Posts tagged #Instrumental

Artist Spotlight: Kamandi

Kamandi Artist Profile Music Marmoset.jpg


With over 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Kamandi’s music is on the rise. Listeners describe the artist’s work as chill with a perfectly timed energetic pulse — it’s music that sounds right at home in an Adidas commercial to vibing perfectly at a yoga retreat type of atmosphere.

New listeners should start with “Icy Heartthrob” for a taste of Kamandi’s mastery in creating electronic soundscapes. The instrumental song showcases how electronic pop can be punch, edgy, and smooth simultaneously. For dance infused beats, turn to Kamandi’s “Clone Phone,” the song’s multiple ascending arcs and rhythmic synth are energetically charged and engaging. 

Originally from New Zealand, Kamandi remembers music always being present in his childhood, recalling how the songs he’d hear naturally sticking with him in an emotional manner. Kamandi would carry this emotive influence over to his own music once he began performing in bands, then moving onto produce his own work.

“I really just wanted to make music that gave people a strong feeling,” Kamandi says. “It didn’t even really matter what that feeling was.”

As the beats artist became more comfortable making his music, Kamandi discovered how his work was an impactful channel for communicating with his listeners; it became a bridge for connecting with others while also being able to own a channel in outpouring his own thoughts and creative energy. The significance of his work heightened when the artist discovered his music began helping others through particularly difficult and monumentous life struggles.

“Hearing this showed me I have the potential to make a real impact,” says Kamandi. “And that helps me feel like my music has some worth.”

Despite hearing this type of feedback from his listeners, there’s still a difficulty in viewing one’s work from a disconnected standpoint. It’s something Kamandi notes as challenging, yet something he strives in applying within his musical endeavors — to place himself in his listeners' shoes and hear his work outside the context he knows.  

“It’s hard to step outside of myself after hearing a song on repeat, to hear the song from a different perspective — I wish I could do that,” says Kamandi. “But hopefully I’m feeding an appetite that people may not even realize they had. To fill a place in music that’s interesting and maybe hasn’t been filled yet.”

While operating as a solo artist and producer, Kamandi has invited collaboration from the likes of Polo, creating an original spin on electronic instrumental hip hop that was well received by his growing fan base. Later, Kamandi would join forces with a prominent and well-known MC Azizi Gibson — several hits including “Crown Violet” came out of the fruitful collaboration.

With "Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 30 Days in LA,” Kamandi was invited to perform in the United States for the first time; the concert’s bill included a high caliber of artists, including Azizi Gibson and Chance the Rapper.

Intermixing talent brought exciting evolutions to Kamandi’s work, remixes and new approaches being integrated into the artist’s upcoming music, all while retaining his signature style and sound. The collaborations proved that no matter the varying influences, Kamandi could enhance his music without sacrifice to his creative vision.

The beats instrumental artist is currently halfway through releasing his upcoming EP The Four Aves along with recently releasing two singles, “Moorhouse” and “Fitzgerald.” With The Four Aves, Kamandi sets out to paint an audio portrait of a city environment — although he describes the vibe as “cold” and moody, there’s an underlying pulse that propels each song forward. Stay tuned!

Download Our "Ambient Electronic" Mixtape

Photo by Gavin Hellier

Photo by Gavin Hellier

Guest DJ: Max Esposito, Documentary Filmmaker

In any given film, getting to the heart of a subject and story is absolutely critical. When it comes to approaching a soundtrack with this in mind, subtlety can be the key in letting a story breathe and evolve naturally.

Jump into the serene waters of our new Ambient Electronic mixtape — ten tracks that rise and fall with synthetic and electronic waves. Enjoy.

When we interviewed Max Esposito about his recent documentary Raising 7, his use of an ethereal soundtrack provided an emotional weight without being overbearing. Nothing should ever be forced, especially when it comes to conveying an emotion. Esposito shared his thoughts on some select tracks from his mixtape. Read below let us know what you think by commenting below.

1. "Intimidated by Silence" by Cars & Trains

I'm using this song toward the end of another documentary as, to me, the song sounds like a conclusion: it's low-key yet upbeat and it drives forward without being overpowering. It's like, "Hey, here's this subject that you've met through this film, you've seen their struggle, you've seen them grow and change, you've felt compassion toward them and now you're going to hear their takeaway, what they've learned and where they are headed." *Intimidated by Silence (Instrumental)* is a song that is going to help signal the transition into the final chapter of a story.

