Friday, May 27, 2016

Jean-Michel Jarre on The Knix Mix

Jean-Michel Jarre

There is perhaps no one more fitting to appear on a radio show devoted to European electropop than French musician, producer, and composer Jean-Michel Jarre, one of the great pioneers of electronic music.  I was beyond thrilled to get a chance to chat with Jarre about his newly released album Electronica 2:  The Heart of Noise, which I have been playing in heavy rotation on The Knix Mix since its May release.
Never one to do anything halfway, some of Jarre's four-decade long career highlights include having the best-selling ever French album, his 1976 debut Oxygène, holding the record for the largest ever audience at an outdoor venue, and being the first Western musician to be officially invited to perform in the People's Republic of China in 1981.  
In the same bigger is better vein, his two-part album project took five years to complete and features a list of 30 collaborators that reads like the Who's Who of the electronic music genre. The results were Electronica 1: The Time Machine and Electronica 2:  The Heart of Noise.  (Electronica 1 hit the airwaves in October of last year.)  Intriguingly, the project includes a few collaborators who aren't primarily known for music such as whistleblower Edward Snowden and director John Carpenter, who is known for films like Halloween but is a talented composer as well. Jarre chose people who were a source of inspiration to him over the course of his career. The list includes early pioneers in their own right like Air and Tangerine Dream (one of the late Edgar Froese's last projects) and contemporary artists like M83 and Gesafellstein. Naturally, I was quite excited that Gary Numan appears on the track "Here for You" - one of my favorites on Electronica 2. Other names plucked from the music charts during my formative years (Yes, the 80s!) that I am partial to are Vince Clarke, Pet Shop Boys, and Cyndi Lauper.
Jarre actually traveled to work with his collaborators in person rather than simply exchanging digital files by Email. Jarre is aware that creating music can be a very solitary exercise, much like a writer or a painter, and it took courage for people to welcome him into their home studios. Basically, electronic music geeks sharing their grown up toys! The result is music that blends the unique qualities of each artist with Jarre's own well-honed style.
Have a listen to the complete interview and learn more about the project, the underlying themes, and where Jarre thinks electronic music is headed in the future.  Keep up to date with upcoming news and tour information here!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Soundtracks for Electronic Loving Sci Fi Folk

I'm in all kinds of love with Chronicles of the Wasteland/Turbo Kid Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Le Matos!  If you're a child of the 80s like I am, you're going to crush on the nod to analog synths and 80s movie soundtracks.  I haven't even seen the movie, but I don't care!  Check out a track for yourself and then go to the Bandcamp page to preview a few more tracks!

Also brand new in soundtrack land is Star Wars Headspace.  Another thing children of the 80s can get bbehind The album features various artists like Kaskade and Bonobo, but I am naturally most enamored of thRöyksopp track "Bounty Hunters." Check it out!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

DJ Knix of WERU's The Knix Mix Q&A

I've done a few Q&A profiles of artists and other WERU programmers along the way, and I thought it would be a bit of fun to answer a few questions myself.  Of course, you know I spin electronic music on The Knix Mix every Friday night from 10 p.m. to midnight. If you don't, you can listen by going to and live stream or listen to a previously recorded show.  I'd always been aware of WERU being from this part of Maine. I graduated from Brewer High School in 1988, which happens to be the same year WERU was getting underway at the Hen House in Blue Hill. When I returned to Maine after a decade in Massachusetts I moved just down the road from the station. There's a great sense of community at the station, and it doesn't hurt that I get to play the kind of music I wanted to hear. I've been at the helm of The Knix Mix for over two years and counting.  Which is, come to think of it, one of the reasons I coined "Knix Picks." So I could keep track of all the new music in that span of time that I love, love, love!

