Article by Paranoid
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Source Relevant BCN - EGG BOX 010: Odd Nosdam
Say hello to our 10th edition of the Egg Box Podcast. This time we welcome Odd Nosdam, a legend hailing from Berkeley (USA) and a fundamental piece of the iconic Anticon Records label. He was first noticed with his group cLOUDDEAD 14 years ago, and crafted a distinguished amount of remarkable productions on his own over the last decade.
Nosdam, who is half Catalan, makes a strong stamp on the experimental development of electronic music, not only for his angle on productions, but also for his outstanding abilities behind the decks. A hunter of the unheard treasures hidden in the wide spectrum of music, he is an exceptional selector and an artisan of concepts behind dj mixes.
To get a taste of this, dive deep into the mix beneath, entitled 'Other Worlds'. It's a masterclass of not-easy-to-find exceptional music. Covering a wide range that goes from Sun Ra to mystical new age music from San Francisco in the early 80's. Passing by all sorts of trippin' deliciousness in the way. There is also a memorable interview available in spanish too, going through (amongst other things) memories from great record findings, his best parties of all time, the Low End Theory epicness and the Boards of Canada remix. Enjoy.
What can you tell us about the mix that you've made for The Egg Box?
It's a collection of random tunes that I really enjoy, with an emphasis on texture, melody, song production & arrangement. Restraint… Also, plenty of thick keyboards and cute sounds. Most tunes are edited and all are panned to mono*
*because certain tunes are so widely stereo panned, like the Sun Ra tune, I have a difficult time enjoying them in headphones. Whatever. Enjoy.

I saw that you started working on sounds with a Sega Genesis console.
Yeah that's true. Back in '95 I got one of those CD consoles that the Sega Genesis attached on top of. It had an "A - B" repeat function which looped from A (start point), to B (end point). So yeah, I'd sit in my room and loop stuff up off the few CDs I had. There wasn't a way to save the A - B's so I'd just let loops ride until I was satisfied.
In '98 I got a Boss Dr. Sample 202 and dove deep into looping... haven't stopped since.

2013 was Anticon's 15 year anniversary, could you choose some releases to describe the label's soul essence?
I'd say most of the first 20 or so Anticon releases, specifically Deep Puddle Dynamics, Sole's 'Bottle of Humans', first Them LP, Buck 65's 'Man Overboard,' and definitely the first cLOUDDEAD album (not released by Anticon but always considered "Anticon").

Which were the latest things that blew your mind?
I mostly collect and listen to vinyl LPs and 45's from years past but I try to keep my ears on a few current things here and there… My most recent mind blower is a yet-to-be-released long form ambient jam by Matthewdavid & his wife Diva. Working title is "md_diva_brainforest_tape3," it clocks in at 31:15 and so far has been played 276 times on my iTunes! It's great thinking music. I play it daily, on repeat. Folks will understand once it's released.

How do you see the record store's situation in your city? Do you remember any remarkable discoveries looking for music?
Because I'm on the hunt for old vinyl, I'm not often in record stores. Thrift stores, junk shops and yard sales are where it's at for me. But I do at times hit up Dave's Records, a local vinyl-only shop here in Berkeley. At Dave's, one usually finds a nice selection of funk and jazz LPs, fresh 45's and some decent hip hop 12"s. I occasionally go to Amoeba & Rasputins in Berkeley as well.
As for great remarkable discoveries, absolutely! A few Berkeley thrift shops I frequent have proven to be quite generous over the years. I recently found an unplayed, mono, first pressing of my favorite Beatles LP, 'Magical Mystery Tour'. When I first sat with the album, listening loudly while looking at it's gorgeous gatefold cover and huge booklet, it felt like a fucking time warp back to 1967, as if I had just bought the album new off the shelf… I've heard the album hundreds of times, but this particular listen was profound, like it was my very first.
My greatest discovery yet though happened 7 years before at the same thrift shop as the Beatles score. I found the so-called "Holy Grail" of hip hop records: Rammellezee & K-Rob's 'Beat Bop' 12" with the legendary black & white Jean-Michel Basquiat cover art. I recognized the record immediately but didn't believe it could possibly be an original Tartown press, yet that's what I found! The vinyl is perfect, unplayed. The cover has a few wrinkles and rough edges from sitting in a crate for 30 some years, but overall it looks incredible. Only 500 copies where pressed. A record collector friend of mine was not only shocked that I found the record, but was even more surprised that I found it in a west coast thrift shop for 1 buck! Supposedly very few copies made it out of New York.

