Organic Electronic Music?

Author: 
Ethan Sapir, GRAMMY Camp LA

In the crowded and noisy USC lunchroom, I ask Lydon Quill if he could walk with me outside so we could do the interview in quiet. After putting our plates away, we walk over to a table behind a tree in the courtyard and I start to set up, hoping that I can figure out how to record the interview with my new recorder. The wind is blowing strong, so Lydon suggests moving, but I couldn’t figure out a different place to go. Sitting behind a fence, but outside, it feels both open and closed at the same time. We sit right next to a fountain, bad for recording quality, but nice for sunny and warm atmosphere.

What career track are you in?

Electronic Music Production.

In terms of electronic music, who inspires you?

J Dilla, Kanye West, Macintosh Plus, Flying Lotus...it’s hard to think, I just take everything in and I like to do my own things, but I really like to do experimental stuff and I also take in things from different genres like shoegaze. I’m also inspired by a lot of Animal Collective.

Animal Collective does a blend of the more organic with experimental electronic stuff, like on albums such as Merriweather Post Pavilion you get a mix of pop, experimental, and organic music. Do you ever try to do stuff of that sort?

Yeah, I love how they come to together, I could talk about it for hours. I try to blend the more organic with electronic because I’ve played drums for eleven years and I have played other instruments, so I try to put everything together like they [Animal Collective] do. They’re the Beach Boys 2.0.

Do you generally go with lighter or darker themes in your music?

It depends on what I’m making.  I go with the [name] Gucci Nook for more vaporwave stuff. I also create sunny music with textures and a of lot reverb, darker stuff like Burial, and soulful beats like J Dilla where I try to capture that Detroit feel.

When I think about Burial, I think about the complex beat-makers similar to Burial such as Baths and Nosaj Thing. Do you ever try that style?

Yes, I’ve tried to do that before. I do a lot of atmospheric music, a lot of it just surrounds ethereal textures and pads. I then put in the drum beat.

What have you done so far, it only being the morning of the first day?

We just messed around with Pro Tools, the teacher taught us the basics. I already knew half of the stuff because most DAWs are similar. It comes with so many awesome features, it’s just beautiful. I love Logic, but Logic 10 was just Garage Band on steroids and I don’t want Garage Band on steroids. 

Do you ever use your own voice for your pieces?

Yeah, I have used my own voice. Sometimes I’ll sing on my songs.

Do you put a lot of effects on your voice or do you use it more organically?

I use it more as a tool for effects; I vocode it.

You have this wide spectrum of influences to draw from. I feel like electronic music isn’t a genre, it’s a way to create music. Would you agree with that?

Yes, I feel like my music doesn’t really have a genre. I call it cyberwave.

Did you make that word up?

Yes. Its just part of making fun of the internet. I have an album coming out soon called Information Super Highway.

Do you have a release date?

No, probably end of July or August. I don’t know, but it’ll be on my Twitter.

Where can we find you on social media?

My Twitter is @lydonquill for my personal Twitter and my boom bap music. I also have @guccinook for my “cyberwave” music. My Soundcloud accounts are Lydon Quill and Gucci Nook. I upload more on Gucci Nook, and that’s where I’m releasing Information Super Highway.

Quill is super passionate about listening to and composing music. His wide range of music taste directly impacts his wide output of sonic creations. Quill combines the complex and sublime dub step of Burial and the pop perfection of Kanye West into his own, unique style. I’m excited to hear more from this talented musician and I looking forward to hearing his full-length album when it arrives.

In the Spotlight

Kevin Burke

Attended GRAMMY Camp New York 2011, 2012; GRAMMY In The Schools Media Team 2012

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