[Indie Pop] Wild Combination – Pulses

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Boy, I can’t seem to get away from the United Kingdom right now–musically, at least! This new EP from Wild Combination found its way into my in-box, and I continue to be impressed with the collective efforts of musicians in the UK. “Pulses” offers the listener some well done indie pop that won’t leave the music snob (yours truly) wanting for more complexity. With intricate guitar picking, solid top shelf drumming and smoothly delivered, thoughtful lyrics, “Pulses” is an EP you can pop in your ear buds while you’re walking around the city, even if you’re not on the East side of the Atlantic.

“Whole Lotta Truth,” emerges with high energy–a perfect pop tune. The guitar work in the piece is exceptional, but not so much as to be overwhelming: the song retains it’s catchy nature and is something you can sing along to. The down tempo “Kaleidoscope,” is also notable with it’s dreamy electro synth touches. The base and guitar interplay nicely, forming a little tapestry that the listener can enjoy. “Waves,” was another one to catch my attention with it’s sliding bass lines and trickling guitar notes that compliment the title of the song well.

This is a solid little EP for fans of the indie pop and very much worth the purchase. Enjoy the tracks mentioned here and find their entire EP on Soundcloud.

Wild Combination
Whole Lotta Truth
Wild Combination
Waves
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[TMN Exclusive Interview] Digital Farm Animals Sits Down WIth The Music Ninja

WzFUHiO
Digital Farm Animals
Adore You Feat. Ofei

Part of the driving force behind The Music Ninja is the ability to discover and break artists before most other mainstream music publications have a chance. While literally boatloads of music are unloaded upon the TMN offices every day, it is more than a treat when a piece of music stops its listener firmly in their tracks. Such was the case with London based, multi-faceted and uber-talented producer Digital Farm Animals. A few weeks back we had the opportunity to debut DFA’s new single “Adore You” along with his lush brand of electronicism; which employs instrumentation elements from 80′s Nu-Wave and Synth-Pop, to House and Future to  good old fashioned Pop structuring. We had the chance to sit down and shoot the… stuff with DFA, talking about everything from future releases, what a live Digital Farm Animals show will look like, to Hanson’s “MMMBop” and Haagen-Dazs. Read the full transcript of our lovely time together below.

The Music Ninja: A lot of people have been referring to Digital Farm Animals as a “they”, “group” or “band” when in reality, you’re just a single producer, can you set the record straight and give us the rundown as to how you began producing, and how you were led to your artist name?

Digital Farm Animals: Ha…Well I get asked this quite a lot and yeah Digital Farm Animals is just me when it comes to writing and producing music. But there’s also a DJ / live programmer who is part of DFA when we perform . So I guess it’s okay to keep calling us ‘they’? Confused yet?!

As it happens the main reason I got into producing music is because the DJ in Digital Farm Animals handed me a copy of FL Studio when I was about 12… I just became obsessed with it.

TMN: On that note; as a relatively new artist without libraries of published music, are your live shows right now mainly DJ sets, or is there a complete live setup? If so, what kind of equipment do you play on?

DFA: We’ve played at some really cool gigs over the last year which have been DJ sets. It’s a huge buzz when you drop a big track and you feel the energy from the dance-floor but we’d always planned for something much bigger and more creative and it feels like the right time now to start working towards that. It’s an ongoing creative process and we don’t know how it will end up exactly but what we do know is that it will involve pigs, lots of pigs.

As for equipment, we’ve been using Ableton packed with a load of synths, samples and drum racks alongside NI’s Maschine, a Midi Fighter, iPads and an Akai MPK49. We’re also going to bring live vocals into the mix.

TMN: You have a new EP coming our way on August 26 and just dropped another single “Adore You”, which we assume is also a part of said EP. Can you tell us a little about what the process has been like for recording Bugged Out? Have you collaborated with anyone, or has it been mostly a solo effort?

DFA: Yeah, “Adore You” is the first track from Bugged Out. Its actually been a bit of a strange one.  I went away last year for about 4 months and spent quite a bit of time in Australia —where I produced most of the EP and a bunch of other tracks.  The scene over there is amazing…they are really ahead of the game when it comes to synth driven music and I definitely gained a lot of influence.  When I got back I was on the case to find the right singer for each track and we just got really lucky. Working with Ofei was awesome – he’s a really talented guy and we just threw out loads ideas in the studio, almost like a jamming session, and then went with what felt best. It’s been really great fun working with real musicians too – I’m a big advocate of combining electronic music with live elements. There are two more tracks to come, both with features from UK artists.

TMN: There is not a ton of information about your music out there in the blogosphere. Can you enlighten The Music Ninja readers on any impending releases from Digital Farm Animals scheduled besides Bugged Out, and the easiest place to listen to Digital Farm Animals music?