2. "Celeste" by Kye Kye

I love and have used quite a bit of Kye Kye's music. I remember licensing a Kye Kye song a while ago and talking with one of the Marmoset guys about how excited Marmoset was to have Kye Kye on the roster. "Celeste" (Instrumental) is nicely tucked away in the Kye Kye catalogue as it's not a Staff Pick but it is the ambient mood I find myself often looking for.

There's a fantastical sound being channeled reminiscent of Sigur Rós and then an unexpected build that gives the song potential to use in film as it has that shift in movement. I believe this is a good song to use in full or in portion in longer form docs as a breath between heavier, busier story elements. *Honest Affection *is another great song by Kye Kye for the opposite affect; it shifts out of a calmer, quieter sequence.

3. "Discover" by Magic Sword

This song is definitely outside the genres of music I typically use in docs but I love the drive and tension in the first 1:30 so much. It's got the Daft Punk Tron soundtrack thing going on without being over the top and I think that subtly of the build could work really well for a docu-style sports spot. Personally, I might fade out before the synths come in as I think the song does a really good job of what it needs to do in those first :90.

4. "The Gentle Deep" by Carinthia

This song is also a great ambient track. While melancholy, I believe it would also work great as a breath between more frenetic moments or sequences - perhaps a calming pause of little visual moments between the moments and slower, reflective soundbites from a doc subject.

5. "Backwards" by Hustle and Drone

I really like the drone and pensive mood in this song. I've listened to it quite a bit while driving, trying to think of how to fit different doc sequences to it or whether it could be applicable to some abstract projects. It almost made the cut in Raising 7 - it would have been paired with an introspective scene of the football players playing catch at night in the high school parking lot under the lights, maybe with their soundbites about growing up. I think the tone of this song lends itself to this idea of watching these tiny little moments in our lives pass by, and
knowing that you can't get those moments back. You could take it as far as saying the song almost bridges the gap between the visuals happening on screen and the viewers' own nostalgia for those human experiences.


Getting Weird With Marmoset Band, Henry The Rabbit

Field Notes Interview #47: Henry The Rabbit, Marmoset Band

Strange and mysterious sounds are coming from Henry The Rabbit, and they like to keep things that way. This Copenhagen ensemble finds inspiration and instruments from unusual places. As a self-proclaimed "Psychedelic Ukulele-Skiffle" band, they mix together organ, ukulele, glockenspiel and various pieces of kitchen equipment —what they create is a sound that's otherworldy.

Using mainly acoustic instruments, their music evokes a playful, woodsy atmosphere in their unique take on folk. Their compositions are mostly instrumental with flourishes of beautiful vocal harmonies that create stirring sounds from sources that feel unknown and exciting at the same time.

Their music provided the soundtrack to the short film The Walrus by featured filmmaker, Luke Randall.  We chatted with frontman Craig Martin Wood about his thoughts on music and film and his plans for traveling to the moon.

M: When did you start writing music?

CW: I guess 4 or 5 years ago was when I started to crawl from behind the drum kit, and started to build tunes with a ukulele, and layer it up with whatever I could find. The earliest home recordings are full of kettle, frying pan and wine bottle percussion moments. 

Since being in my teens I was always getting involved with bands, but just accompanying them on the drums. Making my own tunes is a fairly recent development. 

M: What does a day in the life of a working band look like for you?

CW: As a layered laptop DIY kind of guy, it would be difficult for me to describe being in a working band. It has always been a voluntary pursuit of passion rather than work. 

I've recorded, toured and gigged for more than half of my life, but it's still minus profit. That's not work.

M: What role do you feel music has in film?

CW: Music can enhance moods and atmospheres, but depending on the filmmaker's vision it can also contradict and totally confuse the scene. I remember being blown away by No Country for Old Men for it's minimal use of music and full use of the sounds of nature or the urban sounds. And then again, I only have to play over the ending scene of Zabriskie Point in my mind to get a massive buzz for the incredible force induced by the vision of Antonioni to the sound of Pink Floyd at their loudest.

M: How do you feel your song complemented The Walrus?

CW: This particular song was created in a fit of depression during a weekend of heartbreak after a break up. The snare drum barely survived, and the speakers were cranked to melting point. To see a depressed walrus have his moment of revelation, and to walk away from his misery was just beautiful for me.

M: What's your favorite album this year?

CW: Oh, I haven't listened to anything new for a while. I'm still hooked up on Lee Hazelwood, Moondog and other cats from the other side.

M: What are you excited about for the future?

CW: Trips to the moon, the expansion of our cult, astral travel. I plan to get into a time machine and save Vincent Van Gogh, at least long enough to get another ten years of painting out of him.  I guess in the meantime, I'm looking forward to next week when our French friends (Tara King) come over and play a couple of festival dates with Halasan Bazar, who I play drums with.

