Interview: 2010 RBMA Participant Poirier

Each year, the Red Bull Music Academy brings together a potpourri of some of the most innovative producers, vocalists, DJs and instrumentalists from all around the world—and one of them was Montreal's very own Poirier. LOOKOUT recently got the goods on the DJ/producer's experience during the RBMA in London, just before an exciting weekend for Poirier: Karnival v.9 at Le Belmont on Friday, JunoFest at Toronto's Wrongbar on Saturday, and the Juno Awards on Sunday. Cheer for him on March 27th, as he is up for his second Juno; this time around his album Running High is nominated for Electronic Album of the Year. Despite all that activity, this particular interview focused on one place and one moment in history: the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy in London. To apply for this year's Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo, or for more information, click here.

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London is a unique place as home to many immigrants from around the world, and more specifically, as having a strong Jamaican diaspora. How did the RBMA's two-week-long session, and especially that exposure to the London scene, affect your music?

It had already been an influence for a long time. Since 1991, London, the UK, has deeply influenced my love of the bass coming from the sound system culture that Jamaicans brought into the UK back in the '50s and '60s (I highly recommend watching the BBC documentary Reggae Britannia about that specific subject). The UK urban scene, from ragga jungle to UK Garage, from Hip-Hop to UK Funky, has deep roots in the Jamaican sound system culture. Being part of the RBMA in 2010 gave me the opportunity to see that scene and be part of it. It also gave me a spot to DJ with Face-T at the Notting Hill Carnival in August 2010 at the RBMA x Major Lazer stage. Playing soca in that context was SO nice.

What RBMA lecture did you find the most inspiring?

The gold medal goes to Gabriel Roth from Daptone Records who was super honest and direct. I’ve been following what he's been doing since day one and I really respect what he has achieved. I remember buying The Daktaris CD a long time ago. It was discounted at Archambault probably because at that time nobody knew what the hell that afrobeat CD with lions on the cover was. I love when stores don't know when they have gold.

Mark Ronson was quite interesting, sharing some stories from the inside.

As well, seeing Steve Reich in person was something I was looking forward to.

I read that out of the sixty artists chosen for 2010's RBMA, there were four Canadians and three of those four were from Montreal. This can’t be a coincidence, if you ask me. What is it about Montreal artists?!

What is it about Montreal, we might even say. I think Montreal gives people a nice context to think, elaborate, meet and create. The city size is perfect. Big enough to be a big city, but not too big so people have time to chill and have a quality of life. These ingredients all together give artists fresh air to expand their thoughts into reality.

I was looking through this year’s RBMA application and it was extensive, but also really thought-provoking (for instance, one question made me recall the records that bring me to tears). Do you remember the funniest or most interesting answer you gave when you applied?

I still have the scans, let me check. To the question: "Which technical set-up do you usually utilize for your musical activities?" I answered: "The best plug-ins are IDEAS.”

And later to the question: "What's the things you can live without and why?"  I answered: "Food. Water. It's pretty obvious."

Do you have any advice for this year’s applicants?

Do it. Be honest. No need to brag. It's about music. It's about the love of music. Making it, discovering it, sharing it. You don't need to pretend you're somebody else and if you're trying to be somebody else for any reason, please save yourself some time and go play outside with the kids.

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Interview: 2010 RBMA Participant Amenta

Amenta, a Toronto-born vocalist with an electro-soul sound, was one of the sixty participants in 2010’s Red Bull Music Academy in London. She has collaborated with Portformat, fLako and more recently, Mau’lin on a funky project dubbed “Deeper Than The Sun.” LOOKOUT recently interviewed her by email and got a glimpse into her overflowing memories of her time in London and what her musical career is like post-RBMA. To apply for this year's Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo, or for more information, click here. The application phase ends April 4, 2011.

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LOOKOUT: How did you decide to apply to RBMA?

Amenta: I heard about RBMA in 2007 when it was being held in Toronto. I saw Muhsinah perform and a friend Jesse Ohtake encouraged me to apply. By the end of 2008, I was reminded by another friend, My Man Henri, and thought I really need to do it this year. I attended the info session where Flying Lotus was speaking at RBMA Toronto and was further inspired by his account of his experience.

