Shining a spotlight on the musical vanguard, from D.I.Y projects to the eclectic underground scenes from around the spherical .
Author: Miff Morris
In many senses, I am still discovering myself through the complex tapestry in which life continues to weave, gaining unique physical experience in order to aid the progression of my precious spirit, this will continue for the rest of my fated days and my understanding of who I am shall be determined through how I learn to react, act and adapt towards the circumstances I face. I do sincerely hope the span of this life is enough to fully come to terms with the potential of my unique existence, through deep-rooted understanding, compassion, and love, and that I may fully acknowledge the absolute full potential of my existence through the network of others.
Thus far the core of my being has learned through unique experience and individual perspective that I am most certainly a creative soul who takes solace in the truth & liberty of artistic expression. Freedom lays behind the eyes within the evocative realm of one's imagination, transforming originality through individual perspective, this is when my art becomes yours. Inspiring, motivating different modes of expression to overall influence and shape a better world, to help elevate to a higher consciousness. We are part of the great web of life and in this way each and every one of us are interconnected, to create a major shift in consciousness. We must wholeheartedly start to believe in what can be created for the greater good of this world, in my view it is most certainly the power of thought and intention which connect us, no matter how near or how far.
Being understood has always been of paramount importance to me, self-expression is something I have been aware of from a very young age. From my point of view, artistic expression has always been the most liberating and uniting mode. When I am not caught up in life's cogs I love to write poetry, short stories, and shoot photographs. I adore and feed off music, so I highly enjoy capturing the live music scene in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. I also enjoy writing for Uk Entertainments website, Louder than War, as well as run my own music blog www.Revel Rousers.org, Amalgamating my love of music, writing, as well as photographic expression (Music, Landscape, Street, Wedding), which gives me a great sense of creative release, therefore forging a strong sense of purpose in the way of documenting life's remarkable moments.
I find working with creatives within the music industry is wholly inspiring even though at times it can be quite challenging, after all, the greatest realizations and lessons learned are born out of challenges. I figured, seeing as I have a platform for my music reviews, interviews and photography I thought it would be time to create a platform for my creative writing and poetry.....It takes courage to expose oneself through the intimacy of poetry, However, that is how we truly unite and grow in compassion and understanding of each other's true essence.
I am a deep thinker, I understand the power of words and their meanings. I also understand how empowering artistic expression can be. There is a raw truth buried within each original idea combined with a power to help change the world. Artistic expression is forever transforming through interpretation, that is what I mean when I say "When My Art Becomes Yours"
My philosophy is to understand more, in order to love more.......
Ukrainian and Russian musicians, Kai-Si and Al3ne release their forthcoming Ep on Connected Label through their project, Literatura.
Ukrainian and Russian musicians, Kai-Si and Al3ne present an authentic instrumental approach to their dance music through their distinctive mood sculpting project, literaturamusicians incorporating live experimental instrumentation into their supremely atmospheric studio productions in order to create emotive sonic narratives that evoke inspiration, flourish new thought and shape a unique interpretative world through music.
The duo draw on the creative writing talents of novelist Kai-Si and Al3ne as a political satirist to touch on the importance of free flowing, interrelated artistic expression through the escapism of dreams, memories, and forward thought projection.
“The project Literatura is about the idea that music, literature and art are things essential to life and linked to each other. Literatura incorporates text, notes, but also music and people, and we are trying to create our own world through our music”.
Their compelling forthcoming Ep, Desert Karavan is set for release on stellar, Berlin-based, dance label connected delivering two world-class, deep-groove laden, tribal oriented tracks ‘Desert Karavan’ and ‘Night In the Oasis’, alongside a mesmerizing elfenbergmusic remix of the original title track which blends electro-beat with burning acid sounds and flourishing EBM ambient undertones.
Each track on the Ep has been characterized by a poetic, motivational story written by Literatura.
The story is not only about the Karavan, but also about how music is connecting people…
“Far away, somewhere on the other side of the planet called Connected, the Karavan is going through the desert. People are thinking about their next stop, hoping that it would be soon because they are already tired. Dreams are more powerful than physical strength. Courage is everywhere..<< Desert Karavan>> .
