Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bangalore Events: Pebble presents NIGHTSHIFT w/ Sailen & Azhar and DJ Inferno

Well, what can I say?  This is big. A sorta coming of age for the Nightshift boys. Anyone who plays underground music in this city, knows that Pebble is the place for underground music. Really excited about this. What's even more special?  We've got DJ Inferno warming up, so this should be ace music all round. I think ummm, haha, chunky tech-house and mean techno will be on the menu... Az and I are pretty much sorted on the programming department.  We're in a good space and it's showing in our music and it would be great to have you judge for yourself. Got some absolute crackers lined up. Here's to Wednesdays being the new Fridays. IT'S ON.

RSVP Pebble presents Nightshift w/ Sailen & Azhar and DJ Inferno (Wednesday, July 28th): Click here

Friday, July 23, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with RJ/DJ/MC/VJ hipster Rohit Barker

My first party in Bangalore after returning from studying in Los Angeles was a Rohit Barker gig. I vaguely remember seeing him on Channel V during my childhood, but thanks to being brought up in boarding school, TV was pretty much a minimum back then.  At the time, I was depressed at the lack of genre specific music in Bangalore compared to the US and was quite skeptical about a TV host DJing a night. Much to my surprise his music comprised of jacking quality house music and more importantly, the crowd were responding to it like madmen.  Hope was instilled.

Within no time, I would regularly catch him on India's first all english station, Radio Indigo, as he kept me company on my way back from work. Energy always high, never worried to poke fun at important people or himself, a playlist which was tailormade for the city of Bangalore, crackpot discussion topics ranging from his vast shoe collection to his utter disdain for Celine Dion - this RJ had character, for the first time, I would look more forward to the jock talk than the actual music.

Listening to Radio Indigo in general pushed me to follow a career in radio, very clearly wanting to work behind the scenes. Was put in charge of producing Rohit's daily show (among other things) and I must say the experience was an interesting one. He pushed me hard and showed me the way with his very clear understanding of what engaging content is - when his show would be drowned in sales talk, he'd lose his mind and fight the man. Highlights included getting a call from some very angry authorities after we impersonated the so called ghost that was haunting Bangalore's faraway new airport. Telling our listeners it would probably be safer and less time consuming to take a train hahaha. His mantra of 'radio should be fun,' was layered all over the station and it really showed in Cruise Control. I have also followed a lot of his DJ gigs - what sticks out besides the wide spectrum of uplifting bouncy house, mixed with the in your face attitude; dude always had the hottest women in the city attending his gigs. A real ladies' man he is, with a massive fan following.

It's thoroughly impressive how he's managed to get his personality out there on all fronts and with a bang - radio, TV, events, clubs... This is someone special, with a talent to consistently grow on you, put a smile on your face and get you dancing. More to the point after a decade of working radio in India, much of his career ruling the evening drive-time airwaves in Bangalore, he's very much a legend... with some very interesting things to say about the industry and his city.

In an exclusive interview with YHIHF, Bangalore hipster Rohit Barker talks about his home town and childhood, his relationship with India's first all english radio station - Indigo, censorship laws, the difference between interviewing a rap star and Keith Richards, the curfew that currently plagues Bangalore and much more.

In a nutshell, who is Rohit Barker?
I'm a slightly bent individual... nothing dangerous though, just your basic garden variety. I love the entertainment industry with a vengeance and love the fact that mostly everything I do has music in it.

Through your life, who and what have been your main sources of inspiration?
With radio I can safely say that Howard Stern has been a big influence. Although I seriously doubt this country and especially this city (Bangalore) will ever be ready for a shock jock. Another big influence in radio has been a gentleman named John Catlett. He set up Radio City in India and has been in the radio game for 60 years. He started Radio Caroline the world's first pirate station and was instrumental in hiring Howard Stern as well.

As far as my DJing goes my biggest inspiration is Ivan. And Nikhil Chinapa was the one who gave me the final push to actually start. As far as the entire entertainment industry goes, I think my biggest inspiration has to be Jenna Jameson... kidding.

Tell us about your childhood, what was it like growing up in Bangalore?
I was a rebel as a teenager. Got into my fair share of fights and trouble. Well to be honest I got into my fair share, your fair share and the neighborhood's fair share, as well. Mental times and late nights through my final years of school into college. Then in my second year of college, Channel V came calling and I moved to Mumbai and well that's another kettle of fish.

RJ, VJ, DJ, MC - these are all the jobs you've had through your career, what is your favourite role?
That's a hard question. I've loved them all. They all have their ups and downs. Right now, I would have to say being a DJ is on top of the heap. I love that audiences in Bangalore and India, we're very very aware of dance music now. And I love that the hottest spot for any DJ anywhere in the world right now is here.

Have you ever worked a normal 9-5 job?
Never, would you believe. I consider myself blessed. Ever since I started working, music has been at the centre of it all and I hope it stays that way till I'm pushing daisies.

Tell us about Radio Indigo and your relationship with the station... you've been an RJ with them for almost 5 years now, namely working on the daily evening drive time show, Cruise Control.
Radio Indigo has been incredible. To be part of the core group that started the country's first english radio station was a career high. From there to be able to work with some very interesting people, to be able to break new music and basically do new things within radio was nothing short of surreal. Most importantly to know that Bangalore has a very educated audience for english music and loves it like no one else in the country makes me very proud to be Bangalorean.

Why did you finally decide to call it quits on Cruise Control?
After three years of seven day weeks, doing seven radio shows a week and three ground events as a DJ a week and traveling to two cities a week, I just didn't have any time to breathe. I wanted to step back a bit and that's why I stopped doing a daily show on Radio Indigo.

