against the clock: joakim

Who is France’s greatest electronic music export? Daft Punk? Justice? Jean-Michel Jarre? For our money, Joakim deserves to be on the shortlist. For the past 15 years, the prolific Parisian artist has been honing his poppy, colorful and downright weird take on club music across countless records and aliases on Gilb’R’s Versatile label and his own Tigersushi imprint, remixing everyone from Cut Copy to Robyn along the way.

In 2015, Joakim relocated to Brooklyn to open Crowdspacer NYC, a professional, for-hire recording studio that also houses his jaw-dropping synth collection. The ARP 2600, Korg’s PolySix, the 303, 808 and 909, PPG Wave – if you can name it, Joakim’s probably got one. It was here we caught up with the producer for this week’s Against The Clock, where he made use of some of this and his SP1200 sampler to make a track in 10 minutes.


against the clock: yo la tengo

Yo La Tengo have been part of the US indie-rock landscape for over 30 years, racking up over 15 studio albums since their 1986 debut. So, when we heard that the band’s bassist James McNew was keen to go Against The Clock, we couldn’t say no.

As well as being a member of Yo La Tengo since 1992, McNew is a prolific solo musician who records under the name Dump, an alias that he’s been releasing under for over 25 years. We caught up with McNew at his New Jersey studio where he showed us what he can make with an MPC, a DAW and a double bass in 10 minutes.

against the clock: tom misch

21-year-old South London producer Tom Misch has had an impressive career so far. He started making beats on his computer at age 16, heavily inspired by J Dilla. Now he’s a fully-fledged producer in his own right and one of the UK’s most exciting up-and-coming artists.

He started playing the violin age 6 and also has a degree in jazz guitar, which came to good use in his Against The Clock session, filmed in his childhood home. Fresh from the release of his new album Geography, watch the multi-instrumentalist create one of his signature lush beats in just 10 minutes now.

against the clock: django django

1960s psych, 1970s space-rock, analog hip-hop and big unabashed pop: nothing is out of limits when London based art-rockers Django Django are working on new material. We were reminded of this once more in January, when the Mercury Prize-nominated group’s latest album Marble Skies was unleashed upon the world, featuring some of their most ambitious songwriting yet.

How does their eclectic mish-mash of sounds come together? We challenged the band to take on our Against The Clock challenge to find out, crafting a track in 10 minutes full of their usual echoing guitar jangles and pulsing grooves. Watch how they got on above, and check out a selection of photos from inside their north London HQ.

against the clock: 5ive beatz

You might not know 5ive Beatz, but he’s already worked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop: Krept & Konan, Nines, Rae Sremmurd and even Young Thug are just some of the artists to have appeared on one of his beats.

The North Londoner and reformed hacker has been honing his FL Studio skills since he accidentally downloaded a copy of Fruity Loops 4 at the age of 14. We visited his London studio and challenged him to make a track in 10 minutes where his speed and ability left us stunned.

against the clock: kwake bass

Kwake Bass is one of London’s busiest musicians. As well as acting as Sampha and Kate Tempest’s musical director on tour, he’s jammed with Mica Levi and Herbie Hancock, performed with MF Doom, shared a stage with Method Man and Redman and forms part of jazz and hip hop instrumental band Speakers Corner Quartet.

Considering Kwake has also just released a new single via the newly launched DEM1NS label that comes paired with a T-shirt drop, we were lucky to pin him down at his basement studio in south London for long enough to film his episode of Against The Clock. The results were seriously impressive: as well as using most of the gear in his studio he even managed to fit in some live drums.


against the clock: jaques

sowas habe ich wirklich noch nie gesehen =)

French producer Jacques couldn’t afford real instruments when he started making music, so he made his own. Now he tours the world with his homemade orchestra of scrapers, cups, wooden spoons and other ephemera, recording them and putting them through an array of pedals, loopers and samplers.

His live show is just as unique as his haircut, so obviously we had to get him in the studio for an episode of Against The Clock. He didn’t disappoint, making a bassline out of a rubber band and a melody out of a drill while crafting percussion with a nail file. Press play and enjoy.

against the clock: bryon the aquarius

Back in 2017, London producer FunkinEven pointed us into the direction of his friend and collaborator Byron The Aquarius, telling us on Twitter he’d make for an excellent Against The Clock session – and believe us, he was right.

The Birmingham, Alabama native has worked with Onra, Flying Lotus and Eminem producer Denaun Porter since 2007, but it’s only in the past few years that he’s made a name for himself as a DJ and house producer, releasing on Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature, Kyle Hall’s Wild Oats and Eglo Records.

against the clock: blue hawaii

For our first Against The Clock of 2018, we linked up with Canadian electronic duo Blue Hawaii. Formed of Alex „Agor“ Kerby and Raphaelle „Ra“ Standell, the band have been making experimental pop music for the past eight years, often blurring the lines between performance and DJ set.

Blue Hawaii’s Against The Clock is one of the most laid-back sessions we’ve seen.  Recorded from their couch, the finished track sees Standelle singing from lyrics in a PDF file while Kerby crafts a smooth house beat.

against the clock: joe hertz

Episodes of Against The Clock don’t come much smoother than Joe Hertz’s. Having built a reputation for velvety, nostalgic R&B across a number of EPs over the last few years – the latest of which, the enigmatic night/daze on London label Juicebox Music, dropped last month – we expected nothing less.

Though he hails from Brixton, Hertz’s studio is in North London. It was here we met him to witness the creation of an ultra lush hip-hop instrumental full of whistled melodies, spacious echoes and good, good vibes, in just 10 minutes.