Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Electric Wonderland

Ralph's been a long time fan of Scottish Alternative Music Award Best Electronic award winner Plum so news that she's been teamed up with Fiona Soe Paing and Elbi for a night in the Electric Circus, Edinburgh meant sending in Malcolm Parry who's also promoting the gig to have a word with them prior to the night.  First up was Plum.....

Q: Where are you just now?
Plum: I'm in Brighton mixing and mastering part 1 of my next album "Betsy Thunder"

Q: A big year so far, since winning Best Electro at the SAMA awards what doors have opened for you?
Plum: I've had a lot more live gig bookings since winning the SAMA, hoping for more outside of Scotland too.

Q: How's the E.P :Betsy Thunder shaping up?
Plum: I've decided to extend the EP to be a two part album. It's going really well. Having a great time in the studio, and I've been enjoying working with some great artists from the Scottish electronic scene (TeKlo and Roman Nose).

Q: Dave Gahan or Vince Clarke?
Plum: Very tough choice!  Vince Clark has actually been in touch via Twitter, and he's brilliant! But I love Depeche Mode too.  I think I have to go with Vince Clark though! 

Q: What's your favorite tech toy you have?
Plum: My MPD24.

Q: Upcoming gigs/festivals?
Plum: Looking forward to playing Electric Circus on 2nd May with Fiona Soe Paing and Elbi, both fantastic acts. I'm playing a festival in Stow on 11th May, and running a workshop which will be fun. Then there's Aberdeen (Drummonds) on 24th May with Fridge Magnets and Dundee on 26th May. Should be an excellent month of music! Q: Which venue in Scotland would you like to play that you haven't already? Plum: Princes Street Gardens at Hogmanay Q: If you could work with any Electronic artist or producer, who? Plum: Tricky, Roman Nose, Vince Clark, Crystal Castles, Chemical Brothers - it's endless!

Next up for the third degree was Fiona Soe Paing who Ralph featured earlier this year. 

Q:So this year seems to be picking up for you, what's been happening in your world?
Fiona: I've been getting great feedback on the last EP release,'Tower of Babel' both from blogs and press, and from some top artists who I really admire, so that has been a real positive boost!  I've done a couple of gigs trying out the new songs with the visuals, which was pretty scary and amazing.  I've also been recording a new single, 'Heartbeat' which I am getting really excited about as it's the first vaguely commercial sounding track I've written and has an amazing animation by Zen Borg, who also makes all the visuals for the live set.  Over the next few months I'm working on more  material for the new set which I hope to tour around September. 

Q:Any gig's /festival dates you can tell me about?  
Fiona: As well as the Electric Wonderland gig coming up which I am really excited about,  I am really looking forward to playing in Aberdeen again, supporting Public Service Broadcasting at the Lemon Tree, then I have a break till September. 
Q:If you could play one Electronic festival, which one?
Fiona: I'd love to play at Mutek in Barcelona - it's more intimate and less mainstream than Sonar, and has a focus on more experimental artists and it would also be nice to go somewhere a wee bit warmer in the middle of the Scottish winter! 

Q:Any planned collaborations with other artists ?  
Fiona: I've had a few collaborations on the back-burner for a while, including doing something with Bearsuit records and a label in Norway.  I've been busy focusing on my own new material for now though and I hope to have some more time later in the year.
Q:If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
Fiona: Oh my word, that's a bit of a big ask!  But since this is a music blog, I reckon I'll keep my answers music related!  One wish is that there were more female electronic artists getting the exposure they deserve.  Another is that it was easier for independent musicians to make a sustainable living from their work and that Aberdeen was not so far away from most of the interesting things going on in music!  Oh, yes, I have a fourth...a new Boards of Canada album!

Q:You sing in a Burmese dialect, though you have sung in Scottish on other tracks, which do you prefer?  
Fiona: I don't really have a preference, it all depends on the mood of the song I am trying to put across.  SometimesI feel a bit self-conscious singing 'Scottish' - I don't talk with a strong Scottish accent, and sometimes a slight Scottish accent can sound like a fake American pop drawl when you are singing!  I don't even pretend that my Burmese accent is authentic though, as the only words I know are from a phrase book I bought when I went to visit family there a few years ago, but I use the words more as just abstract sounds and can use my voice in different ways.