The Karavan is going…And finally when night fell and the stars showed their light, an oasis appeared on the horizon. The night was not entirely quiet, people preferred to have fun and dance, patting each other on the shoulder and singing «Night in the Oasis».
Unexpectedly, at night two more people joined the Karavan. The strangers added a certain charm. And in the morning, the Karavan went with renewed vigour and with a different, groovy mood. <<Elfenberg>>
Kai-Si continues to explain what Literatura project overall stands for in his most recent interview with Melodicdiggers….
“We produce what we feel. Each track of Literatura has its own history. Sometimes it’s a groovy feeling, sometimes it’s just sitting and thinking about the future, sometimes it’s our dreams and sometimes it’s the result of the many memories going round in our minds. For us, this is what Literatura stands for.”
A tremor of shock and sadness reverberated throughout metal and hardcore communities around the world last week when Power Trip’s lead vocalist, Riley Gale was announced dead at the tender age of 34.
Gale was a galvanising force of nature, open-spirited and vehement in his expression. Intellectually stimulated by literature and philosophy, he was fascinated by Tolstoy, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze and others, with equal interest in current affairs. Powerful reflections on the chaos of modern America can be found throughout his songwriting.
In 2017 Revel Rousers had the honour of experiencing the exhilarating ferocity of Power Trip’s live performance at Glasgow’s Classic Grand, as they toured with Napalm Death and Brujeria.
As a photographer, it was an honour to capture Reily’s ferocity in my frame. He had one of the most magnetic energies I’ve witnessed on stage, connecting with the crowd in a magnificently passionate, unified way.
Glasgow thrash / hardcore metallers King Pin were also on the bill that night, a band who built up a superb rapport with Power Trip after heading out on tour with them a few times. We caught up with Lev, lead protagonist of King Pin, as well as Neevo, the guitarist, to recall the night and their memories of Riley Gale.
“I don’t think any amount of words can do justice to anyone’s life, never mind someone who lived SO MUCH in a tragically short amount of time,” says Lev. “That show at the Classic Grand was one of my favourites! I believe my hamster had been severely sick for a while (and died not long after) and I was in a weird reflective moo… I spent some real time talking shit with Riley about life and death and all that.”
Lev underlines Gale’s openness: “I don’t want to overstate or exaggerate how close I was to him or anything, but he was definitely a very easy person for anyone to get on with and I think because we had very similar personality types in a lot of ways and in a similar age bracket it made it quite easy for us to connect and shoot the shit on any old subject when we saw each other… But that was a particularly cool night and good memory.”
Gale was an advocate for social justice. His astute awareness continuously demonstrated his urgent hunger for positive change. He was a motivational force, someone who sought to unify through his intelligent and humane outlook.
Gales songwriting addressed social inequality and activism. He described Power Trip’s 2017 album Nightmare Logic as “dealing with this waking nightmare, [where] things seem so surreal that they’re unbelievable.” His aim was “to find optimism and a motivating force… realising that the 99% of us have more in common than we think.”
That night In the Classic Grand, the unity was fully manifested. As a photographer, a savage amount of ducking and diving was required to move through the rampant crowd, surfacing occasionally to push through the manic crush at the front of the stage.
From the outset Reily was down there, in the heart of the matter, feeding the microphone to loyal fans who passionately relayed his lyrics back to him. Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe) was a real standout, with a passionate lyrical response that echoed throughout the venue.
The mosh pit was ferocious. It was apparent how utterly blown away everyone was by the band’s raw power and sheer technical ability. Delivered at breakneck speed, their face-melting riffage and heavy, unrelenting grooves became a sonic powerhouse. If you didn’t know much about the band beforehand, you were sure to be an avid follower after. The atmosphere in the room was wild and remorseless; the wild moshing and celebratory crowd-surfing left not much room to stand safely without getting a boot to the head.
Neevo of King Pin expresses his sense of deep loss: “This one hurts. Watching Power Trip for the first time in 2013 was not only one of the best gigs for me, but one of the main reasons why I got back into a band and started up King Pin with the boys.”
Gale’s character proved inspiring: “I got to meet Reily properly in Dublin in 2016, when we were supporting them in Belfast and Glasgow the following nights. He really started my weekender off with a kick (literally) to the face. And for that black eye I’m very grateful. It acted as a bond and in the years to come, we’d meet at a couple of gigs in Glasgow and have a laugh about it.”
