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Posts Tagged ‘Daphni

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E10 | October mix

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This month saw the eagerly awaited return of prestigious American musician John Maus with the release of ‘Screen Memories’; a synth pop masterpiece (and follow-up to the remarkable 2011 opus ‘We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves’). Opening this mix is one of the heavenly synthesizer-based tracks culled from Maus’ recent Bleep mix.

Colleen is an artist very close to our hearts and the release of Cécile Schott’s sixth full-length ‘A flame my love, a frequency’ (via Thrill Jockey) marks 2017’s most bewitching, absorbing and deeply affecting records to have graced the atmosphere. Armed with just electronics and voice, the album’s eight otherworldly compositions transcend space and time: drifting majestically in the ether of unknown dimensions. Colleen’s tour dates (including U.S, North America and Europe) are listed here.

On the 14th & 15th December, the second edition of The Notwist-curated Alien Disko returns to Munich. The festival’s line-up reflects the boundless and pioneering qualities of the chosen acts, from Shabazz Palaces, Konono Nº1 and Amiina to Colleen, Sam Amidon and The Notwist. Tickets are onsale now.

This month’s mix also includes new releases from: Xylouris White; SAICOBAB; Spirit Fest; Lindstrøm; Sufjan Stevens; Gunn – Truscinski Duo and Les Filles de Illighadad.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E10 | October mix


To listen on La Blogothèque:


01. Peter Davison“Shadow” (Higher Octave Music)
02. John Maus“The Combine” (Ribbon Music)
03. Shabazz Palaces“Moon Whip Quäz” (feat. Darrius) (Sub Pop)
04. John Carpenter“Assault on Precinct 13” (Death Waltz Recording Company)
05. Severed Heads“George the Animal” (Dark Entries)
06. The Velvet Underground“I Can’t Stand It” (Verve)
07. The Cat’s Miaow“Not Like I Was Doing Anything” (Library)
08. Cymbeline“Look at the Stars” (Guerssen)
09. Gunn – Truscinski Duo“Flood and Fire” (Three Lobed Recordings)
10. Les Filles de Illighadad“Abadrarass” (Sahel Sounds)
11. SAICOBAB“One” (Thrill Jockey)
12. Xylouris White“Only Love” (Bella Union)
13. Guelewar“Ya Mom Samaray” (Kindred Spirits)
14. Wallias Band“Muziqawi Silt” (Manteca)
15. Don Cherry“Brown Rice” (EMI)
16. Spiritualized“Feel So Sad (Glides And Chimes)” (Spaceman, Arista)
17. Colleen“The stars vs creatures” (Thrill Jockey)
18. Spectrum“All Night Long” (Silvertone)
19. Slowdive“No Longer Making Time” (Dead Oceans)
20. Spirit Fest“River River” (Alien Transistor)
21. NSRD“Schwenn” (STROOM)
22. Lali Puna“Wear My Heart” (Morr Music)
23. Four Tet “Daughter” (Text)
24. Sufjan Stevens“Wallowa Lake Monster” (Asthmatic Kitty)
25. William Eggleston“On the Street Where You Live” (Secretly Canadian)
26. Lindstrøm“Bungl (Like a Ghost)” [feat. Jenny Hval] (Smalltown Supersound)
27. Daphni“Carry on” (Jiaolong)
28. Blanck Mass“The Rat” (Sacred Bones)
29. Colin Stetson“All this I do for glory” (52Hz)
30. Dirty Three“Moon On The Land” (Bella Union)
31. Cat Power“Metal Heart” (Matador)
32. Marisa Anderson“Amazing Grace” (Mississippi)
33. Jackson C. Frank“Milk and Honey” (Sanctuary)
34. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis“Three Seasons in Wyoming” (Wind River OST) (Invada, Lakeshore)

Compiled by Fractured Air, October 2017. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E07 | July mix

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July saw the highly-anticipated return of world-renowned French composer Colleen (aka Cécile Schott) with her achingly beautiful new single “Separating”, taken from the forthcoming “A flame my love, a frequency” out October 20th via Thrill Jockey. On her new album, Schott’s viola da gamba – used on her last two records “Captain of None” and “The Weighing Of The Heart” – is replaced by solely electronic instrumentation: Moog pedals and Critter and Guitari synthesizers. The result is yet another otherworldly, far-reaching sonic odyssey from this visionary solo artist.

Following on from last year’s exceptional debut mini-album “Shady & Light”, Hamburg-born and Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Martyn Heyne has unveiled his stunning new single “Carry”, taken from the forthcoming solo debut album (coming out later this year on the neo-classical imprint 7K!). The divine guitar-based compositions crafted by Heyne carves out a ceaselessly rich listening experience for the here-and-now.