Give us the low down on your new weekend show, The Bangalore Hot 40? What's it all about, what time can we catch it?
It's a Top 40 format show as the name suggests. It's the 40 hottest tunes in Banglaore every week. It airs every Sunday from 3PM-7PM. Besides the countdown, I have celebrity guests such as Deepika Padukone, Amir Khan, Puneet Rajkumar and many many more coming onto the show every week. Plus we have exclusive sound bites from all the big names in the music industry. So it's pretty much a packed fast paced show.

What was your reaction when 99% of radio stations in India decided to completely drop English content and just stick with local languages and music?
Well sadly, in India radio has to be a business and cannot be a passion. With the license fees, the royalty fees etc being insanely high, the industry has no choice but to play music that is mass based. Another sad thing is you're not allowed to have multiple stations in India. For instance a radio station in India can't have a Kannada feed, a Hindi feed and an English feed. I'm hoping that all changes soon. But considering our politicians I'm not holding my breath.

In your opinion, how would you describe the state of radio in India... for one thing, how do you deal with the harsh censorship laws in radio? Essentially, how can radio content be edgy and interesting, when it is against the law to talk politics, sex and religion on air? You don't have half the freedom you have with TV, in radio, why?
Well first of, freedom of speech in India is a joke. It doesn't exist. Couple that with politicians who should be squatting in a field somewhere and voila you have the state of affairs we have now. Another factor is that radio is in its infancy in India. Radio in the US is nearly a 100 years old. In the UK close to 60. Here it is not even a decade old. Let's see how things pan out in the future.

With hindsight and a lot of experience working with India's first all-english FM station, how viable and lucrative do you think it is to start an all-english radio station in India? Do the numbers and sales reflect?
I honest to god don't just think but know that english radio in India can be viable and lucrative. You just need to get the corporate dead heads to butt out and let the creative people run things for a while. That way you get people hooked onto great content as well as good music.

Speaking of numbers, could you comment on the way radio listenership is determined in the industry? I remember the method in which the metrics are collected having several flaws during my time in Radio Indigo.
Well to be honest I really don't know what the numbers are at the moment and I really don't care. I do radio for the love of radio and music. I've never strayed into the whole numbers/sales game and never will. There are more than enough suit and tie types crunching numbers. :)

Satellite radio has pretty much died in this country, while slowly but surely Indian online radio stations are coming up with a vengeance - is there a future left for FM radio in a time when the digital revolution is taking the world by storm?
How radio is carried to you never really counted. Whether it was conventional FM, or satellite radio or over the internet or carrier pigeon. What does matter is whether it's a good radio station or not. Everyone has access to the music. Not everyone has access to the on air talent. As soon as the industry here matures a bit and gets more competitive your gonna see talent shining.

For a laugh, tell us about your biggest on air goof up... was there anyway you could save the moment.
Damn... there has been quite a few goof ups on air. That the nature of the circus that is live radio and that's where the electricity comes from as well. Being on air live is like nothing else. But I digress. Let's see, one of the fun ones was when I was doing a one hour Dido special right after her first album came out and everyone was talking about Dido. I hadn't taken my medication that day and spent the hour on air calling her 'Dildo.'

I've had the pleasure of seeing you work your magic behind the mic on a daily basis, but it was the way you use to nail your interviews that really stood out for me. Who have been some of your most favourite and interesting people to interview over the years?
Firstly, thanks for the compliment. My favourite people to interview are the ones who can just be themselves and don't try too hard. For some reason most of the new breed of rappers think they ARE the music industry and want their managers to vett the questions and tell you that you have exactly 5 minutes and want to talk about their new piece of bling instead of their music. Then you have someone like Keith Richards or Madonna who just settle in and say 'Ask me anything.' Now tell me who would you get a better interview from and end up respecting more?

Tell us about your time working with Channel V? What were the good old days like working there, when Channel V had nailed the perfect combination of both local and western content and lot less reality TV.
It was incredible. The atmosphere. The people. The travelling. The unisex green rooms. :) Some of my favourite people and closest friends came from that time in TV. Nikhil Chinapa, Gaurav Kapoor, Yudi, Meghana Reddy, Laila. To be surrounded by extremely creative people all day everyday is an experience I will treasure. Oh and did I mention the unisex green rooms?

Given the choice, would you have liked to spend more time working in television or were you more than happy to just focus your career in radio and DJing?
Very simply, radio and DJing. It's just a lot more personal and you have a lot more control on what you're doing and how.

The Hot Mix with DJ Ivan and yourself is pretty much a staple on FM radio for many many years now - what's the story behind this show and your relationship with Ivan, how do you guys go about compiling the mixes?
Ivan and I have been friends for a decade and a half now. One day we pitched an all dance music show to a radio station. The programme director at the time had the fore sight to know it was gonna be huge and just said go ahead and do it, give it your best shot. And it just snowballed from there. Every week Ivan and I meet mid week to take a look at the new white labels that have been sent to us. We take a look at what's hot in the dance music world for that week and then we structure the set. After which it's all on the fly.

How long have you been DJing and describe the sound you strive to push?
I've been DJing for about 4 years now. I make it my life's work to make sure that house music in all its forms gets to where it belongs in India. Which by the way is right above anything Bollywood has to offer. Let's subvert Bollywood together... what say?

You worked a ton of parties and have heard a ton of local talent, which DJ in India do you really think stands out as great talent?
Well besides the established biggies, two names that stand out for me in Banglaore is DJ Rohan Kapoor and DJ Blaque.

If there is one thing you could change about Bangalore, what would it be?
The government.

