19 Mar 2015

Foyer Sessions returns this Saturday at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.

Foyer Sessions Event page

Welsh Electronica is always a fascinating subject, the language and weather seems to naturally push electronic music in to the realms of experimentica. Art and sound blurred in to colourful, bi-lingual and gloriously joyful pieces, Y Pencadlys has the ability to make even the most traditional wet Welsh day a little more bearable.  He will be performing this Saturday at Foyer Sessions this Saturday (21st March). It's free entry and starts at 8pm. Foyer Sessions Event page

Joining will be H O R S E S, drenched in dreary reverb and driven by 80's sounding percussion. Their self titled Gloom Wave could easily be mistaken for the grey soundscapes of Joy Division. So beautifully gloomy and depressing there are elements of Catharsis with in these compositions. H O R S E S perform at Foyer Sessions this Saturday. Free entry starts at 8pm. Foyer Sessions Event page

Tree of Wolves are returning with more this year!

Tree of Wolves are preparing for a new run of releases after a busy year touring and spending time in the heart of West Wales at StudiOwz writing and recording new material. ‘Shapes’ is the first glimpse in to the direction TOW are heading and it is unashamedly Pop. A simple backbone rhythm leads the shimmering sound that TOW have been crafting for the last couple of years. Wales is a very exciting place to be right now with Anti-Pop being a buzz word on many lips and more and more musicians reaching deeper in to their musical tool boxes. This year is going to introduce the world to many new exciting acts emerging from this beautiful country and TOW are definitely on the list! Keep listening! #WelshElectric

3 Mar 2015

Evolving education: An interview with Leigh Davis one third of the Feed App team.

Feed - Remix Everything - V2 from incidental on Vimeo.

During the last semester at USW we were fortunate enough to have 3 excellent guest lectures from different fields relating to the creative industries. Leigh Davies a former pupil of the CSM course has gone on to work on some really exciting and innovative projects. Feed is an App that is making an impact in schools across the UK, encouraging fresh faces and ears to listen in ways that for some takes years to get around to. I was supposed to post this up at the beginning of the year but feel that now would be a good time. Spring is coming and new ideas blossoming. For more info follow the links at the bottom of the page.

EMW: Your guest lecture today at USW for CSM was really interesting and it is great to see a start up like Feed flourishing in Wales. What were the biggest challenges when developing Feed?

LD: Thank you. Without a doubt the biggest challenge was committing to a project fresh out of University and not knowing exactly how to do what was asked of me. The opportunity arose as I graduated, and opportunities like these are few and far between, so in order to take it, it was a case of say yes now and figure it out later! After that, over the years the problems weren't as big of a hurdle as this was I suppose… Things like learning to professionally "wear many hats" was quite a big learning curve. There's only three of us as the core team, with things to do to make Feed happen, so it was tough, but this is also one of the best things about working in this field.

EMW:  It’s more than just another app but it seems to have evolved in to a tool to educate people on sound and music, did studying at CSM give you many ideas on how to integrate education in to creative industries?

LD: Yes, since its inception it has definitely become more about "what happens around Feed" as an experience rather than just as a product/app, one of those things being our education program. CSM definitely influenced what concepts were brought into our education courses. My time at CSM exposed me to thoughts and concepts that were totally new to me in music and further, and these were things I wished I'd have been exposed to years ago, so we decided to begin exposing primary school pupils of this generation to some of these perception-bending concepts too.

EMW:  Feed is now at a place where you are able to build upon the original concept and make available to an even more diverse audience. You are currently working on FeedforAll. Could you explain this briefly?

LD: Absolutely! Feed is now becoming a bit of an "umbrella" which branch projects are sitting under. FeedforAll is looking to bring a much more accessible Feed experience to SEN/ALS students. Very recently our experience of running a few of our course sessions at Special Needs schools went fantastically but it became clear immediately that not all individuals were able to fully engage in the experience…  The concepts carried over well but a barrier was presented to us in the form of the touch screen, especially to those with poor fine motor control. FeedforAll will be a new development of Feed kicking off in 2015 and we hope, over the next few years, will ultimately will take us into hardware tool development and spacial/immersive experiences that will remove as many of those disability barriers from the equation.

