Premiere: Texture X Hypnokid – MXXNLIGHT

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.”

Texture 1 (16)-2
Photo:  Miff Morris

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.

FOREST GODS (GobophotographyMiff Morris edit)
FOREST GODS
BURNT TRAIL (GobophotographyMiff Morris edit)
BURNT TRAIL
MXXNLIGHT (GobophotographyMiff Morris edit)
MXXNLIGHT

Sixfingerz: Oceanbound in the eye of a Silent Storm

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. 

Hit play below on the EXCLUSIVE one hour DJ mix Sixfingerz put together for Revel, which highlights his best early works. Sample-spliced and blended to technical perfection, his mastery of turntablism shines through, along with impressive musical intelligence.

sixfingerz-more-music-more-fun----w800_q70_----1595533439593

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

Asthmatic Astronaut – ‘Spirit World’. Pre-release Album Highlight.

Artist- Asthmatic Astronaut

Album – Spirit World

Genre – Hip-hop/Instrumental/experimental

Label – This Is Not Pop.

Producer/Beatmaker, Gareth Bury aka Asthmatic Astronaut presents a highly distinctive album titled, ‘Spirit World’ set for release on the 24th of this month on independent label, This Is Not Pop. This authentic project was born through a yearning to sonically express and channel the emotion of  grief and loss through thinking about friends and family that had passed away within a short time frame of each other, over the period of a few years. The album is bold and progressive and is surprising in its instrumental dynamics, it is evident that Gareth has dug deep to create these intuitive tracks, achieving a true sense of cathartic empowerment.

Through his internal exploration he also finds external exploration and structure by incorporating a short narrative to aid in the channelling of his emotive expression by collaborating with Caledonian Gothic, a story telling podcast, to create an atmospheric introduction to the album which has helped forge a pathway in bringing forward a mythical story of when earthly realm meets spirit world. As well as steering a unique and extra dynamic to the atmosphere of the album by collaborating with two local M.C’s, Jackal Trades and Kid Robotik x King Meraki who resolutely provide their own characteristic take on the album theme.

Asthmatic Astronaut aka The Wheezy Space Traveller – Between Worlds.

Asthmatic Astronaut’s newfound interest in Wave music, a genre of element-fusing, dubstep, jungle, house, techno & hip-hop, found him drawn to, and sucked in by, slow tempo beats. As far as beats are concerned his cultivated style is a direct evolution of Trap and lends itself well to longer evolving textures. There most certainly exists an empowering force throughout the tracks on the album, a pulsating core and raw edge that carries density, while in contrast ethereal layers interplay and soar above rooted reverberated bass lines, snares and kick drum beats. To me, it feels like sunlight burning through the darkness.

I caught up with Asthmatic Astronaut to ask him about the creation process, the album artwork and musical influencing factors. Here is what he said:

“I used a Boss 303 sampler with this album. 303 sounds grittier and slightly lo-fi. I added lots of noise to the tracks from Vinyl and Cassette hiss and just ambient room recordings. All the synthesized sounds also went through the sampler and almost all had distortion added and large analog reverbs.

As far as influence I’m not sure I can pin point exactly I listen to a lot of music of all styles all the time and when I make music I stop listening and create for a few weeks nonstop or until whatever is driving me leave’s me it’s a strange process and has always been very meditative for me. I always feel as though I have gotten something off my chest, something I can’t put into words as easy as I can music.

The artwork is pieced together from three separate photographs I took while camping in the highlands and basically when I finished the image the whole story of the tree being a gateway hit me, and that really sparked the whole project. So, I guess the album cover image is the main influence on this project.” – G.B/ Asthmatic Astronaut.

PRE-ORDER ‘Spirit World’ By Asthmatic Astronaut over at Independent, Tape/ CD/Vinyl Label, This Is Not Pop Bandcamp –

https://thisisnotpop.bandcamp.com/album/spirit-world

https://www.facebook.com/theasthmaticastronaut/

https://www.mixcloud.com/asthmatic_astronaut/asthmatic-astronaut-faceache-live-april-12th-2020/ Faceache Live – Asthmatic Astronaut.