So. Have you been over to Cafe Nola on the third Wednesdays of each month to check out the Future Sound showcases? Because you should. Tomorrow (or Wednesday, for you tomorrow-haters), the series will feature artists from Noisy Meditation, which is, per its Bandcamp page, a “Deep electronic music label run by Kian Asamoah.” In light of the show, we exchanged a few emails with Mr. Asamoah, himself, and below is what we learned. Remember: You can check out what his label is up to beginning at 9 p.m. Wednesday night over at Cafe Nola. Is there a better possible way to break up the week? The answer is no.
So, how did Noisy Meditation begin?
It all started in 2010 when I found myself receiving a lot of great music from producers, both in the U.S. and overseas, that was unreleased. I was playing all this exclusive music in my DJ sets, and eventually I decided to create an outlet for tracks that I loved, which weren’t necessarily getting the attention they deserved from others.
What goals do you hope to achieve with Noisy Meditation and how do you achieve them?
My main goal with Noisy Meditation is to bring well-made, forward thinking, positive music to the light. I feel that in these times, mainstream media is constantly bombarding us with entertainment that is devoid of soul and authenticity. It’s important for me to do my part in contributing to a counterbalance of that. I have artists from all over the world on my roster, and we all share the same sentiment. I know that there are more independent labels elsewhere who feel the same way also, so I believe that together, we can start to change the current conditions for the better, as long as everyone continues to do their part.
What are some struggles that relate to starting your own local record label? Has everything exceeded or met your expectations thus far? Why?
The greatest struggle is cutting through the digital noise. When the internet first became a tool for music distribution, everyone thought it was going to become this utopia where independent musicians would finally have the chance to be heard on the same scale as major label artists. While it was true in theory, what ended up happening was everyone and their dog started putting their music online, and so now we have this endless stream of digital information to sift through. As a result, the consumer has too many choices, and 90 percent of them get overlooked. With that said, I’m happy with where Noisy Meditation is at the moment. We have an exceptional team of artists, and a dedicated fan base worldwide, which is growing everyday.
You said that you have artists from New York, Baltimore and Frederick. Can you break down the differences between each music community?
Yes, artists from these places will all be playing at the showcase. Maddela is coming down from New York to play with us, and in my opinion, he is one of the most talented electronic producers to come out of that city recently. New York is obviously a huge city, and a place where a lot of people go with big dreams, so the music scene there is pretty saturated. There are always events going on. Last summer, I was in Brooklyn for a DJ gig, and Maddela was booked at another event just 10 blocks away. We didn’t even get to hear each other’s sets, because we were on at the same time. The New York music scene overall is pretty healthy at the moment, but if you’re a musician, you really have to stand out to be heard.
Baltimore is a mid-sized city with a much slower pace than New York, so things here are a bit more mellowed out. At the moment in Baltimore, there’s a lot of interesting new talent coming through from the younger generation, so that’s exciting. Frederick, from what I’ve seen, is a much more tight-knit community where most people on the scene know and respect each other. That kind of unity often gets lost in bigger cities.
How is Baltimore’s electronic music scene? Is it still growing? Promising? Thriving? Any of none of the above? None of the above? And why?
Baltimore has always been a hotbed of hidden talent. Things tend to incubate here for a while before being discovered by others. Case in point: The Baltimore Club music, which was around since 1990, but only gained global notoriety about 7 or 8 years ago. From my vantage point, I see Baltimore as a city that tends to operate in micro-scenes rather than a unified front; perhaps this is why so much of what goes on here remains underground or unnoticed outside of its niche.
What are some names in the local electronic music community that we might not know about in Frederick that we should get to know?
A young producer named Mike Kearney aka C-Level, who will be playing a DJ set of his own material at the showcase, is definitely one to watch. He is a Frederick native who is developing quite a fan base abroad at the moment via his soundcloud page. Drum & bass is the root of his approach to music production, but his style is becoming increasingly experimental and personalized. He’s making all his tunes now on vintage studio gear and is really forging a unique sound this way.
Kevin Yost is a veteran from the area who continues to do his thing on a global scale, and there are other guys making waves regionally, like Plaeground, Telequanta and Secret Panda Society.
What is your overall impression of Frederick’s music community?
I dig it, man. I have played several shows in Frederick over the last few years, and it’s always been a pleasure. Enthusiastic, open minded crowds, with no drama or politics (as far as I can tell). My fondest memory of Frederick is an outdoor street festival I was playing at in the summer of 2011. I had just flown in from Puerto Rico where I was DJ’ing at an open air mansion in the rainforest the night before. I got to Frederick, went in with my deepest selection and it was total vibes, perhaps even more enjoyable than the rainforest gig.
And finally, what can we expect from the showcase?
You can expect a night full of syncopated beats, warm and heavy bass, and positive vibrations all around. Spinscott will do a combination of DJ’ing and live jungle drumming on his MPC. The guy is a beast – be sure to check out his MPC videos on YouTube. Maddela will play a set of cutting-edge bass music, Frederick’s own C-Level will present a set of his original productions, and I’ll be playing an off-the-cuff DJ set incorporating drum & bass, Chicago footwork, and experimental hip-hop beats. This is also my last show in the U.S. before I head overseas for some touring, so I’m excited to put it down with the fam at Cafe Nola.