Download + Interview: Tanya Auclair "Origami" EP


I'm so happy to be sharing this EP, Tanya Auclair is such an exciting singer songwriter and her work continues to exert a strong gravitational pull on my heart strings towards her live shows and recorded projects. I asked her a couple of questions about the new EP "Origami", the first 1000 copies of which are available for free download through her Bandcamp page so be quick.

I've searched high and low but can't find a single "ooh baby I love you/ you broke my heart etc etc", is it safe to assume the inspiration behind this EP was not your love life?

Haha! Yes, zero tolerance on the smoochy time policy on this EP. I kind of set myself these little 'rules' before setting out on the record. 1) no love songs 2) write everything live before even sniffing a computer...The rules were really just tools to push my songwriting skills. Its easy to write about love, I wanted to get better at telling stories. 

What exactly is a Sverige?

Sverige started out as an epic poem I wrote for my mates after we did a road trip round Sweden. Travel and movement have always been good catalysts for me when it comes to writing, whether its the rhythm of your stride or the random stuff you get up to or the newness of it all. That trip set me off, soon as I got back I wrote the EP Thrum. The lyrics ‘Hear that whistle blow’ is the call you hear when something needs to be done. 

Your last EP Thrum was a solo effort but for Origami you've worked with other people, what prompted the change and how did the process differ?

With the first EP it was me locked in my room with a Zoom recorder, Fruityloops and some instruments. This time I just wanted to try the opposite. I wanted to write and record as much of it ‘live’ as possible, rather than it kind of living on the computer. This last year I’ve been working with the brilliant drummer Joe Allen, and more recently double-bassist Arista Hawkes – and its really been a time of exploring making music of minimal means, whether by myself, in duo or trio. They’re such sick players that I had to have them and their personalities on the record. Then Jack Allett got on board to record/co-produce and he was also really into the idea of keeping the elements minimal. We managed to blag 6 hours of downtime in a studio to record the core parts, then all the rest was done in friends kitchens and flats. This time I’ve also been lucky enough to collaborate with some great filmmakers - Will Hanke on the ‘Gabriel’ video and Eleni Savvidou on the trailer for ‘Origami’. 

Whilst we're on the subject, your solo show involves an almost annoyingly impressive number of instruments, how many do you play (please list) and will the list continue to expand exponentially?

At the moment I’m playing Microkorg, ukulele, guitar, melodihorn, sticks, shaker and sampling my voice. I’m still having fun messing about with this set up, but definitely up for new elements, as long as it can fit in my granny trolley (what I cart all my equipment in) 

Your cover of "Gabriel" by Roy Davis Jr ft Peven Everett was rather beautiful, but if you could collaborate with anyone who would top the list?

Ingoma Nshya – the hottest drum troupe I’ve ever seen. They’re a company of female drummers from Rwanda – the first of its kind - traditionally women weren’t allowed to drum, but they broke the mould. Imagine being backed by 10 or 12 women dancing like cranes and drumming like thunder?! Powpow!

Interview: Aly Gillani on First Word Records 7th Birthday


One of the UKs finest independent record labels First Word (home to Kidkanevil, Homecut, Laura J Martin, Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra and lots of others) turned seven years old this week so I asked label boss Aly Gillani AKA DJ Gilla about the journey. If you're quick you can grab this great free compilation they've released to celebrate, it's up for another day.

I've read the bio but still don't know where the name "First Word" came from, is it a dark secret? If so please will you tell us anyway?

Well, originally we were called 'Sounds Like' - as in charades - 'sounds like music' - we started getting logos with an ear being tugged as you would if you were playing the game. Then we found out there already was a 'Sounds Like' so we continued the charades theme and came up with 'First Word' - it seemed only natural that our first compilation should be called Two Syllables. I have no idea where this charades fixation came from - I don't even like the game that much....

We're sure there have only been highs, but please will you humour us and tell us about the biggest highs and lows over the last 7 years?

It's funny, but when you start out everything is a high. I remember rushing down to the newsagent to buy magazines and newspapers which had our reviews in, recording Radio One off the 'listen again' feature into my minidisc recorder when we had our first airplay, our first big shows at Jazz Cafe, Koko etc, were all hugely exciting. Particularly as the label has always had a real family vibe to it, you really feel part of something. As you get more experienced you get a bit more blase about it, because it becomes normal. The event at Vibe Bar this week was great, because it was the biggest line-up of artists on the label we've had since we started - I'm really lucky to work with a genuinely great group of people, and to have them all meet each other, socialise together and collaborate on fantastic music is really gratifying.