Like his bandmate, Neevo is sad that someone as influential and beloved as Gale was taken so young. “Little did I know that those 3 nights would be some of my greatest memories ever with him,” says Neevo. “I’ve never met someone so kind, intelligent and down to earth as he was. He had the time of day for anyone and everyone he’d meet, and I’m humbled to be one of them.”
King Pin’s members continued to follow Gale’s band: “My last time meeting Reilly was on their tour with Trivium in 2018,” says Neevo. “He reached out the week before the show to say if myself and a few others needed a guestlist for the show, to let him know. I already had a ticket mind you but sure enough he stuck to his word. Watching them play in a venue like the o2 Academy… it was the biggest stage I’d seen them on. But even though there were thousands in the room, he still managed to pick us out in the crowd and let us scream some lyrics down the mic.”
This was the last time Neevo would meet Gale. “I met him very briefly after the show on my way into Glasgow from the venue,” he says. “He apologised for not being able to hang out much that night and said we’d catch up next time they were in town. Sadly, that never happened… but for him to think of me and reach out like that makes you feel more like family than just a fan.”
Neevo sums up the scale of the loss: “Reilly was just an all-round amazing guy. And you can see how much he meant to both the hardcore and metal scenes respectively with all the tributes pouring in for him. I only met Riley a handful of times, but when we spoke it’s like we’d been friends forever. That’s how it always felt. It was always such a good, fun, positive energy around him.”
Power Trip formed in Dallas, Texas in 2008, gaining inspiration from the more metal-leaning 1980s New York hardcore bands, as well as classic Bay Area thrash metal. They combined the technical mastery of thrash metal with the terminal velocity of hardcore, and a political stance that emphasised solicitude and forbearance.
Power Trip’s 2017 album Nightmare Logic was one of the defining underground metal albums of the past decade. In the wake of Gale’s passing, the album proudly sits at #1 slot in two of Apple Music’s charts, for metal and rock.
Power Trip bassist Chris Whetzel also shared a message of his own: “Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, still feels like a dream that I’m gonna wake up from. We love you Riley Gale. We’ll share stories and carry your name as the rock star you were. RIPower.”
For Gale, the power and energy of metal was not for macho posturing, but a means for honest release. As a writer and photographer who admired Gale’s politics as much as his music, I’ll leave it to him to define his legacy. In a 2017 interview, he said: “We’re political in a sort of morally relativistic way where if someone is wearing a Power Trip shirt, you can probably assume that that person isn’t like some weird, racist, meathead piece of shit – hopefully … We try to make it pretty clear that we might all be white males, but this is not a band for white males to enjoy and be dumb rednecks.”
Rest in peace Riley Gale. Our love and thoughts are with his friends and family.
A preview of the new EP by South Africa’s Vanco, on Connected.
This week sees yet another soul-stirring single release imminent on the essential Connected label. South African producer Vanco forges his organic house music through a collaborative partnership with the truly gifted South African R&B and soul singer Brenden Praise. The result is an absolutely gorgeous house track that is natural in mood and vocally emotive, and instrumentally adventurous, with a truly infectious groove.
Last Year, Praise had a platinum selling release with Black Motion, and in the past joined creative forces with artists such as Boddi Satva, Cuebur, Djeff and John Tejada. This evocative single has an entrancing quality and is incredibly inviting with a wavy, trip-the-light-fantastic suite of percussive beats.
Falsetto vocals soar to the aether, giving rise to intense feeling. Subtle instrumentation produces a delicate foundation for the song, with chiming bass piano chords which add to the raw, emotionally-empowered atmosphere of the track.
This powerful combination of producer and vocalist represents a distinctive fusion of vocal and instrumental arrangement. Vanco has shaped a natural symbiotic dance track that moves and grooves, with plenty of inspirational flourishes that could provide rich territory for expansion in future remixes.
Vanco – Circles Ft. Brenden Praise is out 21 August on Connected.
