Sunday, May 17, 2009

REPROGRAM NON-STOP 003

This week's podcast comes to us from the Chicago native known to many as TRAXX, aka MELVIN OLIPHANT III and many other aliases. Melvin has worked alongside such artists as LEGOWELT ('Stranger In the Strangest of Lands' was the devastating track of 2006, released on Creme Organization), JTC, DJ HELL, and many others.
He is also the label boss/creative director for one of the most controversial and SERIOUS record labels to come about since the likes of Underground Resistance simply known as NATION. Below is a brief interview with Melvin for Reprogram Music where we discuss the present and more importantly, the future for Melvin and the NATION label....

RMM = REPROGRAM MUSIC MULTIMEDIA
MO= MELVIN OLIPHANT

RMM: So, for those that don't already know, tell us, who are you, and your many production aliases?

MO: Well..you said who I am above...
My many alias productions are:
TRAXX, XxART,X, THE GREEN GOBLIN, X2, SATURN V, THE DIRTY CRIMINALS,
THE POETIC PAINTER M, MB DANSE,MUTANT BEAT DANCE, VILLAN X, J/M STRAP
and LOST FREQUENCIES as it stands now..hopefully not more.

RMM: You are now running a controversial record label for a little over 2 years now, tell us about it and what prompted you to begin releasing music independently and in such a D.I.Y. fashion?

MO: The label started now 3 years ago. My un-official 1st release was on Relief Records in 2006 when I introduced X2 for our 1st track production (Traxx, JTC, DMC)
called 'Time, Elevation, Rhythm. It was a 12:35 track for the A-side.
The sound of the label I expose is underground but for what I do with it, makes it more than just 'underground.'
Nation is Our OWN sound, influenced from the early inception of dance music to produce an impressive slew of no-holds-barred, full-on electronic/synth rhythm tracks resisting the current trend for an over-calculated digital sound which has retained the musicality in keeping it very real. For each release we've done it's always been different...it's never the same formula twice...
If that was the case we wouldn't evolve, we would just slip into a record bin with a card sticking out that would say who knows what.
Regardless that could be the case at the moment with the way of the economy. When I do release something I do it for the 1 standard point: the music lovers out there..
I press only 500 copies 1 time with NEVER re-pressing again. Till this moment I have NO copies of the 1st 5 releases on Nation.
That being said hopefully I can assure those that read this know that we take the music seriously with a positive outlook to bring new people to join our movement thru the course of what happened back in the days of Chicago, Detroit and the world between the years of early 80's to the late end of the 90's to the present time of the scene currently into the future of OUR tomorrow.

RMM: When did you start producing music? Were you a DJ first, then producer, or did these both just come to you around the same time?

MO: I started producing music 1998..I am a Disc Jock (the proper title)...not a DJ.
A lot of people don't understand the difference..but if you're a head then you realize what I'm explaining. How I was brought up?..I began playin' wax in 1986.
I didn't know about a relationship between Chicago House and Techno back in the mid to late 80s. Maybe others did..but I was too crazed to the radio + parties.

RMM: Your musical influences run across the board. What artists really had a significant impact on your sound?

MO: I am mostly heavily influenced from RON HARDY. I also saw him 2 times in my younger life and I'm happy to say it was worth every moment. I was also fortunate to experience the days of Medusa's where most of the industrial scene began with groups + labels like Front 242, Ministry, Wax Trax, Nitzer Ebb, Psyche, Yellow,
Chris & Cosey and where many others got their start. Somehow all of these artists plus others have impacted me to become this musical artist of sound that has taken shape.

RMM: Jakbeat. I'm certain people are like "This jakbeat thing, what are they talking about?" Here's your time to let people know!...

