Saturday, 25 December 2010
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Zen Death Squad. Besides being one of the bad ass names I’ve ever heard, Zen Death Squad are a group of Glitch Hop/Wonky producers comin’ out of southern England. I discovered them a few months back when I first heard their remix Roger Troutman’s Superman. I decided to get in touch with them.
Abandon Silence (AS): Who is Zen Death Squad and how and when did it come in to fruition?
Zen Death Squad (ZDS): Zen Death Squad are three producers; Screenager, Halogen and Z-Whip. We all come from different musical backgrounds, but all started out in live bands, playing various instruments. We came up with the idea in the summer of 2008, after being inspired by the sound of the US West Coast Hip Hop scene that was blowing up around that time. Originally there were five of us, and it all started with a track called Awesome Patrol, which we all kind of threw at each other across the internet for a couple of months. As it developed, three of us took a more active interest and things went from there.
AS: Awesome Patrol, haha, what a title. How does the writing process go? Is there a process? What does your studio consist of?
ZDS: We use quite a lot of different stuff in the studio. A bunch of old amps, basses and guitars, a load of pedals and samplers. As for software, we use a combination of Logic, Cubase and Ableton Live.
As for writing process, there's no specific starting point. We generally just jam until we find something we like and build it up from there.
We play a lot of video games in the studio which inspire us musically. We feel our music is a cross pollination of Time Crisis and Sonic 2.
AS: Haha! Sounds like quite an organic process. If you could choose a Nintendo 64 or Xbox 360, what would it be?
ZDS: We are Megadrive till death.
AS: Haha, didn't see that one comin’! How do you guys play out? CDJs, Ableton, Serato...
ZDS: We like to keep things as live as possible. We only started playing shows this summer, so it's been a constant learning experience and we try to push things further with each set. We currently run Ableton Live with a couple of keyboards and a variety of other midi controllers. We're actually about to purchase more gear, so there'll be a bunch of new stuff integrated for the new year.
AS: Looking forward to it. What are your opinions on the student protests at the moment & the whole Con-Dem government in general?
ZDS: We all have our own views on it. It's been good to see people get motivated and organised enough to protest effectively. One thing we can all agree on is that David Cameron's face looks like it is made of runny cheese.
AS: Hahahaha! If you guys where to have cheese on toast would it be red, yellow or green cheese?
ZDS: Good question. After much consultation we have decided that no cheese is bad cheese. As long as it's cut in the shape of a triangle.
AS: Good answer. I am a cheddar and brown sauce on toast man myself.
What are your views on the electronic music scene right now? Particularly Dubstep, Wonky & Glitch Hop...
ZDS: It's a strong field right now. Everybody seems to be stepping up their game. It's great to see the sounds coming out all over the world, with everyone putting their own ideas and to a certain extent their cultural heritage into the music. There are people like Spoonbill in Australia, Eskmo in the States and Rustie over here in the UK who are creating incredible music, taking the sound in crazy new directions. The UK seems to be warming to the Glitch Hop sound and we are a excited to see what emerges from it.
AS: Spoonbill makes the craziest music! Who or what do you think played an important role in Glitch Hop in 2010 and who or what do you think everyone should keep their eye on for 2011?
ZDS: There have been so many highlights this year, to list a few: The Glitch Mob at Matter on the UK's best sound system. The proto-funk of Debruit. Guys like Flako and Comfort Fit with great records out there. Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma. Nosaj Thing at Plastic People in London was out of this world. iLL Gates also, through his music and his support for the community with his Ableton seminars.
As for next year, watch out for Virtual Boy from the States and Jai Paul from the UK.
AS: What can we expect from Zen Death Squad in 2011? Also, where the hell did the name come from?
ZDS: The name was actually suggested by a good friend and awesome dubstep producer we know.
2011 is looking pretty exciting. We're in talks to get some releases out there, both here and in the States. And after that, just a lot of shows. We just confirmed our first performance in Bristol for 2nd Feb, so are very excited to be heading to new places after a summer of festivals. Trying to line up some US shows for around March/April time, and then who knows? We'll have to see where we end up.
You can check out Zen Death Squad here:
Keep an eye out as they will be releasing a new free track for Christmas!
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Thank you to everyone that came to check out the Abandon Silence Best of 2010 Lists. We got some great feedback, even a retweet from the victorious Best Album Winner Flying Lotus. Over 5000 views in 3 days was, by sadly some distance, our greatest period of traffic ever! Thanks again to you all.