A moving tribute to a lost master, and a new sonic adventure for Nat Evans
Nat Evans pays personal homage to a formative influence on his life and music through enchanting soundscapes with a new and unique instrumental work this week. The Seattle-area experimental composer’s new and transcendental endeavour Say Those Words is a vivid, deeply stirring sonic tribute, dedicated to Evans’ long time teacher in Zen Buddhism, Ryuzen Robby Pellett, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 63 in August of last year.
Ryuzen Robby Pellett (1956-2019) was a Soto Zen priest and teacher based in the Pacific Northwest. A student in the Suzuki Roshi lineage, he founded One Pine Hall in Seattle in 1994 and led the sangha until his death. At the time of Ryuzens passing he was compiling poems about his experience in Zen, to be published in the near future. Florida Cassette label Circuit Church, home to Model Plane (an artist we covered here at Revel a while back), has recently released these inspiring ambient works, beautifully pairing Pallett’s wisdom with Evans’ compositions.
An accompanying chapbook, Moon Climbing The Temple Roof, is drawn from journals that span 40 years. Pellett’s haikus offer a compelling companion to Nat’s deeply personal, soulful soundscape.
Say Those Words For Me is in two parts. Side A is a reverberating kaleidoscope of sound that slowly unfolds for the listener over time. Evans evokes a gorgeous bright, illuminated atmosphere, with the sound of temple bells he inherited from his teacher carried at the heart of the mix.
A long, stunningly composed improvisation with these bells forms the framework of the soundscape, and their presence in the recording is a theme Evans is passionate about, as he explains in this recent video. Side A ends with nine bells that represent the nine bows one makes to show respect for a deceased loved one. This sonic expression by Evans is a stunning appreciation, and no doubt cathartic for him to create.
The first side is composed of vibrations, with sampled low frequencies that drift in out like ghostly apparitions. Echoes, pops and clicks, punctuated with the rattling of prayer beads. At other times, clusters of sounds enter; textures sampled from Evans’ archives of cassette tapes, flitting in between the tolling bells and whispering field recordings, as he describes in another recent video.
He conjures a mesmerizing atmosphere in such an accessible manner, enrapturing the listener as he draws on ethereal, otherworldly, yet always earthy and organic natural resonances. It’s a poignant piece of sonic exploration, and a moving evocation of a life lived by the Zen philosophy.
Side B, entitled Hanamatsuri, is a field recording made on Hanamatsuri, a holiday celebrating the Buddha’s birth. Evans’ teacher would often have tea under a blooming cherry tree on this day to celebrate.
In his absence, Evans had tea under a blooming cherry tree in his stead, and made his recording. The natural sounds of birdsong, the breeze, and even distant traffic strongly evoke a vision of this heartfelt remembrance.
There is an absoluteness, a truth to these recordings, at once haunting, yet teeming with energy and life. These works are a fine representation of transformation and change, of how the process of death’s release carries energy forward.
Even if a person is not spiritually inclined, it is difficult not to connect with the sonic content that Evans captures in his field recording. With hardly any interference, the purity of those moments captured are nothing short of magic. The consciousness-awakening chimes of those very special temple bells can’t help but strike true presence and alertness into the heart of anyone who listens.
Say Those Words For Me is out 14 August on digital and limited edition cassette.
Extended review of the new album by This Is Not Pop boss Asthmatic Astronaut
Revel highlights a very special album this week, our favourite sonic rocketeer Gareth Bury, aka beatmaker/producer Asthmatic Astronaut has released the artful electronic opus Washed Away, an inventive album that presents twelve compositions that are experimental in tone, pushing the boundaries of cinematic, instrumental hip-hop in their structure, tempo and mood.
A hidden gem that was created years ago, but shelved due to the unfurling of life events and a shift in Gareth’s creative perspective, Washed Away is a return to the creative process, and an elegiac love letter to beat production as a way of life.
Bury found himself digging deep in order to find and acknowledge the essence of the compositions. His ever-evolving creative flow was augmented by the collaborative expertise and vision of audio engineer Ben Robb at Roxborough Studio (some might recognise him as the drummer from Bury’s band dust, or cult post-rock cherubs TOKAMAK).
