Posts Tagged ‘Channel Cairo’

Q&A with Sean Moeller of Daytrotter

Sean Moeller is the founder of Daytrotter.com, a website based in the small town of Rock Island in Illinois, USA.

Live sessions, typically around 4-5 tracks, are recorded onto vintage 1/4 Inch tape at Daytrotter’s Horseshack Studios (also in Rock Island, but several more have sprung up across the US) as bands pass through the town on their national tours, and are posted up online alongside some analysis from Moeller and a unique illustration of the band / artist – something that’s become a real USP for the site.

Since its inception in 2006, Daytrotter has hosted sessions from bands like MGMT, Bon Iver, The National, Wilco, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Local Natives, Fleet Foxes, The Naked And Famous, Two Door Cinema Club, Anna Calvi, The Vaccines and Youth Lagoon, amongst countless others, leading to the site being featured in publications such The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Recently, a Daytrotter studio has opened up here in London, which has enabled many UK artists to feature on the site – recent tapings this side of the pond have included the likes of Dry The River, Kyla La Grange, Bombay Bicycle Club, Metronomy, Bastille and Slow Club.

Quite often, bands feature on the site before they fully break into the public consciousness, and as such Daytrotter rightly declares itself as a place to discover your new favourite band.

We’ve been aware of the site for a little while, but have taken a larger interest of late due to two of our bands, The Static Jacks and Channel Cairo, being featured. With both their sessions appearing online in recent weeks, we thought it was high time to pose some questions to Sean about it all – his aims and motivations for doing it, as well as what’s to come from Daytrotter in the future.

LFC: What inspired you to start Daytrotter?

Sean: I started the site with a couple buddies really just to try and make something different and special – something that would allow me to give a platform to bands that I thought were better than most of the bands that I read about in magazines. I just thought that if there was a way for us to put bands in a most natural environment and recording them without much fanfare, with vintage equipment, straight to tape, the results would be good and people could easily appreciate them. There would be little to no bullshit. The music could just shine through.

LFC: To someone who hasn’t come across Daytrotter – what exactly is it, and what’s the site’s aim/ethos?

Sean: We’re a website that records bands passing through our main analog studio here in Rock Island, Ill. (and a few others out there in the world) and features those songs for people to listen to on our site. We hope we’re a place where people have open ears and are willing to discover things they’ve never heard of. We just like the idea of getting great music into as many ears as possible and letting people decide for themselves, rather than get caught up in any hype that is too easy to find out there these days.

LFC: Aside from bands passing through to record sessions for you, is there much of an independent music scene where you’re based on the Illinois / Iowa border?

Sean: No, not really. We’re trying to change that. We’ve got some things up our sleeves. We usually have to get to Iowa City to link up with great shows. Though, surprisingly, a couple nights a year, Maquoketa, Iowa is about as cool of a place as you can ever go to hear music.

LFC: Of all the bands who have recorded Daytrotter sessions over the years, who have been the most memorable?

Sean: Really, honestly and truly, they all stand out for different reasons. It’s a big ‘ol bag of memories, all of them. It’s damn near impossible to think about what we’re trying to do over here without thinking about it as a whole. These aren’t individual moments for me, but more a whole. That’s what means the most to me.

LFC: Apart from the original studio in Rock Island, where are the other Daytrotter sites?

Sean: We have studios that we currently use in London, San Francisco, Nashville, Austin, Montreal and Asheville, NC.

LFC: How did setting up the studio in London come about?

Sean: We got to become really good buddies with the killer people at Communion and our values and tastes align so well that we couldn’t keep our hands off of one another. We just had to work together and so this is just the start of a relationship that I think is going to continue to grow and become something really amazing. We’re looking forward to seeing where it goes. Our studio over there is gorgeous and the two engineers we’re working with – Ian Grimble and Rich Matthews – are wizards. It’s a wonderful extension of our team here in Rock Island and we couldn’t be happier about the results so far.

LFC: What’s your criteria when booking a band for a Daytrotter session?

Sean: It’s very simple: If I like it we’ll try to make something happen. If I don’t like it, the band doesn’t stand a chance. Ha.

