Rike M

Rike M

Friday, 22 April 2011 12:54

Wired in #9: Namasté

Finally, I get to post about a great band from France! Namasté is probably one of the hippest bands in Paris these days, they've just won the « Lance-Toi En Live » Ricard SA Music Live prize and have been playing cities all over France. It's hard to put their songs into a category, but they could probably be described as something between pop and hip hop. More importantly though, their music puts you in a great mood for spring time and it's definitely time for them to become known all over Europe. Check out E&M's interview with their singer and co-founder Raphaël Cornet!

E&M: Raphaël, you and Kenzo founded the band. Can you tell us a bit about how it all came together?

RC: Kenzo and I have been friends since childhood. Our mothers sang together and when he started playing keyboards, I started playing cello and drums. We started playing together when we were 9 or 10 but that was only briefly. A few years later we met up again and jammed on some jazz classics like 'Caravan'. We didn't see much of each other during high school but in 2006 we began the Namaste adventure. Kenzo was at the keys, I picked up the guitar and started singing and we added a couple of other musicians to perform with us in local bars. In the past 2 years, Kenzo and I have remained the core of the band with various others coming and leaving. Today, the band is Kenzo, Octavio on the cello, Benoit on the bass, Reda on the drums and me.

E&M: How does having a cello in your band shape your sound?

Friday, 15 April 2011 05:22

Wired in #8: Main Fear Love

Today's music for the weekend comes from Berlin! The individual band members of Main Fear Love have been playing music for quite a while, but the band only came together in late 2009. The Main Fear Love guys don't strike the typical band poses on their website and their info page resembles a contemporary poem. Their music - post punk - has a dark sound to it which might be due to their singer's extremely low and mysterious voice or the synthesizer effects they use on certain songs. They're perfectionists and record demo after demo before they're completely happy with the result, but they manage to create a fascinating style that to me sounds very much Berlin-like.

E&M: What is characteristic for your sound?

MFL: We offer an alternative to the fidgety indie and electro sound that has been due for a long time. With real guitars, real drums, distinctive bass, but enough catchiness to listen to the songs all day, we refer to the darker and more sinister sounds from the 1980s combined with a psychedelic sonic understanding from the 1960s.

E&M: How did you get this band together?

Friday, 08 April 2011 08:35

Wired in #7: The Ruby Kid

It's hip hop, but there are no lyrics about "money and bitches".  Daniel Randall, the man behind The Ruby Kid, is a rapper from the UK. Politically driven and dedicated to 'making trouble in the name of international socialism' he writes intelligent, poetic lyrics. The Ruby Kid funds his music through working as a fencing coach and if you're thinking to yourself that rapping, political lyrics, and fencing seem like an odd combination, check out one of E&M's most interesting music interviews yet! 

E&M: When did you decide to start rapping?

RK: I've been interested in verse and rhyme for as long as I could read and write. The first time I wrote something that could meaningfully be described as a 'rap' I was probably fourteen or fifteen years old. I was just getting into hip hop in a serious way and rapping was a good way to combine my developing love for that form of music with the long-standing interest in poetry and verse as a form of expression.

E&M: You say you like making trouble in the name of international socialism. How'd you come around to those political beliefs, and what kind of things do you do to make trouble in their name?

Friday, 01 April 2011 10:51

Wired in #6: The Slips

Electro Pulse Glitch Pop Renegades. Has any self definition sounded better? The Slips are an electro band from London who produce a maelstrom of heavy beats from two laptops and a drum kit. Blown away by the atmosphere at a gig in the heart of East London, E&M asked them to play at our end of 2010 launch party. They responded with an amazing performance that had people dancing around like mad men. With some highly regarded remixes free on their website, this is a band that will suck you into a style of music you'd probably never considered.  

The Slips - 4 Elements To Make Good Music (Official Video) from The Slips on Vimeo.

E&M: How did the band come together?

The Slips: David and I started the band after working together at Olympic Studios in London. We were writing lots of songs together and were pitching tracks for various artists; we sent a few tracks to Mirwais whom we'd worked with on the Madonna album American Life and he asked us to work on a French artist YAS he was producing at the time. From this we started writing material that we felt was more our own than for other artists and so we emailed a few London venues, picked up some shows, an agent and it kinda went from there. The next thing we knew, Rob da Bank had emailed us asking for our RMX of CSS to play on Radio One!

E&M: What inspires your music - do you have a clear direction you want to go in?

Friday, 25 March 2011 09:44

Wired in #5: Sky Dry Tea

Thanks for this week's band suggestion go to Līva Dzene who recommended a great band from Riga, Latvia. On first listen, SKY DRY TEA don't exactly have a typical Latvian sound to their music - they sing in English and plan to extend their success across Europe with their next album. However their experiences in Latvia, where they have already played several festivals and shows, certainly shape the band. E&M interviewed SKY DRY TEA to find out what inspires their music and how they want to conquer the rest of Europe!  

E&M: To give us an impression of your music - what is characteristic for your sound?

SDT: Of course every band is working on their own specific sound and finding a sound is a working process. To be honest, it's hard to specify what we sound like, we just do what we feel sure about and always keep playing and listening to whether we actually like what it sounds like. I think that is most important and if you're sure about your sound, the audience will feel the same.

E&M: You recently changed your band name from 'ēnas' to SKY DRY TEA. What inspired the change of name?  

Monday, 14 March 2011 16:25

Wired in #4: The Soundabout

Yet another suggestion from one of our readers for this week! Thanks to Bart Luttikhuis I found out about the Soundabout, an Amsterdam-based ska, funk and reggae band that have playe together since 2006. They promise scandalous party nights at their shows and one thing is for sure: their music makes you want to dance!

Wie ben ik? from Sybren A. Stüvel on Vimeo.

