Guillermo Scott Herren is nothing if not proven. It’s hard to think of a name that carries as much weight in both hip-hop and avant-rock circles as Prefuse 73, who in the past year alone has been asked to remix TV On The Radio, Pelican, BLK JKS, Cornelius, and producing the L.A. duo: ‘Voices Voices’ e.p. on Manimal Records. Not to mention his collaborations with School of Seven Bells and Battles. These interactions have clearly helped to shape the evolving Herren’s sonic aesthetic, which has expanded to include Diamond Watch Wrists twisted visions of prog-rock & ‘machine funk’ and Savath y Savalas global psychedelia.
Last year, Prefuse 73’s Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian, Herren rejected the idea of straight digital recording and instead went the much more intensive route of recording to analog Ampex tape, giving the album the sound of a lost tape of exploratory studio musicians from the not-too-distant past. In addition to the recording process, …Ampexian also differs in its composition, existing as a tapestry of tracks of varying lengths and moods, albeit with a remarkable linear flow and, of course, unmatched rhythmic bump. The album features appearances by fellow Savath Y Savalas member Lange (also co-produced), School of Seven Bells vocalist Claudia Deheza, Zach Hill, Dimitri Grimm and Gaslamp KIller. He continued with an e.p. entitled: The Forest of Oversensitivity’ and a Japanese Only release entitled: ‘Meditations upon Meditations’.
This past year has taken him on a whirlwind of of shows and tours in a number of configurations around the world and back. South America, Japan, random lofts in the middle of nowhere and so on. Now, into this new year of 2010, he has already completed a U.S. tour with: The Gaslamp Killer and Voices Voices. With plans to continue with more shows, tours and a full fledged composition and performance written for the: ‘Aukso Orchestra of Poland’ in August.As music from the Los Angeles area thrives and swells across the globe, one of its most beloved and deeply rooted members steps out with an LP full of infectious melodies, subtle hiphop and a kaleidoscope of sound. Music for the imagination. Ardour is the debut album by long time running My Hollow Drum, Dublab, and recent Brainfeeder artist, Teebs. Born in New York to Malawi and Barbados origins, Mtendere Mandowa, is a 23 year-old producer who bounced around the East Coast before finally planting his feet in the Southern California suburb of Chino Hills. A city known for its rolling hills and FBI ranking of one of the safest in the United States, Teebs developed his artistry right outside Los Angeles’ county line and just south of the Orange County beach community. Music may have come by accident, literally. A skateboard injury sidelined Teebs, which led to a concentration on art.
Through great focus and vision, Teebs made a name for himself as a skilled painter. His artwork found on canvases of all form, from walls to record covers, become imbued with vibrant color, energy, and shape.
From paint and brush, Teebs slowly found himself in the world of music making.
Early in his musical pursuits, Teebs joined a group of like-minded friends and producers who went by the name ‘My Hollow Drum’. Within this crew, he was able to build new ideas, share works and perfect his production craft. Intrigued with what was going on in Los Angeles evolving electronic scene, he never expected to fall directly into it.
He began interning for the acclaimed online radio stream, Dublab. This sparked his selfexpression, spirit and growth as an artist. Being around music, art and a creative atmosphere while brushing shoulders with the artists he admired from the area.
Teebs was accepted into the Red Bull Music Academy for their 2008 edition in Barcelona, Spain. Upon arrival back home, Teebs became even more focused on his music and art. A chance meeting with Flying Lotus led to his involvement and joining of the newly founded Brainfeeder collective. Having previously heard from local producers and DJs about this new up and comer, Lotus didn’t hesitate to take Teebs under his wing after hearing some of his earliest beats. Ardour began to bloom.
Ardour was made during two major periods of his life. Having just lost his job and with little to no money, Teebs moved into the same apartment complex as Flying Lotus and shared living quarters with another Brainfeeder affiliate, Samiyam. It was here that the beginning stages and one-half of Ardour were created. Before Teebs was aware his album was showing itself, his father who had been terminally ill, passed away. He moved back home and stopped making music.
Back home, Teebs finished where he left off. Ardour, two years in the making, is the result of Teebs’ journey thus far. More than the music, its the feeling he wants to convey. The idea of hearing something you really love, the moment you know something is really special. Flying Lotus said, ‘Teebs music sounds like an island vacation…The way Avatar looks’. What’s often said about Teebs’ sound is the warmth it has on the listener. It’s only fitting that a title like Ardour, which is defined as ‘great intensity and warmth’ is used to represent this essential chapter to the ever-growing puzzle of Los Angeles.The popularity of bass-heavy dance music is spreading like wildfire across the world, with many producers crafting their own styles of dubstep, grime and garage. In the city of San Francisco, CA DJ/producer Kastle has cultivated his own style of bass-heavy beats with a soulful twist.
After teaching himself guitar and piano around the age of 12, Barrett Richards pooled his efforts towards electronic instrumentation about two years later. He began taking production as seriously as he did DJing during that time, and involved himself deep into the Northeast rave scene. It was no surprise that in time, though, personal growth and 14 years of production experience paired with a degree in audio engineering would breed a new sound. Kastle came to life at a pivotal moment after a big move from Boston back to his hometown of Pittsburgh in March 2009. After nearly a year of conceptualizing, he knew he was working on something special.
The name itself implies a fortress, a personal space that is used to cultivate a long-time love of hip-hop and R&B and fuse it with the magnetizing effect that dubstep, garage and bass-heavy music has had on Barrett and, really, the various communities of underground electronic music.
The studio and touring dichotomy of an artist’s life is a perfect yin & yang for Kastle in both his production and outlook. His professional experience as an engineer puts forth clean, crisp production, but his love for the party provides a playful bass that eats a room. Altogether, the wide varieties of vocals – both originals and sampled – are a key element to Kastle’s sound. ‘I grew up on hip hop and R&B, and sampling is considered an art form,’ he says. ‘It’s becoming more and more fun to dig through old records and find obscure samples.’ He cites another unexpected influence -legendary French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, who had once said that ‘it’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.’The Underachievers are a hip-hop duo from Flatbush Avenue, NY consisting of Issa Dash and AK. They are currently signed to Flying Lotus’ label Brainfeeder and released their debut mixtape INDIGOISM on February 1, 2013. These guys are lookin to spark a revolution in this rap game, and just in time seeing as the Age of Enlightenment is upon us.The who, the what, the where, the how, and the why.
WHO. Joey Mousepad is a musician, an artist, a philosopher and a student of life.
WHAT. Party rocking sounds, wide format digital printing, vinyl graphics, and rhythmic lyrics
WHERE. Joey Mousepad lives in San Francisco currently, but is a native of the east coast.
HOW. Joey Mousepad operates by pure brute strength. And a laptop.
WHY. Why not?