AN E-MAIL EXCHANGE WITH CULP

CULP, Canada

LO-FI beatmaker and roller blade hockey player CULP takes time off making beats and listening to the sound of nature to chat via the webs of the internet, about the LO-FI movement, his latest album ‘MARINELAND’, and Steve Wiebe amongst other things.

Planetary Beats: Right off the bat, how did you come up with the name ‘CULP’ and what does it mean?

CULP:  It’s changed over time from CULPRIT303 – to CULP. It’s my last name.

             

Planetary Beats: On that point, what is the deal with all the lo-fi SP cats on the come-up putting their names in all caps?

CULP: THE CAPS USE TO BE A WAY TO SIFT THROUGH THE BULLSHIT, respectively. It was a way to let others know that you are making that lo-fi sound. Heavy compression, 0G vinyl sim, bounce to tape, etc. it’s the low end shit-gear theory. It was far out and not trending as hard as it is now, 5 years ago, that’s why I went CAPS. It made it easier to find like-artists. The sound is trending hard, so that theory has kind of gone dodo. There’s a lot of SP’s out there.

Planetary Beats: What SPs do you have at the moment, and what other gear do you use alongside them to make beats?

CULP: ‘At the moment’ SP 606. It’s the Tony Danza of the lab. All my audio sources talk to it. I think it has around 43 Mfx and 2 can be instantiated at the same time. There’s a 4 part sequencer and external re-sampling. It’s fast, and has some auto chopping features. It’s really a great machine. I still haven’t tapped into all its features. It’s my only SP with me right now. It has some impressive features that work with a computer. I always bounce out to Ableton live. Ableton is my multi track “tape deck.” It prevents me from forgetting about tracks I’ve made and lost. It glues everything together. I’m also a fan of the Micro-sampler, Juno-106, DX21, mkXL, 404, jobsPAD and monotrons. I just moved so I just flipped my whole set up to minimalism.

Planetary Beats: I’ve been on that SLF TAPES for a minute now and seen some mad unorthodox ways of using SPs, do you have any weird ways of utilising your SPs or just standard use?

CULP: I use the sequencer without quantize. Deep, I know. Honestly, I don’t think too many use it. I am under the assumption that brews like the re-sample method. I’m on the OG 404 and it has slight delay on the external banks–my timing is bogus with a delay-lag, this ruins my outfit. I think it’s because of my compact flash card? and those are a rarity to find now. I keep it on lo-fi brew, that’s the standard.

Planetary Beats: How would you describe your left-centre beats in one sentence?

CULP: I’m a right hand shot from the left wing.

Planetary Beats: What/who were your main influences on the MARINELAND album?

CULP: The Caribbean, Dpeee, collecting synthesizers, the death of Tuxedo Himself, Green Llamas, Perry of SLFtapes + affiliates, Lord beatjitzu, Gang bl00d, a dead muppet master, 90’s VHS cassettes, microwaved meows, and snorkeling.

Planetary Beats: Who did the album art for it and can you give a short explanation on the image?

CULP: I did the album art. It’s a lot of pictures from my phone and images that I have some relation with or found amusing.

http://culp.bandcamp.com/

Planetary Beats: Where did you get the vox sample in the intro of your track ‘GRANDBEND’, does it have any deeper meaning or is it just for the laughs?

CULP: It’s the hosts from the ‘Super Mario Brothers Super Show!’ It was one of the first TV shows I learned how to record on VHS back in like 1990. It’s where all this VHS recording started for me. It’s the stems of ‘dude bruhs’ and it made an impression when I was 7.  Definitely for laughs.

Planetary Beats: What are you doing when you aren’t making future sounds?

CULP: I stay active. You can’t hide out in your lab all the time in Canada, our warm weather lasts for 4 months. I have a fixed gear & I play roller blade hockey at an outdoor hockey rink with a tight crew of brews from ‘Canada man’. We smoke ganj and drink cheap beer, there’s a lot of roughhousing, falling over, cuts, body checking …There are epic shoot outs and showdowns—weekly grudges, shit talking, etc. we get shitty funny… it’s a competitive homeboy event, with a tight click.

Planetary Beats: I did a bit of surfing on the net to find out who this STEVE WIEBE dude is, but why did you dudes choose to sample him on SIDE B of the WU-CULT KILLAHZ collab beat-tape?

CULP: It’s the B side yo, it’s where I always have music. I guess that’s where I maintain well. It’s the humble Wiebe mentality. Billy Mitchell asked me to throw a high score tape together in a week, so I bought an fb-01 for $20 because it sounds like a Sega genesis and created everything from scratch… Billy has a ‘winners always win’ ego and needed to test Wiebe. He flipped the sample joints so I passed him my score synth tape and he headlined the show, it’s how it is. It’s an honour to be on a tape with Billy-li-Jitzu. I feel obligated to collaborate with dudes who pioneered ALL CAPS for me, ya know.

