Featured Artists

Featured Artist: Wep One & Timmo

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Now available on Hello.L.A., a France based art label created by Bertrand Blanchard, Turn From the Grave by Wep One & Timmo, is an complex and interesting album which combines electronic, Hip Hop, and Metal into an explosive buffet of sound. The seven song collection is a co-production between U.S. based electronic musician and rapper, Wep One, and Timmo, a Japan based electronic musician and producer.  The two collaborated over the internet and have not met in person, although you wouldn’t guess that by listening to Turn From the Grave.

The album  begins with “Compound 47” a gritty mix of Wep’s vocals, static synths, and phased guitars, with minimal to sparse drums underlying the melee. Wep one’s lyrical mastery harkens to the most hardened of hip hop artists laced with a growl of wolf like mastery. The electronic samples and synths add an ethereal and alien soundscape with a futuristic quality. This could be hip hop circa 2062, sent back through a time portal. The second track “Turn From the Grave” starts with a robotic pulse sweeping the listener along into an interstellar starship dance party with robot DJ’s and Captain Wep leading the rabble rousers with his command of vocal form. “Imprint” the third song continues the galactic dance party and was co-produced along with Timmo and Wep by KaeoFLUX . The rest of the album continues along these lines and never ceases to be an interesting integration of sonic fortitude.

This is for hip-hop fans and electronic music fans alike, and even those who are tired of the same old thing. This album is certainly breaking new ground in electronic music and hip hop. Ready for something new? You’ve found it. You’re welcome.

 

Hard Copies SOLD OUT

Digital Available for DOWNLOAD:

http://store.hellola-hellola.com/product/wep-one-timmo-turn-from-the-grave/

Facebook

Wep One

https://www.facebook.com/WepOneMusic/

Timmo

https://www.facebook.com/TIMMO80

KaeoFLUX

https://www.facebook.com/kaeoflux/

Hello.L.A.

 

Geometric Fashion & Art by Beatrice Peter Schuett

Interview by Angel Russell

Edited by Spencer Thurlow

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Where are you located/from?


I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and grew up in Berlin, Germany from age four. I’m Armenian-Bulgarian, but my mother grew up in Germany too and German is my native language.

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How does your location effect your creativity?


That I ask myself a lot. What if I wasn’t here? Fact is, in my head I’ve always/partially lived someplace else. For as long as I can think, I wanted to emigrate to the USA. I was and still am obsessed with America, stemming maybe from an early childhood tale I was told about my absent father staying “in America” (not particularly true). I grew up with Michael Jackson and Elvis music, Carl Barks comics, and spoke fantasy English with my mom until I finally had English classes in elementary.

I owe a lot of my imaginative world to my country-obsessions with Victorian England and Japan, too. Berlin is by far the best place in Germany to live and work if one likes big cities, but my biggest goal is to move out of the country, carry my art and career in a low-fi way throughout the world and settle in California, or Louisiana, and set up a second place to live in Tokyo, oh and a third one in Buenos Aires, maybe.

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How do you begin creating a piece?

Sometimes by day(or night) dreaming, but mostly I’ll think about something interesting, a form or a subject or a memory, a listen, a feeling, a funny…yes, it gets cryptic before it becomes clear.

After I have pondered the emerging object in question for hours, days, or weeks I’ll start to make a lot of sketches and try to figure out how it will work out. Often there are problems that I’ll have to solve one by one. I’ll probably research online where to get certain materials. I order a lot online, and go out to my different material suppliers as well. I always work on up to 10 things simultaneously, so one object may take a year or just one month. It depends.

Often, right before the idea has become an actual idea there is a 
phase where everything is hazy and I think about the first tender idea 
only occasionally and deliberately
unfocused, as if it would vanish once 
I stare it in the eye too early.

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Do you keep a large collection of items to create your pieces? Do you go out and find things?

