I just kept shouting, a finger jammed in one ear a phone pressed to the other.
We met up at a Puerto Rican diner.
“How did you even find this place?”
“It had great Yelp reviews, man… plus, it’s Zagat rated…”
“You’re still drunk, too, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, I’ve definitely had a few.”
“So, tell me about this conference?”
“That’s what I was trying to tell you on the phone, man. This guy is the real deal.” <Pregnant Pause> “He’s legit, bro.”
“What does that even mean?”
“He’s fully legit. He’s not just some stoned out tweaker. He does this thing where he plays two flutes at the same time – harmonies with one another, bro! Pan-style! He’s legit.”
I’ve known Preston for about 15 years, or something crazy, but I was still like, what the fuck is this dude talking about? Sitting there, slack jawed kind of half-staring into my revoltillo, I started thinking I might actually go with him.
“Yeah, he’s only in town for like six days or something. He doesn’t travel very far from his home too often.” <No response> “I’m telling you, bro. He uses sound to elevate your consciousness, and dude is LEGIT.”
Brakes screeched in the street just before the truck plowed through the plate glass window sending a booth spiraling into Preston’s leg shattering his shin and ankle. He spent the next two weeks in the hospital.
T-Gives always affords me the luxury of eating a whole lot of meat and drinking a lot without feeling that bad about it. I really ramped it up this year and somehow gained about seven pounds in five days. I was certainly a bit more proud than ashamed of this weight-gain accomplishment, but I was even more proud of the wonderful records I found at Wuxtry in Athens, GA. Between eating delicious food cooked by Diana’s grandma and bouncing around with Diana’s sister’s kids, I found time to sneak into Wuxtry and GOBBLE up a few wonderful African records which have turned out to be a wonderful dressing on a delicious, southern, roundtrip turkey platter.
One of my favorite records I picked up was a group by the name of Juluka. I knew absolutely nothing about this band, but when I saw this cover, I knew I couldn’t miss.
Juluka combine maskanda and mbaqanga music which translates roughly into the music of the common man. Because these guys were untrained musicians and also integrated, they were initially treated as inferior and relatively ignored by mainstream radio. After a few of their songs went through the roof on the underground tip, however, they were given a lot more credence and recognized for the true talent they brought to the table.
These guys eventually celebrated quite an illustrious career which spanned nearly 20 years.
Check out the song Kancane Kancane off their 1984 release, Musa Ukungilandela. This record is full of amazing Zulu rhythms and beautiful South African harmonies which marry perfectly beneath the umbrella of some utterly astonishing (and ultra spacious) production. It’s also chock full of awful, cheesy, synths and some garish saxophone solos which, for some reason, endear it to me even more.
I know a couple of guys who are amazing musicians. They are prolific and genuine. These are a bunch of really good guys who make a lot of really good music. Some of it was made under the (distasteful? amazing?) name, “The Sugar Dicks.” I was lucky enough to play a show or two with Roy Coughlin and Gabe Vodicka (Key members of The Sugar Dicks.) Both of these cats are working musicians who would rather be playing music than whatever else they have to do to support themselves. Both of these guys have played tons of music in Athens, GA and in the surrounding areas.
I was just reminded of this amazing album the Sugar Dicks released a few years back called, “Everybody’s Dead.” You should go download it. It’s absolutely fantastic, dirty, lo-fi, pop rock and roll music. Go grab that ASAP.
Danish producer Anders Trentemøller released his latest album, Reworked/Remixed last week. Tremble Tremble was lucky enough to see him as he passed through Chicago on his tour across North America. After a break-out, smash hit, dynamic, scintillating, wonder-filled, jelly bean, gum-drop fantasy wonderland daydream carnival performance with a full band at the Metro (I wish I could take credit for that description, that was all Jamie), the musician better known as Trentemøller took the time to talk to us about his new album and current tour.
TrembleTremble: The Reworked/Remixed album has has a healthy combination of remixes from different artists – from the well-known to the slightly more obscure (at least, in the US). How do you choose songs to remix?
Trentemøller: I’ve been so lucky that all the artists that have remixed asked me. I didn’t have to go out and ask artists to remix for me. I’ve had the opportunity to remix artists that I really admire so to have that done for me is amazing. I like to remix the more unknown bands like Danish artists. Before I start working on a remix myself it has to be a really unique sound and something that I really like because I don’t want to waste my time on something that is not good.