DFA: This will be the first official thing from Digital Farm Animals but there are a bunch of tracks we’ve put online over the last year or so. We actually did a track called ‘Home’ quite a while back that was basically just us mucking around with some pretty dark /2-steppy sounds and it got quite a big buzz. We then got approached by an artist from the states called Khat – who did his own edit of that track called ‘Homeless’ and that got a really great response. It massively opened my eyes to the power of the Internet and collaborations.

Musically we’re in a very different place now – I think all that was a great part of our learning process but our sound has really evolved, and im sure it will continue to do so.  I’m just really enjoying experimenting in this synth-pop/80’s kind of space. As for other releases at the moment…I’m working on the follow up EP now and also have another really exciting collaboration that will go out as a single following that EP.

The best place to listen to our music is on Soundcloud. (Check it out here!)

TMN: Digital Farm Animals’ sound seems to draw on a number of varying influences from Radiohead to Nicolas Jaar to more poppy electronic like the Future Classic sounds coming out of Australia. What was your musical background and upbringing which led to the creation of such sonically textured music?

DFA: I’ve been really fortunate to have grown up listening to a really diverse selection of music – and most of that was originally not out of choice. My father has always been a massive music lover and was into a lot of progressive music, electronic/synth music and generally just abstract, alternative stuff- so I grew up listening to a lot of bands like Porcupine Tree, Genesis, Pink Floyd on the one hand, but then also guys like Art Of Noise, Duran Duran and a lot of Depeche Mode’s earlier stuff. As I started to discover more music for myself I got really into electronic music & there are just too many influential artists to mention really. I would definitely say guys like Thom Yorke, Four-tet, Fly-lo have really inspired me. Recently i’ve been revisiting a load of old 80’s records.

I think one of the hardest things for me has been trying to find my own sound. I’ve spent lots of different periods of my life trying to re-create music from all of those genre’s mentioned above, but I think that’s also been one of the most beneficial things for me as a producer. I think now its about reaching into all of those different sounds and putting them together in new ways.

TMN: What label will you be releasing on, or do you think for now DFA will be a self released project?

DFA: At the moment it’s planned to be self released.

TMN: Alright, let’s change the pace up a little bit. What is one song or record that you love, but are perhaps embarrassed to share with other people? 

DFA: That’s easy: Hanson – “MMMBOP”

TMN: What are three things in your life that you simply cannot live without right now?

DFA:

1.    Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

2.    My Razor – I can grow a beard in like 2 hours.

3.    Iphone Voice Recorder.

TMN: If your music was one Digital Farm Animal, what would it be and why?

DFA: A gigantic electric Wild male hog – I like my pigs big and manly. ;-)

TMN: Well, thank you for taking some time to chat with us. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Digital Farm Animals.

Big thanks for having us! Appreciated.

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[MP3 Playlist] The Chill Dojo #47

chill dojo

Chill Dojo number 47 may seem a little smaller than the massive playlists from recent weeks, but that’s to be expected with the summer music kicking off with such a tremendous pace. It’s only the start of August, so rest-assured there’s plenty more summer to come, and we’re bringing you the best of the chill offerings around.

And starting off this selection is an uplifting remix of the stunning Ellie Goulding, courtesy of the ever-versatile At Dawn We Rage. Well-known for a harder brand of electronic music, the group will every so often explore their downtempo style, which makes for great dojo features. The buildup in this track could easily have taken the heavier bass-filled route as many Ellie Goulding remixes do, so it was pleasantly surprising to hear they opted for a restrained chill approach over an ‘insane drop’. No surprises what to expect with this next one though, because when you have the vocals of Miguel with Blackbird Blackbird on the remix, it’s bound to be soulful and sexy. The slower future style of sound is a different direction for the American producer though, but one that is definitely hot right now. Also a topic of sexiness and big things right now is AlunaGeorge, and Canada’s Pat Lok has certainly done his bit to bring that to another level with a blissful edit of ‘Outlines’. It’s groovy, vibe-intense goodness together with the voice of Aluna Francis, so what’s not to love? If that’s still not hot enough for your August, we’ve also got the latest re-worked version of Goldroom’s summer classic ‘Fifteen’, along with some fresh summer funk from Civilian in a way that only the French know how.

We’re still well and truly entrenched in our favorite time of the year, but we’ll never give up on those summertime feelings no matter what the calendar says. Peace out.

