Alfred Darlington isn’t your average cookie-cutter musician. From how he looks (early Victorian Dandism), to how he makes music, to how he expresses himself and views the world, his is a very individual, a ‘bespoke’ outlook.
Alfred was born in Santa Monica in 1977 to an artist mother and psychologist father. Musical from very early on, as a child he was classically and jazz-trained in a number of instruments, but his interests were broad and varied – less a prodigy than a renaissance boy whose obsessions ranged from Greek legend to the mountains of Wales. As a 15 year old he finally persuaded his parents to take him to the Principality. Whilst in a YMCA in London he flipped the radio dial, found a pirate radio station and taped some UK rave and hardcore. “It was my first ‘Eureka!’ moment in music,” he says.
Back in the US he joined local rock bands, jazz bands and ska bands, which he enjoyed but felt limited by,too. At home he was listening to Warp, Ninja and your harder electronic stuff. He started DJing out the more leftfield side of drum and bass and making his own rudimentary productions. They were meant to be drum & bass but they kept turning out different and from his outsider’s experiments his own style was born. He chose the name Daedelus as he had a childhood obsession with invention, and what was he doing, after all, if not tinkering and fiddling and experimenting like the “gentleman inventors” of old?
In 1999 he started DJing on Dublab.com for his "Entropy Sessions" and began dropping in his own early demo productions. Carlos Nino (of ammoncontact) had the show after him and usually pushed Alfred out the studio as quickly as possible as he was not so into Daedelus’ confrontational DJ style, but when he heard a tranquil Daedelus production he took, in typical Nino style, Daedelus under his considerable wing around the LA scene. Nino placed
Daedelus tracks on two influential compilations and then persuaded Plug Research to release his debut album, “Invention” in 2002, Remixers included Madlib, who later took Daedelus' accordian parts and used them on the Madvillain record, closely followed by his “The Household” EP on Prefuse 73’s Eastern Developments label.
In 2003, he was booked to play a show in San Diego by Brian Crabtree and Peter Siegerstrong and they asked him to test out an early prototype of the Monome box. "It’s a Non-traditional electronic instrument,” Daedelus explains. “Basically it allows for massive improvisation." Since then Daedelus has continued to use this revolutionary box, bringing much genuine liveness to the sometimes static world of performed electronic/dance music.
In 2003 he did "The Weather" album with Busdriver and Radioinactive and the remix album "Rethinking the Weather" on Mush records (home of cLOUDDEAD, also on Big Dada/Ninja Tune). 2004 saw the release of "Of Snowdonia" on Plug Research, the album with which Daedelus says he first “felt true artistic confidence, finding a true voice. I was finally in the right zone.”
There was certainly no let up in his creativity. Also in 2004 he released the concept album “A Gent Agent” on tiny German label Laboratory Instinct. The 2005 album "Exquisite Corpse" on Mush album featured the likes of TTC, Mike Ladd, MF Doom. Ninja signed Daedelus for UK/Europe (a relationship which has reached its full expression on “Love To Make Music To,” his first album for the label worldwide and put together with the help of their team). In 2006 “Denies the Days Demise” came out, a record showcasing his love of Brazilian music. Last year he released his first live album, “Live At the Low End Theory,” and “The Fairweather Friends EP”. Later this year will see the release of his collaboration with his wife, Laura Darling, as Long Lost!
And while his reputation has grown internationally, his place in the LA scene has also solidified. The musician that many of the hottest names in the city turn to for everything from bass clarinet licks to advice on obscure electronics, Daedelus has worked extensively with Taz from Sa-Ra, the pair of them opening for the likes of DJ Assault, Justice and Two Live Crew as well as appearing in Erykah Badu’s most recent video.
As for “Love To Make Music To,” Daedelus says that this album is “the imaginary memory of a time that never was! It’s my drug/love record, harking back to that time in the YMCA in London, when I first heard rave…”
"LA native Henry Laufer may be a young fella, but the 19-year-old producer, better known as Shlohmo, has rocketed on to our radar screen in recent months with his lo-fi, psychedelic mix of abstract hip-hop, dubstep-flavored wonk, bouncy synth-funk, breezy trip-hop, and what sounds like lost gems from the mid-'90s Mo' Wax catalog. Now splitting time between San Francisco and LA, in January Shlohmo will be releasing the Shlohmoshun Deluxe mini-album, so we decided to enlist him for the XLR8R podcast series now, before dude seriously blows up." --XLR8R
A versatile solo producer, crowd riling DJ, owner of the revered Frite Nite label and key figure in the Friends of Friends collective, Paul Salva knows how to control a room. After dropping one of 2012's biggest tracks, a collaborative remix of Kanye West's "Mercy" that not only reached #1 on Soundcloud, but received spins on Power 106 FM (LA), Power 105 FM (NYC), and Shade45XM, Salva's work promo
tes complexity through a synthesis of contrasting styles, showcasing dips into house motifs, grooves in smooth boogie funk, and massive roiling bass waves that has garnered support from the likes of Pitchfork, FADER, FACT, BBC's Benji B and Skream & Benga, A-Trak, Low End Theory, Snoop Dogg, Diplo, Dâm-Funk, Night Slugs, and many others.
