September 13, 2010
Nestled halfway between Harlem and Brooklyn lies Randall’s Island. Labor Day weekend the islet transforms into a beautiful blend of Wonkaland and Woodstock, Sodom and Gomorrah, Israel and Ibiza, Pleasure Island and Neverland – a hybrid between that Pinocchio place where lost boys find themselves and where Peter Pan’s lost boys aimlessly meander… all perpetuated by the most nourishing of all life fuels… music – electronic music.
Somehow, someway, the past, present, and future of music made their collective way to this halogen Haus of worship. My journey no doubt veered from the norm, but when the clandestine is commonplace, all odd experiences are good. I was like a kid in a candy store – no matter where I went, there I was, with a sugar-rushed stranger and makeshift chaperone there to guide me along from one aisle to the next. Though the guide may not know where you’re coming from, or how to get to where you’re going, they know your destination. One second you’re lost in Manhattan, and the next you find yourself MapQuesting directions from the UES to Randall’s Island, and then you’re watching hipsters take cabs to Harlem bus stops – simple foreshadowing that no matter how far “above” those kids one is – no matter how objectively I scoff at their ways from a far more worldly and morally superior place – we’re all the same entitled Gen-Yers… making our way from decadence to debauchery by way of urban decay.
Continue reading The Prophiles: Electric Zoo, #primacyprojectionmetasonic
Beyond the bayou’s Britney Jean, and Magnolia’s Lil’ Wayne, we have something fundamental, something fresh, and something authentically New Orleans in the midst – call it an amalgam, call it NOLA-EDM: a mix of “destruction – kind of – creation, improvisation, taking something very modern like EDM – or what people perceive it to be – twisted up and given a soul:” welcome Hello Negro.
Me: For you I think, you’re kind of rebuilding this idea of a post-colonial sound for a Post-Katrina New Orleans. A lot of people say, “electronic music is soulless,” because there is that preconception of “just press play and repeat” – but you improvise. I guess I want to get your thoughts for how you see your music as an environment, and seeing it as if it were this soundtrack for New Orleans – you being New Orleans’ native son – what does the music say to the environment you’re building?
Hello Negro: That’s an interesting question. In my experience, if you look at some great New Orleans musicians – you bring it back to Jelly Roll Morton, and you look at Louis Armstrong, you look at Kid Orie, you look at King Oliver, you look at Dr. John, you look at James Booker, you know Terrence Blanchard, Wynton Marsalis, Duvel Crawford, Troy Andrews, George Porter – who’s a bass player for The Funky Meters – these are all the New Orleans musicians… What we do in New Orleans, and this is going back to “the amalgam,”
what we do in New Orleans is we create, as musicians, we create music as a function of our environment. So, there’s not this “thing” you can do to make your music “New Orleans,” you either understand what that is because of the environment that you came up in – or you don’t.
So, the techniques I use – whether it’s sampling The Funky Meters, or it’s a specific rhythm I’m using – none of it is overly … it’s not deliberate.
Continue reading Keep Calm and Kari On … with HelloNegro
AKO: What is one question that you have not been asked, that you want to answer?
Hello Negro: I probably should not bring attention to it, but one question you haven’t asked is, “What’s up with the crazy-ass name?”
sxb: Right – see, this is why we have this question.
Continue reading HelloFiRe: HelloNegro
“Opening skies with broken keys…” By now this young maestro’s hands have been heard around the world and weberverse; from Holy Ship to Ultra, Born This Way Ball to Poseidon Tour, Zedd’s fingers have fueled quite the spectral pulse. What about the mind behind the music, though? What makes Zedd’s metronome tick, and what cultivates a sound so kaleidoscopic? Leave it to the prodigy priest of EDM himself, preaching nightly behind pierced lips atop DJ booth pulpits, to clarify the scape of this spectrum we call the contemporary music scene.
Me: Who/what/when/where/how is Zedd? … In 59 characters or less.
Zedd: Zedd is musical soul-bacon.
Continue reading Keep Calm and Kari On … with Zedd