Bang Gang DJs have just dropped this version of fellow Australians The Presets tune "Kicking And Screaming". I'm a fairly big fan of The Presets, they're one of the few "Bands" I find myself listening to on a regular basis. They've also recently scooped 3 Aussie Grammies, could be a bad thing but sure time will tell...
Ze! is a 20 something Electropop / Dirty Disco songstress, originally from Kuala Lumpur but now based in London. I'm not to sure how I first stumbled upon her myspace page but I'm bloody glad I did. Starting out her career as a rapper in an RnB trio, Ze! (pronounced Zay) decided to fly solo and released her first EP in '03. With a sound as diverse as her musical influences she's bound to appeal to everyone from indie kids to club heads. A quick listen to tracks like "Boys I Like" and my personal favorite "Professional Bitch" shows how versatile this girl is, not something you can say about a lot of emerging artists these days.
Coupling her music skill with a clothing label she co-runs with her sister called Osixnine (the label's called Osixnine, not her sister) and a style M.I.A. would be jealous of I'm predicting some fairly big things for Ze! in 2009.
Taking a break from some shows in Brussels, Ze! was kind enough to have a chat with Mr.Jones.
Shortie: Give us a quick introduction for the uninitiated. Ze!: Hello, I’m Ze and I sing electropop.
S: Malaysia to the UK… How did that happen? Z: It came about out of frustration; I was not satisfied and wasn’t getting what I wanted from the music scene back in Kuala Lumpur. It took me 2 years to plan the trip to UK, and I went with no expectations but with 100% commitment and determination. I have spent some time with my producer in Brussels before and decided to make London my base because I felt that would put me in the centre of things. And I have no regrets.
S: You've had some pretty big success and accolades in Asia, was the move necessary to break out on the European scene? Z: Absolutely. Mostly, I was simply following my instincts which were strongly telling me it was necessary if I seriously want to continue doing my thing. I feel that in Asia it is too much about copying what other people are already doing and I was out wanting to be different which doesn’t work very well in this region. I guess I am happy to have found that there is space for me in Europe
S: I'm gonna draw a few comparisons here, vocally Madonna, musically Santogold and stylistically M.I.A. It's a unique mix and something that seems to be working. Does it bother you being compared to others? Z: It is a huge compliment to even be compared to 3 of my biggest influences. I do think that although we might be similar, mostly because I am also targeting the same group of listeners, but I think I do have my own approach music and style-wise. It is natural for people to first compare you to artists they are already familiar with before learning how to distinguish you from everybody else, and I am absolutely okay with that.
S: You're currently running your own clothing label along with your sister, which comes first fashion or music? Z: That is a tough question. But then again, no matter how good your image is, if your music sucks, you suck. So, I’ll say the music comes first.
S: How important is your style to your music? Z: Since I have a producer to help me with my music, I have more time to also think about my style – which I think plays a huge part. On my myspace for example, I put a lot of time in it. Because like it or not, people do judge a book by its cover. On top of that, with the kind of music I make and the lyrics I write, the image needs to be just as powerful to compliment it.
S: So you don’t produce your own stuff?
Z: No, I write my songs and they are produced by my Brussels-based producer, Ruben Debusschere. I met him in 2004 when we studied in Australia together; we have been working on music together ever since. He is like, my other half, without which Ze! wouldn’t have existed.
S: What's all this about working on commercials for McDonalds and Toyota? Z: Lol. I got a part in my first commercial when I was 19, which was to star in a Mcdonalds 3-series long advertisement. It gave me confidence and I was paid good money. I was hooked on going to as many castings as I could, as it was also rare that they look for brown-skinned girls to put on TV so it wasn’t exactly a modelling career. I keep all the money to invest in my music and the clothing line.
S: Have you got a masterplan or just seeing how it goes? Z: I have a good mixture of both. I do spend a lot of time just planning things, because without it nothing ever happens. But at the same time I am open to taking a different route as long as it leads me towards the right direction.
