A fantastic return which will appeal to middle-aged ravers and fresher ears alike.
It would seem that with their Star Trek-sampling track Time Becomes, from their self-titled LP of 1993 – “…where time becomes a loop,” repeats actor Michael Dorn – Orbital were already seeing into the future of a perpetual forever, locked into a pattern of repetition.
Now, nearly 20 years on from the ‘brown album’, nearly all of what passed for pop culture back then is with us again now. Yet a new album from Orbital wasn’t a guarantee for 2012 – Phil and Paul would only enter the studio again, after a five-year hiatus from 2004, if their efforts were worthwhile. But public reaction to the pair’s 2009 live comeback confirmed they’d been much missed. As one of the first proper dance acts to transcend the rave scene and grow into festival headliners, some time before the likes of Leftfield and The Prodigy followed similar paths, Orbital’s audience has been sizeable for some time. Crucially, it’s also remained committed – and that loyalty has been rewarded with a set possessed by a new vigour, more spectacular than it perhaps has any right to be.
Wonky is loosely based around the concept of a journey. Phil and Paul actually drew a map of how they wanted the album to progress, with opener One Big Moment the sound of re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, announcing their arrival, leading to Straight Sun’s establishing beat that sets a defining tone. Distractions, with its burbling acid backing and mucked-about-with vocals, calls to mind moments from the ‘brown album’ era, as does the amazing Stringy Acid – although the latter is based on an old tune they found when rifling through early tapes. Elsewhere, Beezledub is the sound of Skrillex being hunted down by dubstep wolves; Zola Jesus screeches a bit of nu-gothery over New France; and the title-track gives Brummie MC Lady Leshurr the opportunity to have at it like a domestic Minaj, with just the right amount of builds to send a crowd into convulsions of pleasure.
Nobody would expect an eighth album by a band 20-plus years into its career to sound this fantastic, but time away has obviously helped re-energise the brothers into crafting this triumphantly grand return. It will leave middle-aged ravers ecstatic, and should allow a new generation to understand what their folks have been banging on about all these years.
New Order, Die Antwoord, James Murphy, The 2 Bears, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Untold, Daniel Miller, DJ Harvey and Daedelus are among the many new additions to Sónar 2012 Barcelona.
New Order, one of the most influential British bands in the history of music, will be headlining Sónar by Night on Saturday 16 June. New Order is undoubtedly one of the key names in the history of music and one of the most influential bands of recent decades. The Manchester outfit pioneered the use and assimilation of the language of electronic dance music in a pop context after the end of Joy Division, and succeeded in creating a style all their own. Innovative and highly respected by the critics, as well as being massively successful, New Order have been responsible for an extensive catalogue of hits as timeless as “Blue Monday”, “Bizarre Love Triangle”, “True Faith”, “The Perfect Kiss,” “Regret” and “Fine Time,” among many others.
South Africa’s Die Antwoord has been also added to Sonar 2012, returning to the festival after their triumphant concert last year to present the excellent new “Ten$ion”. Other additions include the wisdom of James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) on the decks on Friday the 15th at Sonar by Night; danceable electronica with a pop sensitivity from Britain’s Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs; The 2 Bears, the new house project by Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) and Raf Lundell; the highly respected dj Untold, a mainstay of British bass music; the session by Daniel Miller, the founder of Mute and a living legend of new wave; the up and coming Barcelona kraut-pop duo Pegasvs; and the colourful show of mirrors by the American beatmaker Daedelus.
Besides those mentioned above, the festival will also feature Cornelius presenting the band salyu x salyu, the Brazilian experimentalist Ricardo Donoso, the Canadian remixers Keys N Krates, unusual musical-scientific ideas from Japan’s Masaki Batoh, the mysterious 5-piece band performing under the Mostly Robot monicker (in a show conceived by Native Instruments), and some of the most interesting outfits currently working in Spain, such as Lenticular Clouds, Lolo & Sosaku, D.Forma and Esperit!, among many others.
