Alright, never let it be said that i didn’t get t any of you anything for the holidays. In my continued effort to bring you kiddies exclusive content, particularly after that one PR flak told me i was too small to make that happen, today it’s all about our favorite cross-continental duo, Vox Katana. With their locations being literally continents apart, we’re doing something a bit different with today’s Q&A, providing you the opinions of both sides of this coin.
1. Name, rank and serial number.
Li: Li Vox
Isaac: Isaac Swanson
2. Explain your working relationship. I know Isaac is in Florida, and Li is in Portugal. Is it all emails? Have you ever actually met in person? Explain it. Tell us how it is.
Li: I’ve met Isaac through MySpace, because he was in need of a vocalist. I sent him my ideas for “She Changed Her World”, and it worked out perfectly!
Isaac creates all the beats and sounds, and send them to me via Soundcloud. Then it’s my turn to do some work, so I write down the lyrics and record the vocals, and then send it all back to Isaac. After this first process, it’s all about fixing some stuff and changing some details; maybe add some more vocals or samples… but it’s been great to work that way. I feel like I can express myself the way I want, with no obligations or barriers – and luckily Isaac usually likes my ideas, and understands what I’m trying to create.
We have some more songs to work out, and a ton of ideas, where I’m able to show my skills on writing (both in English and Portuguese), and singing.
But we never met, although I feel like I know Isaac for ages! I feel this sort of good vibe between us both, and hopefully we’ll get the chance to actually meet, sit and talk. And after that, maybe share a stage!
Isaac: We do a lot of chatting and messaging through Facebook. Usually we exchange our musical ideas through Soundcloud. I’ll create a beat and send it to Li in a private link. She writes and records the vocals and sends it back. Much of the time, I’ll hear changes I would like to make to the music to fit her voice or the lyrics in a better way. Sometimes I remix and send it back, and she might re-record the vocals. We just go back and forth until it is right. Sometimes we hit on the first try. Li’s vocals and lyrics are usually perfect the first time around, it’s then up to me to perfect the mix. I have a ton of beats where I get started on a track, and it sounds good, then I listen back and imagine her voice singing over it, and it just doesn’t seem like it will work, so I start over with something new.
No, we’ve been working together for over a year, and we’ve never met. One of these days I think we’ll have to sit down and have a phone conversation. Sometimes the 5 hour time difference can make something like that a little bit difficult. We’d really like to get enough momentum going to actually play live someday!
3. There seems to be a recent resurgence in trip hop. Who are your faves in the game today? Of all time?
Li: I love Massive Attack since I’ve listened to “Teardrop”, back in 1998. I still love them, and they are absolutely my favourite project in the trip hop scene. I also like Tricky, Thievery Corporation and Portishead. But I have to underline the importance of Lamb in my trip hop experience; they sure mix a lot of drum n bass stuff, but “Fear of Fours” is a must-listen.
Isaac: I absolutely love Thievery Corporation. They have the best grooves, and their bass player, Ashish “Hash” Vyas is out of this world. I’m a bass player at heart, so I’m always in awe of someone who can play and perform like that guy.
I’m also digging bands like Massive Attack (of course) and Portishead. Beats Antique is putting out some far out shit right now too.
As far as resurgence goes, I think that’s great! A friend of mine out in L.A. puts on a trip hop night called Tripnotic at The Room in Santa Monica. One of the coolest spots ever. Great atmosphere, great DJ’s spinning excellent trip-hop music all night.
4. What’s the one album every beathead should own?
Li: “Mezzanine”, from Massive Attack. Definitely.
Isaac: Ah man, that’s a tough one! There are so many great ones out there! Anyone who is a beathead probably owns anything I might recommend. Right now I’m digging on Thievery’s “Culture of Fear”
5. What’s new in the world of Vox Katana? Any new albums/tours/sex tapes on the horizon?
Li: You can follow us on our official website at www.voxkatana.com . We recently signed a deal with Neurotraxx Deluxe Records, so “She Changed Her World” will be out on vinyl and CD in the beginning of 2012. We are really excited about this new experience!
And also, we’ll meet personally, sometime, in 2012! It’s my promise to Isaac!
Isaac: We recently signed a deal to release our single “She Changed Her World” with Neurotraxx Deluxe Records. It will be out on vinyl and CD in the beginning of 2012 sometime, and hopefully the digital release will be up on iTunes and Beatport even sooner. It’s in the final mixing and mastering process right now. There will also be remixes by Aki Bergan (Deep-House DJ) and maybe another DJ from Neurotraxx, too. We’re really excited to be a part of the Neurotraxx roster! There’s really some great music coming from them right now, so we can’t wait to have our record out!
We’ve also got our website up at www.voxkatana.com for the latest news from us.
6. Before we ride off into the sunset, anything else you want to discuss?
Li: I just want to thank all of those who follow this intercontinental project. It’s been a great experience for me. It’s amazing to see that people dig our music, and most of all, how they’re so curious about our project.
I also would like to take this opportunity, and thank my family (specially my sister, Sofia), my special one, Ricardo, and my closest friends (Joana and 3) for their support in my singing adventures with Vox Katana, and most of all, for being there for me.
Isaac: I’d like to thank all of our friends, family and fans for all of the support they have given us.