Benedic Lamdin aka Nostalgia 77, gets down with Lady KMD on fighting the good fight with Jazz as his light sabre!
Between the prolific studio sessions, I talked to Benedic Lamdin a.k.a. Nostalgia 77, about his newest album, new year projects, and battling the forces of evil through Jazz….
Q. Would you agree that you have tended to produce music with a dark edge, your newest album ‘Weapons of Jazz Destruction” being no exception?
“I guess that's a fair comment - I am trying to make some happier pieces but I think I'm drawn to minor keys and darker textures as a general rule. Ultimately I'd like to be able to balance all the different emotions and hues in one piece of music but I think I'm a way off that... in a track like 'Quiet Dawn' on the 'Everything under the Sun' LP, I think you get a bit of it, a bittersweet sound - a little happiness and sadness at the same time - its an interesting tension.”
Q. How long did the new album take to make and produce?
“The 'weapons' LP was recorded in five days and mixed in about four, so the work was fairly quick. Of course there was a lot of writing that different members of the group did before the fact. There are tunes on the new LP by Jonny Spall, Riaan Vosloo and Tom Allan, as well as writing by myself. The recording is all live with the whole band in one room so what you hear is what happened.”
Q. What hard/software do you favour?
“I do record on to pro tools as a general rule and then mix it back through the desk and the outboard gear to tape for the final mix.”
Q. You jazz hard, with classic and digital productions literally falling out from your person. What inspires you to write and produce so prolifically?
“Working is equal parts inspiration and compulsion for me. I'm actually not exactly sure where one starts and the other stops. I think I just get such a kick out of hearing new songs and pieces come together that I find it hard to stop. I think its the work really that inspires me... on each project you learn something new and then you want to improve on what you've just done with that new knowledge. Of course other music and artist are constantly inspiring. Sometimes you just hear something and think I HAVE to try and capture that feeling in my own way in my own music.”
Q. You run Impossible Arc Records – what is the philosophy behind it?
“Impossible Ark was set up by me and the Nostalgia bass player Riaan Vosloo. The idea was to start a label for a number of projects done by ourselves and friends that weren't being released elsewhere. As a general rule the emphasis is on live musicianship & adventurous artists who are doing something different. I liked the idea of running a label from the position of being a producer so I could make sure the label had a distinctive sound and an enduring quality. Having done the first few records we've now started receiving material from other artists so hopefully the labels starting to grow.
We've just released an LP by an Australian countryman, Max Grunhard. His jazz quintet is really great and sold out straight away... there should be a new one coming early this year along-side the next project which include examples of Twelves and the related Twelves Trio, Nostalgia Sessions and the first Impossible Ark compilation.”
Q. What are your plans for 2008? Any resolutions?
“I should just draw your attention to the new LP Weapons of Jazz Destruction, and early this year there’s going to be a compilation of one offs and remixes that I've done over the last few years which has just been mixed and the promo should start soon: It’s mostly B sides and does exactly what it says on the tin – half of it’s a load of remixes and half is vinyl heavy releases & bonus tracks…
There's also an LP with Keith and Julie Tippett thats getting mixed at the moment which will be out on Impossible Ark & RedKite records this year.
Right now, I’m finishing last year’s work for the first 3 or 4 months of the new year – as happens! I’m also helping my friend Nathanial (Natural Self), mixing some stuff with him. At the end of last year I worked with a Canadian singer, Elizabeth Shepard. It’s a jazz thing and I’m doing production on the album.
Resolutions? Urmm… I’ve forgotten already! – exercise?! I would like to have a calmer year actually, & to do more of my own stuff, hang at home & do some writing…. Sometime…soon! There’s been lots of work for other people, it’s cool to be stimulated, to have things to get on with, but also nice to take it easier too…. one day!..”
Q. Russ Dewbury is in Melbourne now, any chance you might pop over to see him & play a few gigs? (asked hopefully)…
“Ah he’s gotten out there then?! Good on him. I’ve talked to a few people to go out to Australia & DJ – with the big band project there’s a lot of people to organise. It’s about trying to fit it in at a time when I can take a break in the schedule really – it’s a long way to go, and I’d like to go for a while…it would be great…”
Q. What are you up to live-wise?
“Coming up I have the normal one-off dates in Europe (it’s so easy to get there!), a few little bits in UK, and a few weeks in Japan doing DJ shows…around 7 shows in 10 days, so it should be fun, if hectic!
Last in the line of projects is some work with Lizzie Parks. Keep your ears peeled - if it’s OK to promote my own music! – it’s going to be emerging soon, I’m excited by this – It’s co-written by me, Lizzie and another co-writer & I’m really pleased with how the record sounds – it’s been a really cool process…”
Nostalgia 77 continues to musically break and merge, through collaboration and good old-fashioned hard-studio-time. Big live projects, underground releases, giant Kudos. If this man makes it over here, you’ll be in for a sonic treat…
In the meantime, keep it peeled, and loose. Jazz jihad!!