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Asa | Interview | Artist Spotlight

time April 12th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , , , , ,


Asa recently posted that he was looking for some blog support on an interview done over at the Greek Dubstepforum. I gave it a quick read and decided that I’d help him out. If you follow me on Facebook or some of my rants on this site I’m sure you’ll see why I agreed to this. It seems like the movement and attitude is spreading. Let’s not forget to mention genuinely being embraced by everyone with a free mind. This dude has a lot of passion behind what he says and isn’t afraid to speak his mind despite knowing it’s going against the ‘norm’. This is one of the reason I’m building a label right now. There aren’t enough outlets and places to get things like this pushed. That traditional dubstep sound is dying but that’s ok as long as it keeps evolving. The idea of 140bpm and heavy bass isn’t a formula to live by in dubstep. Hell if it was up to me forget about the bass lines and just fill it in with more melodic synth lines.

Here is the interview!

So who are you ?

My name is Asa, that is my birth name as well as my ‘alias’ or whatever you want to call it. I am a producer/songwriter from the UK, i am based in a small city on the south coast of the country, about half way between London and Bristol.

When did you started with producing and where does your style derive from?

I started ‘producing’ back in school, when i was about 15, i guess? but of course it was nothing serious, at the time my musical background was in choirs and i played piano – which has definitely contributed towards the way i write a lot of my music now. But in all honesty I’d say my production derives primarily from being sick and tired of hearing so many generic artists, i just wanted to hear something different. I make tunes for myself mostly, it’s like therapy, ya know? its personal and it’s intimate, well it’s intimate until it’s released anyway. then it’s the listeners property, which is the way it should be. For me, it just has to evoke an emotion in the listener, wherever that be on headphones in a dark room by themselves or it be on a huge sound system amongst thousands of other people – it’s got to induce some sort of emotional response. that’s the purpose of music, right? otherwise there is no point. In terms of dance music, I grew up listening to mostly garage, just a lot of 2-step and some dnb really, amongst a lot of other music of course. Bands like Sigur Ros & Incubus amongst plenty of others have as much influence on me as my contemporary ‘dubstep’ producers. But that is definitely where a lot of my rhythmic patterns stem from, for sure.  The Skippy 2-step drum patterns, i love them. I still find my garage collection to be the most varied and interesting music i have, obviously there is a lot of nostalgia involved with my relationship to the tunes, but garage did get killed off and recycled into dubstep and grime pretty much. That’s the way this music works, there is this continuum of bass music in the UK that just keeps churning out new ideas. hence why i get so frustrated with generic production traits – it’s the downfall of scene’s in the context of this music, you HAVE to do your own thing, and i think that principle is where my style derives from. I do my own thing.

What do you respond to the whole thing about dubstep and heavy bass. Is it just a trend?

Well it’s just the ridiculous amount of mid range lfo abuse i hear. I mean, i mostly only hear it when residents are playing that stuff before me at bookings. But don’t get me wrong, the producers I’m closest with like KOAN Sound, Statix & Culprate – they  make some of the hardest stuff around – but it’s so well executed, i get just as excited about a new Culprate tune as i do about a new Burial one, and that’s the way it should be i think. Good music is good music. But there definitely is a lot of poorly produced dubstep, i know that much. there is not enough space in the mix downs in most dubstep tunes now. No room for the sub frequencies to be the prominent focal point in the mix. Which was the only ‘rule’ in Dubstep in the first place, if you can even call it a rule. It had to be around 140bpm and have emphasis on sub bass, the rest was up to the producers individual creativity. That’s how it should be. Me and a few of my friends have all been writing music around 100bpm recently, after becoming somewhat disillusioned with what people think ‘dubstep’ is now, we have just reached a point where making music defined by one tempo just isn’t plausible. We don’t want to do that, as much as dubstep is and will continue to be the home for our music. There really has been a very notable divide in the scene over the last year or two; it’s clear to everyone involved on either side. A lot of people on one side hold a lot of animosity towards what is now commonly associated with the tag dubstep; as a result they are deliberately pushing further and further away from the cliché production techniques which is a positive creative drive for sure, but I for one am still more than happy for my music to be tagged as dubstep. I still think the best thing about the genre is its diversity, so if producers like me try and distance ourselves from dubstep, and then what hope does it have? Creating sub-genres is like pushing yourself into a corner, setting up more boundaries; it will only limit people’s creativity.

