Astral people

Dro Carey: Artesian rising

I heard about Dro Carey a week or so before this post via local Sydney DJ Nicky Damage and instantly wanted to know more. A trip to Dro Carey’s Tumblr and Vimeo sites soon became an epic audio visual journey through this prolific artists catalogue of original music. I quickly realised big things were happening and this was confirmed when i read that the Sydney based producer is one of FACT magazines top 10 producers to watch in 2011 with a string of upcoming releases at home and abroad. After making contact i was promptly provided with an exclusive Dro Carey mix for Forcefed Fistfuls (listen below), along with an illuminating Q&A session.

FFF: Whats happening with your latest releases? DC: I did the Trilogy Tapes one – Venus Knock. That was an EP limited to 200 pressings but because they sold out in a week 200 more have been repressed. Another Trilogy Tapes release is finished and coming soon, titled LBEP. And another Trilogy one is in the works, titled Chion Edits. As well as an EP for Ramp recordings called Journey With The Heavy that’s gonna be double vinyl. Finally there’s the Much Coke EP coming out in March on Sydney label Templar Sound. On Hum and Buzz [Ed: run by Ikonika and Optimum] I have the Candy Red/Hungry Horse single coming.

What can you tell us about your collab with UK Grime producer and MC TRIM? Aidan Bennison of Templar Sound organized that. He asked Trim over twitter and some supportive folks like Fact and Ben UFO essentially kept that request bumped up the twitter feed, if that makes sense. He heard the beat and put something together within a week or so. He sent the acapella stems and I did a new mixdown and that’s gonna be on the Much Coke release on Templar Sound. It was a weird experience because for so long I’d been contacting MCs to no avail and then this suddenly came about without me doing anything!

Your Vimeo channel is packed full; who is doing the video? I do those videos. Through mainly found footage and sometimes segments I’ve filmed myself. I feel it can be a good compliment to the music and also for promotion as well.

What are some of your main musical influences? I’m influenced by a range of music and production styles, Detroit Techno, Chicago house, garage rhythms, R&B, avant-garde/minimal synth records.

You mentioned in your Fact magazine interview “Even my most sugary productions are based around subliminal experiences of awkwardness, aggression and guilt”.  As a producer… and a neurotic, I think i understand… does this mean music is ‘therapy’ for you? I guess its therapy. I mean the core goal is to construct something fun and worth listening to, but also there’s this ridiculous undercurrent essentially that embodies all those emotional things. It’s very hard to provide evidence for this, given its electronic music, and I’m really not trying to simulate depth that isn’t there. Basically I’ll just say that yeah its an outlet for a range of neuroses. Hungry Horse was probably the first conscious realization of this, as it is an elaborate pun/inside joke concerning an ex-girlfriend (which is really lame now that I think about it).

Whats your argument for producers letting their guard down; are you yourself capable of being anything other than honest in your music making, or could you whip out a pop track anytime if you wanted? Actually, whipping out a pop track would be the pinnacle of honesty for me. In fact I’m going to have take an issue with ‘whipping out’… Writing a pop/hit song is the hardest thing for an artist to achieve. It takes more skill than any other musical pursuit. I am many stages from developing to that point and it is the ultimate thing I can hope for. It’s years away. Like I’m streetfighting right now, kicking a few dudes in the faces and impressing a small pit of people, but I want to be olympic.Some kind of Taekwondo gold medal. Refining your sound is never a corruption of an ideal, I don’t believe selling out exists. Letting your guard down is a matter of aiming for this but still being yourself, of not being elitist no matter what rung of the music world you’re on. Perhaps what I mean is that your personality can sell out.

You seem to be well noticed overseas, but still underground here in Australia. Is this accurate, and do you see this changing? It’s like Momus predicted, the internet age allows us not 15 minutes of fame, but to be famous to 15 people. And for me 10 of them are in Japan and 4 in the UK. Or some ratio like that. I’m underground everywhere, but I guess you could say I’m Artesian when it comes to Australia. Wouldn’t mind tunneling up to underground status.

Dro Carey Forcefed Fistfuls Mix

    1. Stagga – Ghetto Yutes
    2. Nochexxx – Timepiece
    3. Crooked Luck – Steel
    4. Sir Fresh & DJ Critical – I’m Smooth
    5. DJ Q – Final Boss
    6. Seiji – Sticks
    7. Sinden vs. SBTRKT – Seekwal / GS Boyz – I Wanna C Ya Acapella
    8. GS Boyz – I Wanna C Ya Acapella
    9. Royal T – Orangeade (Walton Edit)
    10. Kahn – Helter Skelter
    11. Soulja Boy & Lil B – That Boy Can Fly (Gucci Wings)
    12. Terror Danjah – Ride 4 Me
    13. Young Jeezy – I Got This
    14. Dro Carey – Delirium Event Line
    15. George Fitzgerald – Don’t You (SCB Edit)
    16. James Fox – Put It Back (Ramadanman Refix)
  1. James T. Cotton – On Time (Rick Wade’s Grimetime Remix)
  2. Chromatic – Hypnotic
  3. BD1982 – Utukku (Ikonika & Optimum Remix)
  4. Yong 3rd & Tay 3rd – Fucc Dat Nigga (Tell Em I Said It)

Follow Dro Carey at his bursting tumblr and listen to his release over at Boomkat.