S: There's a world of difference between some of your tracks like "Professional Bitch" and "I Am Glam". Is your writing dependant on your mood or is it the other way around, like do you set out to make a club tune or an electropop tune or whatever? Z: I am, personally, a very moody person. I have crazy mood swings, and my producer would know all about it. So I think my writing is highly dependant on my mood, I can never force it out of me. But the joy, the anger, the envy, the frustrations, the love and whatever else it is I feel as a normal human being I express, with brutal honesty, through my songs and lyrics. I would never want to make 2 identical songs and have people buy my cd and say ‘her songs all sound the same’. So I’ll take it is a good thing!
Favorite clothing label (not ur own)? Johnny Cupcakes Worst tune ever? Big Big World by Emilie(?) , I don’t know her name but I can never understand how a stupid track like that could become a hit! Best tune ever? I don’t know a dance track more influential than Billie Jean. Favorite movie? Sound of Music. Daily Websites? I’m a gossip whore, I love thesuperficial.com. Cant go a day without it. What question would you like me to ask you? Out of all the boys you like, who’s your number one? Now answer that question. James McAvoy, in case that isn’t already obvious. Random piece of information? I’m a control freak, which is good and bad at the same time.
So that's Ze!.. The girl's got a work ethic matched only in size by her talent, her diversity and her addiction to gossip apparently. She's a surefire hit if you ask me...
Check out Ze!'s myspace to hear some of those tunes and be sure to click on the Osixnine site to sneak a peak at her fashion designs...
Designer David Velkamp came up with this clever eco-friendly and quite ridiculous computer concept called the LawnPC. Its design features natural cotton grass-like “blades” that are covered in printed solar cells. These solar cells provide about 60 watts per hour to the computer. The miniature lawn sits on top of the computer. Best of all, the solar cell blades are all biodegradable.
All I want to Know is can you run abelton, traktor or serato on it :)
Ok I know it's not until December, but I'm getting proper excited about this Buraka Som Sistema show we've got coming up in Mr.Jones. I saw them last year supporting A-Track (I think) down in Crawdaddy and they absolutely rocked it. That was my first introduction into Kuduro music. I've got a good friend from Angola and he was cool enough to put me on to some names to look out for and places to get some good Kuduro tunes. I have a tidy little collection built up at this stage and expanding it every day!!!
Posted below is one of my favorite tracks by a chap called Kizomba Hélder. Wicked beats, little vocals, good old shake yer rump musics!!!
Following a string of quality remixes, New York outfit Designer Drugs are dropping their first original tune in a while. With Halloween fast approaching, the timing couldn't be better for the release of this one entitled "Zombies!" The track is out on 28th Oct on iHeartComix! with "Back Up On This" as the B-side.
Teki Latex; Frenchman of Italian descent, solo artist, one part of TTC and co-founder of ridiculement frais French label Institubes. I managed to trap the chap for a quick chat and a natter about what he's been up to, plans for the future and "that" Yelle tune!
Shortie: First, can you introduce yourself to us? Teki: My name is Julien Pradeyrol some know me as Teki Latex, I make music, I rap, I DJ... I have a lot of friends who create excellent music and I try to push their stuff by releasing their music on Institubes or booking them at parties and things like that. I love women, fine clothes, nice hotels, Japanese food and the internets.
S: So what have you been up to since Party De Plaisr? T: I've been Deejaying everywhere, collaborating with the whole world and their mother, and pushing a lot of freestyles on the internet streets. I'm actually collecting a lot of these freestyles and collabs to put them on a mixtape that will go by the very non anglophone-friendly name of "Mes pelures sont plus belles que vos fruits". In the meantime you can check out some of these freestyles on my myspace and all over the internets.
S: Other than yourselves and IAM back in 90s there haven’t really been many French HipHop style MCs to really cross over to the English speaking market. Do you think yours and TTC’s success has anything to do with the fact you guys have such a big Electo influence? T: Yes maybe no? yes. We wanted to have our own sound and we were just a bunch of french dudes experimenting with rap and club music and i guess people found it cute and exotic. And now everybody's doing the whole "rapping over electro" thing. Anyway some people did it before us, some people will do it after us, but i guess we do it well.
S: What’s happening with TTC? Any plans for mew material? T: There's talk of a TTC/Modeselektor collaboration album but to be honest we haven't really started working on it yet. We're taking a well deserved break after 5 years of intense non stop touring and promoting. We probably won't start working on new ttc material before cuizinier finishes his long awaited first LP, that's for sure.
