May sees the long awaited return of cryptic yet blissful producer C L N K. Following from the success of previous work ‘Black Ecstasy’, Romanian Silviu Badea, still staying true to label Error Broadcast steps back into musical black hole for a tour of darker side to his beats with this chilling EP.
Kicking off is the aptly named ‘Fuck Hype’, throwing itself into life with a disjointed bulshy synth line. Clarity is resumed once more following the introduction of the orchestral stabs and the high-hat driven beat as its partner. The piece ends with a set of meaningfully hits maybe acting as beacon of clarity in a chaotic world. I think there is a really important contrast between clarity and chaos throughout the whole EP, one moment you’re engulfed into an Orwellian nightmarish utopia, only to be landing on soft ground moments later with debris smashing around you.’Earn cash spend it all’ – a relative anomaly of the EP by some standards still uses the spine twitching static but is also accompanied by Flubber style syncopation up until mid-way through when the highhats reinvent the track, welcoming eerie run down circus synths to ebb and flow behind. Sci-fi hip-hop number ‘We are the mutants’ was a personal favourite, offering the same decayed and blood-sucked unknown as it’s colleagues but with a tight mid-level synth growl and neat ride cymbal hits to keep everything in check.
With four out of the five tracks featuring on his ‘Dark corners of the earth’ mix last year they are now joined by newcomer ‘Optimal time’ which twists and turns through an ominous and unhospitable soundscape. Also layered in is a sporadic ray gun sample placed over a warbling and pulsating synth drone. These two couple up to drive the track and the EP to its eventual fate in the darkness of space crumbling and decaying as it goes.
It is a very firm belief of mine that great music should always be felt. Physically felt. Whether it’s the vibrations of a subliminal bass line massaging your brain or the fuzzy tickle of a softly-textured synth on your eardrum; perhaps the moisture in your unwitting eye when you hear an old man croon his sorrow into his beat-up blues harp, or the slight twinge in your chest when a lonely woman’s alto caresses your heart. If the song doesn’t affect you on some palpable level, then the creator has failed. Many individuals dislike this line of thought because that would mean that the majority of what they listen to is the result of someone else’s failure. Perhaps I’m a bit radical, but I also hold to the belief that music is a universal language that not only has the power to convey and inspire a broad range of emotion, but can invoke a sense of spirituality and mysticism, and can unify humanity solely through their shared passions and common hunger for musical enlightenment.
Soroosh Khavari (aka Soosh) has presented me with an exceptionally difficult piece of work to define or categorize with his debut LP on Error Broadcast, due for release February 25, 2013. There is no genre at present that you could assign to this startlingly intimate production. But perhaps if I dispense enough futile metaphors in an effort to simulate this extraordinary experience in words, then you may be able to get just a basic idea of what you can expect from Soosh’s magnum opus.
As “For You” gently begins, your ears may be a bit confused to begin with. It’s okay though.. you didn’t download a bad quality format of some late night radio show for lovers. In fact, as you listen, you find that your ears acclimate to the variance in aural atmosphere, like your body would in a hot bath. The beat is barely there, in an invisible basement with pillows for walls, and there are voices too. You may feel like an eavesdropper as you strain to make out what is sung a-midst the growing confusion of wavering pads and tremulous synths. Until about two minutes in.. Just when you’re starting to feel a bit dizzy: “Do what you feel is right.” Next thing you know, you’re beyond the barrier of your own temporal reality.. but it’s alright. Do what you feel is right..