Red Bull Music Academy comes back to the SonarDôme stage with another stellar selection of Academy affiliates, introducing fresh new sounds from around the globe. Performers on the programme include the legend that is Dj Harvey, Chicago footwork pioneers Dj Spinn and Dj Rashad, as well as recent Academy graduates Nguzunguzu, Canblaster, Barcelona’s own Nehuen, future R&B crooner Jesse Boykins III and Doc Daneeka, among many others. More artists will be announced soon.
SonarPro is the Sónar platform where you can watch, experience and find out about the major new developments in the field of technology applied to art. At Sónar 2012 in Barcelona, SonarPro assumes a new dimension and expands its activities to other areas of the festival. Among the contents of this latest version of SonarPro are the second Music Hack Day, the talk with the director of the new film by The Chemical Brothers, and the Meet the Expert activity, with main speakers such as international programmers of music festivals. You can also follow Sonarpro in Twitter @SonarPro2012
All Sónar 2012 tickets are now on sale: Sónar Passes, 2-Night Tickets, individual tickets for Sonar by Day and Sónar by Night and SonarPro Professional Accreditations. Also remember that on Saturday March 31 sees the end of the offer to purchase the 3-Day Sónar Pass in two easy installments.
All the information on Sónar 2012 is available at www.sonar.es and on the official pages of Facebook (Sonar Festival Official Page, Sonar Festival Página Oficial en Español) and Twitter (@sonarfestival #sonar2012).
Sónar 2012 Barcelona: Latest additions
New Order (UK)
Die Antwoord (ZA)
James Murphy (US)
Daedelus Archimedes Show (US)
Cornelius presents salyu x salyu (JP)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (UK)
The 2 Bears (UK)
Daniel Miller (UK)
Pretty Lights (US)
Lolo & Sosaku (ES)
Ricardo Donoso (BR)
Masaki Batoh – Brain Pulse Music (JP)
Mostly Robot (DE)
Keys N Krates (CA)
Lenticular Clouds (ES)
Stand Up Against Heart Crime (ES)
Sinjin Hawke Vs. Zora Jones (ES)
Red Bull Music Academy presents SonarDôme
DJ Harvey (US)
DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad (US)
Club Cheval feat. Canblaster, Myd, Panteros 666 & Sam Tiba (FR)
Doc Daneeka (UK)
Jesse Boykins III (US)
Om Unit (UK)
Andrea Balency (MX)
Raisa K (UK)
Yosi Horikawa (JP)
Santiago Latorre (ES)
Eltron John (PL)
Monki Valley (ES)
Sonar São Paulo Line-up
Cee-Lo Green (US)
James Blake (UK)
Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto (DE – JP)
Jeff Mills (US)
Gui Boratto (BR)
Skream feat. Sgt Pokes (UK)
Four Tet (UK)
Little Dragon (SE)
Hudson Mohawke (UK)
Dj Marky Vs Dj Patife (BR)
Seth Troxler (US)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (UK)
Muti Randolph & Clara Sverner (BR)
John Talabot (ES)
Super Guachin (AR)
The Twelves (BR)
Ricardo Donoso (BR)
Bruno Belluomini (BR)
Nedu Lopes (BR)
M Takara X Akin (BR)
Gang Do Eletro (BR)
Red Bull Music Academy Presents
Flying Lotus (US)
James Holden (UK)
Cut Chemist (US)
Tiger & Woods (EU)
James Pants (US)
Mauricio Fleury (BR)
SonarSound Tokyo Line-up
Ken Ishii presents Metropolitan Harmonic Formulas (JP)
The Cinematic Orchestra (UK)
Vincent Gallo (US)
Mount Kimbie (UK)
Anchor Song (JP)
Ukawanimation presents XXX Residents (JP)
Ryoichi Kurokawa (JP)
Dorian Concept (AUT)
Ao Inoue (JP)
Seiho + Avec Avec (JP)
Keiichiro Shibuya + Takashi Ikegami (JP)
Masaki Batoh (JP)
Bun / Fumitake Tamura × takcom (JP)
Dub-Russell x Vokoi (JP)
Broken Haze (JP)
Fugenn & The White Elephants (JP)
Red Bull Music Academy presents SonarDôme
Global Communication (UK)
Hudson Mohawke (UK)
Culoe De Song (ZA)
Jesse Boykins III (US)
Daisuke Tanabe (JP)
Yosi Horikawa (JP)
Kez YM (JP)
Akiko Kiyama (JP)
Hiroaki Oba (JP)
Amon Tobin “ISAM Live”
“The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales Live With Orchestra”
Party (Shinji Kawamura × Kanta Shimizu)
Came across this from you tube user AndyGaro1 while looking for gear tutorials. It just goes to show you don’t need a studio to make banging techno tracks, just an old groovebox and some goddamn talent. Pop by and give the man a thumsb up.
