Easily one of the most influential architects thriving around the edges of dance & electronic music today, Joe Goddard seems to carry a certain gravitas whenever his name is attached to anything. Known by most casuals as one of the chief patrons behind almighty indie-tronica troupe Hot Chip, and co-founder of Greco-Roman Records (the same label which helmed debut releases from the likes of Disclosure, Roosevelt & TEED), Goddard has also quietly carved out quite the tastemaking assemblage of admirers over the course of 20 years worth of high profile remix work as a solo artist. Goddard’s latest single to come from the aforementioned Greco-Roman camp, “Lose Your Love”, received its visual counterpart today, and quite honestly, it’s one of the more polished and funnier music videos we’ve seen over the year.
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Unless this is the first time you’ve trekked through the hallowed grounds of TMN, you’ve no doubt ran into at least a song or two from L.A. based producer Josh Legg and his solo remix project turned nationally touring live act Goldroom. He, and the rest of Goldroom’s live iteration just recently wrapped an expansive, 30 date live co-headlining tour with fellow TMN regulars Autograf, and before quite a memorable show in Boulder, CO, we had a chance to catch up with Josh on the heels of Goldroom’s debut long-player West of the West, and ended up having one of the more in-depth conversations regarding music we’ve had in some time. Enjoy our interview with Goldroom below.
The Music Ninja (TMN): Alright… Matthew Bloss of The Music Ninja here with Josh Legg, the mastermind behind the Goldroom acclaim. First off, thanks so much for taking the time before your show to sit down with us. Firstly, you just recently released your first full length LP under the Goldroom name, West of the West, which we’ve had the chance to listen to a couple times and I really, really enjoyed it. After talking to friends around the music industry who know you, and from following your social media accounts, this was something that has been years in the making. Can you speak a little more to that? How long has West of the West, been coming together, and how does it feel now that it’s finally out?
Josh Legg (JL): Yeah, I mean there was a moment in time, probably in 2013, right after we started to tour with the live band for the first time, that it was just really clear that at some point if things went the right way that at some point I was going to need to put a record out. And I’ve always lived my life, sort of through albums of other people’s. So, I started thinking about it right then… I was thinking about the first Goldroom record as early as January of 2013, so I’ve kind of been writing for it for three years now. But, I don’t know, it’s weird… You were saying earlier, that you guys have been paying attention for along time. But, if I walk into a radio station or something like that, I’m going to talk about it (West of the West) like it’s my first statement, but in a lot of ways it feels like my sophomore record because the Embrace EP took me all around the world twice, and I got to play Coachella this year, and I released that independently… and that EP did all of this. It’s a seven song EP, and for a lot of purposes it worked as my debut full-length record, so this is actually closer to my sophomore record from sort of a traditional perspective. But, I wasn’t thinking about that EP in the same way that I was thinking about West of the West. I wasn’t thinking like, “Hey, would I be proud of this if I died?” But, I have been thinking about that with this record. I wanted this record to be so good that, when I die, I’m going to be like “I have this at least. At least I did this, and I’m proud of it.” hahaha. And, I don’t know, as things went a long, I started to feel more and more strongly about certain things about the way producers in my world were making records. And I was getting more and more discouraged with the fact that it was just this endless cycle of people throwing acapellas to each other, and getting random features and finsing out that the artists, that you think that you love didn’t even write the song that you loved. And, I want a glimpse into people’s hearts I guess. And so, the only thing that I promised with this record is that for better or for worse, it would really be me.
Read the rest of our interview with Josh Legg after the jump!
As a trailblazer in the field and a posterboy to the new electronic movement, Peder Losnegård is far beyond needing introduction. Abandoning previous musical incarnations, Lido emerged as a preeminent producer a few years back, co-creating Halsey’s Badlands LP and touring around the country in support of his own works. While also gaining some notoriety for credits on works with Chance the Rapper, Alison Wonderland, and Banks, his star continued to grow brighter by the month. Over the course of 2016, Lido has made major headway in cementing his place among the dominant producers of the era – along with the likes of Flume, Hudson Mohawke, Cashmere Cat, and Jack Garratt.
