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The Analog Girl and her sexy MacBook Air

June 4, 2012

Her newest studio album, her most hypnotic offering to date, is mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering in Brooklyn.

FEATURE

Named by Time magazine as one of five music acts to watch in 2008 alongside Japanese multi-instrumentalist Cornelius is Singapore-based electro-rock chanteuse The Analog Girl.

A pioneer in the regional scene who helped define the genre that is laptop rock, The Analog Girl first sprung into the international spotlight when American sportswear giant Nike featured a track off her debut self-released, self-produced album The TV Is On on their European ad campaign Changing The Game in 2005.

Since then her unique yet catchy brand of electro pop has been featured on NYLON TV for episodes featuring Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) and Ladytron, been on award-winning creator of graphic novels Warren Ellis’ recommended playlist, landed her a support slot for German-Norwegian musical group The Whitest Boy Alive in Hong Kong, and a series of live shows around the world.

Armed with her sexy MacBook Air and slew of fascinating machines, The Analog Girl has taken her music to a variety of venues ranging from clubs to concert halls to art spaces, having headlined The Knitting Factory in New York, performed for top British photographer Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio in London, Worldtronics Festival at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, the Cirque Electrique in Paris, Superdeluxe in Tokyo, Labella in Shanghai and at the MTV Asia Awards Voting Party in Singapore.

In the fall of 2011, The Analog Girl rocked a visual sound with her LED sequencer, the Tenori-On and a host of other illuminated instruments at Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide Music Festival in Los Angeles alongside other international super indie stars like CSS, Lindstrom, Gang Gang Dance and Datarock.

The Analog Girl’s newest studio album ‘Tonight Your Love’ is downright her most hypnotic offering to date, and is mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering in Brooklyn, New York.

A festival favourite, The Analog Girl has played at various international festivals including Resfest which featured live painting by Japanese graphic artist Imaitoonz of Dead Leaves (Production I.G.) fame. Other festivals include Spring Scream Music Festival (Taiwan), Ladyfest, ZoukOut (with Astreal) and Baybeats – the region’s largest indie music festival which draws crowds of over 100,000 each year.

The Analog Girl has also rocked the runway at the Singapore Fashion Festival with a live showcase for the Versus by Versace Spring/Summer 2005 Collection. In 2006, Heineken Music presented her highly-anticipated solo show in Kuala Lumpur to a full-house audience. Then in 2007, she shared the stage with Swedish electronic bossa nova act Koop at Free The Musique.

Your main “tool” is your laptop which ties you down to a spot yet you sing, dance, and use a number of instruments to visually stimulate the audience. What are these controllers?

I have with me a collection of illuminated music instruments and controllers. Music comes alive with light. The Tenori-On is the LED-lit aluminium grid that I put on a mic stand. It is basically a 16×16 grid sequencer which enables me to program beats and melodies live. It controls sounds off my laptop. It is dual-face, so whatever button I press, the audience sees it light up too. Another device that I use is the Monome.

The one that I have is an 8×8 grid, and the Monome is purely a controller. It can become whatever you want it to be as long as you can program a software to control it. I use it to trigger sequences – sometimes they are random algorithms, other times, it can be used as an instrument to play out melodies much like a piano or synthesizer.

Something else that I bring along to shows are the Percussa Audio Cubes. These cubes can be programmed to light up according to the bpm of the music track, and you can also program the colours they light up in. They are primarily used to trigger loops in Ableton Live, a software I use a lot of when writing and performing.

These cubes also have sensors which I can trigger using the palms of my hands to generate a series of effects and such.

You are extremely passionate about music and it seems to be deeply personal to you so make music for yourself. Have you ever had to make music for someone else?

Oh yes! I have written music for a commercial on promoting careers and studies in information technology to young people. And a soundtrack for MTV Speak Your Mind, a television series initiated by UNICEF. I enjoy the challenge of balancing the creative/editorial brief with my own musical flavour – it’s actually something that I strive to achieve even in the songs that I write for my own albums, to strike that balance of art and pop.

Two amazing milestones in your career were, of course, being named on of Time Magazines on of 5 Music Acts to watch and the use of your track by Nike. How did these feel at the time and what events or performances in your career have meant the most to you?

When I found out that my track was going to be used in an ad by Nike, I was checking my emails in an internet cafe in Paris in the summer of 2004. The creative agency, amazing guys at PostPanic, contacted me via email to verify that I was the artist who recorded that track “Liquorice” as the promo CD of music they got had no label on it. It’s such a cool ad, I am so happy to see my music used in that fashion!

In 2008 when Time Magazine named The Analog Girl as one of 5 Music Acts To Watch, I felt like I was living in a dream that year. Firstly, it’s such an honour and rare opportunity to be named that by one of the world’s most respected and well-read publications; and secondly, the opportunities that follow are incredible.

I got to play at a music festival Worldtronics in Berlin, RrrecFest in Jakarta, Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide in LA and The People’s Party in Singapore. I love performing in festivals so these definitely make the highlights of my career.

How is the music industry in Singapore? With large award shows like Malaysia’s “Bite My Music Global Awards” do you think there is more attention being focused on independent artists in SE Asia?

We have more and more international artists touring the region, and coming to play shows in Singapore – not just the pop acts like Lady Gaga and Elton John, but also the widely-acclaimed indie bands like Metronomy, The Naked And Famous, M83 and Chairlift. I’m just waiting for a law to be passed such that it is mandatory for every international act to play in Singapore, to have a local act open for them. And similar laws for setting a quota for playing local music on the airwaves.

As for the indie scene in Southeast Asia, I think that there is more attention given to our independent artists simply because of the calibre and international appeal of artists emerging from the region. Yuna and Zee Avi from Malaysia, and Charice from the Philippines are such examples.

It also helps when producers from outside Asia take note of the scene here and want to work together with us to produce one-of-a-kind collaborations. T(h)ree Vol. 2 is one such album and it is the brainchild of David Valentim from Portugal. For this second edition, he has married musicians from Portugal with musicians from the east – namely Philippines and Singapore. I collaborated on a track called Starlight with electro-acoustic musician Stealing Orchestra and popular rapper Maze who raps in Portuguese. The result is fresh, cool, and different from our respective solo efforts. Simply crazy!

Where can we find out more about you and your work?

You can preview on Bandcamp my latest album ‘Tonight Your Love’ which is fabulously mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering in Brooklyn, New York. He’s worked with my favorite artists LCD SoundSystem, Washed Out and Animal Collective. So it’s worth putting it on big speakers if you’ve got them.

You can also check out my website at www.analog-girl.net, follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theanaloggirl or hit me up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theanaloggirl.

See you in cyberspace and hopefully at a city near you.

Some videos:

Tonight Your Love Album Teaser
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuPT5UcD7xE

Live Performance at Kinki Rooftop Bar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTsNCQtC6QE

Live Performance at the Cirque Electrique, Paris
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_rv3kKolco

[This article is courtesy of www.eyestrane.com and CATS (Creative Asian Talent Source). Photos credit: Julius Landau]


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