New orbital album ‘Wonky’ due in April this is their first album for eight years since 2004′s ‘Blue Album’ The album was recorded in Brighton and mixed by Depeche Mode/U2 producer Flood.
I’ve got to say this track does remind me of listening to Orbital while travelling along motorways like this one on the way to free raves and techno nights in Birmingham like the House of God and Atomic Jam at Que Club what a time. This track brings me back to those halcyon days. Thank you orbital for some of the best nights of my life.
Tour Dates April 2012
Thu 5th Apr Manchester Academy
Fri 6th Apr O2 Academy Leeds
Sat 7th Apr O2 ABC Glasgow (ABC1 & ABC2)
Sun 8th Apr O2 Academy Liverpool
Mon 9th Apr Cambridge Corn Exchange
Tue 10th Apr Royal Albert Hall (RAH) London
Full Details of the upcoming April 2012 UK/Europe mini tour are available at the official orbital site
Fresh but Oldschool, TKCD has nicely contributed a great mix of classic and new school acid mayhem for 2012.
If you like your 303 tracks raw and aggressive you need to check this mix out.
01. TKCD – Acid : Phosphoric (In Stereophonic Sound! Mix)
02. Jan Driver – Army Of Mowers (TKCD’s Unoriginal Remix)
03. Chris Moss Acid – Together 101 (TKCD’s Tweaked a bit Remix)
04. TKCD – Acid : Nitric (In Stereophonic Sound! Mix)
05. Dopplereffekt – Master Organism
06. Ben Sims – Barrow Boy Acid
06. TKCD – Acid : Carbonic (Anti-Loudness War Mix)
07. Chris Liberator & Sterling Moss – Massive Line (TKCD’s Tweaked a bit Remix)
TKCDs new EP is available from his bandcamp site, do check him out and support the acid!
After 30 years working on their respective ongoing music projects, Vince Clarke (Erasure/ Yazoo/ Depeche Mode) and Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode) come together for the first time since 1981 as VCMG to release a brand new album preceded by a series of EPs.
VCMG is the fruit of initially tentative discussion and subsequent enthused collaboration where Vince and Martin, both influential as pioneers in electronic music, get to exercise their lifelong love of the genre as the techno inspired VCMG.
As Vince explains: “I’ve been getting into and listening to a lot of minimal dance music and I got really intrigued by all the sounds… I realised I needed a collaborator… so it occurred to me to talk to Martin.”
Says Martin: “Out of the blue I got an e-mail from Vince just saying, ‘I’m interested in making a techno album. Are you interested in collaborating?’ This was maybe a year ago. He said, ‘No pressure, no deadlines,’ so I said, ‘OK’.”
The writing and recording of the album was done in a typically unique way with the pair working alone in their respective studios, communicating only via email, exchanging files until the album was ready. It was in May 2011 that the pair met for the first time to discuss the project when they both performed at Short Circuit presents Mute festival in London.