S: You played Dublin in ’07 as part of the Let’s French Music Festival, how was that? T: My friends from Dublin gave me a really cute miniature Guinness glass and a leprechaun glass as well, that was good fun and the show was fun too. Shout out to the Dublin crew.
S: Where’s your favorite place to play? T: Montreal where TTC are demi gods and strippers dance to my songs in actual strip clubs.
S: A lot of French artists I’ve interviewed have commented on the music scene over there being kind of dead right now. Would you agree? T: The music scene? No... I don't know, I'm doing stuff, I'm the music scene, I'm not dead so the music scene is not dead. There's zillions of French kids making great music popping out of nowhere every day, go listen to the new Bobmo single and then tell me who's dead. S: How about Yelle? You a fan? T: Yes she makes me gay
S: You and Cuiz took a bit of a hit on “Je Veux Te Voir”, how did you feel about that when the song got so big? T: We didn't mind when it was an internet thing, back in the day no one cared about myspace or anything like that, it wasn't "real". But then it got very real and the song blew up, and obviously we got pissed and got real sad thinking about all the money she was stealing from us with that song and biting our whole swagger and things. I'm still kind of mad at Cuizinier for not answering, or doing a song with her, but at the end of the day that's his problem. And ultimately... I don't feel that bad about Yelle and the song anymore, she did what she had to do, we were too foolish and proud to turn it to our advantage I guess. GET THAT MONEY GURL
S: So aside from your own projects, you’re responsible for a lot of what goes on at Institubes. How’s that all going for you? T: I'm the co-founder of institubes yo! Things are all good. We're splitting institubes into smaller labels, the dance artists will stay on institubes, the more rock / twisted pop artists will be on a separate sublabel, the rap artists on another sublabel. And we are also starting an internet only imprint with orgasmic and i as A&Rs, dedicated to stupid minimal wonky tribal house, called Sound Pellegrino. Coming soon to a beatport near you. And the surkin album is gonna be bigger than the beatles. Oh and go check the new Jean Nipon video from his single dropping NOW on Institubes.
You got a cool style, what’s your favorite clothing brand? (I’m guessing Kidrobot btw) No it's actually Lacoste even though Ralph Lauren is killing it this year. I always dress preppy, I just choose fun colors and good combinations of polos and cardigans. Worst Tune Ever? That Fatboy Slim "Check it out now the funk soul brother" song. Best Tune Ever? Abba "Dancing Queen" Favorite Movie? The Goonies
Daily Websites? Facebook, Watchtvsitcoms, Beatport, Lostpedia, Genevanheathen, Blogsearch and I google myself a lot! What Question Would You Like Me To Ask You? A question where you would ask what question I would like you to ask me. Now Answer That Question... Hu"'efzjziefefhade Random Piece Of Information? BOOK ME
Teki Latex; label boss, preppy dresser, Abba fan!!!
Armand Van Helden's back with a tune that took me a bit by surprise, I'm not a fan of his but I'm loving this one. Lyrics fresh from a DJ Assault track and that good old reliable Think Break make up this one that's sure to be a total floor filler. Team Facelift are providing the vocals for it and doin a good job... Video's not half bad either ;)
Finally some new Chromeo... I'm a massive fan of Dave1 and P Thugg so it's about time I heard some new stuff from them that's not a remix of Fancy Footwork. They've taken Treasure Fingers' "Cross The Dancefloor", made a few subtle tweaks, added some cowbells and some nice Chromeoesque / vocoder tinged vocals to make this one a little better than the original in my opinion.
I've heard rumors they're set to play Button Factory here soon and having missed them twice already I'm hoping to God it's true!
Bit Thief Comes from Missouri and makes bass heavy tunage... That's all I know about him at this stage. He's fresh onto the scene and banging out some remixes of my favorite HipHop tracks like Positive K's "I got a man" and Onyx's anthem "Slam" posted below. Also posted is one of his originals called "Double Dare 3000". Not as much club banger as a slow burner still a nice little tune nonetheless...