  1. Favorite genre of music? My heart belongs to electronic music, which encompasses a range of styles. Basically, I’m a total child of the 80s. British New Wave was the soundtrack of my youth, and I subsequently love anything that has synthpop origins. Ah, nostalgia!  Electropop, electro house, electro clash, French house, club/dance...Sensing a theme here? Really, I adore anything you can dance to.
  2. Favorite band? It’s hard to name just one, but there is exceptional music to dance to coming out of Europe. Artists like Röyksopp, Etienne de Crécy, Autokratz, Vitalic, The Bloody Beetroots, Yuksek, Simian Mobile Disco and Soulwax. I also love music to brood to. Bands that have that angst-ridden post-punk influence like Motorama, The Juan MacLean and White Lies.
  3. Favorite song? I’m really crushing on Etienne de Crécy generally, but “Someone Like You” on Essentials (Best of) is amazing. It also appears on Super Discount 2 as “Fast Track.” Other tracks that I adore are Vitalic’s “Poison Lips,” “On a Train” by Yuksek and Simian Mobile Disco’s “I Believe.”
  4. What was the first LP or CD you bought? The first album that I picked out on my own was Shaun Cassidy’s second studio album Born Late. I was kind of obsessed with Shaun Cassidy in elementary school. I swooned over him as little brother Joe in The Hardy Boys. I remember bringing the album to my 3rd-grade class’s show and tell. I sat up front and held the album cover open while the teacher played the record for the class. I couldn’t have been prouder.
  5. What hobbies and interests do you have outside of music? I love hiking and snowshoeing, which I get to do a lot of living in Orland. Besides conveniently living very close to the station, I also live very close to the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust trail system and a short drive from Acadia National Park. I love nature photography, and I take a lot of photos on my hikes. I have two rescue dogs who are my hiking partners and frequent subjects of my photography. This doesn't mean I'm especially outdoorsy. I'm not the person you want with you on a mountaineering expedition.  I wouldn't last a hot minute. I have a romantic notion of nature and am fascinated with natural history and anthropology. I’m a voracious reader, and I love to browse the library or used bookstores on Saturdays. I love all things vintage, so flea markets and antiquing are fun for me too. I value learning new things. I’ve dabbled in acting and working with clay, and I’ve continued to take writing classes over the years.
  6. If you could hang out with anyone, alive or dead, who would you pick and why? I would love to meet Gary Numan, who is one of the pioneers of electronic music. I’ve seen him in concert a couple of times, which was great fun. He smiled at me when I yelled for him to sing “Down in the Park.” I’d especially love it though if I could hang out with Josh Gates for an Expedition Unknown adventure or two. He’s kind of cute (and very married), true, but I’m also exceedingly envious of his job. Something that combines travel, adventure, history, archeology, and anthropology? Sign me up! Just don’t sign me up for a spelunking adventure because the movie The Descent scarred me for life.
  7. If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why? I would want to be an owl. Owls symbolize intuition and have highly evolved senses - seeing what other can’t. They seem wise and cerebral, but they are also stealthy and can use those talons pretty effectively when they need to.
  8. Favorite food? I could probably live a long, long time on pizza and cheesecake. I won’t. But I could.
  9. Favorite book? Honestly, I could probably expound more on books than on music. Music I like specifically. Books I like generally. Though I’ve come to prefer reading nonfiction. I think everyone has a story to tell, and real life is often more interesting than fiction. Devil in the White City is a great example of compelling historical nonfiction. I read a lot of adventure books where people overcome – or don’t – seemingly insurmountable obstacles like Touching the Void, Into Thin Air and Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. I love satirical memoirists like Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris too. Laugh out loud hysterical!
  10. Favorite movie? Henry and June, 1984, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Children, The Shining, and Out of the Blue.
  11. If you could have any super power, what would it be? To know the unknowable and solve life’s mysteries. Like where did the settlers from the Roanoke Colony go? What happened to Amelia Earhart? What’s up with the Bermuda Triangle? That kind of omniscient knowing.
  12. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be? New Zealand is at the very top of my bucket list. Amazing flora and fauna sans large land predators or snakes. Perfect! Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Everest, was a Kiwi!
  13. What would people be surprised to know about you? I have two teenage sons who are amazing. They spend their school year in Massachusetts. They’ve co hosted The Knix Mix a few times. Keston, my youngest, has a boy band aesthetic, plays piano and prefers dance pop. Keegan, my oldest, looks like he could have been a Seattle rocker circa 1990, plays guitar and is into progressive rock.  They both love WERU but neither are into electronic music, and they are spectacularly unimpressed that their mom has a radio show.
  14. What three words would best describe you? Complicated, introspective, sentimental.
  15. What three words would your friends use to describe you? Honest, loyal, intelligent.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Knix Picks for Best Albums of 2015