Elsewhere on July’s mix we have new releases from Montreal composer Kara-Lis Coverdale (Boomkat Editions), Four Tet’s new single “Two Thousand And Seventeen” (Text), Daphni’s new fabric live set, Los Angeles composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s lead single “An Intention” (taken from the forthcoming Western Vinyl release “The Kid”), Jane Weaver’s krautrock-flavoured latest opus (Fire Records), Snake Eyes (the current house band in the new Twin Peaks) and UK psychedelia courtesy of Ulrika Spacek.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E07 | July mix


To listen on Mixcloud:èque-s02e07-july-mix/


01. Gil Scott-Heron“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (BGP)
02. Shabazz Palaces“Welcome to Quazarz” (Sub Pop)
03. Danger Doom“Mad Nice” (feat. Black Thought & Vinny Price) (Lex)
04. Robert Wyatt“Shipbuilding” (Rough Trade)
05. Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland “2” (Hyperdub)
06. Patricia“I Know The Face, But Not The Name” (Spectral Sound)
07. Barbara Morgenstern + Werkstatt“Grow” (Monika Enterprise)
08. Four Tet“Two Thousand and Seventeen” (Text)
09. Daphni “Poly” (Fabric)
10. Om Alec Khaoli“Enjoy It” (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
11. Marijata – “I Walk Alone” (excerpt) (Mr Bongo)
12. Visible Cloaks“Terrazzo” (feat. Motion Graphics) (RVNG Intl)
13. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith“An Intention” (Western Vinyl)
14. Avey Tare“Season High” (Domino)
15. Deru“1979” (Friends Of Friends)
16. Brumes“Backward Hands” (Dauw)
17. Ulrika Spacek“Mimi Pretend” (Tough Love)
18. Jane Weaver“Did You See Butterflies?” (Fire)
19. Trouble“Snake Eyes” (Sacred Bones)
20. Donnie & Joe Emerson“Baby” (LateNightTales)
21. Balmorhea“Clear Language” (Western Vinyl)
22. Mary Ocher“To the Light” (Piano Version) (Klangbad)
23. Marcus Fjellström “Aunchron” (Miasmah)
24. The Durutti Column“Sketch For Dawn (I)” (Factory)
25. Martyn Heyne“Carry” (7K!)
26. Kara-Lis Coverdale“Grafts” (excerpt) (Boomkat Editions)
27. Colleen“Separating” (Thrill Jockey)

Compiled by Fractured Air, July 2017. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E06 | June mix

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June’s mixtape features a first listen of “Golden Plover”, Glasgow’s finest Trembling Bells’ stunning cover of the Bert Jansch song taken from his 1979 avian-themed classic “Avocet”. The track is part of the special 4-track EP “Avocet Revisited”, commissioned and issued by Fire Records’ imprint Earth Recordings, featuring: Trembling Bells; Edwyn Collins and Carwyn Ellis; Modern Studies; Alasdair Roberts.
On “Golden Plover”, Trembling Bells are joined by Callum Calderwood (violin), Rory Haye (vocals), Andrew Pattie (vocals) and Belle & Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson (12 string guitar). “Avocet Revisited” will be released by Earth Recordings on the 11th of August 2017.

One of the UK’s finest indie bands The Clientele return with “Music for the Age of Miracles” (Merge Records) this Autumn, their first new album in seven years. Thus far the irresistible lead single “Lunar Days” has been unveiled, finding the beloved Alasdair MacLean-led band in typically impeccable form, effortlessly fusing a myriad of influences into miniature pop marvels like only they can.

June’s mixtape also features new releases from: Ariel Pink’s new single “Another Weekend”, from the hugely anticipated forthcoming Mexican Summer album “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson”; Grizzly Bear’s “Painted Ruins”, one of 2017’s most eagerly anticipated albums and follow-up to 2012’s sonic marvel “Shields”; Renowned Irish contemporary classical collective Crash Ensemble release their glorious “Ghosts” album – featuring compositions written by Nico Muhly, Donnacha Dennehy and Valgeir Sigurðsson – which is released via Icelandic independent Bedroom Community.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E06 | June mix


To listen on La Blogothèque:


