January may be the season of New Years’ Resolutions and detox routines. But rather than force yourself into promises you can’t keep, why not find a friend with whom you can form good habits together?
It’s definitely working for two pairings in Berlin. After the apocalypse-obsessed December 2012, and some end-of-year music reviews that seemed nearly as pessimistic, there’s plenty of music and musicians to make you feel optimistic. And one of these two creative marriages gives us reason to wake up bleary-eyed Thursday morning: I love the idea of dedicating every Wednesday night to music making.
Oscar Burnside, born Oscar Szafraniec, is a great example of the new generation of music producers. He began making sounds at age 10, released his first record at age 13. Now 18, he’s spent his teens getting a steady stream of accolades. This isn’t a matter of computer production dumbing down the creative process, like some compositional instant mashed potatoes. It’s a world in which geographical boundaries (Oscar was born in 1994), the barriers between maker and audience, and the resource requirements once needed to make electronic music have all been erased.
So, Burnside is a young production prodigy, yes. But in a lovely inter-generational pairing, his upcoming project is with a more mature name, A Guy Called Gerald. It promises to be a killer combination. I caught up with Oscar and Gerald this weekend as their label Laboratory Instinct Records took over about:blank. Gerald was proudly sporting a Reason t-shirt. “I don’t play MP3s,” he explained. Reason in Gerald’s capable hands becomes a more-portable equivalent of hardware, drum machines and basslines (often of the acid variety) ticking away in the machine – no need to remember lots of physical cables. Oscar’s own set was perfectly-executed (in Ableton, not Reason), with dynamic, smart rhythms and imaginative harmonies, but his music really comes alive when he sings. He balances his producing skill with vocal talent.
Take a listen – it’s bound to perk up your Monday and get you happily grooving. Two tracks are out early, as we await the full album.
Here’s a sense of what Gerald is like live, by the way:
Oscar’s solo music is dreamy and cinematic; here a couple of evocative examples:
How do you turn relationships into good music? Habit forming is everything. For Tom Clark and Noah Pred, the solution was something they called “detox day,” held every Wednesday. Yes, dance music’s endless parade of parties can be a distraction – and Tom and Noah each keep plenty busy running labels, Highgrade and Thoughtless Music, respectively. But whatever the distractions, I’d wager the schedule matters. And for Tom and Noah, it was also important to be in the same city.
Tom and Noah have paired up in another musical duo to watch, which they’re dubbing False Image. They’ve been making music over the year, but today debuts the EP Wild Kingdom on Get Physical.
The Wild Kingdom promo is the best way to listen:
Here’s the EP:
The EP is available now on Beatport.
We’re quite near this whole crew, so if you have any questions or something you’d like to see/hear from them, let us know.
Found a good way to make musical habits work, especially with collaboration? Let us know – we’ll be covering this all month, and, you know, generally forever.