In your opinion, why the hell is it taking so long to push Bangalore's night time deadline by a couple of hours? It's not so much a deadline as it is a curfew. Years have gone by, is there really anyway we can fight it?
When you have a government that only cares about where the big money is coming from and just how much of that money they can make disappear, well then you dont really stand a chance do you. What can you do when you have ministers publicly stating that any woman who is out in Banglalore after 11:30PM is a 'bad' person... I guess they say bad person because they really can't spell or pronounce prostitute. Don't get me started on our govt. Or lack of.

What are three Bangalore restaurant recommendations (in different price ranges) you would give and why?
Sunny's, Shiros and the nearest Shanti Sagar

Three movies you can watch over and over again?
Serendipity, Lord of the Rings, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

You are stuck on a deserted island with a life supply of batteries and a boom box, list out 6 life changing must-have albums you’d like to have with you and why?
Christ, that's a hard one. Where do you come up with this stuff ? :) I would include my 6 favourite women to listen to those albums with naked, but hey... this is your interview, so here goes:

1. The Joshua Tree: U2
2. Legend: Bob Marley and the Wailers
3. Appetite for Destruction: Guns N Roses
4. Hell Freezes Over: The Eagles
5. Division Bell: Pink Floyd
6. Greatest Hits: Bruce Springsteen

A massive thank you to Rohit (my old boss :P), for taking the time to do this interview and giving us a little insight on his life and the radio industry! - SG

Follow Rohit Barker on Twitter: Click here

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tours and Festivals: Submerge presents Gordon Edge (The Trumpet Man)

Flyer Design: Namita Sekhar

Submerge are at it again, bringing down one of their favourite DJs and Sunburn regular, the trumpet toting Bora Bora (Ibiza) resident - Gordon Edge. It's a proper 5 city tour and should be good times. Haven't really heard him before, but from what I see on youtube, his sound is a heady blend of beach house and tech-house laid with funky grooves, whilst playing, you guessed it, his trumpet over the beats. A friend laughs and tells me "I don't want to see you smirk when he plays Funkagenda's cover of 'Man With The Red Face' and does a live trumpet solo over it." Not so much the Funkagenda cover, but getting to see a live rendition of Laurent Garnier's classic straight from the DJ console has got to be pretty epic.

The good news for us? The Bangalore leg of this tour will be held by the pool side at the Chancery Pavilion. Get there early to catch Bangalore's own DJ Inferno and Vinod K as they warm up what's hoping to be a wicked cool party. Oh, one more thing, Submerge have got a pretty cool contest where they're giving away a signed Gordon Edge trumpet... make sure to check out the details!

July 21st - Touch, Hyderabad
July 22nd - 1 Lounge, Pune
July 23rd - Mambos, Goa
July 24th - Blue Frog, Mumbai
July 25th - Chancery Poolside, Bangalore

All the details on the latest Submerge Gordon Edge tour: Click here
RSVP the Gordon Edge India Tour on Facebook: Click here 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Movie Review: Inception - What dreams may come

Butterflies would be the only way to describe how I felt before, during and after watching Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010). It really isn't too often when you watch a film and immediately want to watch it again because there is so much more to understand. He's now past the hat-trick, leaving me in this state on four straight occasions, constantly asking myself; did I miss anything, did I get it? The movie going experience has always been enhanced two folds when he is handling things; camera work that leaves you with goose bumps as much as it leaves you dizzy, intricate plot structures and scripts drenched in ambiguously subjective themes, just enough magic realism to make his movies seem real, settings of epic proportions matched by equally epic production outfits. To say he's the entire cinematic package (and more) would be painfully cliche and yet completely appropriate.

When The Dark Knight (2008) got released, it became Heath Ledger's Dark Knight... I cannot disagree with this because Ledger's Joker well and truly owned the movie - yet it was sad that Nolan's credit got lost - he was after all responsible for taking Batman (and the Joker) where he did. With Inception however, the stellar cast matched by their stellar performance is completely and utterly secondary. The real winner of this movie is Christopher Nolan and his vision - take into consideration this is a script he has worked on for over a decade. Throw in heavy themes dealing with the mind and it's functions, the power of dreams and the effect it has on life decisions; throw in corporate espionage, the demons of a widower, deep seeded daddy issues and what you have is without a doubt a contemporary, psychological, action packed classic. 

In so little words, Inception is a visual embodiment of the human subconscious and the effect when you have a sneaky group of colourful characters who are able to immerse themselves into it. It takes lucid to a whole new level, where the protagonist and his team, control and manipulate their counterpart's psyche through the medium of dreams. The process revolves around the notion of planting a simple yet life altering idea in one's being, resulting in a complete change in the way one will live out his or her life. 

From the perspective of creating a movie, the concept is vast and infinite. When you are thrust into the dream world setting that our lead characters put themselves in, you are given a visual extravaganza that is literally breathtaking - not so much surprise as you are dumbfounded with what is being shown to you. Paradoxical labyrinth architecture that embodies infinity and the dream world (you're climbing up and yet being led below) is the star of this movie, it's what will stop you from blinking, it's what will keep playing in your mind, it's what will blow you away. From an imagery perspective, this isn't just clever, it's bloody genius. Taking the setting and dialogue into consideration, it's remarkable the way in which Nolan is able to connect his viewers to their own dreams and subconscious aspirations - you can't help but feel an affinity because a lot of what is discussed and what we see is an explanation to questions we constantly ask ourselves when we awake from slumber. 