01. Virginia Woolf“I. Mrs. Dalloway: Words” (Deutsche Grammophon)
02. The Beacon Sound Choir“Can’t Wrap My Head Around It” (First Terrace)
03. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly & James McAlister“Neptune” (4AD)
04. Crash Ensemble “Past Tundra” (Bedroom Community)
05. Fleet Foxes“I Should See Memphis” (Nonesuch)
06. Trembling Bells“Golden Plover” (Earth Recordings)
07. The Clientele“Lunar Days” (Merge)
08. Bill MacKay“Aster” (Drag City)
09. Ariel Pink“Another Weekend” (Mexican Summer)
10. Justin Walter“Red Cabin” (Kranky)
11. Chromatics“Shadow” (Italians Do It Better)
12. Tobias Bernstrup “27” (12” Version) (Dark Entries)
13. John Talabot“Destiny” (Rave Dub Version) (Permanent Vacation)
14. Daphni“Face to Face” (fabric)
15. Blondes“KDM” (R&S)
16. Laurel Halo“Moontalk” (Hyperdub)
17. Alice Coltrane“Rama Guru” (Luaka Bop)
18. Belbury Poly“The Geography” (Ghost Box)
19. BADBADNOTGOOD“Lavender” (feat. KAYTRANADA & Snoop Dogg) [Nightfall Remix] (Innovative Leisure)
20. Grizzly Bear“Three Rings” (RCA)
21. The Focus Group“The Leaving” (Ghost Box)
22. Gorillaz“Let Me Out” (feat. Mavis Staples & Pusha T) (Parlophone)
23. Aretha Franklin“This Little Light of Mine” (Remember)
24. Philippe Hallais“Hero (Theme)” (Modern Love)
25. Oliver Coates“Peace” (Foom)
26. Radiohead“I Promise” (XL Recordings)
27. Murcof & Vanessa Wagner“Spiegel Im Spiegel” (InFiné)

Compiled by Fractured Air, June 2017. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S1E7 | July mix

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July 2016 opened with world-renowned German composer Nils Frahm’s magnificent “Possibly Colliding” weekend of music at the Barbican Centre, London. Curated by Frahm, the special lineup featured live performance, conversation and film screenings where the headline act was Frahm’s monumental sold-out Barbican show, comprising his “most ambitious concert to date.”

Possibly Colliding felt not only like a celebration of the visionary artist’s cherished songbook (thus far) but rather a distillation of the most ground-breaking moments of today’s contemporary music scene. The angelic, hushed solo piano pieces were interwoven with the sprawling and sublime synthesizer-led pieces and many live collaborations – cellist Anne Müller, Nonkeen (with the addition of gifted drummer Andrea Belfi), London-based vocal ensemble Shards, and the André de Ridder-led stargaze ensemble – rendered new versions of Frahm’s towering body of work and offered new insights into the gifted composer’s sonic sphere.

During July we were delighted to be invited to participate in Irish actor Cillian Murphy’s curated IMMA Summer Party happening at the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin. Murphy’s music lineup featured performances by celebrated German composer and pianist Hauschka, gifted Irish fiddle player and composer Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Irish-based indie band Meltybrains? Some selections from our DJ set appear in this month’s mixtape.

Limerick-born and London-based composer Áine O’Dwyer has long been one of our most cherished and favourite contemporary musicians. O’Dwyer has released records on such independent labels as: Mie Music, Second language and Fort Evil Fruit, while her versatile talents are evident in her rich and varied recorded output to date, which have featured: live recordings for pipe organ, music for harp and voice and music for solo piano.

This year’s Le Guess Who? festival features special guest curators – including the inimitable L.A. songwriter Julia Holter – who has invited Áine O’Dwyer to this year’s lineup in Utrecht which takes place on 10–13 November 2016.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S1E7 | July mix

To Read/listen on La Blogothèque:



01. Woodkid & Nils Frahm“Winter Morning II” (with Robert De Niro) (excerpt) (Ellis OST, Erased Tapes)
02. Peter Broderick“Carried” (Erased Tapes)
03. Nonkeen“Diving Platform” (R&S)
04. Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler“A Road” (Thrill Jockey)
05. Áine O’Dwyer “Falcon” (Second Language)
06. Jherek Bischoff“Headless” (The Leaf Label)
07. Agnes Obel“Familiar” (Play It Again Sam)
08. Jonny Greenwood (Copenhagen Phil, André de Ridder)“Future Markets” (There Will Be Blood OST, Deutsche Grammophon)
09. Radiohead“Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief” (XL Recordings)
10. Kedr Livanskiy“Razrushitelniy Krug (Destructive Cycle)” (2MR)
11. Lil Silva “Jimi” (Good Years)
12. DJ Shadow“The Sideshow” (feat. Ernie Fresh) (Mass Appeal)
13. Underworld“I Exhale” (Universal Music Group)
14. Floorplan“Music” (M-Plant)
15. Róisín Murphy“Simulation” (Permanent Vacation)
16. Hot Chip“Night and Day” (Daphni Mix) (Domino)
17. Junior Boys“Big Black Coat” (Robert Hood Remix) (Jiaolong / City Slang)
18. Peder Mannerfelt“Perspectives” (Peder Mannerfelt Produktion)
19. Aphex Twin“CHEETAHT2 [Ld spectrum]” (Warp)
20. Ólafur Arnalds“RGB” (LateNightTales)
21. Julianna Barwick“Someway” (Dead Oceans)
22. Julia Holter“Finale” (Leaving / Domino)

Compiled by Fractured Air, July 2016. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