Plenty of lows too though! Going way back, our second single was by a band called Today's Mathematics - a really beautiful hip hop soul record. To this day it's still one of the best reviewed releases we've had - Radio 1 airplay, loads of press, great DJ reactions - we had high hopes..... it sold 30 copies on vinyl - heartbreaking! We've also been ripped off a couple of times, it's the nature of the business that distributors go under, and that's just how it goes. However, one guy literally pocketed a very significant amount of our money, for entirely selfish reasons - he just never paid us (and lots of other people too). It was pretty early on for us and it nearly sent us under. What's even more frustrating is that the guy is still working in the industry today! The only other real low point is when we have to destroy unsold stock - in the last year I've taken two full carloads to the skip and it's pretty soul-destroying - all those hopes and dreams you have end up in the crusher. It's generally all old releases, we definitely have more hits than misses these days, but it's still hard to take.

Is there anything you've found yourself wishing you knew about before you started running an independent record label? Like people don't buy that much music anymore...

There's so much I wish I knew, and so much I still don't know. I think when we started it was at a really interesting time in the independent scene. We were taking our cues from people like Ninja Tune, BBE, Tru Thoughts - labels that had started when people still bought a lot of records - they'd locked down how to run things in that climate and we tried to replicate that. That taught us our biggest lesson - everything changes so quickly - the nature of the business changes constantly. When we started in 2004 iTunes was in it's infancy, and not really a big consideration. If you didn't release something on vinyl DJs couldn't play it - which now is almost unimaginable. Technology has completely transformed the way we work, and the lessons from today don't necessarily help you tomorrow.

Has it made much of a difference moving your base from Leeds to London (apart from the lack of friendly conversations with strangers on public transport)?

Ha ha! Yeah, the number 78 bus from Peckham isn't a place to start a conversation really! I'm glad that we started the label in Leeds - it gave us our identity and the support from people there and in Sheffield was massively important to us. I still feel that we are rooted in that Leeds musical scene which has produced such amazing talent. As well as The Haggis Horns, kidkanevil, Homecut, Mike-L and Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra on our label, there's Corinne Bailey Rae, Andreya Triana, Shlomo, Eliphino, Kato, Laura J Martin, Submotion Orchestra, Ramadanman and tons more - it's a really inspiring place.

The move has been great from a business point of view even though my reasons for moving were personal ones. There is a much greater scope for things here - Leeds is a relatively small city - which makes it all the more remarkable that it produces so much great music, but London opens up so many more possibilities. We're still proud of our Yorkshire roots though!

What's next? Any plans to sign a group of potty mouthed middle-class teenagers from the West Country and take over the world?

What, the cast of Skins or something? Actually, a record made by them would probably outsell everything we've ever done! We've got loads of great stuff coming up though - we're about to release a couple of reggae records in the shape of a new album from Lotek and East Park Reggae Collective (another product of the Leeds music scene). There's also the debut Souleance LP which is gonna feature Shawn Lee and Raashan Ahmad (that track is sounding crazy!) and we've recently signed RBMA graduate Amenta who I'm really excited about working with. There's an ethio-jazz album from Brighton duo Ye Mighty and we've just signed (today in fact) a 7" from Tall Black Guy out of Detroit. Plenty to keep us busy!

Interview: Chairman Kato on "Underbelly"


This week I headed to the basement of Teasmith in Spitalfields Market, East London to check out an intriguing audio-visual installation called Underbelly, created by electronic producer Chairman Kato and spacial animator Christ Stoneman. It's on until the end of the month, you can find more details here. 

How would you describe "Underbelly" in under 140 characters to someone on the other side of the world from East London?
Hmmm...shit losing characters already....It's an immersive audio visual experience. The dark heart of an oriental teahouse. The witching hour. Damn you, Twitter.

It's quite an unusual project for an electronic producer, how did you and Stoneman first come up with the idea to work on an installation together?
I guess so, but I always go out and see art and installations, so it didn't feel like a step too far for me. I did have Chris to help me through the initial stages of conceptualising things, which was new for me. And in the end he told me to stop wibbling and just get on with it anyway like I normally would. The idea originally came from the fact that I was offered the space in the first place. To be offered a space in such a ridiculously prime was something I just knew I couldn't turn down. Other projects had to take second place for a while. Chris was someone I'd been exchanging ideas with a while and had him earmarked in my mind. So when the opportunity came up I knew straight away who to discuss it with.

