Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Feature: Ed Is Dead (05/08/15)

Acclaimed Spanish artist, DJ, producer and composer, Edu Ostos - a.k.a. Ed Is Dead - recently released his debut album 'Change'. With the help from an array of upcoming guest vocalists, 'Change' combines elements of electronica, dance, rock and classical music. Edu has been making music for over 15 years, playing in various different bands before carving a name for himself as a DJ and producer, under different guises, he's also toured with the likes of Santana, Manu Chao, Asian Dub Foundation and even Slipknot. With his own music, also comes his own live show, which Ed has been developing for the past two years. One thing's for sure - Ed and his music are definitely not dead!

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
Mmmm, let me see, I started playing piano (badly) maybe at 11, I'm self taught in most of the instruments I play... Later maybe at 15, I started producing hip hop and instrumentals into an old Daw running in MSDos (impulse tracker) and about 18 I started touring with bands around the world playing drums, years later I became a musical director and producer. 

2. What is the most inspiring musical performance you've ever seen?
Probably Bjork at FIB Festival in 1998, I was a bit fan of the Icelander and this show completely knocked me down! Without a doubt, one of the biggest lessons I have had about energy, sensitivity, dynamics and originality in one gig. 

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
Mmm, this week I'm feeling kind of a rapper... hahaha I'm listening to a lot of hip hop, Action Bronson, Og Maco and also the latest works from Muse and Faith No More. 

3 Questions for Ed:

1. Who is your biggest inspiration in the world of music and why do the stand out to you?
I have too many, Bjork is one of them... probably for her constant innovation, I love when artists take risks and if you have a look at Bjork's career she is in constant evolution or at least trying to find new ways of expression, I love that... Recently, I've been in love with St. Vincent, I saw her performing in Madrid and it was amazing, so inspirational. I love when music turns complicated but seems simple and she is a master at doing that. 

2. What has been your career highlight so far and why?
I don't think it has come yet... I mean, I have played in huge places, or with artists I really admire, but, probably the thing I'm most proud of is having found my 'own voice', and this has just happened a few months ago! I have been playing and producing for 15 years... but 'Change' is my debut album, so for me the difficult thing has been to realise myself that I was ready, I have learnt enough to express myself as I want to... and believe me... it has been a long way! 

3. What is your favourite track from your debut album 'Change' and why?
All of the songs are like my children, it's so hard for me to choose one, but definitely 'Change', the track with Niccó is one of my favourites, and the reason is because in the last year, I started to appreciate how difficult it is to make 'naked' songs, I mean... when you are composing or producing a song it's easy to start adding more and more instruments, more and more tracks, some arrangement here, some chorus there... but (at least or me!) it's so hard to get a song with only a voice, a couple of sounds and maybe a little bit of reverb... and if you listen to 'Change', it has this delicate way of production, only the strictly necessary notes, only a minimal arrangement for the amazing vocal interpretation of Niccó. I really love that track, and when I hear it I always have the same feeling; 'Is that song mine? Really? Did I do that?'

Random Q:

What's your ideal Friday night?
Playing live, DJing, jamming, whatever but I love to be on stage playing with my friends! Probably we'd hang out after the show and we'd finish in somebody's house making an after party and I'd put on some records... Yes definitely it would be a good Friday night! 

'Change' Album Review:
I'm not a huge lover of 'dance' music, but Ed manages to incorporate so many elements from a mix of genres, making a unique sound that I absolutely love. The album offers nine tracks, all individual and able to stand alone, with a variety of things to give the listener. 
'Change' features Niccó, and is a beautiful, stripped back track, with limited layers, showing versatility of Ed's style. It's simplistically powerful and melts into your ears. 'Shame' is closer to the stereotype of an 'electronic' track, however, there still aren't too many layers, so you don't find yourself struggling to pick up on the small intricacies within it. Odille features on 'Praise', which stands out as one of my favourites from the album. It's a little deeper and intense, grows slowly but surely into a 'dance' track and the vocals are on point! The next track 'Black' features Taki Tekyurt and is a lot more chilled, with dark lyrics and an intense beat and bass carried throughout. 'Still Around Here' has stronger elements of dream pop and funk running through it, featuring Ed Zepp and Ale Acosta, with haunting and spacey instrumentals, gritty builds and 80s-esque vocals - it's a great song! 'My Man', another track featuring Odille, and again there is not too many layers but still stays true to electronica music. One song that stopped me in my tracks whilst listening to the album, was 'No Rush', it features St. Barbarella, the atmospheric value forced me to close my eyes and just sit and listen. The only song I didn't particularly like on the album was 'September', featuring Clara Brea, there was a lot going on, and I found it a little repetitive, don't get me wrong I still listened to it - so it can't have been that bad? The album finishes with 'Crystal Sand', my other favourite from the album. The stunning intro created an emotive kind of imagery and I just generally loved everything in this track. It's beautiful and brilliant - just like the overall sound of the album. 

Ed Is Dead's Links:

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