Mixtape: Some Velvet Morning [A Fractured Air Mix]

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Some Velvet Morning [A Fractured Air Mix]

To listen on Mixcloud:



01. Goat ‘To Travel The Path Unknown’ [Sub Pop]
02. Miles Davis ‘John McLaughlin’ [CBS, Columbia]
03. Pharoah Sanders ‘Greeting To Saud’ [Impulse!]
04. Boom Bip Feat. Nina Nastasia ‘The Matter (Of Our Discussion)’ [Lex]
05. Kate Ellis ‘Why Do You Smile?’ [Diatribe]
06. Spoon ‘Inside Out’ [Anti-]
07. St. Vincent ‘Severed Crossed Fingers’ [Loma Vista, Republic]
08. Rival Consoles ‘3 Chords’ [Erased Tapes]
09. Nils Frahm ‘Peter’ (Clark Remix) [Warp]
10. Caribou ‘Our Love’ [City Slang / Merge]
11. Daphni & Owen Pallett ‘Julia’ [Jiaolong]
12. Cora Venus Lunny ‘The Unknown (Dissolution)’ [Diatribe]
13. Tape ‘Merak’ [Häpna]
14. The Raincoats ‘The Void’ [Rough Trade]
15. Adrian Crowley ‘Trouble’ [Chemikal Underground]
16. Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra ‘Some Velvet Morning’ [Reprise]


The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or their respective record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.


Fractured Air. The universe is making music all the time.

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Chosen One: Pick A Piper

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Interview with Brad Weber, Pick A Piper.

“I’m really interested in blurring the lines and leaving the sound source up to the interpretation of the listener. I like that people have no idea which beats I played and which ones I programmed and if a sound is a flute or a moog patch.”

Brad Weber, Pick A Piper

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry


Pick A Piper is a collaborative project by Caribou drummer Brad Weber. The Toronto band comprises of friends Clint Scrivener, Angus Fraser, Dan Roberts and others. Pick A Piper began as a side-project back in 2009 where songs were penned by Weber in between Caribou’s shape shifting tours-crossing continents and blurring boundaries of sound. Similar to Dan Snaith’s Caribou, Weber combines organic and synthetic elements forming a unique blend of organic dance music. A spectrum of sound is effortlessly created, where psych, dream pop, electronica, afrobeat, and dance are joyously fused together. Pick A Piper’s debut album represents an eclectic, vibrant sound collage, which serves as Weber’s own personal creative outlet as he soaks up the inspiration that surrounds him.

Pick A Piper combines dance music structures, poly rhythmic percussion, atmospheric sound design, loopy melodies and a focus on electronics and production technique to create a sound poised between the organic and the synthetic. My first taste of Pick A Piper came upon last year’s arrival of the infectious single ‘Lucid In Fjords’. The song is a swirling psych pop odyssey and features Ryan McPhun, of Ruby Suns fame, on lead vocals. This track is the opener to Pick A Piper’s debut self-titled record, and what a stunning opener it is. An irresistible dream pop feel flows throughout: the electric guitars echo Link Wray, the beats and samples is a distillation of an indispensable record collection, pop hooks that are utterly infectious and a bassline groove straight from Studio One. ‘Lucid In Fjords’ invites you to “dream out loud”. To coin a Beach Boys song, ‘Feel Flows’ as the sonic canvas envelopes you in.

Next up is current single, ‘All Her Colours’. Yet again, the organic and synthetic are fused together. A seamless array of intricate arrangements are masterfully crafted. The rise on this song is sunshine pop circa ‘Odyssey And Oracle’ by The Zombies, before beats and menacing synths return on the verse. In fact, the song reminds me of The Postal Service where Tamberello’s electronic wizardry combines with Gibbard’s uncanny pop sensibilities. ‘All Her Colours’ effectively blurs the lines and leaves the listener wondering, how and just what is that sound? ‘Cinders And Dust’ contains a slow, deep groove that floats in the air’s atmosphere. Glorious harmonies, electronic glitches, are interwoven between the track’s delicate pop structure. ‘Cinders And Dust’ is somewhere between Dan Snaith’s Caribou and Junior Boys.

‘Once Were Leaves’ is one of the album’s centerpieces. A hidden dimension is tapped into here with the ethereal vocals by Raphaelle Standell-Preston (Braids). This song is reworked here and it is the utterly transcendent vocals by Preston that stops you immediately in your tracks. A whirlwind of percussion, synths, brass and a myriad of other sounds, form the sound clouds for the Cocteau Twins-esque dreamy pop creation. A new path is ventured on with ‘South To Polynesia’ – a drum and bass tour de force infused indie-pop anthem. The song has got rhythm aplenty as a free-jazz world of Sun Ra is conjured up. Flutes and woodwind, percussion, beats, bass, harmonies and brass are just some of the elements present in the mix of genre bending sound. The best arrives four and a half minutes in, as the song evolves into a trance-dance opus where a ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ odyssey is created before your very ears.