The aptly titled album Washed Away feels like a cleansing. To release it, Bury had to do away with any apprehension or frustration with the music industry, and the difficulties he faced trying to find a label to release the album once it was finally finished. This process, while frustrating, proved empowering. Bury’s resourceful thinking led him to set up This Is Not Pop, and once again harness the power to gain control over his own creative output. Washed Away is the product of that process, and in some ways it is a deeply-felt instrumental reflection on modern music and the role of the creator.
This is beatmaking as high-concept sonic sculpture…
Asthmatic Astronaut delivers intoxicating arrangements that gush with inventive instrumental surprises. His vast back catalogue is packed with moments of brilliance, but here he delivers sonic ideas with an impulsive flare, experimenting acrobatically with the structural flow of his compositions.
There is a magnificent melodic fluidity, never losing the immediacy of each synth-jamming groove. Soaring patterns of interlocked melody are as infectious as they are harmonious. He creates strains of sporadic tension, occasionally lurching into the kinds of organic, percussive beats that shape-shift and tumble like sublime jazz solos. This is beatmaking as high-concept sonic sculpture.
Perhaps these sounds could be an expression of the intensity of change, an admission of how little control we have over events in our lives. A celebration of rhythm, disharmony, melody and raw, head-nodding beats, Washed Away does indeed feel driven by the prodigious tidal force of ocean waves.
While he draws on no one producer’s sound, Asthmatic Astronaut has created his own unique reading of the Wave genre, lending it something deeper, more organic; in some way more authentic. It feels like he uses the electronics in an impressionistic way. His synth lines are more real, his beats in synchronization with the blood that courses through his veins.
Opener Waves sets the mood with great depth, with a hollowed-out synth bassline accompanied by an exhilarating lead melody that slowly crescendoes, full of anticipation and deeply resonant. It’s a moving, ethereal opener, channeling some of the scale and drama of peak-time Pink Floyd.
The more mechanical-sounding Back From The Future has notes of Squarepusher’s scribbled, sporadic tempos. Energy just bounces through the speakers, with a sinuous bass chopped and spliced around a clever structure. Fusing elements of wave with acid undertones, while channeling some of the energy of drum and bass, it’s a technical masterclass.
There is a magnificent earthiness to the bass synth tones in tracks such as Tranquil In The Middle, which delivers bright, crisp synths that tingle and burn with a delicate feather-touch melody, evoking sunlight streaming through tinted glass.
The infectious That Boom Zap feels like it might be paying a small homage to early 90s EBM, which is a deep cut into some truly engaging retro electronics. Throughout, mercurial flourishes like this display Bury’s deep musical knowledge and passion.
Our favourite track here at Revel is Must Change Situation, a melodic and uplifting track with a gentle strut in its tempo, and an almost poetic sensibility in its structure. Like the album as a whole, its beautiful atmosphere lingers, like a fond memory that keeps being replayed in the mind’s eye.
These tracks offer depth enough for serious contemplation, rather than a simple sonic impression. Pick up on the many tones and influences of Asthmatic Astronaut’s music for yourselves, and you’ll find yourself setting out on a very special journey.
New EP from Greek producer and Madorasindahouse star Atsou
With ever-increasing pressure on the dormant entertainment industry, at least the release of fresh, exciting new records can provide an opportunity for DJs to pre-fill their record bags. In anticipation of the longed-for return of social gatherings, DJs and producers worldwide are thinking creatively of ways to protect their industry. Thinking outside the box has seen many artists pursue interaction by throwing down exclusive mix premieres, livestreams, podcasts, or extended radio sessions.
Connected HQ find themselves approaching the height of what’s proving to be a very weird summer for club music with an outstanding flux of cutting-edge releases. While the chance to rock out to these tracks at your favourite clubs and festivals may still be far off, Connected’s excellent roster have no doubt lifted the spirit and boosted our outlook in these otherwise uncertain and challenging times.
Forthcoming on Connected is an inventive, funky Afro-house EP, Sleepwalk Town by Greek DJ/ producer Atsou, an artist who has always brought a fresh energy to his productions as part of the Berlin record label Madorasindahouse.
The label’s breakout success worldwide grew from their popular YouTube channel showcasing house music, and led to Madorasindahouse events in Greece, and throughout Europe and parts of Africa. Atsou has been a key player from the beginning.