Your last release is ‘Sweeter Things EP” and let me tell you, we like it so much. whats next? are there unreleased or new tracks coming up?

Ahhh that’s awesome, i am glad you like the EP – i was a bit hesitant about it, i mean, it’s music i make for me and a few close friends to listen to and I know it’s not what most people are used to hearing. So it’s really good to know that some people have picked up on it and get the point of the tunes, that sort of thing is really cool. I really appreciate it whenever anyone tries to connect on a personal level and say that they like the tunes, that sort of thing really means the world to me. As for new releases myself & KOAN Sound just done a remix for Kito & Reija Lee’s EP on Mad Decent, which has been getting huge support and a great response recently which we are really happy with. Right now I have a whole bunch of remixes due for release – the list is so long i wouldn’t even know where to start. The same applies to collaborations, I’m still working with my core group of friends more than anyone, mostly KOAN Sound, but I’m now getting to work with some of my favorite artist’s, which is something i am really happy about. I apologize about being so vague and not mentioning artist’ names, but i have realized recently that it is good to keep such things under the radar until they are completely finished and on top of that I’m simply just not allowed to talk about things until certain dates etc. I write music all day, everyday. So there is no shortage of new music, it’s just an odd period for me and my friends at the moment – a lot of decisions being made with labels and all that kind of stuff, so a lot of our tunes are in a state of limbo at the moment.

Where do u see dubstep/step/future garage going? *just another trend like minimal techno

I really do not agree with the whole genre branding thing, as I’ve said. To me – ‘Future Garage’ is one of the most ridiculous tags i have ever come across. I could sit here for hours and moan about why i disagree with it, but it’s not worth it. i just don’t agree with it. It’s dubstep, don’t call it anything else. there is something in it for everyone – that has been the whole point of this music from day one, it was the main principle that attracted me to it, ya know? The scene is thriving, regardless. There is so much good music consistently being put out. that’s all that counts – it is not a ‘fad’ or ‘trend’. its just another part of this constantly evolving bass music continuum that we are so lucky to have in the UK. Creativity is thriving, the underground really is glowing…

What u know about Greek Dubstep in Greece in general and if u have any thoughts to play here?

I have a dear friend of mine who guys by the name of ‘Skru’, he goes by other alias’s also, but he is a great soul and has so much passion for the music. He has always supported my stuff since i started, but other than that i know very little about the scene in Greece. I hear about events occasionally from my friend, but that is about it. it is obviously a place i would love to come and play, meeting people and traveling is one of the best things about music – it is what I am most thankful for out of all of it. I hope i am lucky enough to have a Greek promoter want to book me someday!

Tell us some of your favorite source for sounds. VST plugin’s , DWA’s, hardware…

I don’t like to talk about production methods so much, for a lot of reasons really… I think sharing knowledge about production and such things is one of the most important things, no doubt. But i prefer to do it on a one to one basis – I would happily teach or show anyone how i go about putting this sort of music together if they were willing to just sit there and learn. Making tunes brings people together, the people I value the most in my life are the ones I have met through music. the whole networking side of it so important. Production tutorials and things like that seem to be a bit too ‘paint by numbers’ for me, it cuts of that human experience of writing music. The fun and the vibe you can get from working on music with someone who approaches it in a completely different way is one of the most exciting things for me. Sitting around with KOAN Sound and just working on tunes have been some of the most beneficial moments of my life. Do you know what I mean? i will say this though – i record all my own foley sounds, i have my own production palette. Well, i hope i do anyway..

“I made this for you” , i have to admit that was my first ‘contact’ with ur music, its one of my fav mix’s and i have the question if the title and the hole mix is ‘personal’ to you. maybe a girl ?

