Music & Sound in association withJungle Studios

Crate Digging: Mike Ladman, Droga5

Music & Sound
London, UK
The twentieth episode in the music discovery and discussion series from Concord Recorded Music

Crate Digging is a music discovery platform where contributors take home and discuss two records from across Concord Recorded Music’s active and historical labels.

Mike Ladman, senior music supervisor at Droga5, discusses his top two finds.

My Frontline find is Sylvan Esso’s ‘No Rules Sandy’

I remember the first time I heard Hey Mami on Hype Machine years ago when it was their only song and I've been a fan ever since. There is just pure magic that happens when Amelia’s voice is paired with Nick’s warm fresh electronic production.

Sylvan Esso’s unique sound is instantly likable on first listen. Amelia's engaging voice and performance is a special mix warm richness that's both confident and vulnerable. Nick's analogue synths are futuristic and colourfully warm. This pairing creates infectious grooves and melodies.

Sylvan Esso’s ‘Didn’t Care’ is the epitome of their sound. It’s a beautiful seemingly stream of consciousness vocal performance with a nursery rhyme melody accompanied by bright bursts of colourful synths. The synths continue to grow and fill in space while the drums provide energy and ground the track. I am a sucker for group chants and was particularly drawn to the call and response of the lead vocals and the background vocal colours.

From a sync perspective, I continue to pitch their tracks and instrumentals. Their music satisfies lots of ad briefs looking for uplifting, energetic, cool, modern tracks, but Sylvan Esso do it in a fresh new way.

My Catalogue find is Big Star’s ‘#1 Record’

It’s hard to say anything about this record or band that hasn’t already been said far more eloquently. Although Big Star maybe not be a common household name, their influence on rock music, song writing and production is still impacting music today. If you go down the rabbit hole to see what artists influenced your favourite artist, Big Star is most likely a favourite band of your favourite band.

This album is good ol rock and roll done as good as it can be done. All 12 songs on this album sound effortless and familiar, yet somehow new all at once which is the sign of great song writing. It's a sound that is both immediately '70s, but never dated or old. Instead, it's timeless and forever emulated.

Big Star’s ‘Feel’ may seem cliché to pick as a highlight, but it’s the first Big Star song I heard and it immediately drew me in. Guitar, bass, drums, some horns and high vocals are standard rock ingredients I‘ve heard my whole life. But it’s the production, structure and arrangement that was just better than all the other iterations. It just felt right. It rocks.

In sync we always need the classics and Big Star are the best classic known sound and band that isn't overused. They are iconic, but not heard enough which makes them great as a welcome surprise to hear.

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