At the tail end of last month the third installment in the highly acclaimed 'Chill Pill' series emerged on German record label Public Possession. The series has grown in prominence over the years and has featured an array of innovative musicians and artists who have used their appearance on the compilations to channel alternative musical energy and chill the f*ck out.
The latest edition featured friends and family in the form of music by the likes of Andras, Bell Towers, Obalski, Eden Burns, Nice Girl, RIP Swirl and many more. However, it also featured some key appearances from the likes of Superpitcher, Suzanne Kraft and Martin Brugger.
As ever the record is an eceletic insight into the more pensive, reflective listening habits of musicians who may be known more for their approach to club based music. Perhaps this is why the series has become such a success.
Anyway, in true blog esque spirit, we invited a handful of musicians who feature on the record to chat remotely about their involvement in the project...
Hey everyone! It's Tessa (my real name). Are we going to discuss with each other by 'replying to all' on this email thread? Loving the concept, also a really nice way to connect & get to know each other :)
Hi everyone! I'm Mogwaa (Seungyoung is my real name actually) and nice to meet you all. It seems like we can discuss on this thread first and move on to other platforms if more things are needed (maybe on google document?) Anyway, I really enjoyed the whole album. and I was surprised how diverse tunes came out while reading the same theme.
So my question is.. how did your track begin? For me, after reading the theme, a shimmering wind chime popped inside my mind so I just had to put it and from there I started the whole track.
DJ Chrysalis (Chris Ellis):
Hi everyone! Sorry for the late reply, I had my first shot of Astrazeneca the other day and it knocked me out for a bit lol. Feeling better now! I loved the album too, so lovely from start to finish. Good Q Seungyoung! The track that Xan and I made came about from a track she started, it featured a recording Xan had found of all the filler words (the ums and ahs) from a podcast. I was super into that and we worked it through a couple different iterations and it ended up like this! In the absence of clubbing during the pandemic, have any of you turned to other creative practises to keep you sane? Or what did you do to cope? Also did you find you were able to keep making music or did your motivation disappear? I feel like most people lost their motivation but a few people found the time to be very productive, I'd love to hear how you all went about it. I definitely lost my motivation, I think not experiencing dance music where it's usually experienced contributed to that. And to answer the first Q I mostly tried to go for a walk in nature to stay sane, maybe a bit cliche but cliche for a reason I guess, nature rocks! I also make ceramics so I did a bit of that from home which was good for the mind.:)
Chris <3 I'm glad you're feeling better!
For me Seungyoung, it was actually a track I had made maybe 4 years ago now. It was one of the earlier Vanessa Worm tracks. I was really interested in the concept of our soul having some connection to the cosmos, and at this time I felt a certain connection to Orion.. so I intended to channel sounds from my inner connection to Orion, if it existed.. or at least I intended to channel sounds from the cosmic feeling within my soul. I found an old harpsichord player online and a song of hers which ignited that feeling within me, and while listening to this harpsichord track - I played along with my guitar and recorded the guitar line simultaneously into ableton and developed it from there. That period of time for me was very soul search vibes for me.. I was 18 years old! It has the number 144 in the song as that is what it was originally named, and at the time I had been experiencing many synchronicities with that number.
As you know Chris, I struggled super hard to make any music just before covid and massively after covid. My whole identity to some extent was ripped from me after Covid.. I had definitely survived many of these shows I was doing pre-covid through holding on to some beliefs about myself and my work which were beliefs created by my ego to make me feel safe. After covid, I came to recognise a lot of those beliefs were not the Truth at all and only came from a place within that was hurt or afraid. Since covid I have faced a lot of my own shit and cleared out a lot of that stuff which does not align with the new more content and secure version of myself which is now coming through after almost 2 years!
Yes of course, not going to any clubs that previously inspired me also put a hinder on that.. and also have had to find new avenues to find inspiration through.. right now I am finding inspiration through connecting to the music of my childhood.. I want to translate that feeling I personally experienced when my mother listened to music at home.. into the music I start making next!
DJ Chrysalis (Chris Ellis):
Coool! Playing along with a song online is a super interesting idea. Collaborating with a recording haha.
And I’m excited to hear what music you make while inspired by the music of your childhood :) keen for a Hannah Montana cover tehe
Hannah Montana cover for a lonely child's dream... Rod Stewart cover for a child who was once secretly in love with their mothers music!
Also!! To follow up on Chris's question if anyone has been dabbling in any side projects like how Chris has been doing more of his pottery for example.. would love to maybe see some pics of the works!
Real Ponchos (Emile Scott):
Hey everyone! Loved listening to the whole mixtape, very cool stuff. "Big Surprise" came about by chance. I live on a small island away from Vancouver where the Real Ponchos are based and I had been trying to get the entire band out there forever to do a full weekend of composing and jamming. Most of the band had already made a full record at the place in 2017 and we knew what sort of sounds we could make there. In Jan of 2020 we finally got the whole crew out for a weekend and set up some mics and just worked on pre-existing song sketches or more often just played together to see what happened. We had composed and recorded some purely instrumental music before but I have always wanted to explore that territory deeper, so this was a great opportunity to do so. We ended up with about 25 hours of recorded music after that weekend, and of that, about 90 minutes of it were pretty decent, which included Big Surprise, which Aiden titled after the fact, quite arbitrarily I believe. We were pretty stoked on all the new music and then everything shut down, so being part of this whole thing has been great! Feels like we're picking up where we left off.