Q:What other Scottish Electronic artists should we be checking out?
Fiona: As well as the fantastic Plum who I am supporting at the Electric Circus gig coming up,I love Daojia, Yoin from Aberdeen and Ela Orleans is great - another lady, doing innovative, interesting electronic stuff - oh and Conquering Animal Sound, too, but more folks know about them, eh. 
Q:Erasure or Yazoo?  
Fiona: It would have to be Yazoo, as I really love Alison Moyet's voice, it's so soulful.

Finally it's French musician Elbi who's based in Edinburgh until September 2013. Elbi finishes a Masters degree before heading back to France to make as much music as possible.  Singing since she was a child  music is her number one passion and it certainly shows when you hear her songs. There’s a jazz influence mixed with an electronic beat sound, and live looped samples as she sings easily accompanied by her confident guitar playing.

Q:This year things seem to be taking off for you, getting more gigs and more likes on face-book, and now your on twitter?
Elbi: Edinburgh has been very welcoming! It was quite hard in the first few months but as soon as I got my first gigs, I had other propositions. 
It's amazing to see that more and more people seem to like what I do. I don't know if it is the French thing, but it seems to work quite well :) 
About Facebook and Twitter, I try to make the most of it as it is a good way to reach people. The Twitter @Elbi_Music is quite recent and I'm still not used to it, but I'm not giving up!
Q:So what are your plans for the rest of the year? Will you be recording an EP? Any live dates/festivals you have bookings for and looking forward to?
Elbi: The most urgent is to produce the Mambo Mambo EP and make a proper video. It's taking time, as songs are still in the evolution stage and I'm constantly changing my mind. In the meantime, I am also really excited about a house project with my brother (DJ Lowerbay).  

Until then, I'm really looking forward to playing at the Electric Circus on the 2nd of May with Plum and Fiona Soe Paing. I also have gigs on the 11th and 18th in my hometown, with Art By Friends, an artists collection. I haven't played there in ages and it's full of people I know: so much pressure! So if I make any mistake, this is gonna follow me forever!
Q:Favorite venue's to play in Edinburgh?
Elbi: The Electric Circus for the sound (and engineers) staff and design, Sneaky Pete's for the atmosphere and Jazz Bar for the red velvet.

Q:Who are you listening to at the moment, any Scottish artists?
Elbi: I listen to a lot of female vocalists from Jazz to HipHop, New Soul or Electro (Melodie Gardot, Lauryn Hill, Fatima, Erykah Badu, Jessie Ware, Dani Siciliano). Recently, I can't get enough of Hiatus Kaiyote, Kimbra, or the Brighton based female electronica artist Yumi and the Weather. 
I also try to listen as much house and rap as I can. But it's hard to keep up!
Regarding Scottish artists, I heard GingerbeardMen play at SneakyPete's a week ago, and had an amazing time. 

Q:Can you recommend another French Electro artist we should be listening to?
Elbi: C2C are already massive in France, but you can still get the chance to see them in the UK without ruining your budget, and they are amazing!

Q:Eiffel tower or The Louvre?
Elbi: Eiffel tower. To try to get as much 'fresh' air as you can in Paris. 

Q:Serge Gainsbourg- 'Je t'aime' or Vanessa Paradis - 'Joe le taxi'?
Elbi: Gainsbourg for sure! The tone, phrasing, rhymes, nose - everything! 

Q: A small glass of Kronenbourg or a large glass of Bordeaux?
Elbi: If you pay for it, Bordeaux s'il vous plait!

So there you have it, three of the best female electronic influenced artistes in Scotland brought together for your delectation and delight on The 2nd of May 2013 in The Electric Circus, Edinburgh.  Miss it at your peril and you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here.

Tickets for the night can be bought in advance by clicking on this link

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