One can imagine Hollywood actors literally wetting themselves with anticipation at the thought of working with Christopher Nolan - which is why the casting in this movie is ridiculously strong. I've had my say about Leo in my Shutter Island (2010) review from last month and yet again he delivers. Here he is a little more restrained. Compared to his past roles, his character Dom Cobb is subtle and the intensity is within - it really works given the context of the movie. Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt played the controlling roles well, they made for relieving and didactic elements in this highly charged movie... the former coming of age and the latter really leaving his mark as a heavy weight. The Scarecrow, Cillian Murphy gives an understated performance as the team's target - you couldn't fake his inner battles with his father. Marion Cotillard was haunting as the deceased Mal Cobb and nailed the femme fatale role... she was powerful. Watanabe was a bit dopey and I felt a bit of a weak link compared to the other supporting roles. He was a bit flat - his character in this is just as important as his character in Last Samurai (2003), thought he should have done more with it. A big oi oi, must go to our Desi brother Dileep Rao who stars as 'The Chemist' Yusuf, who is responsible for inducing the characters into sleep for the mission - he along with Tom Hardy who plays 'The Forger' Eames, were effective in bringing in the humour and gluing the chemistry between Cobb's team of mind manipulators.

Inception is a culmination of an outstanding script, brilliant directing, powerful acting and awe inspiring visual effects. Step aside James Cameron, Christopher Nolan is here and even Kubrick would be impressed. Watching his movies is like reading a Dostoevsky novel; a dense, complex story telling process where a tragic anti-hero's obsessions are morphed into his surroundings; matched, visualized and created in a medium rooted by the author's obsession with detailing in imagery, dialogue and character development. He has essentially achieved a form of art where the visual medium carries the same weight of meaning that only a book could achieve.

With Nolan, the viewer is no longer a spectator but a participant - there's always a strong sense that everything is up for interpretation; are you a good or bad person, an optimist or a pessimist, a believer or a non-believer, these are usually the questions you ask yourself when the credits start rolling up at the end. Essentially, it's your own answers that determines the eventual outcome of the movie and when that happens, it's nothing short of magic. 

Watch.Inception.NOW. You're late already. Five movie reviews in and I've hit 9/10. Watching it on Monday again, might have to notch it up to 9.5. A massive kudos to the distributors in India, technically we were one of the few nations to catch this movie FIRST. :) Epic release date for India. haha. IN YOUR FACE AUSSIES! Will this lead to a Matrix type trilogy/franchise? We can only hope so.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bangalore Events: Black Cascade presents Nightshift w/ Sailen & Azhar

Flyer Design: Pia Alize Hazarika

So it's kinda cool we've blagged a gig in a new venue... big sound system, warm wooden dance floor, really cushy seating area and ridiculous lighting. Very happy to be playing our first gig in Black Cascade. It's on a Sunday too, which is another first for us, so we're looking for a chiller vibe. Maybe you'll be reeling for more after the Nick Warren gig on Saturday - so we can bang it out a bit. 

After a harrowing experience playing to a bunch of teenyboppers last week, it'll be a relief to have Azhar with me keeping control of things. haha. By 'things,' I mean we're not fucking playing Akon or David Guetta. Anyways, I understand it is a bit of a bitch to walk through a mall when you're looking to party, but once you make it inside Black Cascade, it'll make sense. Drop on by this Sunday and get a few drinks in you... it should be a good night. :)

PS - How dope is that flyer? Star Wars stripper bitch. *insert pervy light saber punch line*

Directions: Old Airport Road, Total Mall, 1st Floor.

RSVP Black Cascade presents Nightshift w/ Sailen & Azhar, Sunday, June 18th: Click here

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tours and Festivals: Ciroc presents Nick Warren (India Tour)

We've got a big two weeks lined up for us on the DJ front - Bristol's proghouse legend Nick Warren is doing a three city tour THIS week! It's a bit late and hardly 'youhearditherefirst,' but for God's sake, don't miss Nick Warren. For once I can say, haven't actually heard him live yet. Got rejected by a cowboy bouncer for being underage, the one time I tried. I do have all his Global Underground mixes (it's all about his Amsterdam mix) and a ton of his live sets and they're stellar, proper journey music. Not to mention, his production outfit with Jody Wisternoff as Way Out West is considered the genre's finest production act. It's a pity they're not coming as WOW, but from the many many reviews I've read, Nick is an absolutely devastating DJ. Got to interact with him once in a while, on the GU forum when it was actually worth visiting - great sense of humour. Let's be fair, he's an old school legend who is very much sitting with the likes of Sasha and Digweed as a pioneer in all things progressive - I repeat, do not miss this!

Blue Frog, Mumbai, July 15th
FBar, Delhi, July 16th
Pebbles, Bangalore, July 17th

RSVP Ciroc presents Nick Warren on Facebook: Click here
Buy tickets online for the Nick Warren event in Blue Frog, Mumbai: Click here

Friday, July 9, 2010

Movie Review: A-Team - So bad it's good...

Was kinda sketch when I heard this was being released, had my doubts as I do with most remakes. The cast especially... Liam Neeson playing a white haired extremely American Hannibal? Plus, how do you find a suitable replacement for Mr. T? Hmm. The silver lining being Michael Bay wasn't involved in this, but rather Ridley and Tony Scott, which in my opinion makes the world of difference. Remake or not, a movie based on what I remember to be the first TV series I truly followed besides M*A*S*H, this definitely needed to be watched.

A-Team (2010) is a popcorn flick based around a fairly camp 80s TV show, so one can't really complain about a weak script (as I usually do) or talk about symbolic editing and cinematography. You can't go into this expecting a deep plot and Oscar worthy acting, which is basically why I thoroughly enjoyed it. You watch this kind of movie with a bunch of rowdy friends on a big screen and reminisce about your childhood when your parents still had a say about how much TV you watched. The kind of movie, where you see multiple people being blown to bits and cheer, rather than grimace with horror. Where you see your heroes being put in positions where death is nothing but inevitable, but they still come out of it with a mere scratch, a bloody nose and a bit of grime. You got it, think Die Hard with four dudes instead of just Bruce Willis.