‘Zenaida’ is an indietronic-pop gem. Think Lali Puna, Clue To Kalo or Broadcast. The production is immaculate. Album closer ‘Dinghy In A Quiet Cove’ is my new favourite and brings this stunning debut to a fitting close. The dreamy electronic loops and compelling beats transports you to new horizons. I am reminded of UK’s Bibio upon listening to this breathtaking space-age ballad. The intro is reminiscent of Schenider TM’s mythical Smiths rework, ‘Light 3000’. A ballad steeped in a cinematic atmosphere that immerses you in, deep and far. The opening lyrics beautifully encapsulates the warmth of nostalgia and charming innocence, bringing the album to a gorgeous close:

“As I walked home tonight
My foot slipped through the melting ice
I never knew it wasn’t summer
But I fell into a rivulet
It took me for a long ride
I said goodbye to Toronto”

Pick A Piper’s stunning self-titled debut is an album that reveals more and more upon every listen while endlessly revealing music’s limitless possibilities.

The self-titled debut album by Pick A Piper will be available 2 April 2013 on Mint Records.



Brad Weber Interview.

Congratulations first of all, on the incredible debut album from Pick A Piper. You must feel very proud. The sound you create is effortlessly placed somewhere between the synthetic and organic, with an array of found sound samples, synths, electronic percussion, reverb, and atmospheric soundscapes. Please discuss this blend of organic dance music Pick A Piper tap into so well.

Thanks so much! Pick a Piper was originally formed to channel my impression of dance music using organic instrumentation. We had loads of drums & percussion, acoustic guitar, glock, turkish saz, flutes and a ton of other sounds and samples to create something funky and dancey with. The structures and feel were very much alike with dance music, but the sounds weren’t. As I’ve continue to listen to a lot of contemporary electronic music and DJ mixes, our sound has slowly evolved into something more electronic while still maintaining a lot of the organic roots. I’m really interested blurring the lines and leaving the sound source up to the interpretation of the listener. I like that people have no idea which beats I played and which ones I programmed and if a sound is a flute or a moog patch.


As the drummer in Caribou’s live incarnation, you are immersed in one of the most compelling bands making music today. Please explain how this part of your life in working with Dan Snaith, feeds into your own musical entity of Pick A Piper, and how it developed from a side-project into a fully bloomed sonic venture?

Dan Snaith has certainly been my biggest musical influence of the last 6 years. He’s an encyclopedia for all the music that I’ve always wanted to hear but never known of its existence. These mind-blowing, game-changing records have forever changed the way I write, perform and work. All the same, it’s always been a natural extension of where I was already heading. Pick a Piper has been around since 2009, but it’s always been a project I worked on in off periods of Caribou touring. I wouldn’t even call it a side project as much as it’s my personal creative outlet to periodically pour ideas into that I’ve been pondering for an entire tour or whatever.


I would love to gain an insight please into the recording of the self titled debut, and what vision you had for the sound you wanted to create?

I wanted to blur the lines between organic and electronic and bring my current sense/excitement of electronic music production to create something that sat in the middle. A lot of the songs on this record started out as little loops that I created in the back of the tour van or on a cramped airplane. Then when I had time off, I’d come home and flesh these ideas out into complete songs. The overall process I would describe as “sampling my friends”. I recruited lots of pals whose musicianship I trust to come in and record various ideas/loops/bits along to tracks that I had already started. Often two or more people would record along to the same base tracks without hearing the other person’s ideas. I did this with both my main bandmates (Angus Fraser & Dan Roberts) as well as a bunch of other good pals. I choose what I liked and then cut up and manipulated what they had given me and made full tracks of it. In the end I had a few good folks re-record our vocal ideas with their voice, or in some cases (like “All Her Colours” for instance) give me entirely new vocal ideas (that ended up being amazing!) I believe a lot in collaboration – you’ll find a lot of that on this record while tricking the listener into thinking it’s the ideas of just one or two people.


My first introduction to Pick A Piper was last year’s single, ‘Lucid In Fjords’. I love the title! The song is a psych pop odyssey-electric guitars a la Link Wray, a hypnotic bassline, divine synths and a plethora of organic/synthetic sounds. Discuss the importance of this song please and talk me through please the construction of ‘Lucid In Fjords’.

This one had lots of different input and was a lot of fun to write. I started it with a bassline, beat & simple synth arpeggio and just couldn’t get it to work. The track was super boring with an uninspired structure, so I threw it away. It wasn’t until half a year later that I came back to it and completely re-structured the track (no idea why I bothered trying again) that everything came into place. Angus’ original vocal melody suddenly made so much more sense and the track went from a total clunker to one of my favourites. My flatmate Jared added some guitar and I recruited my good pal Ryan McPhun from The Ruby Suns to re-record Angus’ vocals with his voice. Ryan did just that, but also gave me another melody that was absolutely incredible, so I used both!


