Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ep 32 - Song 1: "Spaceship Launch" by Reidwell

"Reid Turner is a composer and musician located in Iowa City, Iowa. With a strong background in jazz, classical, and electronic music, his music layers together unique instrumentation to create highly varied and music atmospheres and melodies.

"In 2009, Turner attended the University of South Dakota. There he began to develop his skills in percussion, keyboard, composition, and digital audio. Turner performed in a number of ensembles including percussion ensemble, steel drum band, symphonic and concert band, jazz band, jazz combo, and others. After completing a thesis and performing a senior recital recital of original works, Turner graduated with honors cum laude from the University of South Dakota with a BMA in Musical Arts and a BS in Economics.

"In addition to studying jazz piano at the University of Iowa, Turner currently acts as a composer in the video game industry and an independent piano instructor."
- from his home page

Reid Turner - all instruments
Home page:

Ep 32 - Song 2: "Safe with Me" by Trouble Lights

"Trouble Lights have proven that all you need for a stellar pop record is talent and a willingness to branch out: huge budgets, glitzy studios, and celebrity producers are irrelevant. Having a random college freshman from upstate New York fall in love with your band at first listen (in a loud dorm in North Carolina, no less) says that just about any fan of pop music can love your work.

"This is a record everyone can listen to, drive to, party to, be alive to. This is pop music done right. Quite simply, Trouble Lights have given popular music back to the people, and it feels damn good."
- from Ezgi Ustundag on the Ames Progressive website

"If the masses saw Adrien Daller and Phil Rabalais’ group Trouble Lights’ live show, they would grok that there is something freaky awesome happening with both this feisty dancepop group and the overall music scene in Iowa. Trouble Lights smashes your father’s disco balls and trashes your mother’s synthpop paradigm with an indie attitude that more accurately defines the mid-fi musical tastes of their generation, especially the smarty kids of Iowa.

"'Trouble Lights’ new Maximum Ames Records album, The Endless Prom, actually ends too quickly for this writer, because it’s addictive fun and I want more right now. Their pop songwriting gestates easily, and they deconstruct the obvious as quickly as they Mac their lyrics, making their hooks that much more potent."
- from Mike Ragogna on the Huffington Post website

"Producer Philip Rabalais’ looming synthesizers and pounding beats can glisten with an unabashed ’80s-tinged shine at points, but at other times, with its neon-showered dancefloor evocations, it can feel downright cinematic. And Adrien Daller’s alluring vocals are sturdy and soulful enough to fill out the rest of the otherwise minimalist soundscape."
- from Jeff Milo on the Paste magazine website

"Phil and I met through mutual friends when I moved back here from England a couple years ago. It’s a pretty small town so if you have something in common with someone, you’re gonna hang out. He’s like family now.

"We decided to form a band together because of our mutual deep love of really banging electronic dance music with a bad ass female vocalist. We had many long drunken conversations in the corners of parties talking about our dreams and what kind of music we wanted to make. It was inevitable that we would work together.

"We had our first show about a year ago at the Sondheim Center in Fairfield. It was the first time I (Adrien) felt like I wasn’t thinking while I was performing — I felt like I was an 8-foot animal warrior queen badass. Which I obviously am."
- from Adrien Daller Logsdon in a DMMC (Des Moines Music Coalition) interview

Adrien Daller Logsdon - vocals
Philip Rabalais - synths, programming

Photo by Ace Boothby


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Ep 32 - Song 3: "Renaissance Man" by Soldiers in a Field

"Very Kraftwerkian ... very John Foxx-ian (Mikes fave at the time) almost subliminal in the studio ... went for a bigger beat live ... cleared many a room in the days of hardcore & punk"
- from Eric Coleman on The Underground Archives website

"Eric bought a cheap synth and started writing brittle Kraftwerkian songs with very quiet, almost whispered, vocals. He met Mike Sangster at an all day concert in Lincoln Nebraska and they formed Soldiers In A Field. A few songs can still be found out on the net if you look, they were quiet, odd, lovely, discordant. Mike wanted to bring in more instruments, guitar and real drums. Eric wanted to stay with the synths. Mike went off to form the Hollowmen and Head Candy; Eric dropped out of music for almost 18 years."
- from The Cheshire Moon home page

"I was looking for something to do. I bought a cheap Yamaha keyboard and starting working out some songs of sorts (I'm burning some of those to CD soon). I went along to Lincoln to a day long show referred to as The Ordeal. I did this minimalist, quiet music with almost whispered vocals. I cleared the room. My soon to be girlfriend was wandering around in an OMD shirt and this guy made a comment about it (I am not totally certain that he was looking at just the shirt) and they talked for a bit. That was Mike Sangster, a synth fan who had a Moog Prodigy. We met, talked some and got together about a week later and wrote 3 or 4 songs. Just like that.

