’ at home with the program Logic Pro 9, a Focusrite Audio Interface and a Rode Microphone.
Instruments used: ukulele, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, clarinet, flute, drums, calimba, cabasa, claves, metallophone, glockenspiel, vinyl records, Viennese thunder, crickets in Martin’s garden, Uhura the cat, Yamaha CS-5, Alesis QS8.
I play live quite a lot and I enjoy it very much. In February I had the chance to play my music together with strings and horns and wonderful Wolfram Leitner (M185) as guest singer. I would love to do that again sometime… I am working on new songs, guess I will record them soon and maybe release a new album in spring 2014.What she loves listening to:
I guess the “White Album” by the Beatles is the record I listened to most often since I found it in my parents’ record treasure box when I was a kid. My all time favorite album is “From A Sympathetical Hurricane ” by Bobby Sichran. The album “Loveless” by My Bloody Valentine amazes me every single time I hear it again. I need to listen to “Check Your Head” by the Beastie Boys once a month.Eloui appears also as a backup vocalist on “Wait” (track #02 on this issue).
Ross also plays in the bands June Madrona and Fear Kittens, writes story games, and manages Bicycle Records. Andrew plays in LAKE, and the Greta Jane Quartet, is a fancier of tea and an avid knitter. We met when Andrew moved into Chez Puget, a punk house in East Olympia, 8 years ago.This track, along with the rest of their album, was recorded digitally “all live in two or three takes.”
This album was one of the last things recorded in the old K Records studio space before the brewery downstairs took it over and tore out the floor.
Mostly we just love to play together, it usually happens in bursts, sometimes we practice 4 or 5 times a week, then we won’t see each other for a couple of months.About the track itself:
This song is a sonic impression of vibrant produce, like the kind you get at the Olympia Food Co-Op, when I play it I try and think about all the energy locked inside and all the wonderful things my friends are going to do with that energy.Hmm, there has to be a good joke in there somewhere about Ramen’s fair-trade ideals…
When Andrew and I were writing the hook that comes in after the slow opening, we used the names of produce to help us remember the rhythm. apple, pine-apple pine-apple, peach pine-apple. DA-NA NA-NA-NA! It works, at least in our heads.
I’ve been learning and refining my songwriting and recording techniques since I figured out how to bounce between tape decks around age 11 or 12. I’m 28 now and I still feel like I’m scratching the surface.How the band came about:
My friends and I started the band This is Me Smiling around 10 years ago. We had some minor successes, including signing with an imprint of Columbia records and touring the U.S.. We released our second album around a year and a half ago but have no plans of performing the music live. 3/4 of us are now focused on pursuing Any Kind.His gear:
I use an older Pro Tools TDM system (version 5.1 on Mac OS9!) with an external Black Lion audio clock. Pre’s: 8 x Sytek MPX-4Aii Mackie mixer board pre’s Compression: 2 handmade 1176 clones Mics: Rode NTK Mohave pencil condensers Blue Dragonfly 57’s, other shitty mics.
This started out as rhodes piano idea. Some delay was added to create the rhythm and the chorus fell right in there. The drums framed it and the bass held it down. The lyrics are a tongue-in-cheek sketch about the fantasy of unhindered consumption.His outlook on the music scene today:
If it’s good it’s good, like always. There’s soooo much out there. It’s hard to wrap my head around sometimes, so I don’t try. Wrapping your head around something is physically impossible, anyway.
I’ve been playing piano my whole life. I graduated from University of the Arts with a degree in Musical Theater. I released my first EP in May 2011 and since then I’ve been more focused on music than acting. I love sushi, irreverent comedy, science, and stuff!This track came about because of a single, specific challenge.
I wanted to make a synth that sounded like a metal gate creaking. The rest was history!Corey works exclusively from home.
I use software to produce most of my music. I record samples/vocals/wuteva through a simple audio interface I bought from a friend.He walks the reasonable line with regards to the intersection of internet and music.
There is a common argument for the internet’s destruction of music. I think it tends to be a purist’s argument. Sure, the art of the proper album isn’t what it used to be, but that’s ok! I think the filterless environment that is the internet will only force musicians and listeners to be more creative!Current status:
I just started playing a lot more recently. All dates are up on my website. Currently unsigned, would love to have some sort of record deal if it fits. Not looking to just sign on to the first offer.What Corey is currently listening to:
Lapalux, St. Vincent, Burial, Matthew Dear Always: Radiohead, M83, Beatles, Beach Boys
When I was browsing freesound.org and came across the field recording, I found it incredibly interesting, partly because of the tour guide’s voice, but also because all of a sudden I was now imagining swathes of sand and a desert - buildings made of caked mud.