Planetary Beats: What is next on the CULP project, can we expect any solo releases or collabs in the near future?

CULP: There’s always something on its way, but I don’t like to promise anything, this music is for serious fun though. There are too many obligations to fulfil.  I took it really negatively when MARINELAND was shared outside of Bandcamp. On a positive note, it had a lot of support from Bandcamp and that helps fund my life but specifically, fuels NEW MUSIC. Although, it’s a deterrent when someone shares your music without linking the artist, I’m guilty of sharing other peoples audio, don’t get me wrong, but I always let the artist know through an email that I consciously did it, usually because it has been inspirational to me. If they are unhappy about it; you stop.

I have put out half a dozen albums and countless free tracks-that I should have some control over regarding; what is free, and what should cost some ‘chump-change’…guaranteed you have purchased some dumb shit that has cost you more money than CULP -MARINELAND. Just reach out if you can’t afford it. Don’t be a shady lurker. Keep it personal. I’ll reply to you. Check SLFtapes.com, Microwaved Meows on Youtube, Soundcloud.com/CULPsp, /P00K, /L0HEESH, and GANG BL00D at the tumblr for some weekly microwaves—soon.

Planetary Beats: Last off, I know you sample a lot of rap vox so you must like that shit; if you were to start rapping, off top what would your rap name be?

CULP: L0NNIED0NNIEC0NNIEn’R0NNIE aka MADD BULLETZ aka R0BERT TURRETZ aka BIG-BABY-100.

 

Cop some side project  beats from ya boy CULP and then some tracks off MARINELAND here via these links:

https://app.box.com/s/jlanuya64sfq27a3ptt7       — P00K

https://app.box.com/s/wz6ge7sld2726f4hj5yv      — P00K, CULP, L0HEESH

https://app.box.com/s/8fg1r7jfkj7dqz2d9jbu  — MARINELAND – 05 – KELP
https://app.box.com/s/6d39up459toqbva47cr9 — MARINELAND – 15 – GRANDBEND
https://app.box.com/s/k230z7wt5n95teuf64eq — MARINELAND – 17 – ______
Werrd
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JONGPADAWAN x I Kicked A Cloud Once: Dualism

As the EP title suggests, the dudes IKACO and JPW have formed a collab, blending their different, new wave production styles to create art. Released on Greased Up Records, “Dualism” is a 3-track hybrid EP that can only be characterised as ‘future’. Lo-fi, wonky and modular synth work over hip-hop influenced percussions and dreamscape sounds are delivered succinctly with each beat. Word, so similarly to the fellas’ names, expect to drift off, kicking clouds with jedi masters when listening to this next-type release.

Listen to the release here whilst you peep the Q&A, then cop it as ‘a name your price’ (0 included) download on the record label’s bandcamp:

 

So, Planetary went and set up an interview with the beatmakers to find out a little more about the dudes’ behind the computer screens, here’s what went down:

Planetary Beats: Right off the bat, you two dudes have some pretty interesting names. What went down in your respective name generation processes, and what meanings have you ascribed to your names?

 IKACO: I watched that disney show TaleSpin a lot as a child, and this guy Kit Cloudkicker has a cool name right? So I just played around with the words a little, and I came up with my name, which is too damn long! I can’t even type in my full artist name on twitter!

JPW: I have always been a fan of the Star Wars-movies and when I re-watched the movies a couple of years ago I heard the word “padawan”. To explain it, a padawan is a jedi-apprentice. At the time, the name suited me perfect, since I was a new beatmaker and I was still trying to find my own sound.

 

Planetary Beats: Both new artists on the electronic beat-scene with different production styles, what did each of you learn during the compilation of this collab release?

IKACO: I learned a lot of stuff from JPW. His take on producing is pretty cool, and he works in Ableton Live, and I’m on Cubase – so naturally, we have different approaches and techniques. This is my first collab actually, and it worked out extremely well. We had a pretty dope workflow overall! JPW’s use of clicky percussion sounds has inspired me a lot, and that has already influenced some of my newer tracks.

JPW: I learned the basics of another DAW and the basics of other instruments than the ones I’m using myself in my solo-stuff. Also, it’s just really inspiring to see how IKACO makes his music.

 

Planetary Beats: Who and what were you main influences for each of you during this collab project?

IKACO: My main influence must have been JONGPADAWAN’s music, since I wanted to incorporate his style into the project (naturally). I was already inspired by it to begin with. Besides that, we were frequently checking out tracks from some of the dope Project Mooncircle artists, just to get some extra inspiration.

JPW: For me it was listening to IKACO’s music, in order to give me some inspiration to the whole process and also to find out how we could combine our different styles into something great.

 

Planetary Beats: What would you guys say are the main challenges you face as new artists on the scene?

IKACO: Probably getting the hype your music deserves. So many unheard talents out there, and that’s a shame – but that’s also the game of course! You try to get people to post your things on blogs and stuff like that, but at the same time, you don’t want to come off as too eager. The best thing is when people randomly discover your music, and starts posting it, simply because they enjoy it.