Hi everyone! Adding Turzi to this loop...
Hi Everyone, So happy (and proud) to be part of that Record, congrats to everybody, really intersting meli melo of different sounds, cannot wait for the vinyl to come ! Let's talk a bit about the song, Back in April I took a 10 day break in a Watermill in Pont Aven (French Britany, city of great painters as Gauguin who settled there to enjoy the lights and landscapes but also the simple pleasure of the local mermaids ;-). I told myself that would be the perfect place to make the Chill Pill track (ok I was late). What was cool about this place is that it is built over the river, in other word you have the sound of the running water that acting as a loop that never stops that's why you hear it all along the track I did. Appart from that idyllic point of view let's talk about the reality : I felt very upside down when I arrived and this became worth and worth, so I got tested and I had to faith the truth, I was Positive... I will not go deeper into the Covid stuff but let's say that I felt exactly like being stuck in a Reverberation room, with no dry on it, the world became buried and marshmallowish... but still with river (l'aven) running and running, sounding a bit like granular synthesis. A week after this cool moment, I came to my pianet because a theme came to me and despite of recording the full song in britany, I could maybe try to record the demo of it. And it's what I did, recording the river with the iphone, the old pianet sound with my laptop, I couldn't do more being too kaputt. After that 10 days of "break", I could have gotten back to my normal life and being in my studio in Paris, I decided to record the official version of the watermill song, chill pill ? yes I took it it was my Brainticket. With a little help from Mila (my 14years old daughter) on kalimba, from Edween (my GF) on vocals but also from Cosmic Neman (the Zombie Zombie drummer) I recorded it step by step playing the fender bass, the whawha guitar, the prophet VS, the fender rhodes and a few other stuff that I cannot remember. This title is what I'm calling my chill pill track, my "watermill on the covid river" track. I hope you'll like it, I cannot listen to it without remember this second state, mellow, trippy, stoned feeling that after all wasn't bad as far as I is now burned into a record that will last for a few years. Thank a lot everybody for reading this,
A bientôt, Romain
Hello from Riga, All! So happy and excited to be part of this comp, all of the featured tunes are great and they remind me of a trip to SF i did with my girlfriend in 2018.
Im Reinis (R_R_):
What i find most interesting is the fact how artists / music producers use their memories, feelings, emotions, expectations of a given subject and turn them in to beautiful melodies that serve as long lost reflection. I wrote three tracks total for this compilation, based on three bright memories from the trip in 2018.
1. Was the magnitude of the Pacific, Yosemite and Redwood’s. The size contrasts are quite opposite to what Im used to so that was a huge impression.
2. Was a skate park in Downtown SF? Not sure about the exact location, but i was blown away by the size (again) and the tricks performed by the skaters. Kind of a childhood dream to be a Pro Skater one day, even had a skateboard set up in the internet-shop - skateamerica.com. But that never happened, but Fingerboard happened, and then an electric guitar. Also spent a lot of hours playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 on PC, perfecting my digital skater skills.
3. Was the sheer amount of the city, subway, electric scooters, airpods, cafe’s.
So i got on with the 2nd track, which is called ‘’Balance’’, as it was also the most personal one. The track is quite simple, but i made it with the memory of wanting to be a skater. The rhythm of the track in my mind is one that makes it easier to flip your skate, and the theme of the track to the ‘’minors’’ side, as it’s a dream that didnt came true, BUT thats fine, different dreams came that did came true! :)
Anyway, this email discussion is very interesing, cant wait to read it further. Oh and a question for any of you, if you want to answer - how do you know when a track is done and ready for export?
G'd afternoon all you beautiful folk. Really into some nature pictures/content dripping into this thread - pandemic aside, I imagine we could all sit together on the CP3 blanket, on a hill, clink glasses, talk about our processes and compliment the living daylights out of each other. I can't decide if we'd all bring a found object/instrument or incessantly try jump the queue for the UE boom.
Q. Did anyone incorporate smell/scent into their works? Unlikely candidate, but often inspiring. I've been sitting with the smell of rosemary and jasmine recently, and can't quite decide what tone it dances with. Wooden clinks and sand. maybe.
This track between Chris and me is pretty special, because we got to play together in such a gentle and curious way - each of us navigating the other's style, skill, and vision with such enthusiasm and respect. Chris is such a cool and kind person and I'm blessed and stoked to know him. He also has mad pottery skills that must be celebrated. It's so beautiful to see how another's perspective and view of sound/the universe comes together in a collaboration, and how two perspectives can dance with each other.
Buy the release HERE.
Enjoy this article? Want more?
You can support Ransom Note and independent journalism through our Patreon campaign now.
Become a friend of Ransom Note