The albums that represent the top picks for The Knix Mix for 2015 are a mix of treasures that have been overlooked by most media outlets and some heavy hitters, like Arca and Jamie xx, who seem to have gotten nods on every list I've seen. Of course, I'm more electro pop than experimental electronic on The Knix Mix as a rule. I'm also ridiculously sentimental, so music that is evocative of the alternative music of the '80s and '90s gets my attention. If it's danceable, even better. It's curious to see Leftfield and The Chemical Brothers - both formed in 1989 and a big deal in the '90s - appearing on a 2015 list. Welcome back, guys! New Order is on the list as well, and I dare you to listen to Motorama and not be reminded of New Order's first incarnation before Ian Curtis's death - Joy Division. So check it out and let me know what you think!  

Arca Mutant

Mutant is Venezuelan Alejandro Ghersi's second studio album. The album is unsettling and corporeal in its experimentation with sound and subject matter.
Big Data 2.0
American producer Alan Wilkis's project, Big Data, offers danceable hooks for the Internet age. Dangerous features New York-based quintet Joywave.
Björk Vulnicura
Vulnicura is the 9th studio album of the accomplished Icelandic songstress Björk. The album follows the arc of a relationship through a breakup. 
Bob Moses Days Gone By
Deep house meets live instrumentation in this debut album from the New York-based duo.

The Chemical Brothers Born in the Echoes
The duo's 8th studio album features guest vocals by St.Vincent and Cate Le Bon, among others. The title track, Born in the Echoes, has been on repeat play on The Knix Mix since the disc arrived in the studio. These old pros still have it going on.
Empress Of Me
This is Lorely Rodriguez's debut album using her "Empress Of" alter ego. The album is full of introspection and melodic vocals. With Rodriguez handling everything from songwriting to production, it really is the expression of "Me."
Étienne de Crécy Super Discount 3
The third installation of the Super Discount series from the French producer and DJ arrived a good ten years after the second installment. Well worth the wait.
FKA Twigs M3LL155X EP
The "Melissa" EP builds on British FKA Twig's earlier work replete with haunting vocals and commentary about femininity.
Grimes Art Angels
Grimes is the alter ego of Vancouver native Claire Boucher, who defies female pop vocalist convention by doing it her way.
Holly Herndon Platform
American Herndon is not only accomplished musically - she also happens to be a doctoral student in composition at Stanford. Herndon uses technology as a means of self-expression without being cold or impersonal.
Humans Noontide
Humans is the Vancouver duo of Peter Ricq and Bobbie Slade. The album is full of auditory twists and turns. Peter, who I had the pleasure of interview on The Knix Mix, brings a gift for the visual arts to Humans, which makes their videos well worth checking out.
Jamie xx In Colour
In Colour is English producer Jamie Smith first full-length album. Influenced by vintage club culture, it has elements of everything that has shaped Smith's sound.
Kate Tempest Everybody Down
The debut album from the English poet and spoken word artist. Tempest weaves a gritty narrative with hip hop influenced beats and a South East London accent honed by battle-rap practice.
Leftfield Alternative Light Source
I couldn't be more excited about the first Leftfield album released since 1999's Rhythm and Stealth. As innovative and relevant as ever.
Le Galaxie Le Club
This '80s influenced Irish electro-pop band's sophomore album features upbeat tracks that make you want to move your body and an album cover that screams Miami Vice. I kind of love it.
Motorama Poverty
This Russian band is a throwback to the post-punk era. Their cold wave sound is evocative of Joy Division. Motorama is a well kept secret worth a listen.
New Order Music Complete
Music Complete is New Order's 10th studio album. Despite the departure of Peter Hook and the ensuing drama, this album is a return to form for the reconfigured New Order.
Panda Bear Panda Meets the Grim Reaper
The fifth studio album for American producer Panda Bear. A contemplative and somewhat doom-laden album where electronic meets psychedelia.
Purity Ring Another Eternity
This is the sophomore album for the Canadian duo. Sweeping pop sound with emotive lyrics.  
Superhumanoids Do You Feel Okay?
This LA trio's sophomore album is '80s synthpop inspired electro-dance. Do YOU feel okay?

