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Atomnation Podcast #005 Vessels

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The Atomnation Podcast series is a monthly curated mix by friends and like minded artists of the label. Follow us on SoundCloud and Mixcloud for updates.

For our fifth podcast we’ve invited Leeds’ leftfield band Vessels. They remixed Polynation’s single ‘Why You‘ on Atomnation and are currently preparing their new album + live show. We are very curious about everything that is going on with the band.

Hi Tom, Tim, Martin, Lee and Peter. Between touring and after you launched your magnificent album Dilate in 2015, you guys managed to remix our beloved Polynation. Can you tell the readers what you have been up to since then?
Martin: Hello! Since 2015, we mainly been working on new material for an album that is incredibly close to being finished.  Feels quite unreal as it’s been quite an all-consuming process.  We’re starting to re-interpret the album music for playing live at the moment which is always a big challenge, but it’s been really great to get stuck in. Literally cannot wait to play this music live.  The Dilate album and tour was special for us in many ways, I have a feeling this next album will really be next level.  I guess everyone always says that about their new album. But this time it’s definitely true, trust us.

Vessels is a truly amazing live experience. Can you tell something about your live setup and why it’s like that?
Lee: Well the setup has evolved over time. It’s all been very much a logistical problem solving experience. We make the sounds in the studio but we also jammed a lot of the ideas out so it was about trying to find the most flexible solution which allowed consistency of delivery but also the freedom to improvise. A lot of the percussion sounds are distributed between me, Tim and Martin across three Roland SPDS-X’s. We spend quite a bit of time figuring out who can play what elements of the beats. They have to be de-constructed so that patterns make more sense to the individual player.

In terms of the synths, we used to use some cheaper gear but recently we’ve added some rather tasty toys to the fray. Tom has an Elektron Analog Keys running through a Kaoss Pad 3. The Elektron stuff is great. Good quality and once you get into their way of thinking you can really perform with the gear in a way that other synths don’t let you. It also sounds super fat on the bottom end so we divvy up a lot of bass parts to it. My synth set up comprises of an original Ms20 which i’ve had in the setup for years. I think it was one of the influences to head in the direction we took. Back then though I smashed it through a Marshall stack along with my guitar. I miss that sound but my back doesn’t miss carrying around that bloody amp rig! Also, i’ve just added a Roland System 1m to my set up. I needed something that is polyphonic and super tweakable and this guy really does have a lot of possibilities. I bought it on a whim thinking it wouldn’t be that great as i’ve started to get into modular stuff and thought it was a little on the cheap and cheerful side. I’ve been happily proven wrong though and it’s become a real go to for sound design.

Our setup all goes through Ableton Live which provides the ability to sync all our stations and allows us to loop what ever we’re playing and it stays locked in nice and tight. We experimented a lot with this and we used to run midi cables all over the place but just recently we’ve taken full advantage of the Ableton Link function which allows you to sync over WIFI. Again, I was sceptical at first but it’s actually really good. Previously we had one laptop running all the stations but it’s not robust enough in a live situation because if it went down the whole show pretty much stopped so we decided to have separate laptops which meant that if one of them went down all the others would still be synced and making sound. So far so good!

Martin’s setup is kinda my favourite because it’s the most unruly. It’s capable of amazing and horrendous noises. Normally at the same time! He’s synced via the only hard midi out which goes to his Koma Elektroniks Rhythm Work Station which is another great piece of kit. Not only does it convert midi to CV but it also sends midi clock through to his loop pedal. This was a game changer. He’s got some other great pedals on there like the Koma Step Filter, the MoogerFooger Ring Modulator, the Electro Harmonix POG2 and the now almost classic Line 6 DL4 which is another pedal left over from the old days. At one point we had five of these things!

That pretty much sums it up apart from to say that Pete’s setup is still being worked on. He wants to try out some new things involving a midi guitar. There has been some giggling at this but he’s pretty serious about it. I hope it works out as he’s a bad ass guitarist.