EMW:  It is also a creative tool. What I love most about Feed is that no matter who gets their hands on it, whether it's a class of year 3 students or a fully versed musician working with all the latest tech it can make exciting content. How did you manage to balance ease of use whilst maintaining this far reaching aesthetic?

LD: On approaching the UI design for Feed we immediately decided to keep things very graphical and representational. So there are no words, icons, or workflow grids to guide users in any specific way, and I think this is what allows us to tap into that wide audience age/ability span; it's open to interpretation. Because of this I've always personally viewed Feed like an "instrument" in that sense, as it's something you can learn to use, get better at with practice, and develop a personal user style. Every user we've come across uses it totally different from the other, and that's been one of the more extremely satisfying result of this project for me.

EMW: What is it like for a start up within the creative industries based in Wales? Is there much support out there and would you recommend more people do it?

LD: So… in terms of the "traditional" avenue of the start up and funds associated with that, that side is still very new to this project. Incidental have only recently become LTD so those models weren't really applicable to us on starting... Feed was born through Arts funding in Wales in 2011, it's thrived through educational income since Sept 2013 in both Wales and England, and only now are we looking to explore supporting our growth through the more traditional Start-up funding model.

So we've come through a slightly strange avenue of realising Feed to get it to a point as a "business". I'd definitely recommend the process of sitting down and finding out all options and avenues available outside of the traditional methods to make a project happen, there's more options out there than you might think.

EMW:  From your work with schools and Feed you have built up a large sample pack of material that I believe has fallen in to the hands of a couple of electronic acts from Cardiff, Jauge and Bodhi. Is there a project developing based around this?

LD: Yeah, so all of this has come out of our finalisation of the format of our "Feed Beginners" course. This is a course where pupils get 6 sessions learning about Feed, about the concept of found sound, and alternative music composition. Recently we wanted to bulk up the outcomes from the course to increase its impact and value to schools. All of the Beginners courses we have delivered to date have always churned out several gb of audio files that sound totally interesting, fantastic, and weird! So as well as the pupils getting a chance to create their own Feedcentric tracks during their time on the course, a collection of the pupil produced stems get handed over to a professional musician to produce a "class track". It's a way for the kids to get involved in the professional music scene but also an opportunity for artists to wind up with a large sample pack produced by primary school pupils, which is really quite a bizarre thing to have when you think about it!

Jauge has been in residency this month piloting this new idea for the Beginners course and it has been absolutely fantastic, he's delivered incredible tracks and the pupils/schools and general community have loved what’s been created. And yes, we've spoken to Bodhi plus a few other artists in order to get a few more names involved over the coming Spring and Summer school terms.

It's proving to be a really great model so far, and we're currently closing in on secure a radio play for each track that comes out of every beginners course to take the impact of the delivery to its limits and further inspire the pupils.

EMW:  Can others get hold of this sample pack?

LD: I think the exclusivity of the complete sample pack that each class produces is one of the rewards that the artist gets when they jump on board and create a class track; a "unique content for unique content" trade if you like. So if any electronic musicians were interested in grabbing a few gig of audio content exclusively, produced by these crazy primary school classes then this opportunity is now finally open to the network of electronic musicians.

In terms of public audio content, we have talked about some form of in-app sound content for Feed. Maybe… a browser in the app that features monthly selected sound sample collections, or audio background feeds that can be loaded up and used by anyone inside their personal copy of Feed… but this is all currently on the drawing board.

You also present Feed in a live performance setting. Could you talk a little about this?

LD: Yeah, Feed:vox is the name of this branch of the project. This was developed as an opportunity for us at Incidental to explore a new live performance method using Feed. We debuted it at Wellcome Collection in London as part of "The Voice" event. Basically we turned up with a multi iPad setup, audio routing gear, and a solitary microphone at the front of the stage. We had no content, or no idea what we were to perform so the performance was sculpted in real time around the audio that a member of the audience gave to us through the microphone at the front of the stage. High levels of risk, weirdness, and flying by the seat of your pants character building for sure.

EMW: Who else is of interest to you working in emerging tech within the creative industries?

LD: We're always keeping an eye on emerging tech in order to perch us back on the edge in terms of pushing our projects development. We're starting to think about hardware utilisation and/or development, especially with some of the more blue-sky ideas around FeedforAll, so things like the Leap Motion have caught our eye in the past year or so, and it sorta goes without saying that the heavily cited Oculus Rift is on our radar in terms of a way of starting to look at spacial interaction with sound and jumping out from the touch screen.

