Category Archives: Interviews

SLM ART

Painting Snowden: An interview with Sarah Lynn Mayhew // SLM Art

SLM ART

There have been two big pieces of Manchester street art doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter in August – the Walter White as Heiseinberg piece by Akse, and the Edward Snowden portrait by Sarah Lynn Mayhew and D7606. Both form part of the ongoing Out House project in the city, with these two on opposite sides of a newly acquired site for the collective, an electricity substation that is also home to a tourist attracting mossy plastic protected Banksy. I got in touch with Sarah to find out more about her thoughts behind the piece, and why she chose Snowden in particular.

Have a look at more of Sarah’s work on her website – find more links at the foot of our interview.

ed snowden slm1
Catch SLM Art’s Edward Snowden piece, together with Akse’s Walter White, Jay Sharple’s Hulk and a Banksy right now on Thomas Street, Manchester.

 

Not unexpectedly, you seem quite passionate about the subject of your latest piece – bang in the middle of the city centre. Why Snowden?

 

Edward Snowden selflessly stood up, conscientiously led, to reveal the truth regarding US NSA (National Security Agency) surveillance and British GCHQ (Government Communications HQ) and its implications regarding human rights internationally, all under the banner of the ‘war on terror’ yet the governments are violating our basic liberties and destroying privacy.

 

Blue Hulk (by Jay Sharples) and Banksy to the right, Snowden in progress. August 2013.
Blue Hulk (by Jay Sharples) and Banksy to the right, Snowden in progress. August 2013.

I chose to paint Edward Snowden not only to show my support but to encourage the public to engage and become aware of where our country is being led at present. The Guardian has recently exposed files leaked from Snowden on the mass surveillance of Facebook, Google and Microsoft and eavesdropping by Britain’s GCHQ on foreign politicians at G20 summits in London. GCHQ have stated that their secret operation, codenamed ‘Tempora’ and involving mass interception of cable traffic, is designed to “master the internet”.

 

Soon we will have no human rights at all. If the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill goes through we will be living in a police state, unable to protest or campaign with the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill also on the agenda.

sarah snowden 3
http://instagram.com/soly66
http://instagram.com/soly66
http://instagram.com/soly66

Whistleblowers are not criminals. They are defenders of our human rights and we need more conscientiously led people to stand up for what is right – whilst we still have the freedom to do so and make changes for the better. I believe that Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning are heroes. People need to read about them before passing judgement – the mainstream media does not tell us everything.

 

John Robb, of Louder Than War, Goldblade and The Membranes. 'From Blackpool to Gold', in reclaimed mixed media.
John Robb, of Louder Than War, Goldblade and The Membranes. ‘From Blackpool to Gold’, in reclaimed mixed media.

 

What have been your proudest artistic moments?

 

I once was the in-house Scenic Artist at Colchester Mercury Theatre. They put on the play ‘The Lady Killers’, which consisted of a large house on the skew. Production was late, my job was the last in the queue – I was left with 4 nights to paint; a room with stencilled anaglypta wallpaper, fake wooden floors, stone tiled floors, a stencilled mosaic floor, cement street tiles and one hell of a load of brick work. The actors were rehearsing in the day time, so it was just me in the theatre, running up and down the auditorium to check if it worked from the back row. It was like one huge 3D canvas. I did it! A lot of work but great fun!

 

The actress Annabelle Apsion, who played Monica Gallagher in Shameless, bought one of my 100 squares interactive paintings. She was so happy with it she took me out to the preview of ‘Control‘ and dragged me onto the red carpet to get snapped by the paparazzi! It was a fun experience… it’s amazing where art can take you!

 

I think my most proudest moments have been of recent though, painting Edward Snowden – chatting to people in the city as I painted, opening peoples minds as to what is going on in the world….

 

100 squares.
100 red.

 

What’s the artistic community in Manchester like? Have you found any kindred spirits?

 

Manchester has so much energy and talent with regards to creativity. I have been fortunate to meet so many different artists, each with their own unique skills. I am forever meeting new artists – I love the vibe. I have found many great friends through my work. It was great getting D7606 to collaborate with the Edward Snowden piece. His work complimented mine by adding contrast and food for thought, I think it really worked.

