Angelo Badalamenti – Sycamore Trees
Song and Video Remix by: Stephan Jacobs
Re-Edited by: Smash LeFunk
Live Drums By: SunEvil Conway
Follow Stephan Jacobs online
To get things started off why don’t you explain where your passion for music began, and what attracted you to the West Coast Bass and Glitch sound?
My passion for music has been around as long as I can remember. Listening to Bob Marley, Gypsy Kings and many more from my parents’ musical selection. I remember listening to MOBY and someone saying, that was all made on the computer so I was intrigued to do it myself. Furthermore I continued to create music and found myself producing my own west coast sound.. I couldn’t help it, it just comes out that way. I’m sure it had with my friends and musical influences such as Aphex Twin, The Orb, Lemmon jelly, Square Pusher, Trentemoller, Bluetech, Shpongle and Tipper.
Tell us a bit about how your music has evolved since the beginning, and if your objectives as an artist have also changed throughout the years?
Well, in the beginning, my music was very experimental. And the more I kept producing; it started to take its own form and style. It became a reflection of what I heard in my head. And as a producer, I became more and more dedicated to my music and I have grown very much and will continue to grow as an artist.
I know you have a few different platforms for performing, and by the sounds of your music you have quite an advanced understanding of production. Can you tell us about your studio, your writing process, and give us an idea of how your live shows work?
In the studio I keep it somewhat simple. A good set of monitors, a Macbook pro, Ableton Live, VST’s, some MIDI controllers and a few Synthesizers. I used to have way more hardware synths and would like to use them again in the future.
For my Live show I use a Custom Livid OHM 64 that lights up with multicolored LED’s designed by Henry Strange and Michael Russek to DJ and add effects to my tracks. A JazzMutant Lemur to play the melodies of certain songs, and a keyboard to play the Vocoder when I’m singing live. For when there is the space, I have a drummer who performs with me to bring my music to the live physical realm. For my DJ set I just use the OHM, the other equipment is for the live show.
We are only a month and a bit into the new year and already your name has created quite a stir, whether it’s been on the soundcloud charts, or on the various remixes and collaborations you’ve been working on, it seems things are really picking up. How does it feel to be received this well, and is there anything you do in particular to stay motivated and inspired with your work?
I am so grateful that this year has taken off quite well for me, with a new memekast, remix complication, many collabs and a new full length album in the works, things just keep getting better and I am thrilled to be able to share it all with you. I’d have to say that all of my fan’s love and appreciation for my music really keeps me going, I am always thinking about new melodies, hooks or bass lines that will intrigue listeners to take notice and constantly have them on repeat. When I wake up till I go to sleep it’s music all the time, I can honestly say it is my way of life.
Nit Grit is also an artist that I’ve been aware of and interested in for quite awhile now, and I understand the two of you have a collaborative project. Could you tell us a bit about how this came about and what it’s like to work together? As a producer what is the importance to you of working with other producers?Nit Grit is a great friend of mine. On a producer note, we both have very unique styles, so when we decided to collaborate, the outcome is a collective of my melodic rhythmic patterns, and his intense bass and sound design, we work very well together and clicked instantly in the studio. The name of the project comes from our first full studio week we did in San Jose, and all the food we ate that week was pretty much all pizza. With Danny’s love for pizza and my love for partying, the name pretty much presented itself.
I enjoy collaborating with artist who have they’re own interesting sound because when we combine forces, the outcome is a blend of the two and creates something new. My latest collab has been with Ruff Hauser, together we are known as “Kether” and already have two albums released on Muti Music, and our third is being put together as we speak.
I love to jam with fellow musicians as well. In my house I have a full jam room complete with many instruments, including a full drum set that my friends and I like to jam out on for hours.
Speaking of 2012, with all the buzz and projections of apocalypse, transcendence, etc. etc. and the evident social unrest that we saw and experienced around the world throughout last year, what are your thoughts on the direction things could be going right now? What are your hopes for this year?… I love lamp.
What are a couple of your favorite aspects of the musician lifestyle, and on the other hand, are there any aspects that drive you crazy?One of my favorite things about this lifestyle is that I have a flexible time schedule. My schedule revolves around my tour and release dates so sometimes I don’t have the freedom of waking up when I want or a steady paycheck. I have the freedom and flexibility to be creative and manage my own time wisely. I spend most of my time, creating and composing, I let the things I experience in my life be my inspiration. Some downfalls of this lifestyle can be frustrating creative blocks, not enough pay for the amount of work, technical difficulties and so forth. But these are all things that artists experience and you get through them with perseverance.
The kind of music you create is obviously based heavily on technology, which is an industry that is evolving at exponential rates, do you have any projections or concepts of what the next evolution of electronic music/electronic music instruments may be?
My music is very much based on technology, but it is very important to me to incorporate the live aspect. My goal for my performances is to incorporate a full-blown audio and visual experience for the audience. I not only want to rock them with my music, I want to leave them in awe with the live visual experience; including custom LED controller, live projections, live musicians and singers performing during my sets, and am always looking for new creative ways to up my game.
To wrap things up let’s hear a bit about what you have in store for this year, and what a couple of your wildest dreams/goals for your music in the future might be?I am definitely a dreamer; I have huge plans and visions for the future. I am always working to create something new and untapped. Currently with a new full-length album and big collabs in the works, you all definitely have something to look forward to. With technology advancing, I can only imagine what we can be capable of with the years to come, and you can count that ill be there to embrace it.
If there is anything else you would like to mention, or any shout outs you’d like to give, now would be the time!Big love to my whole crew that works with me and believes in me,
Alex Becket, Matthew Loniero, Curtis Scoville, Stefanie Lees, Terrence Scoville, Sunevil Conway, Smash Le Funk and many more.
My musical brothers and sisters - Danny Beall (NiT GriT), Tim (Ruff) Hauser, Travis Johnson (Jupit3r), Ill-Esha, Evan Sugarpill, Nicky G (Stiletto). Last but not least to all my fans who support me, this is all for you.
-Interview by Ryan Orion