Priming us for all of the sun, pineapple, and colorful Ray-Bans on the horizon, the Palm Springs Purveyor of Positivity, Corey Hurley aka Colour Vision, remixed indie dance vibe superstar Penguin Prison to full effect. Kicking off with a conga groove before letting a series of marimbas carry us away to the Caribbean, Hurley complements Chris Glover’s vocals with spacious reverb and additional percussion that dazzles and grooves while a very minimal, bouncy bass bumps in the background. Anything that feels this good should be considered sinful, but thankfully, Colour Vision makes the journey irresistible and pure. Nothing to worry about.
Listen to the Colour Vision remix of Penguin Prison’s “Never Gets Old” below.
Since their last EP 2 years ago, dark techno-pop duo Phantoms is gearing up for their album release later this week. SXSW goers got a sweet preview of their new album, dropping later this year, so we chatted with them about their experience and the rest of their 2015.
Listen to the whole interview here.
Have you guys just been testing out some new material this week?
So we pretty much have one song out from the upcoming LP so we’re playing songs nobody knows or heard. So we’ve been testing out the album and we’ve gotten a pretty good response. This is our first time with a live set-up. It’s awesome. There’s nothing wrong with DJing but we wanted to try to take it to more a live show and have the control. If you hear a mistake, you know it’s live. We try to have as much fun on stage. There’s lots of dancing involved.
Do you have a signature dance move?
He does a head thing and gets whiplash. I’m a hopper, a jumper. I’m like a two year that just got a toy.
You mentioned you’re coming out with an LP. Can you tell me a little about it?
It’s up in the air at this point. We don’t have an exact date. Definitely some time later this year. We have a new song coming out in the next month. As we were writing it, we wanted to come up with a concept as we were going and it all sort of felt like a night out and the kinds of people you meet on a night on. You’re meeting the drunk guy and the girl who just got her heart broken, so you get a lot of different perspectives. There are guest vocals on the tracks, which is always fun to work with your friends. That’s the underlying idea but it’s pretty loose for interpretation.
How would you describe your style?
We’re somewhere between deep house, pop, and techno blended into one thing. As long as it has our sound and our feel, that’s what makes it a Phantoms song. We’re not necessarily genre specific. We like everything to be kind of dark with our esthetic. That’s just kind of the music we end up making.
What has been your favorite show?
I honestly want to say the show last night was crazy. Last night was definitely up there. THe show we did at Brooklyn Bowl was great. We played 9:330 Club with Viceroy and the venue is just amazing. People were nuts. It was crazy.
Known for his almost outlandish remixes, Norwegian producer Lido has been making waves in the electronic world. He just played a sold out show at U Hall last weekend and is off to SXSW, sure to bring the best of his funky, unique production. We chatted with him about his music, soda floats, and of course, safe words.
Listen to the interview here.
So can you tell me a little about yourself?
I am a boy from the middle of nowhere in Norway. I grew up on gospel music and whatever pop music was in Norway, which wasn’t a wide selection of stuff. I started playing drums when I was two years old. I started playing piano at about ten and started writing songs about the same time. I’m a geek. I love anime, Pokémon, that kind of stuff. I used to read a lot when I was younger. Usually when people ask me that question I say that I am music because that’s really all that I do and all that I care about.
Where does the name Lido come from?
My name was given to me by an eight year old boy in the slums of Kenya. It’s a weird story. I’ve done a lot of different things in my life and I’ve had a bunch of different projects and bands. My most successful project was when I was a pop singer. When I was 13, I was a part of an exchange project where I traveled to the slums of Kenya and Nairobi. It’s mostly about soccer, but they did a little thing about music also, so I went there and made an EP together with talented kids. This was super early on and not a cool project, but it was so defining for me. The things I saw and the friendship with those kids really had a huge impact on me. It made sense to take the name that I was given there.
How would you describe your style or your approach to music?