 

What are your feelings on street art in Manchester?

 

We need more! It’s great what we have, and so varied. I hope that more legal spots will become available. Street art not only enriches Manchester’s broad culture but also gives a voice to the people. The Out House project is an amazing project for artists. I only hope that the council and other businesses start to recognise the true value that this project brings to the city and start to give financial support. At the moment artists have to pay for their own materials and time. In fact, the Edward Snowden piece has seriously jeopardised paying my rent this month! It’s painting with passion!

WALTER
Walter – ‘Mess with my Head’ an interactive portrait
acrylic/mixedmedia on wood blocks

 

Walter.
Walter.
 Jesse Pinkman
Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman, painted on a door recently. by SLM Art. http://instagram.com/soly66

 

Are you a Manchester native or were you brought to the city for a reason?

 

I moved to Manchester in 1989 – for the music and to study. Yes, I’m a cockney up north! I have considered moving back to be near my family, I feel quite torn at times, I probably will one one day. But I’m a Northerner at heart. I love the people and what Manchester has to offer. It has me in it’ grips!

 

What was your route into art?

 

Apparently I defiantly told my mother that I was going to be an artist at the age of four. I didn’t learn to read or write until I was seven. I didn’t want to know. Luckily, I had a hippy teacher who just let me draw all day at school for three years! Later it was a BTEC Diploma in Fine Art. Then I went to MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University) to do a BA in Educational Media Design – which got me into multimedia in the nineties. I won an RSA award (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and continued working in website design and computer animation. I later moved south for a few years where my job was to paint 16m x 11m back drops and sets at the theatre. This got me back into painting, my vocation. I’ve been a self employed artist since 2005.

 

You make portraits and abstract pieces in a variety of media. Could you talk me through what inspires you to do a new piece? Do you have several ideas going on at once, or focus on one thing at a time?

 

Haha. My head is forever creating – it’s a carousel I can’t get off! I have a back log of things I want to paint and create. It’s difficult keeping up with myself. I’m forever scribbling notes down all over the place with ideas. I have had a variety of part time jobs to help pay the bills…. from being a picture framers assistant to working as a chamber maid. I collect things and pick up ideas wherever ever I am. The idea of interactive mini canvases that you can rearrange came from working at the picture framers in 2003. Playing around with the mitre saw – seeing how small a frame I could make. It’s 7.8 cm! My ‘interchangeable squares’ series took off from that point. From working as a chamber maid I collected small empty shampoo bottles and then created ‘bottle shot’ paintings. I enjoy painting portraits the most though and it’s the human spirit which I find most inspiring.

 

Sarah's piece at the original Out House site, Stevenson Square.
Sarah’s piece at the original Out House site, Stevenson Square.
Back Bone Betti
Back Bone Betti

Do you keep an ideas journal of some sort?

 

I have a collection of ‘stuff': objects, and bits of paper with doodles on and notes. I’m pretty disorganised! I try and keep a sketch pad – but more often than not once the idea has formulated in my mind I’m straight onto canvas.

 

Which cities do you consider to be the best in terms of street art?

 

Berlin must be at the top of the list! I’d love to paint there some day. Brazil is another top contender. I think that Bristol is leading the way in the Uk. Manchester has some catching up to do.

 

Visit Sarah’s website An Artist In Manchester.

Buy Sarah’s work from her Big Cartel store.

FacebookInstagram.

Find out more about Manchester’s Out House project in our interview.

Groovement Interview: SCRIMSHIRE // JUNE 2013

This interview goes hand in hand with today’s Scrimshire podcast, which you can grab here

Scrimshire Toast of Leeds 1

Photo: Toast of Leeds

Scrimshire is part of the team heading up seminal record label Wah Wah 45s, but before that he’s an artist three albums deep into his work. Bight is out now, a multi-layered ode to the sea and a thing of beauty. Listen to all of his past work at his Bandcamp.

Hi Adam! What’s keeping you busy at the moment?