Best wishes for an amazing and music-filled New Year! DJ Knix

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Q&A with WERU's Sarah O'Malley

Sarah O'Malley is the longtime host of WERU's World Around Us, a weekly (Saturdays at 8:30AM) science and nature short feature show.  Sarah is a Maine native, having grown up in quiet North Castine where she fondly remembers summers spent running around in the woods and biking the four miles into town.  Sarah attended George Stevens Academy in nearby Blue Hill.  Sarah currently resides in Sedgwick with her two dogs, two cats, chickens, and her mountain guide husband, Dick Chasse.  Sarah’s extended family still live in the Castine area, and she has the good fortune of enjoying being an aunt to niece, Caitlin and nephew, Will.  Regular listeners might recognize Caitlin from her guest stints on World Around Us.
Sarah teaches Ocean Science at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.  Her interest in the natural sciences grew from a love of the outdoors.  Not particularly interested in sports growing up, Sarah’s primary focus was on the arts (see Sarah's blog post  She dabbled with outdoor recreation in high school, where she was active in the Outing Club, and participated in Summer Adventure hiking trips.  In college, Sarah studied Natural History and became more involved with outdoor leadership.  Sarah pursued a master’s in Science Education as she grew to enjoy the subject matter enough to foresee making a career of it.  Besides teaching at the Academy, Sarah also works with the Maine Master Naturalist Program, which develops a corps of naturalists across the state.  Sarah describes the corps as people qualified to lead nature walks and help connect the people of Maine with “the amazing natural environment we have.”  "Why," says Sarah, "so many of us live here!"

Sarah says that she develops ideas for features on World Around Us by letting her mind wander or by researching interesting topics in the science news.  She explains, “I finally figured out that if you develop a series of shows on the same topic you can get a lot more bang for your research buck, so I've done several series.”  A couple of her personal favorite features were “A Robin’s Life Work” and “Gender in Nature.”  Sarah says the best compliment she got about World Around Us was at a party when a friend described the concept of the show to another friend as “always being about sex.”  Sarah says, “At the time that was true.  I was always talking about sperm and eggs and sex in nature and how different organisms reproduce.  Recently the show has been a lot less about sex (Sarah just completed a twenty-one episode series on climate change), but now that spring is here I'm going to try
to get back to the birds and the bees!"

  1. Favorite genre of music? I love electronica and hip-hop, though I know very little about it. Da Vibez (Fridays 8-10PM with Sam West & DJ Marquard) is probably my favorite show on WERU, as surprising as that might be for people to believe!
  2. What is your earliest music memory? Giggling over the real zipper in the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers LP album cover. When you unzipped it, you could see the tighty whiteys underneath! Also listening to The Grateful Dead's American Beauty, The Beatles' Revolver, and endlessly lip synching to the entire Michael Jackson's Thriller album in front of the mirror with my sister.
  3. What was the first LP or CD you bought? Men at Work's Business as Usual on vinyl.
  4. What was the first band you saw in concert? Taj Mahal at the Stone Church in Bar Harbor closely followed up the next year by an Amnesty International concert in Philadelphia with Bruce Springsteen as the headliner. 
  5. What hobbies and interests do you have outside of music? Trail running, reading, farming and growing food, writing, and photography. 
  6. Where have you traveled? Europe, Ireland, Ecuador, Spain, Lesotho, Alaska, and throughout the United States. One place I keep going back to is Utah, particularly the Canyonlands National Park area. My next trip will be to Iceland! 
  7. Favorite book(s)? The Urban Bestiary by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, The View from Lazy Point by Carl Safina, and Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux 
  8. Favorite movie? Pride and Prejudice 
  9. Favorite holiday and why? Winter solstice because I love the slowing down and drawing in of that time of year 
  10. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To be able to fly! 
  11. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be? I'd go back to South Africa, specifically Namibia in southwest Africa and Botswana in southern Africa, Japan, New Zealand, India, and Argentina. 
  12. What would people be surprised to know about you? I hate swimming! I'm a sinker. I have no interest whatsoever in scuba diving, and I am basically afraid of the water. And, yes, I teach ocean science. 
  13. What three words would best describe you? How about one? Overextended! 
  14. Any special talents? I can tie a cherry stem into a knot in my mouth without using my fingers. 
  15. Who has inspired you? Anyone out there doing selfless work to alleviate suffering and help the truly needy. People like Paul Farmer, who is an American anthropologist and doctor who works to provide healthcare in developing countries. 
  16. What makes you laugh? Just about everything! 
  17. Biggest misconception about you? That I am a crunchy granola vegetarian and must drink a lot of coffee. I guess because I am so lively in the morning. In fact, I raise my own meat and do not drink anything caffeinated. 
  18. Are there any issues you feel passionate about? That the rules of nature apply to us humans too. Our bodies are evolved to move and not be sedentary. 
  19. Do you have pets? Two dogs and two cats. My house is ground zero for dander. 
  20. Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you? My dream job is one where I can bring my dog to work and wear flip flops every day!