As stereotypical as my imagination felt, for some reason it evoked a similiar response in me as mountains and hills do. I immediately downloaded the field recording and picked up my guitar. A few hours later I’d managed to outline the bare bones of what would later become Hello, Morocco.Asfandyar calls Pakistan his home. This track is from his first release.
In 2010 I was looking to get a band together that would play a mixture of shoegaze, slowcore and post-rock, but couldn’t find anyone who wanted to do something like that. Even though I was always looking for bandmates, I knew I still wanted to make ambient music on the side.
I think music today is phenomenal. I don’t think one can argue about the state of music by looking at what mainstream music channels or even radio stations are playing. In this decade (or even in the last one), music has broken more barriers and sounded more different than at any other point in history. Technology has been the greatest instigator of these new sounds, and we’re all the better for it.
It was sweeping round swiftly and steadily, this flaming death, this invisible, inevitable sword of heat. I perceived it coming towards me by the flashing bushes it touched, and was too astounded and stupefied to stir. I heard the crackle of fire in the sand pits and the sudden squeal of a horse that was as suddenly stilled. Then it was as if an invisible yet intensely heated finger were drawn through the heather between me and the Martians, and all along a curving line beyond the sand pits the dark ground smoked and crackled.This track simply makes me happy. The slightly out of tune upright piano. The energetic drums. The steady build and climax.
I wrote the original tracks for this as a soundtrack piece for a student film. Later, I layered on more percussive elements and sampled my voice for the vocal loop.
In the background, just after I say “binary has got me down” you can hear my cockatiel screech. I kept it in the loop, and I still love to listen to him sing along when I play the song.
I record the basic tracks on a MacBook pro in GarageBand. Later, we go into either Dan’s studio (dandy sounds) or IV lab here in Chicago and layer in live tracks.Travis listens to:
Latin Jazz lately. Ratatat sometimes. The occasional Prefuse 73. Love the Beastie Boys. Bird and the Bee. All kinds of stuff.
I’m a girl from New York City. I started writing songs because I liked rhyming and making people laugh. I kept writing songs because I figured out that it was a nice way to talk about feelings without having to get all mooshy all the time.Her outlook on music making is refreshingly down to earth.
Mostly, I love the community aspects of music. It’s good to do something creative with others. It’s good to have projects and ideas and places to go at night. It’s fun. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it. I’m never gonna be Emily Dickinson. Or Jandek.As far as this track:
This one came at a time when I’d been having a fair amount of boy-related troubles…some stupid affairs, crappy situations and that kind of thing. It was all bumming me out considerably.
And it seemed like the problems were always related to some kind of power imbalance. So it was nice to think about everything being equal. No one getting hurt. Everyone feeling okay.
It’s a pretty dispassionate concept, though. I mean, no one is writing operas about people who like each other in the exact same way. You can write about it for one song, but that’s all.
I like a home studio. All of my albums have been recorded by dudes in apartments—Major Matt Mason over at Olive Juice Studios and, most recently, Casey Holford at Good One Music. I have no idea what kind of gear they use, but they can both make a nice cup of coffee.Her current status:
I just got back from tour in Europe, playing shows all over the goddamn place. I do that once or twice a year and then play around New York the rest of the time. My dream would be to open for Willie Nelson. And to achieve world peace, of course. But probably in that order.
Keshco is the name of a quirky English trio of youngish men who play synthpop, folk, psychedelia, cut-ups, jingles… whatever they feel like. All three write, sing and play multiple instruments. It’s all recorded and released from home.Keshco is a true DIY outfit:
We use the free/shareware programs Goldwave and Jeskola Buzz, plus a Korg 8-track machine. It’s all recorded and mixed from home. I’ve learned about recording techniques and mastering (glacially slowly) via sitting in bookshops cribbing from the latest magazines (Sound On Sound or whatever) or by looking bits up on forums. We have three Shure SM58s, lots of lower quality mics, and many crackly cables.About this track:
“Son of a Systems Engineer Manager” conveys such an air of weary resignation, that it’s quite possible to believe he went and sabotaged a power station the following day. The protagonist’s hopes are allowed to pick up briefly in the psychedelic middle 8, before coming back to the present with a distorted klaxon (having dozed off on the night shift?).
You may be amused to note the rumblings over the final minute are provided by my washing machine, which just happened to go onto its spin cycle at the right moment. Who needs BBC Sound Effects CDs?On music discovery, recording at home and labels:
As always, there’s inordinate amounts of good music out there, more than you could hope to listen to in your lifetime. Unfortunately, you have to dig beneath people’s idea of cool. We’ve always held off from contacting traditional record labels, convinced it was a bad move to hand over your rights (“…cruel and shallow money trench…” etc).