What are the defining records for you, firstly in terms of production, and secondly, in terms of songwriting?

For production, I love Can records, My Bloody Valentine: “Loveless”, newer stuff like Clams Casino, Chancha Via Circuito, Junior Boys.
Songwriting, Zombies: “Odyssey and Oracle”, Smashing Pumpkins: “Siamese Dream”, A.C. Newman “The Slow Wonder”, Beach Boys: “Pet Sounds”.
I dunno, I’m terrible at these types of questions. These are just a few that popped into my head.


Pick A Piper is a collaboration between you and your friends, Clint Scrivener, Angus Fraser and Dan Roberts. I would love to know how you guys met and the origin of Pick A Piper?

Pick a Piper was formed in 2009 after I did my first stint for a couple years with Caribou. I needed a new outlet to get my own ideas out of my system. I recruited two very dear childhood friends (Dan and Angus) and Clint (who I had met in college) and was amazed how the project came to life. I guess the best way to describe it is “collaboration with central guidance (sorry, that sounds like something from a board room meeting!). I’m basically guiding/producing/arranging the whole process myself, but I certainly couldn’t do it on my own. Angus, Dan and Clint brought a ton of incredible ideas to the table and were key to making my visions come to life! Our live shows used to be insane double or triple (sometimes quadriple!) drum jams with a bit of singing and other instrumentation thrown in (or at least that’s how I felt). The band went on hiatus for a year or two while I was touring “Swim” and we’ve come back as a 3-piece with a tighter sound and a better balance between drum freakouts and sparse bits with careful vocal nuances. We’re still solid pals with Clint, but he left to become a daddy and is focusing on family now.


Discuss the music scene in Toronto? What are your favourite bands at the moment?

Here are 3 of come off the top of my head. There’s so much more incredible music happening though.

Fresh Snow

Psych/noise/kraut group with one of my best pals Andy Lloyd on bass. Their live shows are insane. Sometimes they play inside of a pod with projections on all sides, sometimes they have a 4-piece horn/string section. I actually have no idea what to expect, ever, so I love them.

Invisible City DJs

Invisible City Sound System is a collective of DJs that explore the history of dance music from around the world. They seem to focus on disco, boogie, early house, techno, and obscure funk. I’ve never once recognized a track and I’ve loved every single one I’ve ever heard. They recently even went to Trinidad and hand picked a pile of records from some vault there and made an incredible mix with it.

Lemon Bucket Orchestra

I know a lot of bands are trying their hands at the gypsy/klezmer thing these days, but these guys just do it better than almost anyone. They are probably one of the hardest working bands I’ve ever seen and their shows generally spill out into the streets and parade around town. They even organized a flash mob that in one night took over 2 intersections, a subway car and the main hall of Union Station. They also entertained people on board an Air Canada flight to Romania when the flight was delayed on the runway. But it’s less about antics and more that they just put on a killer performance.


My favourite song on the album is ‘Once Were Leaves’. It has this irresistibly seductive slow-tempo groove. The female vocals are gorgeous. Again, with all of Pick A Piper songs, there is a kaleidoscope of sounds that form into one cohesive whole. There are so many beautiful moments on this song that are utterly transcendent-the female vocals (who is singing there?), the looping harmonies, the brass, drums/percussion, dreamy synths. Sublime! Please talk me through the creation of this song?

This one is by far the oldest of the bunch! Look online for a song called “Yellowknife” from our self-released EP in 2009 (green cover with tambourines). We still loved this song so much and decided it was worth completely re-envisioning it for the record. We went up to a snowy cottage in the middle of winter last year and fleshed out the new version in a single weekend. We made it much more spacious and atmospheric than the original, which was full of chugging acoustic guitars and overpowering horns. I fell in love with Raphaelle’s voice a couple years ago and had met her a few times at various shows. I thought she’d be perfect for the track and got in touch to see if she would be interested in singing on this track. I gave her the original vocal part and said “you can can sing this if you want, or whatever else you’d like”. She proceeded to take our original melody and flip it on it’s head, chopped and diced and completely re-imagined it to a place I never would have thought of. I got an ableton session back from her with probably over 100 little edits and splices and tons of interesting effects. Her part completely blew me away and was exactly where I was hoping the track would go, but didn’t know it! I love collaboration for that reason.


Your record collection must be vast and diverse. When listening to Pick A Piper, worlds of psychedelia, dance, pop, electronica, ambient, jazz, dub and more, penetrates the head-space. On this album, when writing a song, do the words form the song or could it be a single sound that triggers a song’s creation?

Usually it starts with a beat! That is what so often determines the overall feel of the song. It’s my first instrument and kinda always what I fall back on.