Getting back on top of business at Wah Wah mostly, a little bit of writing for another project and gig preparations.

How do you like to describe your own music for the uninitiated?

I’m bad at it. It draws on a lot of influences from soul, jazz, electronic, various African styles and Latin too, plus a bit of prog rock thrown in. But that doesn’t really describe it. I think I’m still working towards what it is.

Thanks for the Groovement mix! Quite a few exclusives on there, some with your own touch – could you give us a quick heads up on those?

I did the Eddie Bradford one a while back, just a bit of classic soul I wanted to twist a bit (and catch a few more minutes out of).

The Tenth Tone edit came out of the show I’ve been doing with Faye Houston – we do it two ways, an acoustic set and an ableton/APC/MPD set where I’ve taken all the album stems and I mix/edit it live. I’d been toying with the beats and bass and wanted to get a version to take out when I’m DJing, so I’ve programmed additional beats to toughen it up, dubbed it out a bit. Might get a release somewhere.

SCRIMSHIRE // JUNE 2013 by Jamie Groovement on Mixcloud

I went to Slovenia recently for a couple of gigs and was introduced to so much incredible soul and funk from the region. Both Jedna Mala Plava and Zlatakosa are from that trip. The Pro-Arte track in it’s original form though might be a little much for English speaking audiences so I’ve messed with it a bit to deliver the beats a bit more.

Photo: Toast of Leeds

Photo: Toast of Leeds

 

 

Bight’s been out a month now – how has the response been so far?

Not bad. Some of the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Time will tell. It took over 6 months from the release of The Hollow for people to really pick up on it.

Themes in the album seem quite deep – you mention on your site a love for the deep, blue sea. Is that a lifelong thing?

Yes, we spent pretty much all of our childhood holidays in the same spot in south Wales. My Mum and Dad were swimmers – met that way – and my Gramp taught swimming at the Coventry City club. So I guess we were all water babies.

The postcards are a nice idea, something you started with The Hollow. What’s their aim?

Hopefully to get across the themes and imagery that influenced the making of the music. Plus I enjoy going off with my camera and making them – sometimes it’s a break in recording, sometimes a rest from it all afterwards. I also found first time round that tearing the music apart taught me I need to be more disrespectful of my creations and be prepared to fuck with them more during the creative process. So it’s for you and for me.

Listening to Bight, I was reminded of the drawings of Ernst Haeckel (an amazing artist, despite his racist scientific views) – are there any particular pieces of art that pop into your head when thinking about the sea? I only ask this because graphics seems to be a vital element in the Scrimshire world.

I wasn’t familiar with him. They’re amazing! Actually no, though there are so many to choose from. There were some particular photographs I remembered and films and particular books – Moby Dick being one. There are definitely images in my head but I couldn’t attribute them I’m afraid.

You’ve created much of your music in the past on your own, does Bight follow a similar pattern?

Yes and no. Yes it was basically made on my own. I took on more of the live drums, bass and vocals this time. My own approach has been changing and my circumstances changed – access to space kit – so the way it was created changed.

How do you approach the release of a new album in 2013? From both points of view, as an artist and label. Is it harder to get people to notice music now than in, say, 2008?

Yes, I’d say it’s harder. For the sort of demographics we appeal to radio play is still one of the most important elements of getting an artist noticed and that remains as hard as ever to achieve with any consistency. But stations like BBC 6 Music and their approach to music makes a big difference.

There’s a lot of ground to cover these days. I guess even as recently as 2008 you would have focused on some key channels, you need to have so much covered now in terms of blogs now, websites, YouTube channels. But you need to have you’re own stuff sewn up above all. I think Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, your own blog – they’re all really powerful tools but you need to know what you’re doing with them and how you’re going to use them. You need to be consistent.

In all honesty some days it feels like a complete mystery though. I think the one thing you can focus on is trying to show as much inventiveness and creativity in your marketing as in your music. And it should reflect who you are as an artist and a person.

scrimshire bight

Are you hoping for a vinyl release for Bight? Is that harder than ever to do? Is there still the market for it?