Finding The Right Headspace: An Interview with Ben Allen of More Like Georgia

Field Notes Interview #45: Ben Allen, Marmoset Artist

Ben Allen is driven — you can hear it in his music. With a prolific catalog of tracks under his belt, Allen's project More Like Georgia presents some of the most infectious electro-pop around.

His anthemic song "Endless Horizon" was used in Camp4 Collective's Curiosity film for The North Face. Earlier this week, We interviewed director, Tim Kemple about the collaboration; so today we bring you the musicians' perspective by chatting with Ben for a glimpse into the life of a working artist.

Most recently, his track Rebirth helped push filmmaker, Nicholas Leopold's reel to fascinating heights. 

M: When did you start writing music?

BA: I started playing music around fourteen or fifteen by just jamming with high school buddies in one of my friends’ parents’ garage. At that point, it was always a collaborative writing process. It wasn’t until I broke away on my own that I really started writing music. After high school I got really interested in recording and production and ended up working for a small recording studio in Roseburg, Oregon. That was really a paradigm shift for me. Being able to layer sounds, and not be reliant on other musicians really opened up my mind to new possibilities as a songwriter.

M: What does a day in the life look for you as a working musician?

BA: It kind of depends for me. I have two modes that I sort of work in; the “creative” mode and a “get-stuff-done” mode. If I’ve got some sort of deadline or some project I’m trying to wrap up, I usually just get right at it and knock things off my list to finish a song. But, if I am trying to be creative on a new project, I find it’s really important to be in the right headspace. I’ve got to seek out inspiration so I can stay fresh. That might mean going for a walk, or watching an old movie. It varies from day to day.

M: What was your inspiration for "Endless Horizon?"

BA: I just started stacking sounds and making loops of things, and it just sort of came out naturally. I try not to force things, but rather go into it with a totally open mind and just let the music guide me where it wants to go.


M: How do you feel your song complimented Curiosity?

BA: A lot of my music has a sort of anthemic, energetic feel which seemed to work well where it was used in this particular spot. I always love seeing how someone else interprets music that I have created. It’s almost like the film becomes the lyrics to the song.

M: What are you excited about for the future?

BA: I’ve got lots of irons in the fire at the moment. I’m pretty excited about Hotbloods; a collaboration with Braden, from de L'une, another Marmoset artist. That should be releasing soon. I’ve also got an 80’s inspired pop project in the works called Wyld. I always like to pursue new projects to keep my mind engaged and growing.


Witness An Incredible Journey To "The Important Places"

"The joy is in the journey" — This sentiment couldn't ring any truer in our recent collaboration with friends at Gnarly Bay, Story & Heart and Forest Woodward. This new short film "The Important Places" bottles a story of family, aging, travel and everything that happens in between. In support of saving special places like the Grand Canyon, we helped tell this story.

Everything starts with a poem written 28 years ago. Inspired by these words on paper, a son is inspired to tell the story of his father and his love for the Colorado River. As they venture back to this "important place," years later, they learn more about each other, and themselves in the process.

The film starts with an intimate and nostalgic feel with "Blind and Unwise" by Gregory and the Hawk, then starts to open up with the beautiful melodies of "Honey Jars" by Bryan John Appleby who narrates the imagery perfectly. As the story takes a pensive turn, "Snowy Crescendo" by Bell Plaines matches the mood. As the entire piece culminates into a euphoric and empowering state, the epic and cinematic "Awareness" by Lee Brooks shines with harmonious strings.

It was an honor to collaborate with such amazing company in this impassioned piece about returning to the places we love and discovering something new every step of the way.

How Josh Garrels' New Album "Home" Is Blowing Up The Internet

We love Josh Garrels, and there's proof that a lot of people feel the same way as we do.

Garrels' new album, Homeis currently killing it on the Internet. This Portland-based artist is ranking No. 3 on iTunes "New Music" section as well as No. 3 on Bandcamp's top chart. It makes sense. Josh Garrels' beautiful folk songwriting is rich with lush, acoustic textures, woven together with guitar, strings and piano that are cinematic in nature.

Home's themes are quite spiritual in nature, yet the album caters to a wider audience with his personal lyrics and approachable imageries. There's no ego to Garrels' music, just an invitation to rejoice in optimism and joy.

Take for example, the album opener "Born Again," a track that feels confident, yet reflective at the same time. Steady and soulful beats push the song, leaving space for weighted thought and inspiration.

We're pleased to share that we have the full and instrumental versions of Home in our catalogue, available for licensing in your next project.

Read our interview with Josh Garrels HERE and check out his Marmoset Artist Profile HERE.