Great news about BURNCO, the label you are curating. What can we expect on it?
I just thought it'd be fun to have my own imprint to do whatever I want with. Burnco is distributed by Alpha Pup, which is run by Daddy Kev. He also runs Low End Theory. I've known Kev for many years and greatly respect what he's done and continues to do for the "beat scene" so for me it was a no-brainer to set Burnco up through his outlet.
So far, Burnco Recs has 2 releases out, my 'T r i s h' EP was the first, followed by a Serengeti single, 'Firebird Logo.' Both were co-released with Chicago's BARO records. BARO did the tapes, Burnco the digital. I'm keeping it mellow, but I do have a few releases coming up so please stay tuned.

While listening to your music or dj mixes I get the feeling of something anachronic, have you thought of it? Like if there was a search to sound like something from the past, or in some cases, some future conceptions from the past.
That's interesting… Generally, I find "thinking" to be distracting when working on music. I mean, I may have some ideas of what I think I'm going for, but mostly I'm just riding with the inspiration. For me it's all about the process and especially the "feeling." I'm always going after the "chill factor." I know a tune is working when it gives me the chills.

Have you heard about the concept of hauntology in music?
Yeah I'm familiar. Again though, I try to avoid thinking too much about music. I just do… People will often ask "what type of music do you make" or "what instrument do you play?" and I usually cringe at the question and respond as vaguely as possible, something like "I play with drums and space, texture and bass"
Regarding conceptual music, every now and then someone like 'Ursula Bogner' comes along and I marvel at both the brilliant concept and how expertly realized it is.

Since now it's being repressed, I wanted to ask you about the legendary remix for Boards of Canada.
I met BOC in Edinburgh, Scotland while touring with cLOUDDEAD back in 2002. The 5 of us went to a pub after the show and we hit it off real well. So in 2004, while working on the final cLOUDDEAD album, Ten, someone had the idea of having BOC remix our tune Dead Dogs Two. A few years later BOC contacted me the day before the release of their album, Campfire Headphase, asking if I'd like to return the favor. The original idea was to do a 12" with the 'Dayvan Cowboy' original on the A side with my remix on the B side. This is why I arranged my remix in long form style, drifting in and out before coming together, climaxing, and drifting off, because I was under the impression that I'd have the entire B side to myself so I thought, fuck it, I'm gonna indulge. Regardless, I'm thrilled that my remix appears to be standing the test of time. I get props more often for that remix than pretty much any other music of mine.

Is there any other work besides that one, the cLOUDDEAD remix and the DC bit on Pretty Swell Explode?
I recently released a 2nd DC bit on my vol. 17 --> d c bit #2 (b.o.c.) | Odd Nosdam

Which are your most memorable experiences performing live?
cLOUDDEAD opened up for Mad Professor in Tel-Aviv, Israel in 2002. It was a huge outdoor event on a hill overlooking the ocean. Got to hang out briefly with the Professor. We were told after the show that cLOUDDEAD reminded him of the Beastie Boys.
In 2006, Mike Patton jumped on stage with me & the WHY? band to perform '11th Avenue Freakout pt.2' from my album 'Burner' in SF at a venue called Bottom of the Hill.
I played Low End Theory for the first time in 2008. It was a beat invitational. I first met folks like Matthewdavid, Nocando, Ras G, and others that incredible night. This was when Low End really started to blow up. They had the Pure Filth soundsystem set up outside. First time I'd ever experienced such massive bass.
Each time I play Low End it's a blast, but one other LET that really resonates happened in 2012, when I opened for Teebs and DJ Shadow. I DJ'd that one, spinning all my own productions, old to new, including most of the material from 'Sisters' (an upcoming EP for Leaving Records, out sometime this year).
I can't say enough about Low End. From my perspective, that whole scene brought this "beat" thing full circle. Because of scenes like LET, the shit I was doing alone in my bedroom back in '98 finally makes sense!
Article by Paranoid
For Relevant BCN
Source Relevant BCN - EGG BOX 010: Odd Nosdam