I can’t sit here and tell you I wouldn’t absolutely be like a kid at Christmas if I could have it on vinyl. But there just isn’t the demand for it at this point – for my music. But yes, there is still the demand for vinyl albums. I buy them more now than ever. Wah Wah made its first vinyl albums last year and are continuing to make them. Some things just need it and while it doesn’t make anyone any real money it’s a great thing to do for the right album.

Have you already started thinking about themes for your fourth album? Are such themes mapped out in a notebook somewhere?

Not yet, I’ve got ideas about how it’ll sound and I’m kind of itching to get started on writing some new bits. I wish there was a notebook full of ideas but I tend to just keep it all in my head until they fuse into something that really makes sense. Then I start.

Think back to the Amiga for a minute – are there principles that you learned then that you still use now, or were you already a musician?

I’d been playing a keyboard for about a year when I started making music on the Amiga, so no I wasn’t really a musician at that point. I was writing on Octamed so you’re actually programming in individual hexadecimal controls for things like volume or any other midi based command. That made me really deconstruct what makes a synthesis of something sound good/real/other.

I could never play music in off the keyboard particularly effectively so I used to insert each note individually – it really breaks things apart. Then to multi-track record stuff I would have two tape decks – or later on mini-disc. I would record to one, swap it to the other machine, play it back and record the next vocal or instrument track over the top. All destructively of course, it’s completely committed, which makes you really consider each one.

I don’t really do punch ins now either.

– Interlude: here’s Groovement’s pal Pete Cannon with an Octamed breakdown… –

My day job is to teach children at a primary level. As I’m sat here doing work and listening to Bight, I was wondering if you have an opinion on what children should know musically by the age of 11?

I didn’t know anything really by that age. From the teachers I know and some of the things I’ve seen (we actually recorded the live drums for the album at a school in Croydon where my keyboard player Dave Koor teaches music tech) I think that there are great opportunities for kids these days and fascinating teachers teaching great things. If that could be more widespread that would be amazing. I think all they should know is that music is hard work and success doesn’t just come to you buy turning up on a TV show. That most “overnight successes” are made to look so but often are the result of many years work. You should be doing it because you have a passion for it but at that age, just to experiment and don’t imagine there are any rules.

Bight is out now on digital and CD. Check the very smooth official Scrimshire site to delve further into his world. Massive thanks to Scrimshire for his time on a Sunday!

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Groovement Interview: YOSI HORIKAWA // June 2013

yosi

 

Yosi Horikawa first came to my attention a couple of years back with Letter, which eventually saw release on his debut EP for Leeds’ First Word Records, Wandering. Have a listen to that here:

YOSI TOUCH
Yosi’s debut on Eklektik Records, Touch (April 2010)

 

First Word are about to drop Yosi’s debut album proper, entitled Vapor (which is a work of beauty, pre-order here), so I thought this would be a good time to hit him up with some questions over email. From Chiba to Manchester to you – read on, it’s one of the most poetic interviews I’ve had the pleasure of doing.

(If you want to find out a little more about Yosi, hit up this nice interview with Max Cole over at RBMA, in which Yosi was a 2011 participant).

YOSI LINKS // SOUNDCLOUD // FACEBOOK

What sparked your interest in recording sounds from your environment? Have you had any unusual experiences while trying to capture sounds? 

It just depends on the situations.
Sometime when my idea flashes, I run to record.
But sometimes I come across the nice sound by chance.
Though it’s so hard to tell how “nice” it is.

 

Was it a conscious decision to use found sounds to distinguish yourself from others, or is this something you’ve always done? Do you feel that you MUST always use a found sound now?

I don’t think I must use the found sounds always.
Actually you can hear that I use only normal musical instruments in my album.
I think the originality is very important for everyone.
So I’m always looking for something unique.
Actually when I started to make music, I started to record many non-instrumental sounds
because I didn’t have musical instruments, but one day I found the style is mine and it’s unique.

 

Stars single, First Word 2013
Stars single, First Word 2013

What equipment to you use to record sounds and then make music? 

Usually outside, I use the digital portable recorder and external microphones with a handmade wind screen.
After recording, I go back to my lab, and make a library.
Then start to make with Protools.