Do you have a hunch as to why you were picked over all the other applicants?

You mean they didn't pick me for my amazing hula-hoop skills?? Well then I don't know.

What's your most profound memory from your time at the Academy?

There are sooo many to choose from. But the show I did with Hasan at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) comes to mind. I remember telling myself: "do not **** up." I recall seeing my classmates at the very front screaming and cheering and I got all choked up. The audience was sooo amazing and I received a lot of love and support afterwards. It was a memorable night.

How has your experience with RBMA affected your musical career? Has it affected your sound or musical style?

It has helped me meet wonderful fellow artists. Who you know and who you vibe with is VERY important. The power of partnerships and friendships is not to be underestimated as a strong force that can drive and influence your career. I'm so thankful to know the people I have met through RBMA. There were a lot of instrumentalists in my term – this has influenced me greatly and allowed me to really dig deeper vocally and find new approaches with melodies and much more. One man in particular who helped me discover my potential is Hasan Hujairi - Oud Master. As I touched on before, our performance at the Institute of Contemporary Arts really taught me a lot about myself. As well, being a participant of RBMA looks damn good on your resume. Upon hearing that you were a participant, people who know you give you major points and people who don't are inclined to learn more – and that's worldwide. It's pretty amazing.

You recently collaborated with another class of 2010 participant, Mau’lin. What’s life like post-Academy in terms of sustaining relationships?

Life is good! Most of us are pretty tight. A week will not pass without me talking to at least 5 or 6 of my 2010 classmates or term 2 homies. We roll deep ;). We hit each other up for vocals or drums or relationship advice. Not to give away our class secrets, but we still use our group email to connect. It's a beautiful thing. We continue to collaborate and share ideas and/or goals for the future or simply make faces at each other on Skype. We really support each other. They are definitely family.

Do you have any advice for this year’s RBMA applicants?

Be yourself. Put as much of yourself into your application as possible. Leave an imprint. By the time you’re finished your application, RBMA people should be able to tell what you smell like. I'm not joking ;). Let your funk shine.

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Interview: Bikini

Self-described as "Salinger on MDMA," Bikini's poppy sound, ethereal vocals and poetry-influenced lyrics evoke an affective quality that's heavy, but at the same time, irrefutably fun. However, while creating the EP RIPJDS, bandmates Nigel Diamond and Olivier Olivier weren't as collaborative as their music makes you believe (at least in the physical sense). Their musical process is somewhat seasonal, with Olivier writing poetry in the summer and using his writings to compose and record the melodies in the fall. Then, in the following spring, Diamond arranges and adds to the sequences and treatments, with no further imput from Oliver.

With cover art by New York City artist Nate Lowman, an album named after one of the most famous American authors of the 20th century, and a video, "ACheerlaeder," that borrows its visuals from Woody Allen's Celebrity, Bikini draws inspiration from the best that culture has to offer.

Check out LOOKOUT's recent interview with Bikini, a few days before they head to Montreal to open for Midnight Juggernauts at Le Belmont on November 27.

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LOOKOUT: The "Salinger on MDMA" thing seems to have caught on, and not to mention the title of the EP, RIPJDS... What is it about Salinger that is so important to you and your music? Is the album a sort of tribute?

Bikini: It's not like we're trying to make the soundtrack to Franny and Zooey, it's just more of a thing that happened this year that tore us and a lot of our friends up. Now that he's gone, it's like there's not much to respect anymore, I guess that's a good thing and bad thing. I wouldn't say it's a tribute, but he has definitely influenced both Nigel and I to the point that I can't separate what's influence and what's originality.

In many ways, RIPJDS resists genre classifications. Michael Cranston from Impose Magazine felt the same way when describing "ACheerlaeder" earlier this year. On the blogosphere, Bikini has gotten a bunch of comparisons to the likes of Passion Pit and MGMT. As a musician, do genres, classifications and comparisons get frustrating?

No, people have to write something to describe it. We don't think about that much though. I feel like we're only good at one thing, one sound. I know that as time goes on and we're exposed to new resources, we'll change our sound, but we've been making this type of music since we were seventeen. It's hard to do anything else.

