Todays houseguest is the New York Slo-mo (although he’ll hate that) producer Slow Hands. Not to be pidgeon-holed by his name he’s not all 90bpm’s. His edits and remixes seem to track his music interest, touching on tracks that obviously hold a place in his musical past. You certainly couldn’t refer to Slow Hands as a predictable producer or even Dj, its apparent from listening to his productions, remix’s and Dj sets that this is a man who likes to push the boat out and then when its gone a safe distance blow it to bits with blatant disregard to anti-dynamite fishing laws. He tackles really tough to touch subject matter in his edits such as Led Zeppelin and Sufjan Stephens but he not only does it well he makes them memorable by not relying on the original but more by plundering elements to use as familiar bricks in an entirely new production. Having previously released on Wolf + Lamb Slow Hands is nestled right into the Wolf + Lamb family in New York and has a dedication that a lot of those artists seem to possess, perhaps they encourage each other, or compete with each other, star-sign dependant. He put out an impressive 17 Podcasts last year but this is the first non live output in 6 months and by the sounds of things he’s been sitting on some serious golden eggs. His guestmix today is a varied journey of twists and sudden turns, setting the tone wonderfully from the get go with a John Talabot edit. In fact 2/3 of all the tracks in this mix are remix’s, but thats neither here nor there. The arrival of Appaloosa – Patchwork (Bostro Pesopeo Remix) is when the tone is really set for what to expect, and that is to not know what to expect next. A real surprise was the inclusion of a Dj Harvey remix of a Canyons track. I’ve always preferred the Mic Newman version but the Harvey remix seems to sit perfectly in this mix, making me question my earlier convictions. The highlight for me however was the pairing of Jonas Rathsman – Feeling You into Pete Herbert/Golden Fleece – Ivory Waves (Sare Havlicek Remix). Neither track I’d heard before (yikes) but both I instantly nabbed. A lot of Dj’s in this style play good music but they should consider the ante upped! Check it on Soundcloud HERE
Tracklist under the interview
You began your music adventure with a guitar and jazz, how did this evolve into electronic sensibilities, was there a particular artist or album that started the ball rolling?
Not really one in particular, I actually listened to electronic long before jazz, artists like Snap! and Technotronic. I think Technotronic’s album was one of my first CDs, and I remember sitting by the radio when i was a kid with my finger on the cassette record button waiting for them to play Rhythm Is A Dancer.
I got to a point with jazz where I looked at what was happening with the progression of the genre, and realized nothing had changed since Miles Davis died (10 years before i even went to college for music). I didn’t want to be playing Autumn Leaves for the thousandth time to a 5 of chin stroking 60-year-old booze hounds in a jazz club, or end up teaching, or playing weddings. So i weighed my options, and left school to pursue DJing and production.
Nowadays, I wish I had a bit more of the knowledge I would have gained in the remaining 3 years of school. But I taught myself how to produce in Logic in that time, and all my friends who graduated had to do that when they left school, so I was slightly ahead of the ball there. I still study music theory and practice every day though, so I am making up for those 3 years, and I have no college loans 🙂
What was the first bit of kit you used to make electronic music on and do you feel that older analogue machines are replaceable by modern digital software counterparts?
I started learning on Reason 2.0. I know, all the purists will hate that, but i could give a shit less. People say they can hear a difference between analog and software . . to that I say this, piss off. If you can hear a difference, congratulations, you are 1 of 20 people in the world (there are probably thousands that say they can hear a difference, but they are full of shit). The people that like your music most likely don’t like it because you have a crazy studio, and if they do, well, they are into gadgets and technology, not music.
That being said, I will go back on what i am saying a little bit. If you are Todd Terje, and making the coolest music in the world, and full EPs just on one synth, that’s wicked. But Todd Terje could probably make the same quality of music with a kazoo and an 8 track.
Personally, I am into string instruments. I live in Vermont, and a lot or my friends are furniture builders and luthiers, and also play the instruments that make (check em here). I was really inspired by this, and have started building my own archtop guitar to use in my live show. I just finished hand carving the top this past week, literally a full week doing this. It’s pretty intense, and can be really frustrating, but I am learning a ton.
Ultimately, I am just not a knob twiddler. I would rather learn more about music theory, and be better at the guitar then try to make crazy sounds with a synth.
What has been your favourite gig to date and do you have a favourite venue?
The two times I have played Tunisia were magic. The people and fans there are just amazing there, really hoping to go back this summer if not sooner! The best venue that I have played is Eleven in Tokyo (for the Lilith party), the booth is just amazing. The people in Tokyo are amazing as well!