There are some really interesting harmonies and layers to the work, is there a singular inspiration behind the piece or did you approach it from different angles and find ways to collaborate?
I started by making a sample of music from which the rest of the piece was to evolve, and I think because the aesthetics of science fiction and its immersive qualities were on my mind people like John Carpenter influenced the initial synth work on that starting point. After that though I just let it flow really, but you can hear ambient influences, hip hop and (in my opinion) Detroit house in the final section. To be honest at first I wasn't really getting anywhere, and realised it was because I was overthinking. Once I realised that I just went back to the usual organic process and it fell into place. I ploughed so, so much energy and emotion into that piece of music.


The environment you've created is far from a traditional gallery setting, can you describe some of the creative and practical process behind realising the piece?
Very true and that's something that I am really enjoying. The fact that it contrasts so starkly with the refined atmosphere of the teahouse upstairs is something I'm pleased with, and that idea formed the initial creative brainstorming; I wanted to create an environment that confronts you, something that you don't expect and takes you by surprise. Hopefully when you've disarmed people's expectations they can go along with it a bit more. Chris was totally into that too. We wanted to create somewhere that looked like it could have been a crime scene, or an alien quarantine or something, although ultimately it's down to the individual to take what they want from it.
The practical process was probably the biggest learning curve. Trudging back and forth to B&Q in Leyton in search of industrial polythene! I looked like a total weirdo carrying plastic sheeting on the bus. And neither Chris or I are exactly handy with a hammer....or even a stapler for that matter....there was a lot of trial and error building this. But it was a lot of fun.

What is a "false shadow"??
Haha Chris should probably be answering this....Chris' area of interest is animation, bringing things alive, making something an experience. We have a very simple object suspended from the ceiling that casts a shadow onto the far wall of the structure. Chris has done some clever stuff with that shadow to make it come alive. I don't want to give too much away for those who haven't seen it but he transforms that shadow using mapping techniques that I don't really understand and the end result is, in my opinion, beautiful.

Launch party @ Teasmith

Seeing as it was your first audio-visual installation, did you come up against any challenges or unexpected moments during the creation of "Underbelly"?
Oh yes. There was a lot of pain. Worse than childbirth.... Building the environment with the industrial polythene was a massive challenge and it's a good job that it's low lit because our handywork was seriously shoddy. I think we convinced ourselves that we had somehow made a virtue of it. I tied myself in knots a little bit during the initial conceptualisation stages until I had some good advice and stopped over analysing things. I wasn't expecting so many people to turn up to the opening, that was definitely a surprise. The most unexpected thing for me is probably just how rewarding the experience has been after all the hard work and obstacles we came up against. Amazing.

Do you have any other projects up your sleeve that take your music out of peoples stereos and in to new spaces?
Definitely. I want more. I've got an idea for the next project. Started to pitch it to people this week, getting some positive noises. This experience has opened my mind to more projects, and I'd even be open to doing something that I don't have to do music for.

All photos by Bruno Costarelli

DJ TKO Interview/ Preview: KarlMarx Project - Mists

Isaac Aesili is a beautiful human being. My first impression of the man was his glowing and infectious smile, a shiny and immaculate afro, and the energy to dance all night which he certainly maintained as he sweated it out on the dance floor of the Ponsonby Social Club. Speaking to him, he is soft spoken and incredibly humble for one so gifted.
The trumpet player and percussionist of OpenSouls and the Recloose band has just finished a new instrumental project with his brother Mark under the moniker of the Karlmarx project. While Isaac is based in Auckland, producing, sessioning and playing live, his brother is a musician and a sound engineer based in their hometown of Christchurch (my thoughts go out to the victims of the earthquake...). The collection of tracks called the Mists EP are to be released by Melting Pot Music; good news as most New Zealand music doesn't see release outside of the country.
They call it "a soundtrack for a science fiction movie that was never made," and it's no surprise then that Isaac cites Vangelis, Animal Collective, Enya, Dam Funk, Aphex Twin, Depeche Mode as the project's influences. Emotional and mystical, yet danceable, many of the tracks maintain a strong melody although being instrumental.

Isaac shared some thoughts with PMOI about his new project:

What was the motivation behind The Mists EP?

The Mists EP is a reflection of my interest in instrumental hip hop, electronic funk and techno music in contrast to the more vocal based soul and r&b sound of my solo album Eye See. They are cousins but Eye See has more organic textures whereas The Mists EP is relatively minimal and electronic in its timbre.

How was the working dynamic with your brother?