Were you friends first? Was it natural for you both to come together and make music?

We became friends once we both moved away to University. It was like we both grew up a lot and liked each other's grown-up self better than the adolescent ones. I remember the first song we really worked on was in Nigel's tiny room at 3772 St. Laurent. We made this song called "We Can Roll" and Nigel's roommate Justin played bass over our synth tracks - that was the first moment we realized we were going to do this.

On reading about Bikini's musical process, I was surprised to read that the finish record isn't sent back to Olivier. What are the benefits of making music that way?

I trust Nigel with my life.

What was it like to work with Nate Lowman? I read you were looking for something like his 2009 piece 'Beach Bums.' Was the final artwork everything you imagined?

Nate was amazing. I've always liked his work - he's kind of just basically the best there is right now in New York City. We were just happy he was into doing it, and the final painting he made was perfect. It was amazing to be able to have something that tied everything together for the record. Nate made these Xerox's of J.D. Salinger that we've used for the inside of the CD and posters. It's all kind of one thing, the work Nate did for us, so we've sort of used it all.

Free download of "ACheerlaeder" over on their website and download "American Mourning" at Pitchfork.

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Interview: Aloe Blacc

To the masses, Aloe Blacc is best-known as the singer of the opening theme song for HBO's TV series "How to Make It in America." In part thanks to that, "I Need a Dollar" is considered the unofficial anthem for twenty-somethings on the grind. Having spent about sixteen years in the business, Aloe Blacc certainly knows something about the hustle. Blacc's years as an emcee has expanded into creating conscious music that spans the sounds of rap, soul, hip hop, jazz, and R&B, culminating in his most recent soul album, Good Things. In many ways, his stirring music is reminiscent of sounds from the sixties, but the lyrics are decidedly current, and tinged with a political slant. A graduate from the University of Southern California, Blacc and his distinct sound are quick to be described by music journalists and bloggers alike as smart, but his music is more than that, as Blacc straddles the worlds of art and life. Check out LOOKOUT's interview with Aloe Blacc and don't miss him live with his band The Grand Scheme on November 16, 2010 at Le Belmont.

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You describe your music as "brand-new-old-soul." How is your music in dialogue with the past and how do you see yourself fitting in with "neo-soul" (if at all)?

I am a disciple of great and classic soul artists and my goal with this new album is to carry on an important tradition in soul music of making songs with social and political commentary. In my music, there are elements of some of my heroes like Al Green, Bill Withers, and Curtis Mayfield. These are just a few of the artists who have informed my style on Good Things. Quincy Jones gave some very important advice at an ASCAP conference I attended. He said that an aspiring artists should study the greats to learn all that they have done, and from this knowledge and understanding create something unique. I agree. I want to create something that is unique that has a quality of its own. I am sure that I will make soul music of all brands in the future from neo-soul to future soul and my very own brand-new-old-soul.

As a musician, do you feel like you have a responsibility to address political and social issues?

I think every adult with a conscience has a responsibility to address political and social issues. Whether you are a day labourer or a filmmaker, it is important to be aware of the issues that affect your life and have a constant dialogue about the problems and solutions. I feel like all public figures have a responsibility to address issues that affect their communities. It's important that people with access to speak loudly do so, to be a voice for the people who can not. I really appreciate someone like Michael Moore who, right or wrong, uses his access and visibility to start conversations about social, economic, and political ills. The first step is to be aware and start talking.

How did your do-it-yourself approach impact the final outcome of Good Things and your musical vision as a whole?

My first album, Shine Through, was one I wrote and produced all myself with the exception of a couple of beats from OHNO and Madlib. I worked with outside producers and musicians on Good Things and played a more hands-off role in the post-production aspect of the songs, which is much different from how I usually work, but I figured it was worth a try. I think that the beauty of working in this way is that I get to take these recordings to the next level in my live performance. It's fun to rework the songs with my band, The Grand Scheme, and produce the tracks in my own way with just the instruments we have on stage.

You've been getting quite a bit of mainstream success, especially thanks to "I Need a Dollar." As an indie artist, how do you negotiate between the industry (and the potential profits that come along with it) and your personal values and goals?

