Disconnected Podcast 008: Memotone

disconnected 008 memotone

Memotone lets us know about what influences his live jamming sessions and what equipment he uses to bring it all together. It sounds like Shaftesbury is a hive of activity when it comes to electronic music!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, away from music?

Well, I grew up and still live in a small village named Tollard Royal, on the very south edge of Wiltshire. Mine is one of three houses surrounded by trees for about quarter of a mile, at which point you enter the heart of the metropolis. I think the population is just over one hundred people. I was born at home in 1990. Grew up a very happy child, thanks to my intelligent and easy going parents, and still live a very happy life. Always being encouraged in all my interests and constantly being introduced to new interesting things. 20 is not very old at all. I would say I was a pretty rounded person, but by no means am I finished with my childish wide eyed enthusiasm for interesting things.

At the moment I work part time as a gardener for the estate I live on. Its great. Just enough work to keep provide money for life and plenty of time left over for music and other interests, when I am not spending it with my girlfriend that is.

What’s with the name, does it have any significance to you?

The name came from the idea that when I write music I do so normally to reflect a time or something that has happened. Like someone would write in a diary, I write in sounds. Little notes of tone. Or memos. Memotone.

So, how did you get into music? What’s your background?

My dad has always been really into music, introducing me to some of my favourites of today including Four Tet, Murcof, Susumu Yokota, Colleen, Mum, Bjork, Eels, Radiohead and more. When I was around 9 years old a programme on Radio 3 started called Late Junction. Every night it was on, my dad would put the radio outside my bedroom door so I could hear the music as I went to sleep, and even in my sleep. The programme is still running and is still as interesting to my more knowledgeable mind as it was when I knew nothing of contemporary music. It plays a vast selection of genres and unclassifiable masterpieces. Be sure to lend an ear.

Who/what are your main influences?

This is always a hard one to answer. Obviously I am influenced by nearly everything I come in contact with, even if it’s unconsciously. So I will divert the question to what inspires me rather than influences me:

Rain, Smells, Nostalgia, Fear, Unknowing, Games, Friends, Day to day things, Circles, Sleep, Puzzles, Films, Quantum Theory, Science in general, Art, Books, Nature, Woods, Stones, Instruments, Sounds (not musical), Music (John Cage, Portishead, Thom Yorke, Nicolas Repac, Sigur Ros (Agatis Byrjan), Lukid, Floating Points, James Blake, Mount Kimbie, Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Max Richter, Vex’d, Distance, Prefuse 73, Flying Lotus, Bonobo, A Future Without (label), Arve Henriksen, Coco Rosie, Grizzly Bear, Sam Amidon, Nico Muhly, Boxcutter, Black Acre (lable) Burial, MF Doom, Cage…… The list goes on. I think anyone producing or writing music needs to listen to a wide range of styles from different time periods.

I spent most of my later childhood messing around with friends in a nearby town called Shaftesbury, where I still go to see friends and visit pubs. And for a small, very old town far from any city it has a brilliant music scene. A good percentage of my friends are either in bands or produce there own music. Carlo Anderson from Dark Sky for example, is A Shaftesbury boy. And there is about 7 tracks from people who all grew up in Shaftesbury in the mix I have made. So I think I have been lucky to grow up somewhere which is so inspiring.

There’s a few amazing videos of you online recording stuff live, can you tell us about your creative process?

Firstly, Thank you! With my live stuff I often take sections, sounds and beats from pieces I have made on the computer and then chuck the bits into my MPC 1000. From there I mess around putting keys and other instruments on-top of it until I have something that sounds like a completely different piece but that originated from the same sounds. So there is a reflection of my studio stuff in the live set but normally it’s taken on its own form. This is due to the impossibilities of playing loads of stuff at one time with only two hands.
In the live set I use what ever instruments I may have with me, most likely a guitar, clarinet, keys, glockenspiel, trumpet, piano and sometimes a fretless bass, toy instruments, melodica and an electric drum-kit. I run my instruments (electric and Mic’ed (SM 57)) along with an MPC into a mixer then from the mixer into a Kaoss Pad 3 and from there into my Boss RC-50 Loop Station. And that’s it.

If you are intrigued you can visit my website and watch some videos.

Do you do dj sets or lives set or both?

I do live sets. I try and put it together so the audience can see me make all the sounds they hear. No laptop involved. See above for set-up. My older brother is the DJ in the family. I was always more of an instruments kid. I can see the benefit of being a DJ though if you had to play out all the time. Full live sets are a strain. But a good one.

Its seems like you’ve hooked up with Disconnected favourites ‘a future without’ how did that come about?

About a year and a half ago, maybe 2 years ago now actually, I got a message on my Myspace music page from Will Plowman (one of the two top dogs at A Future Without along with Ross Tones) via the A Future Without page. The message said that he liked my music and wondered if I was at all interested in becoming a member of the AFW family. At that time I had had no interest from people in the industry and so was extremely excited. I got back to him straight away saying I had listened to Artists on the label and really liked what I heard and would be most willing to become part of the label. And thank god I did! They are such nice people. I don’t think I could have wished for a better introduction to the world of music distribution. They are easy to work with, very helpful, understanding and most importantly open to new sounds. They both make music themselves, Ross under the name ‘Throwing Snow’ and Will as ‘Will’. Also, they seem to know lots of people who are good to know. Making themselves good to know. Apart from being really wicked people obviously. I put out my ‘Friend’ album with them in August 2010 and have had only good feedback from it. You can find it through the AFW website or on Boomkat and that lot.

What can we expect from the mix?

Well, this is a bit of a Shaftesbury Showcase. (Sorry to those of you from Shaftebury who did not make it to the mix, there is not enough time in an hour to introduce the whole of Shaftesbury.)

But also it holds a few favourites of mine from the last few years. From classical to garage.

Here is the play list. All the people from Shaftesbury will have an (S) after there names.

1: Throwing Snow – Cronos
2: Lukid – Piano Nono
3: Four Tet – Hands
4: Max Richter – Autumn Music 1
5: James Blake – Dont You Think I Do
6: Memotone (S)- Ochre Against Blue
7: Issac Himself – Melancholic Electro Jazz Scream
8: Flying Lotus – Zodiac Shit
9: Baba Yaga – Effigy
10: Josh Jukes (S)- Disscount Tent
11: Will – Difference End
12: Mount Kimbie – Maybes
13: Murcof – Mo
14: Radiohead – I Will (No Man’s Land)
15: Memotone (S)- Multicolour
16: Becotide (S)- Spritzer
17: Vekta (S)- Achilles-Yoga for Cats; Remix
18: Resolve (S)- Dust
19: Dark Sky (S)- Reflex

What’s next for Memotone?

Well, I have a 12” EP coming out on Black Acre at the beginning of March which I am very excited about and then working towards putting out an Album with them aswell. Also, Ross from AFW works at a Publishing Company called Hear No Evil and he has been sending me over briefs for TV adverts and internet videos and stuff so hopefully one day this year I will get a ‘yes’ from a big company that will give me enough money to be able to move to Bristol and get even more involved with the music!

You can keep up to date on my movements by following my website.

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