A Chicago native who developed his craft in San Francisco and currently resides in Los Angeles, Salva has been invited to perform on the world's biggest stages. A 2011 alum of the Red Bull Music Academy, 2012 has seen Salva perform at Sonar, Coachella, Lollapalooza, Mutek Montreal, Detroit Electronic Music Festival, SXSW, The Do Over LA, Boiler Room, Low End Theory, and many others, while touring alongside Nguzunguzu, Shlohmo, Pearson Sound, and B2Bs with Machinedrum.
Aside from his live performances, Salva hones his production talents as one of the cornerstones of the Friends of Friends label alongside Shlohmo, Mexicans With Guns and Groundislava. His 2011 debut full-length, 'Complex Housing' and 'Yellobone' EP both received critical acclaim (Pitchfork, FADER, FACT, and others), leading him to exclusive mixes for Mary Anne Hobbs, The FADER, and XLR8R, while being asked to remix the likes of Miguel Migs, Glitch Mob, Rainbow Arabia, Om Unit and others.
Ryan Hemsworth is a young producer from Canada with a remarkably productive output in the past two years and a totally unique approach to hip hop and R&B production.
With an early background as a singer and guitarist, he quickly weaned off rock into hip hop and more software oriented music, diving whole-heartedly into drum loops and samples. In 2011, his first release No Plans was featured on SPIN magazine’s Top 20 R&B albums of 2011 and he quickly followed up with A Way and Kitsch Genius, which got him increasingly noticed for a singular sound attracting a number of music critics and artists from across the country. He soon began cultivating relationships online and became a go-to producer for MCs like Main Attrakionz, Shady Blaze, and Deniro Farrar, helping craft a sound sitting somewhere between chill wave and trap rap. Hyperbolic Chamber Music, a collaborative project with NYC clothing brand Mishka, saw him at the helm of a 22-minute posse cut featuring 26 different rapper from across America, and his remix treatment of Grimes, Frank Ocean, and Danny Brown have kept his name spreading in the past year.
With his first label release, the Last Words EP released through Wedidit Collective, Ryan Hemsworth continues his sonic collages and explorations, digging even deeper into unexplored genres and delivering his finest work to date.
In the hands of producer Djavan Santos, a.k.a. D33J, what should be computer-quantized or staid is given light and life. Aquatic textures overlap with bedroom clicks, muffled vocals & vacuous guitar to form hazy late night jams with just enough rhythm for a syrup-drenched dancefloor. Colors change over the course of a song — cool blues melt to hearthy reds — and melodies wind their way through shifting textures while new forms are created at every turn. Though D33J is a solo sound technician, his sound is variegated. It is lush and large and it is alive.
Of course, the 22-year-old’s pedigree demands as much. Los Angeles born and bred, D33J attended the city’s prestigious yet public Hamilton High alongside Anticon’s Baths, OFWGKTA’s Syd the Kid, the FIDLAR boys, and Friends of Friends bit-bender Groundislava. While there, he studied both guitar and electronic music, and caught friends’ shows after-hours when he wasn’t experimenting with software at home.
When D33J moved north to study experimental audio and visual design at the San Francisco Art Institute, he was initiated into the WEDIDIT mafia (via Shlohmo, Ryan Hemsworth, Jonwayne, RL Grime), with whom he nurtured a strongly weirdo cult lifestyle and further developed his unique approach to crafting instrument-infused, R&B-touched bedroom techno.
D33J recently returned to L.A. to claim his rightful place among the city’s vital noise-makers. While he continues to seed the Wedidit BlogSpot with bold R3MIX3S — see clutch reinventions of Brandy, Sigur Rós, and Drake — Anticon is giving his Tide Songs EP the debut it deserves. The five tracks contained therein offer an inventive, brightly budding intro to an artist who’s only just begun to blow the eff up himself.
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY
More than 1,500 musical luminaries have participated in past incarnations of the Red Bull Music Academy. Former lecturers include Chuck D, Erykah Badu, Steve Reich, Sly & Robbie, Mark Ronson, M.I.A., Hot Chip, dubstep pioneers Skream and Benga, MF Doom, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, RZA, Gilberto Gil, CHIC’s Nile Rodgers, El Guincho, and pioneering synth inventor Bob Moog, amongst others. Many Academy alumni have gone on to become true innovators of their scenes like LA soul singer Aloe Blacc (“I Need A Dollar”); experimental electronic music producer Flying Lotus, currently collaborating with Erykah Badu and Thom Yorke; Mr Hudson, a British R&B/pop artist signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label; and singer/songwriter Jamie Woon, who last year recorded a Mercury Prize Session, a celebration of the best live music in the UK.
The Red Bull Music Academy has been pairing industry legends and emerging music-makers since 1998 in cities such as Berlin, Seattle, Cape Town, Melbourne, Barcelona, Rome, São Paulo and London. This unique combination of old school knowledge and new school music is unrivaled for its creative exploration and achievement. Each Red Bull Music Academy leaves behind structures to inhabit musical collaboration and creative exchange for years to come. By the end of 2012, there will be eight fully functioning Red Bull Music Academy recording studios around the world.
For more information on the Red Bull Music Academy and to access thousands of lecture videos, mixes, and exclusive tracks visit www.redbullmusicacademy.com or follow @rbma. To access hi-res art and video of RBMA events for media use, visit the Red Bull Content Pool at www.redbullcontentpool.com/musicacademy.