I will let you know the real answer when I get my first check for profits on the sale of the album. Album sales aren't what they used to be but I am extremely grateful for the popularity of the song. It's helping me to reach more people with my music and ultimately bring happiness to folks all over the world. I get emails and messages from fans who say that my music has helped them through hard times or brightened their day. This makes it all worth it, more than the money, or lack thereof. I look up to artists like Bono, Michael Jackson, and George Clooney who use their influence and money to make positive change in the world. I think this is the best way to deal with potential profits that come along with success.

How did focusing more exclusively on soul music in Good Things (as opposed to the multi-genre Shine Through) transform your artistry?

Focus is a good thing but I don't feel like it has transformed my artistry as much as it has transformed my growing audience's perception of me. I am still making songs in every genre because my muse has no stylistic filter. I am going to release another EMANON album with DJ Exile, which is all hip hop as usual, and every day I am coming up with new song ideas in all different genres. From a business perspective, focusing on one genre is helpful because it offers listeners the chance to develop a simple idea about me as an artist. The soul artist is an archetype that exists and is well-understood. Fortunately, a new music lover is born everyday and the tastes of music fans are broadening, so I imagine artists will not have to be so strict with genre-centrality.

Referring to the title of your album, what are the good things going on in your life right now?

Right now, I am able to travel the world with my friends who are all talented musicians. I get to write and create songs and deliver performances that make people happy. Things are quite good.

Aloe Blacc LIVE  in Montreal, with full band Grand Scheme, Maya Jupiter, Effusion A Cappella, DJs Scott C + Rilly Guilty.  November 16, 2010: More info
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Cherry Chapstick – “The Line” & “Precious Necklace (Remix)”

Cherry Chapstick is a Montreal-based band that has recently released a remix of Silly Kisser's track "Precious Necklace," along with their single dubbed "The Line." Cherry Chapstick is made up of artists Nigel Ward (on vocals and guitar), Evan Mullen (on bass) and Julian Flavin (on vocals, synth and percussion), who got all together in the quaint town of Kingston, Ontario. Silly Kissers are also Montreal's own, so if you're from the Québécois hub, revel in this mega-Montreal collaboration. A summer synth tune at its finest, these two tracks from Cherry Chapstick are part indie rock beach jam, part electro-disco slam, and I really wouldn't have it any other way.

Download "The Line" and the "Precious Necklace" remix here.

Q&A: Montreal’s Fluxus

LOOKOUT caught up with Mark Sandford of the Montreal dance group, Fluxus. Fluxus' five members (Mark Sandford, Chris Ploss, Scott Nelson, Phil Gordon, Matthew Kolaitis) all play their own instruments and bring about a thrash-filled dance rock blowout. Mark is also involved with the netlabel and music community, Sixteen Sixteen. Oh, and he’s got a side project, Master Tone. Oh, and a blog. When we chatted, Mark had just made a bisque for the first time and was, to say the least, uber-impressed with himself. And I was, to say the least, uber-impressed with his engaging interview.

To download Fluxus' latest release, Navy Blue (free), click here.

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LOOKOUT: For those who don’t know, can you tell us a little bit about your record collective Sixteen Sixteen?

Mark Sandford: Basically, when we started Fluxus, we needed a place to put our music. You know how every single person and every single band has a MySpace? Typically, it’s like “Oh, go check out my MySpace.” That doesn’t carry any weight anymore. So, we thought why not build our own little website and put all our music and our friends' music up there. Myself, Chris Ploss, and Scott Nelson started the website. Scott, who’s a computer science major, built the most insane website and application to stream music. It ended up being a warehouse for our music. So we could record something and then send it out on the internet. We were recording other bands here at our apartment, and it was like, “Hey, why don’t you put this stuff on the website?”

I noticed a distinct change in sound from Cargoes of Empire to Navy Blue. How did that musical change in Fluxus end up happening?