EMW:  What’s next?

LD: 2015 is looking to be the first big year for us in many ways, the development for FeedforAll will be kicking off early in the year. We'll also be expanding the Feed course facilitators team with new willing, driven individuals across the UK, potentially further. We’ll also finally be getting around to porting the standard app to mobile and then also outside of the iOS platform, something that been delayed with the added responsibilities we’ve had outside of our “app developer” roles.

But most importantly there will be a big push for us as the core team to put ourselves once again at the edge of the emerging and experimental art tech arena, but this time under an already established umbrella, being Feed, to put it onto and into new platforms and incarnations via new systems and technologies, a professional mantra for us that brought Feed into the world in the first place.

Useful Links for Incidental/Feed:


Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefeedapp


Twitter: @FFeeeedd 

26 Jan 2015

Romanian Music "This Ain't A Scene": An interview with Andrei Bucureci from Crowd Control.

Occasionally music can help us cross borders and bring people far apart geographically, closer together. Andrei Bucureci is in the heart of the Romanian music community as a musician, poet, promoter and writer. He is currently working on documenting several bands who are from all over Romania that share his love for spreading positive messages through music. From Cardiff to Bucharest!   

EMW: Hello and welcome to EMW. Could you perhaps introduce yourself and the work that you do?

AB: Hello there good people of EMW! Very sweet idea and cool initiative to link international artists and music!

My name is Andrei Bucureci, I’m originally from Ramnicu Valcea, but now I reside in Romania’s capital, Bucharest. In the daytime I’m an art director in a small responsible advertising agency called Creionetica, we’re so responsible that we work mostly with NGO’s. In the nighttime meanwhile (not only in the night time, but that’s when most concerts take place) I perform and write music as Intimidatah with two brothers in a electro-fusion band called Crowd Control. My aspirations go further than making the music, into the field of design, so to speak, I “control” the audio-video-visual concepts and materials that represent this trio. I handled the production of most of the videos, interviews, merchandise, making-offs and kept the connection with media & promoters. Its a very DIY attitude around here. Now i’m building the team to help me do all the things above so i can concentrate on the music and direction.

EMW: I see that Crowd Control have just had their latest video ‘Airbow’ posted on Vice Romania. This is big news! 

AB: Indeed! Its actually the third time around one of our videos has exclusivity on Vice. Its some sort of partnership. We’ve got an eclectic sound and they’ve got an eclectic approach on things. Right now we’re quite happy about working with a spanish label called False Flag Operations. It is a subsidiary of Dubkraft Records. A very special and talented man, calls himself Alien Pimp, is doing a whole lot of good work and now we’re taking this, Crowd Control music, to another level. Such cool people overall! We’ve just finished our third EP called LOADING PLEASE. Also, our song Brixton Riot is right now on some online radio stations: eclecticFM, Radio Cooperativa Urbana, Baraka & DelaHaze. It was actually our first single locally. We’re now working on a video for this song. Airbow is the international single. A song composed by our synthesizer player Razvanescu and I fused in the title two of his favorite bands, the french duo AIR and the prog-brit-popers Elbow. That’s where Airbow comes from. It’s a tune about the way generations pass and nothing seems to change for the good. I hope it’s just apparently.

EMW: The visuals come across nicely with movement going backwards and forwards. I see how this could be a way of saying ‘one step forwards, two step backwards’ if you have heard that saying? How long have you been performing with Crowd Control? 

AB: Yes, I know the saying, we have in Romanian too. But it also involves the fact that it’s usually crabs and lobsters that walk that way. I think my message in this song is about the circling, the cycle of life and the way society acts in patterns, most of the time in predictable patterns. I’ve been performing with CC for about a year and half now, but I’m playing with the brothers in different bands since 2009.

EMW: Would you say that all of the music you make has a message behind it like ‘Airbow’? 

AB: Yes. The step forward I made with CC, and that separates it from other bands I’ve played with, is the social message. A side of me that approaches more openly activism and responsibility for the environment is now on the loose. I try to make music that means something in a cultural way and conscious way. I’m a big fan of Gil Scott-Heron, Fela Kuti, Ian Dury, The Spaceape and Linton Kwesi-Johnson and the way the bridged the gap between the social and the sonic innovation perspective of life.