I think my approach is easier than my style. I’ve been doing a lot of remixes lately and every time I do a remix, the idea behind it is really to help the melody. So whatever the song needs, in my opinion, which is of course different than a lot of people, I try to help the song to become what I would’ve wanted it to be had I had the initial idea. That’s why my remixes are so different because if it’s a beautiful melody hiding behind a house production, then I would take away everything and just give it a piano thing behind it. Or if it’s a melody that has a very short part that has a lot of energy in it, I’ll repeat that and give it more energy. It’s really about potentia. It’s really about me trying to support whatevers already there and make it what I would’ve wanted it to be in the first place. The idea is the same with Lido, how the project to begin with was just to make music without compromise so it’s really me mixing together all the elements of all the genres that I love. I grew up on gospel and r&b music so I take the melodies vibe off that and I fell in love with the energy and punch of electronic and the attitude of hip-hop and even elements of fusion jazz that I would drum to and even elements of progressive rock, too. I take all theses genres and combine them and see what happens if I don’t think about a platform. That’s the reason my music is so hard to place. Does it work at a festival? Does it work on your iPod? Can you work out to it? Can you chill to it? It’s a weird style.
I completely agree. You’re really great at filling in the gaps that are initially left. So, tell me about your songwriting process.
Thank you, absolutely. I usually start out with a very clear concept. I like starting out with a very visual thing, like a word. Ideally I like it to start as a physical thing. Say for example, “Angel”, we had the initial idea of the chorus talking about clipping your wings, so I based all of the percussion on scissors. Things like that. I love being very visual, and almost literal about things. Other than starting with a clear concept and a visual, it really depends. I’m really a musician, so the music comes first. It also depends on what it’s for. A lot of the Lido stuff is heavy accidents, things that suddenly took a direction that wouldn’t be right for anybody else. I produce a lot of music for other artists as well. That’s what I’m so happy about with my platform because I can do anything. The things that became my stuff were too extreme or too weird or left field for whoever artists I wrote it with. That’s why I’m so excited about my platform because I can do anything.
A lot of people are very interested in your production.
Pretty much my message to producers is that it doesn’t matter. I did a little camp with Stargate a couple years ago. It doesn’t matter how crazy your production is or how much hype the dude has, it all boils down to whether or not there’s a song there.
What’s been your favorite show you’ve played?
That’s interesting. I’ve done so many weird things, like I’ve opened for Beyonce. I’ve don all these things that people would call the big things but I remember when I was fourteen I played a prom in my town and it was the most rave party I’ve ever played. That’s the one that hits me the most. And it’s so hard to predict that stuff. It’s always surprising to me. Obviously it has to do with your expectations and coincidences. In general, I’m a bigger fan of smaller shows just because of the connection and the ability to talk to the crowd on a more personal level.
Will you comment on any of your side projects or other aliases?
I don’t have any. I have no idea what you’re talking about. No, absolutely. It’s a very liberating thing. Lido started out as a side project but I really liked it so it became my main.
Where would you like to see your year headed?
It’s looking like I’ll be playing a lot of live shows and festivals. I’m currently working on my album so hopefully that will be done before the year is over but I’m trying not to stress it because I have a bunch of projects I wasn’t to come out before the album comes out. I’ll be releasing 2 EPs this year and maybe an album. Other than that, everyday is an adventure and there’s something weird and new happening. I’m excited about this year but I have no idea what’s going to happen.
What would be your safe word in bed?
I’ve never been asked that question before. It’d have to be something ridiculous. I’ve never put any thought into it before. It’d have to be something really strange because it’d have to put you off. Maybe it should be like a really gross disease. If you just said “herpes”, that’s a stopper. It’s a dangerous one but probably very affective.
On one of the warmest days the District has scene, Kelsey Byrne sat on the DC9 rooftop preparing for the opening show of her first headlining tour. The young synth pop singer has exploded in the past few months since I first heard her at CMJ’s Music Marathon. Now she’s billed for major festivals like SXSW and Firefly.
Get to know Vérité and her sweet, blissful pop.
How would you describe your style?
