San Francisco producer Charlie Yin, aka Giraffage, paints a radiant, colorful picture through his music. As a true student of R&B (seriously, he remixed The-Dream‘s Love/Hate album in its entirety), he has crafted an experimental electronic sound with the perfect sensibility towards the hits of the 2000s. His latest EP, No Reason, has a notable depth and cohesion that feels playful and supremely soothing, yet fully dance-floor ready. With its lush melodies and sonic plot twists, the project awakens an encompassing range of emotions and senses making for more than just an auditory experience. In a way, the music feels like a physical place with its ability to transport the listener to a whole new dimension–something we all need some times.
We were lucky enough to pick Charlie’s brain with a few questions about his new project, musical inspirations and dream collaborations among other topics. Enjoy this fun conversation and stream his phenomenal EP below. No Reason is out now via the always on-point Fool’s Gold Records and is available for purchase via iTunes. Giraffage is also in the midst of an international tour–check his upcoming dates here.
TMN: When did you first start making music? And was there a particular album, song or artist who really inspired you at that time?
Giraffage: I started making music near the beginning of high school. At the time, I was really into pop-punk and technical math rock stuff.
TMN: One of your original monikers was Robot Science. Do you see that as an alter-ego (like Caribou v. Daphni) or was that just the original iteration of Giraffage?
Giraffage: I saw that as a learning experience more than an alter-ego, a lot of songs were just so unpolished and poorly mixed. However it did help me learn the ins and outs of releasing songs to an audience. Robot Science still has a special place in my heart.
TMN: The prevalence of soul & 90s-early 2000s R&B in the current electronic music landscape across sub-genres is hard to ignore. Both more broadly and for yourself, what is it about those eras of music that you think has brought them back to the forefront?
Giraffage: I think a lot of big producers nowadays were growing up listening to that era of 2000s r&b. As a result, the influence definitely carried through. For me personally, even though I love pop music nowadays, I think pop music back then had a lot more catchy hooks and overall more clever songwriting and technicality to it. People are starting to appreciate musicianship and that kind of stuff more than ever these days.
Slow Down Molasses
Winter Sun (Miles Cooper Seaton Mix)
First things first – sit down, grab the fanciest headphones you own, and prepare to transcend into an unusual state of mind with Miles Cooper Seaton for the next 5 minutes. As we gain more momentum towards Winters embrace, Miles Cooper Seaton sends us into a hallucinatory state of mind after taking on the likes of Canada’s very own, Slow Down Molasses and their original track, “Summer Sun”. Seaton flips this Summer sensation into a breath of fresh air, which seemingly comes off in the literal sense after listening to this on repeat. Filled with refreshing atmospheric elements, hauntingly euphoric percussive patterns, and intoxicating reverberated vocal synths, Miles Cooper Seaton creates mental images of elusive, shape-shifting figures that float around the harmonic progression of this stunning mix. When comparing this to the original, we can’t help but point out that each version resonates something entirely different in which Seaton breaks down Slow Down Molasses’ song to its simplistic pieces and paints an ethereal portrait of a soothing Winter solstice. After deconstructing this mix and analyzing the depths at which we are taken, we applaud Miles for serving the original justice by creating a version that could be considered an original on its own. With a combination like Slow Down Molasses and Miles Cooper Seaton, we can’t help but swoon ourselves into an icy nirvana that has allowed our minds to ascend itself into a mesmerizing lucid dream. As we continue to drift along these bone-chilling frequencies, we suggest you prepare to escape for the rest of the day…or week for that matter.
Back in April of 2013, we premiered “Birdcage Chain,” a nuanced trap masterpiece that introduced us to then 16-year-old beatsmith, Mura Masa. Since the release of his impressive self-titled EP last year, the young UK producer has been evolving and expanding his style to encompass an unmatched repertoire of sounds and influences. After providing a few promising glimpses into his debut album recently, the now 18-year-old musician released his debut album yesterday.