The album (title to be announced soon) was produced by Vince Clarke and Martin L. Gore and mixed by the Californian electronic artist Überzone/ Q and will be released in thespring of 2012.
The first release is an EPentitled Spock. EP1/ SPOCK will feature remixes from Edit-Select, aka Tony Scott, the UK DJ / producer and founder of EditSelect Records whose previous remix credits include Speedy J, Death In Vegas and Gary Beck; Regis, British techno musician Karl O’Connor, member of the Sandwell District collective and co-founder of Downwards Records); DVS1, Brooklyn based producer Derek VanScoten (Radiohead/ Sleigh Bells/ Emancipator); plus XOQ, the alter ego of Überzone/ Q, who mixed the VCMG album.
EP1/SPOCK will be available initially as a global exclusive on Beatport on 30 November, and then on all DSPs from 12 December with the 12” release following on 19 December 2011.
Logic and field recorder: We discover the way in which the UK producer has made limited tools work to his advantage.
No producer wants to sound like another. Or so they would say. So why is it that so many do? It’s something that the UK-born, Berlin-based Tommy Four Seven has considered a great deal. The difference here, though, is that he took affirmative action. Faced with recording an album for Chris Liebing’s recently rejuvenated CLR, Tommy challenged himself to produce using only found sounds and vocal recordings. The results were fascinating. Yes, Primate is very evidently a techno record—an unmitigated one at that—but this is the genre cut from a different cloth. As we met at his Berlin studio, in a suitably industrial corner of the city, it quickly became clear that the idea of restricting oneself—for whatever reason—has enabled this young producer to find his voice.
You’ve said before that you’ve been messing around with music programs since you were 12—what were these specifically?
The first music software I ever messed around with was a game called Music 2000. I was around 12 years old and found myself totally addicted. It wasn’t technical, but you could write your own riffs and sample about 20 seconds. Although I thought of it just as a game, I think people like Leftfield and Grooverider even released tracks using the program. The first slightly more serious program I experimented with was Reason when it first came out and then another program called Orion Platinum. By the time I hit university I had enough funds to buy a new G5 Mac and Logic 7 (thanks to student loans) and I’ve stayed with Logic ever since.
Many people have said that they didn’t find formal music tech training overly helpful. What is your take on it?
I think it really depends on the course you take. It totally broadened my perspective on music technology. I found interests in topics I never really thought about, such as Foley and sound design and working with live recordings. Soon I began to apply these new techniques to my production process in techno.
And you applied a very specific process to Primate. Could you explain the concept behind the album?
The concept really came about from both boredom and frustration with the techno scene. Hearing the same sounds, the same hats, synths. It isn’t everyone, but a large majority of producers aren’t willing to take risks. It just seems we are going in circles sometimes and I think it’s time we all pushed ourselves to take things forward. I find it almost impossible to finish a track if I use the same sounds in previous tracks—I lose all motivation. So I needed a concept of no generic sounds, such as claps, hi-hat, and synths to keep me excited and interested.
It also created a box which allowed me to focus. There’s nothing worse than having too many options as you get distracted more easily. You need some kind of rules, you need some kind of direction, otherwise you’re going in all kinds of places.
Have you struggled with an overabundance of options in the past?
Well, I think I’ve totally restrained myself anyway. I’m not someone who’s like a plug-in whore. I’m not searching for plug-ins all the time. Everyone’s like, “Oh, what plug-ins do you use?” I just use what I’ve got and make the most of it.
So what are you using?
They’re all native to Logic. I don’t use any fancy plug-ins like Waves; it’s a little bit out of the budget at the moment. I’m actually happy with Logic’s plug-ins. I love Logic for the functionality, the interface, it works. I’ve not found a reason to change yet.
Tell me how you generated the percussion sounds on your album.
Most of them came from just grabbing the mic and recording anything that was in the studio, anything that was outside—some field recordings, anything that works.
What would one of these field trips entail?
