Category archives: Music

  • "A professional studio starts at around $50,000 and up" according to Rick Camp, who has produced the music of Dr. Dre, Beyonce and the likes. However, he also asserts that "a home studio, or a project studio, can cost anywhere from $300-400 dollars." With such a wide range of music production equipment out there, creating your own home studio has never been easier, cheaper and more accessible. Expensive equipment isn't always necessary to produce top quality work, as many low to mid range products on the market are actually competing with some of the top brands. Here are the top 3 tips on how to start producing your music without spending too much or sacrificing the quality of your sound.Research the best equipment in your price rangeWhen you begin any new practice, research is always key. And with an art form as technical as music production, it's almost essential to look into what audio interfaces you need and how to use them. If you go in blind, then you risk overspending on unnecessary, fancy equipment. In order to feel at ease with what you're doing, don't let yourself feel out of your depths:Break down what you need: the interface, a mic/instruments and sound outputs Research what both the amateurs and pros use Compare the equipment based on quality and price Take advantage of free recording softwareWhilst 'freemium' software may not always have the advanced functions that paid software does, it's still useful when you're starti[...]
  • Art for Progress wants to say goodbye to 2017 with the best electronic music albums of the year.Below you find our year-end top ten AFP picks that we have selected especially for you. The list includes a video and the label info where the records have been published.2017!  It was a great year for music in the world with many awesome, high quality albums created by the most talented artists from across the world.Enjoy the new year and may your 2018 be full of good music!Happy 2018!1. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream. DFA and Columbia Records.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKeJFxwuBBE 2.  Björk - Utopia. One Little Indian Records.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqbv7cCM5AI 3.  Laurel Halo - Dust. Hyperdub. 4. Four Tet - New energy. Text Records.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWInZ4N6C2g&t=2357s 5.  Bonobo - Migration. Ninja Tune. 6.  James Holden - The animal spirits. Border Community.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj35YNtP3IE 7. Powerdance - The Lost Art of getting Down. Powerdance.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHrBXKtc0Sc 8.  Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest. Because Music.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRwgL_PrQYQ 9. Errorsmith - Superlative Fatigue. Pan.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fsCgZh6E8k 10.   Arca - Arca. XL Recordings.https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZqsyBiYZFQ3bQ6wAHoeYkkt[...]
  • MLiR stands for Modern Life is Rubbish, an utterly accurate and ironic name. Founded by the two absolutely crazy Swedes from outer Space, Marco Gegenheimer and Einar Christofferson. In 2016 the two lads broke through with the musical and mega hyped debut EP ”Swedish Lo-Life” on Studio Barnhus, the re-known and eclectic record label run by Axel Boman, Kornél Kovács and Petter Nordkvist.An EP of 5 songs, featuring the big hit people with almost 300 000 plays on Spotify so far. Up next in 2017 for Marco and Einar is their 2nd installment for Studio Barnhus, an EP under the name ”Trans-World Junktion”. They also have EP:s coming early 2018 for UK label Banoffee Pies, Berlin based Lossless, a 3rd EP for Studio Barnhus and non 4/4 stuff for Magic Teapot Records. Apart from all this, the boys are also preparing a live show for next year where everyone will be able to see them shaking their asses and showing the world they’re here to stay to make you go bananas. Modern Life is Rubbish, and you know it!Marco, nice to meet you and welcome to Art for Progress. MLiR it is the new project you have created, but your career started a long time ago. Please, could you tell us when did you start to produce music? My interest to produce music started after having a 5.5 years break from DJ'ing in 2009. I then started working on an album for Ratio?music / Rush Hour (which got lost) and released several EP's on Ratio?music / Rush Hour, Moodmusic and Perplex Recordings. I had a band ca[...]
  • For music aficionados and the real heads that check out a lot of live shows, you know when you're in the presence of exceptional musicians, singer/songwriters. Where Mumford and Sons have in some respects brought a new wave of progressive folk music to the forefront of popularity, I can't say the results have led to many high quality bands.  When I received an invite to check out the band Twain, I was a bit reluctant about attending, but after listening to some of their stuff I was ready to go.On this night, they were playing the opening set, but it was obvious that the early crowd was gathered to see Twain, and by the end of the night it was clear they were worthy of the top billing for this show.With 8pm fast approaching, the level of excitement was building as eager fans edged closer to the stage, and with their new album Rare Feeling dropping on October 20th, this would be the first opportunity for many to experience the new stuff live.  As they got into their first song, the thing that initially caught my attention was the depth and warmth of their sound, and as their set progressed I heard glimpses of everything from Neil Young, The Doors and even The Grateful Dead.This is the kind of music that grows on you, and as you continue to listen to Mt. Davidson (lead singer/songwriter) and the band perform, you're soon captivated both musically and lyrically. Though many of the songs deal with serious subject matter, there's an undeniable sense of enthusiasm in[...]
