CHOP EXCLUSIVE MIX FOR SOLID STEEL RADIO SHOW

Stream: Chop Solid Steel Mix 2014

I've been listening to quite a lot of French, Japanese and electronic library music of late. This mix for me has been about discovering and re-discovering some fantastic artists/music from around the globe.  Wether its the eccentric French sounds of Marc Moulin's - Telex, mutations from YMO genius Haruomi Hosono or the influential proto-electronica of Manuel Gottsching I think there's something here for everyone from diggers to digesters of great music.  Big thanks go out to DJ Food for making this one happen.

TRACKLIST

  • Logic System _ Unit _ Express
    Dave Sarkys _ Colours Theme 2&3 _ Mondiophone
    Telex _ Victime De La Societe _ Vogue
    Snowy Red _ Euroshima (Wardance) _ Dirty Dance
    Roland Bocquet _ Exotique _ RCA 
    Haruomi Hosono  _ Alternative 3 _ Non-Standard
    Derek Scott _ Sounds Unusual _ Music De Wolfe
    Areski Belkacem/Brigitte Fontaine _ Patriarcat (Edit) _ Saravah RCA
    JP Decerf _ Flying _ MP2000
    Gary Sloan and Clone _ Harmonitalk _ KM Records/Cache Cache
    Logic System _ Clash _ Express
    Chop _ Rendezvous _ NowAgain Records
    Amedeo Tommasi _ Technologia E Computer _ Fonitcetra
    Sheila Chandra _ ABoneCroneDrone 7 _ Shakti Records
    Manuel Gottsching _ Quiet Nervousness   _ Inteam GmbH 
    Jacques Denjean _ The Cult _ Silver and Gold
    B.E.F. _ Uptown Apocalypse _ Virgin
    Haruomi Hosono   _ Gaplus   _ Yen Records
    George Garvatentz _ Haschhisch Party _ Pathe
    Marc Hollander, Aksak Maboul _ The Mooche _ Kamikaze

Source: https://soundcloud.com/ninja-tune/solid-st...

SOUND COLOUR VIBRATION INTERVIEW

Q&A WITH MR. CHOP FROM NOW-AGAIN RECORDS | INTERVIEW FEATURES

Posted by nickabitia 

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Mr. Chop / Now-Again Records

Mr. Chop, aka Coz  Littler, has been pretty busy as-of-late, recently releasing a new full length LP entitledIlluminate for Now-Again records and overseeing the day-to-day activities as proprietor of UK’s foremost analogue recording studio, APE Studios. Everything from a EMS VCS3 used by Pink Floyd to Oberheim mono-synths made famous by Tangerine Dream are all within an arm’s reach, running together in perfect harmony though Chop’s self-proclaimed backbone, a Helios mixing desk that was once owned by The Who. With the amount of history engraved in each piece of equipment and such a wonderful caretaker in the pilot seat, a new sense of hope is created for the analogue era, bridging its timeless sound into the consciousness of a new generation. When Coz is not recording bands, producing tracks and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the game, he runs amok in the studio as Mr. Chop. With an almost alchemistic flair that combines a wonderful blend of experimentation and sonic exploration, he constantly challenges the concept of ‘traditional’; Chop does not bend the rules, he creates his own reality time and time again. Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Coz to talk a bit about his most recent release for Now-Again, his amazing analogue studio, and what we can expect next. Check out Sound Colour Vibration’s exclusive interview with the amazing Mr. Chop below.

Mr. Chop – “Cortex” – Switched On ‎- Five Day Weekend

Q&A with Mr. Chop
Conducted by Nick Abitia
Summer 2013

Nick: Hello Mr. Chop! Thank you so much for sitting down with us today, we really appreciate your time. Your approach to sound is so unique. When did you start creating music and who were some of your earliest inspirations?