I've kinda gone off blogs lately (very ironic I know seeing as I am posting on one), for the simple reason that there seems to be an overwhelming focus on new rather than good. I got sick of trawling through countless blogs downloading hundreds of tracks only to delete 99% of them that evening. It seems that the majority of blogs will gladly post new crap rather than posting solid gold which has led me to ignore many blogs that I once thought were outlets for good music.
It seems that anyone and their grandmother can download a copy of Ableton, get some baltimore sample packs and accapellas and make something sub standard or the funky chunky widget fidget crew who blatantly rip off established artists and have it posted for consumption by someone who is just in search of an exclusive or the next big thing. There seems to be a real stink of complacency among blog writers and an overwhelming stench of plagiarism off those who send tracks to them.
In terms of blog culture the tracks that Im posting today would be regarded as "old skool", ie, more than 3 weeks old, but, theyr all solid. Iv road tested these for the last while in Mr Jones and they always go down really well. Im sure most people out there will no doubt already have them but have probably forgotten about them due to the countless bmore edits currently clogging up their hard drives.
First up is Drop The Lime's remix of Vyle's Strobemouth. This was actually the first Drop The Lime track that I got and kinda set the tone for me going forward. Solid production as you would expect from the man
New Yorkers "Proper Villains" have been generating some buzz lately around the internet gaining support from the likes of Crooked Disco, Palms Out, Southern Fried Records and a jumper load of DJ support too. They've just signed to DJ Donna Summer's new label "Nightshifters" along with AC Slater, DJ Rampage, Hostage and 4am Jess. It's not my usual cup of tea but this tune definitely caught my ear and left me looking for more of the same.
By now you all know my theory on French music. Be it Surkin, Yelle, Jacques Dutronc or France Gall I love it all. You might remember I recently posted an interview with the latest production duo to come out of France; Mustard Pimp? Well now it's the turn of their good friends Steroeheroes. This comic-loving pair have released a couple of tunes so far on Bryan Cox's Crux Da House label and have played in more countries than you or I have probably ever even been to. They were kind enough to have a little chat with yours truly and here's what they had to say for themselves:
Mr.J: Ok Dudes, introduce yourselves to Mr.Jones. SH: Stereoheroes. France. 28 and 26 years old. Boys. Handsome ?. Straight !
Mr.J: How would you describe your sound? SH: We can't. I mean. When we do it, we think about people on the dancefloor, we try to make them raise their arms and scream, that's all. We don't really like classifications. Could be some super electro comic fidget with a big touch of crunk. Who cares ? Music touches you or not, it's all about feelings. And we don't want to lock ourselves in a genre. We love Detroit techno, we love underground hip hop, sometimes cheap dance or english pop bands... It's spontaneous, we do what we'd like to hear.
Mr.J: What's your mission statement? SH: Mission : Save the dancefloor. Fight boring music, give people some happiness. Burn down the club. We try to do what we liked in electronic music from 15 years ago, we are looking back for this energy that made us dance until the end of the next day and is kind of lost now.
Mr.J: How did you guys start out making kick-ass musics? SH: Thanks for saying it kicks asses. We love to think it's only the beginning. We made music for many years now under other nicknames, actually as far as we remember, we always been involved in electronic music in many different ways. This project is less than a year old though. We really did want to share our experiences and do something new. Stereoheroes was born. Now we are still searching, working and trying to do better and better. We hope you will love what is coming next, many different things.
Mr.J: I heard a rumour that you were traveling, one in China and one in Australia, How did you continue making your mark on Blogland? SH: Yeah, we were. When we started this project, big trips were already planned so we ended up being separated almost at the beginning of Stereoheroes. But it was a great experience, as there was a small buzz around our name at this time we had the chance to play a lot in Australia, Hong Kong etc. And we always found ways to meet for big events as festivals in Australia, or a gig in Tokyo. Meanwhile we continued working on internet which is a great communication tool ;) But now we are back together in France. Ready to fight.
Mr.J: How did you guys hook up with Teen Wolf? SH: He sent us the "Fukt" vocals one day on myspace. That is that simple. If Madonna reads this and we know she probably will; Don't be shy girl, send over your acapella!