Atsou has an extremely open creative view, developing his sound with different takes on the modern house template. This EP undeniably offers a unique take, combining filthy, funky basslines with driving synths and complex Afro-tinged drums. The original Sleepwalk Town is a foot stomper, paying tribute to the roots of Afro-American culture that shaped the music of today. It has heart and soul to spare and will infuse any set with real character.
First to remix is Tel Aviv artist and Blue Shadow Records co-founder Jenia Tarsol, who deconstructs the arrangement, keeping the absolute basics in place and delivering a deeply hypnotic version that accentuates the dreamy synth sequences and focuses on highlighting the samples throughout.
Finally, wrapping up a fine package, the Armonica duo deliver exhilarating, booty-shaking crescendos with swinging percussive beats, using their trademark Afro elements to turn the remix into a melodic, effortlessly funky banger. Another cultured house offering from the vital Connected label.
Exclusive premiere of the new track by Texture and Hypnokid. Leafy!
Something a little bit special for our readers this week – a track premiere from science fiction-influenced wordsmith Texture (who, we should reveal, also helps out behind the scenes from time to time at Revel HQ).
テクスチャ · TEXTURE X HYPNOKID – MXXNLIGHT
Taken from the forthcoming EP Forest Gods, MXXNLIGHT is produced by Hypnokid, an up-and-coming Glasgow producer who already has a huge, diverse batch of EPs and albums available through his Bandcamp and on streaming sites. We featured Hypnokid a while back, and we’re excited to hear how his delicately-crafted, bass-laden trap sounds with Texture’s words. The full EP, dropping in August, also features a guest verse from multi-talented producer, rapper and breakdancer Ashtronomik on the track BURNT TRAIL.
“Being in the forest feels holy to me, as an atheist…”
“This EP was inspired by a couple of things,” says Texture. “First up, I had wanted to hear Ashtronomik on one of these Hypnokid beats – Hypno and I had planned a collab a while ago, and Ash was the first rapper I thought of when I heard his crazy beat for BURNT TRAIL. I was also a huge fan of Ashtronomik’s Abruptly – which was one of my tunes of 2020, for sure.”
What connection does he have to the forest, as a writer who usually deals in science fiction imagery? “MXXNLIGHT, and especially FOREST GODS, are both inspired by the long walks I’ve been taking under lockdown, up into the hills and along the rivers where I live,” he says.
“Being in the forest feels holy to me, as an atheist, and I wanted to write about that. Finally, I wanted to give people another taste of the music I am making now, before I drop ILLVMINATE with Asthmatic Astronaut on This Is Not Pop later in 2020. That album is such a massive project, two years and lots of planning went into it, so it was refreshing to take a break and make FOREST GODS in just three weeks, start to finish.” It will be a free EP, intended as a thank you to his followers on Bandcamp.
In anticipation of his big collaboration with AA, it seems like Texture swapped his cyberpunk strides for something a little more pagan and wild… Check out our exclusive preview of MXXNLIGHT, and have a look at these even more exclusive edits of the artwork by our very own Miff Morris.
The new EP by Deckert on Connected – a dramatic slice of house music
Bold and stirring vibrations emanate from the new release by rising German electronic producer Deckert. A raw, percussive debut solo EP with some seriously deep grooves, enigmatically named 1-1, is soon to be released on Revel’s best-loved premium dance label, Connected.
Deckart has a unique take on contemporary house music, influenced by an extensive assortment of genre blends, and years of partying in the concrete heart of techno utopia, Berlin. A relative newcomer to the electronic world stage, he joined forces with producer/DJ, Aaaron back in 2017, and a dynamite collaborative tour-de-force was created. The delectable, booty-shaking single L.D.O.E was the result, a gorgeous, vocal-oriented sonic vibration that made a tremendous impact on dancefloors across the globe.
Righteously manifesting a place for both artists to unite under the Connected label umbrella, the 1-1 Ep is an exceptional slice of Deckert’s concise production skills. He delivers a compact and resolute structure to both his 1-1 Original Mix and Sakura Dust tracks. Boldly stated, with propulsive, infectious beat patterns, the EP is a rich tapestry of delightful synth textures, which weave into elevated, climatic twists. This is house music with real drama.