I have a lot of basic stuff like hinges and joints organized in boxes and other containers and I keep my stock always high on certain items and tools. I always have plywood, a huge pile of old clockwork bits and pieces, vintage screws and nails, miniature screws and nails, ring screws…

I found my absolute ideal of an overcrowded but still and neatly organized and stylish workspace many years ago on page 139 in the 
modern classic Tokyo: A certain style, a little photo compendium of Tokyo apartments. On the other hand I am constantly afraid of a fire or a plane crashing on our house so I’d rather have less stuff and live out of a suitcase.  But with my collections of books, clothes and work material that’s currently not possible.

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Do your pieces exist as a set or are they purely independent sparks of imagination?



I am pretty sure every maker’s body of work is considered as a whole, no? Things I don’t consider good anymore I throw away or reuse parts of, so everything I discard simply doesn’t belong to the whole anymore. The more of my work I make visible to (future) audiences, the more you will see a loose coherence among my individual works, I guess. I just try to follow through my own agenda of good art against my own inner mediocrity and laziness.

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Can you give us a brief description of your creative past and present?



Throughout my early childhood and teens there was a string of mostly creative career fantasies from fashion designer to Nintendo engineer to saddle maker and writer. I also went through a failur-y phase of making collages and ugly paintings when I was 16 (I’m 25 now), after which I wanted to study Japanese and film studies. A few years ago though I finally settled for Art. Before, I thought I couldn’t take the freedom of creating anything I wanted without restrictions, but ever since that decision, (with which I had cut myself off from any other scholarly options all at once) I found that this is exactly what I need and my imagination became a never-ending well of new creations. I feel like I don’t have enough time and physical energy to fulfill everything on my to-do list but this is negative make-believe. I am very grateful for everything going on in my head (but I do hope to get prescribed things to help me sleep less and work more!) and I try to get better at 
expressing it through my work.

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Can you explain your speaker box project and why you selected the piece 
that plays inside?

Music Box 1 and 2 were the original idea that once bore the name Head Box. Back 
then, the original sketches for the Head Box incorporated music but
I decided to go with the pure form around the head without electronic matters complicating it. Years later I revisited old sketches and liked the idea of the muffled sound of beautiful music (without sticking your head in styrofoamed wood) and thus the Music Boxes were born.

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The original idea was of a far away place that you cannot enter, that is only accessible through stillness and the dark endless space, an outer space in your head. The Head Box is definitely the superior execution of this idea, but the Music Boxes can play music, hey! Well, we’ll see how it looks once they’re completed (should I install a lamp inside the dark one?) and once I actually use them to play music.

I am still undecided with which music pieces they’ll go best. I once listened to the short Charles Ives piece “The unanswered Question” in a concert and it sums up just about everything for me. But maybe the piece is too delicate to deliver it’s wisdom through the styrofoam.

I bought some of Ives’ other pieces and especially the “Universe Symphony” is a hoot! But it’s pretty long and one has to listen to it to understand it’s humor, so that’s not an option for the Boxes either. Arvo Pärt’s Für Alina Spiegel Im Spiegel EP was the only soundtrack in Gus Van Sant’s film Gerry and I remember it bore through my heart when I watched it. The pieces are poignant, beautiful and non-complicated but engaging, and not as heart-wrenching and easy-pleasing as anything by Max Richter. I liked the OST of Tony Takitani by Ryuichi Sakamoto, too. Holy Other makes wonderful music and maybe it is suitable as well. I’ll hear.

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What sort of things in life inspire you?

Oh, you know, lust, transcendence, childhood, friendship, religion. Also, I am a BIG cinephile, and I am a terrible know-it-all. Years of release of all of Hitchcock’s movies? I know them. Unfortunately I also tend to let everyone else know that they can always count on my expertise in terms of great taste and knowledge about film history. So, movies, ALL kinds of movies are a great and constant inspiration to me. I am often writing down ideas for film scripts, too, but right now I’ve no time to dedicate to writing and and immersing myself in writing and developing my style as I did with the objects. I read Georges Bataille a lot, and books on film studies, social studies, neuroscience, psychoanalysis and a lot about architecture, especially the International Style architects and Japanese traditional architecture. Those are all big subjects in my head. And the book about Japanese apartments I always have around, as well as the Story of the Eye and several Bauhaus books. Also, nature. I can stay for years on end in Berlin and when I get out for a few days to the sea, I become very depressed when I get home. That is another reason I want to go to the USA. I imagine It’s grand and diverse nature will be much closer to me in a city close by the sea. Food is very much an inspiration, too. Recently I designed quite a few new objects with cakes.

