At work I seem to have inherited the only set of speakers in the office which means I’m pretty much in charge of the music. With this development comes great responsibility. Keeping everyone happy is no mean feat. The music not only has to please the tastes of no less than six people but it cannot distract from the task at hand – getting on with work. Herein lies the rub. Music is no longer an entertainment 100% of the time. It provides the soundtrack.
In our parents’ day this wasn’t the case. When my parents scraped the money together to rent a flat the first thing they bought to furnish it was a record player to listen to their records on while they sat on makeshift cardboard boxes. They would put on a record in the same way we would sit down to watch a boxset nowadays (though arguably with the rise of mobile, said boxset is often accompanied by a twitter debate and indb’ing). Listening was the whole thing.
Nowadays my father – a stout music fan, a musicians’ accountant and a man who knows what he likes – says even he cannot muster the energy to listen to a record any more. They’re too short he says. ‘And when I’m cooking why would I want to have to walk back to the record player after 20 minutes to change sides?’ So there – even a former purist cannot enjoy music-listening in itself. It is an accompaniment to the ‘other stuff’ we find ourselves doing.
At one of the first places I worked (a home office with an incredible editor) radio 4 provided the sound. So perhaps it’s not about music losing its original grasp on our attention so much as a thirst for information, sound bites and entertainment that we think ourselves too busy to quench individually. We live in a multitasking era.
That said – I miss the art of listening to a record.
If you aren’t familiar with Chilly Gonzales let me get you up to speed:
Real name Jason Beck, the Canadian has lived and worked in Berlin and Paris predominantly and gained a following as a producer, working with Feist and Peaches. For those in the know, though, Gonzales or Chilly Gonzales is one of the most multi-talented musicians around. Classically trained, he flits between genres from rap and classical to power ballards and electronic dance. His self-deprecating satire makes his lyrics catchy as hell and his rap infectious.
When he released Solo Piano it’s well documented – mainly through his ramblings on stage at gigs – that the industry suddenly sat up and took notice, claiming they now understood him (and not in a good way). I never would have thought he would have released a follow up album but I’m mighty glad he did.
Genius past works – Take me to Broadway + This One Jam, sung with Feist live in London
Right now I am really loving the music of Dave.I.D. I spoke to the Creative Director/Designer behind his visual output, Simon Owens to find out about his sound and the stunning graphics on his limited edition 12inch which is out in February.
Simon explains the concept behind the visuals for Dave.I.D’s unique sound:
“Dave.I.D has this strange sound which is both past and present, so I came up with this equally contradictory overarching idea of ‘industrial futurism’. Whereby shape (and the space it gives) and material were really important, anchored by considered though slightly odd and off (hand drawn) typography/logo.
We started off with hand printed, distressed (almost destroyed) press shots, and a strong directional shape (rhombus) used in 2d print, actual packaging shape, and the material used (tarpaulin). With most copy/details in an old Germanic digitised typeface. And then added the fire red, black, white, and bronze as the main colour scheme to emphasise the strong, confrontational nature of the music. It’s not music you can just put on in the background, it requires your attention! And that’s something which is quite at odds with a lot of the new music made right now. So it was important the design reflected this.
In some ways i think Dave.I.D has created a new genre. Either way, and unintentionally it plays with your minds ability to place when it was made, mainly through industrial textures, which was definitely the main idea for using chemical blue tarpaulin for the ‘Gangs’ ep sleeve, with the shape taking it somewhere else, a forward leaning idea of the future. Industrial futurism/industrial RnB!”
I adore this song – heard it on 6music and can’t get it out of my head. The video is uberhip. It makes me think…how funny is it that the whole 90’s hip hop look is so in vogue right now. It seems that either musicians like Friends are playing songs that sound indie but don’t look it – or music is harking back to the kind of tunes that back in the day I would have heard on MTV Bass. I read in the I newspaper yesterday that NME are just waiting for the next Libertines. Case in point – last night at The Hunger launch party Dels played live and afterwards the playlist included Gold Digger by Kayne West.
Contrary to *all* other people my age, I’m not a fan of festivals. Except, perhaps ATP – All Tomorrow’s Parties – which I would quite like to go to. ATP is a cult festival, each time curated by an artist/band, taking place at venues like Pontin’s. It’s supposedly more intimate, more fan-friendly and less corporate than some other festivals which I won’t mention..
In any case, forget the festival (curated by Mogwai, Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, etc.), from tomorrow until Saturday ATP are hosting a pop-up shop at kooky Shoreditch boutique Maiden.
Open from 11am-7.30pm on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th November, and from 11am-6.30pm on Saturday 19th November. All sales must be made with cash (there is a cash point nearby).
You can get your hands on:
Tickets for Upcoming ATP shows without booking fee – These will include our Battles, Gang Gang Dance, Magic Band, Superchunk, Panda Bear, Thurston Moore, Mister Heavenly, Wolf People, Explosions In The Sky and Olivia Tremor Control London shows & I’ll Be Your Mirror London 2012.
CD & Vinyl – Albums & Singles by Sleepy Sun, Fuck Buttons, Deerhoof, Autolux, Magic Band, Alex Tucker & more. We’ll be selling our Spiritualized Pill Box Sets – 12 CD box sets featuring the ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ album + Loads of extras and our Custom Made 2×7″‘s.
ATP DVD – The feature length ATP Film on PAL DVD.
Tote Bags – From the Animal Collective & IBYM UK Curated by Portishead events.
T-shirts & Hoodies – At least one design for nearly every each festival we’ve run, featuring designs by Michael Motorcycle, Tim Biskup, Tara McPherson, Kii Arens, James King, Pete Fowler, Matt Groening and more + Baby Grows – The last stock of our special ATP baby grows.
Posters – Various prints ranging from screen print through to Giclee quality. Designers include: Amos, Michael Motorcycle, Kii Arens, Tim Biskup, Matt Groening, Tara McPherson, Kathie Olivas, Will Schaff.
Previous ATP Programmes – A variety of previous ATP programmes will be sold at a low price, these are all unique and commemorative of each festival. This will be the first time they’ve been available after the events. Designers for this include: James King, Kii Arens, Tim Biskup, Tara McPherson, Will Scheff, Michael Motorcycle, Matt Groening.
Dolbees – Our limited edition vinyl toys that we released at each festival over a period, the initial toy design was by MAD and further designers were invited to put their own artwork on subsequent ones. These designers include: Kathie Olivas, Michael Motorcycle, Kii Arens, Sket-One, Melvins, Brandt Peters, Pete Fowler, Tara McPherson, Eric White and Tim Biskup.