Watch The Hype is back with ‘Our Black Roots’, a mix dedicated to recognising the importance of black music in shaping electronic music. We have picked two more gems from the community that perfectly fit in the concept. Expect some exotic rhythms and organic beats!
Watch The Hype is back with their second mixtape on Pacemaker. ‘Our Black Roots’ is dedicated to recognising the importance of black music in shaping electronic music. The tracks in this mix were all curated by artists who contributed to their online Our Black Roots feature. So, while you listen, you can read each artist’s personal story behind each track. Mr. G, Matthew Herbert, Hieroglyphic Being and more take part!
Same concept, different style – @jlmickles selected almost 2 hours of dusty beats, booming kick drums, percussions and dub-disco inspired by various African countries and instruments. You can even hear a track from Lee “Scratch” Perry, the inventor of remixing who recently celebrated his 81th birthday.
Playing around with rhythm and beats is a highly rewarding experience, although blending the worlds of electronic and organic grooves can be a challenge. @provocateur accepted the challenge, his afrohouse mix is drawing inspiration from Angola, Mali, Nigeria and all the hidden tribes who shaped and keep shaping electronic music.
Kitsuné returns with a fabulous mixtape by Young Franco and we have two more house bombs to share!
Kitsuné returns with a fabulous mixtape created by the ever so amazing Young Franco. The Australian genius started DJing when he was 16 and got into producing just a few years ago. He’s inspired by hip-hop, soul and funk and keeps sweeping the world off its feet (quite literally!) with his unique funky beats. No dancefloor remains intact when he’s dictating the rhythm – join the groove with his excellent selection, just push play! We also had a cool chat with him, get to know him better here!
Even though nowadays @djculture101 drops a mixtape once a month, deep house specialists know that it’s always worth the wait. His last selection of deep classics is perfect both for relaxing this evening or warming up before a proper party this weekend.
@haunteverest’s motto is ‘nap all day, sleep all night, party never’. Hard to believe it after listening to this absolutely crazy selection of deep, lo-fi and outsider house tracks. It makes us wanna party all day, all night and sleep never. Care to join us?
Stay inspired, keep your mixtapes coming – next week it could be your turn!
We had a cool chat with the ever so amazing Young Franco and he even created a fabulous mixtape featuring Kitsuné tracks. The Australian genius started DJing when he was 16 and got into producing just a few years ago. He’s inspired by hip-hop, soul and funk and keeps sweeping the world off its feet (quite literally) with his unique funky beats. No dancefloor remains intact when he’s dictating the rhythm.
When was that point when you realized that music is going to be your biggest passion in your life?
Music was always a big part of my life and I think I never had a point I realised it just became more and more important to me.
You’re from Brisbane, Australia. How’s the electronic music scene over there?
Really good! Lots of cool musicians coming up at the moment. Feki, The Kite String Tangle, Tyler Touche.
You did what many are only dreaming of: put your studies on hold to pursue your music career full-time. Was this a difficult choice to make?
Not really, it was a very natural progression.
What and who inspires you the most when it comes to making music?
I think anyone doing something cool in their own respective field is inspiring. Whether it be art or music or anything in the creative field.
You’ve recently been on tour with Kitsuné in Europe. Which show and city was the most memorable for you and why?
All the shows were amazing and were equally memorable. I thoroughly enjoyed the Madrid show. Goya Social Club is such a vibe.
When it comes to the audience, do you see any difference between shows in Australia and Europe?
I think it’s just what people are used to listening to. Australia has a unique style and Europe has so much culture and vibe. I think people are always up to have a good time though no matter where you are from.
If you could go back in time 10 years, is there anything you would like to change?
Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
Kaytranada, such an amazing artist.
Is there a music genre you can’t stand listening to?
I generally don’t listen to. Maybe heavy metal?
Is there some music you like but you’re ashamed to admit?
I love classical music! Not ashamed to admit it but it is a bit different.
Who would you like to meet the most? Dead or alive.
