Five seconds is all that it takes to be subsumed by this killer new production from Apnoea. Igniting Acid elements together with fiery drums alongside the vocal line from a song you already know, I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You pulses with an abundance of fizzy energy and provocative feeling. Their Deep Dive Remix provides an even more excellent alternative as deeper notation is fully employed and is if anything even more impactful hitting you with all sorts of low-end goodness. Second track, Emtpy Streets sounds quite different via rolling arpeggios and commanding percussion equally firing on all cylinders.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Local Suicide. Your debut album, Eros Anikate, has just been released. Can you tell us about the influence the play written by Sophocles, ‘Antigone’ had on the title, where and how you first discovered it?
Vamparela: I am Greek, so I’ve been very well acquainted with Sophocles’ works since I was a child. ‘Eros Anikate’ is a phrase I’ve always felt deeply connected to because it entails the meaning of life; that love wins. When we decided to finally produce our debut album, Brax said, “We need a title, maybe something Greek?” and somehow, the first thing that came to mind was Eros Anikate. Nothing is more important than love, and the album is a product of our love for each other, the music and our audience, the scene and the artists we collaborated with.
The album features a wealth of collaborative artists. How does that process work in practice – are you all in the same studio, or are ideas exchanged online? How long did it take to make the album?
Local Suicide: Every case was different!
High Buildings began with Lee Stevens in his home studio in Vienna. We were visiting Vienna for a gig and ended up jamming at his home.
We started Whispering at our studio in Berlin with Curses. We originally wanted to do a Nine Inch Nails edit but made the basis for Whispering instead. We then worked on it from a distance during the lockdowns, with Curses adding guitars and vocals on top and us adding some production elements.
Moustache was created at our studio with Skelesys during the first lockdown. He was the only person we saw for quite a while, and we ended up making many tunes together that will hopefully be seeing the light of day soon.
Jam Bounce Release was produced with Theus Mago at our studio during his last visit to Berlin. He works super fast, so the main part of the track was done in two days.
Like Follow Subscribe was produced by us during a lockdown call with our friend Begum Karahan. We asked her to say “Like, Follow, Subscribe” in Turkish and English and just recorded it over the phone. In September, we met Hard Ton while visiting Italy and spontaneously asked them if they’d like to do some disco vocals on one of the tracks. We sent them a few, and they chose Like Follow Subscribe, writing some fantastic lyrics about digital love.
We collaborated with our friend Joel Gibb of The Hidden Cameras for Homme Fatal. We have been big fans of his music since forever but only properly started hanging out together after meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding in Spain. We wrote the lyrics together and recorded Joel’s vocals at our studio.
Cobra Wave with Kalipo originated when testing a new VST plugin that allows you to collaborate and create music in real time in different locations.
Agapi was produced by us, and our friend Sissi, whose voice is like a siren (humanlike beings with alluring voices), wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals in her studio in Athens.
Finally, for the title track Eros Anikate, we contacted Lena Platonos, an artist who has heavily influenced our sound and whom we admire a lot, asking her to contribute to our album with a vocal feature. We were stoked when she said she liked the album and agreed to do vocals on one of the tracks. She recorded the vocals reciting a section of Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone, from her studio in Athens.
Local Suicide have a very distinctive sound. Who has inspired you most as artists both within music and from outside of it (any painters, writers, movies etc.)?
Vamparela: We both listened to many different genres while growing up. We loved new wave, italo, synth-pop, alternative rock, indie rock, dark wave, and EBM, the amalgamation of which somehow gave birth to our sound.
If I had to pick a writer, it would be Jack Kerouac and his novel ‘On the Road’, although when I was a teenager, I was obsessed with Greek mythology, Jules Vernes, sci-fi fiction, books about vampires, paranormal phenomena and Agatha Christie. These themes keep coming up in the lyrics I write.
In terms of movies, my favourite directors are Tim Burton, David Lynch and Tarantino. I’m trying to add their surrealism to our music and our music videos. Also, one of my favourite painters is Dali, and Moustache started off as an ode to him and his moustache. Others are Hieronymus Bosch, Van Gogh, Monet and Malevich.
Brax Moody: While recording the album, I read a lot about 20th-century architecture by Le Corbusier & Bauhaus and USSR architecture after studying Frédéric Chaubin’s photo books. I have also been a huge fan of Andy Goldsworthy since childhood.
