Taking a collection of remixes that have been reworked into original material, it’s no shock that Olugbenga has been taking the decks by storm and gaining a bigger and bigger following. With a line up of festivals and club nights, it’s hard to see how Olugbenga could go wrong, especially with his debut release a seven-track mixtape, “Epic & Blues” being given away for free on the 23rd July via his Facebook.
Epic & Blues' is comprised of wordless versions of remixes I've done in the last couple of years along with a couple of new original tracks. I'm giving it away for free, but in a way it feels like my first proper release
Check out the track “Landed in Lax” from the mixtape for download here which Olugbenga describes as a “little tribute to Michael Giacchino into the mix because his soundtrack work for every series of Lost was simply outstanding” - alongside a chat with him about the future, laptop music and Metronomy.
Dazed Digital: How does the new project differ to your old ones and what was the tipping point where you decided to take it on?
Olugbenga: Past mixtapes I've put out have mostly been made up of other people's music. 'Epic & Blues' is comprised of wordless versions of remixes I've done in the last couple of years along with a couple of new original tracks. I'm giving it away for free, but in a way it feels like my first proper release.
The tipping point for me came earlier this year when I finished a track called Deeper Hidden Meaning to be debuted on a radio show in Tokyo. I really liked the track, but there were complications with putting it out conventionally and I didn't just want to throw it up on Soundcloud either, so I thought about other tracks that would hang together with it.
DD: What's the story behind the name?
Olugbenga: 'Epic & Blues' began as a kind of joke - when you post tracks on Soundcloud you have to tag them with a genre. Often people just put silly things like 'Dungeon House' or 'MASSIVE BANGER.' In that spirit, I started labelling my remixes 'E+B.' Then the name started making more and more sense because although the styles and BPMs of my tracks vary, the thing that unites them is that they draw equally on my love for big post-rocky sounds and sweet R&B style harmony.
DD: How would you describe the project in five words?
Olugbenga: Laptop Soul Music With Teeth.
DD: What excites you most about the new work?
Olugbenga: I think people will be surprised by how well these tracks work with their lead vocals taken out. I certainly was. Also, I got a chance to work with my good friend EAN on mixing the tracks and then got them mastered at Air Studios by the guy who did the last Coldplay album (and Om Unit, which is how I got in touch with him). I think for someone who works alone, often on a laptop in the back of a van or tourbus, the chance to collaborate with friends and form new musical alliances is very exciting.
DD: What's next?
Olugbenga: I'm working on a couple of EPs of original material, one of which I hope to have out before the end of the year. I'm also getting into producing and writing with other people like my brother Seye and a Congolese rapper called Baloji. And of course I'm still playing in Metronomy too, so there's lots going on.
Text by Genevieve Torabi