Funnily enough, the casting did work in a somewhat surreal way. Bradley Cooper played the role of Face well. I'm hetero, but I can see why he's being branded as the new 'pretty boy' in the industry. When you have your girlfriend squeezing your hand tightly during his swimsuit scene and then going on to tweet about how there weren't enough topless scenes, you begin to think maybe he was under utilized. District 9's Sharlto Copley (his resemblance with Luke Wilson in this is uncanny) was wacky enough to play the mad genius pilot Murdock. Copley is going places, no doubt. It would be wrong and disrespectful if I was to compare anyone with Mr. T, so that should tell you what I thought about the UFC fighter playing the role of BA Baracus. Liam Neeson was cool, but a wrong casting choice... he's a great actor; you just don't pick Rob Roy to play the role of GI Joe, if you get my drift. What did work, the team had chemistry and more often than not, it resulted in some laugh out loud moments.

The plot structure of the movie follows the format of the classic TV show. Hannibal devises what seems to be a near impossible suicide mission, which is followed by 30-minute bursts of ludicrous action, where against all instances of reality, the plan is successful.  You are peppered with funny one-liners through it all, while you feast on epic albeit bizarre violence that Tamil superstar Rajnikanth would approve of. The format did have its shortcomings though, with such a choppy structure, the overall story is lost. The plot is far too loose and isn't tied up as well as it could have been. Which is why as a viewer, you're not really taken aback by any of the twists and turns.

I'm not saying this movie will tap into your intellect or even get you talking. It is however, a whole lot of fun and will take you back to your childhood. Watch it with a bunch of friends and have a laugh, that's exactly what it's worth. A good laugh. Just be sure to keep reminding yourself, this is a remake of an 80s TV show, you get what you ask for.

This got panned by critics and didn't do very well in the box office considering its budget, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have fun. If you're not familiar with the show, maybe its aloofness will go over your head. If you've been a fan back in the day, then it's definitely worth a watch. As a remake, it did the original justice. 7/10 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bangalore Events: B52 presents NIGHTSHIFT w/ Sailen Ghosh, July 10th

Flyer Design: Pia Alize Hazarika (click image to enlarge)

Yay! Nighshift @ B52 is back... if you were there last time, you must have witnessed the laptop meltdown (keep your drinks away from the DJ console peeps, haha can't say that enough) right at the peak of our set. Well, let's just say, the laptop is one piece, my digital crates are in one piece and I'm ready to bring the house down. Unfortunately, Azhar is in Udupi,  he's taking a bit of a breather in his hometown (dude has earned it ;)), so I'll be playing out the whole night. Bit of a challenge, but I'm really looking forward to it. We've been working our asses off on our promos as well, fingers crossed it will be up for your listening pleasure in exactly two weeks. 

Directions to B52: Get on to Inner Ring Road heading into Koramangala, pass the Oasis Mall/Sony World traffic light, it's the fourth building on your left towards the BDA complex, it's the floor above Ambrosia. Valet service is available so don't trip about parking.

We've also tied up with a promoter, Subeesh Zeni, so if you have any inquiries, make sure to contact him at 9886122458.

One more thing, our in house flyer artiste Pia, has put up some really dope artwork on her blog... Check it out! 

RSVP B52 presents Nightshift w/ Sailen Ghosh, July 10th, 2010: Click here
Join the B52 network on Facebook: Click here
Check out Zeni Entertainments on Facebook: Click here

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Month That Was (JUNE): Too much sports for one's own good

Kaiserdisco & Flavio Diaz - Juane
Edit Select - Beneath (Mark Broom Remix)
Audiofly - Salioelsol (Kabuto and Koji Remix)
Matt Cooper - The Brazen Bull
Layo & Bushwacka! - Now Is The Time (Emerson Todd Remix)
Slam - Room 2 (Pan Pot Rave Tool Remix)
Jalebee Cartel - Dub Drop - The Beat
Neil Quigley - Aerica
Martinez - Passerby

in the bedroom
Phoenix - If I Ever Feel Better
Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks (Diplo Youngest Folks Remix)
French Kicks - When You Heard You
Jack White - Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground ('It Might Get Loud' Version)
Jaime Jones - Summertime (Extended Vocal Mix)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Garden
Delphic - Halcyon (Michael Mayer Remix)

  • It Might Get Loud (2009) I suspect this documentary got lost during Michael Jackson's death, which was around the time it was released. A must watch for guitar/rock lovers. A deep study of three legendary guitarists and their relationship with the instrument. So many great moments in this. Basically, ask yourself, what happens when you put Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White in the same room? Need I say more?
  • You Heard It First has just set up its SoundCloud page and who better to do a mix for us than the lovely Chloe Harris! CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SET!
  • The MADDECENT podcasts - a haven for Diplo sets, how can you not respect a DJ who can can blend Petter, Rihanna and Justice? Mashed up, remixed, fucked up. Genius. The Diplo Diesel Party China set recorded 5 years back and everything else are highlights.
  • The PowerBook G4 - so I know the lot of you have the macbook and the macbook pro, but I'm sorry, the PowerBook G4 is classic, indestructible, machinery. A lot of you jumped on the Mac bandwagon a bit too late IMO. (haha, my upgrade should happen at the end of the year)
  • Super comfy Lazy Boys, blankets and pillows, hot caramel popcorn, the missus and A-Team (2010). Gold Class in Fame, Value Mall (Bangalore) is the only way to watch a movie.
  • Breaking Bad - Did a marathon. Amazing TV. Served with a heavy dose of irony. Brilliant acting, brilliant plot structure, brilliant cliff hangers... think Weeds without the weed and crystal meth instead. Shout out for How To Make It In America, also great TV... think Entourage minus Hollywood and Ari Gold.
  • The sports on offer - World Cup, Wimbledon, Formula One, Asia Cup - who said it's boring to stay at home?
  • Mark Webber surviving his horrific crash with Heikki Kovalainen in Valencia - thought he was a dead man.
  • Germany thrashing Argentina 4-0 in the World Cup quarterfinals. The result? Not feeling so bad about England's shite performance. Good to see Ghana get as far as they did. Here's to the Dutch winning it? #youhearditherefirst
  • Pajama bottoms and flip flops - they're so in, maaaan.
  • We can all agree June was typical awesome Bangalore weather? Warm, sunny days; cool drizzling nights. 
  • Kenko Fish Spa (Lavelle Road, Bangalore) - 100s of fishies that suck your feet. Total trip. Guaranteed laughs. Never thought I'd say it, but it's therapeutic. 

