Thursday, 10 June 2010

Halfway Point Awards

As we reach the end of June, AbandonSilence has decided to take a celebratory look back at the previous six months of 2010. It seems an age ago, back in January, when I decided to create this music blog. It has slowly grown and now is well established, for that I thank all of you readers. The lists below are my own personal opinion, so I apologise for any problems that you may have with these lists. If you disagree, plleeeease feel free to vent your own opinions with a comment, I promise to reply to each and every one. Thanks again, AbandonSilence.

Top 3 Albums
1)Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma == no competition, a masterpiece in cross genre production
2) Foals - Total Life Forever == the best indie record of the year, moving away from the 'Math Rock' of Antidotes has seen Foals mature into a terrific band
3) Gorillaz - Plastic Beach == just the complete record, Bobby Womack's two guest spots take this away from the crowd

Top 3 Tracks (right click on link, open new tab for Download - no CMYK dload available sorry)

1) James Blake - CMYK == recent addition, but just one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard
2) Deadboy - If U Want Me == heard this live so many times since it's release earlier this year, the droning sound at first appears irritating but in fact is genius, guiding the track along it's awesome duration

Top 3 Remixes

1) Zomby - Float (Skreamix) == first released in 2009, but I only heard it in 2010, just miles ahead of any other remixes I have heard.
2) Goldie - Inner City Life (Sbtrkt timeless edit) == the ultimate chill out track, 6 minutes of epic bliss
3) Emika - Double Edge (Pinch Remix) == nice old style dubstep, just simply a great remix that adds layers and atmosphere to an already fantastic cut.

Top 3 Artists to Emerge in 2010

1) James Blake == so much potential, gaining hype from all sides, AbandonSilence hopes he can follow up the CYMK EP with equally great music
2) Sbtrkt == coming from no where, the anonymous Sbtrkt has had a fantastic 6 months, with some great remixes and brilliant releases.
3) Deadboy == I know very little about this guy, but since I heard U Cheated in January I have been blown away with everything that has come since.

Disappointment Award

Rusko -OMG == Had the potential to be THE crossover, but instead was a childish, unsophistiated mish-mash of good ideas in the wrong hands.

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Monday, 7 June 2010

Return of the West Head

"Lost In Translation with a whole Fuckin Nation/ I was the abomination of Obama's Nation/ Well that's a pretty bad way to start a conversation."

Enough said. Kanye is back.



Saturday, 5 June 2010

An Interview with Starkey

AbandonSilence was recently given the honour of interviewing the US Bassmaster himself, Starkey, just before he took to the stage at The Magnet in Liverpool. For the purpose of the interview, AS denotes the questions and S denotes Starkey’s responses.

AbandonSilence would like to offer our gratitude to Ben Vale and Ben Thapa who made it possible for us to meet the man himself - and again for Ben as he contributed the picture of Starkey (left) and my ugly mug (on the right) above. Here goes...

AS: As you were growing up and beginning to produce, from where did you find musical influences?

S: Everything you hear influences you; doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. What got me into music back in general in the day were the Beatles and Michael Jackson. After that, once I started building my own ideas of what music is, I really got into hardcore punk rock and then jazz and classical. After that was all about Bjork and the Trip Hop stuff, Tricky and that plus Mogwai and epic post rock. All of that came to form what I do now.

AS: At what point did you realise that you could begin to make music for a living and not just a hobby?

S: Erm, I knew I wanted to get into production at about 14 or 15. I knew I had to stop kidding myself that I’d make it to the NBA. That’s when I focused on music. I’d always been interested in music, but I got into writing electronic stuff when I was about 20 or 21, that’s when I started to get into it a bit more. It’s been 8 or 9 years now that I’ve been confident about what I do.

AS: When did you discover dubstep? Coming from the US it must have been hard work to find a foothold in the genre?

S: Pretty early on man, pretty early on. I was living in London in 2001, I heard all that garage stuff; So Solid Crew and The Streets had just come out. I moved back to that states and kept in touch with what was going on. Through the pirate radio stations like Rinse I got into grime and I really got into that. Through grime I got into dubstep. I wasn’t as much a big fan of the early 2steppy stuff, but I have grown to appreciate it now. My first love in dubstep was Loefah’s darker style and Vex’d’s Hip Hop influenced stuff.

AS: On your new LP, Ear Drums and Black Holes, you cover Rave, Dubstep, Chilled and many other genres, do you find it easy switching between genres?

S: That’s kind of what I do, I don’t even think about it, whatever happens, happens. I don’t try to please anyone except myself. If a track feels like it’ll get chilled, it gets chilled. If it feels like it’ll be 4/4, it’ll be 4/4. If I wana sing, I sing. I don’t mind switching styles; I have music ADD so I can get bored pretty easily.

AS: In the UK and more so the US, dubstep is really blowing up, even Britney Spears is working with Rusko, what are your thoughts on the growth of the genre and it’s move into the mainstream?

S: I’m all about it. If people are doing what they’re doing and are happy with what they’re doing, then great. I listen to a lot of mainstream R’n’B and Hip Hop. I think the word ‘dubstep’ is the problem. There are so many factions, the sound is splintering. Everything moves faster because of the internet. You split everything into these subgenres. That’s the problem, there’s really not much that holds the sound of ‘dubstep’ together. Just coz songs are round the same BPM doesn’t mean it’s the same style. That word and what people reference it is a problem. If someone hears a Rusko track for the first time and are told that that’s dubstep, then if someone hears one of my tunes they’ll never think that’s dubstep as well.

Foals "This Orient (Starkey Remix)" by starkbot

Starkey ft. Anneka "Stars" (12", digital single) Preview by starkbot

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Thursday Night

Thursday night was a huge over riding success. Sets from Mele, Sbtrkt (pictured above) and The Others blew the crowd away, with some fantastic supporting slots from local DJs Rich Furness, Horza, Deuce, Kidheader and Grandav.

The pictures are available at this link...

Thanks to everyone who came along. Those that didn't, you really missed out! Though planning is being set afoot for AbandonSilence02 in the Autumn, so you can all make up for missing Thursday by coming then.

Particular thanks go to Ben Thapa for the excellent photography

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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Drag! My favourite new sound

While having a cheeky peruse of Pitchfork, I came across an article describing a new sound that is mutating worldwide titled 'Drag'. After downloading the tracks that came with it, I have fallen in love! I cannot deny its similarities with dubstep, but it appears to just be an amalgamation of dubstep and deep house, which I am in love with also. So, I compiled a mix to commemorate the discovery of this genre, and it will be the next long awaited 'Fortnightly Mix' (not so fortnightly I have to admit, apologies)

Have a listen, and if you like what you hear let me know, I'd like to find out what other people think of this style of music...

Silent Diane - Harmonikai
OoOOo - nosummer4u
White Ring - IxC999
OoOOo - seaww
Balam Acab - See Birds
Fostercare - Heat High
Balam Acab - Heavy Living Things

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