Metronomy's OLUGBENGA is launching a solo project as a producer, songwriter, DJ and remixer, and later this week he'll be releasing a free online mixtape called 'The G Is Silent (Volume Two)'. We've got an exclusive first look at what he's been up to, along with an advance download of the release. Download the mixtape after the jump. You can also check out the track listing, as well as read some of his commentary on the release, below.
"My girlfriend just listened through to this mixtape and asked me what the theme was. I guess the answer to that question is 'me'. I tried to avoid that because I hate being thought of as self-centred, but the older I get the more I accept that there is an element of selfishness required when you're trying to become very good at something. And this mixtape is the sound of me trying to become very good at a few different things."
"One of those things is making sense of who I am and what I represent. I left Nigeria for the last time when I was 15. I left the Christian church when I was 20. Yet these two things continue to exert an influence on me. How do I make sense of loving Gospel music when I don't believe in Jesus? How do I make electronic music that incorporates Nigerian elements without cynicism? How do I pull in all of the disparate genres of music that I love so much and still make something coherent? And, most importantly, how do I make it all FUN?"
1. 'Overture/You And Your Adventures'
"I like playing with context. It's built into everything I've done with my mixtapes and remixes over this year because I think that's the most interesting thing about being a 'DJ' and it's something that can have much wider implications for musical composition.
So the quote from Lost here popped up on the first 'The G Is Silent', at the start and the end, just like I've done here. I happened to be rewatching the whole of Lost with my flatmates around the time I made the last mixtape. The character talking is Mr Eko. His being Nigerian was one of the reasons I chose this quote. Plus it ties in with the whole Gospel thing, I guess. And, most importantly, IT SOUNDS COOL."
"A song about a Time Lord taking a chance on love. Cheesy, but the Time Lord in question has been around long enough to know that certain aspects of the human condition don't change that much."
3. 'Like An Angel With No Mercy'
"In its original version, this song was called 'Send In The Birds'. When I wrote it, I was still in my old band Akira. We were approached by a guy called Richard Galbrath who was writing a book and commissioning people to produce works of art inspired by each of its chapters. The chapter we got was simply called 'Despair'. The new title is taken from the first line of the theme from the Japanese Anime series Evangelion."
4. 'Ebute Meta'
"More Nigerian-ness. The kids talking are two brothers, barely in their teens, who've left their home in the village and moved to Lagos. They work in a metal scrapyard, if I remember correctly. The kid speaking in Yoruba (the language of my father's tribe) is the younger brother. He's saying that when they first moved he really missed his mother and father, but now it's not so bad. I found them very moving."
5. 'All The Models In The Fire'
"I love Arcade Fire and I'm a big fan of Kanye West. Funny how they elicit those quite different responses. My heart swells when I hear most Arcade Fire songs. Their set at Reading nearly had me in tears. Wheras with Kanye, what I feel is an immense amount of respect. It's hard to deny that his beats are fucking cool, whatever you think of him as a person."
6. 'Here's Here Right Now'
"One of the things I love about playing with context is the potential for irreverence. So you've got a vocal snippet at the start from a well known homosexual (Rufus Wainwright) and snippets from a Justin Timberlake song about unbridled sexuality. Things like this make me laugh."
"The emotional centre of the mixtape. For all the talk about playing with context and making sounds that are cool or whatever, I also just really like great melodies and genuine sentiments. The reason for playing with context is to build up those emotional resonances that make your heart ache in that bittersweet way that only music can. So sometimes you have to drop the intellectual gymnastics and just be genuine."
8. 'New Boots Smell'
9. 'Amtrakk (We Will Kill Again)'
"Earlier this year, I was attempting to build up material for a collaborative EP with a Nigerian rapper who's an old friend of mine. After I'd sent him five beats that were all rejected, we quietly decided that it was a better idea to just stay friends (so to speak). This song grew out of one of those beats."
10. 'Youthless - Golden Age (OLUGBENGA Silent G Edit)'
"I think I said somewhere that this was one to listen to in the dark on headphones with tears streaming down your face. I was in no way kidding when I did."