Blade runner mix (Los Angeles, 2019)

February 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Imagining the journey of a Blade runner, a skin job, in Los Angeles circa 2019 and using Vangelis covers and mainly tracks inspired by the soundtrack, I created an imaginary journey of Rick Deckard strolliing in LA 2019. Sound bytes from the sectors of Blade runner, tracks and samples from the movie were used. It’s a trip into the words of the LAPD, Bryant, Gaff, Deckard, Dick’s universe, product placement and obviously, an hommage to Vangelis…All those moments will hopefully not be lost in time…

Read this great article about the myth and the majesty of Vangelis Blade runner soundtrack on Vinylfactory.
Advertisements

Paul St-Hilaire / Tikiman tribute mix

February 8, 2018 Leave a comment

 

Berlin’s deep space dub techno scene has a voice, and Paul St Hilaire is surely the one most entitled to claim its title. The artist that first made his mark as Tikiman. Born in Grandbay on the Caribbean Island of Dominica but a true dub vocalist, Tikiman burst onto the scene during the mid-1990s The understated disco dub of “Never Tell You” was the earliest I can recall hearing of him, a debut 10-inch release on Basic Channel’s Burial Mix subsidiary.

Following plenty of other work for Rhythm & Sound, issued via various “Rounds,” Tikiman cropped up as a leading light of My Sound, the debut album by Stereotyp, with Tiki on particularly fine ragamuffin form on the opening title track. The False Tuned imprint was launched around the same time, with first issue “Dub It Witaattitude” pointing away from the techno dominance of the past, and grounding more solidly with the roots reggae that directly inspired him – a fantastic debut with very high production values and a pleasurable organic sensibility. But just in case we thought we knew where the label was headed, the lovestruck collaboration with Rene Lowe titled “Faith” was swathed in the same fog of swirling sub-dub techno beats that marked out his early work.

Ten years ago, Tikiman told journalist Karsten Frehe that “My philosophy is not to stick on one style, but to be open to all good music.” What the future holds for Paul St Hilaire’s music is thus anyone’s guess, but the off-kilter reggae and hypnotic techno that has made up his oeuvre so far ensures the next release is definitely worth seeking out and investigating.

P.-S. : The great video producer Martin Joswig aka A X E L E N T also published if on his YouTube channel.

1) Dialogue – Bongo Shep
2) Rhythm & Sound w/ Tikiman – Ruff Way
3) Molekule – Rhauder feat. Paul St. Hilaire
4) Round Four Find A Way (Vocal + Version)
5) Rhythm & Sound w Tikiman – Why
6) Rhythm & Sound w- Tikiman – Ruff Way (Afefe Iku Remix) [Bootleg]
7) Round Three – Acting Crazy
8) Round Five – Na Fe Throw It
9) Paul St. Hilaire & Rhauder – Skank (Sushitech Record)
10) Paul St. Hilaire & Rhauder – Meanwhile (Sushitech Records)
11) Beat Pharmacy – Sunshine feat. Paul St Hilaire
12) Rhythm & Sound with Paul St. Hilaire – Free For All
13) Rhythm & Sound w/Tikiman – Never Tell You
14) Sideshow feat. Paul St Hilaire – If Alone (Chateau Flight remix)
15) Paul St. Hilaire & René Löwe – Faith (Vox Mix)
16) Deadbeat & Paul St. Hilaire Rise Again
17) Paul St. Hilaire & Rhauder Not Saying Much
18) Tikiman & Stereotyp – Fling style
19) Mind Over Midi feat. Paul St. Hilaire – Ital Swing
20) Paul St. Hilaire – Witaattitude
21) Rhythm & sound w/ tikiman – jah rule

Synthwave drive into motion pictures

November 28, 2017 1 comment

Synthwave, also called outrun, retrowave and retro-electro is a genre influenced by 1980s film soundtracks and video games. Aesthetically, synthwave gives a retrofuturistic perspective, emulating 1980s science fiction, action, and horror media, sometimes compared to cyberpunk. It expresses nostalgia for 1980s culture, attempting to capture the era’s atmosphere and celebrate it. Perhaps the most famous movie to use or to kickstart the use of a full-on electro soundtrack was the movie Drive by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. Drive was praised by the legendary Robert Ebert and had a standing ovation at Cannes festival in 2011. Although Drive shares several characteristics with the similarly-named 1978 Walter Hill car-chase film, The Driver, it is actually adapted from the 2005 James Sallis novel of the same name.