E&M: You are quite a big band: you normally play with six people and then recently expanded your band with a new saxophone player! What's it like playing with so many people? 

The Soundabout: Making music with so many people is great, everyone has his or her own addiction to the music, knows some bad jokes and adds to the general fun. This also means that more people can give an unexpected but nice twist to a song, both before and after completion. Since we write all the songs ourselves, it is posisble to discern different influences the band members have on songs, combining it into something we really like practicing and performing. Of course, sometimes the bad jokes and jugs of beer have more impact on the rehearsals than other times, and from time to time it does get a little unstructured.

Friday, 11 March 2011 06:26

Wired in #3: Hybschmann

When E&M announced the music blog in our newsletter, we got an excited email from one of our readers and Hamburg conference participants, Juliane Schmeltzer Dybkjær, who recommended a band that we needed to cover on Wired in! Hybschmann, a lcoal band in Copenhagen play songs which are easy-going, fun, and have an almost beautiful naivety to them - most interestingly though, they sing in Danish, which could only add to our interest! They consist of five people and got their band's name from their singer and guitarist's last name, (Jeppe) Hybschmann.

E&M: So, first of all: How come you decided to write your lyrics in Danish? 

Hybschmann: Well, because it is with us. It's quite difficult to sing in Danish, but the moment you make a song that actually works, the feeling just makes you want to do more. Our lyrical universe is characterised by Scandinavian feelings, naturalism and impressionism.  

E&M: What are your songs about? Do you write the lyrics together as a band? 

Wednesday, 02 March 2011 08:10

Wired in #2: Dav

Dav is a trio from Hungary. Whilst reporting from Budapest, Matt (Editor of Sixth Sense) stumbled into a bar and heard them playing tracks from their album "Point of View". Blown away by their sound, music that incorporates pop music influences with cool jazzy and experimental elements, he got them to write their email address down on the back of a scrap of paper... E&M interviewed their guitarist and singer David Szesztay about their latest work and what they're up to next.

E&M: You've had quite a few changes in the band's composition, can you tell us a bit about how the band got together and what instruments you have in it right now?

DS: Originally, the band as started as a trio in the end of 2004, but it took a long time to find the right partners and the right direction for the band. In 2008 we found the current combo with a horn section (sax, trumpet and trombone), and we recorded our "Point of View" album in 2009 as a sextett.  Since the summer of 2010 we've been working as a trio again, with a pretty basic line-up: drums (Csaba Németh), bass guitar (Dániel Szerető), electric guitar and vocal (Dávid Szesztay).

E&M: What's characteristic for your sound? Do you have a clear direction you're going in? 

DS: I think we have our own specific sound, although at the beginning I didn't really have any exact plans; the goal was just to make interesting, exciting pop-rock-jazzy-melancholic stuff. The ideas for more specific directions came later. I had to realise that we couldn't do that many things at once. Looking back at our last album, it became an interesting indie-jazz-rock album, with some nice lyrical songs. In the future we'd like to make a more conceptual album with less instrumental parts and spend more time in the studio getting the right sound for the songs.

Friday, 25 February 2011 08:46

Wired in #1: Dave Dixon

Dave Dixon is a singer/songwriter originally from Bristol, UK but currently living in France. His music ranges from folk to alternative. With his voice, his guitar and a few sweet effects he creates intimate melodies that put you in a lovely dreamy mood! 

E&M: Who's behind the music? Do you write, play, record everything yourself?

DD: Yeah, I record them in my bedroom. Although my girlfriend Gabriella and some other talented friends feature on some of the tracks.

E&M: And which instruments do you play?

DD: Guitar and voice. Although some day I'll learn the drums.

E&M: So, when did you start making music? 

DD: At the age of 14 when my parents bought me my first guitar.

E&M: And the very first CD that you owned? 

DD: It was probably something pretty bad (or without doubt 'Spice'- the Spice Girls' seminal breakthrough album), but 'By The Way' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was the first album I fell in love with. John Frusciante's vocal harmonies are beautiful and the way he expresses emotion with what's often pretty simple guitar playing is something I aspire to. I loved 'Dosed', for its layers of simple guitar lines that just form an intricate sound.

E&M: You describe your music sounds like you're having fun in your room by yourself. Do you never play with a band?

DD: I nearly always play with Gabriella live, and the afore-mentioned friends also join me at shows. A lot of the time it's pretty unrehearsed but it just comes out of jamming together a lot (which is my favourite thing to do). Sometimes it comes off, sometimes not, but it's a really nice feeling when it comes together. I also play with a band called Sly Paws and that's a much more rock/alternative venture.

E&M: How do you come up with the lyrics to your songs? Do you write about things that actually happened to you?

I do write about real events, although I prefer not to tell a linear story. I like to collage images and ideas together to create a journey through an array of feelings, scenes and thoughts rather than through a straight narrative. I find the music that hits me the most contains lyrics which mean different things at different times, so that each listen brings something new to it. It excites me that the exact meaning of every line in a song isn't initially entirely evident.

E&M: Is there anything else you do apart from making music?

DD: At the moment I'm studying French and Italian, actually. I'm currently on my year abroad but I'm looking forward to finishing and focussing on the music. I enjoy travelling and seeing new places and being around nature.

E&M: What European band or musician do you find most inspiring?

DD: Thinking about it now, I don't think I've ever really been particularly into many European artists. I thought Fionn Regan's (Irish folk singer) first album was stunning, but I find it difficult to name many contemporary European artists that I really admire or love. Musically, I've always been more into American or Canadian music (bar the Spice Girls of course).

E&M: Thanks Dave, its been great talking to you.

For more on David Dixon check out his profile at http://www.myspace.com/davedixonmusic.

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