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Heart To Heart Chat With Efesoul

I think alot of people that run blogs or labels find that it’s always worth going through every submission, because eventually you come across a real gem. Today that gem came in the form of Chilean producer Felipe Manzanares (Efesoul). A burst of intrigue came over me when I first listened to his music, I really wanted to know about the person behind the music, who he was, what his inspirations are and basically just delve into the personal aspects of his artistic persona. So instead of just writing about his music, I sat down with him (at the computer) and had a chat.

 

 

The whole unknown and masked musician thing has started to become dated as of late, unless you have a die hard fan base, people won’t really care who’s behind the mask. Efesoul isn’t hiding behind a persona, he doesn’t rely on mystery, he has a genuine feel about how he presents himself and his visual aesthetic. Here is the interview I conducted with Felipe, which turned out to be more of a personal chat than anything, but afterward I felt as though I gained an insight into the person behind the music, it was a nice reminder that we all aren’t different at all, no matter where in the world we come from.

 

So how are you?

These days all is going fine, a little bit stressed because the semester is finishing and its exams period, but its all good.

Ah yeah? what are you studying? Is this school or university?  I go to uni myself and its pretty hectic.

Yes, I study psychology. It’s my first year in university.

Oh right, yeah I think they try to scare people off in the first year, so you’ll find it gets easier I think besides third year.

hahaha the first semester was pretty scary because of exams and all that. Right now I’m living far away from home, I live in a city called Temuco with a friend, which is where the university is located.

hahah well you got through it which is the main thing! That must be really interesting as well, do you want to become a psychologist?

I don’t know if I want to become a psychologist, I don’t really see myself as one. I’m always open to new things, but at this time I really enjoy the whole psychology thing.

That’s fair enough you have your whole life ahead of you! where  do you live in the world? do you live at home?

I was born and raised in a city called Osorno, but I had to move to this city because its better quality in education in comparison with the other universities.

Ah yeah there are a lot of people over here that travel to go to my university as well. Like the ignorant Aussie I am I googled your home town it looks very nice and quaint! did you enjoy your childhood there? 

My childhood in Osorno was very peaceful because the life in that city is like that. It’s filled with trees and stuff, very cashmere cat-ish haha and yes, I really enjoy these days I spend with my friends playing Zelda and games from the n64.

That sounds lovely, nice I do love Zelda! I play 64 as-well, been playing Conkers Bad Fur Day would recommend. What other games are you into?

Conkers BFD is the shit! I really like it, the multiplayer mod its so cool, I’m a really really really big fan of all the Zelda saga. The Zelda orchestra is gonna play some concerts here in Chile. I’m also really into the Pokemon and Kirby games, basically all that stuff that you can play with a emulator hahah

Tell me about your music! When did you start producing? I’m listening to your track ‘Anxiety’ and it sounds very crisp for a first track so am I right in assuming you’ve had older tracks in the past? Also your visuals are very dope, love the banner and DP combo you have going there

 

 

I started producing in 2011, after the death of my father, I really don’t remember the exact motive, I only remember that I was into that nujabes-flylo-afta1 stuff, and I released a couple EPs, both where released on a friend’s net label. Also thanks for notice the visuals, my friend called Aaron Marilaf helped me with that. He is a very talented graphic designer who works in a net label called Future Frequencies.

Basically Future Frequencies its a label made by my good friends Matias and Alexander (Marvin Marlyn). This label releases all type of music, from Techno to Rap, and also throw some parties with my buds of BVSTV collective, they are a crew of producers from here that make pretty good music.

 

 

Awesome I’ll have to check out what they’ve put out! I’m very sorry to hear that, how are you now? That’s a good inspiration, you sound like a much cooler kid than I was hahah.

Right now I’m feeling good, all the pain from the physical separation I think is going away, with time you learn to take the pain with you.  I dunno if its a good source of inspiration for doing music but its a good source to see the life through other Cosmovision.

 

I saw that you released a song on Svnset Waves recent compilation, did you find that to be good exposure?

 

The Svnset Waves compilation was definitely a really good opportunity to get some exposure because that was the kind of publicity that i wanted to gain.

 

 

I’m loving ‘Juice Box’ at the moment as well, what was the idea behind that track?

