Modeselektor Talk Thom Yorke, Berlin, & April 24 NYC Show


As Berlin production duo Modeseleker prepare for their April 24 DJ set at Sankey’s in NYC for the Bleep:10 party celebrating’s 10 year anniversary, we caught up with them about their music, touring, the Berlin music scene, and working with Thom Yorke!

Giant Step: Let’s talk a little bit about the upcoming Modeselektion Vol 3 and how it came about.

Modeselektor: The idea of “modeselektion” is to bring musicians we met and admire together on one compilation. It’s an imprint of our music influences and musical taste. All tracks are produced exclusively for this compilation. The result is a tracklist with different styles of music, which we bring together as curators bring together.

GS: How’s the Moderat 2014 tour going so far? Anything special planned for upcoming Bleep 10 show in NYC?

MS: We did the massive tour part in the beginning of 2014. It took about 10 shows to evolve into a perfect mode. The main part of the tour is finished and now we will continue to play festivals all over the world. For the Bleep party we will bring our massive Modeselektor DJ set and TR 909 drummachines for more pressure.

GS: What was it like working with Thom Yorke? Any new tracks in the pipeline with him?

MS: Working with Thom Yorke was great; he is a nice person and of course a great musician. We had always a good time at the studio. He loves music, studio gear and good food. He’s a friend!

GS: How’s the current Berlin music scene?

MS: Good question. Berlin’s music scene is very eclectic. There are a lot of influences, and it’s very international. Berlin is a city for immigrants, creative people, more poor than rich people, creative and idealistic people, and the working class. The most important thing is that Berlin is not a money-business spot like Paris, London, or New York. Here in Berlin there’s a lot of space to do things you like. It’s an easy going city!

Event Details
Bleep:10 presents Modeselektor + Special Guests
Thursday, April 24


Tickets: $20
Purchase tickets

Sankeys NYC
29 West 36th Street
New York, NY

Exclusive Interview: Jeff McIlwain (Lusine), Co-Composer of ‘Joe’ Film Score


Words by Sara Jayne Crow

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”


As a music journalist of nearly 15 years, this quote oddly resonates with me: it’s absurd to want to use one creative form to interpret another. Prose is a nebulous conjecture as it relates to describing rhythm; nonfiction is spare fact, and poetry feebly swaps dressed-up, impotent rhyme for melody. The statement is especially appropriate when writing about the music of Jeff McIlwain (Lusine), a prolific Seattle-based musician whose output bears such depth and breadth that words can’t near approximation. Music theory can’t approximate. Smoke signals or cuneiform might serve better.

At club King King in Hollywood last March, Jeff effortlessly orchestrated a live set, laboring intently behind the subdued glow of his laptop screen. He made subtle adjustments, fingers deftly flitting among the buttons and knobs of his spare setup: a laptop running Ableton, a DSI Tetra, Evolution UC-33, and Novation MIDI controller. The speaker stacks radiated the warmth of his layered, painstaking sonic engineering. Jeff didn’t have an affect of ego or showmanship despite the worshipful crowd jostling for front-row stance. His unassuming nature, effortless control and modesty made live performance look easy.

Read the rest after the jump

Amanda Seales and Kris Bowers Discuss Upcoming ‘Mo’ Betta Wu’ @ LPR, NYC – April 10

Words by Korby Benoit

In 1994, the Wu-Tang Clan emerged as a collective of nine gifted emcees from Staten Island, NY. Their musical contribution has been unparalleled and this year marks the 20th anniversary of their seminal release, Enter The 36 Chambers. Undoubtedly the Wu-Tang style, slang and sound has left a permanent impression on hip-hop fans across the globe.

Amanda Seales is an artist known for her various work as a television host, visual artist, DJ and vocalist.  She is also someone with an appreciation for Wu-Tang’s cultural impact. This week, Seales will perform a show entitled Mo’ Betta Wu at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City. Together with pianist Kris Bowers and additional band members, she’ll be performing an assortment of jazz standards over reworked and reinterpreted Wu-Tang classics.

Read the rest after the jump

Interview: Introducing Gabriel Garzon-Montano



Earlier this month, we introduced you to Gabriel Garzon-Montano, an upcoming NYC based vocalist and musician who recently released his debut EP, Bishoune: Alma del Huila. We caught up with Gabriel for a little Q&A to help y’all get better acquainted. Get to knowin’ and enjoy!

Giant Step: Your music touches on a lot of different sounds; What/whom would you cite as your influences?

Gabriel Garzon-Montano: Alexandra Montano, Alfredo Garzón, Arthur Rimbaud, The Beatles, Claude Debussy, D’Angelo, J Dilla, Lil Wayne, Milton Nascimento, Prince, Saul Steinberg, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, and Toto La Momposina.

GS: How does being a multi-instrumentalist play into your relationship with music?

GGM: It has deepened my understanding of the track and the role that each ingredient plays.

GS: What’s some of your favorite music right now? Who are you listening to?

GGM: Madlib and Freddie Gibbs, Willie Colón y Hector Lavoe, Dilla, Stevie… among others. I’m starting to get into that old school Chicago house as well.

GS: Is there a certain way in which you wish for people to receive your music? Do you aim for a desired effect?

GGM: Heartbreak and assurance tied up into a delicious piece of music.

GS: Having now released your first project, there are so many roads that could lie ahead for you. Imagining there are no limitations, where would you like to take your music and career?

GGM: I want to create every day for the rest of my life. I also want to travel the world and get paid to spread this love.

Interview: Ben Watt Shares His Latest + NYC & LA Shows



Veteran music maker, DJ, author, and label-owner Ben Watt catches us up with his latest happenings as he prepares for a string of US shows to promote his upcoming album, Hendra. He’ll be playing Joe’s Pub in NYC on April 1 (sold out), Rough Trade in NYC on April 2, and The Echo in LA on April 4. You aren’t going to want to miss these!

Giant Step: It’s been over two decades since your debut album, North Marine Drive, came out in 1983 and over a decade since your last work with Everything But the Girl. What inspired you to get back into the studio for your own project?

Ben Watt: Instinct, mainly. After Everything But The Girl stopped in 2002, I focused on DJing and running my two labels Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling Records for ten years, but I felt myself wanting to get back to words and writing again, not just beats and other people’s music. The first thing I did was write a new book – a memoir all about my parents’ lives and marriage that will be published by Bloomsbury in the US in June. (It has just come out here to great reviews, which is very heart-warming.) And then right after that I fell into songwriting again. It was perhaps triggered by the unexpected death of my half-sister, Jennie. She died just as I was finishing the book and it was a heavy blow. A lot of stuff just tumbled out.

Read the rest & get show details after the jump