After our first future music feature on No Glow last month, we asked him to point us in the direction of some other NYC artists making creative and fresh music. He didn’t disappoint. Goodnightmares (Abe) makes groovy bass-centric beats out of Brooklyn. Take a night out in Brooklyn and you’ll hear these UK-influenced beats are becoming more and more popular in the area. Take a listen to his Soundcloud (linked earlier) and his Bandcamp, those tracks are free… any DJ’s out there? Work it into the set man, this stuff gets the people moving live. If you are into it, check out Brooklyn Bass, a group of Abe’s friends who put on parties to make sure the low end is never neglected in this wonderful borough. Of course we asked Goodnightmares a bunch of weird questions about time travel and computer music. Would you expect any different?
Serious Wonder: What started you on electronic music? And when did you decide to start making it?
Goodnightmares: I have always listened to a pretty wide variety of music and in the early 2000s it started leaning more and more towards electronic or electronically produced music. I’d spent most of high school listening to punk and indie rock and playing drums in a few bands but once I was introduced to records like Entroducing and the first few Boards of Canada albums I found myself much less interested in guitar based music. I’d always loved rap and hip hop too which I think helped me grow interested in electronic music and production. In rap many times the star of the show is the producer just as much as the man on the mic. Mannie Fresh, Just Blaze, J Dilla, and then DJ Shadow and Boards of Canada showed me that you can really build whole worlds and albums on your own in your room. J Dilla’s Donuts was the album that specifically made me want to be a producer. I saw that you could have all these influences and end up with something cohesive and unique. I picked up an sp-303 around 2005 because I’d heard that Donuts was made on and from there I was hooked. I felt an incredible amount of freedom going from being a drummer and not having much say in the way the music I was playing was written to being the person behind every idea and decision. I soon moved to making music on DAW’s, Fruity Loops being my first one of course.
SW: What’s behind the name Goodnightmares?
Goodnightmares: To be honest I can barely remember. The name is almost ten years old now. I’ve used it as a pseudonym for both art and music. Obviously its a portmanteau of goodnight and nightmares but I can’t really recall what it was that drew me to it. I have vague memories of signing off with it back when I was in high school chatting on AIM. One day I want to write an album about horses called Goodnight, Mares.
SW: How do you think music and creation will change in the next 40 years, how do you think people will make music in the year 2050?
Goodnightmares: I think that for the most part we’ll see things stay the same until the computers we’re using reach some sort of new level or dimension. You can read articles about quantum computing starting to develop and I wonder what kind of music a quantum computer could make. As far as in a studio, I imagine that you could eventually have some sort of holodeck studio space where you pick a live room pre-set or a control room. You could customize every aspect from the rack/fx to the console/sound of your session or have the computer run your session. You’d be able to choose instruments of past and present musicians. In the future music itself could become a social network where you make a profile of yourself and enter a virtual world connected through the internet of studios and online venues for promotion and performance. Music being made outside of computers that far ahead could be just as different from now.
Goodnightmares – Hurricane:
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/65636609″ iframe=”true” /]
SW: How has music-making changed for you since you started, considering all of the advances in technology?
Goodnightmares: When I started out I had a hard time deciding if I should try and learn to use hardware or software. I’d made a few tracks with the sp-303 but I found it harder to justify using equipment that took so much more time for me than software. I’ve never been very good with interfaces that don’t have any kind of screen but DAW’s like Fruity Loops and Ableton made perfect sense for me. I like seeing the patterns that I’m making. I find that it helps me make sense of what I’m doing, especially when it comes to arranging. From a technical standpoint I’m producing in the year 2009 on a MacBook that’s holding up alright. It forces me to be picky with my plug-ins and fancy synths which I like. So far using a computer has become the fastest way but it would be nice to use all the resources of a real modern day studio.
SW: If you had a time machine and could travel forward or back in time to see/meet/play with any musician you wanted, who would it be?
Goodnightmares: This was the hardest question to answer. I couldn’t really begin to decide so I tried going back to my favorite records or songs. I think I’d want to be a Motown-era songwriter and session drummer. That to me is the best music ever and to get to be a part of it would be amazing. I’d love to spend all day writing songs for The Supremes.
SW: Would you rather be composer with a full orchestra in the 1700’s or a musician in the year 3000? Basically if you pick a time to be a musician, what would it be?
Goodnightmares: Thats a pretty tough question. If being a composer in the 1700’s automatically came with a much better knowledge of muscle theory I’d pick that. Being able to go back and apply the rhythms and melodies I use now but in that environment would be pretty fun. This is all under the notion that the church wouldn’t mess with my work too. The prospect of traveling just as far forward is enticing as well. I am deeply interested in the future so getting to visit it would be a treat. In the end I’d pick 3000. I’m hope we one day have holodecks with telepathic computer orchestras waiting to place your next symphony. For me its all about getting the sounds on my computer to sound like what I’ve got in mind. Hopefully by 3000 the computer’ll have a good idea of what I’m imagining.
Goodnightmares – Fish:
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/58571370″ iframe=”true” /]