Mr. Chop: I’ve been messing around with sounds since my early teens and I had a few brief band stints but nothing serious began to take shape until I hit my 20′s. I started making music on my own at the height of the sampler as 90′s hip hop had already made a huge impact on me. I was digging Portishead and similar artists in that trip-hop world and it was DJ Shadow who made me realise that you didn’t have to be musical in the tradition sense to make music. My first experiments were on a 4-track Tascam porta-studio with a primitive record collection and an Akai MPC sampler. I released a few records at the time on Jazzman’s Stark Reality label, but soon after I realised I’d much prefer to make the sounds myself than sample from other records. However by getting into all this obscure music through wanting to know the samples used in hip hop, it laid some strong musical foundations and influenced me to make records and record things myself live. At this point I was listening to so much stuff, from Funk 45′s, artists like David Axelrod, Serge Gainsbourg, Nino Nardini, Francois De Roubouix, Jean-Claude Vannier, Alain Gorraguer, White Noise, Silver Apples, Can, library records, soundtracks and many more.

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Nick: What kind of music were you surrounded by at an earlier age and when you started making musical choices on your own, what did you tend to gravitate towards?

Mr. Chop: My earliest musical memories as a child were from mix tapes that a friend of my Dad’s used to make me. Beatles, Lennon, Pink Floyd & various 60′s psychedelic music, unknown to me at the time who these bands were, but I loved those tapes. My mum used to play David Bowie and Kate Bush and my Dad had a rather large varied record collection that he had been collecting since the 60′s, so music was the norm at home. I was exposed to the usual chart non-sense on tv shows like ‘Top of the Pops’, but I remember being drawn in by more alternative acts like The Art of Noise, Paul Hardcastle, Gary Numan and The Electro Streetsounds series made a big impression on me. In England we had all those crazy BBC Radiophonic Workshop interludes running on television (Doctor Who etc.) and lots of library music still doing the rounds. Dark themes in kids programmes seemed to be the norm, just check out some kid’s tv from the 80′s like PictureBox and Chocky in particular used to scare the living shit out of me! Must be that cold war, nuclear threat that was probably instilled in peoples psyches and bled into culture. When you look back the music that came about then, it is so creative and inspiring even to me now. As child of the 80′s I grew up in an old dilapidated seaside resort in the shadow of Liverpool, well past its glory days. The sounds from video games and these machines out of the local arcades I think had a subliminal effect on me, at this young age you absorb so much from your surroundings.

Nick: What are some of your favorite memories related to learning production and experimenting with analogue hardware?

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Mr. Chop: I’m still learning new ways of production whenever I enter the studio. I like the happy accidents you don’t plan for and the unexpected results that become of this. It could be something as simple as learning how to make a tape loop then playing it on backwards by mistake and digging how it sounds, or just getting a great drum sound with one or two microphones. Discovering analogue and modular synthesisers for the first time was huge for me and running a sequencer thinking your Giorgio Moroder orTangerine Dream – ha! Recently I discovered an old 70′s computer that has this amazing speech synthesis chip inside, I actually tracked this thing down on eBay and spent time learning how to program it with Basic, I merged that with my own voice and the results are fascinating. I like the experimenting that most people don’t have the time for in studios anymore, to manipulate organic sounds with a musique concrete approach really does it for me. Running the studio commercially has helped me learn some good tricks from other producers as well, Ethan Johns showed me his Dad’s famous Glyn Johns three mic drum technique. He was responsible for recording the bulk of 60/70′s classic bands including The Beatles, Kinks, Stones…

Nick: Can you talk about some of the studio work that you did with MF Doom? How did you two get together?

Mr. Chop: DOOM heard my EP Lightworlds, a few various sample replays and beats I had made a while back via Egon at Now-Again. I was approached to work on a few joints which ended up becoming “CELLZ”, “SUPERVILLIANZ”, “SUPERVILLANZ INTRO” and “BUMPY’S MESSAGE”. I got a call which went along the lines of, “Chop, DOOM wants you to work with him on some tracks. Can you turn it around in three days?” ‘Hmm? What? Fuck. Hell yeah!’ I worked some of his ideas that were well-defined with strong direction already. Going into the analogue world of my nutty studio, I decided it best to replace with live instrumentation: guitar, bass, Mellotron, Moog, percussion, strings and brass were laid down. I got a string arranger in to help me with “CELLZ”. Then we added some Chop production elements and we nailed it over the 3 days. We never actually met in person, just worked it all out over a few emails.