Soundtrack To A Death serves as a fitting title for the project with each song representing a lifetime of its own only to be reincarnated with the next in a refreshing, yet unified manner. While the trap percussion undertones remain prevalent, their booming qualities are contrasted with a mix of gorgeous pianos and synths, unique eastern sounds, engineered electronic instrumentation and flawlessly placed vocal samples. It’s difficult to establish favorites on a project as complete as this one, but we’ve shared a few above that portray its diversity. “…Girl” may best capture Mura Masa’s musical genius as he takes a simple piano melody and builds a masterfully arranged tune that is versatile and endlessly addicting.
In listening to this album, you get the sense that Mura Masa creates meticulously, with attention to every detail and subtlety, resulting in a mind-altering, deeply emotional listening experience, which brings to mind artists like Flying Lotus and XXYYXX. Although “Future” has always seemed like a strange genre classification, Mura Masa truly pushes musical boundaries on this project taking the current direction of electronic music to a whole new level and, at only 18, he is quite literally the future. Soundtrack To A Death can be streamed in its entirety and purchased over at Bandcamp; and is also available on iTunes.
P.S. Hit the jump to see the epic video for “…Girl” and listen to Mura Masa’s remix of Aryay‘s “The Lawnmower,” which just won the official remix contest.
To have an open mind is to be willing to experience all the new glorious things. And since the world of ”indie” music is like digging your hand into a bag full of glorious musical treats we have never heard before, we must be ready to embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly. Basically, what we are saying is…Go into every Indie Dojo with open ears and open hearts. If you hate the song, skip right over it. If you love it, dig deeper into the world that inspired the inspired. It’s a beautiful, vast musical world out there, but if you go in with ears wide shut, you might miss out on the next “can’t take this off repeat EVER” song…….and you know we all love finding those gems.
Glimmer of Bloom
Wake Me Up
Eliza Hull ft. Texture Like Sun
NEVER MIND THE FINE PRINT
Jackal and the Wind
Boat Thats Capsized
Bar In Every Room
It’s clear that South African producer Martin Folb maintains an astute and forward thinking grasp on electronic production that other artists could only dream of. From his inspiring work with PANTyRAID and multi-faceted MartyParty solo project, Folb has put forth quite the diverse library of music over the years. Yet Primal Intent, his newest collaboration with Miami bred Paul Gorman, sees a paradigm shift into the world of more club driven beats, and away from the more expansive, glitch wielding tunes which have been attached to the MartyParty & PANTyRAID brands. The duo’s first single, “Bar In Every Room” delves within a multitude of styles from minimal techno, soul, and all permutations of the prefix before “-step”. We’re bounced back and forth between layered two-step melody,pounding four-four bass and hip-hop infused claps; giving off an ambience somewhere between Berghain’s darkest techno parties and a straightforward trap banger. Primal Intent’s debut self-titled LP is set to be released tomorrow, November 18th, on iTunes so before then, get your fix with “Bar In Every Room” above.
Halloween has come and gone, which only means we are about to be bum-rushed by a plethora of holidays. The excitement of travel plans, massive food consumption, and money spending can all be a little overwhelming, so when things start to tailspin into a blur of pumpkin spice, turkey stuffing, and peppermint dreams, kick your feet up to an Indie Dojo. Don’t worry, the holidays will still be here. You can take them on whenever you are ready.
Northeast Party House
Mad As They Come
San Francisco producer Giraffage has been steadily gaining momentum over the last couple years developing a unique sound that combines electronic elements with hip-hop, R&B and lo-fi influences. Gearing up to release an EP later this month, the talented artist dropped off a gem of a first single last week and it’s certainly one of our favorites to date.
“Tell Me” starts off with a synth-driven, hi-hat heavy backdrop that makes way for a brilliant breakdown at the 1:18 mark. Through the track’s unorthodox arrangement, Giraffage brings the infectious, minimalistic melody to the forefront creating an atmosphere of absolute euphoria. Give this incredibly original cut a listen above–Giraffage’s No Reason EP drops on November 18th via Fool’s Gold Records and is available for pre-order here.