Q&A with Aries Marquis

Louisianian singer-songwriter Aries Marquis creates music with a soul. Says Marquis about his debut album, Imperfection, "If you love music that tells true experiences, is passionate and has substance, then you will love the album!" 

Favorite artist? Although I do have a list of artists that inspire me, my favorite artist is Eric Benet. I feel that Eric and I have many similarities in vocal skills, lyricism, and musical arrangement. One of my favorite albums by Eric is True to Myself, which he sets the tone by letting listeners know to just be yourself and change for no one. If you have something, go forth with it, and do not follow what others do. That is how I have positioned myself in my personal music journey.
Favorite genre of music? My favorite genre of music at this present moment is pop. Today everything has shifted to such a crossover, eclectic feel, and I feel that pop has the greatest impact on reaching audiences on a large scale. I’ve incorporated a lot of pop and soul into my music. Pop can have a variety of different sounds, and that's what I look for in order to express myself through my music.
Favorite song? I have a ton of great songs that I wish I could mention, but my favorite uptempo song is "You’re The Only One" by Eric Benet from his Love and Life album. That song introduced me to Eric in 2008, and it was the epitome of how I envision songs should be: great production and arrangements that are not trendy but still appeal to the listener, mature lyricism, very groovy sound, and a soulful delivery. That song has yet to bore me.
What is your earliest music memory? My earliest music memories consist of me singing in church choirs as a child. Surprisingly, I didn’t do anything worth talking about, musically speaking, until the second semester of my senior year in high school. I had no clue that I would dive into music like I have, which is the funniest part. I had no clue that I would be writing, performing and making music that people would actually love!
What was the first LP or CD you bought? The first album that I purchased and listened to until it was destroyed was The Five Heartbeats soundtrack. Before that I just listened to Gospel music, R&B music, and a few other genres. I didn’t realize what type of music I actually liked at the time, so I couldn’t pinpoint why I actually loved that soundtrack so much. Now I can tell you that it was because of the soulfulness! My favorite song on that album was “Are You Ready For Me?” My family used to laugh at me when I played that song, but I couldn’t help it!  The song was on point!
What was the first artist you saw in concert? The first artist I saw in concert was the person that I WANTED to be the first person I saw in concert - Eric Benet! I was given some tickets to see Eric Benet at the River Center in downtown Baton Rouge, and my brother and I went. It was everything I expected, plus more! Great showmanship, a lot of energy, and Benet singing my favorite songs. If I could repeat that concert again, I would!
What hobbies and interests do you have? Outside of music, my second love is politics. I love talking about issues that impact people. I want to impact the lives of people in a positive way, and two of the most certain ways to do that is through music and politics.
Do you have a nickname? When I was in my military unit, my fellow soldiers used to call me “Choir Boy," ironically from The Five Heartbeats. Some of the ladies that thought I was stuck up called me “Pretty Boy," which is actually my favorite. I actually use that one from time to time. The women of my family call me "Reesee," and the men of my family call me "Rese."
Where have you traveled? Favorite destination? I honestly do not have a favorite destination, because I just love to travel. Long road trips are one of the greatest things on earth! You get to see new things, feel new atmospheres, and just get out. It’s a real stress reliever to know you’re not just boxed up in one location all of the time.
If you could hang out with anyone who would you pick and why? If I could hang with anyone, of course, I would pick Eric Benet. I would also pick D’Angelo and Jamar Rogers from The Voice. It would be fun to pick their brains on how they create their sound and what drives them.
Favorite food? My favorite food is seafood. LOVE seafood to the max. Nothing can top seafood! Fried catfish, shrimp, crabs, red snapper, salmon...I can go on and on!