How did you get to be released on Eklektik, out of France, back in 2008? (Yosi was featured on this EP then released Touch.)

The boss of Eklektik, Alexandre Dallant found me on Myspace.
I thought it was incredible situation, but he told he love the incredible situation.

 

vapor
Vapor, released on First Word Records 2013

Please tell us a little bit about Vapor – a very, very beautiful album. Is there a concept driving it or is it separate pieces that have come together?

Thank you so much!
Concretely, I wanted to express many things in my life.
Many emotions, many sceneries, many materials,
but at the same time I wanted to tell how uncertain the expression is.
How much can we speak what we want to tell, and how much can we understand what people want to tell.
We might be able to speak a half of what we wanna tell, but I think the remaining half is important.
It might not come out forever, but we can imagine the existence.
That imagination is most creative I think.
I think it’s like to catch the vapor.

Why First Word?

Kidkanevil introduced me to join First Word.

Whose idea was the vinyl postcard?

My label boss Aly Gillani’s.

We hear in the news that vinyl sales are up, but record companies are sometimes finding it hard to afford to produce a vinyl versions of an album until it’s been out a while. Vapor is a case in point. Do you think people are interested in a vinyl version? What do you think about the record buying climate?

To be honest I don’t have any special feeling for the vinyl.
When my friends were dying to dig wax I was dying to dig something new stuff for the recording.
But I have good memories about vinyl.
My father was cleaning the vinyl so carefully every day before he played.
I loved to watch it.

Finally – is there anywhere in the world you would like to go to record a specific sound?

I just wanna try to go everywhere I’ve not been there.
Amazon, desert, North or South Pole – the places where it’s different so much from Japan.

Vapor is available on CD and digi from 24th June 2013 on First Word Records.
The deluxe version contains the CD album, 7″ of Whispers Of An Angel featuring Jesse Boykins III, and a vinyl postcard of the track Letter.
Available on Bandcamp.

Groovement Interview: CHALI 2NA // June 2013

photo

Here’s a little interview with The Nicest Man In Hip Hop, the giant handed Chali 2na of Jurassic 5. Chali was in town a day early to play an intimate gig for Will Not Be Televised – who also recorded a dope interview soon to be broadcast on their channel – before hitting the Parklife stage with J5.

The interview was recorded at the Black Sheep store in Manchester, big shout to them!

Become part of Chali’s Against the Current project right here. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Have a listen to our recent chat with Akil right here.

Watch/listen on YouTube.

INTERVIEW: CODY CHESNUTT // MARCH 2013

Photo: Naho Taniyama http://instagram.com/ponahontas_

 

“A bit of history,” says Cody ChesnuTT as I switch off my recorder and ask him to sign my Gridlock’d soundtrack (Cody contributed Deliberation, the final track). ‘Snoop actually chose the track listing for this. Suge (Knight) was in jail at the time. He came in to the studio and went through the tracks. He chose Deliberation as the final track, to round off the album. It was actually recorded for a Tupac tribute, but when that fell through we put it on this album.” The track’s credited to ‘Anonymous’ on the back cover because Cody didn’t want to be too pigeonholed  into the Death Row sound, but those who actually read liner notes would have found full credit on the interior.

 

The Headphone Masterpiece, 2002, Ready Set Go

And that’s only one aspect of Cody – however you’ve come across him, whether it be from the hand drawn 45s he dropped off in record shops, his debut LP The Headphone Masterpiece, hearing him on The Seed 2.0 with The Roots or being enchanted by his brief appearance in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, there’s no denying he is soul embodied.

He’s currently touring in support of his recent album Landing On A Hundred, released on One Little Indian. Tonight’s show saw him focus on music from that album (more on that in the interview), delivering a heartfelt and frankly jumpin’ performance with his full band, obligatory helmet and odes to Mrs ChessnuTT. The highlight for me was a quarter-hour version of Love Is More Than A Wedding Day, singing thoughts and stories to the crowd on improv and even singing a “please don’t talk when I’m singing, it really puts me off” to a couple in the front row.