For the track Juice Box, I was really into the Ryan Hemsworth and Lucas EP, that gave me a lot of inspiration to write tracks and one of them happened to be Juice Box. Before that track, all my songs sounds too happy and i want a change, so I started experimenting and that’s how juice box came out, to me sounds like winter-spring. The idea behind that track was to make something  a little bit darker without loss the cuteness hahaha.

 

Do you like Ryan’s earlier stuff actually? I love guilt trips personally haha.

Yes! Finally someone that shares the same passion for Ryan’s music hahaha. I really like the ‘Alone For The First Time’ album, especially the track ‘Surrounded’. But I really love all of his works, I think Ryan is a great contribution for the music scene nowadays, specially for the bedroom producers like me haha.

 

 

His label Secret Songs is a place where I have found great musicians like Lontalius and Lucas. I also love how Ryan established his image, he seems a very nice person. his Instagram and Tumblr are so hilarious haha.

Yes i love that as well! That was my favorite song on the album too, it’s nice to find someone with the same passion! I feel the same, he tries to offer something unique, and he does that really well, I couldn’t say that too many people sound like him (if any). Yeah secret songs is a great inspiration for me, Munno’s EP was by far my favorite release for this year so far. hahah so many weird and whacky situations he seems to get himself in.

Is there anyone else you listen too quite a bit?

hahaha yes Ryan its a special dude.

I also listen a lot the Cashmere Cat stuff, his music is so complex, its really hard to emulate that sound. This year I’ve been listening to a lot of this guys music from Norway called Rytmeklubben, his music is so cool, Hi Tom in my opinion is a very slept-on producer, he is so talented, but at the same time he is underrated. To be honest I’m into all the guys who came from Sound Cloud. On one side I listen to all this happy and energetic music like Tennyson, Cosmos Midnight, Wave Racer, Basenji, Uv Boi, Dzz, Alizzz, Rustie, etc and on the other side, I listen to all this dark-nostalgic guys like Ricky Eat Acid, Lucas, MM, Visionist, lontalius, Qrion, Kid Antoine, Murlo and so on. I always love bands and musicians, lately I’ve been listening to this guy called Tobias Jesso Jr. who is a pianist and composer who work with Adele, he is so good.

AND RAP! haha i was forget that, the last Travis Scott album ”rodeo” its by far my favorite rap album of 2015.

I know what you mean, sometimes it just depends on what mood you’re in for what music to listen too. Sounds like you’ve got a nice range of music though! Do you have any new music coming out at any point? I do love some rap myself its a nice change sometimes!

 

Oh cool! I never tried to rap before, I don’t know if that its a good idea haha. Yes i try to listen to a lot of music and get inspiration from there, this month I think that I release an EP called ”Caught Me” via Future Frequencies, I finish this EP in January and has 4 tracks, mostly chill stuff, also I want to release a couple remixes and originals that I’ve been working on these months, I’m pretty happy with how it sounds, finally I’m coming to the sound that i wanna develop. 🙂

 

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A Conceptual Interpretation of “Mssingno – XE2”

I had no idea what I was in for when I first played this song. I’m not trying to sound like it was a life changing experience or anything, but I definitely wasn’t ready for what I heard. I feel like I had to write about this song because of how much I love it and because of the passion I feel in it’s layering and intensity for something as basic as it is instrumentally. Keep in mind though, I don’t claim to be a musical expert, I just have an artistic opinion that I wish to express about XE2.

 

Mssingno is a London based producer, but apart from that I don’t actually know a whole lot about him, I’ve only googled everything I possibly could.  So instead of focusing on what I don’t know, lets talk about what I do know, and that is the song XE2, a song which I have thrashed to death in both my room and my car trips, I feel like I’ve heard enough of this track to talk about it, and even maybe learn a little more about the artist himself.