Melé - I Swear Down by Melé
Definition//Mix 2010 by SPD//SHEPPARD
Scratcha DVA-Jelly roll
Cosmin Trg-Since last night
Geiom ft marita-Sugar Coated Lover
Cooly G-Dis Boy
King Midas sound&Pupajim-Frequencies
Peverelist ft. Pinch-Revival
Scuba-Three sided shape
High Contrast-Tread softly
Promo Mixtape (03-09-10) by Jake Daniel
Lusine - Two Dots [Pezzner Remix]
Minilogue - Second (Colour & Sound)
Johannes Heil & Extrawelt - Erdbeerfeld
Robert Babicz - Come Closer [Kollektiv Turmstrasse Remix]
Moonbeam - Run For Me
Marcel Dettmann - Reticle
Martyn & The Spaceape - Is This Insanity? [Ben Klock Remix]
Matt Walsh - Honey Comb [Sei A & Logan Remix]
Kevin Gorman - Shakey Stripped
Peter Van Hoesen - Terminal
Glimpse - Employable Enjoyable [Marcel Dettmann Remix]
Bisco by mrpaul7t7
6th Borough Project - The Formula (Dub Vibes)
Chaz Jankel -Glad To Know You (Todd Terje Türkatech) [Permanent Vacation]
The Revenge ft Danielle Moore - Just Be Good To Me (Ron Basejam Remix) [Needwant Recordings]
Timmy P - We Had Disco
Johnny Dynell - Jamhot (Tensnake Remix) [Needwant Recordings]
Disco Channel - Honey (The Ground Floor Chicago's Reworks) [Little House]
Kevin Irving - Children Of The Night (Disco Bloodbath) [Disco Bloodbath]
Jamie Jones - Say What? [Hot Creations]
Russ Yallop - Rock Me [Crosstown Rebels]
MSTRKRFT ft N.O.R.E - Bounce (Maya Jane Cole Remix)
Model 500 - OFI [R&S Records]
Sunday, 5 December 2010
When I started to think about creating this lists, I knew that James Blake had to be my number One. I restricted myself by deciding to include only one track per artist, and I just had to put the anthem in. CMYK is just a clarrion call for all that was good about UK music in 2010. This was the sound of an emerging artist finding his feet, but doing so miles ahead of his contemporaries. He is sure to take over 2011 with his vocal works.
Tracks -- (all are YouTube links)
1)James Blake - CMYK
2) Girl Unit - Wut
3) Mount Kimbie - Maybes
4) Foals - Spanish Sahara
5) Flying Lotus – Do the Astral Plane
6) Ramadanman – Glut
7) Kingdom – Fogs
8) Deadboy - If U Want Me
9) Skream/Instra:mental & D:Bridge - Acacia Avenue
10) White Ring - ixc999
11) Gil Scott Heron – New York is Killing Me (Jamie XX remix)
12) Balam Acab – See Birds
13) Sepalcure – The Warning
14)Jamie Woon – Night Air (Ramadanman remix)
15) Gold Panda - You
16) Datsik – Firepower (Moombahcore remix)
17) Burial - Prophecy
18) SX – Woo Riddim
19) Magnetic Man ft Katy B – Perfect Stranger (dBridge remix)
20) Pariah – Detroit Falls
21) Redlight ft Ms Dynamite – What You Talkin’ About
22) Swindle - Airmiles
23) MJ Cole & Wiley – From the Drop
24) Pangaea - Why
25) Joy Orbison – The Shrew Would Have Cushioned the Blow
The album list could easily just be the top 2 on their own, as FlyLo and Kanye's efforts were just streets ahead of the pack this year. No other albums got near to connecting with me and I will always remember 2010 for those two LPs. Notable mentions for the fantastic Mount Kimbie record, Four Tet creating his best album to date, Foals finding maturity within their glitchy indie pop, Arcade Fire stepping up yet again and two obscure record labels, Autonomic and Night Slugs, coming to the fore of 'UK Bass music'.
1) Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
2) Kanye West – My Dark Twisted Fantasy
3) Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers
4) Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
5) Four Tet – There is Love in You
6) Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
7) Foals – Total Life Forever
8) Fabric Live 51 – Autonomic
9) Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
10) Night Slugs – Night Slugs Allstars
Please use the comments box below to vent your fury, or maybe even agree, with my decisions.