Nick: Sounds From The Cave in 2008 was an amazing full length debut. What was an average day like for you while working on that record?

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Mr. Chop: An average day could have been anything from recording drums, chopping up bits of weird electronica, messing around having some jam sessions, modular synths and sequencer freakouts etc. It was all done quite primitively off the cuff with no clicks tracks etc. Sounds From The Cavewas the result of good few months just being locked away in the studio having a ton of fun. I really enjoyed making that record, it was the first time I’d really put my mind to something and saw it through to the end. It all came off the back of a really busy time recording other peoples music, bands etc. I had lots of good people involved in making this record and it was the first time I’d worked with Malcolm Catto from The Heliocentrics. Chris (Dusty) from Jazz & Milk Records really let me do my thing and we got some great artwork from Dan Mcpharlin to complement the whacked out sounds that were created over these months.

Nick: How did Pete Rock’s music have an effect on you and can you talk briefly about the record For Pete’s Sake?

Mr. Chop: The Pete Rock covers album was really hard to get sounding right. I was approached to do this record after we put out Lightworlds and did the tracks for DOOM, but I would never have conceived doing a record of hiphop covers like that myself. I was asked to through a contact at Now-Again and it seemed like a good thing to do after a bit of thought. In hindsight it was very hard to re-create another man’s work in fresh light, I think it turned out ok but if I’ m honest it’s not my best work.

Nick: The groove in “Building Blocks” is so unique. Can you talk a bit about that track and maybe break down the conceptual side for us?

Mr. Chop: Conceptually, “Building Blocks” grew out of a drumming, synth session with Malcolm Catto. He’d been at the studio for a week or so and we recorded quite a bit of music together. This track was originally just a pulse sequence from the VCS3 and Mal added some Kraut flavoured heavy drums. I wanted to create something mutated, abrasive and nihilistic so I spent many a month sculpting this beat and sequence into shape. I’d been listening to lots of post punk, new wave electronic bands while I was writing Illuminate and I basically wanted a strange mutation of those styles to kick off the album. Vocals came in the shape of my voice processed via a WW2 bomber plane’s microphone that a friend restored for me. We put it through various modulars, filters, synths, and processed it into this Mutant humanoid. It’s hardly traditional vocals but I think it does give the record a little more personality and removes these tracks from being just instrumentals. I knew that this should be the opening track on Illuminate so it made sense to do a space warp introduction for it too.

Mr. Chop – “Building Blocks” – Illuminate – Now-Again Records

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Nick: Can you tell me about APE Recording Studios and maybe highlight some of the kit that is unique to that studio?

Mr. Chop: Ape Studios was setup as a double venture, one as an outlet for making all this crazy Chop music and the other as a means to basically survive and pay the rent. I produce things for other people and rent the studio out to bands, various producers/engineers and when any downtime comes along I self indulge myself and have some fun with friends and like-minded people. That’s pretty much always been the way I’ve run things to this day. Equipment wise, well, you can find lots of vintage drums, guitars, etc. We have more obscure modular synths, inc Moog, Putney EMS VCS3 used by Pink Floyd, Radiophonic Workshop, White Noise, and Oberheim mono-synths a-la Tangerine Dream are a recent addition. A Helios mixing desk that once belonged to The Who provides the backbone of the studio alongside a German Neumann board that is great for Krautrock. Studer tape machines that served their time at the BBC live here, vintage valve microphones too. Lots of gadgets for sound manipulation, test oscillators, valve 60′s plate reverbs, we also have an obscure Phillips valve delay machine that was used to correct delay times in halls and train stations that is pretty unique to the studio. I’m a freak, I could go on and on…

Nick: How did you connect with Now-Again Records and what has it been like to work with them?

