GDD™ Morning Update: Underworld, Hideout Festival, What So Not

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Underworld recruited by Volkswagen to build “intuitive” music software for drivers
• Disclosure and Loco Dice headline Hideout 2014
What So Not: “Dance Music Is Going To Move Back To A Live Concept”

 

Underworld recruited by Volkswagen to build “intuitive” music software for drivers

Underworld – the gents behind 2008′s ‘Ring Road’ single –  have collaborated with Volkswagen on a new app for drivers.  

The Play The Road app intuitively responds to the movements of the car, creating a soundscape that shifts in line with every subtle change in the vehicle’s movements. The app promises a fully immersive experience, whereby “every turn of the wheel, gearshift or location change, is reflected in the music”.

The way the app works is outlined below:

The innovative app reads how and where you drive, translating it into music live. The app gets speed and RPM data from the GTI’s on-board computer. The steering acceleration and location data is calculated from a combination of the accelerometer, gyroscope and GPS receiver present in the iPhone. All of the data collected is filtered and smoothed before use.

Karl Hyde has described his motivation for becoming involved in the project as follows:

“Driving and music are probably the most important things in my musical education: sitting in the back of my dad’s car at night. It was a filmscape to me, it was beautifully lit and the dashboard was magical, and radio Luxemburg or some pirate station was on the radio and that was everything to me. It’s still the root of why I love music. Being in a car surfing the radio, finding stuff that suits how you feel.”

Head here to watch the app in action. Hyde released his debut album Edgeland - a “radio friendly collection of acoustically driven pop songs”, as we had it – back in April. Earlier this month, DJ Koze announced he was working on a soundtrack for a play taking place in a moving car.

(via FACT Mag)

 

Disclosure and Loco Dice headline Hideout 2014

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The lineup has been announced for Hideout 2014, which will take place at Zrce Beach on the island of Pag.

The Croatian festival will host its fourth edition in 2014, kicking off on June 30th and wrapping up on July 3rd. As in previous years, Hideout will offer festival-goers a mix of beachside events, boat parties and nighttime offerings. More than 60 artists feature on the bill, including a portion who performed at the 2013 event, including Loco Dice,CassyAndy C and Scuba.

There will be a strong house presence courtesy of Joy OrbisonApollonia,JackmasterTale Of UsBicepGerd JansonDaniel AveryJohn TalabotMK,FunkinEven and Âme. The likes of BoddikaRyan Elliott and Trevino will provide some tougher sounds, while Shy FX, Camo & Krooked and DJ Friction round out the drum & bass contingent. Other highlights include KowtonDJ EZDavid Rodigan andOneman. Read Matt Unicomb’s review of Hideout 2013 for some insight into what the festival is all about.

(via Resident Advisor)

 

What So Not: “Dance Music Is Going To Move Back To A Live Concept”

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When two like-minded souls get together and throw all their favourite influences into a musical melting pot, you’re bound to have some rather pleasing ear candy on your hands. Even more so when those two souls happen to be Flume and Chris ‘Emoh Instead’ Emerson. The duo are rapidly finding themselves on festival and club bills just about everywhere and between being headhunted by Skrillex to appear on his personally curated Shore Thing line up, plus the endless stream of well-received singles, this is one ‘side project’ gone gangbusters. We caught up with Emoh Instead to chat about predicting the resurrection of the live act, the over-saturation of the trap genre and avoiding lawsuits.

Pulse: Hey Chris, what’s been happening today? Chris Emerson (What So Not): Not much yet, it’s still quite early for me. I finished my solo tour this weekend and went down to the Gold Coast for a couple of days and I just got back last night. Now I’m just getting on top of all my emails and my press and getting into the studio later today to do some writing.

Explain What So Not to the uninitiated. What So Not is myself and Harley and we came together maybe three years ago and our goal was to try and draw on a lot of the influences we were hearing overseas and a lot of the different styles we liked but we felt weren’t appealing enough to an everyday audience to cross over. We just wanted to pull different elements of different genres and ideas and make them a little more appealing.

Tell us about some of those genres and influences. So back in the day when we started we were quite into the whole chillwave kind of thing and more European house music, Dirtybird and Eats Everything early stuff and maybe a year on we got into that whole trap sound when that came in and we’re still just trying to pull elements from all those kind of genres – rather than make one particular sound, make a collective of all of it.

