Hober Mallow and his Phased EP
- Hi Lachlan, how are you and how does it feel like releasing music on Apparel Music?
Hi, strange times, but all things considered I’m fine here thanks, hope you are too.
Being positive, wishing the world can come up and breathe a bit easier this year. And I’m thrilled about releasing with Apparel Music. Kisk has really made something something special with it. You can see the passion and love that goes into running a label with such quality music consistently for over a decade. Not many people can do that. Taking chances and pushing the music we love forward. It’s really cool to think that a few of mine have found a home on there.
- Talk us through the creative process behind the making of this EP. How did it come about and how did you work on it?
Well I’m always making tunes when I have the time (a lot this last year). I play around a lot with samples and loops, trying lots of different arrangements and combinations to draw something unique and unexpected out and then run with it. That can take time and a fair bit of experimentation, and I’ve had to learn to just delete ideas and move on when it gets bogged down, in order to open up space for something better. It needs to stay enjoyable or fun, because if you agonise too much or become sick of the tune then that probably shows in the end.
I’m lucky in that a few of my DJ residencies in Sydney are very much open format to literally play almost anything, so often ideas, in terms of sampling, come from records that are in my bag. That is a bit of an old school mindset probably, but I think it’s important that you have some sort of resonance or personal connection with your samples. I used my MPC, Korg and a Roland Sp-404 (mainly for effects and one shots) for most of the tunes on this. A few were one-takes mixed live through a Tascam M-224. Some finishing touches using Ableton.
Just thinking back, the track Phased came about as part of a mixtape I was working on back in middle 2020 during the lockdown here. Cabin fever was kicking in, and I started making a bunch of remixes of nostalgic Australian Television theme songs and commercials. It was sort of an in-joke for friends here. Although my partner was getting a kick out of it and was really encouraging, so I kept making them and ended up with this mix that was based around the idea of someone watching regular television, chilling and drinking beer. But the more they drink, the stranger the tv shows become. Phased was originally the counterpoint to all this inside that mixtape.
So, I make a lot of tunes, and deciding which would fit nicely together as an EP took guidance and input from a few friends, and especially from Apparel, who had a great ear for what would work together in that way.
- Which are the main music influences that you brought in your EP? Can you share with us three tracks that inspired you during the making of?
The best way to put it is to say music I like inspires me. Between DJing and the doing radio I listen to so much. It really depends on my mood and the time of day. I’m sure you can relate.
I tend to listen to full albums at home. I was working in record shops in Sydney before Covid hit here, and a regular customer who became a good friend gave me this record before moving home to Thailand a few years ago. It’s an utterly flawless beautiful and strange album that I listen to maybe once a week. The artists name is Onuma Songsiri. I think it has a bit of fame now in digger circles because it was sampled in an Action Bronson tune, but the whole thing is incredible beginning to end. That may also have to be with the way I hear it, I know maybe 5 Thai words, and friends who speak Thai tell me the lyrics are mostly fairly straightforward and simple. To me, it just goes deep and out there and I love it.
In a club or house music sense as a producer, definitely Nick Holder out of Toronto. The output on DNH records, going way back, was a huge inspiration to me. It was a real eye opener to house music being more than simply club tracks (although he made plenty of those too). He has a sound that is just really evocative with samples and mood. It was just really otherworldly to me living in a small town in Australia, it just felt so far away in space and time. I think I was also maybe drawn to the strong political awareness and intent behind a lot of his records too. And the sci-fi thing as well. his Underground Alternatives Vol.1 album on NRK is a good example of all these.
Another producer who is a big influence on me is (Dez) Andres. Im sure a lot of people would know New For U, which is an exceptional soulful club track. And this one with Moodymann. But his second LP, II is definitely my favourite. He’s done plenty of others, but I just love the arrangement, the different vibes and journey of it. Some of it is produced very technically (El Ritmo de mi Gente) other parts are just simpler ideas that just work, like looping Sharivari up (Sha’s Revenge). In my imagination it’s a car trip around Michigan with the radio on. Takes you somewhere else.