LFC: Are there any big names you’d like to get on the site, or are you happy with focusing on emerging talent?

Sean: I want Willie Nelson, Jay-Z, Alabama and Radiohead to come visit us.

LFC: How do you search for new talent? Is it mainly on the internet, or word of mouth?

Sean: It’s about half and half. I get a lot of recommendations and tips from bands that we’ve recorded in the past and friends that I trust. Mostly it’s just me bouncing around Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages. It’s amazing what you can find.

LFC: What’s next for Daytrotter?

Sean: It’s actually just a lot of the same, but we should have some very big news coming in the fall. It’s not the right time to let the cat or cats out of the bag just yet. All in due time, my good friend.

Like Daytrotter on Facebook here and follow Sean on Twitter at @RealDaytrotter. Listen to The Static Jacks’ session, recorded in San Francisco, here. Channel Cairo’s session, recorded in London, is available here.

Channel Cairo – “A Year” (Free Download) + Daytrotter session


Photo by Maxime Imbert

Back in February, we alerted you to Channel Cairo‘s excellent new track “A Year”, which they posted online for a short period ahead of their appearance at the HMV Next Big Thing Festival.

Now, they’ve made the song available as a free download for a limited time ahead of its full release as their second official single in June – so be sure to grab it’s piping hot (and before the price goes up). Produced by Dave Bascombe (Doves, Ladyhawke, Placebo), it’s a more direct pop-rock number than its predecessor (and LFC Records release) “Elephant Room”, and we expect it to gain them many new admirers.

Earlier this week the band became the second Laissez Faire Club Records artist to be featured on Daytrotter.com (after The Static Jacks) – their 4 track session for the site, recorded at Crouch End’s Church Studios in February, features one-off, unique takes of “Elephant Room”, “A Year” and two brand new tracks (“Caterpillar” and “Halo”) which will undoubtedly feature in their new live set.

Speaking of which, a good one to get down to would be the launch party for the aforementioned new single, which takes place at Camden’s Barfly on Thursday 21 June.

Listen to the Daytrotter session here.
Buy tickets to the Barfly show here.
Buy “Elephant Room” on signed 7″ vinyl here.

The Static Jacks on Daytrotter

Whilst on their tour of the US and Canada in November last year, The Static Jacks recorded a session for the legendary Daytrotter in San Francisco.

The LFC 7″ single tracks, “Into The Sun” and “Mercy, Hallelujah”, are both included, the latter an alternative take “played like The Smashing Pumpkins would”. Honouring their New Jersey roots, short covers The Misfits and Bruce Springsteen also made the cut, as did a couple of other tracks from their debut full-length “If You’re Young”.

Listen to the session in full here, and watch out for one from Channel Cairo coming soon, which was recorded at Daytrotter’s new studio in London’s Crouch End last month.

Brand new Channel Cairo: “A Year”

“A Year” is Channel Cairo’s uplifting and emotive new track, which they’ve been locked away recording since the release of “Elephant Room” through Laissez Faire Club Records last summer.

You might remember it from its first incarnation as the band’s encore for their sold-out Borderline show last September. We’re picturing the band playing the song in large fields before the year is up, raising lighters and perhaps inducing a tear or two along the way.

Before that happens though, Channel Cairo return to the live scene at HMV’s Next Big Thing Festival at The Garage on Monday 6 February, supporting Atticus Anthem and Tellison. Tickets are available here.

Q&A with Andrew Maury of RAC

Andrew Maury is a New York City based producer, live sound engineer and remixer, who’s come to prominence in the indie-rock world over the last few years due to his work with some great and exciting new artists within the genre.

Alongside working front-of-house for bands like Ra Ra Riot and Givers, Andrew produces bands and also remixes tracks under the RAC (Remix Artist Collective) banner.

Our paths have crossed over the last twelve months due to his involvement with three of the four bands currently signed to our singles label – The Collectable Few, Channel Cairo and The Static Jacks.