Well, i really don’t know if i should talk about these things… but it’s ok i guess. i mean, I am personally invested in it all for so many reasons. But they are not going to be the same reasons for the listeners, if that makes sense? I really don’t want to come across as pretentious. I just like making tunes, that all. so yeah, Essentially, a lot of the music i have made in the past was as a result of a very messy, break up from a long term relationship –a lot of it is about telling stories for me. It’s like therapy, it really is. That situation is well in the past now of course. so in regards to the mix entitled ‘I Made This For You’, it is in relation to another person… the key is in one of the first track names, that is all i will say. she knows who she is and that is all that matters

5 tracks I am into at the moment

Ed Sheeran – The A Team (KOAN Sound Remix)

Culprate, Tekka& Sticky Disco – Finger

Earl Sweatshirt – Earl

Joy Orbison – Sicko Cell

Asa – Sweeter Things (eleven8 Remix)

Interview done by: dubstepforum.gr

Category: Artist Spotlight, Dubstep, Interviews, Music, News | commie 1 Comment »

Lokid – Fear of Heights EP

time April 11th by Dj EA authorTags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lokid, a glitch-hop producer out of Paris France just released his latest ep, “Fear of Heights.” This is a really fun ep and well produced.  Def throw this one on at your next party. I’m digging the M.S.D. (Mon Saigneur Demoiseau) dubstep remix of the title track a lot too!

You can download and stream the album for free from http://lokid.bandcamp.com/

Lokid’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Lokidmusic

Much respect!

-EA (EA@afromonk.com)

soundcloud.com/djeamusic

Category: Downloads, Glitch Hop, Music, Reviews | commie No Comments »

Stephan Jacobs | Emancipator Remix

time April 11th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , ,

Stephan Jacobs is interesting in his fans to help him out a bit. He is getting ready a lot of shows ahead and his laptop is on verge of dying due to all the changes. After talking to him a bit he told me that as he is gearing up a whole new live setup with some new toys and now running solely WAVs instead of Mp3s and his laptop is starting to give up.

Stephan decided that he’d put some of his work hard work up for sale to help raise the money for a new laptop. He is selling some of his NI Massive patches that he has built. Any starting producer or even experienced one could get a lot of value out of this $15 package. This is a way to help a fellow musician out as well as gain some knowledge on what one of the rising stars has been doing.

Not only has he decided to sell this product he put together but he’s also giving away his Emancipator – When I Go remix as a sign of good faith. This track explodes and has such great depth to it.

Be sure to be on the look out for Stephan as he embarks on some exciting shows such as Coachella next week and Lightning in a Bottle at the end of May. I’m looking forward to catching up with him as it seems like awhile now. Also word on the street is he has been working closely with Love and Light on some tunes… Who knows what’s ahead with that… A collab EP, tour, etc… ? The world may never know but expect something…

BUY: Stephan Jacobs Massive Patches

Category: Downloads, Dubstep, Music, News | commie 1 Comment »

Orchard Lounge | Left In The Lurch | AfroMonk.com Exclusive

time April 11th by John-Michael authorTags: , , ,

I’m beyond honored to bring you an exclusive mix from none other than Spencer Lokken from Orchard Lounge! Spencer was kind enough to do something special and put together something tailored just for the site. I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with this mix. It’s a perfect blend of chill sexy and exciting blend of beautiful music. This isn’t a traditional thing he does so it really means a lot to me to have such a talented person do something unique like this for the site.

Spencer is 1/3 of Orchard Lounge which is made up of: Beth, Ben, and himself. Orchard Lounge is mind blowing experience of all three of them where they tantalize and take everyone for a ride. They’ve been making quite a name for themselves and it’s no surprise after you see them live. The mixing harmony of all of them is something quite rare to see amongst such talented DJs and musicians.

I can’t say enough thank you’s for Spencer putting this together. Once it hit my inbox I had just woken up from much needed sleep and it was the perfect way to wake up in the morning and start the day. This 69 min mix is something that will definitely be a go to mix for me during many occasions. Thank you!