Like going to the tube station for example, getting the haunting ambience of a train. Or when the cars drive over the bridge, you can hear this haunting ambience that’s kind of like screeching. It’s really, really surreal. So quite often I made a note of sounds like that and then came back and recorded it.
There’s a track called “Armed 3″ [on the album] that the percussion was made out of tin foil. You just scrunch it up and then there’s a great metallic sound and then that’s heavily processed and distorted. Most sounds have been processed probably like ten times—bounced, distorted, crunched, pitched, reverbed, bounced again. And each time you’re bouncing it, it kind of inspires you to do something else and that’s kind of why I find using recordings really helpful because they’re like the catalyst, they’re kind of leading the way. They’re showing me a direction and I’m just going with it. It’s like you’ve got two people almost working together—you capture something and then it’s the two of you and the computer. It definitely helps when you’re stuck for ideas just to get the microphone out.
Using the example of the foil, what would you do once you have the audio in Logic?
I would then crunch it with distortion, overdrive—that’s a weapon in Logic that people never use. But you have to, to get the effects I do, you have to manipulate it a lot of times. I’m bouncing it out, crunching it, and each time I’m subtly changing it, so maybe lowering the pitch, or changing the EQ and just driving the fuck out of it with distortion.
Why do you bounce audio as opposed to setting up an effects chain?
It’s quick. Also if you’re committed to something, there’s no going back. Once you’ve got that sound it’s there, whereas if you’ve got a chain it could change slightly depending on the plug-ins. So I like committing and that’s a process that helps to focus it as well, to not leave it open. I mean, I don’t work with MIDI, it’s all audio.
Did you find it hard to stick to your self-imposed rules?
No… I don’t know. At the moment I’m just anti-really typical synth sounds. For that project I had this kind of rebellious, “Ah, fuck it, just do something different.” I was working with vocals to replace the use of synths.
Tell me about the melodic textures on the album.
I was using vocals to replace the melodic elements that synths would bring to a record and it also gave that kind of human element and a bit more soul because with all that distortion and the industrial size of the sounds, it was nice to have a human voice to kind of balance that out.
Did the post-processing differ much for the vocals?
Well sometimes I’d come with some ideas, some lead ideas, and the vocalist would take them and interpret them as they wanted to and give them back to me and then I would further sound design those. So yeah, that was a lot of sound design on the vocals to get them working with the elements, kind of some side-chaining, because with digital distortion to get vocals to sit in this harsh world, you have to unite it with a bit of compression and side-chaining. So it kind of needed to be worked to sit in the world of the track. It just didn’t connect otherwise.
Do you find it at all tiring to work with such heavy, Industrial types of sounds?
Harsh on the ears?
Harsh on the ears, yes, but how do you generally find working with “noise” for an extended period?
Especially because I was using headphones for some of it as well… Yeah, it was harsh but I like that. I don’t know why, I love the crunch, the energy, the aggressiveness, the kind of rebellious sound. It’s a bit more what techno is for me, it’s a bit more raw, it’s a bit more true. Techno now is really fucking clean and it’s not really like it’s played in a warehouse.
Tell me about the process you undertake when starting a track.
First I’m going to go and make a recording. For “Talus,” say, it was a washing machine. So I’ve got like five minutes worth of recordings and I’m just listening to it. I’ve got the whole audio file and then I’m just marking—I’m taking sections out that I like and I’m doing that for a while and it’s getting shorter and shorter (the amount of audio that I think I can work with). And once I’ve got the audio that is quite inspiring to work with, I’m then just jamming, jamming with the audio—taking sounds out, turning that into percussion, turning that into the bassline.
So I’ve got like an eight-bar loop going on, it’s just like a live jam and pulling more sounds in until I’ve got something that I’m happy with. And this whole process of jamming, I’m grabbing distortion here, grabbing pitch here until I’ve got a nice groove and then I stop and reflect on that and build it.
Are you literally using the mouse, rearranging sounds?
Yeah it’s just mouse and audio, dragging it and playing around.