Perhaps the singular album in the last five years with the most profound impact on this writer’s favored aural aesthetics came in the form of Black Marble‘s 2013 dark-wave meets lo-fi pop opus, A Different Arrangement. Chris Stewart’s subtle manipulation of simple pop structuring, goth-punk undertones, reverb-entombed incantations and a foundation of stripped down, new-wave drum kits struck an internal chord so deep, that it all at once ushered in a frame shift in taste moving forward, and a simultaneous return back to my youth punk, consumer days. And so (and forgive me for the long-winded intro), after a bit of a dormant writing state and with the recent release of the second Black Marble long-player, It’s Immaterial out now on Ghostly, I’ve been roused to return to covering music that truly moves my personal soul.
One of the first three singles to be released from It’s Immaterial, “Woods” (along with the stellar “Iron Lung” & “Frisk”) has just brandished its visual accompaniment from director Theo Sixou, who also directed Black Marble’s 2013 video for “A Great Design”; and it quite wonderfully enhances its haunting infrastructure. It’s darkly verdant backdrop and visual themes tie in fluently with “Woods”‘ longing nature, twisting up its viewer in the process. Black Marble is currently a few dates into a mini-tour supporting It’s Immaterial, and we would highly advise our wise readers to check them out in the flesh if they’re coming to a city near you. Until then, enjoy the official music video for “Woods” below.
Lying To You (RAC Mix)
Josh Legg’s bedroom recording project turned full-fledged live troupe, Goldroom, has been a mainstay for years here at TMN. His brand of syrupy-slick, dancefloor-directed electro-pop has captured the hearts (and ears for that matter) of listeners from a plethora of genres. Whether it’s the indie archetypes, bubblegum pop consumers, or underground dance fans; Goldroom’s sounds has a resonation that few “dance” acts could dream of achieving. No doubt part of that luster and allure comes from the seemingly endless malleability of a Goldroom tune. Legg’s polished singles can be flipped, chopped and beefed up in so many different directions; and they have been as well. On the heels of a debut long player, West of the West, and accompanying national tour with Autograf (tour dates are listed below), Goldroom’s “Lying To You” has been scooped up by another one of our favorite producers, Andre Allen Anjos -better known to the world simply as RAC.
With similar yet opposing structural aesthetics, RAC remains true to the essence of Goldroom’s original recording, but whereas its counterpart is a slow-burning slice of 80’s nostalgia with a contemporary vocal, Anjos minimalizes his approach even further using a rolling synth punch and flitty pad work to make his mark. We’re big fans of both, but a fresh coat of RAC wax on a tune always stokes our fancy. Listen to RAC’s remix above, and check out the dates for Autograf & Goldroom’s tour below.
When we finally drove over the Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, we were only riding on a couple of hours of sleep. My business partner and I were already sixteen hours in for the long trek from the Arizona desert to Northern California’s lush Symbiosis Festival. When we finally made it to the gate a few hours later I found myself surrounded by waves of exuberantly dressed people of all shapes and sizes; I couldn’t help but feel like an outsider looking in.
This was my first transformational festival, but definitely not my first transformational experience. Fifteen months earlier I was living and teaching my way through Asia. I’ve meditated with Tibetan monks in Dhramshala, India and trekked through the Himalayas in Nepal. I mean, what could Symbiosis really offer me that was new I found myself wondering.
2016 has been a giant, defining year for both Phantogram -the shape-shifting pop duo comprised of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, and Brooklyn based genre-eschewing producer James Hinton, better known as The Range. Both acts have jumped out of the gates with strong album entries to their name: Phantogram’s Three and The Range’s Potential, and on the heels of those worthy LP’s they’ve just kicked off a joint North American to pace the Fall season. Tomorrow night in Denver, at one of the city’s most notable and storied venues, Phantogram and The Range bring their opposing yet suitable sonic aesthetics to the Fillmore Auditorium for the tour’s second stop, and our Ninja feathers are rather ruffled with anticipation.
While Phantogram have for years layed their stamp as perhaps the most notable U.S. electro-pop darlings turned mega stars; it is The Range that has our interest thoroughly piqued. The aforementioned Potential, is a journey in textures and sounds, carefully steeped in history and samples. Relatively new to the landscape of exciting producers, The Range and its LP counterpart Potential carry with them a lush, weighty backbone and the kind of genre splicing usually reserved for more seasoned producers with decades invested in the game. After a couple of listens it starts to become pretty clear why we’ve been hearing terms like “digital archaeologist” get thrown around when describing The Range’s sound. Needless to say, we’re rather prepped for this one tomorrow night, and to get the ball rolling, we’ve put together a mini playlist below highlighting some of our favorite cuts from both artists. Tickets to the show can be found here, and a complete list of Phantogram and The Range’s tour dates can be found here.