Tracklist

01. vadim – game tight
02. ancient astronauts – rocket science
03. gabó – after the moonlight
04. lopez – asuncion dub excursion
05. debruit – k.o. debout
06. beef wellington – what u laughin’ at?
07. rimer london – l’eau
08. ribotto – cannonball
09. almunia – travel (‘mental)
10. lunice – hip pop
11. blockhead – attack the doctor
12. anne wirz – guerriére (four tet mix)
13. klock – orange woods, leading rounds
14. mosca – tilt shift
15. samooo – on & on
16. edmx – creole 2
17. maya jane coles – nobody else
18. kollektiv turmstrasse – schwindelig
19. jensen sportag – pure wet
20. vector rusting cars & wildflowers

DOWNLOAD: Orchard Lounge | Spencer Lokken | Left In The Lurch

Category: Afro Monk Exclusives, Downloads, Mixes, Music, Trip-Hop | commie No Comments »

Stereotonin | Lazerfiend

time April 8th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , ,

Stereotonin has been blowing me away lately. He sent over his new EP that comes out today and man it’s fire. I’ve been following his work ever sine Mindelixir put out that compilation out, Repeat Business. It’s great to see a new solo release from Justin. Lazerfiend is out now and has been put out by Abstract Logic Records which is starting to really hustle.

If you haven’t heard any of Justin’s stuff it sounds like a mixture of organic groovy beats with some crazy spaced out lazers all over the place. Totally the stuff I love to kick back, light up, and just let the beats groovy take my mind for a ride. This release I’ll def be rocking out live quite a bit. It has that eccentric style that’s perfect for opening, closing, and overall just blowing some minds when you got a crowd in front of you. I know I can’t wait to drop some of these tunes in my set and glitch them the eff out. The title track Lazerfiend definitely is my favorite as it features some vocals and makes for a perfect layer on top of the track.

If you’re on the East Coast and anywhere near Nashville be sure to check this guy out live. He is also part of the Bass Church family so you can expect him to be rocking the massive crowd out there time to time. I have a feeling this is only the beginning for Justin as he becomes a rising star in the game right now.

BUY: Stereotonin – Lazerfiend

Category: Dubstep, Glitch Hop, Music, Reviews | commie No Comments »

Robot Robinson | Robot Koch + John Robinson

time April 8th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , ,

I’d have to say the most listened to albums in my car are the ones from Robot Koch. His beats is the go to stuff while i’m cruising along driving into the city or going out to party. His beats hypnotize in this sick ill way. If you’re into the Doshy stuff I posted earlier this week check this out! Robot Koch is the producer behind all these tracks and the ridiculous flow of John Robinson on top of each track. John does an incredible job on spitting verses and hooks. I’m usually quite not too big on MCs or rappers but man I’d totally let this guy drop some words on top of my set and if anyone knows how I feel about that it’s saying A LOT!

One thing that really cheered me up about this release is that it was pressed to vinyl. I need to figure out how to order this here to the States. This needs to be in my vinyl collection. I’m listening to this whole thing over again and seriously wow. I’m totally blown away by this. This really is the next level stuff. There’s a line John drops where he goes “Robot is the future” and I could not agree more. These insane beats with a sick flow is what I think is the next phase of electronic music. I also believe the sexy melodic idm stuff has a huge future coming back as the heavy aggressive bass lines will eventually get old very quickly and the complete opposite is what everyone will be hoping to hear. Big ups to Robot Koch and John Robinson!

Be sure to check out the video for the single!

Category: Glitch Hop, Music, Reviews, Videos | commie No Comments »

MuSsck | Why Feed On Bitterness

time April 6th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , ,

MusSck is one of those weirdo anime people who makes music. Who the hell is this dude?! Well truth is the guy is an unbelievable producer. He calls the UK his home and is non-stop working on music and school.

MusSck’s style is one of the most unique out there. His sound design and signature glitchy effects are unparalleled in the industry right now. Global Vortex has put out a small four track EP for him. These tunes are exactly what you’d expect from him, sick IDM ambient beats. This isn’t that typical dance floor type business from most producers this is the sort of stuff you sick back and pop your headphones on and appreciate the work and intricate beats. Whenever it’s a late night session I love throwing these crazy obscure tracks into a set.

Global Vortex made a deal with Addictech to have all proceeds of this EP to help Japan. The money is going to the Mercicorps. Be sure to grab this as it also means you’re helping support the Japan relief program.

Much respect and love to the fam!
MusSck is truly family at this point.
One of THE nicest guys in this business hands down.

BUY: MuSsck – Why Feed On Bitterness

Category: Glitch Hop, Music, Reviews | commie No Comments »

Fast Nasty | Mourning of the Empress

time April 5th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , ,

Fast Nasty is a rising star on the East Coast. I had the pleasure of meeting him out in Asheville when I went out there to play a show. This guy has a great head on his shoulders and is making tons of moves. He is working closely with the monster Mindelixir and has been featured in the mind blowing event, Bass Church.