“Open Hearts” comes at you – straight out of the blinding sun of this uncharted wonderland of sounds, with a determined beat that will set the pace of your heart for you before setting you adrift in a brilliant void drenched in the rays of an alien sun. Thank the unfamiliar stars for those reassuringly tender vocals murmured by Soosh’s own sister, Carmel Khavari. She keeps a part of you close even though the rest of you may get swept off into the chaotic oblivion of Soroosh’s devise. Throughout the album, it’s as though Soroosh and Carmel play the parts of two supreme entities, creating a sense of yin vs. yang and you may often find yourself conflicted as to which you would rather prevail. Ultimately, this is inconsequential, because there will always be equal parts of both within the other, so you should probably calm yourself and embrace the qualitative aspects of both. Take a deep breath and let the Khavaris guide you along the unpredictable tides of a sea that rises and falls in accordance with the phases of eleven moons.
“The Space Between” undulates recklessly, like some lullaby for Martian infants. It’s spacious, meditative, and is perhaps the most hi-fi of Soosh’s otherwise deceiving renderings. “Loving” intrigues me with its unique take on what might have once been an 80’s R&B song that got caught up in a time warp and became the next big hit of the future. While a bit monotonous and discordant at some points, you’ll still find yourself bobbing your head to the bubbling bassy synths and the echoing discourse between Carmel and Soroosh. It ends on a bit of an ominous note, fading out to make way for “Chorus Dream.” This track has a sublimely down-tempo beat with wooden blocks at its core and a few renegade toms interjecting at will. On top, Soosh layers it with finely textured polyphonic synths, samples that sound like they were once harmless field recordings from a school playground and a chorus of perfectly timed vibraphones. Together they create a romantically dreamy atmosphere as Soroosh gently implores you, “Come dance with me… I…love…you.”
“The Way You” is one of my personal picks, though I’ve often been told my tastes favor the strange. This track is utterly captivating for me. Synth-master Soosh once again spins my head with his billowing saws, complex rhythms and wonderfully intimate vocals. Both his and his sister’s voices find their way into your mind, carried on the currents of sound that Soroosh has woven into an organic tapestry imbibed with the powers of flight. An incredibly seductive track that leaves you feeling tingly and just a tad bit reluctant to carry on to the next plane of this sensory journey through this multi-layered universe. “Uncertain” is yet another stand-out track for me, featuring an ultra-swanky beat and a catchy tin-wrapped lick from what might a Plutonian shamisen – if I had to hazard a guess.
The final two tracks appropriately wind down this compelling excursion. Soosh gently looses his grip on your consciousness, letting you gently re-acclimate to your personal reality. Though not without a great deal of melancholy and just a tiny bit of cowbell. “Light Shadow” is short, but sweetly charming and incredibly calming. For me, that is the true end of the album. The bonus track, “Touched” serves as more of a reminder – a track you would listen to when you didn’t have 46 minutes to devote to the album’s entirety. Distantly reminiscent, it draws from the whole of Soosh’s surreal compendium in modest and subtle increments, gently recalling the marvelous planes of the realm he has forged from rhythm and sound. Soosh has previously shown us his capabilities in the field of synth-crafting, but I feel it’s apparent that the EPs, his collaborations with like-minded artists, and various remixes were also reflections of his personal journey; albeit in a surprisingly condensed period of time. In Soroosh’s earliest works, created mostly with samples taken from his personal field recordings, you can hear the most uncertainty. A reaching-out towards a then-intangible concept; but even in the infant stages of Soosh’s experimentation, you could hear a distinction – an inspiration of a different ilk. It is here that I think elements of Soroosh’s family and religious backgrounds serve as vital segments of the foundation for his singular approach to music composition and manipulation of sound. It’s a compellingly heavy account, centered around the increasing religious intolerance within Iran, beginning in the early 1980s. The story is replete with a covert exodus in the dark of night under hot pursuit, a trying pilgrimage for freedom, and Soroosh’s own quest to reclaim his heritage. More can be read in this interview with the BBC dated April 24th, 2006.
