Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rock the Beach

Queens of the Stone Age:
This is the closest I've gotten to the awesome female punk singer Brody Dalle.
(Josh Homme's wife).

Green Day:
Wasn't too keen on seeing them again, but as soon as to music started, it was yet another fun 2½ hours.
Gotta say though, that it isn't that great to have the exact same type of show as a few years ago, but thumbs up for playing a lot of songs on Dookie.

30 Seconds To Mars:
One of the worst gigs I've ever been to.
Jared talked way too much. After every single song.
"Can we play another song for you?"
Dude, you've only played two songs so far.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Droid Daughter - Mira

Here it is folks, my blog’s first ever exclusive preview. And geeh, I just realized that I don’t even know where the album name “Mira” comes from! I just started to get these feel-good memories of the time when my Spanish flat mates loved the Finnish name Mira, because it was easy for them to pronounce and means “look” in Spanish. They usually associated it with the word “ass”.

But the name is not the only thing, which makes me feel good. I’ve hailed Warminster- based producer Droid Daughter aka Connor Lepre as a true wonder kid of pure electronic music. And with his third full-length, it’s pretty evident that my words are not just words. Even if I say so myself.
Although I get these positive feelings while listening to Mira, Lepre himself sees a darker side to it.

Mira is an interesting thing because if you asked me what it's about right after I finished it in May, I'd have no real answer for you. Looking back, it's really funny for me. It's an album full of regret about how I was spending my life the 5 months prior to that, but in this weird way where I was trying to cover up my regret. Like when you're sad and don't want anyone to know, you just put up a wall of happy and often times it can be easy to see through. I think people will have no problem seeing through the happier sides of Mira. It's the "too good to be true" happy feeling, but that's just how I interpret it.

Lepre considers the album to be a step out of his comfort zone, which resulted in what I would like to say a huge ass prolific beat making.  Out of the 15 tracks the collaborations are definitely the highlights- they bring Lepre’s sick beats into a whole different level, when different types of talent complement each other.

The song “Purple Beat” features rapper/songwriter Reefa Ali, who seriously has some mad skills. Rarely, you hear such clever rhymes.  “I sent him the beat, he wrote to it, and I recorded it”, Lepre explains the simplicity on his collaboration with Ali.

Another collaboration was with fellow producer Kali Ma aka Cody Miller. On the album you can hear a remix on the song Afrodesia done by Miller, but I guess you can say that the true respect is paid by Lepre taking influences from him.

On songs like Mira and I'm So Amber, I really tried channeling my inner Kali Ma, I hope he doesn't mind. But I felt it would be appropriate for him to remix one of the songs because of the influence on the album. I gave him the stems for Afrodesia and came back to me a few days later with a mind melting, almost Nine Inch Nails-esque remix that I love. When I play Afrodesia live, I play the first 2/3 of his remix, and then into my version. He does a similar thing for a song I remixed for him.

Musically, the most mind-blowing gem of the album is You + Time. The reason for that is the most utterly astonishing voice of Lepre’s friend Kate Kushin. You can’t really understand what Kushin is singing about, but it’s like the case of "Milk and Cereal"- it’s not about the content, it’s about the way it’s done.  “I played with her breathe noises and kept about half the song and repeated it. It filled the song up a bit and I think it added a bit of style.”

Connor, this line is for you:
You + Time is the most stylistic thing you’ve done so far.

In general, one of my favorite moments is when the base drops. And without forgetting a bit of humor, this Droid Daughter track which is included in live sets made me go "Bitch, drop the base!" the first time I heard it.

I’ve said it a dozen times before that the most important thing for an album is to work as an entity. And as a person, who doesn’t concentrate too much on visual stuff, am very proud to say that it’s the first time for an album art work to be the icing on the cake. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen anything as amazing as Mira’s cover. The closer I look the more I drool.

Okey, I think we’re better off ending this with Lepre’s own words, before things get out of hand. But damn it feels great to give out recognition in a review for something which basically is mainly not about it. #TrySomethingNewEveryDay.

Artistically, I ended up creating these little worlds in my head that each song was from. Kristina Abuladze did an amazing job capturing how the album felt with the album art she made for me. I have synesthesia, which is a neurological condition where one sense, in this case hearing, will stimulate another sense, and often times for me it's sight. To me, songs have corresponding colors and textures. I don't necessarily "see" colors and textures when I listen to music, but I associate songs and sounds with color and texture. When I listen to the songs on the album, I find a strain of color(s) on Kristina's album art that I associate with that song so it's like the whole album is visualized for me on the album art which is a cool thing.

Mira is available for download on its release date, July 24th 2013 via everywhere, just check his Facebook for more info. Thanks to Connor for granting my blog the rights for this exclusive preview.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

June '13 Video Box

1. The xx - Fiction

2. Explosions In The Sky & David Wingo - Prince Avalanche: An Original Soundtrack

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Despair

4. M.I.A. - Bring The Noise

5. Bloc Party - Rachet

6. David Lynch & Lykke Li - I'm Waiting Here

Pick of the month:

Vampire Weekend - Diane Young

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June '13 Music Box

1. Zola Jesus - Avalanche (Slow)

2. Willis Earl Beal - Everything Unwinds

3. Iron and Wine - Rattling Bone

4. Hot Chip - Dark & Stormy

5. Janelle MonĂ¡e - Dance Apocalyptic

6. Holm. - Day 247

7. Holm. - Day 248

8. Holm. - Day 249

9. Holm. - Day 264

10. Holm. - Day 272

11. David Lynch - Are You Sure

Pick of the month:

David Lynch & Lykke Li - I'm Waiting Here

Monday, July 1, 2013

Listen to your heart

After I had graduated everyone kept asking me what next. And I kept telling them I'll keep my options open. When in my mind I was thinking can't you just let me enjoy this moment and beer?

I did keep my options open. At least for a while. Many job applications went with an *ugh*, and a *sigh* when there was no response. 

To make everything easier, I narrowed things down into what I was passionate about. Those were music, beer and tea.

When I mentioned to people that I would be interested in working in the tea business, they were like wtf. Tea, tea? *raising one's arm to drink from a mug* movement. Once I even talked about wanting to get into either the music or tea industry and then going on for a few minutes solely about music. After my little speech, the guy asked me but why tea?

Is it really that random?

Towards spring, my brains were rooting MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC and my heart was like tea tea tea. 

One of the hardest things to do is to listen to your heart. There are so many people out there doing stuff that they are sick of. And that's something I want to avoid. But most of all avoid having the question what if on my mind. I guess it's much more worse to not know than to be disappointed.

Also, there's that sense of uncertainty when you're being rational. It would have been much easier to do the things you're familiar with already and continue collaborating with people you know. It's understandable to stay in your comfort zone. 

For sure it was kind of terrifying to take a risk, but after three weeks there hasn't been a single morning when I would have rather stayed in bed. And that's A LOT said from someone who's hated mornings since forever.

Though, I still can't realize that I'm getting schooled in the industry I wanted to. Schooled in my favorite tea company. Yeah, of course I could feel differently later on, but hey, at least I tried and went after my dream. 

And I can feel a bit more relaxed about the future knowing that there's one less what if.

Ps. don't listen to those, who think they know what's best for you. The truth is that they're just on the way of what really is.