I’ll never forget the time I first met him and were hanging out. We exchanged names and he made my month probably year when he told me that Jasper saw the flyer for Rogue Fest and pointed to my name and said you want to check this guy out. It was such a honor to hear that from one of your favorite producers. Fast Nasty will never be forgotten after he told me that.

I had the pleasure of doing a fresh tag set during the real late night of the Rogue Fest in NC that night. This guy rocks a midi fighter like no one I’ve ever seen. It was one of the better tag sets I’ve ever done. We were just having fun playing music without a care in the world. Matt has a great attitude and is hustling hard as you can hear tons of emotions and plenty of love in this small EP.

Mourning of the Empress is just the beginning for him. I assure you there’s a stock pile of solid tunes coming soon from him. He is a prime example of someone that I can’t help but smile when see his hard work and energy is starting to pay off and people starting to notice this guy. It’s always great to see friends and people you’ve come across rise up and gain some visibility.

Be sure to check this FREE 3 track EP. I’m a huge fan and always helps when you’ve been in contact with the producer putting out such work. I can’t wait to make it back to the East Coast and rock it out again with him.

Much respect and love homie!

Category: Downloads, Dubstep, Music, Reviews, Trip-Hop | commie No Comments »

Thriftworks | ZenZero

time April 4th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , ,

Street Ritual is on their A game. Their latest release comes from Thriftworks. The release is called ZenZero and sports some quality album art that get lost in every time I glance at it. Now lets get into what we are all here for… the music.

This is a complete 20 track album! The amount of diversity and quality in this is extremely rare to come by. It’s become extremely popular to release 4-5 track EPs but no Thriftworks defies the trends and release 20 brand new tracks and to top it off 2 FREE tracks to help promo the release! Incredible. You’d think it would be filled with small clips or experimental loops but no not here. There are straight up 20 full tracks ranging in all different styles but with a Thriftworks flavor that is heard in every tune.

Thiftworks style is what I would call melodic, chill, and sexy. The 20 tunes play with such a groove and flow. The synth lines are spectacular and the bass lines aren’t aggressive. There’s a little of everything from midtempo, dubstep, downtempo, and IDM on this. There’s a track “Zanibar Ophanid” that will appeal to any serious gamer out there. A few of my other favorites on this are “Thizza Thizza”, “Eisenblaster”, and “Cloud Chakra”.

I hope to hear some more from Thriftworks in the future and applaud the Street Ritual team on an amazing find. It’s great to see music like this getting a chance in this heavy bass market right now.

If I had to give this album a rating I’d give it a perfect score 5 out of 5, easy. Preview the tracks below and be sure to download the two FREE tracks. You can purchase from the widget as well!

Category: Downloads, Dubstep, Music, Reviews, Trip-Hop | commie No Comments »

Doshy | SpaceDrifter

time April 1st by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , ,

Doshy!!! I don’t care what anyone says this guy is one of the baddest in the business. This guys beats are straight up some of the most original and unique tracks ever. I’ve been meaning to post his Remix EP for awhile now but been so backed up. Today he unleashed a FREE EP!!! Just when he treated us to a preview of the new NastyNasty EP on Robox Neotech, the label he runs. He bust out with this release

You would think I would be posting about Jasper’s new release but straight up this shit is way too ill. Every track is incredible! I’ve listened to this 3 times already. This might be one of my top 3 releases of 2011 already. I’m always blown away by his work and got excited reading his post about possibly giving away a few tunes but damn that was quick. Doshy, THANK YOU! Hook it up with a promo copy of the new NastyNasty =P

If you haven’t heard of Robox Neotech I feel bad for yah son! Their releases have some of the freshest wonky/glitchy/IDM out there. Their recent catalog is pretty much all I listen to in the car besides Elfkowitz & Gladkill.  Much Love the whole Robox Neotech family! I can’t thank you guys enough for the work and risk you put into pushing this sort of sound. Ok enough ass kissing but damn they deserve it and needs to be heard!!!

DOWNLOAD!!! Doshy – SpaceDrifter

Category: Downloads, Glitch Hop, Music, Reviews | commie 1 Comment »