Friday, 22 September 2017


21-year-old Norwegian producer Marius swoops by to take part in this laziest interview series of all time. It's Friday and it's just about a week since the musicmaker had his debut EP Existence Problems released via Pelican Fly, the independent Belgian label responsible for introducing Cashmere Cat and Lido to the world, while also playing host to various other electronic entities like French producer Canblaster. Marius is in good company. And he deserves to be there: influenced by producers such as these as well as the psychedelics of Tame Impala and an earlier interest in progressive metal, his music is a crazy collage of ricochets and refractions, ideas echoed and warped.

Previously known as Melf, this year's moniker change kicked off with inaugural track 'Easy', which unfortunately didn't make it onto the EP—it's filled with maddened energy, a charge of breakbeats and popping percussion that gradually gives way to a coda that djents with distorted metal guitar satisfaction, showing a brilliance in the combination of disparate musical styles and elements. The EP's title track shows a softer side with a plinky rockpool of cute quirky sounds that also rains down a bullet hell of percussion in waves of delicious incoherency; latest track 'Lame' mixes up kaleidoscope psychedlia with slow voidsome beats. So far it's a triumph of originality that sees Marius slotting together jigsaw pieces that don't fit together, making new dishes from the buffet of influencers that have come before.


w h o   a r e   y o u ?   w h e r e   a r e   y o u   f r o m ?   w h a t   d o   y o u   d o ?
My name is Marius and i am from Eidsvoll in Norway. I like to make music that I’ve never heard before.

h o w   d i d   y o u   s t a r t   c r e a t i n g   m u s i c ?

I started creating music when I started playing the guitar. I played progressive metal and wanted to record my riffs. I had Garageband on my Mac, so I started programming drums and recorded my 7 string guitar.

h o w   w o u l d   y o u   d e s c r i b e   y o u r   s o u n d ?

All over the place.

i s   t h e r e   a   p e r f e c t   t i m e   a n d   p l a c e   f o r   l i s t e n i n g   t o   y o u r   m u s i c ?

I hope so!

I like to make music that I've never heard before
w h a t   i n s p i r e s   y o u   m o s t   w h e n   m a k i n g   a   t r a c k ?
This is such a tough question. To be honest, I don’t know the answer. I think it’s a bit personal, and not something I can really put words to.

w h a t   i s   y o u r   m o s t   m e m o r a b l e   m u s i c a l   e x p e r i e n c e ?


w h a t   a r e   y o u r   f a v o u r i t e   t h r e e   s o n g s   a t   t h e   m o m e n t ?

Selmer – Surfin With U

Mindtrix – Moon Pigeons

Tame Impala – Reality in Motion

w h o   d o   y o u   m o s t   a d m i r e   i n   t h e   m u s i c   w o r l d ?

This is another tough question. I admire a lot of people I think, but I think I subconsciously draw on a lot of influences when I write music. Everyone from guys like Flume to Lido, to bands like Tame Impala. My track on Pelican Fly, called 'Lame', is actually really heavily inspired by Tame Impala.

i n   y o u r   o p i n i o n ,   w h a t   i s   t h e   f u t u r e   o f   m u s i c ?


w h a t ' s   t h e   f u t u r e   o f   y o u r   m u s i c   –   w h a t   d o   y o u   h o p e   t o   d o   n e x t ?

I think these two questions I can answer together – as an artist I do dream that the future of music somehow involves something that I can contribute to. I think that’s a natural internal want for any artist – for your art to connect with people in new ways.

w h a t   i s   m o s t   i m p o r t a n t   t o   y o u ?



  • πŸ”” Marius' debut Existence Problem EP is out now on Belgian label Pelican Fly.

Marius Internet Presence ☟

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In Vietnam's second city there's no shortage of food. And when you add a sizeable expat community into the mix you get as many burger places and Western enclaves of deliciousness as you do bun cha and street vendors. The main streets flaunt sit-in restaurants, some decidedly upmarket, which you'd expect, and the rabbit warrens of alleyways that etch their way between these boulevards house thousands of little stalls and cubby-hole eateries. It's tasty business as usual.

🍴 La Fiesta
Craving good old portions of cheese and wanting to sink our teeth into some stupidly stuffed-full burritos we found ourselves greedily perusing the menu in La Fiesta, a highly tipped Tex-Mexican restaurant in Saigon. Run by a cheerful American guy with bubbly American service to match, La Fiesta turned out to serve up some of the best Mexican food we've eaten in Asia.

We kicked off dinner with some mouthwatering home-cooked nachos that came with heavily loaded with black beans, gloopy cheese and with added depth of flavour, chopped spring onions and fresh tomatoes along with the standard but highly integral salsa and sour cream. With our nacho-lined stomach were prepped and ready for the main deal we were served the burritos.

Oh burritos, how we have loved and missed you. In Taiwan we ate popiah, a type of rice-flour wrap stuffed with meat and crunchy greens, and in Korea we tried out Korean take on Mexican food at Fuzzy Navel, which was well appreciated. But this here at La Fiesta was the closest we had some in months and months to properly, well stuffed, home-style burritos.