Mr. Chop: I hooked up with Now-Again when they we’re affiliated with Stones Throw Records back in 2009. It was Adam Manella from MRR-ADM that introduced my music to Egon which in turn led to him getting in touch, asking what I was up to. I’d recently finished an Ep Sounds from the Cave for Jazz Milk Records and was already working on demo’s for the Lightworlds Ep which Egon liked and offered to release on his label, coincidentally these tracks ended up being my first release for Now Again. Working with them has been a pretty chilled relationship, Egon just lets me get on with it for the best part and when I have something ready I’ll just forward it to him and we discuss and take it from there. We keep in touch, bounce ideas and mixes back and forth and generally it’s that simple – as it should be!

Nick: Do you have any current projects that you are working on?

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Mr. Chop: Recently I’ve just finished and released the new Chop album titled Illuminate for Now-Again Records. A remix for Kelpe’s new album has just been put out and I’ve been producing a solo record with Joe Fearon for The Zutons frontman Dave McCabe which should be ready for release in 2014. Aside from this I’m working on ideas for new Chop material with an album of alternative versions and remixes for Illuminate planned. There’s a bunch of really interesting Chop stuff that’s never seen the light of day so I’m thinking of putting this out on some special limited vinyl next year. Hopefully we might be doing some work with Electronic mastermind Dimlite, recently he’s just done a great remix for a track from Illuminate. Also Kenny Dope is putting something together with various selections from the Chop back catalogue, watch this space.

Nick: Thank you so much for taking some time to be with us today, we greatly appreciate it!

Mr. Chop: Thank you for taking the time to ask some well thought out questions.

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Sleeper Video & Illuminate Outtakes...

 

A new video for Sleeper' from the new MR.CHOP Album 'Illuminate' released on Nowagainrecords.com 2013 Featuring Malcolm Catto. Motorik highway meltdown. Sleeper Video by Ian De Cerbo

 

Part One from a series of outtakes from the new MR.CHOP Album 'Illuminate' released on Nowagainrecords.com 2013 Featuring Malcolm Catto PSYCHO BUBBLE....Visuals by Shawn Knol

CHOP - RAASH HOUR MIX

Exclusive all Chop mix for Raash Hour on the heels of his Now-Again 2013 release Illuminate with interview to follow...

TRACKLIST - All music by Chop

  • Bow Down To The Mutant
  • Brainticket
  • Happy Birthday
  • Conduit Closing
  • Building Blocks
  • Psycho Bubble
  • Snob
  • Intermezzo 1
  • The Arrival
  • Don't Try To Think
  • Glass
  • Picture Box
  • You Want More Life
  • Satellite
  • Intermezzo 3
  • Level One
  • Infomatic 3000
  • Intermezzo 7
  • Unknown Beat

Chop Quietus Mix

Stream: Chop Mix 2013 – a steady stream of the influences on his forthcoming album Illuminate album out August 13th 

Our friends at the UK’s Quietus have been so kind as to host Chop’s Mix 2013, which he assembled as he was putting the finishing touches on Illuminate. 

As they write, In advance of the album's release, he's recorded us an exclusive mix that offers some sonic co-ordinates to help plot the album's course, taking the listener on a jagged journey all the way from Broadcast to the uneasy thrum of Suicide, kosmische flavours from Popol Vuh and Cluster, Alexander Robotnik and many more. You can listen to it via the embed below, and find the full tracklist at the bottom of the page.

TRACKLIST

  • Broadcast - Pendulum
  • Casino Music - Viol AF 015
  • Alexander Robotnick - Dance Boy Dance
  • Suicide - Ghost Rider
  • Hugues Le Bars - Derap
  • Heldon - Circulus Vitiosis
  • Anthony King - Misty River
  • Eberhard Schoener - Retjak
  • The Pawnshop - My Shade
  • Nino Nardini - Shere Khan
  • Cluster - Hollywood
  • White Noise - Love Without Sound
  • Roger Jackson - Flashpoint
  • Jean-Yves Labat - Cash
  • Yamasuki Singers - Yama Yama
  • Franz Auffery - Popcorn
  • Deekay Jones - New York New York
  • Harald Grosskopf - So Weit, So Gut
  • Popol Vuh - Aguirre
  • Man Parrish - Boogie Down (Dub)
  • Astromusik - Gemini