  • The Asian-American experience in popular culture has been an interesting and sometimes troubling one. Where other minorities have made great, often vocal, strides in advancing their place in the pop culture firmament—music, movies, TV, comic books—Asians have not always been as successful. Bad Rap, directed by Salima Koroma and produced by Jaeki Cho, is an enlightening look at the careers of four Asian-American rappers—Dumbfoundead (Jonathan Park), Awkwafina (Nora Lum), Rekstizzy (David Lee) and Lyricks (Richard Lee)—as they struggle with prejudice and their own cultural expectations in a genre created and dominated by African-American artists. (Of course, white artists don't exactly command the field either, but Eminem is shown as the obvious example of major success.)The film opens with scenes of Dumbfoundead--the best known and longest performing of the four—onstage in front of an excited crowd, as the others praise his talent and 2011 song “Are We There Yet?,” which specifically addressed the experience of his Korean immigrant family. He interviews that he hates being called “an Asian rapper,” yet admits to also embracing that identity. Ultimately though, “I’m American,” he says, a sentiment that is echoed by others throughout the film.Bad Rap delves into hip hop history, starting with 1980s West Coast Filipino rappers who were heroes in the Asian community around the time that NWA and Ice Cube first became popular. We hear from rap pioneer MC Jin, who app[...]
  • The title of Barnaby (aka Barney) Clay’s new documentary, SHOT! The Psycho-spiritual Mantra of Rock, says it all, really. This rambling, entertaining portrait of legendary music photographer Mick Rock is full of its genial subject’s own musings on his life and art. It also encapsulates the excitement and excesses of the heady musical era that Rock (barely) lived through and documented. For anyone with a passing interest in the rock scenes of the late 1960s through '70s, this will be pretty fascinating stuff. For those, like myself, who remember wondering about the photographer whose impossibly appropriate name appeared on pictures of many groundbreaking artists, this will provide context, and then some. (For the record, the man’s given name is actually Michael David Rock.)The film opens with present-day Rock (now in his late 60s) loading his camera at a live TV on the Radio show. He talks about his process, which—at its best—makes him feel like an assassin, “I’ve got my sights on you, gonna take you out.” Later he clarifies, “I’m not after your soul, I’m after your f-ing aura,” which might prompt an eye-roll, except that he really did capture the essence of performers (and friends) such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Freddie Mercury and Debbie Harry, among others. For many awestruck kids, Rock's images were their introduction to these genre-defying musicians.The film takes us through a more or less chronological account of Rock’s career, interspersed with[...]
  • The second film from Swedish director Kasper Collin, I Called Him Morgan is an evocative, beautifully filmed documentary of a remarkable life cut short and a remarkably fertile period in New York City’s jazz scene. In February 1972, acclaimed 33-year-old trumpeter Lee Morgan was shot to death by his common-law wife Helen in an East Village club. The murder shocked all who knew the couple, including Morgan’s fans and fellow musicians, many of whom tried to make sense of the tragedy afterwards.Using interviews; gorgeous, iconic, black and white still photos; archival film clips, and moody reenactments—all underscored by a fabulous soundtrack—Collin constructs compelling portraits of both Lee Morgan and his common-law wife Helen, making their way in New York City’s hopping jazz scene from the late 1950s through the early '70s. The story slowly builds up to that fateful night, providing details that many have apparently pondered for years. In doing so, Collin gives us a glimpse of the great talent possessed by Morgan, along with poignant memories of the people who nurtured and appreciated it. With its potent music, atmospheric footage of vintage NYC and artfully abstract recreations, the film also gives us a palpable sense of time and place.Collin's main resource is an interview that Helen gave to radio host and jazz scholar Larry Reni Thomas in 1996, a month before she passed away. This fortuitous conversation came about when Thomas was teaching adult education a[...]