The portions were Americanly massive. Double helpings of burrito heartily packed full with refried beans, rice, salsa, sour cream, guacamole and melted cheese. We tried the vegetarian tofu version, we'd never had tofu in a burrito before, but this being Asia, using the everyday staple for a vegetarian substitute just makes natural sense. We ordered the chicken burrito too which was rich and flavourful and very very thick indeed. These were the textures and cheesy deliciousness we so wanted and needed. Needless to say we left like boulders and rolled down the street for a beer.

🍴 Ban Trang Tron street food
We had been on the hunt for Ban Trang Tron since we were introduced to the street food in Hanoi by our friend Sammi. Whilst walking to the Opera House we walked past this lady and her street stall on the other side of the street and stopped by for a look on our way back.

She had the classic collection of ingredients needed to make Ban Trang Tron all prepared and chopped up in different sections on here cart. We attempted in Vietnamese to ask for one once we had waited in a line behind some hungry school kids on their way home from school. The lady seemed to understand us (what else would we've been asking her for?) and nonchalantly mixed up all the necessary tasty molecules to create the tasty classic Vietnamese street food dish, using scissors, as is normal, to cut up the sheets of noodles.

This version was spicy than the two we tried in Hanoi, more sour-tasting with less apparent sweetness. An easy stomach-filler to munch on whilst hot-footing around Saigon's tourist sights.

If you see someone with a little cart like this, just go up, do some smiling and maybe a little nodding and pointing at what you want and try the food. It's not as scary as it seems. The cost is so cheap and you will be trying a part of real everyday life in Vietnam. Don't get put off by the plastic bag: it's Asia—even ice coffee gets served in those land filling bad boys.

🍴 Bread and Butter
We will be honest and say that this place wasn't our first choice for dinner. We had walked on a wet dark night out of the main hub of town to try out a cool vegetarian place - the type with polished concrete floors and young students with half-shaved heads. It turned out to be laughingly overpriced and a fat old rat scurried around our feet as we sipped our beer. The last straw was they said they had no rice. No rice! So we left.

Bread and Butter was a comforting and warm haven in the loneliness of a busy foreign city. It was late when we arrived but we were greeted with smiles.

Hungover, hungry and wet from the rain we sat at a little round table and greedily munched on burgers we nodded to each other in approval of tastiness. This was the simple food we wanted and needed that night. The veggie burger and the classic cheese burger were everything we could have wanted to comfort us in the tropical downpours.

Some Japanese guys came in and sat at the bar enjoying a drink together. This scene made us smile, the cosy space helping to remind us of the same homely atmosphere of izakayas in Japan. A kind of easy feeling washed over us as the warming blues music followed us out the door and then it was back to our hotel to bed with full stomachs.

🍴 Royal Saigon
At first Royal Saigon could appear as one of those standard tourist restaurants filled with westerners. Its situated on the main strip where touts attempt to persuade customers in bars and restaurants, we probably would have given it a miss if it weren't for a recommendation from a couple we had met the night before and we are glad we went!

We tried the bun dau hu, one of the many vegetarian dish on the menu. Bu dau hu turned out to be a heaped bowl of rice noodles topped with crisy tofu and some chopped up vegetable spring rolls hidden in the mix – just the right amount of moisture and crunch - fresh salad and a zing of pickled carrots topped with a sprinkling of peanuts for depth of taste and a vegetarian dip on the side.

We also tried the meat version, bun thit nuong – cold rice noodles topped with vegetable goodness and succulent grilled pork. The quintessential Vietnamese combination of crunchy chewy, fragrant and spicy.

🍴 Goi
We first discovered the delights of banh goi in Hanoi. It translates to something like pillow cake and it appears to be a close cousin of the empananda, being as it is minced meat and cellophane noodles and usually an egg in there somewhere wrapped in a nicely greasy deep-fried pastry with similar fork-made markings round the closed edge. Or like a pasty. Anyway we found a cool place in Saigon that specialised in these delicious morsels and it was simply called Goi.

Located near the famous Post Office, this Hanoi-style eatery is small and feels like a secret, like the sort of place the Viet Cong might have planned their operations from, spartan and functional, complete with vintage posters, old clocks, squat bamboo tables. Even the crockery was themed. Reminiscent of national coffee-and-more franchise Cong Caphe, there seems to be a growing interest in and market for nostalgia.

Of course we tried the banh goi, which were literally delicious and came with cold rice noodles and a salad of lettuce leaves and coriander, and the obligatory sweet and sour dipping soup. We also tried bun dau, fried tofu with compressed rice noodles sliced into chunks, served with sprigs of tΓ­a tΓ΄ – a mint-ish cooling sort of taste – alongside chunky cucumber slices and soy sauce for dipping. We were eating just after the lunchtime rush clearly: we were the only ones in there eating, apart from the staff who, after serving us, crowded round one table in the corner chowing down on their own lunch.