  • Claytopia Bistro Cafe (Indira Nagar, Bangalore) - Stay away from this piece of shit excuse for a 'bistro.' Burger fell apart, the chicken patty was half frozen and the missus and I felt nauseous for the rest of the day. When has a 'Rocky Road Milkshake' ever been a Nescafe instamix Cold Coffee? Stick to selling pottery and not duping your customers with shit food.
  • The age old balancing act of watching a variety of sports through the night and at the same time giving the significant other some attention, haha got a bit messy this month. <3
  • The possibility of the R-Fed era in tennis coming to an end? How many Grand Slams does Federer have left? 
  • England putting me off football for the entire World Cup. Get your fucking act together you overpaid weapons.
  • Beer+Laptop = NOT HAPPENING (unless it's a PowerBook G4 ;)) - watch your fucking drinks when you're around the DJ console peeps.
  • Being sick for two weeks straight. Cold, fever, congestion.  Is it me, or was there a bug around town?
  • Yet another cocktease about the 11:30PM deadline from the wanker politicians running Bangalore. 
Sorry this was a little late peeps... June wasn't such a bad month aye? Kinda slow though. - SG

Friday, July 2, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Interview & Mix w/ Chloe Harris - Seattle's Finest

It's with great pleasure I bring to you - Chloe Harris. Chloe has been working the EDM circuit for a good 10 years now... treating us with trippy as all hell music. She's the kind of DJ who really lets her music do the talking for her. Having literally grown up in record stores - this Seattle based hipster has a knowledge of electronica that surpasses the best of DJs. This isn't the girl who was inspired by her trendy disc jockey ex-boyfriend or someone who wanted to be more than just a pretty face in a club, this is a person who has dedicated a lifetime to discovering new sounds. An artist who has well and truly immersed herself in the music. 

Discussing her music is interesting because (without sounding like a twat), I really consider it IDM. You can't stick her sets into a single genre. Her x-factor is in her diverse programming. She follows the old school take on progressive -  where it's not necessary to bust your nut, but rather to calmly and patiently build to a point of bass driven euphoria. Control is very much her forte. Not shying away from using psychedelic ambient to start things off, her sound usually simmers with tension, slowly but surely building to throbbing progno madness. It's a trip. 

In terms of her laurels, there are few female DJs out there who Digweed takes notice of and picks to tour with. Chloe is one of them. Not only has she toured with the man, she's had several guest appearances on his Transitions radio show as well. Mustn't forget to mention that Diggers has also featured a few of her tunes from her record label Further on his mixes. Recently, Further got voted Label of the Month on the prestigious underground website - RA, as well (check it out! haha). This isn't even half of it. I really shouldn't have to say more for you to figure it out, she really is a staple and superstar within the realm of electronic dance music.
click title for details
Chloe was kind enough to give us a taste of her music with one of her legendary sets. Even though she is yet to play in India (promoters make this HAPPEN!), she did a little research on the country and put together a mix she thought would be ideal for Indian listeners. She's quick to tell me that she has the versatility to take any direction she likes; be it banging it out proper or playing loungey downtempo ambient. Right here is a pure journey, encompassing an array of trippy dance friendly sounds; intelligently progressive, if you will.

01. Andrew Benson - Before Glow (James Warren Ambient) [Olaris]
02. Boon Dang - In Your Mood
03. Klartraum - Growth
04. Tim Jirgenson & Ben Morris - Phone (Steve Jones Remix)
05. Fabian Kamb - Electric Room (Ross Couch Remix)
06. David West - Swagger
07. Silky - Paranoid featuring Rainy Payne (Dub Mix)
08/09. Max Demand - Rollercoaster (Santiago Garcia/Evren & Sezer Remixes)
10. Spin Science - Runaway (Riccio Remix)
11/12. Juan Deminicis - Rhapsody (Original/Pablo Acenso Remixes)
13. Ju.n - Corner Of Your Room (Soundprank Remix)
Download Chloe Harris' YHIHF Mix: Click here

In an exclusive interview with YHIHF, Chloe Harris talks about her hometown Seattle, her record label Further and it's cassette tape concept, playing alongside Diggers, the one annoying aspect of being a female DJ, her four year stint in London and much more!

As a DJ, record label owner and producer - can you describe the sound you strive to push.
I really just try to have good music I enjoy listening to. I like everything and could never be a genre DJ. We do deep house, tech house, ambient, techno, house, IDM, dub, jazz, hip hop, electronic, etc etc... basically just music that sounds good and that's interesting.

Who have been your main sources of influence and inspiration as an artist and person over the years?
My mum was a huge influence to me. She's unfortunately passed on now, but she was so much fun. She came to my shows often and I remember seeing her out in the crowd when I was opening on NYE for The Crystal Method dancing her ass off. She was a good one.
I take in influences from everything though, from the sound of the sink draining to bees humping (which I actually just saw live about 4 inches from me a couple days ago).