CHOP - MUTANT EP

New Chop EP - Mutant Via - https://drip.fm/nowagain

Chop - who's dropped the "Mister" in the years between the release of 2009's Lightworlds and now - was supposed to have released his debut album for Now-Again years ago. But the album that Lightworlds was meant to precede took a long, winding detour. As The Heliocentrics began working on their recently issued 13 Degrees of Reality, Chop discarded the sessions he’d started with Catto and Ferguson, hoping to find a more singular voice. He holed himself up in his Ape Studios, located off a dirt road adjacent to a 19th century pub alongside an estuary that abuts Northern Wales in Cheshire, and rethought the process. Fueled by Catto’s drums, this time embellished by Chop and synth-enthusiast Mark Burnley’s handmade modular units, the results hinted at a more experimental future – a departure even from Lightworlds – and lead Chop deep into his record collection, where he found inspiration from the likes of Wendy Carlos’ Clockwork Orange period, Popul Vul, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Working with a TKS sequencer and the EMS VCS3 synthesiser amongst a few other analog oddities, Chop decided he would try his hand at the nearly fifty year old – and rarely successful - quest to musically merge the organic and the electronic.

After nearly a further year of recording, Chop ended up with a host of material – long songs and short ones, sketches and finished ideas, drums on the road to anywhere and sessions awash in synthesized soundwaves. Rather than employ modern editing techniques made possible by software like Protools, Chop preferred to look to Can’s Holger Czukay and his razor-sharp tape splicing exercises in the band’s formative era as an influence.

He watched the nights turn into days as he attempted to edit together an album off-the-grid, overdubbing guitars and other instruments as he felt the tracks needed. But the music started falling into himself and Chop found himself in the center of spiral. The passing of his father during this time didn’t help pull himself out, as he dealt with the pain by constantly writing, rewriting and twisting one idea into another.

It wasn’t until 2012 when his friend Joe Fearon, A&R for the likes of Liverpool bands The Coral and The Zutons, came by the studio to hear what Chop had been working on that he realized how desperate a plight he was in. “I’m going insane making this record,” he pleaded, and Fearon took heed. He signed on and immediately dug into the pile of music Chop had created, picking out the tracks he thought could work as an album, while still encouraging Chop to search for the perfect additions to the raw tracks. Searching for voices, Chop found that his own voice – when processed through a WWII era bomber pilot’s reconditioned microphone or deconstructed via an early Texas Instruments computer - became an essential, ethereal element as likely to fall on the analog as the electronic of his album. Former lead guitarist of The Coral’s Bill Ryder Jones, provided parts for the opening track.  And searching for the inspiration to tie the songs together took Chop and Fearon through the rest of their record collections – from hip hop to disco to new wave to minimal synth – but they really didn’t need to look further than across the estuary, where a 19th century power station still cackled with life, giving the pair a the nostalgia for a the past’s hope for the future – a retro-futurism, if you will – which pulled them into the album’s final stages.

We'll be presenting that album here sometime in late June - well before it's mid-July release date. But in the meantime, you can enjoy this sampler EP with three of our favorite songs from the album. 

Listen here 

1 Bow Down to the Mutant 04:12

2 Picture Box 03:01

3 Building Blocks 04:33

Produced by Coz Littler & Joe Fearon

Mixed and engineered by Coz Littler
Additional engineering by Mark Burnley (also pre-mastering), Oli Buchanan and Mike Burnham.
Mastered by Chris Potter at Electric Mastering.

Drums Malcolm Catto

Recorded and mixed at Ape Studios UK 2013.  

Subscribe Nowhttps://drip.fm/nowagain

ANNOUNCING: CHOP “ILLUMINATE” ALBUM/”MUTANT” EP

Via Now-againrecords.com Release date July 16th

Studio wizard Chop pulls out all of the analogue stops on the Motorik highway to Cybotron by way of a Tangerine Dream on his debut album for Now-Again. Mutant EP available now via Now-Again Deluxe; Illuminate album out July 16th.