MO: Jakbeat is the renaissance of what early producers from Chicago, Detroit, London, New York, Germany and the World created. It's a truly separate genre in its own right...the reason is because Jakbeat is influenced from not just techno and house...
It derives from Elektronic Body Music, Freestyle, Disco Not Disco, Punk-Goth, Synth Pop Music, Minimal Wave (meanin rare tapes) and Italo... Our sound cannot be created at random...it's a state of mind and different level of musical consciousness. Hypnotic patterns and melodies to push the envelope of comprehensible dance music. The main problem in music is the will of everybody (especially journalists and professionals) to categorize points and put things in boxes. Once you give a name to a genre - whatever it is - you also give him a content. Then when you do something that sounds new, people will say that you try to break the borders of that music genre in which you were classified...

But in the end there is no border and there were never any.

RMM: You're always very busy with many projects. What do you have going on right now? Tell us about your various projects/side-projects.

MO: Right now I have 3 side projects that are completed and releasing in the next weeks...
My 1st side project is for a new label out of Berlin, Germany called DISCOS CAPABLANCA as MUTANT BEAT DANCE. An alias with my partner Beau Wanzer to produce
'In a Daze' with vocals from Eric D Clark. Eric is perhaps most famous for the 1996 hit 'From: Disco to Disco' with Whirlpool Productions. He has lent his dynamic voice to Tiefschwarz and Märtini Brös, and he’s a skillful producer in his own right, with solo albums on Firm and Ladomat 2000 coming out in early June.

Next I have a side project for a new label out of Madrid, Spain called FRIGIO as J/M STRAP, an alias with a new member to Nation named Josh Werner that I recorded a track for his label a few years ago called Antenna Intl. for the track called Ron Hardy's edit of Acid. For the Frigio label the track is called 'The Owl in Daylight.' It's only 1 track on a 3 track ep. The vinyl will be grey and its limited edition of 300 copies, coming out in early June.

Lastly I have a new project completed for Minimal Wave under another new alias called MB DANSE. This is alias is also with Beau Wanzer and is scheduled to release this year. Not sure on when but this project is completed. Waiting on labels can be a long while..I don't like to wait..!!

RMM: You play a lot in Europe for a good portion of the year. Why is that?
Do you think it's that people here in the U.S. are just not ready for what's serious, and innovative??


MO: I play in Europe because no one in Chicago or the US appreciates me. They also don't wanna pay me what I want. Nowadays the dance music scene just makes me upset...I don't like what a lot of people are playing/producing these days and it's rare to ever get to hear something I actually like, although a few years ago I think the state of things was very exciting.... Plus promoters in the dance scene have their heads up their asses. Seems like people are afraid to play "unsafe" music; anything that stirs up darker emotions, or challenges the listener, anything that might scare the girls out of the club...

Definitely the people in the US are not serious in anyway or open-minded or willing to invite new ideas or concepts.

RMM: Your debut album FAITH is going to drop in July on Nation, and already gaining attention on websites like Resident Advisor. Expound on this release here--- Does its title sum up the general theme of what the album is about? Who all worked with you on this album? Also, give us the details on how many of these will be released, distributers that will carry it, etc.

MO: The title does sum up the general theme..

Faith is a creation from all of my life experiences also everyone's life in general.
The world WE live in..
The Struggles
Death
Life
Parenthood
Finance to Survive
Sharing
Friendship/Relationship
This is the story which unfolds thru emotional emancipation manifestation....

If you want to know who's on the album wait for it to drop. You want to know about copies and distro, go to RESIDENT ADVISOR.

RMM: We're very grateful to have you give us this session for Reprogram Music. Tell us, you have a title for this mix. What is it? This mix was strictly vinyl, right? Do you remember what was going on in your life when you recorded this? It's a rather heavy duty, almost dark mix...

MO: "Dark Rode Multiplex" is the title of the mix. The session was all vinyl, yes..
When I did the session I just played it; nothing came to my mind...

To hear samples of released and upcoming material from NATION and its members go HERE.

So, there you have it.....now are you ready for this session??? Click on the picture, or use the Rapidshare link below. Be prepared, this isn't for the faint of heart or the mental weak!!!




You can also download it HERE for a limited time.

1 comment:

shina said...

OH WOW!!!
I hung out with this guy on my birthday 11 years ago no...12. Shit... I was too young to be out raving. But what a great guy, he gave me a mixtape for my b-day and I thought he was just the dogs tuxedo!