Landing On A Hundred, 2012, One Little Indian

Below we talk about the band, pushing his music in 2013, playing instruments and Manchester. Also catch below that an interview with powerful support act Thabo & The Real Deal.

Cody ChestnuTT Website Facebook

INTERVIEW: THABO & THE REAL DEAL // MARCH 2013

L-R Clockwise: Thabo Mkwananzi, Emmanuel Allert, Ali Mac, Aron Kyne.

To call Thabo & The Real Deal ‘acoustic soul’ is to do them a diservice. They’re much more layered than such pigeonholing may suggest, delivering headline quality performances in support time slots for Leon Ware, Omar, Anthony Hamilton and in this instance, Cody ChesnuTT (catch our interview with him on the same night here).

Hailing from Leeds and Huddersfield (much to the surprise of the audience tonight), the band consists of Fender Rhodes (Aron Kyne), percussion (Ali Mac), acoustic guitar (Emmanuel Allert) and vocals (Thabo Mkwananzi) – good songs alone would probably garner this lot a solid following, but Thabo’s onstage dynamism at this gig had the audience 2-stepping from side to side, singing along after five minutes and smiling for a full half hour.

Below we chat about their EPs, support slots and ambition. Here’s the mix from Andrea Trout I promised here we’d plug, featuring TATRD’s Revolution as the first track.

New EP World War Free is out now.
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World War Free out now

INTERVIEW: PAUL WHITE // MARCH 2013

A brief album discography to start off with… click each cover to have a listen to the album. Check his Bandcamp for EPs.

The Strange Dreams Of Paul White (2009)

Sounds From The Skylight (2009)

Paul White and the Purple Brain (2010)

Rapping With Paul White (2011)

Rapping With Paul White {The Room Below Versions} (2012)

Paul White’s popularity seems to spread in tsunamis – first with the fans acquired through his One Handed Music debut The Strange Dreams Of…, then people who jumped aboard subsequent releases (not least with Stones Throw cousin Now Again being involved from Purple Brain onwards) and finally the explosion of fandom that followed the release of Rapping With…

Even through all this, Paul has remained a fairly elusive individual. One Handed Music’s Alex Chase has been a guiding hand throughout, but it appears that’s all changing as of now. As OHM put it recently: “after years in the shadows, Paul White has come out fighting. Not only is he posting vintage beats on Soundcloud, he’s also giving away a free download of his remix of Seaming To’s ‘Vertigo Billy’. Put in your requests for beats from the vault on Paul’s Facebook page or chat with him on Twitter. His Soundcloud stream is here.”

So, 2013 looks set to be Paul’s biggest year yet – hopefully he’ll continue to step forth into the limelight, and probably won’t have a choice once the next Danny Brown album Old drops (which he contributes another few tracks to – see XXX for previous form on Adderall Admiral, Fields and Scrap Or Die).

I chatted to Paul both as a follow up to our 2009 talk (streamable below) and in anticipation of his forthcoming Manchester date at Kraak on Good Friday, made possible by the combined might of our good friends at Mind On Fire and This City Is Ours. Here’s the poster – click it to find a ticket link!

 

Hello Paul! What are you up to right now?

Studying this crazy fascinating life….apart from that just finished off the new EP, Watch The Ants, finished off a few remixes, one’s just come out called Vertigo Billy by original artist Seaming To, done ones for Azymuth and The Ipanemas too. Been busy with Danny Brown’s album, just finishing a crazy little live 12″ project. Been working with some musicians and singers, writing avant-garde, trying everything!

Last time we spoke (May 2009) you’d just dropped your debut ‘The Strange Dreams Of…’ – how do you regard that as a piece of work now?

I was just so happy I could put that out the way it was, like little film clips, little emotion clips, because life changes pretty fast. That album is like a diary of my life at the time. It represents a time in my life, and I’m so happy I got to put that out purely like that!

You seem to have come a long way in terms of collabs since then… some of these were simply hopes at the time.

PAUL WHITE x GROOVEMENT 2009

PAUL WHITE // MAY09 by Groovement Interviews on Mixcloud

Have OHM continued to be good pilots of the good ship Paul White? How hard is it to balance raising awareness through giving away free music and making a living for the label – and indeed yourself?

