Shane Olson of @uDioGa$m answers what this once underground brand of Electronica called Glitch Hop by means of composing and playing them.
To borrow a line from Almost Famous : “It is happening.” A lot of exciting musical things are happening within Humboldt County California as Shane Olson , a 24- year- old musician/producer continues to build a collective of musicians and producer with the same vision. Glitch hop is at its early stage. You might ask what the hell is Glitch hop. Well, to be honest I had no idea prior to this interview. But after listening to it, I think I got a bit of an idea. I would describe the sound as a kind of slow hip hop style with a little bit of funk and trippy synth embellishment. The actual Glitch music itself is not easy to listen to, at least for people new to this style. But when fused with another style it becomes more accessible. A longer detailed expression can be found in this blog.
Humbodt county is known for the cultivation and proliferation of marijuana. David Samuels of The New Yorker describes the county as “the heartland of high-grade marijuana farming in California.” Apart from that interesting fact, the place is also the home of Rockefeller Forest,the largest remaining old growth Redwood forest on earth. The name itself is attributed to Alexander von Humboldt, a famous German naturalist. So combining the scenery, the tectonics(recorded earthquakes of over 6.0 magnitude) and the fact that it is named after a Scientist makes the culture of Humboldt county an interesting blend of people especially its youth culture.
The fascination with deep sounds that can shake the ground is Shane’s domain who also goes with the moniker @uDioGa$m. He is exploiting all possibilities of getting juice out of almost subsonic frequencies with mid-tempo, sometimes distorted hip-hop beats and heavy bass. You might think that for a guy who does this, he might be the type to churn out aggressive tracks. That is not true. In fact most of his compositions are chillout types. You know, the kind you would like to listen to after a heard day’s work. Don’t worry about the subsonic frequencies. You might not even notice them if you have small computer speakers.
This might also come as a surprise but the musician I am talking to isn’t just solely into synthesizers. He is also a guitarist. His cherished position is his Ibanez Electric Guitar. His friend gave it to him for free when he was without one. I asked about his favorite albums and he said they are Infected Mushroom – any album, Until- Legend Of The Black Sharama, Pink Floyd – The Wall, Sasha- Air Drawn Dagger and Primus – Frizzle Fry.
He describes himself as strong minded, free spirited/thinker. We got into a conversation about music because he is also very active in Google communities. He is trying to manage it and even though it is in its early stage, the numbers are adding.
“You credit yourself as a guitarist/producer. How do you describe your style of playing and how do you continuously improve yourself as a guitarist.” I asked him.
“Yes, I produce electronic music and am also a guitarist. My style and sound of how I play my guitar has changed a lot over the years. When I first started taking lessons in middle school I was mostly playing a lot of grunge and rock oriented stuff. I was pretty obsessive about playing. Back then I even was a bit of a singer. Later on in high school, me and my first serious girlfriend had a falling out. I took it pretty hard. I started doing a lot of drugs and stopped playing completely for years. I was going through some hard times then. I still remembered the scales I had been taught once. I picked it back up. When I picked it up my style was different though. It wasn’t rock or grunge. It was darker, more intellectual acoustic music with a gypsy vibe. I cant quite explain it. My tracks “Ahnedonia” or “Ample Declension” are perfect examples.”
“What kind of tasks do you do as a producer?” I produced the question while I started playing his tracks via soundcloud.
“As a producer I am trying to take what’s in my head and soul and then put those in a song. I use a DAW(Digital Audio Workstation, sometimes a few), software and hardware synthesizers, midi controllers, my voice, and a guitar to do this. The processes and task involved usually vary from track to track.”
I listened to more of his tracks via sound cloud. I started noticing a few more details. So I asked him. “Your music has this kind of easy chill-out feel but you also like deep sounds that surprisingly sound good! How do you make tracks like “Echoes in the Garden?” I want to know the step by step process. I am naturally nosey.”
“Thanks. A good magician never reveals his tricks.” *winks*. But even though the young maestro was cryptic about his audio alchemy, he was proud to present his influences. “You ever heard of Tipper? He pretty much invented glitch hop” I said I haven’t heard of his music. “He is from the UK.” He said. ” The UK has a lot of good music.” He gave me a link to Tipper’s Tiny Face and I listened for the good four minutes and a half.
” Spoonbill is sick too. Both really innovative. I think if I make it to be their age I can be just as good.”
Our conversation became a little bit Philosophical. Then after a moment I continued my music related questions.”You have five existing projects in soundcloud:
Bass Harvest Productions
Can you explain each one for the benefit of our listeners?”
“Well Bass Harvest Productions mostly dabbles in organizing top notch music events that showcases some of the brightest upcoming producers and DJ’s from Humboldt County and beyond. I think we benefit listeners by bringing the community quality music in a live setting.”
“Grassgasm is a drum and bass project in collaboration with Bass Harvest Productions founder DJ Grasshoppa (M.I.A.). I think this project benefits some of my listeners because it might appeal to a good deal of drum and bass junkies out there.”
“Subfungus is a collaborative crew made up of @uDioGa$m, Schedule 1, and AliEn LOuNge. This might benefit listeners that have open mind because there are original ideas in these tunes. I’m not sure if the masses are quite ready.”
The conversation with this amazing musician proved to be fruitful and fun. But what is talk without letting you hear how the music sounds like? So here is the core of this interview. His own @uDioGa$m project. Listen and learn.
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