What’s your favourite place in the world?
I don’t have a favourite but Paris is up there. So is Sydney.
What’s your favourite thing on the internet?
Videos of Dogs.
What do you do when you’re not making music, touring or DJing?
Watching YouTube videos.
What are you working on right now?
My next single.
How do you like Pacemaker? What are your favourite features and what would you like to add or improve?
I love being able to use songs from Spotify. I found it hard to give a proper mix between some of the tracks.
Three fabulous mixtapes for the perfect love triangle: deep, house and chill!
To quote @proudspark’s description of his own mixtape: “WOW. Just #wow.” This is a spot on summary of just how nifty this mixed bag of goodies turned out. He mixed his own Discover Weekly recommendations from Spotify and let himself be surprised by the results. Push play and let yourself marvel at how easy it can be to have a top notch selection for your mixtape! 😍
Featuring: Borrowed Identity, John Talabot, Yuksek
“May cause an unsafe rise in blood pressure” – warns us @capturingphi. We turned ourselves into lab rats in order to find out the truth and we’re proud to share the results: this mix does what it says on the can! A gourmet selection of the finest deep house delicacies, ready to take you deep down the rabbit hole. 🐰
@ntropy is a producer, DJ and evil doer residing in Melbourne, Australia. He started his mix series when he joined Pacemaker and been blessing us with new episodes ever since! The journey continues with his latest selection, perfectionist as always – deep house and progressive house flawlessly mixed into an hour-long fervent voyage.
Featuring: Hot Since 82, Leon Vynehall, Detroit Swindle, Purple Disco Machine
We had a chat with Sean Adams, the founder of Drowned in Sound, UK-based music website. Focusing on a variety of quality sounds from electronic music to pop and rock, they have published interviews with everyone from Björk to Paul McCartney. Sean shared a special mixtape on Pacemaker and now gives you some insight on how the life of a full-time music influencer looks like.
When and how did you get interested in music? Was there a certain moment when you heard something that made you wanna dig further and deeper into music?
There have been lots of steps into the abyss. As a kid I was lucky that my mum had great taste and car journeys would apparently involve me asking to listen to side two of Low or The Cure. My dad also had a lot of records and I remember one Saturday afternoon when I was about 10 listening to Otis Redding ‘(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay’ over and over, trying to work out why it was so powerful and what it was trying to say. It was a whole other world and ever since I’ve found myself riding on the updrafts of Kate Bush or being blown sideways by Nine Inch Nails or finding myself sitting in an imagined bar with Arab Strap’s stories coming to life.
Tell us a bit about the birth of your platform Drowned in Sound – it started almost 20 years ago as a fanzine and throughout those years it became a vital part of the (indie) music community.
My first email fanzine/newsletter started when I was 15 so that is almost 20 years ago… I started it because I found the web a bit empty for people passionately talking about music and a bit overwhelming trying to talk about music in general on forums and newsgroups dedicated to Radiohead or Smashing Pumpkins or whoever. I’ve never been a one band guy.
Drowned in Sound was an evolution of that newsletter which was becoming lengthy as other people began to contribute. Hearing Muse’s first demo and seeing their rise and rise and rise – despite the music press being dismissive and a bit snobby about them – was definitely a big catalyst and wind in my sail to spot and champion artists who might one day headline a stadium.
Nowadays there are hundreds of music blogs / webzines out there, coming and going. You have tons of experience in this field and you’ve been having difficulties yourself with DiS to keep it going. What do you think it takes these days to create a blooming community, to grab attention, to create content that is well-received and keeps readers/listeners come back regularly?
I think not chasing hits has been fairly key. We try to make a site that we would want to read. I’ve shied away from deluging and overwhelming our audience. Our recommendations are infrequent. Our tone playful but thoughtful. Then there’s the forums which are allowed to have the freedom for users to be whoever they want to be and we only very rarely need to reign people in.
Curating music takes a lot of time and energy – where do you discover music these days? What are your trusted sources?
