Nosaj Thing on Facebook
After cutting his teeth by making music on various archaic computers and programs in his early years, Nosaj Thing is now, without a doubt, among L.A.'s finest musical modulators. His electronic soundscapes and wild beat tectonics play like vignettes that affect the listener's mind as deeply as he hits their soul. Nosaj Thing creates nothing less than the sound mastery of beat driven, experimental electronics from a gifted noise constructor. His debut album Drift was released by Alpha Pup in June 2009 to unanimous global acclaim. Pitchfork awarded an excellent 7.9 rating, calling the album "gorgeously haunted... sonic Easter Eggs for a thousand listens." The album peaked at 5 on the iTunes Electronic chart, and went all the way to 1 on Bleep and Boomkat. The success of Drift led to Nosaj Thing being featured in magazines such as Spin, Fader, XLR8R, The New Yorker, Nylon and URB. He has received regular airplay on BBC Radio 1 and Los Angeles' KCRW, while his engaging live set has made him a staple of the worldwide underground touring circuit.
Prefuse 73 on Facebook
Guillermo Scott Herren, Miami, Florida, USA. Producer Herren creates the most incredible of musics under the Prefuse 73 moniker, drawing on hip-hop’s restless range and electronica’s pioneering legacy. Although he says his impetus to record music was Michael Jackson’s legendary Thriller, Herren apparently derives his Prefuse 73 moniker from an irrepressible fascination with pre-fusion jazz circa 1973, citing a parallel between the exploration and integration of new sounds in that era/genre and contemporary hip-hop. His Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives for Warp Records was among the best albums of 2001 and artists such as Destiny’s Child, En Vogue, and Outkast are reportedly fans of his precision sliced hip-hop. The follow-up, One Word Extinguisher, prompted the UK’s Record Collector magazine to describe Prefuse 73 as ‘a machine, a chimerical mechanism that randomly feeds on the best moments in pop history and recalibrates them as staggering, stunning, stuttering 21st century electronica’. In between these two albums, Herren released the astonishing The ’92 Vs. ’02 Collection EP. As if adopting the methodologies used by Matthew Herbert, this stunning EP’s lead track was named ‘Desks.Pencils.Bottles’, in recognition of the sound sources galvanized into a hyper-detailed tape tapestry. The highlight of The ’92 Vs. ’02 Collection, however, was the closing ‘Love You Bring’ that shredded an unrecognized female R&B vocal into smooth seduction music.
Although Herren has stated his music is ‘the last blood of hip-hop, the last bit of sincerity or energy coming from the heart into hip-hop because the rest is just product’, he is also gracious to admit that his music is not without precedent. The producer’s genius probably lies in his ability to simultaneously revere and defile the musics that he cuts and pastes so diligently. Herren has also recorded as Savath And Savalas and Delarosa And Asora, and curates the Eastern Developments label releasing music by Kopernik, Daedelus, Ammon Contact and Ahmad Szabo as well as reissuing his own hard to find recordings.
FaltyDL on Facebook
Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL was born and grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. It’s a place best known as the home of top Ivy League establishment Yale University. Other than that, Lustman explains “it’s a big ghetto.” The young Lustman found himself bouncing between these two worlds, not entirely comfortable in either. “i was a shitty student,” he explains. “I barely graduated, did a lot of drugs, and ended up in rehab at 16/17. Music was my way to get out of it.” He started off playing in jazz and rock bands, but by 19 he’d decided to go it alone and named himself FaltyDL.
There followed a few years of intensive music making interpersed with attempts to find a home for what he was making. Eventually Mike Paradinas of the legendary Planet Mu said he’d release the young producer’s records, “a huge moment,” Falty remembers. Shortly after, he relocated to New York and it was here that his musical career really took off. “My good friend Boxcutter advised me to the slow the BPM down to like 130BPM and was sending me a lot of garage-influenced stuff like Horsepower and El-B, and I started making "Love is a Liability."” Since then, Lustman has looked to expand and evolve his signature sound over two albums, an EP and three singles for the label. In addition, he has released an afrobeat-inspired 12”, “Mean Streets Pt 1” with Loefah’s Swamp81 label, a single on Ramp backed with a remix from Jamie XX and begun releasing collaborations with Machinedrum online. An in-demand remixer, he has made versions for the likes of Seun Kuti (Fela’s son), Mount Kimbie, The XX, Scuba, Photek, Anthony Shake Shakir and others. Recently he supported Radiohead in New York and topped Thom Yorke’s office playlist. In additon to all this, he set up his own label, Blueberry Records, named for both the fruit and the Blueberry Hill he used to climb near his grandmother’s house.
But if FaltyDL was known for his own twisting of the garage template (a music which had crossed the Atlantic, mutated, and now come back to be twisted again) his new music signals another change. “I've moved completely away from that sound,” he says. “Production-wise it’s the best thing I've ever done. It’s about getting sounds I hear out of my head onto the software/synths I’m writing on. Filtering through the sounds in my subconcious. This is the closest I've ever got." Partly the changes are down to that old black magic, love. Lustman met his girlfriend mid-way through the writing of the record (shortly after signing to that cupid amongst labels, Ninja Tune!) and she “became my muse. I didn't make this album with the intention of sharing all of it. Of course some of it, but most was made for one person in particular.” And, more than anything else, that honesty and intimacy shines through.
Yellow Year Records on Facebook
Yellow Year Records on Soundcloud
YELLOW YEAR RECORDS
Guillermo S. Herren, aka Prefuse 73, is launched a new record label, Yellow Year Records, alongside photographer Angel Ceballos. The label’s first offering was a twelve-volume series of collaborative EPs called Speak Soon. The releases will find Prefuse 73 working with Teebs, Nosaj Thing, Lapalux, Synkro, Nathan Fake, Dimlite, and others.