I have seen that you two have been lumped into the genre pigeonhole of ‘trap’ – do you feel like this is limiting to what you guys are actually about? Very much so and that’s why we’re not pushing that kind of a label because it’s an element that we incorporate into what we do, and I think that much like dubstep and blog electro, it’s a genre that being replicated in a very similar way by a very large amount of people because it’s popular, and it’s kind of limiting creatively in the grand scheme of things.

When you break it down to what trap is, it’s a genre that has been around already, it’s the 808 and the 909 roll on synthesizers and percussion which has also been around for a very long time, so it’s using those and some big 808 subs and maybe some hip hop vocals. That’s a very narrow sound base to be writing from, if you’re using those sounds and those sounds only which is what most people are, it’s very difficult to stand out and do creative things with a very limited sound source. I think the guys that have really pioneered this current wave of sound like Flosstradamus and TNGHT brought something new to the table and everyone’s sort of trying to replicate what they’ve been doing without as much creativity, and the most creative thing about it was what they were doing initially – they were taking this older sound and sort of pushing it and progressing it to a modern day innovative version. But once it became replicated so many times, by so many people in a similar way, it sort of almost washed out the genre a little bit, much like dubstep and other things that have come through, but I think that’s the thing that happens in the modern day world with blogs and sharing and Soundcloud, anyone can put anything up.

You two have been described as ‘the voice of the ADD generation’ and as the club friendly side project for yourself and Harley – would you agree with either description? I think that was even something I put in one of our early bios like three years ago (laughs). We were constantly driving this kind of fast paced, constantly changing, call and response type of music and it was almost like.. .the crowds in Australia in the past 6 years just have the shortest attention spans. I think with technology and social media that’s just how people’s heads work these days. If you don’t change the path of your track to another element in 12 or 25 seconds or so, or put in some kind of interlude people start to lose attention. We had to write music that was quite dance floor friendly but also quite complex. And have a lot of different, interesting elements, all the songs used to have 120, 140 tracks within the piece which is kind of ridiculous and we’ve narrowed it down a bit now because it drained the hell out of the CTU.

Neither of you are afraid to throw out the random and the unexpected. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the Lion King theme song in one of your guest mixes? Definitely and I think it’s a bit of a technique in a set where you play something that is very well known but a little out of the box and it lets you play a song that isn’t as heavy and has much less power but is still quite engaging, as it will keep their attention and what that does is allow you to actually play a song that is only slightly heavier but not as extreme as some of the other tracks you’ll play. You can play something like this and then you can play a deep house track and the deep house track will sound epically massive because it’s been compared to the Lion King theme song for example and it lets you take the set in a completely different direction without losing focus or intensity.

Was there someone you looked to for influence with that particular technique? Probably Adrian [Ajax] was the biggest influence for that kind of set.

Tell us how you got the name? Well my last name is Emerson so Emoh is a family nickname. I used to have a different name but I almost ended up in a bit of lawsuit and had to sign a settlement agreement. Emoh Instead was a sort of play on words from the old name, so ‘Emoh Instead of the old name’.

Are you allowed to tell us what the other name was? I can’t actually! I’m not allowed make any claim towards that name or have ever been associated with that name

We’ll leave it, nobody needs a lawsuit. You guys had your EP ‘The Quack’ released in the USA on OWSLA. Tell us more about being headhunted by their head honcho Skrillex.We’re with Sweat It Out here in Australia and New Zealand and we were always looking for an American partner to release our music on because we very much feel what we’re doing is being picked up quite well by the US –  social media and data statistics showed we have a bigger following there than we do in Australia. I’m not 100% sure how it happened exactly because I’ve heard two different reasons, but one was that Skrillex heard someone who was working with us play a track at I think it was Ultra Music or something like that and said ‘I want this, this is amazing, where did you get this from’ and then he’d also been across Flume from very early on, so when Harley was touring over there, he met up with Skrillex and he showed him the What So Not stuff and he was like ‘I want this I want this, who do I speak to’ so we put him onto our manager and it went from there.

I mean it’s just been really amazing, we’ve had a few high profile artists personally contact us and just say ‘hey we really like what you guys are doing, you gotta keep doing it’ – I mean it’s just two young guys from Australia trying to do something different. So to receive that kind of praise from high profile artists is kind of amazing that because of how much work and effort we put in.

Anyone in particular that’s reached out to say congratulations? Yeah… (laughs) It seems like bragging!

Go on then! A big supporter of ours is probably A-Trak, he’s really supportive of what we’re doing, we met Phra from Crookers the other week and spent some time in the studio and shared some ideas.