EMW: It was a great loss for music and culture when Spaceape passed last year. 

AB: A great loss actually. The Spaceape gone is depressing. Such potential wasted. 

EMW: Is there many other bands in Romania that you could point towards who are on the same circuit as you?

AB: I have a few bands in mind, let’s call them peers of ours: Fine Its Pink and Noisecode from Iasi, Harlequin_Jack, Temple Invisible, Moebius, GOLAN, The Dream Diggers, Yoon, The Bridge Committee, Secuem, Plurabelle & Fierbinteanu, Liar & Elektromekanik from Bucharest, Lights Out, Baba Dochia & Kaleidonescu from Cluj. Some of them are older bands playing for more than three-four years now and on different levels of popularity, but i don’t know why i view them as comrades in arms.

EMW: It seems that you are in a great place to document this and I believe that you are working on a documentary at the moment about music in Romania? 

AB: Yes indeed. Most of the artists mentioned above I’d like them to appear in a documentary. It’s the perfect time to document this new wave. It’s an eclectic one too. I’d like to call it, the Documentary - “This Ain’t A Scene”, but who knows when it will be done and how it will be called. I hope it will be done next year and released in autumn!

EMW: I am reading the press release/concept that you sent me and this jumps out - “The bands appearing are not the only alternative or the most experimental. They’re 
nowhere near the most original, virtuous or talented ones, but they feel the need to 
connect and collaborate in any way.” - Is there a strong community for musicians in Romania?

AB: There are quite a few perspectives. With some of the bands above I like to call myself friends with. Bands like Harlequin_Jack, we’ve done even music together, Fine Its Pink, we’re working on new music together, and I’m close to people like Fierbinteanu and members of The Dream Diggers and we surely will collaborate in the future. The others we’re acquaintances & I’m a big fan of their music. I’m also a music journalist and I like to write about them and the way their music is inspiring and should be better known internationally. I can’t say we’re a close community like some waves and scenes that happen in the UK, or in some circles in the States, let’s say New York. We’re respectful one to the other, but there are some sort of “small churches” and that’s a good thing for competition. We’re competing, constructively, sometime with very interesting and good results.

EMW: Here in the UK and also more precisely in Wales there is a constant translation happening from external influences of different music from around the world being adopted and slightly altered making for very interesting mix of music. Would you say it is a similar story for you in Romania? 

AB: Yes indeed. So many people fusing electronic music with different other genres. Latin jazz with dance and house by GOLAN, trip-hop and post-rock with electro and soulful vocals by Fine Its Pink, industrial and indie with trip-hop by Temple Invisible. There’s a glaswegian indie-rock and dance feeling that comes out from Harlequin_Jack’s music, old-school and new-school hip-hop with some tinges of country music in The Bridge Committee’s vibes. Bass music, hip-hop and industrial are all over The Dream Diggers soundscapes, deathinvegasian electro-rock mixed with dub and dubstep by Baba Dochia from Cluj, rave and electro-funk-rock by Noisecode, post-rock and indie-folk by Moebius, psychedelic and jamband directions by Lights Out, noise-electro and glitch-dance by Kaleidonescu, weird-core and electro-dance from Plurabelle ^ Fierbinteanu, Future RnB by Secuem, and nostalgic-electro from Yoon. This romanian scene ain’t a very cohesive scene but it’s one aware of what taste is and what happens worldwide. Just like what you said some sort of a translation.

EMW: Let’s go back to your own musical influences, how did electronic music become a part of your creative outlet?