Chill Dojo #47 zip

Ellie Goulding
Burn (At Dawn We Rage Light It Up Remix)
Miguel
All I Want Is You (Blackbird Blackbird Remix)
AlunaGeorge
Outlines (Pat Lok Crayola Edit)
Goldroom
Fifteen (Oxford Club Mix)
Cerrone
Hooked On You (Civilian Summer Edit)
AMinor
Thinking Bout The Things
Rhye/Bondax/Maverick Sabre
Open (AA I Need Bootleg)
The Hood Internet
Mirror Vibe (Kendrick Lamar x Cashmere Cat)
Klaves
Somebody
TPain
Cant Believe It (Figgy Remix)
Atlas x DrDr
Fall
LAKIM
54N
Emiljo A.C.
Early In The Morning
Moods
Infinite
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[Get Crunk] Clayton’s Friday Party Playlist #62

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What’s up ninjas? We once again find ourselves approaching another weekend. The opportunities are endless, the parties are plentiful, and the desire to get out there and let loose is strong. So, we won’t keep you waiting any longer. Please enjoy this tasty musical selection of the party inducing variety. Cheers

#danceirresponsibly

Jack Beats
KYD (Major Lazer X Jack Beats Remix)
Embus E
Say My Name
Aylen
Rapid Fire (Original Mix)
Machel Montano
The Fog (Major Lazer & Grandtheft Remix)
Ying Yang Twins
Make It Jump (D!RTY AUD!O Remix)
One Republic
If I Lose Myself (Ahzee Remix)
Laidback Luke, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
MORE (Dave Silcox Bootleg)
Unbelievable Thunder
W&W vs Daddys Groove&Rob Adans (FLos MAsHuP)
Miley Cyrus
We Cant Stop (Gazzo X Kalkutta Remix)
Funkin Matt
MAD (JEFF059)
Ginuwine
Pony (Viceroy Jet Life Remix)
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[TMN EXCLUSIVE] Benin City Interview

Benin Album
Benin City
So You Say

A few weeks ago, we had the good fortune to come across Benin City’s Fire in the Park  and we immediately had to write a review. With a blend of hip-hop, jazz, electro, spoken word poetry and a tapestry of themes emerging from the band’s home city, London, our listeners were given a real musical treat.

After the post, The Music Ninja was able to sit down with Josh Idehen (vocals) and Tom Leaper (Tenor Sax) in order to get an inside look at who the band is and how they make their music.

TMN: First off, thanks so much for the album and for sitting down with the Music Ninja, even virtually. Our readers will be excited to get an intimate look at the band and your comments about how you and Fires in the Park came to fruition.

TMN: I guess I’ll start with a question I like asking bands–what’s the significance of the name “Benin City”?

Tom: I think it’s best if Josh takes this one!

Josh: its mine and my parents’ hometown; its history is intertwined with Britain’s colonial misadventures, which a lot of Britons I’ve encountered don’t know much about, which is unfortunate. Also, the name sounded cool, I have a thing for places and there was no better alternative.

TMN: The first time through Fires in the Park, I was struck by just how much variety was in the album. There was obviously the hip hop influence, the drum and bass, the electro, the jazz touches, and more–all fitting together seamlessly. I found myself wondering who your sources of inspiration were as a group?

Tom: We draw inspiration from all over. Personally I’m big in to electronic music, jazz, soul, GOOD pop, classical, film scores. All sorts really. When it came to making the album it was off the back of releasing “Baby” so we had a good idea of how we wanted it to sound. Then we sat down and talked through everything that we love listening to whether it be about the songs themselves, the harmony, the melody, the lyrics, the production, the arrangements… Then we narrowed it down to a core list of influences. Although the album is still pretty eclectic, this list stopped us going too far in any one direction and helped the album hang together as a whole.

Josh: Quite diverse- I’m the official movie soundtrack loving, left-field hip hop jamming, eclectic dude. Theo and Tom both love and play Jazz, but while Theo is into his dubstep and DNB, Tom loves his electro funk and acid/broken beat Jazz. It took a while but we managed to work them all into the album into something we thought was cohesive.

 TMN: This one is for Josh: Lyrically, there are a couple of themes I noted in Fires in the Park: the sort of Carpe Diem feel to “People Will Say,” the love songs, the social commentary about living in poverty, friendship, an ode to London. Did you set out looking to explore those themes lyrically, or did you discover those themes as you went?

Continue reading

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[Aww Yeah] Juan Cristobal – UTS (Under the Sheets)

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JUAN Cristobal
UTS (Under The Sheets)

Uncork that special bottle, turn the lights down low, and grab that special girl or guy in your life. The Parisian master of seductive electronica has just released a tune that’s sure to set the mood right. Silky, smooth, sensual – Juan has really done a number with this latest release. The slow RnB bassline, coupled with the sultry beat, elegantly subtle synths, and chimes are just what you need to finish of the night right.

The sexy little tune is available as a free download. Head over and pick up a copy. Just leave the details of what ensues afterwards to yourself.

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[Busted] Candyland – Bring The Rain (heRobust Remix)

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Candyland
Bring The Rain (BUSTED By heRobust)

Not too long ago we were just talking about heRobust busting up another original, creating something truly unique. This time around we’re once again left feeling disoriented and substantially impressed by this gorgeous tune from Hotlanta based DJ/Producer.

In his take on Candyland’s “Bring the Rain,” heRobust has created a melodic yet agressive dubstep rendition that pays homage to the original while still creating an entirely different soundscape. The intro is ever so pleasing which sensually clashes with the aggressive basslines that come in after the drop.

This young producer is on his way to great things. Make sure to keep an eye on him.

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