San Francisco-based producer Giraffage (Charlie Yin), whose dreamy synth-pop productions have appointed him as one of electronic music’s most refreshing and innovative producers among the landscape, takes a sonic leap forward with his forthcoming record Too Real, out this October on Counter Records.
Yin grew up in San Jose, California to two Taiwanese immigrants and was raised in a traditional Asian upbringing. A self described “music nerd since day one,” his initial interest grew into something larger after his parents bought him a drumset in eighth grade. “I was always the one passing music suggestions to my friends”, he says, “and the more time I spent working on music the more I knew that’s all I really wanted to do.” His wide range of musical knowledge acted as a launching pad for his own productions, which he began making on a now defunct software program called Tabit. From there he began posting songs online and started gaining traction among online music communities. He quickly advanced to more sophisticated programs and after a handful of releases under the moniker ‘Robot Science’, he introduced Giraffage midway through his final year in college with his self-released synth-pop debut mixtape, Comfort. By the time he graduated in 2012, he was regularly playing shows across the globe.
“I didn’t have any high hopes for the Giraffage project,” he recalls of his early days diving into music full time. Like many American kids born to immigrants, his parents disapproved of a career in music and hoped he would pursue a more auspicious path in law or medicine. “They told me I could give it a year after graduation and if nothing came of it then I needed to reassess my plans.” Lucky for Yin, his success raced ahead at lightspeed following his 2013 Needs mixtape, a release that showcased his versatility as a producer and “omnivorous music lover,” as noted by Pitchfork. It wasn’t until his world tour supporting Porter Robinson-- an experience he considers one of the most pivotal points in his career-- that he was able to see the panorama of his rapidly growing fan base. He continued touring with names like Phantogram, Flume, XXYYXX, and dropped his No Reason EP with Fool’s Gold in 2014-- his first release that featured all sample-free productions.
For the last year and a half, Giraffage has continued to tour and play major international festivals while writing his forthcoming LP Too Real. The album, which takes sonic and stylistic cues from such groundbreaking acts as Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruomi Hosono, Soichi Terada, Interpol, and Radiohead, “is a return to my musical interests and roots,” he explains. Indeed, Too Real, sounds like just that-- an authentic return to the music he’s believed in from the start.
For the past six years, Ryan Hemsworth has established himself as a versatile figure in music. He's gained a reputation as an adept tastemaker with a golden ear for talent, and an inventive producer capable of crafting unique soundscapes for pop stars and underground talents alike. Elsewhere is the first full length Hemsworth will release since 2014's Alone For The First Time. Since his second album was released, Ryan has toured the world multiple times over, put out a collaborative EP in 2016 with producer Lucas, developed his Secret Songs label, and produced music for artists across many genres of music.
Ryan has been working quietly on his solo music through his travels over the past couple of years - exploring different styles and forms. The result of this two year long process is an album that is truly a global effort, featuring artists from across the planet and one that doesn't fit into any singular box sonically. A progressive effort from the musician that pushes his own boundaries as an artist but fits perfectly into the Ryan Hemsworth catalogue. Elsewhere will arrive September 21st via Secret Songs / eOne.
Nite Jewel (DJ Set)
Benjamin Falik is ambivalent about the idea of personal fame. That's one reason the producer, songwriter/producer chose the name Julia Lewis as a professional pseudonym: "It's little bit of smoke and mirrors," admits Falik, a Berkeley native. "I like playing with people's expectations."
That drive to upend the expected is a through line in Falik's work, as his reputation for making soulful, rhythmic bops -- emotional, human productions and remixes that blend hip-hop and electronic elements with a shot of his first love, jazz -- has spread throughout the Bay Area and beyond. In 2018, Falik earned a co-sign from Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds at the RnB legend’s inaugural songwriting camp in LA. In addition, Falik has been selected as a producer/writer for the prestigious song workshop, Secret Genius Los Angeles.
Falik grew up in a house full of music. His mother was a violinist and classical pianist; her father had been a violinist as well; and both of his sisters picked up the piano as children. Their younger brother soaked up the sounds and rewards of rigorous practice. There was, he says, a lot of Chopin.
Falik, for his part, studied jazz as a young teen, playing saxophone, bass, guitar and piano. Branching out into classic funk and R&B, the young musician eventually gravitated toward the experimentation of futuristic RnB and the urgency of hip-hop, insistent that he shouldn’t have to choose between Miles Davis and Mobb Deep.
The result is an impressive range: a drive for beats that are both soothing and surprising; a playful approach to blending the electronic and analog; an ear for obscure samples, digital synths and warm, old-school horns. It’s a confident style all his own, one that’s made him the go-to producer/ for singers like Joyce Wrice, Bosco, and Duckwrth – as well as rap artists like Rexx Life Raj, G-Eazy, Yung Pinch & Caleborate. "Handheld GPS," which he produced for Raj's debut LP Father Figure, has racked up 6 million plays on Spotify in the year since its release. Falik's talents as a live performer and DJ are equally diverse and in demand: In 2017 he opened for Too $hort, Dam Funk and Tennyson.
Upcoming releases from Falik include a late-2018 EP, as well as a continued stream of singles including artists like, Lil B, Maurice Moore, Guapdad 4000, and Gemaine and producers like Ryan Hemsworth, Drew Banga, and Mr. Carmack.