Favorite book? Almost any book that is informative. I love to learn, and I'm a huge fan of history. I can’t waste my time reading things that are made up just for entertainment or are irrelevant to my existence when I can be educating myself.
Favorite movie? At this present moment, my favorite movie is The Pursuit of Happiness. It shows that many people that became successful had to struggle before the big break came around. I can easily relate to the things the main character went through. Like him, I strive to reach the day it all pays off.
Favorite holiday and why? My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday, in my opinion. It’s all about family gatherings and there is lots of food! I've never had a bad Thanksgiving!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? If I could have any superpower in the world, it would probably be telekinetic powers. To be able to move whatever I want would make me basically unstoppable!
If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be? I definitely want to go to Israel. I would love to check out the many locations and artifacts that were discovered from one of the most historical countries in existence, especially the Biblical history.
What would people be surprised to know about you? I think people would be most surprised about my musical journey up to this point. The things that I’ve had to deal with, as I said before, will take you right to my favorite movie, The Pursuit of Happiness. I’ve done a lot yet I still feel like I have a long ways to go, which I am just fine with!
What three words would best describe you? Ambitious, determined, and focused.
What three words would your friends use to describe you? Gifted, intelligent, and hard working.
Any special talents? I am a great public speaker, which I taught myself how to do. I have pretty decent mechanic skills, which my best friend, and I learned on our own. I taught myself how to write, produce, and perform. I think maybe my greatest gift is the ability to teach myself whatever I want to know!
Best compliment ever received? The best compliment that I’ve ever received would have to be a compliment that I received a week after I won a showcase at Southern University in 2011. I was told, “Man, you are the greatest singer in the world." I just chuckled but stopped short after I realized that this guy was serious. Although I've received some really great comments, that is ranked number one!
Who has inspired you? Eric Benet, Luke James, and D’Angelo are among those who inspire my artistry. Tyler Perry is a great inspiration due to the struggles that he faced in order to fulfill his vision, Will Smith for his inspiring movie, but he also came from lowly circumstances. I mainly relate to those who’ve been down the road of tribulation in order to reach the pinnacle of success.
Any funny stories about you? One of the funniest things that ever happened to me was in the 8th grade. It was time to leave class when out of nowhere, my reading teacher football kicked someone’s science project across the room. I laughed so hard that my homies pushed me into the wall, and I was still laughing!
What did you plan to be when you grew up? When I grew up, I actually planned to be a computer technician, a computer programmer, or a computer engineer. I'm good at computers, and I'm self-taught. My best friend always calls me up when he has problems with any computer he has, and I tell him how to fix the issue. Music never crossed my mind.
Biggest misconception about you? The biggest misconception about me is that I'm arrogant. In actuality, I’m a very humble and very caring person. I do have confidence in what I do and who I am, but I don't put myself above anyone else.
Are there any issues you feel passionate about? I do have quite a few issues that I am very passionate about, especially pertaining to American society. I have a strong issue with violence and crime in America, with the judicial system of America, and about the domestic situations of citizens in America. I feel that this country needs an overhaul As far as the music industry, I feel substance has taken a backseat to kiddie lyricism, and originality has been replaced with follow-the-leader sound. There are a lot of music fans that feel that this is leading to the decrease in album sales and music quality overall.

Visit Aries Marguis's website here!  Marquis is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. He promises to follow you back if you follow him and mention Imperfection!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Q&A with GOBI's Chuco Phil