The two main themes from this song for me personally are “nostalgia” and “intensity”. The high end vocal introduction balances very well with the low end brass to give us the first buildup. This is noteworthy because most modern producers would try to overemphasize the low ends in the track to give it a hard edge and make it sound more “impressive”. This balance really threw me off initially, and the first few times I listened to it the track almost sounded wrong to me because of what I’m used to. Artists like Hudson Mohawke and Uv Boi  are attempting to make real hard hitting bangers, some real trap shit, but they and Mssingno would still fit into this category of electronic music, where the lines really become blurred and music blogs lazily dub as “EDM”. Don’t get me wrong though, they achieve what they’re setting out to do, and both of them have come a long way in their own personal development as artists, but I feel that Mssingno is on another level for the music all of these producers are making. I now understand how wrong I was in my instinctual judgement. It feels almost primitive to scrounge around a song looking for really hard kicks and just overall loudness. XE2 shows no overemphasis and no overcompensation of anything, the R. Kelly sampling; as Redbull stated in their interview with the producer:

somehow wrought femininity from R. Kelly’s paean to playin’ “I’m a Flirt.”

 

 

I always hear the lyrics as “I don’t wanna cry when I’m walking through the mall”. Which gives off a feeling of relatability, especially in the context of a very connected and young Tumblr-esk audience. I never would have guessed initially that this was from an R. Kelly song, I have a very millennial and ignorant mindset when it comes to music history and have not been exposed to even much stuff from the 90’s (or anything R. Kelly at any time). I’m always reminded of Tumblr imagery when I think of this song, very post modernist and conceptual pieces relating to gritty and harsh realities, juxtaposing with our first world problems yet still seemingly traumatic problems. I found these images on Tumblr a few years ago, I’m sure you can find the source by reverse image searching.

 

 

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I always wonder what this girl is singing about when I listen to this song, the singer in this song is no longer R. Kelly of course, that context has been completely altered in XE2. The vocalist I feel is singing about coping with a recent breakup, either in the sense that they’re on the verge of crying in public because its that hard to cope or that they’re really determined to move on with their life. It’s hard to tell whether they’re coping well with this event well or not, (or whether its reflected in the producer) but the feeling I get from the song is determination in the very gradual and heavy buildup leading up to the (I quote myself) “sick as fuck drum section”(breakdown) which had me actually dancing like an idiot in front of the computer.

You can listen to an earlier work that he produced from CAS here:

 

Overall I felt that this track was extremely successful, I’m no expert in music, so I should hope you’re listening to this right now. I look forward to more music from Mssingno, appropriately sharing the name of the mysterious and ominous Pokemon.

 

 

 

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A Tsunami Is Coming! Meet Dojang Gang

Dojang Gang are a group of friends, all with the same driving passion for music, both URL and IRL, from all across the world. They’re all genuine, and really down to earth people, showing the world what it means to enjoy what you do and not give a shit about anyone else.

I had a chat on Facebook with the founders of this URL/IRL crew, to see where they’re taking there music, and themselves. Japanese born Nobuki (oosio), who is one of the founders, gave me insight into where he’d like to see Dojang go.

“The one question I can answer for real though, as a collective, I want this music to just continue to evolve. I don’t think its important to sound all the same. for the most part I’m not really looking to expand Dojang in numbers. I’d personally want people to either be producing a lot or playing shows a lot. just like musically active.

Dojang is about family, supporting one another, and being there for each other. Unlike a lot of collectives I’ve seen in the past, this one in particular is very tight knit, and all share a similar music vision. After viewing a survey conducted by all the members, I can see that some common emotions that they associate with themselves are; working through sadness, depression, emotional worry, but also uplifting, inspirational and wistfulness. The message as a group that they get across to the viewers is;

“It’s okay to be sad, as long as you are sad with your friends together”

I also spoke to all three of them in a group inbox on Facebook, but Hans (Upsuh) summed it all up pretty well for me:

Me: So how did you guys form? Was it just an idea that came to you all of a sudden?

Hans: As Chris (hhushhushh) said, Dojang formed pretty naturally. Chris and I spoke about starting a sister collective to Midwest Collective with Seth since we were musically tied together. as we kept sharing ideas we got more ambitious and decided to do our own thing. we realized that we have our own unique aesthetic that we can develop together.      

Me: What does Dojang mean to you?

Hans: Dojang gang is really just a group of friends posing as a music collective. Of course we strive to be professional about releases, but its so much more than just music to me. I feel like we have really built our own fucked up culture through group chat.

Me: Where do you guys want to take your music? or you just happy where you are now?