Mr. Chop’s debut EP for Now-Again in 2009, Lightworlds, drew together anthemic synth-rock, the jagged sound of Italian prog monsters Goblin, and musique concrète, with surprisingly accessible results. Since then, the artist known to friends as Coz Littler has rid himself of the Mister and returns with renewed focus for his debut album Illuminate known simply as Chop.

The path that took him here was winding indeed. Isolating himself in his Cheshire, UK studio in late 2009, Chop decided to try his hand at the nearly fifty year old – and rarely successful – quest to musically merge the organic and the electronic. Three years later, surrounded by a host of musical material and reeling from the passing of his father, his music started falling into itself and Chop found himself in the center of the spiral.

Enter his friend Joe Fearon, A&R for the likes of Liverpool bands The Coral and The Zutons. With Fearon’s help, Chop whittled down hours of recordings to a selection of the most inspired moments. It became clear that while each stood up on its own, they lacked a unifying theme. Chop discovered a solution in the mutated sound of his own voice – at times processed through a WWII-era bomber pilot’s reconditioned microphone, at others deconstructed via an early Texas Instruments computer. And then everything fell into place: Heliocentrics drummer Malcolm Catto’s rhythm tracks were edited off-the-grid until they became more Neu than James Brown, more driving than syncopated; Bill Ryder Jones former lead guitar from The Coral stepped in for the lead guitar parts, which lent a powerful psychedelic 60s rock sound to the proceedings; Chop repurposed a range of obsolete musical gear to renewed ends, in line with his desire to search for a future imbued with the innocence of the past.

The result is Illuminate, an album equally inspired by the retro-futurism of the still-sputtering 19th century power station in Northern Wales, across the estuary from Chop’s studio, the events of his life, and Chop’s collection of hip-hop, funk, library, disco, new wave and minimal synth records. A record of extreme personal significance to Chop, the creation of its music conversely helped him to silence the chaos of an increasingly neurotic world.

Unsurprisingly, Illuminate traverses a number of moods. The jackhammer pounding of ‘Building Blocks’ segues into the moody but serene ‘Picture Box’. The futuristic soundscape ‘Arcane Future’ takes an uplifting melodic turn, revealing Chop’s hopes for a more perfect tomorrow. Tape loops and effects, field recordings and drum programming all play a role inIlluminate, and as the majority of the tracks were assembled far away from a detailed Pro-Tools grid, in what Chop calls a “mutant modern way of editing things,” This approach gives the songs a life of their own – equally electronic and human. Though it’s the most intellectual approach Chop has taken with his music to date, it retains a spontaneous feel throughout, and despite its technical accomplishments, Illuminate is Chop’s most intimate and personal album yet.

Subscribe Nowhttps://drip.fm/nowagain

Mastering session for the new Chop album....

Some snippets from the mastering session at Electric Mastering London UK for the new CHOP album....Due out July 2013 on Now Again Records.

 

Produced by Coz Littler & Joe Fearon
Mixed and engineered by Coz Littler
Additional engineering by Mark Burnley (also pre-mastering), Oli Buchanan and Mike Burnham.
Mastered by Chris Potter at Electric Mastering.

Recorded and mixed at Ape Studios UK 2013. 


Studio Out-takes Part One

PSYCHO BUBBLE....

Studio Out-takes Part One.

Visuals - Shawn Knol
Music - Mr.Chop
Drums - Malcolm Catto
Modular - Mark Burnley — at Ape Studios

Mastering

We're cutting the vinyl lacquer's this week at Electric Mastering in London.  CD already mastered, looking forward to hearing this one.  Thanks to everyone at Electric....

Album Update

Transient

We're in Apestudios putting the finishing touches to a brand new Chop record which will be released through NowAgain Records later this year.  Looking like 12+ tracks including interludes running in at just over 50 minutes.   The sound is a new departure for Chop with a more electronic edge.  Watch this space for snippits in the coming months....