Mwahaha - "Sundown" by Matt Valerio

Just like this blog right here…Bay Area band Mwahaha has been fairly quiet for some time. In addition to focusing on some other projects (vocalist Ross Peacock has been spending a lot of his time performing with Zachary James Watkins as Watkins/Peacock), they sadly lost their dear bandmate, visual artist Cyrus Tilton to cancer in 2017. Fortunately, Cyus had already recorded some of the initial ideas that ended up helping to shape this amazing record.

The track above is just a taste of what you’ll hear when their new record Lovers comes out in September.

RIYL: LCD Soundsystem, Soulwax, Kraftwerk, David Bowie

Background Noise, Episode 28: How & Nosm by Matt Valerio

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 28, the focus is on How & Nosm

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 28, the focus is on How & Nosm

photo by Matt Bomarr

photo by Matt Bomarr

How & Nosm are identical twin brothers. The duo, consisting of Raoul and Davide Perre, were born in Spain, but raised near Dusseldorf, Germany and lived there most of their lives, growing up as regular graffiti artists until around 1999, when they relocated to New York.

Their style is very unique and recognizable. Their signature black, red and grey color scheme almost always depicts some insanely detailed events. So much so, that you really do get lost in them. At their Late Confessions show at Jonathan Levine Gallery near the beginning of 2013, there was actually a point where I caught myself forgetting to breathe while looking deep into one of their pieces of work. I was so sucked in that I completely forgot. As cheesy as it sounds, they were literally breathtaking, as is the case with most of their work.

photo by Andrew Boehly

photo by Andrew Boehly

Despite having their roots in straight up graffiti, the duo does mostly mural work these days, which is great because I feel like that's a medium that really allows them to put a lot more detail into the work and have that detail actually be seen, whereas all that detail could maybe get a bit lost on a small canvas. They've done the famous Bowery Wall on Manhattan's Lower East Side, which counts Keith Haring as it's first artist. They painted an entire airplane in Arizona for The Boneyard Project, have done murals in Miami for the Wynwood Walls and designed a few limited edition, hand-made shoes inspired by Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, with all proceeds being donated to people in need after Hurricane Sandy.

Their mix, like many other mix in this project, is very eclectic. Starting with some classic Kraftwerk, (whom the guys acknowledge having the same color scheme as), then ending up at some Mobb Deep, Solange and even some Falco (RIP).

photo by Matt Bomarr

photo by Matt Bomarr

What was your first concert?
Our first concert was in 19911 in Wuppertal, Germany and we saw the British hip hop groups Hijack and Gunshot which were part of the Syndicate with Ice T.

Last concert?
Kraftwerk in 3D, New York City

First album you bought?
Nosm never bought one but How did. It was probably a Gang Starr album.

Last album you bought?
We haven't bought an album in many many years. The internet changed the whole process of going to a record store to listen to an album and then buying it. With all the free music players online you can listen to what you like whenever you want for free.

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
Raekwon, Only built for Cuban Linx comes to our minds when reflecting on our past. But there are too many great albums and musicians out there to stay firm with only one.

Who is your musical here?
Do you mean who is our musical influence ? Definitely Kraftwerk from our hometown Duesseldorf. Same color scheme, same precision work and same originality .

How important is music to your creative process?
We listen to all genres while we paint in the studio, constantly. Our neighbor must hate us.:)

1. Kraftwerk, Radioactivity
2. David Bowie, Man Who Sold The World
3. Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the devil
4. Mobb Deep, Shook ones pt.2
5. Raekwon, Incarcerated Scarfaces
6. Led Zeppelin, Whole Lotta Love
7. Solange, Losing you
8. Little Dragon, Ritual Union
9. Kanye West, Cold1
10.Falco, Out of the Dark
11. Frank Ocean, Lost
12. Bob Marley, Exodus

Check out How & Nosm's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes.

Snakefinger - "The Model" by Matt Bomarr

snakefinger - "the model" (download) [audio]

Snakefinger consisted solely of Philip Charles Lithman (1949-1987), a frequent collaborator with The Residents, who gave him the Snakefinger alias. This cover of Kraftwerk's classic "The Model" is taken from his 1983 record Against the Grain.

Q4U - "Creeps" by Matt Bomarr

q4u - "creeps" (download) [audio]

Early 80's post-punk from Reykjavik, Iceland.  The main riff  on  "Creeps" is very reminiscent of Kraftwerk's "The Model," which came only a few years before this.  They can be seen performing this live in the Icelandic music documentary Rokk í Reykjavík.

Takako Minekawa - "Destron" by Matt Bomarr

takako minekawa - "destron" (download)

This song has been a staple on many "mix tapes" I've made for people since this came out in 1996. It's got that head-nodding, yet melodic, poppy feel to it. It's a great song to listen to loud in headphones. Takako Minekawa's love for Kraftwerk, Moog synthesizers, vocoders and Casios is really apparent on this record. Amazingly, as much as I love this record, I've never gone and checked out any of her other releases. After re-visiting this yet again, I'm going to have to. Oh, and she's married to Japanese electronic producer Cornelius.