As a child I was pretty religious, and I started out with “making” first when I turned my former childhood Christian pendants into wearable objects. Currently I am building a big object inspired by my former faith connected to video games.

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The Loogies: When We Leave Free Download

-Angel Russell

Sergeant Sparrow featured artist’, The Loogies, have a new song released 24 March 2012 available for free download called, When We Leave. Much like rock greats, Buddy Holly and The Pixies, the two minute song length does not reflect quality. Distorted guitars decompress and climax over and under delayed vocals held together with intricate drumming glue. Then it fades into an experimental rock interlude. Listen to this if you are prepared to ride the electric pony slide.
Listen and download here:

S.S. Archives: Eagle and Talon Interview


-Em Brownlowe
Through the generous help of their friends and fans, Kim and Alice of Eagle and Talon celebrated the victory of raising over $5,000 via Kickstarter to release their new EP, In Manila, on their very own record label BI/AKKA RECORDS. The album is available to the public on a limited pressing of 700 CDs and the music may as well be the soundtrack to a crazy celebration of the fact that yes, art fans do come together to support the creators.

On Eagle and Talon’s previous release, Thracian, the self proclaimed “leotardrock” duo began to experiment with garnishing their angular indie-pop with primitive electro devices. This trend continued in the writing of In Manila, maturing into glossy, tropical jams that still stay true to Eagle and Talon’s talent for pop songwriting. The production is crystal clear on this record, showcasing both Kim and Alice’s golden vocal talents. It is light and airy and oh so catchy. Title track “In Manila” bounces in with great energy encompassed by a wave of vintage keyboards and disco beats. The album’s moodiest song “Modified My Knife” is in perfect contrast to the dance numbers and is a nostalgic look into Eagle and Talon’s musical past.

Kim and Alice have never been the type of band to stand still in one niche sound and are continuing to move forward. We had the chance to chat about their partnership and what is next for the band.

Interview:
Your sound has surely evolved over the years from being more of a rock band to more pop. How would you describe your music’s growth?

KIM: If I had to pick one word to describe our music’s growth, I would use the word organic. The
changes our sound has endured recently are all a result of the band’s dynamic changing. We also
arranged and wrote much more collaboratively on this release than in the past. On “Cares” and “Thracian,” most of the time I would bring a completed song to Alice and she would add her parts and we would arrange/produce the tracks together. This time the approach was us meeting closer to the middle, that’s probably why it sounds different. The music was created within a different balance.

What changes have you seen in your inspiration over the years?

KIM: If I had to generalize I would say my inspiration in writing went from personal issues to more general issues (culture/cities/human constructs). Then on “In Manila” I was mostly inspired by being broken down, frustrated and laying wrongful blame. Fun times!

What prompted you to experiment with different instrumentation?

KIM: Necessity. The songs were empty with just keyboards and drums; they needed more. This became especially obvious to us when we tried to play those songs live. It simply didn’t work without all of the other parts.

What was the songwriting process for In Manilla? Recording? How does it compare to previous works?

KIM: Like I mentioned, most of the songs came together while we were in the same room, so that
was a change for us. We mostly tracked with our friend/favorite engineer, Pete Min. He is very patient with our extensive in-studio experimentation, which is a huge gift. Some engineers we’ve worked with haven’t liked that side of us so much. Also, on this record we changed up the production a bit by adding horns, violin, combining live drums with imitation drum sounds and man vocals by Reggie Watts to help color things in.

How did the record label concept come along?

KIM: I had wanted to start a label for a while and we wanted to remain independent, so it just seemed like the right time. We were not looking for outside labels to release “In Manila” so it just made sense. Also, we were in a bit of a rocky place in our partnership, so I thought it would be a good way to seal what we had together.

What’s the story behind the name BI/AKKA?

KIM: Again, kind of a result of what was happening within the band but in title, a way to bind us. BI = the two of us, and “A” & “K” are the first initials of our names, pretty simple. The name suddenly came to me and eventually Alice agreed to it!