‘South To Polynesia’ is incredible. I love the vocals. A compelling free-jazz intro before layers of woodwind, drums, bass and harmonies enter the mix. The moment, perhaps four minutes in, when the song evolves into a beautiful frenzy of trance-dance is utterly transcendent. The brass enters shortly, and a vibe of ‘Dark Side Of the Moon’ is formed. Discuss please the sequencing and production to ‘South To Polynesia’?

South To Polynesia was originally two separate tracks. The first loop that starts the song and the chord progression at the end. Clint wrote the ending progression and gave me a big ableton session with a song that included it. I cut the rest out and tried so hard to find a song that his bit would fit into. It just wasn’t happening for the longest time though. It was that same snowy cottage weekend where we re-recorded Once Were Leaves that I finally married it to a new-ish loop of mine that would go on to start the track and become the backbone for most of the song. Dan filled in the gaps with loads of automated drones and my friend Colin Fisher eventually laid down a ridiculous sax part! I love having such talented friends!


Take me back please to the Caribou/Radiohead tour last year where you toured big stadiums across the world. Listening to Pick A Piper I hear the influence of live performance, as the songs have this fluid feel, the sonic layers in constant motion.

It was an incredible experience for sure. I think probably the most inspiring aspect of the whole tour was how real they were as people. Everyone, both band and crew, were really warm, down to earth and incredibly welcoming. It’s nice that musicians at that level can be such sincere and genuinely grounded people.
With Pick a Piper I hope to continue to spread this type warmth and compassion to all the people we meet along the way.
Musically our live show has always been really important to us. We have 3 drum setups of various sizes on stage as well as a slew of midi controllers and samplers to re-create our sonic world live. Dan and Angus are constantly triggering hits, loops and effecting and manipulating them on the fly. Same goes with their vocals. I’m really proud of our live show and have certainly been influenced by Caribou and Radiohead along the way!


Do you plan to tour Europe? I hope I can help bring Pick A Piper to Cork, Ireland–my hometown:)

I’d love to. We’ll see how it goes at home first! I’ve played Cork a couple times in the past and the crowds were manic. Such a fun city!


The self-titled debut album by Pick A Piper will be available 2 April 2013 on Mint Records.


Step Right Up: Daphni

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“Daphni tracks are rough and spontaneous. There is a small world where dance music lives up to its potential to liberate, surprise and innovate. It’s there that I hope Daphni has a place.” (Dan Snaith)

Words: Mark Carry, Illustration: Craig Carry


2012 is a busy year for Canada’s Dan Snaith. As always, multiple projects are on the go all at once, from remixing artists and setting up his own label to touring with Radiohead and creating his new dance project of Daphni. The debut album is entitled ‘Jiaolong’ (pronounced JOW-long) and it is indeed, dance music that truly liberates, surprises and innovates the listener. Dan Snaith has a body of shape shifting works behind him, under the moniker of Caribou, and it is here that I was first introduced to the prolific and innovative artist, that is Dan Snaith.

Late night television was where Dan Snaith’s music first appeared to me, over a decade ago. ‘No Disco’ was the coolest TV program around, where Leagues O’ Toole introduced independent music videos covering all genres and styles. An hour of true inspiration was broadcast from the TV screen each week. One night, the video of ‘Jacknuggeted’ by Manitoba (as Dan Snaith was known then, before a court case ensued that meant he changed the name to ‘Caribou’) was shown. I was immediately transported to this bubble of lovingly warm electronica infused indie music, which was termed ‘indietronica’. The singular song of ‘Jacknuggeted’ meant so much to me. The open, beautiful lyrics. The haze of psych pop wonder over the course of three minutes. The gorgeous acoustic guitar strum that breathed such life into my mind. Of course, the video was otherworldly and beautiful, which was made by the cool Dell 9. A wealth of honesty and simplicity was etched across the autumnal woodland setting. The music matches the video note-perfectly. The climax in the song is building as a ball is thrown into the air. As the ball falls, colours of red, blue, orange, yellow are splashed across the woodland. Bright sun shines through the leaves and trees. The scene and music was utterly transcendent to me. My perfect introduction to the world of Caribou. The song’s lyrics of “I met you then fell apart/ now I’m nothing more than a broken heart’ evoked, like the video, a spectrum of colours of emotion. Days later, I picked up ‘Up In Flames’, the album in which that song ‘Jacknuggeted’ could be found. The album’s euphoric sound blew me away, with songs like ‘Hendrix And Co.’, ‘Twins’ and ‘Kid You’ll Move Mountains’, Dan Snaith quickly became an indispensable part of my music collection. His follow-up albums ‘Milk Of Human Kindness’, ‘Andorra’ and 2010’s masterpiece ‘Swim’ today, are all forged heavily into my brain and consciousness from the endless re-visitings.