Hans: As a group, we all have different goals. personally, I’ve always made music for a few simple reasons. i just want to create when i have the urge and hope that the people i care about can relate to it. lately, i haven’t been as productive, but i always go through slumps. I’ll always be back.

Roster:

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Corbin & Bobby Raps – Burdened

The first time I saw Spooky Black, I was presented with a skinny white boy wearing a do-rag, a ridiculous image if you ask me for someone of his age and assumed social circumstance, you must understand however that I wasn’t aware of the context and character Corbin was presenting to us.

Before I even let him open his mouth to me and heard his music, I made the unfair assumption that he was riding the wave of popularity within the ironic “Sad Boy” persona of music. This however, I would learn later on, couldn’t be further from the truth. After downloading his original mixtape off of Bandcamp titled ‘Lil Spook – Black Silk’, I felt an emotional, misunderstood young boy who sung slightly out of tune R&B vocal work. The production wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t help him with his image either. He must have seen this himself, because he later took down that mixtape and re marketed himself as Spooky Black, releasing a new song in late 2014 titled “Without U”. The production from GREAF and vocal work were much more finely tuned and all in all just better quality, but the visuals remained ‘goofy’ as many people have put it. This isn’t a downfall, seeing as this goofy persona landed him articles in BuzzFeed and i-D, Gaining traction with viral popularity.

Personally I never respected the artist, I couldn’t see that goofy teenager as anything but a viral hit that will die of.

That was, until he collaborated with Bobby Raps…

 

 

This is a track I connected with on an emotional level, and saw that there was a greatness and much emotional intelligence within these two artists. My earlier interpretations went right out the window when this song came on, and decided I had to share this with everyone by writing a blog post about it.

I feel like this EP reflects a more relaxed approach to releasing music, going in another direction from the more professional ITunes and Spotify mediums. They rely on their fans to donate to them when they release their music, and boy do they donate. This approach is something I respect, since its pushing a relatively unrespected format and distribution platform. I would talk about the music video they released for ‘Couch Potato’, but that would take a whole ‘nother article.

Hear the emotional melodies and hard hitting words of both Corbin and Bobby raps for yourselves, I don’t need to tell you how to interpret music.

 

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Earl Sweatshirt shows his “Grief”

Spawned from the depths of California, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile (Earl Sweatshirt) has risen through the world of underground hip-hop to a high up pedestal of fame. Through his intellectual lyricism and unique visuals, Earl captivates his audiences with his autobiographical style of storytelling, giving us insight into his recent struggles with guilt and mental state. In a surge of popularity with his recent album “I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside”, Earl shows us his downward spiral into depression, secluding himself from the rest of us, giving him time to look internally. His maturity comes through with his latest music video, “Grief”, which served as a teaser for this album.

 

Breaking away from the collective Odd Future was the best creative decision he has made.

Odd Future as a professional business, served to relate to the “fuck everyone” young fans who were taught that swearing and breaking the rules is cool. Earl is now a man, not an immature child, and the artistic choice in using thermal/black and white imagery contrasts the low quality production and darkness of “Grief”, highlighting his change from boy-rapper to man-poet. In terms of production, this fresh new landscape of very compressed low quality beats, and slightly distorted synths  highlight Earl’s slow, almost sluggish delivery of vocals. I say almost however, because nothing about this song is in fact sluggish, or even low quality, the intention and delivery of everything as a whole was a work of artistic genius. The picture he paints of a grieving depressed man mourning the loss of his grandma’s passing gives a very depressive feeling in hindsight of the catchy hooks and diverse production (did I mention already that I liked the production?).

It’s hard for me too look at this song in any other way besides artistic because of my background. His non conformative style looks to impress nobody but himself, and that’s something I always respect, especially when it’s pulled off so well. His choice of song structure seemed very confusing at first, giving me the impression of a very tired, possibly drugged Earl spitting his feelings out on this very poorly produced instrumental he had made himself. His trust in his friends and those that surround him are brought into question throughout this song. The elements of seclusion and reflection are too strong to ignore, even if you don’t look too deep into the double entendre’s of his lyrics.