Talk us through how you made one of the tracks from the album – do you work from a vocal idea, or a bassline etc.? Do you have any favourite hardware/ software you like to use to achieve your sound?
Local Suicide: We usually drafted the tracks on this album with a simple kick-snare-hat combination before recording a bassline with either the Sub 37, 303, Arp Odyssey or Jomox MBass. We then added melodies with a D50, Minilogue, Prophet, Juno or VSTs, followed by vocals and then going back to more drum elements, pads and other fillers. Once we had about 30 elements, we usually started cutting them out one by one and then went into the final arrangement, fine-tuning and mixing etc.
Have you seen any lasting effects of the Covid epidemic, either positive or negative, on club culture when you have been DJ’ing recently?
Local Suicide: We feel that people are more hungry for clubbing than before the pandemic. Unfortunately, the prices for club entry fees and drinks have also increased a lot. Still, the overall atmosphere has been very positive in all the places we have played.
The downside is that many concerts and festivals were less busy this summer due to the price increases and because everyone is currently touring. Also, the fact that you can get covid at any time means people aren’t planning as much as before and take last-minute decisions.
Many people looked for jobs in other sectors, so clubs have also been understaffed. The same happened to the aviation industry, which has caused huge flight chaos with delays and cancellations in the past months.
How would you describe the importance of DJs in today’s world, given the amount of technology available where anyone can become a DJ?
Local Suicide: For us, being DJs in the electronic music scene was never about the technical aspect. Of course, a DJ should be able to mix, but it is much more than that. DJs should have broad musical knowledge, not only of the current trends and charts but also of music history; the quest for new and old gems should never stop. Apart from that, a Dj should be able to read the crowd and find the line between pleasing and educating them. They need to keep people on the dancefloor with music they enjoy while sneaking in more difficult tunes to get acquainted with or that the Dj personally likes. It’s also great when a Dj is interacting with the crowd. We love DJs who dance and look at people instead of just staring at the decks. If it was just about the perfect mix, we wouldn’t need DJs; a computer could do it for us.
How do you see the future for artists in the ways they will be able to make a living with streaming and so on?
Brax Moody: Especially in the last 30 years, the music industry has undergone enormous changes each decade, but I think streaming will stay for a long time. It’s already helping loads of labels by finally generating a decent income from their back catalogues, which they can use to help grow new artists. It’ll also be much easier for artists with many releases to make a living and hopefully guarantee a nice pension. Still, streaming services (and collecting royalties) need to switch to a pro-rata payment system as soon as possible to make it fair. Streaming services must also ensure they help all music be heard by setting up and pushing more niche editorial playlists so that the music productions don’t get more streamlined.
And finally. Do you think music has the power to change the world (or society) or just people as individuals?
Local Suicide: Totally! Music has a huge influence on everything. It can affect our actions, moods and emotions and even help build our personality. Especially young people, they are very easily influenced by their favourite artists. Music has the power to change our mood, make us happier or sad, more pensive or active at any time of our lives. A song can remind you of specific times and make you feel nostalgic, the lyrics can help you escape a difficult situation, like depression, and the music itself can make you dance, move and let those endorphins take over. For sure, music is our life, a part of our everyday life and the soundtrack of our life.
Magazine Sixty proudly present the premier of the video of Cobra Wave by Local Suicide & Kalipo. Directed and produced by French artist Jade Prevost.
While A New Day may remind you of hazy nights lost sometime in the mid-nineties its impact is purely 2022 (plus). First off the kick is a thing of smouldering beauty, which in itself transports you to other places, add to that soulfully charged keys, propulsive bass, vocals hinting at meaningful melody and you will find yourself at a emotionally satisfying location. Thorne Miller supplies the remix giving it all a cool, deeper slant. Next, Lotus compliments care off smooth Rhodes reflections, while The Rhodes Again does as the title says washing over you in a sea dancing chords. Leaving the irresistible rhythms of Untitled with Zulu^Yasabeka to end on a disco flavoured high, albeit a tastefully subtle one.
Beauty in simplicity. Could almost be the beginning and end of the review but that would miss out talking about the haunting, yearning vocals and how they combine effortlessly with the pulsating bassline, alongside captivating guitar motifs and a gentle swirl of intense pads escaping from side to side. It all combines to produce this richly intense production that reaches the word excellent. Then comes the Madmotormiquel remix which adds a grainy sense of analogue into the rhythm section with additional percussion only fuelling the fire while aiming towards an energetic, melodically charged eight minutes.