AB: That’s a good question. I’ve been originally just a lyricist and wannabee producer. Working with friends that had a musical experience and trying to construct a certain authenticity missing in romanian music back then. Romanian alternative music had a blast of inspiration and direction at the end of the nineties and beginning of the 2000’s but almost ten years later a crisis of originality occurred. In the middle of that I mutated from my visual art past towards writing my visions into poetic and spiritual lyrics. I had different periods of musical explorations tastewise: hard rock, grunge, indie, reggae, metal, hip-hop, spoken-word, punk and now electronic & afrobeat and world-fusion-music. I had crushes on bands like Uriah Heep, artists like Sizzla & Damian Marley, I’m still a great fan of punk phenomenons like Bad Brains, Ian Dury, Public Image Limited, John Cooper Clarke, poets like Mutabaruka, Benjamin Zephaniah, innovators such as Enter Shikari, Zach De La Rocha, Mars Volta and many many others. With experience in music-making I’ve discovered alongside Coshmelin & Razvanescu the two brothers I’m working with an affinity for synthesizers, piano and that electronic, contemporary feel. Beats, synths & rhymes are a solution, to all the musical pollution!

EMW: Does being involved creatively help with connecting the dots between the different ‘churches’ that you have described? 

AB: I think so. I have a better understanding of all the stress and creative processes and promotional strifes and tribulations. I can understand how much sweat and blood involves making music, making it some sort of a product and not just keeping it for yourself. The whole “churches” perspective is about connecting dots like you said, each of the people involved has initiatives, tastes and things in common with me and us. Having lived in the same country, under the same political regime, and in the romanian society is giving us inspiration, frustration and the necessary drive to have a daytime job and making good music.

EMW: If one was to go to experience live music in some of the places that you have mentioned what venues would you recommend visiting?

AB: Just as with bands, Bucharest, Cluj and Iasi has eclectic venues. We’ve played with CC in most of them also. There’s a very internationally active venue called Control Club, where i’ve seen some of my favorite bands: from legends like Swans, Stereo MC’s and Mike Watt to electronic-influenced things like Suuns. Rangleklods, Breton, Stubborn Heart and indie noisers like Dirty Beaches or Motorama. There’s also a smaller but more locally supportive and with an intimate feel venue called Question Mark. Some of my favorite local metalcore, hardcore and industrial bands have played there: Breathelast, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and Temple Invisible. Bucharest has most venues of course: punk-rockers go to Underworld, alternative parties happen in B52, Expirat, Energiea, The Silver Church, Atelierul de Productie & Fabrica. In Cluj theres The Shelter, where we played and had a very good time. When in Iasi in Underground the Pub we’ve had an awesome show and we’ve illegally projected the Holy Mountain by Jodorowsky. I don’t know about a real recommendation but if you ever get to Romania, take your time to really feel the tissue and veins of all cities, villages and venues. They’re warm and welcoming if you leave all preconceptions at the border.

EMW: Music crosses borders and all though EMW focuses mostly on music with links to Wales it is great to see other places around the world building great art to share worldwide. Is there much focus and support for rural (out of the city) music makers or is it important for musicians and artists to move to the city to take the next step?

AB: I actually know what you mean. I like Bondax and i know there’s a whole movement of rural electronic artists in Britain. I find that very very cool. That and the rural has such an organic independent approach. Sadly in Romania, from my limited point of view, most bands move to the city to make music. Life in smaller provinces is by default oblique and minimal. There are bands there i am sure of it, but most of them emulating big city sounds or foreign old ones. People there are making music as an episodic hobby. I hope i’m wrong and something comes out to prove me otherwise though.

EMW: Please could you link to some websites that can help us learn more about the Romanian music scene?

AB: Sure. I’ll make a random list here, in no particular order. For a direct listen here’s some online radios promoting these bands:

Sites and music platforms:

There are plenty more but I want to be realistic and give only a few so you can be able to browse through them not be overwhelmed. 

Cheers and thank you for your time and patience! Support local authentic bands, Jah bless less stress! Intimidatah out!

Update: Crowd Control have just dropped this massive track on Soundcloud. 

18 Dec 2014

Touched 2: An interview with the man behind it all.

Martin Boulton aka Min Y Llan has had a busy couple of months in run up to the release of Touched 2, a massive collection of electronic music from some of the finest producers around in the experimental electronic field. All proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer support and over 20k was raised in the first couple of days of release on the Touched Bandcamp. In amongst the releases are several electronic music producers from Wales including Martin himself. We caught up with the man to talk about Touched. 

EMW: Hello and welcome to EMWblog. You are currently working on the second release of Touched. Could you tell us a little bit about this amazing project and how it came about?

M: Hi, nice to chat with you again..

