Michigan-based, Malawi- native, Atu, represents a new class of producers creating minimal, lo-fi instrumentals utilizing distorted and manipulated R&B samples. The latest project from the 20-year old artist, Pictures on Silence, floats seamlessly from start to finish providing a unique, turned-down and inverted listening experience.Fans of 2000s R&B will vaguely recognize samples from artists such as Alicia Keys, Ray J and Boyz II Men among others through out Atu’s work. This collection elevates the listener to a tranquil state of suspension somewhere at the intersection of trippy, romantic and ambient.
In order to support his place of birth, Atu has released the album on Bandcamp with a starting price of $5, all of which is donated to support children in Malawi. Check out a few of our favorite tracks below, grab some great music and help support a worthwhile cause here: αtμ - Pictures on Silence.
Andrew Bayer, the rising and talented super star that is taking the electronic scene by storm is set to release his forthcoming If It Were You, We’d Never Leave LP April 15 via Anjunabeats. Working with tender and beautifully layered experiences that mash between hip/hop, ambient and experimental, his textured sounds, while mainly electronic, feel just as alive and organic. We have been following him closely and after getting a sneak peek at his latest album, we just had to learn more about the man behind the beats.
We met up with Andrew in Miami, this first weekend at Ultra to talk more about his upbringing and his music going forward:
TMN: First of all thanks for sitting down with us. How has your time in Miami been so far?
It has been awesome. I have only been here for a couple of days. I went to Mat Zo and Porter Robinson’s party last night which was an absolute blast. This is really the only party I am doing so I am just doing a lot of meetings and hanging out all day. I am really looking forward to the rest of my trip.
TMN: You have been a professional musician for a while now, where does this experience rank against the others?
Well Miami is always an interesting time. I feel like half the reason why you go is to hang out with all the people you work with on a daily basis that you don’t normally get to see. It is such an international community, the electronic community in general, I communicate with people that are in different continents every day that when you have everyone in one place it is just amazing to be able to see them face to face. It’s like “I have been talking to you for a year! And I’ve never met you”. That is my favorite aspect.
TMN: Let’s talk about your music, did you grow up playing instruments or is that something you started later in life?
I actually grew up playing piano. I took lessons during childhood and throughout my schooling as well. But I was never really that serious about the piano. It was always just being creative and served more as writing utensil; I was not a performance based musician. I definitely have a musical background but I couldn’t just go play some Chopin or something, as much as I would like to.
TMN: Haha we would be pretty impressed!
Haha, yea I could probably play it if you give me a week to practice!
TMN: We had the chance to preview the new album, we were all really impressed. Once thing that we noticed is the presence of a very intense atmospheric vibe, talk to us more about the production behind creating those experiences.
I love layering. That is my favorite thing to do in production. So what I would do is I will layer tons of noisy soundscapes that are all combined into one backdrop. A lot of these tracks start with weird sounds, that sound like something is breaking and stuff like that.
Those sounds will usually be about 10 different things: one sonar glitch from a submarine layered with final noise, layered with a weird bow on banjo processed through Csound. So there are LOTS of crazy elements that go into one layer of sound bit. That is why I think it adds such an atmospheric production part.
TMN: We love that feel, it really adds such a depth to your sound. Touching on that, do you create a lot of these sounds using effects and synthesizers or do you use samples more?
It is a combination of all. The way this album started was based off a sample, I was trying to chop up samples and use them. A lot of these things I will chop up into a 4 bar sample so it sounds like I am actually retriggering it. Then I will make these sound beds and literally process them through and through at 12-bit algorithms so it sounds like it is triggered from an NPC. There are a lot of that aspects in my music that makes it sound like a sample.
TMN: Your style seems to have evolved in this album, somewhat more down tempo and glitch hop at times, why this direction? Is this something you are super passionate about?
Yes. I feel like with every record you get a chance to do something different. While there was some glitch hop on my last record, this one is definitely more in the relaxing and chill-out section of that genre. But absolutely I like to be able to sit down and kind of do whatever I want, which is a marketing nightmare for the label as they are like “Holy shit! This is a dubstep track, what are we going to do with that?” and I am like, “I have no idea either!” haha But I do like with an album you can focus on one direction. Who knows what I am going to do next. Continue reading →
Myspace is not the only thing Justin Timerlake wants to re-invent, his new album The 20/20 Experience will be out next week and already he has been getting a lot of attention from the indie blogosphere. However, unlike his efforts with Myspace, what has probably gotten the most attention, at least for us, is the caliber of producers that are now remixing his latest single ‘Suit & Tie’. Both Aeroplane and Dillon Francis have contributed their own rendition releasing previews this week and today we welcome a new addition. Four Tet takes the mainstream pop single into an opaque experimental environment where layers of drum and vocal samples are intertwined to become one.
Whether you need a reason to smile or are just looking to put the icing on a great week gone by, this edition of the Chill Dojo is sure to do just that. We’re kicking things off with plenty of bright, happy tunes so that feel-good sensation is flowing fresh through your speakers.
Norweigian disco duo Lemâitre released their much anticipated Relativity 3 EP this week and the final track ‘Cut To Black’ is an absolute gem. Gorgeous chords, a relaxing beat and poppy vocals come together to make this a sweet delight, the definite highlight for this playlist and the perfect way to start the mood off right. And while we’re feeling that disco vibe, what better way to continue than with this groovy dancefloor-ready take on ‘Suit & Tie’ from Aeroplane, made only the way Europeans know how. JT’s vocals have never sounded so good on the top of this mix which is just too damn fun. Let’s throw in some tropical elements now with none other than Goldroom and his latest single ‘Only You Can Show Me’ which is everything you’ve come to expect from the producer that can make the coldest of days feel like summer. And speaking of summer, if you somehow slept on our feature of Ryan Hemsworth’s masterful rework of the Lana Del Ray hit, we’ve added it in the mix as one of this week’s best chill tracks. It’s always amazing to hear how well-known songs can be transformed with a bit of mellow treatment, and that is definitely the case when it comes to UK beatmaker Handbook’s downtempo trap interpretation of ‘I Could Be the One’ which will have those vocals stuck in your head for days.
As always, the playlist will span through some chillstep and plenty of relaxing beats so kick back and enjoy the selection. You’re sure to crack a smile many times over. Peace out.