When we recorded Cargoes of Empire, we had a different group of people than we do now. Fluxus itself was a project between Chris and I and so it was whatever we were working on at the time. When we recorded Cargoes of Empire, there were six of us. When you have six people in a band, it seems like the biggest group of people ever…  Just so many people in a band. We have five people in the band now and it seems so much lighter. I don’t know what one person changes, but it made a big difference in sound. The sound that you hear on Cargoes of Empire came out of the people that were working in the band and these people moved away and moved to different projects. Chris and I wanted to make what we really liked: dance groove, dance music. We got two new members and they were totally down with that and it started taking shape from there. We’ve taken some of our Cargoes of Empire songs and made some of our own remixes, kind of in the vain of Duran Duran or Soulwax. So, it's like a weird evolution and it seems like a right fit.

What do you think is special about Montreal in terms of making music and playing shows?

Montreal is such a creative place and people who are creative here are very serious about their creativity and that’s a really excellent environment to be in. Montreal’s not a big city and that’s what makes it good because we hang out with people that are in so many incredible bands and they’re just our friends. It’s such a rich network of people. I can’t speak for other people in other cities, but the creative network is so big within a small city and that’s really powerful because you can go to a show and chances are, a lot of people in the crowd are friends of the people up there, which is really encouraging and special.

Have you ever been playing a show and everyone’s standing around no one’s really dancing? What do you do? How do you keep the energy up?

That’s one of the reasons I wanted to make dance music. In Montreal, we did a show at this really weird venue, it was packed but everyone was sitting at tables. So we played forty-five minutes of nonstop dance music, and people really enjoyed it, but in a weird way, in a “I’m-gonna-sit-here-with-my-beer-way.” That’s a challenge for me, like how will I make people start feeling what life is?

We’ve talked about this as a band. If we’re going to play dance music, music that is somewhat repetitive and upbeat, it’s our job to look enthused or at least pretend that we’re into it. That’s what you have to do. Montreal’s kind of a weird city for that, maybe it’s part of the European thing. I lived in Detroit for a while and people go crazy. It could be a folk song and it’s like a rave.

What’s next for Fluxus?

We’re taking a little break right now. The next thing that’s up for us is that we’re possibly shooting a music video. We’re trying to secure money for that, which is, you know, kind of difficult. Les Appendices, a franco-comedy show, were at one of our shows and dug what we were doing and we’ve been in a conversation with them about shooting a music video. We’re all waiting on government funding.

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Want Agency Press Show

Last week, Want Agency's Montreal office hosted a press show at Salon Sweet William showcasing their brands Filippa K, Nudie and Acne. For some photos of the event (including the picture perfect leather jacket), click here. Duvall deejayed for the press event and the after party and handpicked some tracks for your listening pleasure.

Black Van - Yearning (DFA Records)

Mark E - RnB Drunkie (Golf Channel Recordings)

Interview: 2007 RBMA Participant Sarah Linhares

Sarah Linhares is a songwriter and vocalist from Montreal whose influences range from electronic music to gospel choirs and Afro-Brazilian samba. Sarah Linhares’ time at the Red Bull Music Academy in 2007 seemed to have really changed her—musically at least. At the time, she was struggling to decide whether or not she wanted to keep pushing her musical career, so in a way, RBMA saved her music. Since then, she’s been collaborating with a swarm of RBMA grads and keeping herself mad busy. Expect her debut solo full-length album, Messages from the Future, to drop sometime later this year, an album branded as “future soul” by her label, Public Transit Recordings.

To apply for this year's Red Bull Music Academy, which will now be held in Madrid, Spain (!!!), or for more information, click here. The application deadline has been extended until April 26, 2011.

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LOOKOUT: It’s been four years since you attended the Academy. Do you ever still think about it?

SL: Each year around this time, RBMA contacts me to speak at the info session or to do an interview, etc. So this season ends up being a time when I reminisce about my experience. Usually when people find out that I attended RBMA they ask me to tell them about it. I also think about the academy every time RB [Red Bull] throws an event in town 'cause I end up seeing all the Canadian RB guys, which is always great!

Why did you decide to apply?

It's funny, I wasn't going to apply 'cause I thought I wouldn't get in. I was actually contemplating letting go of my musical aspirations at the time. However one of my close friends, Scott C aka The Incubator, who was a RB Mr. X at the time, pushed me to apply. It's really thanks to him for being so encouraging!