I, for one, cannot help but be impressed by the results. Though Soosh has since evolved his style, upgraded his equipment, and honed his methods, this most recent work is still infused with poignant and intensely personal expressions of his own experience and an inherent desire to better his immediate reality. Accepting the risk of sounding like an occultist, I theorize that Soosh has managed to tear a small rift in the frail fabric that separates our physical world from the ones beyond, allowing us mortals to briefly savor a glimpse of parallel realms that can only be breached by music. Crossing spectral boundaries might not be your calling, but hopefully you take away an infectious enthusiasm to better your immediate reality through whatever means you are given.
With B-Ju’s Prozac People and more recently Cocody by H-SIK, Error Broadcast ventured into new musical territories, namely the uncharted territories between garage and footwork. They have a new release from OL (who you might remember from the Fly Russia compilation) in the pipeline and they continue to venture a little more, “embracing both Footwork tempi, the production aesthetics of Trap, and the fathomless echo chambers of Dub.”
Titled Body Varial, the EP will be out vinyl and digitally on October 8, 2012.
Much has happened since we gave away B-Ju’s Dog Day EP in 2010, the first vinyl to come out on the Italo-German Error Broadcast label. Since the young producer from Hamburg released Prozac People last year (also on Error Broadcast), there has been a notable shift from electronic hip-hop beats to London-flavoured house sounds. The latest examples of his sound can be found on releases from Squelch & Clap and No Brainer.
So who is this B-Ju guy?
I’m a producer and DJ of electronic music, currently living in Hamburg, Germany. Besides music I work as a copywriter for advertising which is as boring as it sounds. I also read poets and hug trees.
What’s your first memory of music and how did you end up making music yourself?
The first thing I remember was the full music video of Thriller by Michael Jackson. I guess this memory had more to do with the fact that I was shitting myself than enjoying the music. When I first saw Mr. Len juggling his coloured records in Co-Flows „End to End Burners“ I wanted to become a DJ. Sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale, huh?!
More recently, there has been a change in your sound. Just one of the many sides of B-Ju?
I always heard and made music of different genres. My Dancing in your head record by Ornette Coleman is next to Ludacris’ What’s your fantasy, which isn’t contradictory to me. Even if the intellectual range is monolithic.
There is now a generation of producers that was influenced by videogame sounds, do you feel like a part of that?
I’m a kid of the 8-bit generation too, but I always were a ousider when it came to videogames. All of my friends owned Nintendo consoles, I was the only one with a Sega Mega Drive. But I wouldn’t say that sounds of the videogames influenced my music a lot even if you can hear some of them on my Dog Day EP. I think that most producers build on 8-bit sounds too much. That’s the reason why I never could relate to a genre that is defined by that specific sound.
You don’t see it often that producers release different styles under the same name. Was that a conscious decision?
Yes, it was a decision out of laziness. Promo-wise it’s probably not the best thing to release different styles of music under the same name. I still get messages from promoters like „Oh, I didn’t know that you doing club music now“. But I also start to realize that it seems to be to exhausting for people to stick to one genre. You are not a weirdo anymore if you like artists like Blawan and Shlohmo at the same. I think people are more honest about their own taste nowadays.
What are you up to next?
I’m doing some remixes and I want to release this strange record I’m working on right now. Don’t know when or where. Collabs are also planned, but I can’t say much about that right now. Playing live is a big issue for me, since a lot of people asked me about that. The thing is: I don’t want to be one of those „I trigger my tracks in Ableton, press the play button and add some random lazer effects“-musicians. That’s the reason why I want to take my time to build a live-routine.
How did you choose tracks for the mix?
When I record a mix I mostly try to choose tracks that I wouldn’t play in a club. For this particular mix I mainly took slow and deep house tracks that have a slight Hip-Hop twist. I like the idea of doing a coherent mix that listeners of all kind of genres could relate to.
It took us three attempts, but the other week I finally met Error Broadcast co-founder Sven Swift. Needless to say we talked a lot about music, but on top of that I’ve received a wonderful bundle of records released on the label.