You've been a DJ for many years now, started with your own radio show called 'Further' and now you've set up a label of the same name, can you tell us the story behind Further as a brand and now label?
Further first started in 1999 as an idea me and a friend had. We set out to make music and use Further as the idea. Furthering sound, furthering art, etc. etc. Just trying to take all sorts of creativity further than it had been before. I started a radio show on (RIP) that used the name and just kept it until 2009, when I finally started the label. 
I didn't want to jump into anything with the label and I wanted to know what I really wanted to share. I wanted to not only do digital but cassettes, CDs, vinyls, clothes, paintings; just share art and create a good crew of people who like to also.

'B-Sides' on Proton Radio - what's this show all about?
I started my B-Sides show when Groovetech was closing the radio station portion of the shop. On my weekly radio show, I'd play industrial, new wave, techno, house, IDM, electronic, ambient techno, etc. All sorts and was looking for a place where I could still showcase my affinity for weird music. Sam and team Proton obliged and gave me a weekly show on Proton where I can play all my weird crap. It's about 10 years old and unfortunately I've just had to change my show from weekly to monthly.

Further Records was nominated Label of the Month on the RA website recently, it's also getting some major play time from the big league DJs.
Being label of the month is really special. I'm glad they recognized what we are doing. It's really nice of them and I really appreciate them helping us get some exposure. I have had big DJs laugh at me about the cassette idea, and I've had one big DJ who told me the tape I gave him was the best promo he's received in four years. Our MP3s have been doing well also with lots of support from DJs and producers, but I really think our physical product is a huge highlight and what makes us different.

Tell us about your upcoming projects?
I have my project called Raica just about ready to drop. Its an electronic thing I do. Album electronics. Hopefully people will enjoy it and then I have many remixes and singles coming out too. Just finished a remix for Proton of Ryan Davis that will be out in July. Then some remixes of our releases on Further of Stripsounds and Darius Bassiray due out soon, and then two more new singles of my own, 'Sashala and Dollar,' which will feature remixes too.

Could you also tell us about the Further's Cassette Tape concept?
I grew up with tapes. I love them and I always will. They are small, portable and you can make them anyway you want. I used to make them when I didn't DJ. It was just the easiest way to share music back then. I used to do all sorts of things with tape players. And so from that love spawned the idea of bringing tapes back and getting artists  to do music without worrying about selling thousands or worrying about dance singles. It's the only thing I would change in the world, people's patience. People now just want to skip to the next track if it's not an instant like and I want them to suffer through it, because they may just end up liking what they heard.
From a financial perspective, is the label doing well? Are you getting yourself a healthy, stable amount of gigs? If yes, what's your secret?
The label is luckily doing well. I would love an agent and more gigs so I could provide myself with the added luxury of eating. 
My secret to making it in this business, eat once a week.

For someone who grew up working in a record store and now an owner of a record label - with a bit of hindsight and looking towards the future, what are your thoughts on the digital revolution? Does Further records press vinyl?
I see why digital is a good thing in that you can put out people who maybe aren't huge and take a bit more chances on certain releases, but then you also have an influx of too much music and you have people who love to share music so it's a double edged sword really. Further will have its first vinyl out in September, Donato Dozzy's album K, which came out on tape this June.

Further is based in Seattle - you've spent most of your childhood there and in many ways you're a leading figure in the dance scene there, can you tell us a little bit about your city?  The culture, the people, the influence of EDM in what was the birthplace of Grunge?
Seattle is a gorgeous place. We're wrapped in lakes, mountains and forests. The city is growing and growing. We've always had a great little underground electronic music scene, but just recently it has been taking off and getting more exposure. We have some fun little clubs like the See Sound Lounge and The Living Room, and bigger places like Trinity and Showbox SODO. I think Seattle still has a very rock and jazz background, but it seems to be opening up a lot. Kids like everything and we are lucky to have a lot of mixed music going on. A lot of chillwave, ambient, noise, and light space indie stuff like Head Like A Kite and The Sight Below, or very cosmic conscious hip hop like Champagne Champagne. Pezzner, Hanssen and The Lawnchair Generals are all doing their own thing with their own style and I think that reflects the creativity in our sound. I think people here will always like the dirty, the grimy, the more interesting and twisted. The more you push them, they more they want to listen.

You've done your fair share of sets for John Digweed's Transitions show - what's that like?  He's probably the first name on your mailing list for all your new music, what kind of feedback and advice do you get from the man, when you're the lucky few he takes notice of?
John is awesome. He's just one of those people; an awesome people.

You've also gone on tour with him a few times, what was that like and what were the tours?
I went out with him a couple times during his Transitions 1 and Transitions 3 tours and then a few other random dates in Tenerife and couple other places. T1 tour was amazing. Playing at Buzz in DC right before it was about to close was incredible. The energy was phenomenal and John played a set that ended right about 9 am. At Stereo in Montreal on the 3rd tour John sounded so comfortable on that system that I'm pretty sure it was one of the best times I've heard him play. And I've heard him a gazillion times. I love when he just builds and builds and builds and builds and I love when I can't hear the tune coming or going. I think what I liked most about going out with him on tour is just seeing how he builds the night, how he reacts to his fans and punters and how he is one with basically everyone. He is top.

Digweed described his recent Essential Mix as a 'Vortex in Full Effect' - can we set the record straight and confirm you were the first person to coin the term 'vortex?'  Never has a description been so apt.
Yes, I'll take credit. It's the moment when you just fucking lose yourself in his sounds. You lose time and then he's on his last song. I don't know how he does it.
In your opinion, what constitutes a great warm up set? How do you go about planning yours - particularly when you're opening for someone you believe is a legend?
I think we've all gone over this one. Being a warm up DJ can sometimes be harder than being the headliner. When you headline you know you are going to play it big and people expect that, but when you are warming up you have to take the time to build, not get excited, and just basically play what i like to call 'waiting for' music. Not music that is boring and dull, but music that isn't in your face or super apparent. You need good creepers and good slight builder movers. You want to move people slightly, but you can't wear them out. You are not the star. And you don't need to play above 125, unless you are opening for Tiesto in which you should play at 128 to start. 