I think my trigonometry of recommendations is kinda the same as it ever was. The three prongs are:
Seeing what other writers and blogs are passionate about – you can always feel the enthusiasm when someone is eloquent and inspired
Record labels – there are a lot of labels I trust and always new labels in different scenes who seem to have all the best flagship artists of a sound. I’ll always check out a new release of it’s on 4AD or Erased Tapes or Hyperdub or Anti- or Sacred Bones or so many other great independent labels. I probably trust record labels more than anything else as I know how much investment, time and risk is required to help out something new into the world, which is so much more of an undertaking than just writing a complimentary blog of a stream.
Luck is still key. You can’t account for having your ears open and finding yourself curiously checking out an act in your feed or being intrigued to see someone at a festival, then finding something really special.
How do you listen to music most of the time? Do you buy lots of physical records or do you prefer the digital streaming nowadays?
Mostly on Spotify. I’ve never really been that interested in having a record collection. I’m far more likely to buy a tshirt of a band I like than a record that will probably stay sealed for months. I find the inflow of music totally overwhelming and I’m constantly listening to music through Sonos speakers or my beloved Bowers + Wilkins headphones. I also listen to the radio a lot as a lot of DJs and their producers are lucky enough to be able to spend the majority of their time rummaging for gems, and have the ability to present and make sense of things which are unfamiliar in the context of things I already know and like.
You have at least 3 jobs and they are all music-related in one way or another. How do you manage to keep it all going, how would you say a regular working day looks like for you?
There’s no such thing as a regular day. My “portfolio career” doesn’t allow much time for sleep. I’m often working from 7am until 7pm and then meeting people for drinks or going to gigs or just collapsing on the sofa.
How did you discover Pacemaker? You’ve been using the app for quite some time now. What do you like the most about it and what would you like to improve?
I first saw and loved the idea of the device that preceded the app. I often get asked to play music before and after bands at gigs and festivals, which can often be last minute and not massively well paid. I loved the idea of having my entire record collection and more at my finger tips and not need to lug stuff around. The app is far better than having 4 CDRs wrapped in dog-eared pieces of paper and I like that I can easily switch tracks in without worrying too much how the song’s intro and outro might neatly fit together without always relying on songs I know intimately. It’s really great for my radio show (once a month on Soho Radio and archived on Mixcloud) as it means I can concentrate more on what I’m saying than how the songs are mixing – found my vocabulary massively dropped when worrying about crossfading tunes. Definitely helps that tracks can be best matched and that I can trawl all of Spotify for songs to include rather than rummaging for CDs or importing tracks and burning CDRs (like, I don’t even have a laptop with a CD drive any longer….)
Please tell us a bit about your selection for ‘Swooning (Not Swooning)’, the mixtape you made for us.
It’s intended to be a bit of a bedroom party. None of the tunes are going to be big floor fillers but they will hopefully light up and expand a little corner in people’s mind’s eye. Lyrically bits of the tracks loosely riff on similar ideas but I’ll leave the listener to find the tenuous discourse and narrative woven between the choices.
Whether you are winding down after a long day or getting ready for the weekend, we have what you need to set the tone.
@acn is fresh meat on Pacemaker, the kind you should approach with curiosity, taste with high expectations and support with all your earbuds! He’s born to be a DJ and his excellent mixing skills come with the greatest attention to track selection.
Featuring: The Chainsmokers, Oliver Heldens, Zedd, Alan Walker, Robin Schulz
The man, the myth, the legend: @illtino. Whether you are desperately waiting for the summer to arrive or you’re already deep into the tropical heat, this mixtape sets the perfect mood for every temperature. Fire it up!
Featuring: Jax Jones, DJ Snake, R3hab, Jerome, Riton
Whether you are winding down after a long day or already getting ready for the weekend, this fresh progressive-house-EDM selection is what you need to set the tone. The talented @djkem joined Pacemaker a week ago and he’s hopefully here to stay. Welcome!