Tell us how the studio session with Crookers went. It was a lot of discussion of concepts and ideas and music and the industry which I find more important and necessary, just doing a track together is gaining great experience from someone who’s been at the top, and still up there – we did start something that will eventuate depending on schedules etcetera.

What has been on high rotation for you lately? Lately I’ve been listening to lots of albums so there’s not one particular album, but it’s more like I’ll have some music savvy friends who will be like, “hey you should check this out”. I’ve heard Kanye’s new album, Jai Paul, Kendrick Lamar…I can’t think of them all off the top of my head!

It’s so impressive when an artist goes to the lengths to make an album these days, with the kind of music climate where it’s difficult and sometimes impractical. Unless you’re going to get massive exposure it’s almost detrimental to do an album because the amount of time and money it takes to do when you could have just done 5 singles and toured each single, even internationally. Doing an album can be risky unless there’s a lot of credibility behind it.

Would you ever consider the possibility of a What So Not album? Possibly, but I think for us personally singles are the better option because we’ve found our sound now and we’re confident with each production and how we feel about things and how we want to present ourselves. We don’t have to put forward a huge palette of concepts and ideas and tracks, for people to get the whole picture, and we can tour off that. The problem with our EP’s we’ve made in recent times is that we’ve got to the end of it and management and the label have been like you’ve pretty much got four singles here and if you put it out as an EP you’re really only going to get one or two that’s focused on by radio and online and the others will get overshadowed. So at the moment it just makes more sense for us to do singles.

Do you think things will come full circle again and the album will come back? I think so very much, I even think because of the oversaturation of dance music things are going to move back into a live concept and there’s going to be a lot of appreciation for live acts as opposed to….I don’t know how to put this politely. There’s so much more to an act than what they physically do on stage, that’s like 5-10 per cent of what is actually involved in being an artist in today’s world, I’d actually even say actually writing music is only 10-20 per cent of it then you’ve got agents, marketing strategy and everything along those lines, I think there will be a shift soon to an appreciation of live acts but I’m not holding anything against the people at the top now who aren’t necessarily doing that.

Tell us about the process of you and Harley working together. Its constantly changed over the course of the last three years, mainly through me developing my production skills. And it’s quite heavily shifted to remixing each other’s content and then coming together when we’re both sort of stuck and just hammering it out. Typically, Harley will contribute some great melodies and hooks, he’s quite good with his chords, they’re very emotive and engaging and can hold the base of the track together and I usually bring the strange ideas to the table. I bring a lot of the percussion, I was a drummer for ten years that’s been my forte throughout the piece, as well as trying to find new ideas and concepts and bringing them to Harley for a lot of inspiration and for a direction we can start taking our music. We’ve spoken about this in past interviews, but we’re kind of ying and yang and fill the gaps of each other’s weaknesses as opposed to strengths.

Coming back to Skrillex again, you were picked by him to appear at Shore Thing for NYE. Tell us what can we expect. I haven’t thought about it, we have so many big events coming up. I mean Shore Thing is one of the pinnacles to perform at for NYE so I’m quite excited to do it. We’re doing three different festivals with Sonny over the next couple of months. One of the most exciting times we’ve had was the headline Sunday DJ slot at Splendour this year – I think that was the biggest thing we’ve done.

Describe a typical What So Not set. Well there’s a breakdown of how we play. I have a USB of between 1500 to 2000 songs and probably half of those are unique edits that I’ve done, so either taking a hook from one track, putting it on a really good beat from another track and then a vocal from another track – so it’s blending combinations that people are familiar with but have never heard in that way. Musically I think that’s quite different to what a lot of different people are doing – not to say that people aren’t doing those kinds of tracks, they don’t have the ones we have necessarily (laughs). And as well as that, it’s quite lively, me and Harley when we do play together have a good stage presence. On my own, I’ve worked out how to have good stage presence and still be quite technical without losing sight of either one. We’ve had in the past stage props like inflatable ducks and things that we throw out when we play ‘The Quack’, or for no apparent reason.

Can we expect another EP on the horizon or any new tunes? Yes, we’ve just put out ‘Touch’ that was a free download we did as a lead up to our next single, we were blown away by the response we got for that. We’ve not traditionally had that much hype and heat on our tracks, it was just an original, not even a remix or anything like that, and it got to number one on Hype Machine and that was really astonishing for us. We’re about to put out our new singles, which are even stronger than ‘Touch’. The first one is coming out within the next month called ‘Jaguar’ [Editors note – this is now available - listen above] and another single earlier next year.

(via Pulse Radio)

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