Mr.J: And what was the recording process on "Midnight Sons"? Did you guys meet up or was it like sending vocals and beats back and forth or what? SH: For midnight sons it was really easy, for us, not for him ahah. We asked him to do some vocals without giving him any music. It was like "Please sing on a 129bpm beat and we'll make the music". And he did great, but unfortunately we never met him, hopefully some day we'll go to Vegas to play music and loose a lot of money. Mr.J: You've Djed all over the world from Hong-Kong to Germany to Sweden, what 's been your favorite country to play in and what makes a good gig? SH: Well, so far I think we can really say Australians are the best audience. They really love to party, they really know who they are going to see and have a big electronic music background and still a great energy in clubs that we lost in France many years ago. They don't think too much, just have fun. That's how it should be everywhere. We heard it's the same in the UK but unfortunately we never been there to play. Japan is great too, they arrive in the club and just start dancing immediately...
A good gig is when people react to what you play, when the hands are up, when the girls AND the boys scream and jump and dance and ask for more bangers, and more, and more !
Mr.J: What's with the animals with eyebrows? SH: Animals are prettier than people, we thought it could be fun to communicate with animal pictures. We love them and they love us back. We have all those animals at home, it really helps us in the creation process. Eyebrows? Some says mustaches, maybe you could imagine it's a mask too, we have to make up our animal friends so they are not recognized and harassed in the street.
Mr.J: "Boom Slang" Fin Fang Foom"… Do you guys just come up with the first title for a tune you think of? SH: Actually every one of those names are Marvel comics character names. It's the way we choose titles for most of our songs.
Mr.J: Record sales are declining EVERYWHERE… What way do you see the future of music going? SH: We don't really know. We hope that as people don't buy records anymore, maybe they will use their money to go to concerts, clubs etc. Which is a good thing for us actually as our sound is made for live performances and drunk kids more than to be listened to at home.
Mr.J: What have you got planned for the rest of the year? SH: Lot of production, heaps of new tracks, great collaborations. And we will continue touring every country needing to be saved.
Mr.J: You gonna come visit Ireland soon? SH: Yeah mate, anytime. We'd love to... Any party promoters around? We traveled the world but never been there or UK, a shame!
Favorite superhero? John Lopez aka Washout, too sad he's dead. Worst tune ever? Dude, we discovered it a few days ago. It's French. François Valery - Mon pote le DJ (means "My buddy the Dj") You have to find the lyrics and translate it! Listen : http://www.wat.tv/audio/francois-valery-mon-pote-dj-g3ob_cu9y_.html Best tune ever? Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven. Hard to pick up one only. Favorite movie? Wow we are of those people who see like 3 movies a day. Let's say "Reservoir Dogs" watched it for the hundredth time yesterday. Still a cult! Daily websites? Myspace, Soundcloud (awesome), Submityourflicks and a few blogs (Missingtoof, Discobelle, Palms Out ...) What question would you like me to ask you? Why does superman wears his underwear on top of his trousers making everybody laugh at him? Because he knows things you just ignore you fools ! ! Random piece of information? Deer is the real king of animals.
Well there you have it... Stereoheroes, crazy & cool!!!
Check out their banger "Midnight Sons" with Teen Wolf below and be sure to hit them up on the myspace for a listen to their latest "Washout"
After seeing this man in action last week, I decided to do up a post to get this man noticed!
This French electro genius put on a great show and has sent us on some choons for you to have a listen. His track "Hools" will be hosted on his new EP "Kick & Run" which is definitely one to watch ut for! And with other tracks like "Rave On" or one of my favourites, "Nervous Breakdown", this is an absolute stomper of an EP!!
Thursdays nights the Twisted Pepper becomes Mr Jones' house, honing in on a yet un-tagged musical style fusing together house/electro/bassline/Baltimore/Kuduro and all those other gritty urban genres in between. Mr Jones also teams up with a number of local collectives including the Crafty Beggars clique for a monthly art & photography expo, "We Got Your Fashion Right Here" which showcases the latest clobber by young Dublin designers, as well as the Analogue Magazine crew who host a nice selection of live bands & performances.
Home to Mr. Jones! Find it on Dublin's Abbey Street, next to the Acadamy and across from Arnotts!