All bands have had the “RAC Maury Mix” treatment, with Andrew’s interpretation of The Collectable Few’s “Headstrong” being officially released by us this past January (he also mixed the original version, which was the lead track). Andrew is credited on production duties for The Static Jacks’ 2009 EP, “Laces”, and continues to work with The Collectable Few on their latest recordings. His most recent remix is of The Static Jacks’ “Into The Sun”, which premiered on Rolling Stone’s web-site on 29 September. The original version will see the light of day in the UK through us next month (click here for full details on that).

With all this in common (and seemingly seeing eye-to-eye about up and coming guitar bands) we thought we ought to find out a bit more about the man and his modus operandi…

LFC: How did you first get into live sound, music production and remixing?

Andrew: Each of those paths started at different points, but are all certainly related. I grew up playing guitar in bands through middle school and high school. I was the guy who had the PA system and kind of “ran” the band events. I even directed my high school talent show! Music, sound, and stage have always been in my blood. Things took shape during college when I became friends with Ra Ra Riot and their manager, Josh Roth. I went to Syracuse University, which is where Ra Ra Riot formed and were playing house parties during their senior year. They graduated in 2006 and started touring and making a name for themselves.

Around the same time, I was still in college and had just discovered RAC. After some net surfing, I deduced that a guy named André Anjos was behind it. He was remixing in a style I had never heard or imagined… his arrangements were so original and inventive, using the original tracks of the song in new contexts which were so exciting and concise. I decided to take a stab at remixing a Ra Ra Riot song (given that I was friends with them and had easy access to their studio tracking). I cold emailed André the first draft of my remix and we kind of hit it off. I dug up a few other remix gigs for myself, and within about 3 months André asked me if I wanted to join RAC and team up with him. Since then, the platform for which I procure remixes has been entirely fueled by my association with RAC and the reputation we’ve been building over the years.

By the time I graduated college in 2008, Ra Ra Riot had just put out their first album, and they gave me a shot at doing live sound for their headlining tour. It was trial by fire at first, but I’ve been with them for just over 3 years now and I’ve learned the ropes pretty quickly. New challenges still present themselves as we continue to play larger and larger venues. I’ve been fortunate to have met dozens of bands on the road – some leading to other opportunities to mix front of house. In addition to Ra Ra Riot, I tour pretty consistently with GIVERS and have done a few one-off shows for Surfer Blood in NYC where I live.

Producing, recording, and mixing records is yet another tangent. Given all the experience remixing and doing live sound, it was becoming obvious to me that I also wanted to make records with bands. I had some experience dabbling in self-recording during college, and had taken a few courses related to audio recording. I even had a brief internship at a Brooklyn recording studio called Headgear before I started touring. But it all really started in 2009 off the heels of a tour with Ra Ra Riot when we were opening for Death Cab For Cutie. I became friends with DCFC guitarist Chris Walla, who is also a highly esteemed engineer and producer. After talking shop the whole tour, Chris asked me to come to LA for 2 weeks and be the Logic operator for Tegan & Sara’s Sainthood. It was kind of the the coolest thing that ever happened to me… here I was at the world famous Sound City Studios with Chris, Tegan and Sara, their guitarist Ted Gowans, and Jason McGerr who was drumming on the record. Seeing and hearing a REAL record being made. I was running the computer while Chris and Howard Redekopp were producing and engineering the session. I learned so much so fast. It got my lexicon and studio etiquette up to speed.

That summer, I bought a 16 channel recording interface, some monitors, some microphones, and hit the ground running. Pulling from the network I had built remixing and touring, I ended up recorded and mixing the Laces EP for The Static Jacks, mixing The House Floor’s Warship, and mixing Kisses’ The Heart of the Nightlife. Later in the year, I went into the studio with Ra Ra Riot to engineer and co-produce their sophomore album, The Orchard.

For the past two years I’ve had a pretty exciting, steady stream of work touring, remixing, mixing, and recording!

LFC: What projects are you working on right now?

Andrew: This summer has been a lot of touring with GIVERS and Ra Ra Riot, but I’ve recently been wrapping up the mixing for the forthcoming Princeton record, which I recorded with them last summer. Its totally, totally unbelievable and I couldn’t be more proud of it. I’ve also been mixing some early recordings for The Collectable Few. I can’t get enough of them… they hit the nail on the head for so many of my influences and favorite music. I’m really hoping to continue to work with them in the future. They are special. I finished up a bunch of remixes for various artists recently too.