Sakura Dust is another fresh offering that continues Deckert’s deep obsession with Japanese pop culture, heavily on a Koto string sample. The traditional Japanese string instrument provides a thread through the track, a harmonic arc which ties together this ambitious and emotional sonic storytelling.
The EP also offers two phenomenal remixes by Italian-Swiss composer Parsifal, a well-kent face who runs his own Kinesen label. Parsifal’s interpretation of 1-1 offers a rich dynamic in melody and breadth, a contrast with the more minimalist approach of the original. With these fuller, rich tones comes a new take on the narrative of the track. Finally, Everything Counts aka Teodora “Toshka” from Bulgaria, and Chris Leon take Sakura Dust on a melancholic ride by intensifying the Asian foundation of its core.
Belgian beatsmith Sixfingerz delivers an exclusive mix for Revel Rousers ahead of his new LP
Belgian producer Tim De Groof, aka Sixfingerz, continues to explore his creative vision and artistic sensibilities, evoking powerful emotional and physical responses within the sonic landscapes he creates.
Sixfingerz’ knack for executing song structures with a timeless quality owes much to his own vast knowledge and love of traditional, roots and world instruments and musical styles, from past to present. His sound carries a lantern perpetually forward, illuminating bygone eras and musical forms through a modern, stylistic beat-making approach.
Now back with a new album, Silent Storm, Sixfingerz’ innate musical sensitivity is used to evoke the contours of distinct visual landscapes. His sonic explorations tend to naturally lean into cinematic realms, suggesting soul-stirring narratives, glimpsed in brief glances.
His most recent album, Silent Storm is a perfect snapshot of the creative headspace in which he dwells, as well as the emotional landscapes he roams. He invites the listener into a soothing world of atmospheric textures and warm vintage sounds which evoke a feeling of comfortability and familiarity, leaning on the gently rousing rhythmic nuances of hip-hop for tempo shifts amongst the blissful, chilled out sonics.
Revel had the immense honour of catching up with Sixfingerz to chat about his new album. He describes the creative headspace he occupies, gives some insight into the creative process, and tells us where his new music takes him emotionally.
Specifically for this album, what direction has your music taken? How has your sound changed over time?
This album is really chill, the next album will probably be more uptempo, but in what or which form is still a mystery, even to me.
For this album specifically, I wanted to go back to the essence of music on this album. Less chaos, more order. On this record I tried to make the core melodies of these songs interesting enough to carry the song and try to hypnotize the listener musically in that way.
“I can see birds flocking and flying away. It’s crazy what that song does to me.”
Currently I’m thinking it ten times more over then before, just to make it simpler, as I have a tendency to complicate things first and then uncomplicate them… But it’s not really my choice.
As a model for inspiration I used Yann Tiersen’s album Amélie Poulian and I listened a lot to Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, Brad Friedel, and Clint Mansell.
What else fuelled your creative vision for the album?
These last couple of years have been very difficult for me, and this album is basically a way for me to cope with the whole thing. I hope people will get the same respite as me when listening to it. I really hope the vibe shines through and fills people with a nice warm authentic feeling, that these sounds can relieve people of some pressures or just use it to drift away in their thoughts.
I always write what I would like to listen to next and usually I gravitate towards samples that express those feelings even when I’m not paying attention. It’s like the right chops and chords get chosen unconsciously and I just go along with it.
I think the next release will probably be self-released due to huge overhead costs and time before the album comes out. It’s really hard for an independent artist like myself to make a dime.
How easy or difficult was the album to make? How long did it take?
The album took more or less a year to create and then an extra year before it gets released by the label. I still use the same old program Madtracker 2 (that was made over twenty years ago by a Belgian guy named Yannick Delwiche). I played or programmed most of the instruments on it myself, apart from the occasional sample. I even used the old strumstick and the Roliseaboard to give it some extra personality. Lots of back and forth for feedback of course.
In the end I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out. Really love the artwork of Sebastian Fraye on this one.
Do you have a personal favourite song off the album?
Oceanbound. I can really feel this song in my core. This track just takes me to the pier, I can see birds flocking and flying away. It’s crazy what that song does to me. Most of the people who listened to the album point out breeze,sol or Heart of the City (which I must admit, I especially added for the fans of the boombap aspect my tracks often have and also I because felt like the album needed some uptempo).