πŸ– More things that are tasty from… πŸ–
GUIYANG (πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³)KUNMING (πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³)HANOI (πŸ‡»πŸ‡³)HUE (πŸ‡»πŸ‡³)

Thursday, 21 September 2017


The crunch of it, the frustrated clenched fists broil of it, the distorted decay of it all and veiled with a haunted corridor of wobbling ambient sounds to create this negative miasma clouding over the robust solidity of the mechanical swampsome sounds at the foundation, the emptiness that this track summons is vast and uncompromising. Sydney-based artist Isserley returns as the formidable force that we saw in 'Advent', her seemingly small childlike voice poised as it swoops disjointedly around the room, a glinting tone like a silvery flash in the dark, growling walls of synth bass fuzzing and pushing on your spirit, helping the musicmaker to illustrate the blocky angst at the heart of 'Privilege'.

"Sadness doesn't discriminate at all," Isserley writes in a message to yes/no, "and it always angers me when people assume that if you have money or a certain superficial quality, that life is inherently perfect."

Throughout the song she slurs in slow measured lines, monotone for the most part and sometimes dipping down to a low mutter, a drugged vacant quality as the languishing speaker attempts to tell themselves they have a secret weapon in privilege—the classic overcompensation of an unhappy soul. Isserley explains further: "The song is essentially a collage of miscellaneous misanthropy, nihilism and sarcasm directed towards the attitude that just because some people don't suffer the same problem as you, they're not suffering at all."

Indeed it begins, "I sit here waiting for the end of my suffering…" and the lyrics later ask, "But how can I be something, when I am surrounded by people who make me feel nothing?" — always the scuttled abrasive beat, the bruising calamitous synth, the soundtrack to dying inside.

  • πŸ”” 'Privilege' is part of a new cycle of songs by Isserley—will or won't there be a new release? Either way if you like this go check her 2016 album Messes on Bandcamp.

Isserley Internet Presence ☟

Wednesday, 20 September 2017


Like a heavy heart this track shifts its way into your perception, that sinking stomach feeling, emptiness, beginning with a slow ominous luscious clopping clock and insectoid ticking and slumbering breaths and then we fall into the urgent synthpop of it all, and the vocals of Manila's moon mask opens up a deep croon: "Met you asleep in a dream…" Big thumping drums create a driving energy – a gotta-do-something '80s filmic montage of an atmosphere – with simple kick-snare alternation with stomping gloopy bass that cuts a basic booming groove beneath the miasma of electronics that glide and soar and punctuated by sparkling starlit melodies twinkling beneath it, bright neon chords electrify the heavenward introspective gloom of it, shocking strobes in the murksmoke.

But the dreamy atmosphere that dwells in 'twenty minutes dream runner' arises because, moon mask explained on Twitter, it's "based off a short story I wrote once about a decaying man reliving dream." There is indeed an aroma of decay that whirls around in this synth-laden dreamscape, the cardinal reverb that the drums are soaked in so they crack and roar in the song's verses, and in the literally decayed melody that twists and turns fizzing abrasive in the bridge, overdriven and piercing. The chorus is catchy, deliciously so, with rapid pogoing vocals: "20 minutes better run baby ah, 20 minutes left before they take you away…" A fantasy lovesong, an electronic pop elegy, this is the idealised grip of nostalgia manifested in the hazy hangover of something distantly dreamt.

  • πŸ”” You may purchase 'twenty minutes dream runner' digitally via Bandcamp if you like. It arrives ahead of moon mask's EP scheduled for release early next year; "I've been trying to take a bit of a new direction in my sound," says our boy in the track's description, and the new EP will probably mirror that sentiment.

moon mask Internet Presence ☟

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


Straight away there's this aura of opulence – that soft synth glow – gold fittings and fixtures and chandeliers and mahogany or maybe teak furniture presenting angularity and sweeping curves in delicious alternation. Rich, that's it—there is a high degree of richness embedded at the heart of Rochelle Jordan's 'How U Want It'. Her voice is of course a fabulous part of the track, its shining jewel, its billowing silk streaming through the well oiled machinery of the instrumental, at some points long and silken, and other times her vocals are tongue twisters, rapid-fire trilling lines that end in swooping lilts, itself full-bodied and robust but bringing it all together, lacing it with delicacy.

The all-encompassing solidity of 'How U Want It' comes from its producer Machinedrum, who creates a playground of synth and beats that stutter and somersault in tracts of audaciously empty instrumental hits, priceless vase ornamental rose footwork, clinking and glittering high-pitch and wonky but bumping and thumping with juddering rubbery quakes too. It is this with its sense of playful urgency that Rochelle Jordan's vocal pairs perfectly, similarly agile and acrobatic, making this track a marrying of two virtuoso elements that soar and sizzle. A subversion of classy with its spilling-over decorative feel, this track is feeling out-of-place at a high-society event and knocking over champagne and having fun in the face of imposition.

  • πŸ”” This track is the first release on Machinedrum's newly birthed label IAMSIAM. You can steam it and purchase it variously from most of your favourite services via this hyperlink.

Rochelle Jordan Internet Presence ☟

Machinedrum Internet Presence ☟
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