This mix. It is a wholly original mix. It features only tracks from the artist himself, Mr. Stonewall Klaxon. Obviously, or perhaps not obviously if you're not au fait with Americano historia, this guy is named after Stonewall Jackson, an American Civil War commander. A few potential reasons why: 1. This guy is a Confederate sympathiser (being from Texas and all); 2. Apparently Mr. Jackson was something of a legendary person, why not name yourself after (kinda) him?; 3. Just cos it rhymes; 4. Don't know. Should've asked really shouldn't I?????????? lol oh well. Not the point right now is it.
The point is this is a mix with a difference because it's basically like hearing a Stonewall Klaxon live set. His music is like… really nice. It's beats-heavy, synth-heavy, a waterfallish cascade of electronica set to mostly uptempo rhythms, kind of in a paint-splashed realm between dubstep and footworky stuff, for instance with the white noise watercolour wash and pneumatic drill kicks of his remix of 'TBAE' by urlchild or the hyperactive synth stutterings and finely diced vocals in 'Gary Lazer-Eyes', coupled with the busy explosiveness of 'Neon Swords' and its gurgling vocal samples whose beat seems to hang in the air, and 'Cigarettes', where infra-bass kicks are the gloopy swamp out of which brittle mangrove snares snap and crack.
The mix, which includes samples of Link's sword-swinging shout in Ocarina of Time ('All Of Me') and Navi's "Hey!" ('Neon Swords', the set closer), and a sparkly remix of 'Latch' by Disclosure, pitch-shifting Sam Smith's vocals just ever so slightly, is luscious, the sound equivalent of breakdancing under a canopy of stars, or playing videogames with friends because one of them has a free house and it happens to be a marble-and-gold mansion of a place. Stonewall Klaxon, real name David Andrew Lunson, is 26 currently lives in Austin, Texas, "working as a chef in a restaurant downtown." But cooking skills aside, musicmaking comes first: "Music has always been my passion, and my true priority," he tells me. "I suppose what first inspired me to make music was simply being in the school band and orchestra~ playing euphonium, trombone, and cello."
The rich flavours and dynamics of his sound are, with this information in mind, easily traceable back to this classical and traditional training in music; you can hear the feel-good, triumphal nature of band music in each rousing hit of synth, and in its gentler moments, his music is certainly orchestral, albeit with electronic sounds – the melodies and progressions are so well done, so basically perfect. I've seen reviews of his stuff saying 'Flume-esque' or 'Wave Racer-esque' but you never hear anybody say that any classical music is 'Beethoven-esque' or 'Mozart-esque', really, do you? There is space enough in the music world for true talent and actual hard work to shine through, and it seems as if the gleams of Stonewall Klaxon are just about starting to reach the eyes and ears of the world.
• T R A C K L I S T •
All tracks by Stonewall Klaxon
- 0:00 Chords (Excerpt) (Vocals are Frank Zappa)
- 2:39 Gary Lazer-Eyes
- 7:27 Spherical
- 12:07 Cigarettes
- 15:21 Urlchild - TBAE (Stonewall Klaxon Remix)
- 20:09 Disclosure - Latch (Stonewall Klaxon Remix)
- 23:21 All Of Me
- 26:38 Neon Swords
- Hey! Listen! Go download a free copy of the Neon Swords EP, from which most of these songs are taken.