Monthly Archives October 2014

Billie Ray Martin & Aerea Negrot go Off The Rails

After having remixed Billie Ray Martin’s “Sweet Suburban Disco” I thought: this is it, I’ve made it. I worked with one of the most amazing voices in music. A legend who gave us Electribe 101’s Electribal Memories and the unforgettable classic “Your Loving Arms” is releasing new material I could become a part of!

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Little did I know that there would be more. But when I heard she would be recording a duet with Aerea Negrot, whose incredible Arabxilla album was my record of the year two years in a row (because nobody could top it), I asked whether I could remix the upcoming duet. Billie gave me a vague answer along the lines of “yeah, sure, we’ll see” and I thought this was it.

It wasn’t. It simply took the two divas long to find time to record the song. Which happens to be absolutely smashing. Comparisons included Grace Jones (is it me or is Aerea Negrot Grace Jones reincarnated? even though Madame Jones is still touring and working on a new album?). And then Billie approached me with the question: was I still interested? I said yes without hearing the track, then got worried for a second: what if it’s not good? Of course, I needn’t have worried, since the song was — is — amazing.

I made three remixes. One of them — the more dance one — is midtempo piano house. The other, plus dub, is my tribute to Frankie Knuckles’ amazing mixes from the late 80s. I wanted to hear those voices in the foreground of Pet Shop Boys’ style strings and cymbal rides. Of course, being me, I had to pepper the result a bit with vocoders. I used bits of the original (fabulous) Waterson production as well.

The full EP with 11 remixes available here at the low, low price of 4.90 Euro.

And now some praise that I shall re-read in the future if I ever feel unloved and that my music is no good:

“The Ray Grant remix is the best” — Mixmag

“Favourite Track / Mix: Billie Ray Martin – Off The Rails (Ray Grant 6am Mix). Good remix.” — Greg Fenton (Magazine Sixty/ DMC Magazine)
“Favourite Track / Mix: Billie Ray Martin – Off The Rails (Ray Grant 6am Dub). Nice job, thanks” — Daniel Bortz, Germany – https://www.facebook.com/danielbortzofficial – club, Various – Worldwide – club, Mojo, Hamburg, Germany – club, Iboat, Bordeaux, France – club, Suol @ ZT Hotel, Barcelona, Spain – club
“Favourite Track / Mix: Billie Ray Martin – Off The Rails (Ray Grant 6am Dub)” — Delphic, UK
“Favourite Track / Mix: Billie Ray Martin – Off The Rails (Ray Grant 6am Dub). Love the Ray Grant Dub” — Michael Edwards, UK – Nox – Aberdeen – club

“Favourite Track / Mix: Billie Ray Martin & Aerea Negrot – Off The Rails (Ray Grant 2 AM Remix). Like this one, and brm voice is great” — Arthur Baker

“Favourite Track / Mix: Billie Ray Martin – Off The Rails (Ray Grant 6am Dub). Great mixes but the original is my fave!” — Mijk van Dijk (BLN FM / M4TM Radio – Berlin), Germany
“Favourite Track / Mix: Billie Ray Martin – Off The Rails (Ray Grant 6am Dub). Really enjoyed this dub version” — Silvio Daria (France, way too many associations to list!)
“Favourite Track / Mix: Billie Ray Martin – Off The Rails (Ray Grant 6am Dub). Diggin’ the dub!” — Gemma Furbank, England – Orbit-Reloaded – club, Manchester Global Radio Fortnightly Show – radio, Danceradio.ca – radio, Vestax Europe Pro Artist – club
“More decent remixes still the Ray Grant 2am mix from the other package just edges it for my floors” — Johnny Frenetic, UK – Lola Lo Edinburgh – club, Opal Lounger Edinburgh – club, Shanghai Edinburgh – club

I’m a part of Toy

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My first encounter with Jaime Nanci was 2008’s “Lennonstown Lies” credited to Cuckoo Savante. While there was a lot of amazingness on display, my favourite two songs were “The House Of Ill Repute” and “I C U Leopard”, both of which managed to combine amazing musician and total and utter madness. And so when I saw Nanci tweeting about how a new record is coming, I felt I would be a fool not to try and become a part of the story.

I could say “the rest is history” but actually the rest is present and future. My Brian Eno-inspired remix of “The Isle of Misfit Toys” has been added to the new Jaime Nanci & The Blueboys “Toy” album as a bonus track. While I had my mind set on a punks-jump-up dance-a-thon, somehow the muse was more on the chamomile tea and cozy evening side of things, and so the remix turned out mellow and peaceful. We’re hoping to work together again in very near future. Meanwhile, the album is yours to enjoy.

The download version is available now with CD and vinyl coming soon. Buy “Toy” here (iTunes) or here (Amazon).

Pete Statham: Uplifted – Remixed

I’ve had a pleasure of working with Pete on numerous occasions, and I can proudly call him a friend. It was music that brought us together, specifically the video for “This Is My Life”.

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I remarked that I liked the song but I would like to remix it and next thing I knew I had the stems for the track and was tasked with, well, remixing it. Once we were finished with “This Is My Life” and I had a chance to listen to the whole album, Uplifted (iTunes link), I was flooded with ideas. And so we went on. In total I have by now recorded five of Pete’s songs, four of which appear on his compilation album Uplifted-Remixed (iTunes link).

I have written and produced/co-produced two songs for Pete’s upcoming release Fearless, including the title track. It’s a very strange feeling to write for someone else — I never did it before. I wrote and produced with someone else, but this was a new experience for me. Fearless should be with you before the end of the year and you will be able to judge by yourselves how that went!

New album: Afterglow

A few years ago I used to attend yoga classes. I always thought yoga was boring, static and easy. I was proven wrong very quickly. It transpired my gym skills weren’t much use in the yoga studio. I had to learn to use my body in a completely different way. And I had to learn something that until then has been entirely strange to me: patience. I wasn’t very good at it. When others seemed to be in a lovely relaxed state, breathing in and out like professional yoga breathers, I found it extremely hard to focus on things that were not work, groceries, broken dishwashers, going out and traffic. In other words, I put the axe in relaxing.

Despite that after the first class I cycled home feeling… oddly stoned. I felt blissful, calm and most definitely high in a strange, new way. Colours were brighter and sounds were louder. I came home and started composing music with a goal of putting those feelings into music. After a few classes I came up with the perfect title: Afterglow.

Now comes the shameful bit: I gave up on yoga. I discovered my fascination with bodybuilding went against my fascination with yoga. The bigger I became the harder it was to stretch into required poses. At the end I chose bodybuilding. And so the music languished for a few years. I would listen to it every now and then and decide, again and again, that it was too late or too early to release it.

Years have passed and I put out two more albums until I finally decided it made no sense whatsoever to keep music I was found of in the “vaults”. I had a few more short compositions that fit the overall mood — the opener, “Coming Down”, was over 10 years old for instance. “N=N” was originally called “Nothing Equals Nothing” and was a collaboration with Martina Mars of Technologic that we never released years before because we couldn’t mix it in a way we would find satisfying. Now the situation has changed (and my abilities improved) and I made not just one but two versions of the song — a full-on Technologic version and an ambient version that fit Afterglow.

This is not to say it’s an ambient album. You’ll find all the feelings that attempted to break my concentration here: anger, frustration, disillusion. Same as yoga isn’t just about sitting with your legs crossed and chanting “ommmm” or doing the sun salutations, my record isn’t just about being relaxed and filled with new-age goodness.

Listen to Afterglow with the player above and — hopefully — hit the Buy button. And even if you don’t, namaste, listeners.