Where does the name Vessels come from?
Martin: It came from a long and tortuous conversation that lasted many months.  At the end of the debate that the felt like it would never end, we found one name that we all liked.  I think it captures the essence of the music and the live show.  And it has an ambiguity which appeals too.

We’re still enjoying your covers of The Sky Was Pink and Blue Clouds. If a new song will be covered, which one would it be?
Martin: Thanks. Good question!  There’s an amazing Carl Craig remix of a tune called Relevee by Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom.  We actually did some work on a cover, but I think we got distracted before we finished it.  It might be nice to cover something totally unexpected as well. I’m a big Lana Del Ray fan. Somehow I don’t imagine I’ll be able to persuade the rest of the boys to join me on that one.  Maybe one for my long overdue solo project!

Tracklist podcast:
01. Illum Sphere – The Journey
02. Kowton – A Bluish Shadow
03. Yotam Avni – Orma
04. Forward Strategy Group – Clean Neckline
05. Luke Abbott – Brazil (Slow Version)
06. John Talabot – Voices (Gerd Janson Version Conga)
07. Parple – Sacred
08. Malin, Yaleesa Hall – Second Carol (Asusu Remix)
09. Talaboman – Loser’s Hmyn
10. Black Sand – Dead Sea
11. Kowton – Balance
12. Cubicolor – Dead End Thrills (Patrice Baumel Remix)
13. Dark Circles – Y (Kamera Remix)
14. Vatican Shadow – Church of All Image (Regis Remix)
15. Modeselektor – The White Flash (feat. Thom Yorke)
16. Dubspeeka – K304v2 Walk With Me

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Atomnation Podcast #004 LOR

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The Atomnation Podcast series is a monthly curated mix by friends and like minded artists of the label. Follow us on SoundCloud and Mixcloud for updates.

For our fourth podcast we’ve invited Gregory Ferguson a.k.a. LOR. He recently remixed Sau Poler’s Esperits on Atomnation, which slipped into sets by Dixon and Joris Voorn amongst others. We thought it was time for a little chat.

Hi Gregory, after releasing your remix for Sau Poler here on Atomnation, EP’s on both Cin Cin and Exit Strategy got praised by the scene. How was 2016 for you?
Hi! 2016 was great thank you. It was a journey that started with me just sending some music out to people and ended with the wider world reacting to it in a really positive way. It’s been very, very rewarding so far, and to work with the labels you have just mentioned has been a great privilege.

The retakes (Versions) on classic Arthur Russell, Kraftwerk and Derrick Carter tracks are now mentioned as the beginning of a great career. Why did you choose these tracks to edit?
They were all just tracks that I loved and that I felt an instinctive urge to re-work… with Kraftwerk, it was a more practical matter than the other two – the original is an amazing piece of music, and the only thing I wanted to change was the sequence of it a little and the mix, so it would work on a dancefloor but in a transparent way where it still really very much feels like the original. The other two are a lot more like remixes, more creative. I remember hearing in my head the basics of what it would sound like, and then just going with the flow from there.

Your Soundcloud says that LOR is an abbreviation of Lunar Orbit Rendezvous. Can you explain?
I am a keen stargazer and I’m drawn to anything related to space or astronomy. Lunar Orbit Rendezvous was the technique used for all missions in the Apollo space program. A spacecraft releases the lander craft to touch down on the moon, enters a lunar orbit and they “rendezvous” again later, the astronauts then returning to earth on the spacecraft.

Obviously we are big fans, and we’ve read that new “Versions” material is coming. Which classics are you reworking this time?
I’ve done some reworks of tracks by the great Larry Heard this time. Like the previous Versions EP, these just came really naturally. When I listened to these Larry Heard tracks I immediately heard ideas in my head and it just flowed. It’s not always like that with these things… it’s nice when it works. When it’s working it flows like water. When it’s not it feels like a fight and it never works out! I’m playing them in my sets and the reactions have been good, plus I have given them to some of my favourite DJs, like Kristian Âme and Roman Flügel, who I’m happy to say are playing them too.

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Tracklist:

01. LOR – Sound (Intro)
02. Auntie Flo ft Anbuley – Waiting For A Woman (Revenge Rework Dixon Beat Edit) – Philomena
03. Sau Poler – Esperits (LOR Remix) – Atomnation
04. Isolée – Pisco – Maeve
05. Love Over Entropy – Forty Four – Lossless
06. Aera – Bibimbap – Hivern Discs
07. Leif Müller – Holidays Everywhere – Mule Musiq
08. Shaded & Harvard Bass – Mental Fade – Twin Turbo
09. Soukie & Windish – No One – Igloo
10. Seth Troxler – CZ – Tuskegee
11. Daniel Bortz & Marcus Worgull – Skinner Box – Exit Strategy
12. Aera – Lumen – Hivern Discs’

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Atomnation Podcast #003 Axefield

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The Atomnation Podcast series is a monthly curated mix by friends and like minded artists of the label. Follow us on SoundCloud and Mixcloud for updates.

To start 2017 completely fresh, we invited newcomer Willem Bijleveld a.k.a. Axefield to start this years’ soundtrack. Axefield recently released his track Ostrich Ride To Other on our 2016 Compilation and co-runs the mysterious imprint Who’s Susan. Time for a little chat.

Hi Willem, Ostrich Ride To Other appeared on our 2016 Compilation and we saw your track ‘SNY’ releasing on your own label ‘Who’s Susan’. How was 2016 for you?
2016 has been a great ride, but sadly not on an Ostrich or some other flamboyant creature. This year I started my record label, Who’s Susan, together with my two best mates, on which I released my first track, SNY. I’ve learnt a lot whilst setting up the label and putting out our first record, and throughout the process, I’ve been making a lot of music, eating lots of good food and been studying a bit too. I’ve also spent way too much money on records, but hey, everything in life comes at a price… right?

Our interpretation is that you have a very clubby and melancholic signature sound. How would you describe what you do?
I’ve got a bit of a nostalgic music taste to be honest. I try and make sense of the overload of influences to which I’m exposed and formulate that into a track, which could end up being club friendly, something you could listen to whilst taking a bath, or both. I guess I’m influenced by a lot of things that happen in life, as well as the multitude of music genres out there. My dad is a huge Disco fan and always forced me to listen to all the classics and the more unknown Disco tracks of his golden days. I listen to a lot of ambient music and film scores, which might explain the melancholic element in my tunes. I also love world music. Whether it’s Indian, Nigerian or Brazilian, discovering forgotten gems can be utterly satisfying. It’s great to see so many labels reissue these old tracks. I must add that I’m also really fascinated by sound system music, as in proper old school DMZ-style Dub and Jamaican Dub, which shows how important the lower frequencies actually are when playing music out loud.

You’ve lived in South Africa and England, before picking up classes ‘International Studies’ and writing a thesis about Afrobeat. How did this all happen?
I was quite lucky to have lived in those countries as a child. Last time I was in Johannesburg visiting my parents I managed to pick up this rare South African 80s boogie record, which you can hear around the 16 minute mark in this mix. I moved back to the Netherlands in my late teens, after which I went to university to study International Studies. Within the program you pick a focus area, mine being sub-Saharan Africa. I got into African music and decided to write my thesis about the social impact of Afrobeat in Nigeria. It’s a great excuse for me to spend hours discovering 70s & 80s Nigerian music.

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What can we expect for the future?
Expect the unexpected… Whaha nah, jokes aside, this year will be a year with a lot of output. I kicked off the year with a two track release on Dream Raw Recordings, a newly established label specializing on leftfield, rusty, raw and lo-fi house. One of those tracks Sleep On My Menu will see a V/A vinyl release later in 2017. I’ve got some other projects lined-up for the rest of 2017 but I’m keeping these as a super secretive surprise. You can also expect some big things coming from my label, Who’s Susan.

Tracklist:

01. Florist – Marine Drive
02. S. Moreira – That Was Just A Dream
03. Axefield – Ostrich Ride To Other
04. Ensemble Entendu – Pull The Plug
05. The Comforters – Month-End Lover
06. Morgan Geist – 24K
07. Fantastic Man – Ode To A Dream
08. No Moon – AOE Cutz
09. Tom Joyce – Royal Cobra
10. DJ Sotofett – Current 82 (12 Mix)
11. Ross From Friends – Season 3
12. Thomas Frempong – Mada meho so
13. Palms Trax – Cloud City
14. Raär – TBA
15. Safari – Ансамбль пу В. Осинского (KMTR’s Extended Re-Edit)

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Atomnation Podcast #002 Olaf Stuut

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The Atomnation Podcast series is a monthly curated mix by friends and like minded artists of the label. Follow us on SoundCloud and Mixcloud for updates.

For the second instalment of our podcast series we’ve invited charismatic producer and long time friend of the label ‘Olaf Stuut‘. Olaf just released “ET“, his brand new EP, so time for a little chat and a full hour of exploration into his world.

Hi Olaf, after releasing your album “Run” and your “Siren EP” here on Atomnation “ET” is your latest transmission. How was 2016 for you?
2016 Was great, finally finished and released my Album “Run” which I was working on for approximately 2 years off and on, that was a big relief and the tour that came with it really helped me release my steam. I’ve seen such beautiful places, met a lot of new friends. To end it all with a new EP is a dream.

“ET” is an extension of the last track on your album. Did this happen spontaneously?
Extended Travels was the last track on the album, I wanted to use the progression and melodies of the track because I felt they didn’t get to their full potential so I used them and built further to a more clubby vibe without making it too stale. So Excursion Two was the first track I worked on after the album, this came very spontaneously, the first bricks we’re laid on stage during live performances.

You’ve toured the US this year. How was your stay there?
My stay in the US was superb, I’ve been welcomed by the nicest people from the Bespoke Crew (+ Miami residents) and Griffin Crafts from the West-Coast, it was like coming home in a different country, I felt very welcome and sparks flew right away.

Obviously we are big fans. What can we expect for the future?
In the near future I’ll be experimenting more with the dance floor I presume, although I can never really predict what I’ll be making next, as this is only a starting point from where I want to work further. Once I’m really creating, things just emerge, who knows what that might be. All I know is I’m going to have fun making it!

Olaf Stuut on Soundcloud
Olaf Stuut on Facebook

Tracklist:

01. Peter Kirn – Change of Shift, Pt. 2
02. Olaf Stuut – Error Texture
03. Deltitnu – TBA
04. Clarian – Cosmic Microwave
05. John Talabot – Voices
06. Kiani & His Legion – Voigt Kampff
07. Lydmor & Bon Homme – Dream Of Fire (Johannes Brecht Remix)
08. Tornado Wallace – Falling Sun
09. Olaf Stuut – Era Terminal (Gacha Remix)
10. Solvane, Prismode – Ophelia’s Organ (Iorie Remix)
11. Dave Aju – Badai
12. The Orb, Lee Scratch Perry – Ashes
13. Jimi Jules – Fate
14. Throwing Snow – Cosms

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Atomnation Podcast #001 Applescal

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The Atomnation Podcast series is a monthly curated mix by friends and like minded artists of the label. Follow us on SoundCloud and Mixcloud for updates.

The first edition is by Applescal one of the most impressive curators of the electronic music scene and founder of Atomnation. This mix features tracks by Blawan, Four Tet, Olaf Stuut and his new project Deltawerk. 

Tracklist:

01. Windows 95 Startup Sound (slowed 4000%)
02. Deltawerk – Sample
03. Mr G – Transient
04. Daniel Avery – A Mechanical Sky
05. 2 Billion Beats – Be Nice To Each Other
06. Kaiserdisco – Get Enough
07. Four Tet – Buchla
08. Fango – Rectum
09. Park & Sons – Moker
10. Bwana – Generation Nostalgia
11. Cowboy Rythmbox – Me’canique Sauvage
12. Robin Orlando, Nick Hollyster – Scenario
13. Olaf Stuut – Evolve Tutor