As the shortlist for this year’s edition of the Red Bull Music Academy went live today on XLR8R, we were pleased to spot the name of one Harald Bjork amongst the participants, longtime ally of the Border Community whose DJ and live performances can be eagerly arranged by our Border Booking agency offshoot. In an admirably DIY fashion, hardworking Harald normally handles his own record releases via his Kranglan Broadcast boutique label from his Stockholm base, but will be taking a welcome break from the self-made solitude to head over to New York this autumn for an intense session of collaboration, contemplation and cross-pollination with a select band of Academy attendees – both known (Throwing Snow, Koreless, Evian Christ, T.Williams, Objekt) and unknown – hand-plucked from across the globe.
Our own noble leader James Holden took part in a previous edition of the academy back in 2010 in London in a lecturer capacity, interviewed by the insightful Gerd Janson to expound the Holden just-DIY gospel in front of assembled delegates from a wide variety of musical backgrounds. And fortunately for everyone who didn’t make the 2010 cut, a video of said enlightening conversation can now be found in the bulging Red Bull Music Academy archives for all to share in the wisdom:
It is clear that participating students gain immense benefit from this unique Red Bull-funded opportunity to meet up with other fledgling electronic musicians in a vibrant world city and pick the brains of some of their musical heroes, but James was also surprised at just how rewarding and illuminating he found the whole experience to be from his end, as he rose to the challenge of taking what he has learnt over his time in the limelight and applying it to budding music careers of all genre flavours. Participation comes highly recommended from all quarters, so bookmark the application page and set a reminder to check back next March when the call for submissions for next year’s edition goes out…
Elsewhere on the Red Bull Music Academy platform, eminent dance music scholar Joe Muggs has today published a trip down memory lane in the form of a Youtube-heavy retrospective of the early nineties genre he is collectively referring to as Drug Dub, which also comes highly recommended. This hippyish fragmentation of the rave scene was a huge formative influence on our own James Holden, although being still at school back then it came to him via the slightly unusual route of tape cassettes loaned out by his physics teacher Mike Jenkins rather than the acid-addled beanbags of the rave backroom. As Joe Muggs writes, the tracks that form the legacy of the Drug Dub scene (some may even think of it as an embryonic form of what later became known as trance) “do all represent a period of brilliantly unselfconscious exploration and willingness to take ideas to their logical conclusions and a long way beyond,” and this sense of musical freedom is something which James has tried to retain in his own music right up to the present day. Here begineth the lesson.
Posted on 24 Jul 2012.