6 months ago

The Deli NYC #55 - Half Waif, NYC MixCon 2018

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ands + Gear Read the full features on Elbows Trip-Funk Avant-Lounge Under the Elbows moniker, Brooklyn-based producer and songwriter Max Scheible crafts music that travels through genres, bending tastes and traditions and creating something that sounds totally fresh. Scheible, also a multimedia artist, chronicles in his tracks his Bay Area roots, shifting genres with the moods of the songs, going from old-school hip-hop to smooth synth-heavy jazz to lounge music. (Will Sisskind) [Top] Roland GAIA SH-01 [Bottom] Moog Sub 37 We hear all sorts of influences in your records, what’s your musical background? Growing up, my folks played a lot of ’60s/’70s psychedelia and soul, and my mom definitely kept Sade and Badu in the car. When I was around ten someone gave me a copy of 93 ‘til Infinity from Souls of Mischief, which got me into hip hop, and by extension, jazz. In middle school I started renting out CDs from the library by the tens and just started listening to a ton of jazz and whatever hip hop they had. I started playing guitar, writing songs, and recording on a four-track tape recorder when I was thirteen, and have been writing and recording ever since. From the art on your records, it’s clear that there are some non-musical influences that are worked into your songs and persona. My earliest memories are of drawing and most of my family thinks of me as a visual artist. My Aunt Julie once asked me, if you had to pick one—visual art or music—which would it be? And to her I said: Aunt Julie, to me there’s no difference. When I write a song I have an idea for a visual to go with it, and if I make a drawing I can hear a soundtrack to that drawing. Ultimately I want to tell stories that stretch completely from music, to visual, to film, to physical things. Do you have some pieces of gear that you find yourself turning to the most while you compose? For me the initial composition always starts with a story that needs to be told, which then dictates the colors and feel. I usually start with guitar or rhodes to get the chords down, and from there move to synths to find the particular sounds of the record. I have an amazing crew of friends that play live with me, like a band, and help expand the records. The four main synths we used on this EP are the Roland Juno-106, the Moog Sub 37, the Moog Sub Phatty, and the Roland GAIA. The most influential piece of gear, however, ended up being this old toy organ, made by I want to say Farfisa I found in a shared studio space in Williamsburg. The entirety of “Oatmeal” (outside of the 808s, percussion, and samples) came from that organ, and it pops up again on “Corduroy” and “Blimp.” 22 the deli Summer 2018

Casio DG-20 FASCINATOR In the late ’80s, when bands like the Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses were all the rage, Manchester, UK was the kingdom of alternative pop. The wild parties propelled by that scene triggered the nickname “Madchester,” which was soon adopted to describe that era’s music, which blended funk drumming and psych arrangement with an overall pop sensibility. In new album Water Signs, NYC via Australia electronic one-man-act Fascinator finds inspiration in that sound and other music made for partying he learned to love while DJing in NYC. (Paolo De Gregorio) Your new record seems to have a bit more of a pop sound compared to previous material, was that a choice or a natural development? The best kind of pop is accidental. There may be a little of that on here. The record was largely informed by countless hours DJing at Baby’s All Right, Elvis Guesthouse (RIP) etc. so I’m sure some sort of subconscious desire for people to enjoy themselves has seeped in. The record began in the darkest hour of my life. Fresh out of a horrific breakup, completely broke and 6 months of couch surfing on the generosity of fellow New Yorkers. The only source of income I had at the beginning of that was a happy hour DJ shift every Friday at Baby’s All Right ($50 + food and drinks). Sometimes the next person wouldn’t show up and I’d play for 11 hours and tell everyone Indie Pop Madchester Revival to call me “Baby’s All Night”. Through sheer desperation I grew that to playing all over town which, combined with my dispirited mind-set, led to a state of constant bender. So while I wasn’t in the best place, this album is, at its heart, a party record. Inspired by things I’d play at the time like Fela Kuti, Neu!, Happy Mondays, Dusty Fingers compilations, early Beck, Francoise Hardy, Chemical Brothers, Ananda Shankar and loads more. Was there a piece of gear that was particularly inspiring? The Casio DG-20 is probably the most interesting thing I used. You may have seen it on Flight of the Conchords. It’s just fun. Not particularly rare or expensive or even that nice sounding, but I like that era of Casio organ boards and that’s all it is really. Except plastic strings instead of keys. I also played a really nice Rhodes in a barn on Nantucket on the song Midnight Rainbow. Other than that nothing particularly interesting springs to mind. Is there a person outside the band that’s been important in perfecting your recorded and/or live sound? Over time there have been a few. Darren Seltmann, one of the founding members of The Avalanches, helped me initially find my sound. Fascinator has had around 100 members over the years, mostly one-offs but Jesse Kotansky aka Lord Decorator who currently plays with me has been a mainstay. He brilliantly noodles over my tracks on oud, violin and percussion and makes it something special. the deli Summer 2018 23

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