Yes last year I put together an album called Touched. It started of in my mind as a small album that I could put together with a few friends and label mates, maybe making £500 to help Macmillan cancer support as my mother was told she had cancer in the summer of 2013.

I was friends online with a few of my music heroes so I just thought I’d ask them too, telling them what it was all about and its just kicked off from that really. I had a few bigger named artists so that helped me to email a few others and with that I soon had over 100 artists helping out.

Touched one in the first few months had raised over £5.000 and the album was only £6 and over, some people gave amazing amounts of cash for it, so I knew people were behind the project.

EMW: It’s great to have you hear.  It’s obvious that this project has very personal significance to you but also resonates with a lot of people around the world. How difficult was it to curate over 100 artists into a single release? Were there many major setbacks?

M: To be honest it was without any setbacks, I did email and even tried calling some artists managers but things just didn’t work out but in the end I was happy with the 123 artists that it had.

I went through all of my records cd’s and hardrive and emailed all of the artists I wanted to be on Touched, so that would have been over 1000 different artists.

I did have to remind some of the artists every few weeks that the deadline was coming up.

EMW: Touched 2 is now released with over 200 tracks available. It’s been getting some great publicity. Are you solely behind the promo and marketing of Touched 2 or are you getting help from others?

M: I’ve been a fan of Logreybeam’s music for many years so having him on board was great and it turns out that his wife runs a PR company called pitchblend
(Big Thanks to El Ea & Candise)

They have been a massive help on this project, and I messaged all 200+ artists to share the info cover and little video all made for Touched 2 a month before release to start to get it into peoples psyche.

EMW: You have been posting some great promo shots of the ‘beautiful’ Touched art work. Was this your idea?

M: Yes that was my idea, using some photoshop and other apps they turned out great and really had a good response, some of the followers of Touched started making their own, like man on the moon with touched flag.

EMW: Who is behind the art work?

M: That would be Victor Ferreira aka Sun Glitters, the girl in the touched two cover and video is his daughter. I was looking for the right cover for some time and had lots of ideas, I was out at dinner with my mum of all people when I was sent this cover so it all felt right and I loved it from the start.

EMW: This is probably a very difficult question to answer but I’ll ask. Who are you most excited about having on Touched 2?

M: It’s hard to say as I’m happy to have every single artist on the album, I’m a fan of them all and even more so now. I’ve made some great friends and some really good contacts.

With a lot of the artists I had to get over people to ask them, so record labels would email out to its rosta of artists and if I saw a poster or flyer that some artists were playing in the same place I  would try and get them to ask the others, it’s handy as most musicians know other musicians.

Some were hard to track down and needed a lot of emails to make it happen but it all came good in the end.

Min Y Llan’s Top 10 tracks of 2014.

Plaid - Wallet
Robin Saville - Bryophyte Society Annual Picnic
Buspin Jieber - Night Drive
Scanner - Muster
Asonat - Rather Interesting
A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Atomos VII
Jon Hopkins - Immunity (with King Creosote)
Murya - Triplicity
Elbow - New York Morning
Christina Vantzou - And Instantly Take Effect (Loscil Remix)

M: I didn't pick any of my top 10 from touched two as I couldn't just name 10.

But if I had to pick my top 255 tracks of the year...

Kayla Painter releases a free Remix EP and talks about the process.

Kayla Painter is an electronic music artist currently residing in Bristol and tutoring at the University of South Wales. Her work has been covered in a previous interview which you can read here - 

On 16th December Kayla Painter released a 3 track remix EP on her Bandcamp for free and I would recommend that you go take a listen. Here is a little background on the EP from Kayla herself. 

I have remixed three other musicians from Bristol, all good friends.  Previous to this I haven't really been big on remixes as I've always found it difficult to retain the quality of the track whilst putting my own spin on it.  With these three tracks I decided to be as experimental as I wanted to, and fully engage with the sounds I had to work with, just as sounds, not as a the original song.  This made it a lot easier to work with the stems, I was more able to do this as I have a good friendship with each of the artists so I knew they wouldn't be disappointed with any interpretation.

I deconstructed the tracks so much that none of them really resemble the originals by the artists. The order of the tracks on the EP are in the order I made them, as I wanted to retain the process I went through, and keep it as true to life as possible.