It was so easy to work with my brother, we knew so much intuitively about each others background and character, we respect and are intrigued by our differences and it was surprising to know how much music we both have appreciation of. Being in different cities meant it was mostly an internet production with us working separately on tracks as well as collaborating on each others ideas.

Auckland is a unique intimate music scene, revolving round Opensouls so it seems, where everyone is guesting on each other's projects. How do you see your music in relation to that?
For the last 7 years Opensouls has been pivotal to Auckland's soulful hip hop and funk scene but we have just broken up. Being a member of Opensouls has blessed me with great friendships and fellow collaborators such as Julien Dyne. As a musician able to work in multiple roles from session musician to composer and producer i have been lucky enough to be exposed to the amazing work of these local artists and this has definitely inspired me and helped me to find the direction of my own music.

I hear you might be touring Europe soon?

Yes I'll be in Europe for at least 3 months based in Hamburg from June to september touring to promote Karlmarx and my solo album.

So more music will be coming your way soon in the form of a full album and hopefully a session in Europe over the Summer.
Check out their tracks here.

My personal favourite is "Osc" which you can hear below.

Video: Tony Nwachuckwu "Stolen Moments" [Spine TV]

Hmm, I love Spine TVs Stolen Moments but you need so much more than a moment with the legendary Tony Nwachukwu - the man has forgotten more than most will ever learn. This video cuts out right before he would have undoubtedly expounded some hard won wisdom on wah gwan in the music industry today, buy alas we'll never know. Unless you go to CDR and buy him a drink of course.

PMOI Exclusive: Ghostpoet Skype Session + "Freefire" Download ft Dels + Kwesachu Mixtape

I caught up with the lovely Ghostpoet a couple of weeks ago, to grill him about his forthcoming album on Brownswood "Peanutbutter Blues & Melancholy Jam", living in Coventry, family life, "poetry" and comfort food. I first heard about Ghostpoet around this time last year when I posted up the Kwesachu Mixtape, a collaboration between Kwes and Micachu which has since disappeared from the internet...until now. The amazing Coby has hooked me up with some goodies to share in the form of an exclusive free download of the track "Freefire" produced by Kwes ft Ghostpoet and Dels, and the re-upped Kwesachu Mixtape. Enjoy, and feel free to share or leave some feedback in the comment section.

Download: Freefire [prod. by Kwes] ft Ghostpoet and Dels

Download: The Kwesachu Mixtape Vol 1

Kwesachu Mixtape Vol. 1 Tracklist



  1. "Metal" - Micachu (0:00)
  2. "Freefire" - Ghostpoet & Dels (1:54)
  3. "(untitled)" - Brotha May (5:45)
  4. "Monster's Waltz Rework Medley" - The Invisible (7:34)
  5. "Violina" - Dels (12:12)
  6. "Epping" - Kwes ft. Elan Tamara (14:41)
  7. "Morning" - Ghostpoet ft. Micachu (16:48)
  8. "One Pure Thought" - Hot Chip (19:31)
  9. "Radio Ladio" - Metronomy (24:05)
  10. "Wok On By" - Kwes (26:08)
  11. "Stay" - Micachu ft. Miss Bienek (26:18)
  12. "White Hair" - Cibelle (28:24)
  13. "True Romance" - Golden Silvers (31:14)
  14. "Shapeshift" - Dels (35:34)
  15. "Closer (Ne-Yo Cover)" - Kwesachu ft. Romy of The xx (39:07)
  16. "Camping In England" - Johnny aka Man Like Me (42:33)
  17. "Love Blind" - Micachu ft. Ghostpoet (43:41)
  18. "Bread Before Bed" - Kwes (45:04)
  19. "Butterflies" - Finn Peters (47:10)
  20. "Exi(T)le" (50:57)


Video: Matthew Herbert On Turning A Newspaper In To A Score

Always so inspired by Matthew's thinking. When you listen closely so many of the statements he makes sound like a 10% soundbite of an idea, the rest of which you have to consider for yourself to really work out. I hear that Eska will be a special guest and various volunteers will be present on Saturday for what should be a very interesting evening...

PMOI Skype Session: Waajeed in Chile

Waajeed spoke to us a few weeks ago about his forthcoming project "Half-Breed", showed us around the studio in Chile, played a snippet of a track he'd just finished working on, talked about his thoughts on bloggers, why he didn't release Tron on Ubiquity, the difficulty of touring PPP, the 9 projects he's working on, and his plans to return to London.You can listen to a snippet of the track in the video below, it's titled "Nothin Don't".

   Waajeed - Nothin Don't Snippet [] by ameliaideh