We’re victims of geography (north London, deep south London, Oxford) so recording/practising time is at a premium. So, yes, we much prefer just making recordings at home.
Polar Knights is a semi-interwebs formed band. I found Jess (guitar, vocals, engineer), Sheryl (drums) and Ben (bass, vocals) through social media sites and online classifieds. Managed to sift them out from a load of weirdos (well, they’re still weirdos, but cool weirdos!).Chumpy says the track was born of day-job related stress.
My day job is as a print designer in a super busy publishing house. Naturally, we’re always under the pump, meeting quite insane deadlines which require us to work beyond the call of duty.
One particular night was quite rough as the air conditioning retired, the Thai food that got ordered in was ultra greasy and I had been running off of 3 hours of sleep. It hit about 11pm and I had a moment of clarity, I decided to walk off to the bathroom and wash my face. Then the first line of “Overtime” came to me: “Help me out”.The resulting track almost has a happy-go-lucky bounce and optimism to it.
I decided instead of being mad and broody, I’d write something that sounded fun, to make light of the situation.
Most of it was recorded at Jess’s college where she was studying audio at the time. Acoustic tracks were laid down in my bedroom and some late guitars were recorded in our rehearsal space. Our style is pretty DIY and we have made fairly sound investments in gear.On the future of music:
Heavy question! I remember reading an article in Wired magazine ages ago about the concept of “The Long Tail.” Basically it said something like, the future of entertainment is going to become less reliant on making money from megahits, but more from niches at the end of the “tail”. I’m probably wrong, but that’s how I remember it. So, I think there’s going to be a slow rise of niche related fanbases; hipsters love listening to stuff that people haven’t heard of and are quick to abandon them once they have.
Two of us — Sherin and Ciosa — played in several mediocre bands together during our high school years in Hong Kong. After graduating, we went our separate ways and barely kept in touch. Two years later, a dear friend of ours passed away. Naturally and necessarily, everyone who had known her started reaching out to each other; to mourn, to remember, to comfort.Vocalist and guitarist Ciosa says:
This song was written about a dream I never had…When my best friend passed away everyone seemed to be having dreams about her and it troubled me that I hadn’t. So, this song narrates a dream sequence, what I think would be said and such. It’s kind of about memories that should comfort you but instead seem quite harsh and painful to think about.Sherin tells an interesting story about how they ended up getting their album recorded:
Neither of us knows too much about recording technology. It was really when a dear friend Janakan Arulkumarasan got this crazy idea that he would sponsor our album recording so he could use the songs as content for his social media applications, that we had any access to a studio that we could speak of.
We found Theon Studio from a Google search, and as soon as we were greeted by a 7-foot Fazioli grand piano, it was done. It is a gloriously strange feeling, but I am especially confronted by my mortality when I touch that instrument.
The Hong Kong indie music scene has also been growing as a community in the past 5 years, learning to organize more of its own shows on a grassroots level and getting more people involved in music.
We’ve never been big dreamers but a lot of the ones we have, have come true…9 Maps are now with a label called Untitled Entertainment Asia and will be releasing their debut in a few months.
Andrew Weathers Ensemble is a loosely organized collective of musicians. We started in Greensboro, North Carolina, but we’ve since spread out.Andrew, who goes to grad school in Oakland, CA, describes his recording setup.
I record at home with cheap mics, an M-Audio Interface and Reaper. Audio processing through AudioMulch, MaxMSP, assorted freeware. I firmly believe that one doesn’t have to have “nice” gear to make great music. Most of this is done in my various homes & apartments over the years but recently I’ve been more focused on making recordings in specific locations during my travels.The origins of this track:
Ecstatic, Unchanging comes from my initial explorations in mixing drone and folk musics. Where my recording method was largely improvisational, using folk music techniques tightened up the composition, which I found allowed for more interesting pieces. I recorded Taya & Eric’s string parts in the dining room of my old house. A lot of the harmony, especially towards the end, came out of experimenting with pitch shifting their parts.On “real life” vs. the digital domain:
The digital side is obviously incredible - we can take any sound and work with it to suit our needs, we can make our music available to hear anywhere, and we have options in doing so. But in doing so, we can’t forgot the real world. We can’t forget that having a beer with another composer gets you a lot more than an @ reply. We still need shows in basements and warehouses - no record has ever beaten that for me. The community building power of the internet means nothing if it doesn’t occasionally spill into real life.