I mean, I do this because I love music so much, like toooo much. I love being able to share my music, it feels like an honour to be able to do this, on my own and collaborating. I totally owe that to One-Handed who have been amazingly supportive, its a beautiful label where you can just be pure, which is what music should be 200 million billion percent. So One-Handed has been a great ship to be on! I let them arrange that balance though mainly, you have to go with the times. Connecting with people is the magical part for me!

Have you changed the way you make music to suit certain vocalists?

Ive never done that once, never tried to make something for someone, it just doesnt work, you never know what people are going to like and pick and want to use! Thats whats beautiful about it, the unpredictability, wouldn’t have it any other way! People might pick the weirdest craziest track you never thought they would just because of how they felt that day, I love that, truly connecting with someone without saying shit!

Have you modified or changed your music making methods in any way?

I kinda always tried to go with different ways and approaches anyway, but yeah of course for sure, you listen to new types of music, get influenced by different things, your life changes, so everything changes all the time, you cant try and hold a constant, that will be painful, its like Bruce Lee says “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless……. Be water my friend”.

 

You’re playing a live set with Mo Kolours in Manchester. How did this set up come about and what does it entail?

Mo Kolours

About a year and a half ago I had a gig set up for Switzerland and needed a live show, me and Mo have been friends and musical partners in crime for years, so thought lets get 2 of us and learn some instruments, so I borrowed a little drum kit set up some keyboards and went through loads of my beats and found ones I could re-create live, because a lot of them I couldn’t. And it just turned into so much fun and inspiration doing it that way, which then obviously breed into different ideas, with Mo aswell were both on the same page so it fit together real easily, we both see music as the same thing. I mean Im still learning these instruments, now I also play with a musican/producer called Tenderlonious on Saxophone, percussion and other toys, so there’s 3 of us now, basically we all swap around all over the place instrument wise, its real free and loose and just energy and fun and a quarter just improvised with a rough outline. I want the feel and the vibe and the energy and emotion to come through the most more than anything, so you cant get too rigid with that, its got to be loose and free. Now I try and play as much as I can on the show, marimba, drums, percussion, keyboards, sing, I wack just a tom drum for one, its fun man, but I wanna take it somewhere, got ideas!!

Mind on Fire and This City Is Ours, who are putting you on in Manchester, are both promoters (and record labels) who put on performers they love. I consider Manchester to be musically healthy at various levels, from hip hop to woozy ambience. Do you have a feel for which parts of the country have what you’d consider a vibrant music scene – or is there a particular hotspot of producers anywhere that you keep an ear on?

I suppose a little yeah. I think there’s probably amazing music scenes all over the world, its just some you hear some you don’t, some might be real small, that’s why you gotta really look. I mean I feel I’ve been lucky growing up in somewhere like London, where theres music scenes everywhere, Ive grown up going to the Barbican with my dad and places like that, seeing all types of people through different genres, then growing up raving a lot as a kid, now there’s all these producers and musicians in London doing their thing now, and were all connecting naturally that’s whats nice, just the universe doing its thing it feels like, so its always felt there’s such a music scene here, throughout my life, always all around me. But I love music from everywhere, I suppose I don’t really focus on scenes just good music, you don’t wanna miss anywhere or anything out!

Saying that… do you think it’s possible for music ‘scenes’ to still exist or is that restricted to online movements now? Do you make your music imagining what it will sound like in a club?

People always come together, similar minded people, just naturally I think, so there will always be scenes and groups of people, hopefully a lot more I think we need more people coming together, the internet can be dangerous in the sense you can connect without actually meeting which is always better, so the internet changes things I suppose, but also can enable those scenes to cross pollinate more maybe too, or go the total opposite way, depends how you take it, but I guess its also got the potential for scenes to grow and connect, its up to the people at the end of the day not the technology. When I make my music I don’t think about anything, in fact I try to think as little as possible and just do what my heart tells me and not my brain, I think thinking too much can distract you, second guessing stuff, I try and get my feeling and energy in there, that’s about it, turn your brain OFF, and see where else it comes from. A lot of the best music out there is one takes, certain jazz musicians and I’m sure many many others too wouldn’t ever do a third take when recording, ever, some probably never even did a second take, that frees you, not limits you. Never limit yourself by only thinking one thing, that’s why you shouldn’t think at all.