The title track, entitled Nightcall by Kavinsky is produced by one of Daft punk and shares some of the magic of their early french touch work in the 90’s. Nightcall was produced by Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo and features Brazilian lead singer of CSS, Lovefoxxx. The track was used in the title sequence for Drive.  Most of its ethereal electronic-pop score was composed by Cliff Martinez, who was a drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Refn was a particular fan of his ambient work on the Sex, Lies, and Videotape soundtrack. Many movies followed in the aftermath of Drive such as The neon demon (also by Refn), It follows, Maniac and Turbo kid.

Kavinsky ‎– Nightcall (Record Makers) – 2010


Electro has always been highly cinematic, just think of the synths used by Vangelis in Blade runner, although more ambient in its genre, the electronic scores bears an intensity difficult to obtain with traditional instruments. As polyphonic sounds are used on synthesizers like the Korg, rightfully so used on BR, it can enhances dramatically a scene and put the emphasis on certain emotions.

Recently, we have seen a plethora of TV shows using those lush sounds. A gimmick or a real trend ? Who knows? From the highly overrated Stranger things, to Utopia’s Cristobal Tapia de Veer (who also scored the British remake of Humans, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams and an upcoming episode of the masterful show Black mirror) to Mr Robot OST, made by Mac Quayle, it seems that electro is no longer played by DJ’s but has been finally find a niche while being embraced by movie directors and showrunners like Sam Esmail. For Drive, for example, Refn wanted electronic music for the film and to have the music occasionally be abstract so viewers can see things from The Driver’s perspective. He gave composer Martinez a sampling of songs he liked and asked Martinez to emulate the sound, resulting in “a kind of retro, 80ish synth-pop” result. Recently, a famous iconic TV show used The Chromatics Shadow in their premiere. Black mirror S03 episode San junipero was scored by another Clint, Mansell this time, famously known for the soundtrack of Moon. Although more ambient in its tone, it showed that electronic music had come full circle and was largely embraced by TV shows : the soundtrack for just one episode, not even a full season, was so much in demand it had to be released on cd and vinyl !


These filmmakers have pretty much in common one person: John Carpenter. Vangelis and Tangerine dream can also be cited as reference. John Carpenter’s mostly known for his brand of horror flicks that includes Halloween, The thing and The fog. But he is also a gifted soundtrack composer as he did the score for Assault on precint 13, released in 1976. One of the film’s distinctive features is its score, composed and recorded by Carpenter. The combination of synthesizer hooks, electronic drones and drum machines sets it apart from many other scores of the period and creates a distinct style of minimalist electronic soundtrack with which Carpenter, and his films, would become associated. Carpenter had several banks of synthesizers that would each have to be reset when another sound had to be created, taking a great deal of time.

More recently, French acts including David Grellier’s project College, Kavinsky, Lifelike and Anoraak are recognized as the pioneers contributing to the early synthwave sound. These early artists began creating music inspired by famous 1980s score composers; music which was, at the time, largely associated with French house. Anoraak later stated in a 2014 interview: “American pop culture is definitely my background as a kid. I was born in 1980, so I grew up in a world taken by American music and movies”. Com Truise, whose retro synthesizer-based music was first released in 2010, has also described his music as synthwave.

Miami vice show from the 80’s also often serve as an aesthetic on many YouTube videos of Synthwave bands such as Miami nights 1984, VHS dreams and Timecop1983. Electric youth, featured on my mix ‘’Strange things & synths’’, an homage to Carpenter and an ode to S U R V I V E, are also a well-known respected band in the genre. From Toronto to France (College), to NYC (Com truise), to Australia (Jordan F), Copenhagen (Dynatron) and Gunship in London, those outfits underline dream like sequenced movies and soundtracks which contains tracks with vintage keyboards and bluntly descriptive titles as well.

When the 1980’s aesthetics of Terminator (1984) meets electro, Kavinsky’s Odd look is one heck of video to watch on YouTube !

Here is a fascinating video from the website called ‘’The rise of synths’’ below which can be streamed on Vimeo. Subtitles are in French!

P.-S. : Driver: If I drive for you, you get your money. You tell me where we start, where we’re going, where we’re going afterwards. I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you’re on your own. I don’t sit in while you’re running it down. I don’t carry a gun. I drive.

%d bloggers like this: