I've been moved by much new music lately. Not only have I been moved by my friends in the Electric Future Collective, but by what's going on in the larger music scene.
My classic influences are many, and I revisit them often. I always return to Brian Eno, for instance. Laurie Anderson is huge in my influence as well, as is Robert Fripp. Interested in the cutting edge, I found their material right on that line. They pushed the boundaries of what people would consider music, and opened up new areas to explore.
Today I look for those same qualities, and have found much new music to inspire.
Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs is a big influence for me at the moment. She uses loopers on both her voice and drums and loves her new Minimoog Voyager. Sounds like it's right up my street to me, and indeed it is. Influenced by African rhythms, she traps herself beautifully, finding novel ways to arrange her music. Recently she participated in a conversation/interview with Laurie Anderson, where they discussed just about everything under the sun. Laurie had indicated a desire to work on a duet with Merrill, who was enthusiastic about the idea. Let's hope we get something from these two! You can listen to the interview here: Merrill Garbus with Laurie Anderson
Annie Clark. Sheesh, I had such a crush on her a couple of years ago! By getting into her stuff, I was able to see what I needed to go forward, and her brilliant keyboardist Daniel Mintseris showed me the way into the new technology. I had just gotten Ableton Live, and St. Vincent showed me what could be done when a whole band is powered by AL. Another band with a Voyager. Coincidence?
When watching a great concert from tUnE-yArDs, Merrill Garbus had started gushing about the support band for the gig, Sylvan Esso. I was intrigued and went looking for them. I did like it a lot, but I didn't think much of it at first. Those earworms did their work, however, and I finally got hooked on Coffee. After that it was over, I love their entire eponymous album. This band is a Cinderella story of two professionals getting together for a remix, but finding their true sound. Amelia Meath of a Capella folk band Mountain Man gave Play It Right, one of her songs that she thought could be bigger, to Nick Sanborn, producer and bassist for Megafaun for a remix. He took a year to discover it, finding a new way forward and knocking the remix out of the park. The pair's usual bands were in hiatus, and they started to write songs together. Her beautiful vocal performances, coupled with his trapping and Moog Minitaur stuff in Ableton Live are timeless. Nick performs with an Akai APC 40, his trap machine in which he also controls his Minitaur. This stuff is infectious.
So that's where my head has been influence-wise. There's a lot out there, and my friends on Twitter have a lot of pull in my stuff as well. What a wonderful time for discovering new music.
Listening: Sylvan Esso's Dreamy Bruises