  • We recently caught up with musician, singer, song writer and visual artist Yoni Wolf to discuss the new album from his band Why?.  Moh Llean will be released on March 3rd, and is the band's first release since 2013's Golden Tickets.What was the band’s motivation/inspiration for the latest album, “Moh Llean” and how is it different than the band’s previous releases?I can't say there is ever a specific motivation or inspiration. We are artists and we are drawn to making art in whatever state-- from whatever space we find ourselves. This one was no different, though of course it ends up with its own feel and identity based on our changes and developments as humans.Is there a particular story you wanted to tell or message you wanted to send with “Moh Llean.”I would say that whatever the album conveys thematically, it does so naturally without pre-conceptions or agenda.  That said, I think it is an attempt at openness in the heart and acceptance and peace.How did the hip hop element of the band’s sound come to be? Are you guys hip hop fans? Classic or modern day hip hop? Or, was it organic?I started out as a rapper. Hip hop is at my roots and core.  I don't think this album is very hip hop though.Tell me about the band’s creative process. Do you work remotely or do you go off to the woods to write together as a group?I wrote most of the stuff myself. My brother Josiah and I produced and arranged the stuff together.  We have a couple musicians-- [...]
  • With an unprecedented climate of change and concern dawning in the United States, Art for Progress arts education programs are more essential than ever. AFP is embracing the ever-growing need for alternative and supplemental art, music, theater, and fashion programs for young people representing the voice of true expression in our city. Once again this has been an exciting semester for existing Art for Progress arts education programs in New York City’s public schools, and there are some new programs in the works for the second half of the school year.Our flagship music program at Humanities Preparatory Academy, which includes school day sessions as well as after school, is flourishing and has produced and cultivated a bunch of wonderful talent this semester. Everyone at the school is looking forward to the talent show on February 16th, which will include solo vocal and instrumental performances, and a variety of ensemble pieces and even a dance number.  AFP’s after school program at the James Baldwin School is also going strong and was well represented in the recent school-wide talent show on Friday, January 20. Students from both schools have been working hard after school every day, choosing songs and rehearsing. Especially impressive is the spirit of mutual encouragement among the students as the shows approach.As for AFP’s Young Adult Music Enrichment Program, tracking is nearly completed on Bronx rock band Statik Vision’s full-length album, and we are preparing [...]
  • We recently caught up with Brooklyn based band Slothrust, who are releasing their long awaited third album, Everyone Else on Dangerbird Records October 28th.1)   Are you native New Yorker's or transplants?Will and I are from Boston and Kyle is from New Jersey.2)   How would you describe your sound?Blues / jazz influenced rock music with a lot of dynamics and time signature changes ;)3)   How has the crowd responded to the new music from Everyone Else?Crowds we have performed to have responded really positively to the new music. We are very excited to tour and share it with more people.4)   Was there a particular story you wanted to tell or message you wanted to send with Everyone Else?There is not one story in particular that I am trying to tell with this record. Thematically, it deals a lot with water and dreams. I like thinking about different states of consciousness and things infinitely larger than the self.5)   What do you enjoy most about touring and performing live?I like seeing new cities and the exchange of energy that happens between performers and difference audiences.6)   Tell me about your creative process. Do you work remotely or do you go off to the woods to write together as a group?It's a combination of a lot of things. Generally songs come to me in pieces and we go about executing them in a variety of ways. In the past there hasn't been a particular formula for us.7)   Where do you find your inspiration[...]
  • Brooklyn natives Chayse Schutter (vocals), Justin Flores (guitar), Don Scherr (drums) and Dan Hernandez (bass) make up the borough's newest metalcore punk band Pocketsand. While juggling jobs and touring, the guys have managed to begin recording an EP and drum up a small following despite having only formed earlier this year. Listen to their song "Blinding" below and check out what Chayse and Don have to say about their latest musical endeavor:1. How'd the band start? Don: Chayse and Justin were working together at their day jobs, realized they were into the same sorts of heavy bands and decided they wanted to try to start a band in that vein of music for fun.2. How did you land on the name "Pocketsand"? Any connection to "King of the Hill"? Don: Chayse was watching an interview where someone said they would use pocketsand as a default defense move in a bar fight, thought it was cool and mentioned it to Justin who knew if from "King of the Hill."3. How would you define your sound? Chayse: Like throwing a trashcan full of nails down a set of stairs. Don: Heavy hitting punk that stabs you and nurses your wounds at the same time4. If you could expand that sound somehow (eg, add a new instrument or another member) how would you? Don: We use a lot of homemade samples in our live set that are spacey, sort of eerie soundscapes. We would love to keep that as part of our sound and expand on it for recordings.5. Is recording more of an isolated period or d[...]