In the past few weeks, the social web has been on fire with talk of Mark Redito's latest Spazzkid release "Desire". He has done some collaborations with some of my favorite artists of the Philippines, as well as being featured on various mixtapes, so I was by no means a Spazzkid virgin. Needless to say, I was excited to hear it!
After reaching out to Mark, he graciously sent me an early listen to all the tracks, and let me tell you it's probably one of the best things I've heard all year. It plays like a true mixtape, and every track perfectly flows into the next. It's style is chillwave, and for those of you who don't know what that means, I'll just quote wikipedia:
"Chillwave, sometimes also referred to as glo-fi, is a genre of music whose artists are often characterized by their heavy use of effects processing, synthesizers, looping, sampling, and heavily filtered vocals with simple melodic lines"
It reminds me a lot of another chillwave artist I love Toro y Moi, a.k.a. Chaz Bundick, a Fil-Am from South Carolina. My favorite tracks include: Forgiveness, Loving Free, & Candy Flavored Lips (featuring the amazing Skymarines), but the entire album is a win!
Since it's release on April 9th, it's been a top seller on bandcamp, both the digital and very rare cassette version (yes, that's right, cassette).
BW: So Mark, tell me about your latest release, Desire. How did it come about? I know you were on a break at the time.
MR: Yeah, I was on break for a good year. I was really busy road cycling. Around September last year I had this intense desire to make music again. I was really in the zone. I had a new song every week, which I would post on my soundcloud. A big chunk of the stuff I made Sept 2012-March 2013 ended up in the album.
BW: How has reception been so far?
MR: Overwhelmingly great and for that I am eternally grateful. My tapes sold out the first day they were released!
BW: What made you decide to release the tape on casette instead of vinyl? Any chance you might release it on vinyl in the future?
MR: As a child of the 80s/90s, cassettes are highly nostalgic for me. I remember making mix tapes for friends and crushes back in the day. I noticed that there was a resurgence of the media around 2010, and I told myself I'd put my albums on cassette someday! Trying to "bring it back"...kinda. This is actually my 2nd release on tape. The first one was my 2012 EP "Right Now" which I released myself. A vinyl release is definitely in the future. I plan to have my next album on vinyl AND cassette.
BW: Could you tell me the story behind the awesome cover art?
MR: The model and photographer is Mang (盲), a talented artist from Shanghai. I connected thru her via Flickr after seeing her amazing work. I asked permission to use her photographs and she gladly said yes. The layout was done by my good friend Krystal Perez who also co-runs Purr Tapes (http://purrtapes.bandcamp.com). I told her I wanted something simple, clean and minimal. She got back to me in about 5 minutes with the artwork almost finished. Then my friend Mushiba gave me the japanese characters for "Desire" which we agreed to interpret as 願う(negau) meaning "hope", "wish" or "desire".
BW: Who are some of your major influences?
MR: Oh man, the influences question is always hard for me as I listen to A LOT of music! Here are a few of my heroes: The Postal Service, Dntel, Baths, Gold Panda, Daft Punk.
BW: How would you describe your sound to Spazzkid newbies?
MR: That's another hard question to answer, but here it goes! Imagine putting "Baths" and "Gold Panda" into a blender to make a smoothie and then dropping a "Toro Y Moi" cherry on top.
BW: Who are some of your favorite artists in the Philippines?
MR: I have a lot of favorites, but to name a few: Similar Objects, Grand Pricks, Pedicab, Sandwich, Tarsius, Eyedress.
BW: You lived in the Phillippines at one point correct? Where are you living now?
MR: Yes, I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the states around 5 years ago. I was and still am deeply connected with the music and gigging scene over there. Currently I live in Southern California.
BW: I know you've done quite a few collaborations, remixes, what are some of your favorites?
MR: My favorite collaboration would be "Candy Flavored Lips" which is off my latest album. It's the one with Skymarines on it.
She is a songwriter from Davao City and records her music on her iPhone. I stumbled upon her music randomly on SoundCloud and fell in love with it instantly. I got in touch with her and was glad that she agreed on the collaboration. I sent her the instrumental version of the track, and then she sent me her lyrics and recorded vocals a few hours later. We then went back and forth tweaking the song, until we were both happy with it. The whole process probably took us a few days. It was really inspiring and highly pleasant working with her.
(a funny facebook conversation w/ Mark about my favorite track "Candy Flavored Lips (feat. Skymarines))
BW: Any upcoming collaborations?
MR: I have a few collaborations lined up that I'm still currently working on. It's gonna be good, stay tuned for that!
BW: Any chance you will be performing live anytime soon?
MR: Absolutely! I am currently working on my live set. I hope to book some shows soon!
If you are interested in learning more about Mark and his most excellent Spazzkid material, see below:
- Mark Redito / Spazzkid: http://spazzkid.com
- Releases and Merch: http://spazzkid.bandcamp.com/releases
- Download his latest album, Spazzkid "Desire": http://spazzkid.bandcamp.com/album/desire
- Cassette Tape for his album "Desire"(SOLD OUT!): http://purrtapes.bandcamp.com
- Singles, Works In Progress, Remixes on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/spazzkid
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/spazzkidx
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spazzkid/17973249495
- Twitter: @spazzkid
- Instagram: @markspazzkid
- My Parasol: http://myparasol.tumblr.com
- Cycling Blog: http://hubsandspokes.tumblr.com
- Photography Blog: http://silentstutter.com
*Videos and Photos thanks to Mark Redito