One of my good friends, Rebecca Bratburd, was recently able to snag an interview with Ufolk records. Couldn’t ask for much more in this situation. All the work has been done for me!
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On May 3rd, Sun Glitters released a 17 song album on newfound record label, Ufolk Records, based in [weird] California. The name-your-price album, entitled Everything Could Be Remodeled And That’s Fine, is definitely worth a listen. Featuring tunes from the likes of Blackbird Blackbird, Teen Daze, Space Ghost, Papercutz and others, the album is all the wonkiness and weirdness you’ve come to expect of San Francisco underground chillwave. Sometimes dense, other times dreamy, it brings about images of early spring— dandelions, blue skies, & the waves of the Pacific rolling up on the west coast. Take a listen to Beside Me (Blackbird Blackbird) below, and head over the Bandcamp for the full, free release. Mikey Maramag, 23, who produces music under the moniker Blackbird Blackbird, talks about his new record label, Ufolk Records (pronounced U-F-Olk), and its first digital release, Everything Could Be Remodeled And That Would Be Fine.
How would you describe the music of Everything Could Be Remodeled And That Would Be Fine?
It’s pretty dreamy, and cohesive. It’s an example of how electronic music is becoming restructured. It’s all of these different artists aligned for something new and different—an example of the changing music landscape.
The first track off the album is a remix you did of a Sun Glitter tune. What’s your method in creating a remix of something as abstract as Sun Glitters?
I didn’t want to change too much about it. Usually I change a lot in my remixes, but this was not a restructuring of the song.
Where are you currently living?
I’m living between Santa Cruz and San Francisco; I go back and forth. I went to school at UC Santa Cruz and I’m in San Francisco a lot—it’s my home base.
Is your music influenced by San Francisco & Northern California?
Definitely. I grew up in Northern California and I listen to a lot of music that comes out of Santa Cruz and Northern California.
What inspires you to make new music?
Everyday life, my surroundings, the people I meet, and my experiences. I take experiences and channel them through music. It’s a way of communicating emotion via music. I like to destroy music, too.
What have traditionally been your musical influences?
I have a lot of influences from ‘90s hip hop to Joy Division-esque music to old school punk rock. I try to apply all those aspects to the music I make but it’s hard as hell. One of my favorite bands is Municipal Waste, but you’d never expect that from listening to my music. I didn’t get into electronic music until after drumming for Murder Practice, a hardcore band I was in a few years ago. I still have my roots in electronic music like Apex Twin and Burial. After I heard that, I was like, “I wanna make electronic music.” I used to listen to obscure glitch music, too.
What are you listening to lately?
Lots of psych rock and Santa Cruz bands. I’m here in Santa Cruz just chilling and there’s a lot of good music coming out of here. Placentaur is a band we’re actually going to work with soon. It’s aerial-painting lo-fi inspired.
What made you want to establish an entirely new record label?
Fuck big labels. Do it your fucking self. For some people, I understand if you’re not trying to spend all your time doing it, but personally, I’m super into it, this music thing. It totally suits my way of life, and it’s fun.
As Blackbird Blackbird, were you signed to any other record label?
The way things are with the industry, some people get signed. The way I’ve been doing things, if you want to release a physical album, you have to partner up with something like Arcade Sound. That’s how I physically released Summer Heart in Japan, so that was basically like me getting signed but not me getting signed. Currently I’m not signed at all. I’m talking to other record labels now but it’s hard to move forward.
You have two shows coming up in May, in San Francisco, and Santa Cruz. What should people expect when going to your shows?
It’s hard to expect anything in particular from my shows. I have a lot of different set ups live. I have a full live band but sometimes I live DJ and sing on my own, and it’s a one-man band kind of thing. Other times, I have a drummer, and it’s just me and the drummer. It’s pretty minimal and it’s my favorite. The live band is fun, too.
What are some of your challenges in making music in this new electronic landscape?
I write so much music every day that it’s hard for me to settle on one kind of music. It’s hard for people to understand that. I write a lot of weird shit. It’s hard to make a full album because my sound is all over the place. The challenge for me has been to find that really cohesive style.
What’s next for Ufolk Records?
We have a Kickstarter page, and if it raises more than $5000 then I’m going to release Halo on actual vinyl. That’s the next plan. I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen. Also we’re trying to do a compilation album with a bunch of artists on a 12” vinyl and CD-R. It’s going to be a big collective of artists helping each other in different ways. It’s not strictly run by me and Austin; it’s going to be collective.
Big thanks to Rebecca, again, for snagging this up. It’s 9:30AM, Essáy’s Calm Interpretation mix of ‘Beside Me’ just came on, and let me tell you, I am quite calm. Lovely release!