And what sort of stage would you need to get to in which you think “OK, this is going to become a full arrangement now”?
Once there’s a nice groove, a nice bass… it might get to that point but I need a kick so now I’ve got to go and find some other sounds, so I’m just going back with a microphone and getting those things or I’m digging into files of sounds I’ve already created and chucking them in. Maybe think, “Oh, hang on a minute, there’s a really nice sound that I came up with yesterday that I’m going to chuck in.” It’s quite spontaneous.
Taking the example of the kick, how would you generate the sound?
I would just hit the chair. I could hit that and then just EQ it. It’s really simple. But I have to say that to stand up in a club sometimes you need that electronic richness to give it more body. That’s one thing I find sometimes with my tracks, some songs don’t sound that rich. The only elements that are really electronic [on the album] were layering under the kicks to boost up, to kind of give it more density. It’s a really cheap plug-in called BassIsm and you can play around with the frequencies and the decay and tune the kick to your kick, just give it that weight. And that’s actually what we did at Chris Liebing’s studio, we took the tracks there and listened to it because he’s got like a massive fucking sub, which I don’t have, and so we were just listening to the bass to make sure it stands out in the club and really just focusing on the kick and the bass to give it enough weight.
“I don’t want to recognize
what people are using.
I want to be like, ‘Wicked,
I’ve never heard that before!’”
Do you find the mixing process easier when you take this kind of sound design approach to production?
Yeah, it’s funny because sometimes what you’ve got works and however you’ve come to that point, it’s got soul, and sometimes when you pull the faders down and start again, you lose that vibe; that original kind of jam that just happens. So I always bounce it down, save that session. I will pull the faders down and bring it back up because sometimes you do get a nicer mix-down like that—it’s balanced. But generally I do have a point where I put the faders down, it’s not done as I go along and such. I think for most people it will probably work like that, but I’m more about not losing my interest in it and going with the flow. I’m going until I’ve got a track that excites me and then I’m worrying about the exact sonics and, “OK, how is this going to sound, how does that sit?” I’m more concerned about the energy of the record, the soul of it— is it alive? Because you can kill it if you have a shit mix-down.
Would you say you’re someone who works quickly?
It could be two hours and I’ve come up with an idea, it’s not a finished track, but an idea. Sometimes it can take a week. It really depends on the track. Sometimes I get fed up and I move on and I work on something else, but I’m not the fastest worker too. I’m really self-critical, I don’t tend to believe in a lot of the stuff that I’m doing, so I’m often pretty slow.
The best tracks usually come within six hours max. They’re usually the best tracks and I usually finish them within two days, but sometimes you need to distance yourself because you can get really carried away and the next day you walk into the studio and it sounds shit. So sometimes I like to give myself five days and you’re not so emotionally attached to it and I think that’s another important thing for mixing, is if you’re trying to mix it down too soon, you’re emotionally attached to some sounds and sometimes it’s not the best for them. It’s hard, coming back after, say, a week, sometimes I just know instantly where to put the faders—”No, that’s not right, that’s not sitting there.”
You’ve obviously got a specific way of doing things so I was wondered if you could see yourself moving away from that in the future? Or do you feel wedded to your process?
No, I mean, that’s why I’ve got some empty rack space because I plan to get some modular synths and just play around.
Do you see modular synths as a way of breaking away from what you were talking about before: sounding like everyone else?
Yeah I think you can get some great sounds from that. It’s more of a personal goal just to know more about that and to play around with that because it’s not something that I’ve delved into much and I feel like I’m missing out on some options of finding sounds. The whole [not using] synths thing was mainly people using presets… I don’t like a synth when it sounds like a synth, when you can recognize what it is, that’s kind of what the whole point was—I don’t want to recognize what people are using. I want to be like, “Oh, what the fuck is that sound? What’s that texture? Wicked, I’ve never heard that before,” and that’s what I’m trying to do with the albums is give people textures that they’re not that familiar with or can’t put their finger on what it is.