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A Conceptual Interpretation of munno’s “arc”

Ryan Hemsworth’s own internet label Secret Songs, have been introducing the online music world to some very talented, unheard of, and underrated artists. One of those artists who has recently been blessed with a release on Secret Songs, is Montreal based producer munno. Having been well received with the music he has put out in the past, his latest release titled “arc“, unlocks an aggregated amount of emotion hidden within the reserved soundscape of each track.

 

 

The opening track “sea” is by far my favorite of the five. As soncially powerful as this track is, it leaves me in awe of his patience, and ability to produce such a well polished final product. What really hit me hardest about his ability is his use of reversed vocals and instrumentation (in some parts). As a producer myself, I try to capitalize on how beautiful a high pitched lead vocal can carry a track forward and make you feel, munno leaves me in the dust with his application of every sound, and bringing out its full potential. The use of unconventional sequencing show that he draws more inspiration in his music from what surrounds him and whats inside of himself then merely what other artists are making or the current trend in sound.

Fortunately this isn’t a release where the artist decides that they’ve found “the winning formula”, and repeat this formula all the way through. Munno provides variety with his tone and heavy mood in tracks such as “Dead”, where we drudge along, tired, and in desperate need of sleep hoping there is an end to this long, heavy road. Another interesting track is “Ending”, which feels like a reflection upon the life we live(d) and are now accepting our inevitable fate.

The titling on each track make it appear as though we are being told a story, on the surface it tells the story of someone who has drowned at sea and is transitioning into the afterlife, or in a less transparent light, feeling as though they are drowning and will never return. This feeling is demonstrated in the song “down”,the arcing of the track when the deep voice wallows “down” feels as though we are being dragged down to the bottom of the sea..
Literal drowning would be a very empty interpretation for me to discuss, since the term drowning could be referring too an overwhelming well of negative emotion. However, I’m not munno, and it would be unfair for me to try and decide what might be burdening him or is in need of release, he simply may be wanting to just make some nice sounding tunes, only he knows the truth about that.

The term “Rodzina”, is a polish word defined as “family”. As a closing track we are left to reflect on what we are left with (or without), the vocal sampling make this idea more evident, as well as the comforting chimes felt in the background of this track. The flow of this track feels alot less heavy and negative, almost as though we are thrown back into a reality after daydreaming whilst on the phone too your parents. We could also be fading from our reality and remembering those loved ones who are no longer with us, interpretation depends on personal experience.
Needless to say, the narrative in each track is deeply personal, and munno lets us inside from the cold outdoors, sitting under the porch at 3am, reflecting upon the starry night sky.

 

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“What You Don’t Know”, New Single From Bored Lord’s Upcoming Album

Bored Lord is bringing back that moody internet aesthetic with his new single “What You Don’t Know”. This single foreshadows his upcoming full length album “Omens & Siglis”, which is set to be released jointly through Sturm & Klang Records and ЯΛRΞ ИNUĐΞS. Sturm & Klang are a music collective he was welcomed into during the late part of 2014 with the re-release of his EP “The Little Death“, while ЯΛRΞ ИNUĐΞS are a music label that Bored Lord helps to administrate.

As a visual artist, Bored Lord is a great manipulator of digital 3D imagery, twisting shapes and forms that give a feeling of (as Sturm & Klang put it) alienation. As he stated in an interview with Thump, he is heavily influenced by certain:

“fever dreams involving an abstract world or future state of mind.” – Interview with Thump (Vice)

 

I feel as though in this new track, Bored Lord brings more of an R&B vibe to the table with his delivery of strong poetic vocal work, use of down tempo beats, and eerie synths. The overall aesthetic is still very reminiscent of his last album released via ЯΛRΞ ИNUĐΞS titled “Alone Online”, which brought to us a very relatable story of escape and virtual ecstasy, whilst giving us hints at real world depression. The line between URL and IRL is becoming foggy and indistinguishable.

If you were to look at Bored Lord as an art installation, but lets say, an online art installation, I would have to say it has been brilliantly executed in terms of delivering a message, using consistent themes, and warped mental imagery.

The “fictional character” (as his Facebook page states) will forever be present in the ever growing void of social media, sitting atop a throne of Facebook notifications, looking down at us, while we try to gain recognition and self worth with likes and comments on our meaningless posts.