What was the most challenging part of RBMA?

The challenging parts for me were allowing myself to enjoy the experience without doubting my talent and feeling scattered by wanting to do everything all at once. At that time, I was still unsure of myself and wasn't fully able to assert myself in the way I would now. I knew that I had something interesting to offer musically, but I wasn't able to fully embrace the depth of my ability and uniqueness. I was still discovering my own voice. I also felt this strange pressure to do too many things at once. I wanted to write and sing on so many collaborations that I think my efforts were slightly scattered. In retrospect, I would have chosen only a couple songs to work on and would have enjoyed just being there more.

You've since collaborated with other RBMA grads, like David Ryshpan, Aklimatize, Camplaix, and Sikh Knowledge, on Messages from the Future. What is it like doing collaborations with other Academy participants?

Honestly, I love working with RBMA participants 'cause they are mad talented producers, musicians, and DJs with really unique musical worldviews. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have met and collaborated with all of them. I’m still look forward to working with more of them!

David Ryshpan and I became friends because we both live in Montreal and did radio together before the academy. Now, he's my go-to pianist in town. We continue to enjoy working together as he's part of the band that is currently reinterpreting my upcoming album in a live setting. I had the pleasure of meeting Aklimatize in Montreal when he was on tour and we hit it off right away. We spent a very fun day in the studio recording together. Camplaix is my Portuguese brother that I connected with at the Academy. He's amazing to work with. He sends me these incredible beats that instantly inspire me and then we go back and forth sharing ideas and building the tracks. We have two songs together on my upcoming release and I think they are very strong songs. Sikh Knowledge is another talented Montreal friend that I love working with. We get along like a house on fire. We have a couple tracks together on the album and we are working on building a live show together using our laptops, drum machines, percussion, and a loop pedal. We are going to work on an EP together in the summer.

Aside from collaborations, how did the experience help your musical career?

The experience marked a major turning point in my musical career. I think if I hadn't gotten accepted I might have given up on my musical dreams. It was a big confidence boost at a time when I really needed one. Being there inspired me to keep on dreaming and allowed me to begin envisioning my future album project. It also allowed me to meet and be inspired by all kinds of people in the business. It encouraged me to tap into an extensive group of amazing music people that are forever to be a part of my network. It continues to allow me to connect instantly with these folks whenever I meet them. Being a part of the RBMA family allows me to share my projects with a massive international audience that I wouldn't have had contact with otherwise.

Do you have any advice for this year’s RBMA applicants?

All I can say is make sure you apply! The application is long, challenging, and can be daunting 'cause it asks you to really examine yourself and express things that aren't often asked of you. However, it is one of the most incredible musical experiences you can have.  When applying, just be honest about who you are musically and personally. Don't waste your time trying to prove something or trying to be something that you think will please them. The application is an opportunity to get to know yourself better—so enjoy it!

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Interview: 2007 RBMA Participant David Ryshpan

David Ryshpan is a Montreal-based pianist, composer and arranger. His band, Indigone Trio, was formed in 2003 at McGill University, where he graduated from the Jazz Performance program. LOOKOUT interviewed Ryshpan, a former RBMA participant, on his experience in 2007 in Toronto, illuminating how Ryshpan himself bucks the misconception that RBMA is exclusively for electronic music. To apply for this year's Red Bull Music Academy (the new location will be announced April 11), or for more information, click here. The application deadline has been extended until April 26, 2011.

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LOOKOUT: How did you decide to apply to 2007's RBMA in Toronto? Did your decision have anything to do with Toronto as the place where you began to study music?

DR: I'm friends with Scott C (The Incubator), who served as one of Montreal's "Mr. X"s that year. He urged me to apply. It was the first year I had ever heard of RBMA, so I applied without really knowing that much about it. The decision didn't have anything to do with Toronto being my hometown; it was, however, a really different experience of the city for me. I moved to Montreal when I was 16 so I never went clubbing in Toronto, and I wasn't really ever immersed in Toronto's electronic or hip-hop scenes. It was like being a tourist at home, considering the majority of my musical experiences in Toronto happened at The Rex and the Top o' the Senator (which doesn't exist anymore).