Forward to 2012, Dan Snaith remains as prolific as ever. Caribou have been supporting Radiohead on their world tour throughout the summer months. In between, Dan Snaith DJs during the moonlight hours across various cities worldwide. Last year, the first glimpses of Daphni surfaced with the release of the Daphni 7” single ‘Ye Ye’, on Four Tet’s Text Records imprint, which is featured on the debut album. Like his close friend, Kieren Hebdon (Four Tet), Snaith set up his own label Jiaolong. A string of Daphni remixes were soon released, from the likes of California’s Emeralds and Junior Boys to remixes for Carl Craig and Hot Chip. Earlier in October saw Daphni release his highly anticipated debut album ‘Jiaolong’ and it most certainly delivers on every level. The nine tracks are utterly compelling dance odysseys ideal for both the dancefloors and headphones. The music of Daphni was constructed with a modular synthesizer designed by Snaith himself and it is this instrument that’s central throughout each of the nine cuts. Unlike Caribou where Snaith combines multiple layers and textures of maximum sound, Daphni focuses on minimalism, where acoustic and synthetic elements converge. Interestingly some of the album’s tracks were worked on by Snaith during the making of ‘Swim'(Caribou’s last creation) and elements of ‘Swim’ can be heard in Daphni’s techno explorations.

‘Yes, I Know’ opens ‘Jiaolong’ and what an instant classic it is. Soul, funk collides with dance music so effortlessly. Snaith uses an old soul classic to create a fully charged and uplifting funk infused dance cut. The masterful soul of Buddy Miles and ‘The Segment'(taken from 1970’s ‘A Message To The People’) is sampled over the pulsing synths and infectious beats. “Yes, I know she told me so” is sung in refrain by Miles that’s got irresistible soul and funk. The outro refrain of “She’s got to move my soul” brings the song to a close, complete with divine brass and compelling beats. What comes next is possibly the best dance track of 2012. Daphni remixes obscure Togolese band Cos-Ber-Zam’s ‘Ne Noya’ with stunning results. Think Congotronics, Sun Ra and Caribou material distilled into a five-minute sonic exploration. A hypnotic groove drives the song, all happening at a slow pace. Afrobeat of drums and percussion fuse with spiritual realms of African chants with a thudding bassline and swirling synths. A further recommendation is to check out Analog Africa for more rarities of this kind!

‘Ye Ye’, which was originally released last year, is the third track that contains techno beats and a sample of William Onyeabor’s ‘When The Going Is Smooth And Good’. A flute melody is the central motif to ‘Light’. A descending arpeggio line of woodwind breathes new textures and depth to the backdrop of electronic
bleeps and percussion. ‘Pairs’ is sublime. Brazilian tropicalia permeates the pulsing synths and rhythmic grooves. Elements of ‘Odessa’ from ‘Swim’ can be heard in the headspace of ‘Pairs’, in between the synthesizer and stunning hooks. ‘Ahora’ is one of my favourites. The track echoes Caribou’s ‘Found Out’ from ‘Swim’ and is indeed a compelling venture in synthesizer sound. An ethereal dreamscape of sound is embedded in a floating ambient psych haze. The rough and spontaneous traits to the Daphni moniker is shown here, as the synthesizer loops in this beautiful dreamy haze.

Another highlight is the exceptional ‘Jiao’, which is an explosion of cosmic and euphoric sounds. A hypnotic electric guitar groove is the bloodflow of the track that’s highly infectious. A cosmic space of layered percussion, trance beats and cosmic guitars creates a haven of free jazz, afro beat and dance sounds. I think ‘Jiao’ is the album’s climax where Daphni is no longer constrained, allowing a stream of energy to burst from the tape desks. Think Tortoise remixed by Four Tet. ‘Springs’ is house/techno with vocal loops. Drums enter the mix three minutes in that is reminiscent of Four Tet’s trademark sound. The album closer ‘Long’ could be the finest of Daphni’s works. Shoegaze and blissed out electronica combine to form a beautiful noisescape that builds and evolves into a true tour-de-force. This song epitomises Snaith’s aim for dance music to live up to its potential “to liberate, surprise and innovate.” Here, on ‘Long’, Snaith fully delivers on this. Innovative layers of synths gloriously float through My Bloody Valentine-esque noise that recalls the recent works of Emeralds and Oneohtrix Point Never. Amazing.

Daphni is yet another compelling chapter in Snaith’s rich body of innovative work. I look forward in huge anticipation to more Daphni and Caribou releases in the near future. ‘Jiaolong’ shows Snaith’s masterful artistry in full flow. But with Caribou’s plethora of releases, we’ve come accustomed to this fact.

Snaith has said “DJs have the potential to blindside you” and in his Daphni guise, Snaith has done just that.

‘Jiaolong’ is out now on Jiaolong.

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October 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm


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