Interview with Oculesics by Brian Carducci

JE: Jon Ellis

JD: Jon DeCarlo

1. So, how did you guys end up meeting and coming together as a band

JE: DeCarlo and I were roommates at the University of New Haven; he was playing in a band called The Ghost Sonata at the time and I was actually playing alto sax in a jazz combo before I even started to learn the bass my junior year. A year later, we started to just jam with two friends of ours down in the campus studio which birthed our first song, “Tulsa’s Mom’s a Slut”. Over the next few years the pieces slowly (very slowly) fell into place for our first album to be released in 2011. Sokol, our fourth drummer, came on board about two years ago. I met him through our previous drummer Emmett Ceglia who I also played with in Autocatalytica for a few years. Matt really gets how to play this style and has given us our most solidified lineup to date.

2. Who would you credit for inspirational influence over your sound and vibe as a band?

JD: All of us can agree on Drugs to the Dear Youth by Tera Melos as our common starting point. Vince Rogers is my Jesus.

JE: Tera Melos for sure, their first two releases are just so beautifully complex and intricate and really challenged how I listen to music. I’d also credit Meet Me In St. Louis, Giraffes? Giraffes!, Russian Circles, and Refused as influences among many others.

3. Since you guys don’t have much material out yet, I’m pondering how your sound will expand and how it will change. Your sound as of now is already very original and not very comparable to many other bands that I know of. If you guys have anything new in the works or any new ideas, would you say that your sound has evolved into something a little different or is it sounding relatively similar?

JD: Thank you for the compliment, our two releases are separated by 4 years (7/7/2011 and 7/7/2015) because we put an intense amount of scrutiny into every second of the songs. Because of that scrutiny it takes us a long time to get songs to where we’re all happy with them. We are heavy revisionists and we were still reworking ideas as we started the recording process of the last album. Our general approach is “how can this be better?”. In regards to new music, Matt has 4 songs that he wrote and we’ll write a few others to go with them. We’re not exactly sure when that will be released but the vibe is definitely different from the last album, I don’t think we would want to release a record that sounded exactly like the last thing we just did. We’re all drawn to music that is unique in some way, I hope that bears itself out in what we do.

4. I managed to catch your show at “The Space” in Hamden CT, and I thought you guys killed it. I went to the show to see Chon (the headlining band) without any knowledge of you guys, but you reeled me in with your sound. How has the tour with Chon been going?

JE: We were actually just booked as the local opener for that one tour stop so I can proudly say that 100% of our CHON tour sold out! All kidding aside we had a blast, everyone came out early and seemed to really get into our set.

5. So if I’m not mistaken, oculesics is more or less the study of eye behavior. How did you choose this name and what meaning does it hold, if any?

JE: Yeah more or less, I think it relates specifically to eye related non-
verbal communication which is something we do frequently during our set to hit our cues and keep everything as tight as possible. Jon and I were in communications class together in school and oculesics came up as a vocab word. We liked the sound of it and needed a name for our “band” to go along with our one song at the time. I’ll go further to say our song titles are purely arbitrary jokes and references to things we find funny or interesting.

6. Although your songs are instrumental, do they capture any specific themes that you had in mind while writing them?

JD: The first album was all about dichotomy. It was structured as two groups of three songs, separated by a single song in the middle. Inside of each song there are explorations of ideas jutting up against one another, and the two groups of three songs each explore different contrasting ideas. Being our first album we were still trying to find our voice and dynamic as a band. The first three songs were very much about where we wanted to go as a band, the last three songs were more of an homage to our influences and where we had come from previously. This last record was also structured into an A and B side, but is written more deliberately. The A side is more technical and the B side much darker and heavier. Personally, when I am writing a song I want it to feel like a story, I want it to have a narrative nature that requires you to invest some attention. Beyond that, I think one of the best things about instrumental music is that it can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. No one has to have a common language, experience, or upbringing to be able to appreciate it, it feels more inclusive that way.

7. Can we expect any more live shows in the near future?

JE: We do have a show coming up at the MIT Coffeehouse Lounge in Cambridge on Nov 12th but beyond that no tours planned right now. I’m currently living in Boston, DeCarlo is in Danbury, and Sokol is in Brooklyn so frequent practices and shows are tough for us but we’re trying to get out there s much as we can.

8. Where can fans find you online and access your music?

JE: Our two albums can be streamed and downloaded for FREE at All of our show announcements and updates are on Facebook and tumblr

9. When can we expect to see any new releases?

JE: If we stick to the schedule we’ve been on, our new album will drop on EXACTLY 7/7/2019 but we got some new songs already in the works so we’ll try and have something before then!

Ipman Interview by Matt Mattson

1. What sparked your desire to make music?

I was brought up in a musical family, my parents are both musicians, as well as some of their brothers/sisters. SO I guess making music is just something I’ve always done and something that’s always been around me.

2. How did you decide on your stage name?

Well obviously I watch a lot of martial arts films ;) When we were still at college me and my producing friends would come up with lots of names for ourselves, Ipman just stuck and got picked up on by others so I just kept it.

3. Do you have any formal training with musical instruments? If so, what instruments?

I can play the trumpet, I used to be pretty good but I haven’t practiced enough for quite a while now. I should but synths are very distracting! I can play the guitar and drums a bit as well.

4. Who would you consider are your main influences musically?

I would say that I take influence from quite a wide range just because I’ve listened to so much music, but if I was going to narrow it down and pick on a few artists then definitely Vex’d, Aphex Twin, Dom&Roland, lots of early dubstep and D&B tracks.  That kind of stuff.

