Blog Archives

Son Lux -Alternate worlds

Not your average music review.

My first introduction to American, post-rock, electronica/ experimental trio, Son Lux was this track ‘Easy’.

My brain exploded with a rush of endorphins. Its sexy, funky, 100% Son Lux style & has to be watched live or watch the live version.

I didn’t hear much about them again until 2018 when Son lux dropped this track ‘dream state ( Brighter wounds album, 2018). This was the second time that I heard their music & (once again) I stopped everything I was doing, went back to listen to it over & over.

It has so much emotion on an operatic level| & the soundscape is dramatic, epic &intense. It releases a force of emotion that makes the hairs stand up on the end of my arms.

I was also drawn to the lyrics. I didn’t know what the word impervious meant until I heard this song.

imperviousadjective

US /ɪmˈpɜr·vi·əs

not able to be influenced, hurt, or damaged:

He seems to be impervious to pain.

Granite is almost impervious to acid-rain damage.

I think there are many times in my life when I’ve wanted to be impervious to situations I don’t want to face, people I don’t want to love or care about (only because to love & care means me having to fight another day, not just for them but for myself).

Then there are the times I want to be impervious to Life & peoples bullshit. That is a mantra I’m going to start using,

‘I’m Impervious to life’s bullshit and traditional fairytales’

I digress…

I think when we lose our ability to care or love then hope is narrowed down to that dark abyss. An abyss is a place for researchers of other intelligent life (in my humble opinion).

The increasing pressure to seek that little light can be a place of entanglement. What I love about Son Lux’s music is that it takes me to nebulous places, but ones where I remember where I hid the match or lighter to find my way back (through the music) to a state of exhilaration/ redemption or just a more positive mind frame. I find most of their songs cathartic.

Back to ‘dream state’ (title & lyrics = Match made in Elysium).

The lyrics & how they are performed have that narcotic inducing effect.

I wrote a surreal piece of fiction when I listened to this song. I’m not ready to share it.

I was also grieving the end of my marriage & I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of our wedding pictures.

I often look back at pictures of happy & painful moments.

This line from the lyrics

We took photographs of everything we could feel

reinforced how dwelling on nostalgia can keep a person stuck – not able to move forwards.

I wondered how I could go from being so in love with nearly destroying my marriage. I speak of where I went wrong. I put my photos away & vowed to move forward. I wanted to be impervious to feeling guilt, shame, melancholy, love, rage- the plethora of what we understand as emotions.

It’s impossible for me to remain impervious to people and subjects I’m 100% straight-up passionate about.

Another great song of theirs is the Alternate world

It has that same ethereal, Gotye esque (‘Somebody I used to know’ featuring Kimbra) sound to it. But better.

Son Lux’s melody, harmony& lyrical content is the G.reatest

O.f

A. ll

T.ime

Bank of Sound Feature -Ghostown

All the people I’ve ever asked to do a feature I usually know nothing about so it’s good to know where to find you.

 

Who is Ghostown? 

Ghostown is made up
Of Rael and D.J. Kirsa.  They do go  by various other monikers.

Their music  style is smelting pot  d hip-hop, mixed with  old school  breakbeats,  they  merge with   trip hop and use bass. They prefer  creating their own samples.

There is a hint of Balkan eastern  folk  hop music.

For this upcoming album a family  acquaintance, PEDRO gero donated a few samples  for Rael to mess about with to complement to the upcoming album.

They have 6 albums released   Culture Vulture 2004 Reflectionz       2009
Spektah Gadjo 2013 Shanksville      2018
Wuchak            2019
And their current album
Fringehead       2020

Ghostown performed extensively yet sporadically mostly in France, playing at alternative festivals with the likes of

  • Balkan Beat Box
  • Chinese Man
  • Degiheugi
  • Brain Damage
  • Beat Assailant

 

  •  

  The first track that  Ghostown released in May 2020is the scintillating ‘Butterfly. It’s s an upbeat melodywith positive  lyrics that flow with the ups and downs of life  & reality.

 

It is a theme around doing ones best in life no matter what.

RAEL

 

 

On ghostown’s  Youtube channel , there is a playlist to show the progress of the tracks that have been released  and to help fans and keep up to date with  the albums next move.

Here is a link to take you directly to that YouTube playlist –  ‘FringeHead’

 

It was written in May because there are references to the curent period we’re living in. The video was created around social distancing. I called D.J. Kirsa and told him about an idea i had and he was up for it.

 

‘Butterfly’ is the first track ttaken  off the  new album . The release date will be around  September/October.

 

The name  of the album will most likely be ‘Fringehead’ which makes reference to a  strange sarcastic fish.

It is actually going to be 20 songs but 5 will be interludes.

Going back to the Jonny Marre tapes  & the Je ei ,marre saying, 

I really like  how the  Butterfly video is produced. I’ve noticed that in most of the videos that  I have seen of your work you don’t show yourselves in any of them..
I impressed with how well the video and track is made. It’s  a long process of finding an audio sample to fit with an animation clip and get the timing precise. I would be really proud of myself if it was my work. 

I don’t  know whether you are consciously aware of how  your first time self editing , possibly helped you come up with an idea where  both you and Kirsa overcame  a way to not fixate on your  hermit  trait.
You managed to overcome that obstacle and find a creative outlet with the cartoonish video and broke the boundaries to express yourself and challenge yourself.

Thank you so  much  for the chat. It was insightful  and  I  I  can’t  wait to hear more tracks  off the album.