JPW: Getting people to know that you exist. You have to be different from all the other beatmakers in order to get noticed. Of cause another challenge is to find your own unique sound.

 

Planetary Beats: If you were to liken this release to a cartoon character, which would it be and why?

IKACO: I would probably choose ‘Silver Fang’. Simply because he’s one of my favourites.

JPW: Good question…. Maybe I would choose Dwight from Frank Miller’s “Sin City”, since he’s this mysterious character, whose appearance changes quite a bit throughout the story.

 

Planetary Beats: Besides making beats, what other things do you dudes enjoy doing in your free time?

IKACO: I’m doing a lot of amateur photographing, and a little bit of film making, when I’m not producing music. Most of my time is currently occupied by producing though, as I’m working pretty hard on my forthcoming EP. Also, I’m participating whenever there’s a cool gig around.

JPW: Spending time with friends and family. I also like to spend time outside, preferably in a beautiful green area near my home, to gather my thoughts and get some inspiration.

 

Planetary Beats: Last off, who has the cooler studio space, and what makes it cooler?

IKACO: Aww man, this question hurts me, haha! I’m on two cheap ass hi-fi speakers, and no monitors at the moment. Working it out though… It’s just a matter of habituating with what you’ve got I guess. Other than that I own a few controllers to spice things up, but I’m doing almost everything on the computer itself. I know for a fact that JONGPADAWAN was using his kitchen as studio sometimes, during his time in Berlin, haha. I think I can top that one. Hopefully, he has settled with something better now that he’s returned to Denmark. But mark my words; it’s the man, not the machine!

JPW: In Berlin where we made the EP, IKACO definitely has the cooler studio with speakers, sub, a keyboard and a decent soundcard. My setup was in my small kitchen and I had to use headphones because of a music-hating neighbour, which is why we used IKACO’s studio.

Modular Tapes Vol. 3

The 3rd installment of Modular Tapes features a 13 minute mix of experimental, lo-fi hip-hop beats called “SPECIAL OLYMPICS” from the dude SENSEIHIMSELF.

Each beat is roughly 1 minute or shorter and a reflection of SENSEI’s production creativity. The use of chopped up Japanese samples, and fat synth leads is prominent in this mix.

Offered as a ‘name your price’ download on the SLF bandcamp page, “SPECIAL OLYMPICS’ also comes with a snippet mix and some album artwork.

Cop the mix here:

Safe

Featured artist: HLMNSRA

London, UK

Short-hand for “Hello My Name Is Ra”, producer HLMNSRA makes abstract hip-hop beats on a future tip.

A fairly new cat on the experimental beatscene, HLMNSRA’s productions vary from raw 90s hip-hop beatstrumentals, to synthed out electronic hip-hop beats, to wonky lo-fi resamples. In terms of his electronic productions, lasers for synths over boombap hip-hop beats and breaks gives the dude’s tracks a space age feel, as well as a wiled out rap beat element. On the other hand, HLMNSRA’s beatstrumentals take the shape of Dilla cuts and soulful, raw sounds in true 90s fashion.

Both styles of the HLMNSRA beatmanship are creative and abstract in their own right, offering different vibes on different beats. Although the dude does not have an official release as yet, he has a free beattape available on his soundcloud page, and a bunch of other productions to peep.

Scope some cosmic HLMNSRA tracks here:

Safe

SLF TAPES

SEVEN LEGGED FACE, GROCERY STORE, Vatican City

SLF TAPES is an organisation of enigmatic experimental ambient, lo-fi beatmakers. The artists under SLF are unconventional in their productions as well as personalities, as seen by their left-of-centre names. Some SLF dudes include, WARM THIGHS, SENSAI HIMSELF,  and CULP. Their productions are hip-hop influenced in terms of drum patterns, and layered with fat analog synth leads.

Peep some of the SLF TAPES dudes’ productions here:

For more SLF TAPES peep the website here: http://www.slftapes.com

Safe

Spies On Bikes

Tampa, United States

Visual artist and actor Nathan Cochran, produces experimental folk, electronica and hip-hop under the alias, Spies On Bikes.

The Spies On Bikes project has been running just over 2 years now, and the dude has gone from creating hip-hop beats, to future garage, to electronica, to ‘folktronica’; his current style of beatmanship. Characterised by warm old school synths, hip-hop drum patterns, and folk vocals, Spies On Bikes productions make for laid back Sunday afternoon listening. The lo-fi nature of the beats allow the listener to unwind, and straight max and relax.

Dude’s latest release and debut album “Man Overboard” (2012), is an ambient, atmospheric, folktronica album with elements of hip-hop and future garage. Some personal favourite tracks off the release include, “Warm”, “Long Walks And Recorded Talks”, and “Love Like Hours”.

Cop the album here on the dude’s bandcamp: http://spiesonbikes.com/

Some Spies On Bikes tracks to peep:

Safe Sunday