Did all of the members of Indigone Trio apply for RBMA? How did you take your personal experience and translate it into something that the entire band could benefit from?

I was the only member of Indigone that applied to RBMA. Being able to work closely alongside engineers and producers, I got enough of the technical language of recording and mixing to make the recording of our album, Cycles, a much more fluid process. The awareness of music as sound, and how to deal with different kinds of sound, has definitely influenced my composition since RBMA.

How was RBMA different from other workshops you’ve participated in like the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop and the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music?

It's pretty remarkable how similar they all are, actually. I often refer to RBMA to my jazz-inclined friends as the "Banff Centre for electronic production." They're quite similar in the sense that they foster immense amounts of creativity in a short timespan. In all of the workshops, there's an expectation that you're in a creative, artistic headspace the whole time. That phenomenon of having the artistic impulse always turned "on" is really refreshing, something I still find hard to replicate in my daily life. The only major difference I can think of was that for BMI, there were concrete deadlines - we had a reading session with a real live big band every two months, and we were expected to bring in significant amounts of new material to the reading. At Banff, too, there were concerts and shows to prepare for. RBMA wasn't structured around deadlines but there was definitely an awareness of the fact that we only had two weeks to make the most amount of music possible.

Having studied jazz performance at McGill, did you learn anything unexpected from artists who had never gone to school for music?

I was blown away by the inherent musicality of people that had little or no formal training. Our ears are our guide, anyway. One thing I took away was this sense of being able to break the rules – if it sounds like it works, then it does, regardless if it's theoretically totally correct.

What kind of relationships – friendly or work-related – did you make during RBMA? Have you kept any of them?

Sarah Linhares and I have been working together since RBMA. We knew each other through radio and didn't actually know that the other had applied, or that the other played music, before RBMA! I'm still in touch with some of the RBMA alumni from our term. Heliponto, a house producer from Belo Horizonte, Brasil, produced a track with me during RBMA that came out on her record, Eletronia, and we have another project together on a back burner. I'm still in touch with Mara TK, Kez YM, and Camplaix, among others, and I hope to work with them all again soon.

Do you have any advice for this year’s RBMA applicants?

Take your time with the application and be honest. I know the 17-page questionnaire can be daunting, but the reality is that the answers given throughout the 17 pages is how RBMA creates an instant 30-person family.

I want to re-iterate something I said at the info session. It may appear that RBMA is geared strictly towards "electronic music." It's not. It's a balance of electronic music production, and music creation of all kinds. I encourage anyone who's remotely interested in learning any element of electronic music production – from improvising with Live or Max/MSP to recording their own albums to producing hip-hop, electro, or whatever – to apply.

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OLDgOLD “Meditations” Mix by Gingy's latest music mix in their Transmission series, "Meditations," is by DJ and producer Gingy who hails from Toronto. Listen closely for the fourth track, which features Gingy's personal production. Going from bouncy to smooth, Gingy ups the ante, delivering an hour's worth of non-stop explosive sound.


Transmission:OLDgOLD:10 by Gingy

Track List:

1 - Abstraxion - Vampyros Lesbos - Biologic
2 - Clement Meyer - Slow Deep and Hard (Sei A Remix) - Seinan
3 - Phoenix - Fences (Acapella)
4 - Gingy - Nebulous Freak Tool - CDR
5 - Sascha Funke - The Acrobat (Efdemin Remix) - BPitch Control
6 - Matthew Dear - Irreparably Dented - Spectral Sound
7 - Jark Prongo - Helios - Fresh Fruit Records
8 - EQD - Equalized 003a - Equalized
9 - Ola Bergman - Vultures End - New Speak
10 - Floating Points - K & G Beat - Planet Mu
11 - Autechre - Nine - Warp
12 - Floating Points - Sing (Extended Mix) - Domino
13 - Drexciya - Birth of New Life - Tresor
14 - Oni Ayhun - OAR003b - Oni Ayhun Records
15 - Silence? (Cosmic Radiation Echoes Through Space And Time)