LFC: To the uninitiated, what exactly is RAC and what do they do?

Andrew: RAC is a team of three people who create music: André Anjos, Karl Kling, and myself. Our platform for work has largely been remixing for the last 4 years. We pride our remixes on a sonic brand we’ve developed. I think its safe to say that you know an RAC remix when you hear one. Much to our surprise and excitement, the RAC reputation has grown fast. We tend to remix indie/rock artists… like Tokyo Police Club, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Shins, Surfer Blood, Phoenix, etc. Early on we did a lot of remixes for smaller unsigned bands, but have been moving into doing larger acts. RAC also has a touring DJ component, which André and Karl do together. They have been DJing some huge shows recently! We are also looking to start producing records at a certain point. The future is bright for RAC.

LFC: What do you try to achieve in a remix?

Andrew: If its a band that’s hired me to remix a song, I often listen to the original once or twice before I start the remix to refresh myself with the melodies and highlights. Then I’ll drop all the multi-track files into Logic and just go. I’m always attempting to reinvent the song while still paying homage to the original. The magic in remixing comes from striking a balance between using the original multi-track and recording my own newly composed tracks. It gets to a point where I’m interacting with the song, and it actually feels as though it starts to write itself. I sometimes will listen back to the original song days after I’ve been immersed in my remix, and I’ll be shocked how strangely different the original feels. If anything, I try to invent a whole new world for the song.

LFC: Do you have a favourite RAC Maury Mix?

Andrew: I don’t think I could pick one, but my top 5 are:

Lenka – Trouble Is A Friend
Lacrymosa – Good At Heart
Surfer Blood – Take It Easy
Phoenix – 1901
aaaaaaand… a remix that releases october 24 for a rather huge artist which I’m VERY excited about!

LFC: What are the ups and downs of a career in sound engineering?

Andrew: Ups: incredible fun. The work is so rewarding. For me, the career is doing what I can’t get enough of anyway. You meet hundreds of cool people every year. Some of the people you meet are rather famous, and may even be people you grew up inspired by.

Downs: its extremely competitive and difficult work. Self-imposed neurosis levels can be pretty intense. When you are mixing a live show in front of 1200 people, or recording a band with a large reputation, or mixing a record which will be the thing that the artist and public will hear forever, the stakes can feel really high.

LFC: What advice would you offer to someone looking to get into your field?

Andrew: Get in tune with your opinions on music. Get inspired by records and sounds you love. Learn to separate what’s amateur and what’s pro. Go to shows. Meet as many people as you can. Be the nicest person you can be. Email young bands who you believe in. Impress people with your work. Take pride in your work. Take risks!

LFC: Who are the bands or artists most exciting you at the moment?

Andrew: I recently got into Dutch Uncles’ new album Cadenza and Little Dragon’s Machine Dream. I’ve also been on an extended kick loving Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca and My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. Working with bands is probably the most exciting though… feeling like you have a hand in creating something that others will learn about and discover. The Collectable Few tracks and this Princeton record I’m wrapping up fall in that category.

The Collectable Few – Headstrong (RAC Maury Mix) by RAC

Channel Cairo – Twenty (RAC Maury Mix) by RAC

The Static Jacks – Into The Sun (RAC Maury Mix) by RAC

MP3: The Collectable Few – Headstrong (RAC Maury Mix)
MP3: Channel Cairo – Twenty (RAC Maury Mix)
MP3: The Static Jacks – Into The Sun (RAC Maury Mix)

Channel Cairo: “Elephant Room” live for The Station Sessions

A few weeks back, Channel Cairo performed a short acoustic set for The Station Sessions at St Pancras International station, which included the above, stripped-down version of their debut single “Elephant Room”.

“Great band, and one of the most beautiful videos we’ve made” declared the show’s producers on Twitter, and given their rather impressive alumni, we think that’s quite a compliment.