GOBI is an indie electronic trio based in Austin, Texas who create their own brand of electronic dance music by adding the dimension of rap delivered by vocalist Chuco Phil.  GOBI's debut release Gold on Black Ice (Deluxe) LP adds new depths to their signature style; the bass and beats still bring fans to the dance floor while Justin Dillon contributes analog synths and digital plug-ins for a little nod to electronic music of the past.  Drummer Matthew Kevin Dunn adds a live element to the production.
GOBI describes their music as a direct fusion of their interests and love for artists they have been influenced by.  GOBI is very inspired by the early house music often played in the clubs in Juarez, Mexico when they were growing up.  Chuco Phil explains, "We all grew up loving the Deftones and although our music is not rock and does not include heavy guitar, the keys we use and the darkness that some of our beats have in them was definitely influenced by their music."  GOBI also listened to gangsta rap, hi-hop and turntablists as they were growing up.  "Naturally we negotiated ways to create a sound and vibe that we hope touches on all of our influences and loves," says Chuco Phil.
In a city known for music, the band's energy fueled live show garnered them Austin Music Foundation's "Artist of the Month."  Last summer the mayor of Austin even declared June 6th as "GOBI Day!"  GOBI has shared the stage with some artists know to Knix Mix fans such as MSRTKRFT, Paper Diamond, and Big Gigantic.  GOBI has performed at numerous festivals including Insomniac's Nocturnal Fest, Neon Desert Music Fest, and the Pachanga Music Festival.  GOBI's re-release of their debut LP Gold on Black Ice with five previously unreleased songs became available on February 10, 2015.

Ten Questions and Answers with Chuco Phil of GOBI!
  1. Favorite band?  Deftones
  2. What is your earliest music memory?  My earliest memory of first really “feeling” music is when I was about 3yrs old.  My mom took me to a nearby Indian reservation in New Mexico.  There was a ceremony going on where they had built a fire, and there were dancers in traditional garb.  Most of the music was simply made from a group of men humming and singing a simple melody, but the drums…the drums seemed to possess my body.  Before I knew it, I was dancing around the fire with the men.  My mom told me to stop, but one of the dancers said that it was fine.  That was probably the first memory I have of truly being inspired by music beyond logic and comprehension.  It was also the first time I learned how you can meet new and interesting people through music; how communal and nurturing the whole music culture should and can be.
  3. What was the first band you saw in concert?  My dad took me to see Alan Jackson when I was five, but my first concert that I chose - rather begged - to go to was Pearl Jam.  The Ramones was the opening band.  Pure rock amazement!
  4. What hobbies and interests do you have?  We love to get out of the city and get into nature - mainly because we are obsessed with space.  When we tour through the Midwest, we often stop at our drummer’s dad’s house out in Clay Center, Kansas.  We love to drive out to the fields, have some smoke and some cold ones and just look up in awe.  When you can see the belt of the Milky Way, you can really put a lot of things in perspective.  Suddenly problems seem to dissipate and inspiration grows.  If you follow us on Twitter, we are always tweeting about new discoveries in our galaxy and the infinite galaxies beyond.
  5. Do you have a nickname?  I go by “Chuco Phil,” Justin goes by “Dillon,” and Matt goes by “Dunny.”  So, yeah, I guess we all have nicknames.
  6. Favorite food?  We love Mexican food.  Growing up on the border, you could never have Christmas without tamales.  We’ve come to the conclusion that the best gorditas come from a small spot in Canutillo, Texas named - quite appropriately - The Little Diner.
  7. Favorite book?  Right now, our favorite book is Ready Player One.  We have read it a few times and have listened to the audible version on the road multiple times.  My favorite book of all time would have to be The Fountainhead.  I’ve read it over four times but not because of the political themes or rhetoric.  I love the idea of Howard Roark and how uncompromising, unique, groundbreaking, and individualized he is with respect to his craft of architecture, which is his art.
  8. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  This one is tough because we read a bunch of comics.  I was always fascinated by telepathy, but after a while my own thoughts drive me nuts, so this would end up most likely being a curse.  I once read a comic about Gambit and in the comic they noted that one of his highest powers was his charm.  I thought that was hilarious, but as an adult I realize how powerful that can be.  Just ask George Clooney or Bill Clinton.
  9. Best compliment ever received?  When the crowd instantly begins to dance is not only the greatest immediate feedback, but also the best compliment we can receive.  Quite simply - dancing is like being on a jet ski, and you can’t be mad when you’re on a jet ski.
  10. Biggest misconception about you?  A lot of people think since we play electronic music that all we do is DJ, go to clubs and listen to music that goes “oonce, oonce, oonce” all day and night.  But being born in Texas and being classically trained in different instruments, we love to check out jazz artists, bluegrass, rock, and classical.  We like to switch instruments when we practice and just jam out; to reach that point of spontaneity and get back to improvisation.
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