"Mike and I always worked fast and wrote a lot of material. The usual case was Mike started the music and I wrote the words and added a bass line (usually written by Mike) but that was very flexible. We were probably together around 6 months. We recorded everything. The nice thing was that with a cheap mixer we could plug right into my stereo and record all of our practices. We also got some free studio time courtesy of Tim Johnson. Most of the other bands who got this recorded everything they had, we did two finished tracks with drums, real piano and lots of backing vocals (Mike and the aforementioned g/f Celia, who could really sing, I still can't).

"I would say that with the exception of now, SIAF was the most creative period of my life. Mike and I did a lot with minimal equipment. Really just a cheap Yamaha toy, a really nice Moog and a cheap Mattel drum machine. And that day in the studio is still the best time I have ever had in a studio."
- from an Eric Coleman interview on The Underground Archives

Mike Sangster - vocals, synths, piano
Eric Coleman - synths
Soldiers in a Field in The Underground Archives:

Eric Coleman's current musical project, Cheshire Moon:

Mike Sangster's band, The Hollowmen, on Facebook:

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Ep 32 - Song 4: "Bowlingsmith" by Jack Lion

"Jack Lion’s members unearth the early ’00s interest in connections between jazz and electronic music and refashion it for this current era. Striking a balance between jazz composition, down-tempo break-beats, and hazy atmospherics they have made their mark as one of Iowa City’s headiest and most adventurous bands."
- from Ben Kieffer on the Iowa Public Radio website

"In jazz, the ability to dig into emotions of the moment is one of the genre’s most defining features. With a rich history of improvisation, it might perplex some why jazz musicians would dabble in the more measured genre of electronic music— yet Jack Lion has brazenly fused the two styles together."
- from Isaac Hamlet in The Daily Iowan

Brian Lewis Smith - trumpet, keyboard, and production
Drew Morton - bass, keyboard, synths
Justin LeDuc - drums, samples, and SPDS
Home page:



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Ep 32 - Song 5: "These Days" by Maids

"MAIDS’ original style of Midwest Disco is all about bringing people together in one place to have a good time and get immersed in waves of electronic dance pop. Whether the music is experienced through headphones or dancing at a live show, Danny Heggen and Mickey Davis have developed a homegrown, Midwestern concoction that reminds all of us that life, simply put, is awesome."
- from their homepage

"Conceptually, MAIDS is one of those projects that sounds like it may be so off-kilter that there’s no way it could work. You take Danny Heggen from Seedlings, a gentle, folkish act, and throw him in a blender with Mickey Davis (aka Is Home Is), an electronic producer and composer of mostly instrumental works. Both artists have put out great releases in their regular acts, but together? Fortunately enough, like chocolate and peanut butter, it ends up being a case of two great tastes going together.

"It’s not too big of a surprise that Davis has created strong backing tracks – his downtempo beats and synth flourishes are reliably magnificent. Hearing Heggen take more of an isolated vocal role, however, is a rewarding revelation – his voice is warm and welcoming at times... and heartbreaking at other times... And somehow, the melodies and arrangements all seem to complement each other in the best possible ways, shining together and never getting in each others’ ways...

"The project succeeds most during moments like that, where the moods gently pull at each other, without overdoing it."
- from Bryon Dudley for The DMMC (Des Moines Music Coalition)

"Judging by the sound of electro-pop duo MAIDS, you may guess they're from someplace much warmer and more exciting, like Los Angeles or New York. However, they hail from a place a bit more...corny (sorry, had to) - Des Moines, Iowa. They describe themselves as "Midwest disco" and judging from the sounds... I'd say that's pretty accurate."
- from Taryn Law on the 405 website

"It’s okay for 80s pop to be classified as retro. That’s exactly what MAIDS harnesses: good vibe synth-driven 80s pop vibes. It’s quite dashing, and totally fun... It’s the perfect juxtaposition you want from electronic music—not so sugary-sweet you get cavities, but also not so watered-down and lo-fi that you’re waiting a whole decade for the hook. MAIDS hits just right."
- from Matthew Leimkuehler on the Vice website

Danny Heggen - vocals
Mickey Davis - synthesizers, programming

Home page:


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Ep 32 - Song 6: "Just Let Go" by Centaur Noir

"Centaur Noir is Electro Rock'n'Roll from the banks of the Mississippi River.