TT: Is there a reason why you’ve reworked some of your own tracks? What’s the creative process behind reworking your own songs? Do you feel like you can improve upon them once they’ve been laid down?
T: For me, its not about improving on them because I’m always proud of the sound I make but I try to make a different version and see where you can bring a track you’ve already done and put it in a new context. It’s just a new take on a song—it was hard for me sometimes because I spend so much time on a track and to go back and work on it again is hard but then I got into the whole creative process and things started to flow. So in the beginning it was hard but in the end it was fun because I tried to take the song to a new place and that’s the challenge, I think.
TT: At the Metro in Chicago, you perform with a full band. Can you talk a little bit about how the band comes together to create the sounds originally produced by one? Is it strange to work with a band after starting as a lone producer and DJ?
T: Yes it was quite easy this time because the music on this album has a lot of band elements because I played a lot of instruments myself so it translates to live very well, whereas with my first album, it wasn’t the case. The members of my band are my good friends in Copenhagen and I trust what they’re doing because they have their own solo careers and we’ve played together before and so working with them and asking them to be in the band was easy—we have a very good vibe as friends not just as musicians and it’s something you can feel on stage when we perform.
Danish music producer Anders Trentemoller performs at the Metro in Chicago 10/18/11
TT: Has the IDM scene changed at all since your first album? Do you see a difference between the scene in Europe and the US?
T: I’m not really the right one to ask because I don’t really know about the dance scene and I don’t see myself doing electronic dance music anymore—my latest work has been rock and even surf and some classical music—I live in my own little world of music so I can’t really answer that kind of question.
TT: What’s next for Trentmøller?
T: Next is going back to the studio after this tour. I just recently built a new studio in Copenhagen with my drummer—a really cool new studio. I’m really looking forward to get into the writing process and composing again. I’ve been on tour and doing festivals for the past 2 years and I’m excited to work in the studio for the next 8 or 9 months.
When your iPod’s full of heavy bass lines, drum machines, and vocoded melody lines, one often forgets about the beauty and impact of spoken word.
Listener (AKA Atlanta-native Dan Smith & bandmate Chris Nelson) creates a new kind of sound they like to call “talk music”.
Laying rhythmic speech reminiscent of the style of beat poets or SLAM poets on song, listeners of Listener are treated to insanely amazing lyrics presented like a train of thought with a soundtrack. It’s just great writing and it’s different from anything I’ve heard before.
Talk music is not quite rap, not quite rock; something new yet familiar. Dan might perhaps be a pioneer in a new genre of music.
The Tremble crew was lucky enough to catch up with Parisian electronic trio Chateau Marmont as they passed through Chicago on a rare U.S. tour.
TrembleTremble: What artist in the world of music do you feel has influenced your sound most?
Chateau Marmont: all electronic pioneers of the seventies, from pink floyd to can, kraftwerk to tangerine dream. and on top of this, californian classic pop and a lot of prog stuffs.
TT: Videos of your songs feature beautiful and almost trippy animations, or your songs are paired with found footage. Are these the kinds of images you imagine when composing or are you surprised by the visuals that accompany your songs?
CM: We’re always surprised by the vision people have of our music. When we compose we think and listen in terms of geometry or sensations, feelings, emotions. When someone manages to mix all the components of the way we think creation it’s really cool. We just officially worked with a director for our “100 hundred realities” song, but in the future we’d love to do more.
TT: What would you say is the most erotic song on the album and why?
CM: It’s possibly Maison Klaus, this kind of slow disco, alan parsons type of bassline, with a moog theme, a little bit cheesy. A lot of vintage french erotic movies have this sound.
CM: They’re made by our friend Sam, he’s on tour with us, always with his camera, discreet, funny, he’s trying to catch moments of daily life that seems interesting to show. At the beginning it was awkward to feel his presence, but with time he’s part of the environment. And we’re working on this with a big french magazine/blog so he sends material every 5 or 6 days. That will make a lot of souvenirs we’ll show to our grand children. “Look granpa, he’s vomiting in the tour-bus !” sorry for that one.
Chateau Marmont is currently working on their first full length album, which should be out in March. However, their collection of EPS “2008 2009 2010” is out now, and available here. Listen to it when you want to melt your mind with inviting-yet-somewhat-sinister sounds, or when you’re playing Final Fantasy.