Originally from Alabama and now based in Brooklyn, ModyWorks signing Aman Ellis makes electronic music that varies from extra-terrestrial-minded techno (All The Things) to down-south trip-hop (The Cacti). I spoke to him about his recent releases, his ongoing efforts in crossing musical boundaries, and how he’s inspired by BBQ.
First of all, what was the starting point for your recent Cacti EP?
Well, I’ve always been interested in the beat culture, specially the West Coast stuff. So I’ve always wanted to do a record that way. It’s a totally different style of production. One day I stumbled upon this hidden record store in Brooklyn with all the pristine records for $1. There were all these great old school records; jazz, classical, Hawaiian. Stuff like Exotic Strings, ya know! Now it’s my secret spot where I can go and I’m guaranteed to find something crazy.
I bought a bunch of vinyls in the hopes of doing the kind of record I’d always admired. I wanted a very melodic record with a melancholic, almost antique vibe to it. I wanted the dirt from the records. The scratches and pops play a big part in the way this EP sounds. For me, it’s the scratchy sounds and off-beat rhythms juxtaposed against the very pleasant melodies that makes it cool.
last night at sidetracked i played one of my favourite sets in recent times. it helped that there seemed to be a big crowd spilling into crawdaddy from the m.i.a. show in tripod next door. then it was off to the twisted pepper for a great set from cooly g. big up to ignored playaz, and i look forward to their next gig. tonight it’s off to the sugar club for chilly gonzales. there’s a great interview with the man on nialler9.
Bobby Orlando – Pump It Up (Jon Averill Shock Edit)
New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle (Shep Pettibone Extended Remix)
The Faint – Battle Hymn For Children (Tensnake Remix)
LCD Soundsystem – 45:33 (Padded Cell Remix)
Selebrities – When I Look At You
The Chemical Brothers – Swoon (Lindstrom Remix)
Bostro Pesopeo – Falls (Hercules & Love Affair Remix)
Daft Punk – Face to Face
The Juan MacLean – By The Time I Get To Venus
A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (Original 12″ Mix)
The xx – VCR (Four Tet Remix)
Lykke Li – Little Bit (The Loving Hand Remix)
Aaliyah – Rock The Boat (Soul Clap Remix)
who remembers all the little interludes on stankonia, at the end of which there goes up a shout of “BREAK”? sometimes i shout them out in my head. i know it’s probably the most-blogged thing this side of janelle monáe (incidentally, this man’s protegé) but i can’t get enough of big boi‘s latest effort, sir lucious left foot: the son of chico dusty. the beats are great, the rapping is wild, it’s funny and it’s not just full of self-aggrandising nonsense (though, being honest, it’s a rap album so there is some of that). in my opinion, and i know the year is barely half over, it’s the best album to come out in 2010. that i’ve listened to. as i’ve had this one on repeat this past week, i realise that it’s been a very long time since i’ve had one album that has bumped everything out of the equation.
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Tagged B-Real, Big Boi, Cypress Hill, Day & Night, George Clinton, Jamie Foxx, Janelle Monáe, Jay-Z, Lil Jon, M.I.A., Pitfall Kennels, Scarface, The Ticket, Too $hort
where were you in 92? i was in school, on holiday in france, yeah whatever. if you’ve ever read a blog in your life you’ve probably heard of zomby, and his cut-up jungle/ghetto/bmore/dubstep/unclassifiable album/mixtape with a title inspired by a line from m.i.a.’s xr2. have you heard that he’s playing in dublin? mag-turned-website-turned-radio-show-turned-promoter analogue is bringing him over to dublin this weekend, and it promises to be an interesting event.
playing the twisted pepper, where i’ve recently seen fake blood, dj funk and the ridiculously good residents such as barry redsetta, shortie and frank sweeney, he will hopefully indulge the whims of the sell-out crowd (the buzz surrounding this gig is palpable) with some choice gems from wwui92 and his various eps from the last two years, while blowing everyone away with intriguing and innovative experimental pieces like sky high, which appeared unceremoniously on his twitter this past week. but then again, if he did what we expected it wouldn’t be very interesting, would it? imagine he just showed up and played 75 minutes of think breaks and sci-fi samples. it’d still be epic. see you there.
in the meantime, read the masked man’s interview in the fader for an insight into the twisted mind of this enigmatic character.
Zomby – Pills
Zomby – Sky High (extract)
cool name for a record label this. how neet. or n.e.e.t. i should say. m.i.a. tweeted about a new track over at the label’s website, and it’s a tough, dirty glitchy track which uses angry stabs and snatches of daft punk under rye rye‘s aggressive flow. check it out. also have a listen to this steel drum rework of bang.
Rye Rye – Bang (Mujava Remix)
i thought the wale track with lady gaga was alright, but this remix by canada’s skratch bastid takes it to new levels of awesomeness. it’s like that unreleased soulwax remix of daft punk is playing at my house, where they dropped tiny bits of daft punk tracks throughout. check out the video here, and read what the man himself has to say:
For my latest mixtape, “110%”, I decided to remix Wale’s first major label single “Chillin” f/ Lady Gaga. For the remix, I wanted to go with something more organic to make it different than the 808- & synth-heavy original. To keep it DC, I sampled a break from go-go band Trouble Funk’s “Let’s Get Small”, which Boogie Down Productions used on their classic “Criminal Minded”. From there, I layered 2 other breaks that BDP used in that song (Isaac Hayes’ “Breakthrough” and Syl Johnson’s “Different Strokes”) and added some more samples and loops to accompany certain lines that Wale raps. The result is an uptempo, mega-mix style remix, suitable for the clubs, the jeeps, the streets, bar mitzvahs, weddings and ipods. 110%!
which means you’ve got snippets of kick in the door, top billin and paper planes among others.
Wale ft Lady Gaga – Chillin (Skratch Bastid Remix) (link updated)
i’m trying to listen to more hip-hop right now – i played common (sense)’s resurrection in the sun the other day and it sounded good. i tried out playboy tre‘s liqour store mascot this morning and i was disappointed that we are the robots had nothing to do with kraftwerk. more revisiting this evening with m.i.a. and diplo‘s (still) crazy piracy funds terrorism and, since that has definition of a roller on it, i moved from that to clipse‘s we got it 4 cheap vol 2. i blogged about this one years ago, well it’s just that good.
which reminds me – i never put up any vids or pics from primavera last year. here’s a wamp wamp chorus.
ps. an id on this track would be nice please 😀