Paul, in a car.

When I spoke to you last we were discussing Myspace as your main social networking tool. How have you found this changing in the last four years?

I mean I’ve only just got myself on twitter and facebook properly, so I’m just seeing how similar that can be to myspace in the way of connecting with people from all over the world. Its just shifted over to different platforms.

I know you’re a modest person, so how do you feel about the internet buzz about your work? I haven’t heard a bad thing.

Well much appreciated firstly. Obviously it makes me very happy to know people enjoy it, it gives me inspiration and a fire to do even more, to give back, but I don’t focus on that, strongly, for a reason, I only wanna do this because I love it, not for anything else, its like Leon Ware says, the success you have will depend on how much you truly love something, rather than focusing on any rewards. I love music and the feeling it gives me, sharing that is amazing and if people feel what you feel, that’s really magical!

Cliche question! Tell me some good music you’ve heard recently.

Been obsessed with Moondog lately, his more unknown stuff, that’s got me into all this crazy counterpoint music! Love those dudes Tame Impala too, their real psych stuff like Mind Mischief…. been listening to too much good music to mention! But saying that I still need to listen to so much more out there too, its hard when your trying to make it all the time.

I look forward to seeing you again at the end of this month. Will you sign my pillowcase please?

Fo shizzle. Cant wait myself! Thanks!

It's not just the room below that appreciates Paul's music.

Paul White plays in Manchester (with Mo Kolours on drums) on Good Friday 29 March 2013. Grab a ticket here.
Support comes from Danny Drive Thru and Ape Cult.

Groovement Interview: KILLER MIKE // FEB2013

Bedos (In The Loop) x Killer Mike

Agent J sits down with Killer Mike at the Roadhouse, Manchester to talk chicken, beef, family and records. Bedos (our host at In The Loop) is giggling in the background and in the pic above.

Many thanks to Mike for his time, Siggy the tour manager and Todd at One Inch Badge.

Listen on YouTube

Groovement Interview: ALICE RUSSELL

Alice’s fifth album, To Dust, is due to drop next month. The single Heartbreaker preceded it back in November, with the frankly unexpected video below featuring everyone’s favourite Simpsons voice artist, radio guy and Godzilla-remake Harry Shearer. Here’s Harry in Tokyo, interviewing fifties Gojira royalty.

But back to Alice! Initial responses ‘pon Twitter are extremely positive about the new album, and it’s about time Alice’s was recognised as one of the strongest modern soul voices around, full stop. We have a chat about chilli, the new album, funk in 2013 and more. Also with us is Rosie from Tru Thoughts, a label who seem to have big things lined up for 2013.


To Dust is released February 25th 2013 on heavyweight double LP, CD, digi and 10″ too. 

Tracklist:
1. A To Z
2. Heartbreaker Pt. 2
3. For A While
4. Heartbreaker
5. I Loved You Interlude
6. Hard And Strong
7. To Dust
8. I Loved You
9. Twin Peaks
10. Heartbreaker Interlude
11. Let Go (Breakdown)
12. Drinking Song Interlude
13. Citizens
14. Different (Bonus Track)

Interview: ALICE RUSSELL // DEC12 by Jamie Groovement on Mixcloud

Groovement Interview: DJ WOODY x DJ YODA // OCT12

It was a night of audio visual devastation in Manchester – Yoda’s headline set and Woody’s Big Phat 90s show in one place at one time. Myself and DJ A-UP had hold of the bar downstairs thanks to the Hip Hop Chip Shop, but I managed to find time to grab a quick interview with both AV DJs post-setup.

Listen on Mixcloud.

DJ YODA x DJ WOODY

Interview by Agent J @ Sound Control, 19th October 2012.

Movement were the gig organisers.

Big Phat 90’s Mixtape from DJ Woody on Vimeo.