The first remix, for 'The Crisis Project' turned out really well, and this was for their double A side release, so I was really impressed with how this turned out and it spurred me on to do a couple of others.  I'd never worked with rap vocals previous so this, so I really enjoyed making a new narrative for the piece, which I think works well.



I then went on to remix Jilk's 'Come in Spiders', where I used a lot of found sounds to create a world of noises before introducing the percussive element.  With this track I only used a few elements of the original song to start with and added more and more of my own stuff as it grew towards a fuller sound.


Listen to the remix on Kayla Painter Bandcamp.

Finally, and most interestingly the remix I did for T-toe - 'Kick It', was a really unexpected outcome. First of all, T-toe writes wonderful upbeat but also melancholic music, and 'Kick It' was one of my favourites to see live and dance to. I wondered how this would work in terms of remixing one of my favourite tracks of his, and it actually turned out incredibly minimal, more towards the style of Murcof than wonky ambient dance. I was really pleased with this one because I used a lot of the sounds from T-Toes original, but stretched and treated them to create eerie single notes.  It is the sort of thing i'd hope people would listen to in the dark.


Listen to the remix on Kayla Painter Bandcamp.

I have three releases planned for next year,  which will all be original stuff so it was nice to get my head into remixing for a bit, it has been an enjoyable process and I will definitely do more in the future.

The project was a nice way to end the year and have something to give away, and a good way to keep my creativity going in these cold dark months!

17 Dec 2014

Kaikrea are Welsh electronic.

"..it’s important to give something back to the language and possibly do some stuff in music that has not been done with the language before."

This year is ending on a very positive note for the Welsh language and electronic music with artists like CarcharorionGwenno, Mr Phormula and Ifan Dafydd making and releasing inspiring work. Another exciting group who are taking full advantage of the beautiful language is Kaikrea, an electronic group who are blending contemporary electronic music production techniques and technology alongside some of the most beautiful folk music and soulful vocals. I caught up with Sam Shamoniks who is behind the beats to find out more.

EMW: Hello and welcome to EMW. How long have you been playing together as Kaikrea?

K: We’ve been making music together for about 2 years (I think). It all started from where me and Angharad Jenkins (fiddle player) were jamming some stuff combing Beats and Bass I had got together on Reason 5 with traditional Welsh melodys on the fiddle. We play together in a Welsh folk group called Calan. I’d heard about and listened to Kizzy Crawford, so I then tracked her down, got her involved and it’s just carried on expanding from there adding live Double Bass, Viola and Cello and making various styles of electronic music such as Garage, D&B, House, Dubstep, Ambient etc.

EMW: Your background is based in electronic music?

K: Not really, I’ve been playing guitar in bands of various genre’s since the age of 12 and still do which takes up a lot of my time touring and gigging around the UK, Europe and the U.S.
 I got into electronic music when I started college at 18 so I’ve been at it for around 6-7 years so not that long really. I’ve been producing all kinds of stuff in loads of different genres as well as a lot of band recordings for personal and professional projects. I graduated from the Atrium (now renamed the University of South Wales) 2 years ago with a Music Technology degree. I’ve been producing my own electronic music on the side for a while under the name ‘Shamoniks’, having a couple releases of some DNB tunes on labels Mindstorm Records and DNBB Recordings and had a fair amount of Radio 1 support from a handful of tracks.

The rest of the band also come from a background of playing ‘real’ music and they are all amazing musicians in their own right, I feel very lucky to be working with them all.
 Kizzy is a superb singer/songwriter and has been taking the country by storm playing her own material over the past couple years.
 Angharad and Patrick are very experienced folk musicians and have massive knowledge in Welsh melodies. Patrick Rimes is also a talented classical music musician and conductor. Aeddan Williams is a great Jazz musician who also has classical music background.

 The project is really a product of me trying to reverse engineer electronic music in a way to make it communicate the same ideas of a computer sequencer or a synthesiser and give it the ‘human’ feel and dynamic that is not possible to achieve from machines but still trying to sonically match the power of computer in the mix for the general electronic music listener.

That idea was then expanded upon by adding original and traditional melodies played on traditional instruments on top of the tracks that are influenced by popular modern electronic dance music styles and structures. Adding Kizzy's own writing and vocal style put another dimension into the tracks and brought everything together nicely.