Someone else described it this way and it’s my favorite description. “Melancholic alternative pop.” I think it’s a solid description. But you can’t quote me to that, that was someone on the Internet.
What has been your favorite show that you performed at?
The first one that we played is just the most special. Tonight will probably be really special to me to because it’s the beginning of this tour. But the first show we ever played at the Westway was the first show, the first sold out show. We were in these marathon rehearsals leading up to it so there was so much energy and tension so I think definitely that.
What about the best show you ever saw?
When I was 16, I saw Beirutin Central Park’s summer stage and it changed my life. It’s funny because I don’t write or play music in a similar style but it definitely just changed my perception of what’s possible.
You just dropped a new single, “Wasteland”. Can you tell me more about what you’ve been working on?
Now I have EP 2 written, ready to go. It’ll be coming out in the next few months. Right now I’m focusing on the tours and writing new material. I don’t know when a full length will be in the works but right now it’s just these pieces and I’m hoping to fit them all together in the next few months. It allows people to really digest it better. I think as a new artist, to drop so much new material on people, it’s impossible for people to get super into it. And the hope is that people want more.
Are you planning to test out on tour? Are you planning anything different for SXSW?
New material, lots of new material that no one’s ever heard. And I’m DJing a set. I absolutely did not foresee that. They just asked me so I said sure, why not. Learning has been an adventure. It’s kind of more simple. There’s definitely this intricate set up I won’t be using but I’m just interested in curating a set of music. I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself.
What acts/showcases do you hope to catch at SXSW?
So many. Run The Jewels at Spotify House, Ibeyi — I’m obsessed with that album — , Mitski, she’s phenomenal. I made a whole playlist of it.
Are there any artists you hope to work with at SXSW? Or any artists in general you’d like to collaborate with?
Absolutely. I definitely want to work with Childish Gambino, SOHN, Ben Gibbard is always the dream. Other than that I feel like those relationships always come together very naturally. You could love someone’s work but hate working with them so I try not to put too much foresight into that sort of stuff and just let it happen naturally.
Where would you like to see your year headed?
I operate on low expectations. For me, I’m happy being here now doing all this. I feel like if I keep working really hard that it’s just going to unfold the way it will. If I think about it, I’ll literally drive myself insane.
Do you have any/want any tattoos?
I have 2, I want a shitload more. I’m waiting strategically for the right time, if I have the right time, I’m just going to get a whole bunch at once. I want to get my whole arm done eventually.
What would be your safeword in bed?
Oh, wait I have one. It would be “keep doing that”. Why not?
OK, last question: what would be in a Vérité inspired pint of Ben & Jerry’s?
Oh god, everything. It would have to be coconut milk ice cream, cookie dough, brownie, heath bar, caramel, salted caramel. Literally everything. Kind of more shit than ice cream, but I think it’s the logical way to go. The good thing about coconut and soy ice cream is they feel so bad that it’s not real ice cream so they put so much cookie dough in it and it makes it worthwhile. Soy ice cream is so delicious.
Catch Vérité throughout SXSW:
March 19 - I Am Sound/ Austin Party Weekend
March 20 – BMI Brunch @ The Four Seasons
March 21 – Beautiful Buzz x Vitalic Noise @ The Brew Exchange
March 21 – Neon Gold Showcase @ Empire Control Room
In honor of International Women’s Day, this week’s playlist is dedicated to songs by some talented badass chicks.
1. Florence + The Machine – What Kind of Man
2. Tei Shi – Bassically
3. Shura - 2Shy
4. Vérité – Wasteland
She’s also kicking off her first headlining tour at DC9 this Thursday!
5. Elliphant featt. MØ – One More
6. Mark Johns – In Paris
7. Ryn Weaver – Stay Low
8. Banks – This Is What It Feels Like
9. Chelsea Lankes – Too Young to Fall In Love
10. Grimes – REALiTi
11. Mitiski – Carry Me Out
12. JOY. – Stone
13. Young Summer – Severing Ties
14. Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On (feat. MØ)
15. M.I.A. – CanSeeCanDo
16. Kelela – A Message