Hungry Ghosts immerses you in the language of the past being disconnected. That the future has been plugged into. Yet listening to the albums opening Oxygen Beat feeds the imagination with images of explorations in Jazz and radical electronics, both incidentally from the 1950’s and 60’s, so you can’t help but feel that the music is as much about the ever evolving organic nature of sound itself just as it is about the otherworldly reach of dynamic, synthesized tones.
Proceeded by the wildly calming Body Language whose free-form approach to improvisation perhaps says much more about the creative mind-flow of an artist rather than formal analysis could ever put into words. Much like the following Serotonin does – clues appear to come in the form of names. As you continue along the path you rapidly realise that the impact of the sounds and the way then have been loosely arranged around themes has produced something quite extraordinary. Cosmic in the way it is mind-expanding, vigorous in the way it stretches out time to realise resilient atmospheric consequences, there is a robust elegance to be discovered at every turn.
Sometimes edges are torn such as on the explosive Human Regression, at others they are glued back together again as Ceremonism sequences pulses of exaltation via a series of repeating arpeggios. Perhaps, Hungry Ghosts is about snapshots of independent thoughts alongside the rhythms of life’s conflicting motions revealing themselves. You only have to witness Samuel Rohrer playing drums to see it written large across his face. Either way this is resolutely strange, remarkable and utterly compelling series of musical pieces for equal parts: mind, body, soul.
People come. People go. In the same direction, in opposite directions with different intentions. Those moments occupying the spaces in-between time and are the ones seeking out something fantastical as evidenced here. R.Cleveland Aaron’s journey into the expanse relies on copious investigations into the now and an escape to further beyond. His music can be fractured or provide a blurring of vision, much like life does, but can also be soulful and beautiful as particular occurrences are cherished. Try hearing the title track for a start which features all of those things alongside a wondrous use of stereo prompting smile forming inquiry.
One of the many reflective points that intrigue me about music is its innate ability to evolve into something quite different. Something unexpected surprising you with new-born ideas. This series of albums does that. The evidence lies within the sonic evocations hardwired to the human consciousness craving more radical experience. Listen to the quietly exhilarating Twelve.Three.Three.Three containing a rush of voice plus repeating minimal motifs that refreshes memory and word. A seemingly increased use of drums also appears with unsuspecting mannerisms on numbers like In Order to Funktion. Then providing contrast Shifting Perspectives challenges orthodoxy as waves of pads breach the soul while, Outro – Memoirs from My Inner Voice departs with a sense of good grace and the thought that heaven may just be possible.
These are just words written by me, suggested from elsewhere, as a Consequence of listening to A Matter of Light and Depth. If music is more than the sum of purely nostalgic parts for you, when the allure of melody has lost some of its sting, then I’d sincerely suggest you try this as an alternative.
Let’s start with the Art as the cover is the very first thing to grab your attention. Designed by Lyon-based street artist, Brusk the incendiary nature of the image matches the driven rhythms occupying Cook Strummer’s excellent selection inside. What sets this compilation aside is the exciting diversity of the music along with the different moods and atmospheres realised. Vocals are touched upon, heavy drums explored and futuristic synthesizers expanded all in the course of this explosive journey that never loses sight of the dancefloor, or for that matter the emotional thought process underlying it.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Cook Strummer. What struck me about the music you have released to date is just how varied it has been starting with Memories back in 2014 and more recently this year’s club fuelled, Atmosphere. How important is being musically diverse for you as an artist?
Thanks for having me, Sixty ! About the variety of styles I released so far, my music journey has been quite a ride. I started more than 20 years ago, playing rock’n roll with bands and touring. I moved to Berlin 10 years ago, that’s when my music changed, and slowly switched from live recorded productions/sets (with a band), to analog live sets, and finally to a hybrid setup.
Musical diversity in my case is a synonym of adaptation. Adapting to a momentum, a time frame, in order to reinvent myself. I have respect for everyone out there who has the guts to express its individuality, no matter what type of music. That’s my current mindset. Respect, assimilate, adapt.
Do you feel that modern electronic music can lack the power of voice and words to convey meaning, given that they are so often not used in favour of instrumentals? Tell us about the process of how you write words for music – do you have a particular microphone you use to record vocals?
