A search on YouTube for “electronic music” usually results in some clearly synthetic blips and bleeps variety dance fare. Then, when further considering the overused “autotune” effect in pop music, a common belief evolves that the place of technology in music is to add an artificial feel.
Instead, two D.C. DJs and producers, Thomas Blondet and Farid Nouri, took a different approach in their latest release, “The Sound of Rhythm & Culture” out now on the Rhythm & Culture Music label. Rather than create an intentionally electronic sounding album, they used their computer production tools and skills to create a highly polished reboot of classic disco, reggae and salsa styles, fit for the modern club scene, and representative of D.C.’s own multicultural heritage.
Combining Nouri’s experience as a resident DJ and one of the founders of D.C.’s Eighteenth Street Lounge and Red, and Blondet’s skills as a world class deejay, “The Sound of Rhythm & Culture” takes the listener through a complex soundscape ranging from the downtempo ethno-lounge of “Nafas” by the artist Zeb to the funky breakbeat horns and synths of “Havana 2AM” by Blondet.
Nouri’s goal of “Each track focusing on a particular sub-amalgamation of cultures” while still being club worthy is met by arranging a unique combination of familiar ethnic instruments and sounds with synthesizers and effect processors.
The overall sound on “The Sound of Rhythm & Culture” is a smooth organic blend of various ethnic dance styles that stylishly weaves electronic elements into the mix as natural fibers of the overall fabric of each track.
To achieve such a sound in “The Sound of Rhythm & Culture,” Blondet used the Logic production software to mix and record all of his tracks in order to maintain an organic sound while having maximum control of sound levels and effects. Further, both Blondet and Nouri use the Serato Scratch Live tool to load in their own effects and create new sounds in real-time.
In addition to using software and synthesizers, as part of their technology inspired production process, Blondet and Nouri collaborated with vocalists and musicians across the world and in D.C. alike using social networking tools such as iChat to send and receive music files across the internet. Then, Blondet and Nouri performed precision mixing and mastering using software and other digital technology.
Additionally, Blondet and Nouri are scheduled as follows to bring their technical deejaying and sampling talents to the club for live performances of various tracks off “The Sound of Rhythm & Culture” album with featured musician Second Sky, live vocalists, and a live percussionist:
- Sept 10th for the ArtWhino Showcase at Stadium Waterfront (10pm)
- Sept 16th at Eighteenth Street Lounge for the release party (9pm)
- Sept 30th at U Street Music Hall for the album showcase party (11pm)
Further, be sure to check out “The Sound of Rhythm & Culture” album, now available through ESL Music’s website and digital downloads on iTunes, with downloads soon to be available on Beatport.