Can you tell us the difference in your sound and outlook when you play a warm up versus a headline set?
Well the obvious difference for my music really is that when I open for someone I don't let go and when I am playing peaktime, I let shit out and hope people want to bust some moves.

You've DJed alongside Jimmy Van M - what's it like warming up for one of the greatest warm up DJs out there?
I like playing with Jimbo. its fun. I was nervous the first time in Mexico City because all my music was stolen a few hours before so I had only an hour or so to get all new music, but it worked out and Rioma was amazing that night. I've played with him many times since and its great to hear him play peak time. When he's on it, he's on it, but he should never play New Order again. EVER. (it's a joke joke)

From what I remember, you did a little stint in London, what was it like being a Seattle girl trying to make in England?
I lived in London for about 4 years. I really enjoyed it. I loved being able to jet around throughout Europe to play and wish I was able to now. I love European culture and the cities, a couple favorites being; Kosovo, Budapest, and Vilinus and really loved the fashion of England. You can get a whole new wardobe for about two quid at Primark. Insanely fun to wonder around the markets and find goodies too. Very special to London. The creative energy in that city is awesome. I went to the London School of Sound for a little while and it turns out the building was Pink Floyd's old practice space. I love that sort of history. Also English TV.  How much better is the sarcasm and the way they target their audiences. No laugh tracks, just very uncomfortable moments. I really do love England for Alan Partridge. He should be knighted soon. As for Seattle, it totally rules.

You're successful and you've made it, can I ask you the obligatory 'the pros and cons of being a female in a male dominated industry?'
I'm successful and made it? Who said that? They lie. lol. The biggest pro I can see is that I don't need to regularly shave my face. 

You've done your bit on various forums, what are your thoughts on forum culture in dance music and on the internet in general?
Message boards have died. Thankfully. Having said that, the internet is my best friend. 

Who are the producers, record labels and DJs you think have truly stood the test of the time?
Oh wow, that's a hard one. I respect and value Jeff Mills on a huge level. He's extraterrestrial. He's magic. He's so creative and underground and he has the coolest hands and look ever. Mr. C is still a fun character. Diggers has done ok too. ;)

What's your favourite restaurant in Seattle and why?
My one favorite restaurant, are you crazy? There are a million great ones. We have amazing food here. La Spiga, Aoki Japanese, Red Mill Burgers, Siam Thai, 13 Coins for late night, Coastal Kitchen, Acropolis and Mama's Pizza are all great.

You seem to have a very unique style of dressing - what are your favourite everyday wear brands?
I guess my everday wear brands would be 'some random name' in my vintage stuff. I mostly wear clothes I find second hand, I'm a total hunter. You could put me in a bait and tackle store and I could come up with an outfit. I do tend to love jeans tho! Back into acid wash. I feel like I am 10 again! 

Three movies you can watch over and over again.
I have to do this one in two parts... new movies and old ones.

New movies - No Country For Old Men, Donnie Darko, American Psycho (I LOVE Christian Bale)
Old movies - Fast Times At Ridgemont High, 16 Candles, Dazed and Confused. 
PS: The best TV show ever in history - The Wire.

You are stuck on a deserted island with a life supply of batteries and a boom box, list out 6 life changing must-have albums you’d like to have with you and why?
1. Skinny Puppy: Remission - Because it's so ahead of its time. Electro industrial mentalness I grew up with and will take with me to my grave.
2. Autechre: Incunabula or Amber - It's a toss up here, I would be happy with either but think Incunabula may just edge it due to it being segued together but Amber has my favorite song Nine. Beautiful lush soundscapes and cool electronic music before electronic music was cool. Glad they are getting back to the sound they used to make. Their new album is very good.
3. Washed Out: A Life Of Leisure - Ernest Greene is so talented. Lo-fi No-fi. Spaced out bliss. This is also the only new thing on my list.  ooooerrrrrr!
4. Slick Rick: The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick - I love him so much. I remember being in 6th grade my first time I went on a holiday and we went to Mexico. I listened to that tape and the D.O.C. No One Can Do It Better, the entire time. I sooo miss good hip hop.
5. Eazy-E: Eazy Does It -  I have the best memory of my old friend Angie Hover and I running away and shooting our friends while singing, NO-Ba-DY Move NO-Ba-By Get HURT and then I fell really bad and hurt myself of course. HAha.
6. Dr. Dre: 2001 - Dre's second stoner album is exactly what I want in my music. Funk, soul, electronics and just one big heady groove with Nate Dogg singing his heart out. Hittman and Kurupt are amazing here. And Mc Ren. It's just such a great album.

um last one and I know that's seven, but you are asking a music nut!

Kraftwerk: Man Machine - My life changed when my dad gave me this at his record store. My life became electronic. And it's probably one of the most important albums anyone can ever listen to for some electronic music history.

I can't thank Chloe enough for taking the time to answer the plethora of questions and for making YHIHF's FIRST exclusive mix. What a beast of mix... a true honour to feature her and her music on my blog. She needs to play a proper tour in India STAT! - SG

Download Chloe Harris' exclusive mix for You Heard It Here First (India): Click here
Preview and purchase Chloe Harris' music on Beatport: Click here
Check out Chloe Harris' label Further: Click here
Join Chloe's Facebook Fan page: Click here
Follow Chloe on Twitter: Click here
Related Posts with Thumbnails