Modern electronic music is so vast ! Business techno tracks often include just a couple of words, while house music is sometimes built around meaningful vocals. I personally come from Rock music, singing and writing songs represent the core of my musical journey. When I start a new track, very early in the process, I spontaneously drop words / sentences and most of the time these are final, defining the main story line. Each song I write is inter-connected with the others, like a big puzzle. But I have been writing songs since I’m 14 years old, and the topics I approach (spirituality, self-development, clubbing, etc.) are part of an ongoing lifetime’s work. I record most of my vocals at home with a Rode NT2-A.
Your forthcoming selection for Get Physical’s, Berlin Gets Physical series begins with For Berlin. Can you talk us through how this track was created (or another one from the album) including any favourite hardware / software you like to use?
‘For Berlin’ is a track I’ve made to pay my respect to the city I’ve been living in for 10 years. It’s about partying, being in a club with friends and not being able to leave. ‘Last round’ refers to the ‘last drink’ before leaving, leading automatically to another dance, then another drink. And in Berlin, the clubs usually stay open for days, so it can be an endless circle if the party is good 🙂
I produce mainly with VSTs and Ableton these days, except for the basslines (I record my Fender Rascal bass), guitars (Fender Stratocaster) and vocals (Rode NT2-A)
What is the story behind the stunning cover artwork?
Glad you like the cover ! This collection will come digitally but also as two different vinyl versions – one will be available publicly, the other is a special edition. The artwork has been produced in collaboration with the Belgian gallery, Mazel Galerie. The cover art for it was designed by Lyon-based street artist Brusk and the original will be auctioned by the same gallery in Brussels.
Do you think Dance/ electronic music is in a healthy place creatively? What effect do you think nostalgia has on the creative process?
I think there’s never been SO MUCH music out there. I find it amazing. The way we can find music instantly, look back, trace the evolution of micro genres… So many references, it became like a huge melting pot. My recent releases are representative of this momentum, digging in many references, creating something new, with a hint of nostalgia for cold wave / post punk. Nostalgia to my point of view is analogic reasoning, being self conscious about references that shaped personal musical backgrounds, and embracing these.
What are the origins of OBSOLET? How was it set-up and what is the philosophy behind it?
OBSOLET is a crew and record label from Berlin, composed of Max Joni, SoKool, Mukkimiau, Dan Buri, Marvin Jam, Modshape and myself. Nothing is OSBOLET, everything is.
When did you first start playing guitar and who influenced you? Which guitar is your favourite to play?
I started playing guitar when I was 13 years old. Before that, I played piano from 6 years old till 12, classical and Jazz. My parents told me that if I keep up till I become 12 years old, I can choose my instrument. I used to be obsessed with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, the songwriting and the atmosphere they managed to create. I also was influenced quite early by The Clash, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Joy Division, Black Sabbath, Motor Head…
The Telecaster was my first fancy guitar, I played it for 10 years, then I switched to the Stratocaster due to its sound versatility.
Like walking backwards in time this compilation follows the path explored by Lux and Ivy pointing you in the direction of the unknown in all its late-night wonder. Sounding like every piece of cinema you’ve ever fallen in love with these ode’s to lost love and off the beaten track suggestion provide a journey every bit as wondrous as the others in their quest to unearth or to reacquaint the listener with the joy of jazz, celluloid and perhaps the occasional illicit encounter. If that suggestion turns you off you are missing out on some equistite sounds from the Buddy Collette Septet’s classic Taboo to the John McFarland Sextet’s grainy yet beautiful strains of Tangerine, to Stan Kenton’s explosive Latin flairs to Bill Russo’s travels through the Seven Deadly Sins which prove to be conceptual and robustly realised. Put simply, more joy to behold.
Also important to note the music has been remastered from the original sound sources, with wonderfully expressive sleeve notes provided by MOJO’s Dave Henderson.
Steeped in a history that’s currently sparking renewed interest in the UK’s take on the integration of Jazz and Funk these two gems from bands furtive early-eighties period set pulses racing. The trademark intensity still rings true as quick-fire drums and sparkling basslines underpin sultry vocals alongside cool, energised keys which all sound so resolutely refreshing in so many ways. For me it’s Mariposa which stands out head and shoulders espousing beautiful, dancing melodies breezing so elegantly across the grooves.