What and who inspires you these days?
The films which continue to inspire me: Parasite, Memento (2001), Metropolis (1927), Grizzly Man (2005), My Dinner With André (1981), Double Indemnity (1944).
People you must check up on: Alex Hirsch (the cipher hunt), Jordan Peterson, Alan Watts, Elon Musk, Richard Feynman, Hans Teeuwen, Michio Kaku.
Music you need to hear: Alt-J, Low Hum, Daughter, Emancipator, Kiasmos, Bon Iver, Nils Frahm, Ross From Friends, Spooky Black, Jon Hopkins, Bonobo, Tash Sultana, Jon Gomm, John Butler, Ólafur Arnalds, Sleep Party People, but also old school music like Bootsy Collins, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior, Billy Joel, and Del Shannon.
Anything you’d like to tell your listeners?
I would like to thank everyone for listening and the continued support these last 10 years. And thanks a lot for this interview.
Silent Storm is out now on Cold Busted. Streaming everywhere.
Top contemporary artists who are all close personal DJ friends of Marius each add their own interpretive slant and production style, including his brother Santé, plus Rodriguez Jr., Anja Schneider, Floyd Lavine, Kadosh, David Mayer, Andhim, Topango and many more, in what amounts to a comprehensive reconstruction and reimagining of the original tracks.
The first stand out remix is by Cologne natives and underground mainstays AndHim, propelling Re.You’s ‘Inyani’ ft. Oluhle & Aaaron into a vigorous beat-driven, tribal funk affair. AndHim delivers vast swathes of delightful synth progressions built on energetic, bubbling undercurrents of murky modulation. He commands the listener to get their wiggle on. A playful, groov- laden rendition, his re-rub accentuates through subtle textures, shading around the soul-stirring vocals.
Chief Mobilee artist Rodriguez Jr. Opts for an otherworldly rework of Relocate, featuring Connected bosses Stereo MCs. He transforms the original stripped back, vocally pure version into a propulsive, methodically entrancing dance cut that instrumentally envelops Rob Birch’s evocative vocals. The bona-fide poetic vocal that Rob delivers emanates wisdom and carries a spiritually moving message, as Rodriguez Jr. grips the dance floor with epic breakdowns and frazzled bass building the mood.
Topango then takes ‘Inyani’ and sensitively rebuilds it as a spine-tingling vocal cut with a spiritual atmosphere that is truly unique. This emotive rendition provides gorgeous vocal reverb, creating space in the track as it builds and evolves into a euphoric soul-stirring celebration. A breathtaking remix that massages mind, body and spirit.
Innervisions and Watergate’s deep and melodic house maestro Kadosh shows off his superb skills on a steamy and mysterious remix of Soft. Softening the original track from its original, more industrial arrangement, they add a more earthy, natural soundscape to the forefront, delivering fully rounded chiming synth that soothes and elevates.
David Mayer lays down some of his fancily heavy but funky drum grooves on a remix of ‘If You’ ft. Elli that will have your body flexing in no time. This ssexy remix is vocally tantalizing and instrumentally thrilling. Berlin’s tireless creative force Anja Schneider then stands out with her emotive take on ‘Strings Of Joy’ ft. Florian Busse & Ahmad, which has a meandering lead synth and chunky drums all overlaid with a big-hearted vocal.
Avidus is Marc Wolf and Fritz Wagner, a pair who have turned heads in just two short years thanks to tunes on Crosstown, each as compelling, sensitive and well-crafted as the synth dances that weave into their remix of ‘When I’m Lost’ ft. Elli.
Next up, new school Berlin tastemaker Santé remixes ‘Relocate’, once again featuring the Stereo MCs on a chunky, stripped-back house groove custom designed for cosy basement spaces.
South African house hero Floyd Lavine returns to his home label with another vital remix that takes on an elegant and afro tinged trip into house territory, while German duo and MoBlack associates Cosmo & Kramer close out with a ragged, electro-tinged version of Strings Of Joy.
These are fantastic new reinterpretations of the excellent source material, and all add up to a high-class treasure trove for DJs and dancers alike.
Maison – The Remixes is out 24 July via Connected / Kompakt.