 

No, its the first time ,really

screenshot_20200802-203428_youtube3541101127954560808.jpg

Facebook

Deezer

Instagram

Soundcloud

BANDCAMP

FEATURE: Corky Traxman Strong

This was my first feature interview. I asked for this interview and boy, did I get it. I was unprepared, I didn’t record it & I spoke a lot. It was a huge learning curve for me about how to prepare for future live interviews.

Cornelius Ferguson (Corky Traxman) can talk-a lot. He is opinionated, emotional, passionate & open.

Step one- How not to interview someone successfully

I dropped Corky a message about finishing ‘the feature’ & then whilst putting my washing in the laundry, my mobile rang, I  was unprepared ( no recorder, no pen and a Mr Ferguson on the other line who talks a lot and fast ).

I panicked.

Corky straight away called me out saying, ‘ You tripping’ ( yeah cos I’m unprepared).

Who is Corky Traxman strong?

Corky was born & raised in West Chicago. He’s a self-made D.J. /Music producer & manages a  record label He is a  Dad to five children & grandpa to two grandchildren.

What  Corky says about the origins of the Chicago music scene

He spoke about the Warehouse, this was the first after-hours party venue to stay open after 3 a.m. in the early ’80s.

Corky explained how the Chicago warehouse club was where Corky  ‘got a flavour ‘for house music. This was the place where his passion and dedication to the music kicked off. Corky describes it as

One of the finest places to go to.

We touched upon how the disco music produced in the late ’70s/early 80’s started to lose its appeal. And when house music first put down its roots in Chicago, Corky described how it wasn’t 100% well-received for various reasons. Chicago music wasn’t going anywhere.

In Corky’s words

When you try to kill something, it goes underground & comes back harder

Corky went to explain that he didn’t   ‘vibe ‘ with the whole disco scene. When he was  13 years old, Corky described  his influences

as the kind of  nu-wave music that Frankie Knuckles  started playing  (early 80’s )

This was a time when the LGBT COMMUNITY  were being discriminated against.

It was diverse (for example) my uncles girlfriends brother was openly gay in the early 80’s  and they used go to the warehouse records. We had Spanish Harlem.

Around that time Corky described how he was  ‘blessed ‘ to be in a position to fly back & forth from Chicago & New York. He was able to embrace both scenes.

When I  asked if Corky had ever embraced the drug scene

I’ve never done ecstasy.As a kid, I didn’t experience or witness big parties. It was 1981 (I was 8 years old). Then when I hit 13 years old I became the curious DJ I met up with D.J. Slick Rick ‘Da’ master ( the American music producer )  & Steve Point Dexter and through dance mania (records) in 1984, I got a taste for the party scene.

Corky was signed up to the dance mania label  ( founded by Jesse James in 1985) who signed up many pioneers of the  Chicago house music scene.

In 1987 the door opened and I met up with  Slick Rick ‘Da’ master And a body down the projects called D.J. Funk…and we hung out at the  House of Jammin Gerald (and) he did something we’d  never seen before.

He used a cassette machine to make a beat machine (ie  a mixtape by hand ) the  Chicago acid soul track  ‘No way back’ (by Adonis) became a  huge classic  UK hit .

 

Corky also lists the  HOTMIX 5 DJ TEAM  as creative influences.  HOT MIX 5 was  Chicago house music first commercial success in terms of radio airtime.

STEP 2 How  to interview someone  unsuccessfully

Digressing and cramming too much in.

 Corky’s views on American politics

From a hood perspective, Trump doesn’t concern us .What he is doing to us-He’s not doing anything to us that hasn’t already been done.

Corky’s opinion of Obama when he was  in the White House

FUCK OBAMA! He did something for the American minorities. There were no tangibles.

Tangibles (elaborate please)?

Black people want 465 years of free labour.

How do you imagine that could be achieved?

(LAUGHS) I don’t know yet-grass roots campaigns ?  (the minorities) need to hold their own nuts. Black people do not want to harm children & babies .

For more information on this HUGE topic check out  HOLD YOUR OWN NUTS campaign.

Can you tell  me what your view is about mental health & the music/creative industry?

People need to perk up. People need to be heard. I go through it.

When I asked him  to speak about the track he  did title ‘DEPRESSION’

yeah, it was just how I felt. It reminds me of this kid from Phoenix who said something compelling. He said he was going through something. Something real serious, like he wanted to commit suicide. It’s serious. I got him to work with me on my footwork on-air project and it seemed to help him.

What other roles have you had in or out of the music industry?

I’ve recently founded my own music label (2018)

When I asked Corky how his label came about

He’s  a Robert

( phone signal bugged out at that moment)

He’s a distributor in Germany-you’re really picking my brains…

(To clarify Corky Traxman Strong runs Chicago factory music record label with Dance manias very own, Steve point Dexter).

COOL FACT: Steve point Dexter’s dad used to drum for jazz /piano composer Duke Ellington-he’s most well known is, ‘ It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing.

I tried to cajole Corky into talking about Mr AAARFF?

I can’t . Mr AAARFF is my cat that helps me make decisions. I can’t comment without him being here.

(Corky becomes unusually quieter)

Okay, so Why did you start a music label?

(Laughs) Freedom ( incredulous) I can make my own choices.

DURR (to myself)

Because you’ve transcended so many different genres of music-what kind of people listen to your music today?

I dunno. Ordinary people. You don’t need to be part white or part black or (you can be) even transgender ,y know?

Where would you say your biggest fan base is?

Asia. Japan and Asia It’s not primarily just juke and footwork I play. They even love their reggae

Moving onto your work with TEK LIFE (congratulations for hitting the ROLLING STONE TOP 20 EDM ALBUMS FOR 2017) and the whole footwork movement

For more information about TEK LIFE & Corky’s involvement, you can find more details TEK LIFE