You seem to tackle a lot of well known tracks in your edits, are you ever worried that some tracks are untouchable, or is it down to the skill of the edit?
Do I? I just edit things that I want to play usually, and it commonly turns into more of a remix than an edit (i.e. All Of My Love, and From The Mouth Of Gabriel). I am terrible at editing because I am not a record digger. I actually hate manual record digging, haha, I know that sounds awful. I will spend hours researching stuff on the net, and find tracks, then go to a place like Oye in Berlin, or Amoeba in LA with a spreadsheet on my phone of what I want to buy. If they don’t have it, I leave . . . I guess I am just a precise shopper. I have been record shopping with Soul Clap, and Tom Croose (other half of Worst Friends), and they go at it for hours . . . after about 15 minutes I am usually sitting outside playing Tiger Woods ’12 on my phone.
Whats the one track you have made that you keep coming back to? In a way your favourite
Wow, hmm . . . I think one of my proudest achievements was our Worst Friends remix of Jack Johnson actually. It took us a long time, and we fought over it for a while. One night we were pissing each other off over it, and I was giving John the silent treatment and standing in the corner and just started playing the guitar and came up with the progression. The rest just kinda fell into place after that as I recall.
We also have this new track that we are working on called Short Stopped that i am really proud of. Should be out soon. I have a lot of the same feelings towards the stuff I do with my friend Nick as Male Madame. It’s really nice to share the experience of making something, the memories of those pivotal moments in the creative process become really vivid over time.
Where do you see the vinyl industry being in 10 years? do you think the collector and quality arguments will stand the test of time?
Well, CDs are done now, right? think I read that somewhere. The way I see it, if you want a physical copy of something, you buy vinyl, CDs are disposable. So I think that the vinyl industry is fine . . . it’s CDs that are fucked.
How did you find the transition to music becoming your full time profession?
It’s tough, it’s sort of a decision you just have to make one day, like, “okay, I am not going to do my regular job any more”. They say the first year of a career transition (or starting your own business) is the hardest, you are just learning how to live a different style of life over that year.
Has being a Dj ever gotten you laid?
HAHAHA! I have a feeling that if I answer this question it may jeopardize future chances! Let’s just say your chances of getting laid as a DJ are probably a lot better than if you work as hostess at Applebees.
Are there any young producers we should be looking out for?
Perseus is sick, Voices of Black. I don’t know too many “young producers”. There are a lot of great new producers out there. The Rewards release on DFA last year really blew my mind, I don’t know how old the dude is though. He used to be in Chairlift i guess, and does stuff with the Blood Orange guy apparently (formerly know as Lightspeed Champion, and on of the best musicians of the last 10 years in my opinion). As you can tell, i have been doing some heavy Discogs stalking of this guy.
Todd Terje is absolutely destroying right now, obviously. He is the best producer in dance music, without question. His tracks and edits are timeless.
Can you give us 3 tracks that are ringing your bell at the moment?
A lot of the ones in this mix.
Ben Browning – I Can’t Stay (Juan Maclean Remix)
Todd Terje – Inspector Norse
Yacht – Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire) Whatever/Whatever Remix
Have you any plans on playing in the Uk anytime soon?
Just hashing out tour stuff now, so hopefully in March or April.
What releases can we expect from you in 2012?
Tanner Ross and I just finished remixing a track for Soul Clap on W+L. Just did a remix of Chordashian for Mullet Records. Have an original coming out on More Or Less, Worst Friends and Male Madame for Future Classic. Doing a remix for Bedrock, we’ll see if they like it! Remix for D-Edge Records with D’Ruse (formerly of Soho 808) . . . and some other stuff that I probably can’t remember 🙂
1. T.T. – Party Girl (John Talabot’s Friendly Edit)
2. Joash – Don’t Fear It, Fight It (Woolfy Remix) Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
3. Max Mohr – Old Song Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
4. Appaloosa – Patchwork (Bostro Pesopeo Remix)
5. Canyons – See Blind Through (DJ Harvey Remix) Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
6. Isolee – Enrico Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
7. Terranova feat. Khan – So Strong (Twelve Inch Mix) Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
8. Junior Boys – You’ll Improbe Me (Caribou Remix)
9. Jonas Rathsman – Feeling You
10. Pete Herbert/Golden Fleece – Ivory Waves (Sare Havlicek Remix) Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
11. Bermuda – Ihasama (Nacho Marco Remix)
12. Moby – The Right Thing feat Inyang Bassey (Cosmonauts Remix) Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
13. Ben Browning – I Can’t Stay (Juan Maclean Remix) Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
14. Kolsch – Der Alte Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)
15. Kris Menace Presents Stars On 33 – A Song For You Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)