This week’s Mixtape comes from Victorian producer Nicholas Basquiat. His glimmering, pitch-shifted bangers have been getting plenty of well-deserved attention, and now, to help you with your Sunday hangover, he’s compiled a list of tracks that are as lush and rolling as his own. Pop them on, and have a read about the man himself.
Hey, Nicholas Basquiat.
Hi, Backyard Opera!
What’s the best party you’ve ever attended, and why?
My housemates and I hosted an Australia Day/Hottest 100 party a few years ago which was pretty crazy. There would have been a couple of hundred people there by the time the top ten were played, and I probably wouldn’t have known half of them back then. It was such a good mix of people and everyone went right ahead and lost it all day, so it was pretty fun!
I heard that you’ve broken your nose, twice. How’d you manage that?
The first time was at school when I was in second grade. I was playing soccer on the asphalt with some of the sixth grade boys. After some sort of disagreement with one of them, who was the son of two of our teachers, he tripped me and then stood on the back of my head pushing my nose into the ground. The second time I just copped an elbow when I tackled a guy playing footy.
Jean-Michael Basquiat was this really interesting, young, unique artist from America who I discovered through Jay-Z and Kanye’s constant allusions to him a couple of years ago. He was homeless before he met Andy Warhol and rose to incredible fame within the space of a year. He was a pretty cool guy and I like his story, aside from the part where he overdosed on heroin, so I swapped my last name with his.
Do you have a particular audience in mind when you’re making music?
Nah, not really. I don’t have any restrictions or requirements when it comes to that so I really just make music for myself; how I like it. But I suppose if you look further into that, it means that I make music for an audience with similar taste to myself. You can probably notice that this is the first time I’ve ever actually thought about this!
What can you tell us about the tunes you’ve picked for us today?
All of the tracks that I’ve picked are ones that I’m really feeling at the moment, and they’re all production influences of mine to some degree. Half are international acts, half are Australian and a few are friends who are making some incredible music.
There are a few in there that I struggled to explain exactly what it is about them that I love, but those are the ones that I have kind of been infatuated with lately, possibly due to their diversity.
I hope you enjoy the jams I’ve picked while you sip on a cup of tea and recover some serotonin lost over the weekend.
<3 from Nic.
Jamie XX and Four Tet - Seesaw
This track had me obsessed with it when I first heard it. It’s got some sort of weird hypnotizing effect that comes from the driving drums and that weird instrument that plays throughout. Also I think the vocals belong to Romy, the chick from The XX, who always kills it. It’s unreleased at the moment but I’ll be buying the shit out of it once it’s out.
I really love Jamixe XX’s individual, interesting and sometimes quirky production style and this is a good example of that. I haven’t listened to a lot of Four Tet yet but I certainly plan to, especially because he executive-produced Neneh Cherry’s new album.
Fortunes – Keeper
Fortunes are a Melbourne duo that I had no idea about until this track. It had me from the start – there’s just something that really draws me toward a well used sample. Maybe it’s because I somewhat understand the art of sampling as a result of being brought up on hip-hop. It’s really quite a simple song, production-wise, but the crisp vocals take it to the next level.
I tried to make an edit of this as soon as I heard it, but I ended up kind of sampling it and starting a new track of my own.
Two Can – Fire
Keeping in the theme of Melbourne duos, Two Can are pretty cool. This is one of those “Australian Sound” tracks, which isn’t a bad thing at all. I’m not really sure what else to say about this one except that I really like it! Again with the sweet use of a sample, although this time it’s a vocal one. I’m pretty keen to hear what these guys do next.
WKND – Lost
WKND is a super cool guy and to add to that cool is this track – his first ever original release, believe it or not. He describes it using a classic Jay-Z line, “I can’t see them coming down my eyes, so I had to make the song cry”, which is perfect because even though it doesn’t have any lyrics it evokes a lot of emotion.
LWKY – Flow (Feat. Theodor)
My longest friend’s 18 year old brother started making music about a year ago and goes by the name Female. L W K Y is his side project with two of his friends. The quality of music he is making is crazy and this is a pretty dope example. Theodor is pretty incredible, too, and I can assume that he had a pretty heavy influence on this one, given his other few productions.
M.I.A. – Double Bubble Trouble (Theodor Remix)
As a continuation to the last selection, here’s Theodor’s most recent release. The dude is obviously incredibly talented, both musically and production-wise. He’s got this one sounding well crisp. I wish I could make something like this!
Henry Green – Electric Feel (MGMT Cover)
I discovered Henry while I was creeping around SoundCloud one night in search of a vocalist for a track that I’m working on. This one was at the top of his page and is an extremely nice and mellow version of Electric Feel. Henry does his own production, plays guitar and has a spot on voice. Thank god he agreed to sing on my track; I’m super excited to get it out to y’all!
Zhu – Faded
I’ve really only started to properly delve into electronic music in the past ten months or so, so I’m a bit behind when it comes to particular artists or niches within it. I’m starting to get around a bit of deep house and this one is one of my favourites of late. I like the contrast of the pulsating bass line with the crisp, high-range vocals. And the guitar’s sick, too.
Golden Features – Tell Me
Another deep house banger from the mysterious Golden Features, featuring vocals from Australia’s current queen of electronic music Nicole Millar. This one starts out pretty chilled as Nicole flows over it but when it drops… sheeeit. The production is spot on and really makes gooch sweat.
Oh yeah, my theory is that Golden Features is Stylaz Fuego / Kaelyn Behr. If I’m right then remember, you heard it here first!
Chet Faker and Flume – This Song Is Not About A Girl
This is another one that I was kind of obsessed with when I first heard it and I’m still digging it. It’s so different to anything else that either of these two have made. The whole song was made as lo-fi as possible, making use of some of the cheapest equipment they could find, up until the massive, hi-fi ending. Both parts of the song are sick in their own right.
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