Do you plan to sign other artists?

KIM: Yes, there are a few bands we would love to sign. We have been very busy with the “In Manila” release. Once that settles down and we can afford to we would definitely like to sign some bands that we’re fans of that need help getting their music out. The only other records we’re releasing at this time are by one of our favorite LA bands, Anchors for Architects.

What inspired the AMBIENT KARAOKE PARTYTIME project?

ALICE: It’s fun to sneak outside E&T’s amniotic sac once in a while and let the songs interact with outside elements. Also, I kind of hate how lipsyncing is the standard when you make a music video. It works but I’ve always wanted to make one where you’re hearing some live sounds or seeing the singer actually singing in real space, real time. “I Want Everything” was the perfect specimen because it’s our one and only instrumental song. So, we just invited a bunch of our most unsavory friends to sing, play, and bathe over the original.

How did you find the artists? What were some of the covers that surprised you the most?

ALICE: We had tryouts. Actually no, they’re all just friends who are amazing musicians in their
own right. It was pretty great to see what everybody came up with, though nothing was really surprising. I mean, our friends are weirdos, we know we can’t control them. I will say I was surprised by what a great sport my mom is (she plays wine glass in the Mentor & Protege video). I should also mention that Fort King actually recorded a really pretty studio version of the song which you can hear here:

What’s next for Eagle and Talon?

KIM: We would both love to tour again soon if any great opportunities come up, so we are
waiting to see what happens on that front. In the meantime, Alice and I are taking a little vacation
from the band and are working on other projects). Alice is in New York doing a recording project with the incredibly talented Kono Michi and I am currently playing with LA based band “Traps PS.” Alice and I have spent piles of time making music exclusively with each other, so we think this pause will be a creatively productive one for the band.

The complete:

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Phil the Tremolo King Tour by Train


New video from Phil the Tremolo King’s kickstarter funded train tour. Phil was a featured artist in issue number 4 of Sergeant Sparrow magazine and one of featured our artists of the week. You can get more information about his tour here.

This is a track from his kickstarted compilation CD. A cover of Magnetic Fields.

Interview with Bert Schuyler: 100 Songs


Where are you located/from?
I live and work out of my apartment in Toronto.

Can you give a brief history of your musical past?
I grew up studying piano and spent hours every day playing. As a kid I was writing music for piano but I always wanted more. When I came to Toronto I started playing in bands around the city but it wasn’t until I learned about computers and created a mini studio that I was able to finally create what I really wanted to create.

Can you explain your 100 songs project?
I quit my job a year and a half ago. I wasn’t sure why or what I wanted to do. I agreed to go to a movie with a friend one afternoon that turned out to be a documentary about the Magnetic Fields, a band I wasn’t familiar with. In that documentary you see that Stephin Merritt actually intended to write 100 songs, not 69. The magnitude, freedom and enslavement of a project that sized intrigued me so I started that night.

Have you learned anything from pursuing this?
I’ve learned everything. For better or worse, going into a self critical and introspective project of this size teaches you things. I’ve learned what being an artist means to me. I had no idea before this project.

What do you do when you have no desire to write songs?
I either take a break or a beat myself up for not listening. Writing songs is more listening than writing. I don’t believe in creativity. I believe in hearing. If you can’t hear what’s all around you, you can’t translate it into music. So writing music is just listening and translating. When you can’t listen and translate it’s because something is making too much noise in your life.

What are your songs influenced by?
Musically I’m influenced by two bands that have been important to me, Sun Parlour Players and The Magnetic Fields. Artistically my main influences have been my time up north and the story, The Giving Tree.

What do you have planned after the project is complete?

I think I might try to make some money.
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You can hear all of the songs Bert has completed so far here. He is currently on number 82.

Coming Soon: Interview with songster Rob Schuyler

For two years Rob Schuyler has been on a mission to write 100 songs. The project is on going until complete. “The essence of the project is not just one song but the magnitude of the journey that’s captured through music.” You can trace his musical journey on his site. http://www.songsbybert.com