Among the records was their 16th release from Hamburg-based beatsmith B-Ju. Titled Prozac People it was released in a limited bundle with t-shirt. There are only a few left, so if you like those tracks above you better be quick. No such hassle for digital buyers, you can pick up the release on Bandcamp, Boomkat or iTunes.
LA’s Stones Throw is sharing a previously unreleased Jaylib track, well it was released not long ago on Madlib’s Medine Show #11.
Celebrating their 4th anniversary, Fine Art Records are giving away the Fabrice Lig album for free.
Not many mixtapes this week. You probably heard Morgan Zarate‘s guestmix for URB already. You also should have heard the Mark Pritchard podcast for Ho Hum before, if not you can now find it on Mixcloud.
But the best mix I’ve heard in a while is Jamie xx guestmix for Benji B. In case you missed it the first time around, you can still download it.
Thanks to 8bitch for posting Liz Copeland‘s in-depth interview with Drexciya‘s James Stinson. Originally recorded in 2002, just week’s before James passed away. The only ever Drexciya interview!
And finally, here’s a nice series of photos taken by Billy Monk at Capetown night clubs between 1967 and 1969.
This is only one of the six tracks off Pixelords forthcoming EP Fish Touch on the Error Broadcast label. Backed up with remixes by Leonard Dstroy (click!) and heRobust, the EP will be out on January 24, 2011.
German label Error Broadcast and Russian bloggers Gimme5 have teamed up to present a free compilation, showing off the many talented beatmakers from all over Russia.
Over it 17 tracks, it features music from RBMA alumni DZA, Nocow, Pixelord, Lapti or Demokracy, not to mention many new names this compilation will introduce to a worldwide audience.01. Moa Pillar – Water Lily
02. DZA – J-dat Inc. (Listening MD in dub)
03. 813 – Zondor Fo
04. Pixelord – Cheese Freak
05. OL – Kombi
06. Nocow – Dynamicize
07. Save Slaves – Vote
08. Appleyard – Stereo Start
09. Miracle Libido – Synesthesia
10. Maguett – Orange Flame
11. Wols – Batyscaphe Finds a Music Box
12. Demokracy – Shapeshifter
13. Damscray – T-Probe
14. Myown – Let’s Make Nice
15. Kontext – Surrogat
16. Nocow – Moai *
17. Lapti – Circadian Rhythms *
* bonus tracks available exclusively on the deluxe digital edition
To give you an impression, Gimme5 is giving away this track for free:
You can listen to two more tracks over at SoundCloud. On September 13, you can download the 192kbit version for free, higher bitrates will be available for purchase from places such as Boomkat, Amazon and iTunes.
September 13, 2010 Compilation is out, get it here!
In other news, the label’s digital releases are now being distributed by Los Angeles’ Alpha Pup, meaning their back-catalog should be popping up on iTunes, Bleep, Boomkat and many others. They also signed a deal with German mail-order HHV for their physical releases.
Brazil is out of the worldcup and that gave me some time to go through all the emails I kinda ignored in the last couple of weeks. Like this one from Error Broadcast, who have just released their second 7-inch.
With Synthesia, Swiss producer AEED delivered a massive debut on the label in 2009. The follow-up comes with two brand new tracks plus remixes from fLako and AD Bourke.
The 7-inch is available now, get it directly from the label or from Berlin’s HHV store. Lots of bonus material can be found on the digital version, including an additional track and even more remixes (one of them is free!)
One of the best things about this year’s Red Bull Music Academy was running into Moscow based DZA, not only for discovering another talented beatmaker and producer, but also for getting to know an overall nice chap with a great sense of humour. Despite his young age, he has already worked with the likes of Om’Mas Keith (Sa-Ra), Hudson Mohawke and Aloe Blacc.
As of today, you can download his new beat tape Five-Finger Discount via Error Broadcast. As usual, a high quality release can be found on Bandcamp.
@ErrorBroadcast Sorry guys for not writing a proper review, I simply didn’t find the time this time! You know I love your music and always appreciate your mail-outs!