 Me, Angharad and Kizzy had all ready put ‘Ble Mae’r Golau’ together before I met Aeddan (Bass Player). It was when I was playing a gig on guitar with Kizzy for her EP Launch in Clwb Ifor Bach, I heard Aeddan sound checking his double bass using the bow through the subs when I thought ‘This would be amazing for the band’. It sounded so fat I had to get him in on the project, he also plays Cello too which came in really useful to for extra textures. Also adding that extra human feel and movement to bass.

Kaikrea - Ble Mae'r Golau ft. O Femi

EMW: Kizzy has a great solo act also. It’s rare to find such soulful vocals in fluent Welsh. It’s also really exciting to hear electronic music with the Welsh language. Was it a conscious decision to involve the Welsh language?

K: Yeah. We all were very keen on the idea making this kind of stuff in the medium of Welsh when we started out. We’re all fluent speakers so it was a very natural decision really. We also think it’s important to give something back to the language and possibly do some stuff in music that has not been done with the language before. Something for people to carry on into the future or something to bring outside attention in on the language. We’ve also played around with bi-lingual tracks (‘Ble Mae’r Golau’ was one of them) as well as some English tracks which we’re yet to released.

Take a listen to the track 'Ling Acco' that Kaikrea have very kindly given to us as an exclusive.

EMW: What’s it like for a young person wanting to make music living in Wales? is there a strong community for collaboration and sharing ideas?

K: It’s great. Wales is definitely small enough for you to be able to get a sense of musical community. I lived in North Wales all my life before moving down to Cardiff and up there you pretty much have to make your own scene and community if you want anything good to happen. Not a lot goes on except for the hard effort of a small handful of bands artists and promoters which is what I tried to do.
 It took me a little while to find my feet in the scene in South Wales after moving down for Uni but after a while you start seeing the same faces around the gigging circuit so after a while you do feel a nice community of people who you can share ideas/information/interests for possible collaborations.

There’s also a wide range of great venues and promoters here that are into looking for good music so it’s creates a nice friendly vibe for everyone involved. 
I personally feel just very lucky to have met the people around me, mostly by chance and feel as if a lot of my needs are here around me in the people I know that are willing to help, work and collaborate. 
I know where and who to go if I need something for musical venture such as venues, which musicians to use, studio’s to hire, people to talk to about any worries I have in the business side of thing etc. Wales is full of great people, it’s just a matter of looking around you.

EMW: Are you working on much at the moment as Kaikrea?

K: There’s plenty of tracks that are currently being finished off. Everybody’s really busy with their own musical ventures to it’s been pretty difficult to get everybody together at the same time but I get together with Kizzy, Aeddan and Angharad whenever possible to work on stuff so there’s always something on the go.

EMW: You seem to be presenting this as live project. Do you plan on taking this project on the road?

K: Oh yes. Since the project begun we’ve always intended of doing it live. We’ve just been building up material so that we have enough stuff to be able to do a proper show. More of a musical journey than just a band playing a bunch of tracks as we’ll be approaching the sets with more of a seamless DJ mix approach. Very excited about hitting the rehearsal rooms of Cardiff in January to get all the material ready for gigging so keep an eye out for a launch show soon! 

EMW: Have you heard much Welsh language electronic music?

K: Not a lot of Welsh language stuff that I’ve really enjoyed. I’m well aware that there’s a large amount of very talented electronic music producers either living or from Wales such as Ifan Dafydd, Switch Fusion, Rezaloot, Whattsun, Mr Phormula (to name just a few, sorry if I’ve forgotten any). I’m glad we can contribute something a little bit different to Welsh electronic music as well as do something different with some traditional Welsh melodies to carry them on too. Letting people hear the melodies and language in a way they may never have heard before.

EMW: Any listening suggestions for Christmas holidays?

K: I don’t really get into the Christmas vibe when it comes to listening to Christmas music but I guess if it the holidays you’ll have time your hands to listen to plenty of music.
 I’d recommend watching all of BINKBEATS videos on YouTube as they are all seriously amazing of haven’t already seen them. Even if you have, just watch them again. He’s probably one of my favourite producers/musicians. I love the way he can recreate electronic tracks using all kinds of crazy s**t and often making them sounding better than the originals. What a guy!


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