The band were due to play two shows this weekend just gone, at 93 Feet East and The Lexington respectively, but were forced to cancel both due to injury. They’re scheduled to resurface on Wednesday 26 October however, with a show at The Bull & Gate for our friends over at Killing Moon Limited. Copies of the aforementioned track are available digitally through iTunes, or you can still pick a signed 7″ from our shop.

LFC003: “Elephant Room” OUT NOW


Photo by Laurie Lee Boutet of The Ladies Toilet

As you might have noticed, our third release through the LFC label, “Elephant Room” by the brilliant Channel Cairo, came out last Monday 29th.

Thanks to those who dropped by The Borderline in Soho for the launch party on Thursday night – it was a complete sell out, and regrettably we had to turn some people away (apologies if this was you). For those of you who did make it inside, you’ll know what a special gig it was. Apart from a room silencing rendition of the single, there were many more memorable moments – the call-to-arms opener “My Design” or the emotive, radio-ready new track “Blood”, which featured as the encore. Plenty more to come, in other words – this is just the start.

7″ copies of “Elephant Room” are moving fast – you can grab yours directly from our shop, or from selected indie stores such as Rough Trade, Jumbo, Norman and Piccadilly. If you’re in Japan, you’re able to pick up copies from The Stone Records. All vinyls come with mp3 codes inside, so you don’t have to buy both physical and digital formats (you can buy solely from iTunes, of course).

Here’s some selected press we picked up along the way:

“Blissful pastoral-pop loveliness” Sunday Times Culture

“Josh Bowyer’s voice lunges from gentle to soaring in the space of a syllable, while the harmonies give the track an overall widescreen, epic feeling. Here is to more of the same”Music Week

“It involves the piano in prominence, played in a rousing, climactic journey throughout the tune and will be a wonderful way to welcome the world to their broad, open space”The Recommender

“The result is a band worth getting obsessed with”RockFeedback

Stay tuned for more from Channel Cairo between now and the end of the year.

Channel Cairo – Elephant Room by Laissez Faire Club

Channel Cairo – “Elephant Room” stream + pre-order (out 29 August)

Channel Cairo’s long awaited debut single, “Elephant Room” (formerly just “Elephants” when we previously talked about it) is now available to listen to above. It’s released on Monday 29 August through the Laissez Faire Club label, and is available to pre-order from our shop HERE.

For anyone that does so, you’ll get to download the B-Side (“Underrated Grace”) immediately, and you’ll be sent the mp3 of the A-side and physical 7″ on or around 29 August. N.B. It’s super limited – there are only 500 copies being pressed, so if you’d like one, don’t delay!

The single launch party is scheduled for Thursday 1 September at The Borderline off Charing Cross Road. Full details of this will emerge in the next few days.

Channel Cairo – “Twenty” (demo) // FREE MP3

Ahead of our impending single release from the amiable Anglo-French quintet Channel Cairo, we’ve decided to whet your appetites with a free mp3 download of their track ‘Twenty’. It’s available for a limited time below:

LFC003: Channel Cairo – ‘Elephants’

We’re delighted to announce the addition of the wonderful Channel Cairo to our singles label roster, where they’ll join Ice Black Birds and The Collectable Few.

First seen at Laissez Faire Club opening the second night of our fourth birthday shows at The Macbeth in January, it was clear this lot are onto something special – which is why we’ve jumped on board, and will be putting out a newly recorded version of their dreamy, haunting number ‘Elephants’ on 8 August (check out the video of the demo version below).

It’ll be the band’s debut single, and will see the light of day on the usual formats – limited edition 7″ vinyl (500 copies), which will be available directly from us and all good independent stores, as well as digital download (iTunes included).

A single launch party with special guests will be announced shortly around that date – stay tuned for another announcement. However, in the meantime, you’re able to catch the band at the following London shows, one of which is with The Collectable Few this Thursday evening at The Borderline:

Thu, 28 April: The Borderline w/ The Collectable Few
Mon, 16 May: The Social w/ Bravestation & Deep Sea Arcade (LFC night) TICKETS
Tue, 24 May: Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen w/ Wave Machines & To Kill A King

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Past LFC performance

MUMFORD AND SONS // OLD BLUE LAST // 24 OCT 2007