"'With subtle hints of denim and a distinctive tobacco fragrance.'"
- from their BandCamp page

Jon Burns = Vocals/Music
Lora Wegener = Vocals


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Ep 32 - Song 7: "Retribution" by Microwaved

"My career in the music business started many many years ago. I've shared the stage with everyone from Slipknot to Mudvayne to Hate Dept. and Sister Machine Gun and everyone in between. I've booked shows, promoted shows and played shows all over the midwest. This is my music along with the help of Jenna, James and Tyler we are bringing my visions to life and sharing my thoughts with you."
- from his BandCamp page

"Microwaved began as the extension of one man's mind. Gabriel Wilkinson. Tired of dealing with bands and the constant marital drama that involves, Gabe decided to become a one man musical machine. Teaching himself practically every instrument and taking lessons when necessary to get a basic literate function of the machines, instruments and devices in front of him.

"His years of working in recording studios such as Front Row Productions in Forest City Iowa with Greg Owen, Cory Carney, Doug DeGinerio and Drew Duckery help pave a way and understanding of the studio process. Then transfering that knowledge to recording a full length record as a member of Smakdab at Junior's Motel in Otho Iowa with Joey Jordinson (Slipknot) and Kevin Miles behind the boards and a special vocal appearance by none other than Corey Taylor himself on the song "Shadowed".

"Gabe found success with Smakdab, touring the Midwest playing with bands like System of a Down, Slipknot, Mudvayne, American Head Charge, Stigmata, Juror 13, Hate Dept., Sister Machine Gun, Econoline Crush and so many other wonderful musicians that we learned from and shared a stage with.

"Wilkinson never felt truly happy though. Metal wasn't his scene and while he got to flex his electronic muscles to an extent in Smakdab it was never enough. Soon Wilkinson chose to leave Smakdab and focus on his own music again finally developing what would come to be called Experimental Mind Therapy. Again midlevel success opening for some great national acts like Cattle Decapitation, Anyone (Roadrunner), Beamus and others but never really feeling truly satisfied with where the music was going.

"Wilkinson took a long hiatus from music and spent about six years writing and trying to find himself and finally released the first Microwaved stuff ever and this time it was all him. The reaction was popular enough that Gabe soon released a second EP with collaborations with Darrin Huss of Psyche and Sean "Satyr" Tracy of PRODUKT fame each contributing remixes and vocal tracks.

"Later that same year Microwaved had a song picked up by Metropolis Records and Distortion Productions for the extremely successful Industrial Music to Cure Cancer Benefit Record! Wilkinson's track was featured on the 8th disc of the set amongst some of the biggest and brightest stars in the industrial and electronic underground and by this time names like Steven Seibold (Hate Dept.) and Max Edgin and Howie Beno (13MG) had started chipping in advice and mixing help as well as one of Wilkinson's Lee Popa the sound man responsible for some of the greatest live shows of his memory.

"After a brief stint on Labtoy Records Microwaved was once again a free agent and released the album 'At the Heart of Death' with artwork by Midwest model/photographer Brandi Von Black as well as remixes by Short to Ground, Lthrboots, Ego Likeness, TeamVSR, Mickle Blvd., Panda Transport, Roughhause and more. After the release of the album Wilkinson decided to rebuild up a new line up and asked Tara (former label mate on Labtoy Records) to take over the reigns as the voice of Microwaved relieving Wilkinson to concentrate on his song writing. Wilkinson had been shopping around looking for a new home for his next release and he found it in DSBP Records out of New Mexico. Long time home of Diverje and UCNX two artist that Gabe admires greatly. Look for a self released EP from Microwaved in the near future featuring some fun covers showcasing Tara's talents as a vocalist and then a new full length record later this Spring/Summer."
- from his Facebook page

Gabe Wilkinson - Programming, Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Production, Engineering, Lyrics


Ep 32 - Intro/Outro: "Red Tide Texture 0001" and Song 8: "Don't Look Away" by Gallery of Voices

"Influenced by the early-‘80s Euro synth-pop movement, Gallery of Voices was formed in 1986 as a trio consisting of Allen Coppock on vocals, keyboards & saxophone, Jamie Downing on synthesizers and Chad Davis on keyboards and percussion. The group, who were mere teenagers at the time, wrote and performed original music. That music came of age when the track ‘Brighter Side’ competed and made it to the semi-finals of a regional songwriting contest.

"In 1987 the band released their debut album ‘Anastasia’, a collection of electronic pop tunes. Gallery of Voices became a celebrated act in and around their hometown of Des Moines, Iowa before disbanding in 1988.

"The band officially regrouped in December of 2006 to play a live reunion show and to re-craft their ‘Anastasia’ album for global release. On March 24th the group released, ‘Gallery of Voices—EP’ a collection of their initial reworked ‘Anastasia’ tracks as well as a three never before released songs."
- from their SoundClick page

Jamie Downing - synths
Allen Coppock - vocals, synths
Chad Davis - drum, drum programs
Mark Donovan - bass




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