Jonti: living in his own world

Multi-instrumentalist Jonti began assembling music after his departure from South Africa to Australia. Since settling down in Sydney, Jonti has recorded with luminaries Mark Ronson, Santigold, Sean Lennon and producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile). Whilst Jonti describes his own music as simple, his new label head Peanut Butter Wolf sees it as anything but that. “I understand the pop references because his music is so catchy, but the arrangements blew me away. I couldn’t figure out how the hell he did what he did. That he did it all on his own at such an early age kinda scared me. I knew right away I needed to add him to the roster.”

Prince Nod: Firstly, who was Danimals and what did Jonti do with him? Jonti: Danimals is my alter ego/best friend who allows me to do what I do. In the write up of the Sine And Moon podcast I explain my relationship with him.

Jonti sounds like a full band, but Peanut Butter Wolf leads me to believe it is all you, can this be true? I think that comes from listening to certain records, loving them so and trying to recreate them with what I’ve got. I usually do love the sound of real mechanic electronic music, but for the Twirligig project i tried to make it sound like you were listening to a raw record from the future.

When you met Peanut Butter Wolf, do you remember what kind of sneakers he was wearing? I cant, but they were undeniably ill!

What is your most beat oriented track? That’s a tough one, most of the tracks start out with beats. Although, I will say that there’s a song on the album called Cyclic Love which was a traditional hip hop beat-tape beat with an MC.

How in the hell did you end up recording with Mark Ronson, Santigold, Sean Lennon and John Agnello? It was for a competition to write and record a song with Mark Ronson for a commercial. It was a brilliant experience, in which i got to write a song a day with many artists along with a bunch of my friends. For the past few years I also played in a band called Sherlock’s Daughter and we cut the first record with the brilliant Mr. Agnello last year.

Tell us about your new album’s single, Fireworks Spraying Moon, the lyrics and the gorgeous video that goes with it… That song is probably the most simple and direct lyrically. It’s about romanticising that moment you were sitting in a giant golden chair on a hill with a loved one and the moon was giving you a personal fireworks show.

I met up with the director Hank [Henry ‘Hank’ DeMaio] on my first visit, and I can’t remember how, but we just decided we wanted to do a video for that song. Hank had an idea involving chemicals and mirrors which I really liked, which is what created a lot of the effects and eventually the final album art.

jonti4Tell us about your discography? How have things progressed and changed? Well I’ve only released the one single so far (as Jonti). But I do live in my own world, where I’ve released dozens of albums. Sine And Moon was one of them. I first started making tracks with this brilliant windows freesynth called the TS-404, then started doing pop on a 4-track, then got a sampler and did straight beats for a couple of years, and then i started expanding on that a few years ago. The second album for Stones Throw is based around a time when i was into really cathartic music, and I’m in a different world now though.

How does it feel being Australia’s first signing to Stones Throw? I’m blessed, and am grateful everyday. It’s somewhere i never dreamed I would be, but did dream of getting there. Just goes to show how important dreams are. One layer of the album is a dedication to Stones Throw, with references and samples hidden in nearly every track. I really never thought they would hear it.

Are you a massive Stones Throw fan? Who is your favourite artist from the label? Most of the roster has been massively influential but Madlib is maybe my favourite musician. i cant tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve had trying to figure out how some Yesterdays New Quintet stuff was done, or even some beat that took him five minutes to make was done.

Can you tell us about the selections in you recent Stones Throw PodcastSure! As I mentioned earlier, Sine And Moon was one of those albums in my personal discography and it was probably the most recent one before Twirligig and there is also a mix based around most of those songs. [You can download the Sine And Moon album via Stones Throw Records for free, by clicking the artwork below]

Jonti - Sine & Moon (The Album)
We spoke at James Blake’s Sydney about the use of vocals; what is your approach to this?
A lot of the time I’d rather have the beat tell the story, and have the vocals be another loop or texture on top of everything. As if the words and melodies were there on a sequencer grid. I wish I could write like a troubadour sometimes though heh. I think James Blake is amazing at painting a picture with a looped verse and have the music kinda dictate it’s meaning as it goes.

Your music is fresh and boldly pretty with complex production and melodic arrangements, but what is your sonic message to the world? I think there’s something great about lots of broken sounds working together confidently to try create something bold. I don’t know why but i like that idea.