We have it all covered for you: one mixtape for soothing your spirits, one for lifting them up and one for treating your booty!
Serein is an independent record label based in Wales, the UK. It was founded by Huw Roberts in 2005, focusing predominantly on crossover ambient styles and delicate sounds. Fun fact: the name Serein was taken from a meteorological dictionary, it is used to describe ‘fine rain falling from a clear sky after sunset’. This is exactly how the music sounds too, this mixtape will soothe you immensely.
To find out more about Serein,check out our interview with Huw about running a label, the perks of Spotify and exciting new releases!
How much awesomeness can you fit in 47 minutes? Apparently a lot. @tefoden dedicated a whole mixtape to the legendary Warp Records who’s been serving as the home of some of the best electronic musicians for the last three decades. Fun fact: he even included some other electronic giants (Hyperdub, Tri Angle). Go crazy with this selection that contains everything from Autechre through Burial to M.I.A.
Confession is a music label run by French future house pioneer Tchami. @willvernon created a perfectly mixed selection of the finest tracks released on the label. The perfect introduction! Fun fact: Tchami started using the term ‘future house’ as a tag on his SoundCloud posts which later became recognized in the electronic music industry. Tag your mixtapes, shape the future!
Serein is an independent record label based in Wales, the UK. It was founded by Huw Roberts in 2005, focusing predominantly on crossover ambient styles and delicate sounds. We spoke to Huw about running a label, the perks of Spotify, exciting new releases and of course you can listen to a mixtape as well, exclusively containing Serein releases.
Please tell us a little bit about the birth of the Serein label. One would imagine there are not too many labels specialised in ambient electronica in the Wales region.
Serein was born during a time when I was involved in the free music scene surrounding so-called ‘net-labels’. These were imprints that released music online for free, there was an extremely creative community of musicians, artists and designers involved and I loved being a part of it. You’re right that there aren’t many similar labels here in Wales, and that made the online scene I was a part of even more special – in the early 90s I was making global connections with like minded people all thanks to my PC and modem. I was a member of a group called Miasmah which still runs to this day (although, like us, they now release on CD and vinyl) and later I decided to start my own venture, Serein.
Serein was founded in 2005 and you produce physical releases (CD and vinyl) since 2010. How do you think the need for owning an actual product have been shifting since then, if it has shifted at all?
Well, I don’t think anyone really needs to own physical items beyond practical day-to-day items. CDs and records are luxuries which is why we put a lot of thought into the artwork and packaging of releases. Many people are now happy to enjoy music digitally, either by downloading music or, as is more often the case, via a streaming service like Spotify. Sometimes people are surprised to hear that I’m a fan of digital streaming – for me, the convenience is a major plus point, not to mention the extremely small footprint it has in terms of its impact on the planet. I do believe there’s a balance to be struck though, I don’t want my music collection to exist solely in the digital domain. Sometimes, a piece of music makes such an impact that I want to have a physical copy to keep and to cherish. Something that occupies physical space, that you can hand to someone and say, ‘look at this – isn’t it beautiful?’. The way I run Serein is a reflection of what I look for and enjoy as a consumer.
What do you think are the biggest challenges when running a small, independent label like Serein these days?
In some respects, a record label is a business like any other and comes with the same challenges: continued growth, turning a profit and so on. These are always present and we have to be mindful of them. Other times we might face challenges related to specific releases, for example, dealing with material that’s very difficult to cut to vinyl, printing issues, technical problems with our site and so on. We are always trying to improve every facet of what we do. Identifying problems and finding elegant solutions is a continuous process, one that ultimately benefits everyone.
One big challenge we have right now is integrating a new shop with our website, it’s taking a lot of time but it’s coming together and we’re really excited about it!
You put a lot of focus on the physical releases, both the audio and visual quality of the product. At the same time the label is present on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Spotify and now you have posted a mixtape on Pacemaker too – how much of the original idea of the products gets lost when you’re only looking at them through a(n often) mobile screen?
