Palmistry on how his father’s death inspired ‘Afterlife’ and working with SOPHIE on Rihanna material
From Timbaland ‘s robotic, oscillating jams to Swizz Beatz ‘s furious, spring-loaded production, the most avant garde, mind-bendingly futuristic music on earth is made by US pop R&B/hip hop pop superstars. And, like, guess what? Our favourite blog warlocks, 20 Jazz Funk Greats are all over this, with Robin and the others setting up a new project, So Bones, dedicated to exposing us Brits to the revolutionary limits of hyphy, hip hop, LA jerk, Chicago juke, R&B, Atlanta trap and whatever else they excavate from the depths of Hot 97 playlists.
How would you describe the So Bones musical policy?
Metal machine jams. Lots of broken hearted, angry, sexed up, black-hearted girls whispering and roaring over synthesizers and insectoid future funk.
What’s the idea behind this mix?
I wanted to use songs that people may not necessarily have heard before because for whatever reason they flopped or were simply never released at all. In my opinion these often happen to be the best songs, better than a great deal of the stuff that reaches the charts. It’s not the slickest mix in the world, but in my humble opinion all the songs are a 10 which I tend to think is the most important thing.
How is the night going?
It’s been good but I definitely want to make more of it. I’m trying to play relatively new, niche stuff that people might not have heard before which can be a risky DJ strategy especially if people aren’t really picking up on that and all they wanna do is get pissed and dance to Salt N’ Pepa. Playing purely nostalgic, crowd pleasing sets doesn’t interest me at all much to the annoyance of some punters. I’ve distinctly noticed some baffled head scratching whenever I’ve played some chopped & screwed at the beginning of the night which I’m not expecting to see so much of when I host some So Bones parties in NYC this summer.
It’s quite a particular sound. How did you fall in love with it?
I really wouldn’t be able to pinpoint it. I’ve always had a mutual appreciation for pop music and experimental sounds and for me r&b/hip hop often encapsulate both of those things with incredible potency. I’m not a music snob either. I stay as open minded as possible. I’m very unapologetic about the fact that there’s room in my heart for Neu and Britney Spears both.
I don’t know how much this is a case of odd symmetry, but there seems a growing interest from the “indie scene” in underground electronic black dance music – do you agree, and what do you put this down to? Or has this interest always been there?
Most definitely and the great thing is that for the most part it feels like a very honest and genuine thing. Music is in a very exciting place right now because alot of artists aren’t constricting themselves and are really exploring a huge variety of sounds which has resulted in a really colourful scene. I remember reading something about how Dave from The Dirty Projectors had an obsession with Mariah Carey songs and I thought that was fucking amazing because it’s exactly not what most people would expect a respected indie musician like him to appreciate, which is so wrong and sad, because why not?
What next for you, the blog and your XXjfg brethren?
I’ll have to consult the oracles.
Natasha (feat Clipse) So Sick
Britney Spears I Got A Plan
Chris Brown Flamethrower
Janet Jackson So Much Betta
Ryan Leslie Addicted (feat Cassie & Fabolous)
Common Universal Mind Control
Electrik Red W.F.Y
Rich Boy Drop
Nicole Scherzinger (feat T.I.) Whatever You Like
Usher (feat Ludacris) Dat Girl Right There
Ciara Work (feat Missy Elliott)
Mims Move If You Wanna
The next So Bones is on upstairs at Catch on
23rd July 18th June.