5. What was your main inspirations when creating your new album Depatterning?

Depatterning was really a goal to create something that i could feel was uniquely mine and hold up as an example of my self-expression. When you write dance music it’s easy to fall into using well known tropes and reusing established ideas and sounds to build tracks – which can be really effective in making a big club tune, and I have a lot of love for those sounds, but with this I wanted to try and put my footprint on it as much as possible and not rely on these easily recognizable signatures of the style. Except for in Regicide haha.

6. What do you do when you are not making music?

I am really into cooking… It’s pretty similar to making tunes though I guess. Go to the pub!

7. What genre/style would you consider your music under besides electronic?

Other than other subgenres of electronic music? None to be honest, it’s electronic through and through, taking bits from dub to techno to experimental psychoacoustic music.

8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

HAHA serious question? I don’t know where I’ll be in 1 year let alone 10. I guess I hope I am is still kicking and making music that I enjoy that hopefully other people do too. I would like to continue to write more albums, nothing planned yet but I can feel that I will be doing that again.

Ipman – Depatterning

Genre: Electronic, Experimental, Techno, Dubstep

This album by the UK producer Jack Gibbons, better known by his stage name Ipman, came to my attention when The Glitch Mob cosigned the artist onto their label Glass Air.  This is the first time that The Glitch Mob has signed an artist onto their label that has no direct ties to the group.  In the UK, the album is signed to the Label Tectonic Recordings, created by UK producer DJ Pinch.

I became truly intrigued by this album when The Glitch Mob released the song “Y” on their Soundcloud a few weeks ago.  The use drum samples and crunchy synthetic noises created an electronic symphony that could not be ignored.

The album itself is interesting.  Some of the songs begged to be played at full volume, while others seem to lay flat for me.  The first song “Regicide” sets the tone as an electronic punch in the face. With a slower and more aggressive drum and bass influenced beat which included a bass line that pulsates within the drum samples and synthesizer to gives an unsettled feel, this song is an absolute banger.  Comfort is not found in the next track “Technicolor” as once again, Ipman creates an eerie textural sounds that lead into a more techno style beat.

“Gravity” is a heart racing song that’s repetitive kicks produce an unworldly feel.  This piece progresses in a fashion that has heavy influenced by techo, creating a more club style sound.  The next song “IPA” is probably my sleeper pick of the album.  It starts with what seems to be a very “jazz-café” style sound with HEAVY bass, but progresses into a very strong electronic lo-fi sounding techno beat that is extremely catchy.

“Y” I found to be a forward thinking song with a great beat, synth and samples.  The progression on this song is a refreshing contrast to “Last One In The In The” to be my favorite song on the album.  This song is followed by “O” which seems to be used to bridge the gap in the progression of “YOU” as a full composition.  It also is the only song that seems to create a more experimental ambient sound.  This is followed by a wet sounding electronic noise that immediately disturbs and intrigues the ear.  “U” is overall a more trance like vibe that then develops into a strong beat that pulsates for the rest if the song.  Lastly, “Strong Ones” ends the album on a positive note with another memorable song that is very aggressive.  The high notes throughout the song give the catchy beat a very strong kick that creates drives the song all the way to the end.

Overall, I found this album to be a good listen.  Some drawbacks to it were the length of some of the songs, but most techno songs are typically longer in length.  This LP has few misses for me, but it also has more than its fair share of winners.  Ipman has a very unique sound, there is no doubt about that, and if you like a grungy electronic techno sounds with kick ass drum beats, give Depatterning by Ipman a listen.

Favorite songs: Regicide, IPA, Y, Strong Ones

Least favorite: O, Last One In The In The

Brigades Interview


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SOFFI TUKKER Interview by Mercedes Silva

1. When did you decide that making music was the career you wanted?

During our senior year of college, actually during the final week.

2. Who are your musical influences?

Sophie brings the Brazilian influences (Tom Jobim, João Gilberto, Gilberto Gil…) and West African influences (Habib Koite & Bamada, Amadou & Miriam…). Tucker brings the house influences – but also grew up listening to all sorts of music, from rap to rock.

3. How would you describe your sound?

“World influenced dance music”? But “world music” is a very broad term… it just means using sounds and making production choices that aren’t usually in the dance music lexicon.

4. Do you plan on going on a nationwide tour anytime soon?

Yes but we aren’t allowed to talk about it yet haha.

5. What is your favorite part about making music together?

We love being in the studio, we love being in the club, we love being on stage… we’re just happy to be doing what we’re doing, we love it all.

6. I understand that you two met while in college. Has making music together strengthened your friendship?

We were making music together before we were really friends. Luckily we ended up liking each other.

7. If you had to describe your EP/music in one word, what would it be?


8. What music are you currently listening to on your iPod?

Sophie is only listening to Rodrigo Amarante right now. Tucker is on a strictly SOFI TUKKER diet.

9. What was the inspiration behind your song ‘Drinkee’?

The lyrics come from the Brazilian poet, Chacal, who Sophie had just met and collaborated with. The guitar riff happened one day in the studio, actually the first day Sophie held an electric guitar. Drinkee was the first song we made together; it’s our genesis song.

10. What do you want new fans to know about you as a group, or your music?

When you are listening to our music, we would like you to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves (thanks, Mary Oliver)

11. Where do you see yourselves and your career in 5 years?

Peaking, somewhere in the world.

Tucker would also like to add: when he was on the basketball team at Brown his freshman year, he scored 26 points against you guys. But you still won.

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