Simian Mobile Disco's Jas Shaw and producer Bas Grossfeldt's new album came about by chance; a spontaneous studio session and the discovery of a Yamaha Disklavier piano becoming the springboard for the release.
Using the piano, which is fitted with electronic sensors and triggers, the pair ditched their original plan of setting up and sequencing synths in favour of treating the piano recordings and creating new interesting sounds, and so Klavier was born, taking its name from the piano in question.
Their individual backgrounds also fed heavily into the end result of the release, a combination of minimalist piano and dub techno, with Shaw bringing his dance music experience and Grossfeldt applying his knowledge of contemporary composition and his appreciation of the arts.
Following the release on Drone, they came together to record a mix of sparse and crunchy electronics to see you into the week.
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?
We are Shaw & Grossfeldt, a project of two artists trying to make some sounds together.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
Where was the mix recorded?
At Jas Studio in London. Because we can’t be at the same location we have been making shared playlists and then one of us has a crack at it.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
A beach with a monkey and a parrot chilling with you.
What should we be wearing?
Nothing at all needed, whatever you feel comfortable in.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
A dark space but outside with people listening sitting or standing up, dancing, but without talking. Obviously a Void or F1 system would be awesome. The format should exceed a normal club night and be more like an open process for various hours.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Alive in the Sea of Information is pretty nice.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Haha, there are so many great ones. But we both can agree on Wata Igarashis Resident advisor Mix as one of the most inspiring ones out there.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Bas: Well, my dream is it to play one time with Lucy (Stroboscopic Artifacts). The way he gets the flow of the crowd and at the same time has an artistic vision for the night is unseen in my opinion.
Jas: I was going to say Andrew Weatherall but Lucy is a good call. Whichever way you go I’m not sure that back to back is best with your heros, it’s usually best when it’s people that you feel like you are on a fairly even footing with, ideally as an impromptu thing. Plus, you’d go to bits and overthink all the mixes, it would be exhausting.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
Bas: Two 1210 and some Allen & Heath mixer. Now there are two XDJs1000 added and the A&H mixer got updated.
Jas: I bought one 1210 and a made2fade and my sister bought the other one. 2 channels, no eq, happy days. I currently have a xone with guitar pedals attached and a noddy little dj controller to cue and nudge stuff in rekordbox, and still the same 1210 that I bought as a kid.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
The one you end on, it sets the mood the listener will remember the mix by.
What were the first and last records you bought?
Bas: First was some Hip Hop record, boom bap time in the 90s. Can’t remember which one. Last was Lurka, Timedance020.
Jas: I remember buying one of the ‘Now that’s what I call music’ compilation albums which is gently ironic as now that’s not what I call music. Most recent one looks like it was False Reads by Batu.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Bas: A vegetarian Sushi mix with Edamame & Kimchi on the side.
Jas: That does sound nice! Since I got back from hospital my sense of taste went a bit wonky and I got really, really into marmalade. I don’t mean to boast but I’ve had three different jars open at any one time, for the science. I’m working my way though all the types available and as I type this I can see how it’s perhaps not something I should mention. I wasn’t into it before this and I don’t recommend anyone else does this.
Bas: But it sounds pretty interesting. So vegetarian Sushi with some marmalades at the side, that’s what the mix tastes like.
If it was an animal what would it be?
A mokey-parrot. They are rare, but very spiritual animals with a great empathy towards other beings.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Bas: Most Burial records, there is just nothing before and after that gets close vibewise.
Jas: I agree with Bas but would like to suggest that with enthusiastic use of the low-mid eq on a xone you can crowbar virtually anything into anything else, the question of if you should remains though.
Upcoming in the world of …
humans: Empathy and Solidarity. Hopefully.
Anything else we need to discuss?
So much more since so much is going on the world right now. We try to continue to educate ourselves and reflect...
Slagmann - Phase 2
Artefakt - Ganzfeld Effect
Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini - Space Channel
Peverelist - Burning Sea
EDMX - Viscount
Mor Elian - Shoshana's Roses
Kowton - Some Cats
Jonas Reinhardt - Andromeda
Cryptik - The Gate
Barker - Wireheading
Acronym - Mu 1
Bruce - Petal Pluck
Coni - Louis & Juno
Jeff Mills - The Launch Hour
DJ Trystero - 酒気
Afrodeutsche - Make The Call
Ligovskoï - Dautz
natural-electronic.system. - Rituale
Gigi Masin & Alessandro Monti - She Wears Shades
Emeralds - Alive in the Sea of Information
Enjoy this article? Want more?
You can support Ransom Note and independent journalism through our Patreon campaign now.
Become a friend of Ransom Note