As I mentioned before I really like streaming services. When I’m in the office, I almost always have Spotify open. I’m really organised with my playlists and I have a pretty big collection of music in my account. I just love discovering new music through it, and of course, when I find something I really connect with I will often track down a physical copy. To be honest, I don’t think listening to music via Pacemaker, Spotify or any other app dilutes the experience. In fact, I really like the idea that someone could be on a train journey somewhere, thousands of miles away from me, discovering the music of Serein as they gaze out of the window. I mean, how utterly futuristic and wonderful is that? That the music we so carefully curate can be discovered in this way is a dream come true in many ways – the idea of that person, sat on that journey hearing our music for the first time and it making an impression – that’s really special. I love the technology that’s available to us now, it’s like magic.
Let’s say someone would love to release their music on Serein. What would it take for you to get interested in a project and eventually release it? What sounds are you looking for nowadays?
I’m not looking for anything too specific, but what gets me interested is music that has its own identity and personality. It doesn’t have to be totally unique or wildly original (I’m not looking for material that totally reinvents the language of music), but it must have something to set it apart. Like other forms of art, creating music is an opportunity to tell a story – work out what you want to say and translate your personal experience into sound. Weave life into your music and people will respond.
You make music yourself under different aliases (Hidden Rivers, Nest – you can hear them both in the mixtape), but you’re lucky enough to release your music on your own label. Making music is not a privilege anymore, so there’s a ton of music going unnoticed out there… what would your advice be to young artists, how can you make yourself heard?
If your motives are pure and you create for the right reasons, the rest will fall into place. Those who are truly creative find ways to be heard – they don’t need my advice, it will happen given time.
This year is going to be an intense one for Serein. What are you working on currently and what could you tell us about the upcoming releases?
Yes, we have quite a few releases in the pipeline and it’s a lot of work organising each one – the best kind of work though! Up next we an album by a Latvian guy who produces under the name Selffish. He’s made a beautiful, delicate album of minimal electronic music combined with acoustic instruments like grand piano and double bass. It’s a bit like some of the music that came out in the early 2000s on labels like Mille Plateaux, City Centre Offices and April Records, but with a sheen and polish that sounds really modern, I think the classical instrumentation helps with that too. It’s called He She Them Us and will be out on April 21st.
There’s more to come after that but we’re keeping those releases under wraps for now. If you’re interested then like us on Facebook and join our newsletter so you can stay up to date with what we’re doing.
You’ve just shared your first mixtape on Pacemaker, containing exclusively tracks released on Serein. What could you tell us about this selection, what should the listeners expect once they push play?
The only way to get to know us is to listen. Expect a slow pace, romance, some pretty melodies…
We have selected three mixtapes that are rather different from each other but have two things in common: they are all awesome and they cannot wait to be played!
Drowned in Sound is a UK-based music website/community/label founded by Sean Adams in 2000. They are focusing on a variety of quality sounds from electronic music to pop and rock (and oh, so much more!), and they have published interviews with everyone from Björk to Paul McCartney. If someone knows what’s the hottest music out there, @seaninsound is your man. He created a special mixtape for you to dig in – highly eclectic and full of surprises. Let yourself swoon over this excellent selection!
Featuring: Banks, Janet Jackson, Four Tet, Nine Inch Nails, Nicolas Jaar
We have to admit: @the_evangelist has converted us to faithful followers by preaching excellent stories with his mixtapes. He blends tracks we would’ve never dreamt of being mixed together (Ennio Morricone and Starboy? Wow!) and he does it in the most captivating way. He also brings the most out of Pacemaker, chopping up and repeating tracks has never been more fun.
Featuring: The Weeknd, ZAYN, Kiiara, M.I.A., Major Lazer
Cheers to @billionbeatz for creating this epic sonic journey through the realms of techno and tech house! It’s delicate and candid, raw and melodic at the same time with dream transitions that teleport you straight to a dark, underground club where no one can guarantee what comes next.
Featuring: Dave DK, Kölsch, Audiofly, Dominik Eulberg