DJ Set: Men With A Plan | May 2016

this is how we sneak and hide, laugh, sweat and stare our sock marks these days.

Imagine... You want to party but you don't want the burden of selecting the next best track while dancing. You don't want to browse your YouTube history, Spotify followers' favourites or dive into previously Shazam'ed screenshots. You want to party and you want the music take care of itself.

There comes the solution, enjoy Men With A Plan's freshly gathered, carefully juxtaposed May 2016 DJ set.

Feature: R.A.N

We continue our "up, close & personal" question series with Berlin based Hüma Utku as R.A.N. "Roads At Night" as full, R.A.N released an album "Her Trembling Ceased" and a remix EP "Stories Retold" with Partapart. R.A.N's music has a lot to tell - even without any lyrics. Though here's her thoughts in words about her perspective of the environment that shapes her music.

how does music occupy your daily life - physically and mentally?

Now that you ask I realize that I have music in the background almost all the time. When I go to work in the morning I’m either listening to music or I have a music piece stuck in my head. I put my headphones on as I work. On my way back I listen to music in the train. When I’m home I either put on music or I work on my own music. Even right now I am listening to the latest single of IAMX. Crazy.

how does the city you live in shape your music emotionally and sound wise?

Living in a city like Berlin, it’s impossible to deny the city’s influence. Sound wise Berlin really helped me to expand my boundaries and have confidence in whatever I do. In this sense I find Istanbul pretty limited when it comes to variety of sounds in a certain art scene. The Istanbullus have a strict sense of what sounds cool and what looks cool – we are pretty judgemental, I think. You can actually see this in our daily lives as well. In Berlin, everything seems to be welcomed in the art scene. I have seen literally everything here. This being said, it’s harder to get recognized in Berlin. If you’re an artist, you’ll have tough competitors from all over the world. To be appreciated, you have to be really honest with your work and underline your own authenticity because the audience here is simply jaded. It’s harder to impress them and awaken their curiosity.
Emotionally, I’m someone who is more productive when I get some introverted and down time. This city respects personal space and actually, it leaves you alone...really, really alone. This has both negative and positive sides. In any case, it helps me listen to the sound in my head.

have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? (if yes, how? if not how do you expect it to happen?)

I don’t think so…not yet, probably.  I recently did my first performance as R.A.N in Berlin and received amazing feedback from the audience. So that was my 1 minute of fame may be.

"Her Trembling Ceased" album is also out on CD.

"Her Trembling Ceased" album is also out on CD.

how did one non-musical subject affect your music? 

I would say my family. Both the humans and the animals in my family affect my music.

I can talk a bit about the animals as they are a recurring theme in R.A.N visuals and story. The album cover of Her Trembling Ceased there’s a Bear. The video of the track ‘’Her Trembling Ceased’’ has dogs in it (which is specifically asked for). I recently got R.A.N stickers printed with a Wolf figure and Deer figure on them. Animals are a big influence of my life therefore on my music. I was lucky enough to grow up with dogs. I’ve done some Wildlife work with large predators and birds. I’ve done animal rights work both organized and individually. To me watching and communicating with animals is a fountain of inspiration. Variety of characters, habitats, voices. It’s impossible for  me to keep them out of anything I do. 

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Feature: Don The Toga

Samuel Brown AKA Don The Toga released 2 EP's with us. We know him quite well and love his music pretty much so we thought you too might be interested in his approach to music and everything that surrounds it.

how does music occupy your daily life - physically and mentally?

Physically I bang and tap on most surfaces. Metal sinks are a favourite (some ceramic ones too), you can get so many tones out of the good ones when they resonate, tables of course, doors, walls, the lids to pots or pans, the little window on the microwave, the wooden frame of my current bed, ones chest. It sounds wanky, but I once played an espresso coffee machine (with knives or something) in the kitchen of a music venue I worked at (with my mate Nigel on Spoons), for a joke after a somewhat famous full-on flamenco band (complete with dancers) played there. A couple of the female performers came into the grimy kitchen after the show all in red and feisty and started clapping and dancing. That machine sounded great, especially when the steam wand was incorporated.. Anyway, I'm babbling..

Mentally theres often a shitty song stuck in my head from the TV or the radio, it causes me a bit of distress, I hate listening to the same things over and over in a short period of time, especially if it's a crappy jingle.. actually even good music, when I hear it too much, makes me angry. 

Otherwise, as I imagine it is for most people, music for me is a vehicle for nostalgia, a magical means of transportation, somewhat akin to food in its ability to move you emotionally to another time or place. I suppose certain drugs can do that too, maybe that's why people often mix them all together.

how does the city you live in shape your music emotionally and sound wise?

Only the the extent that the city influences me emotionally, whether or not I'm depressed there, or content. I wouldn't say that the angular architecture of the city or something changes my choice of synth, or that If I find myself In a quiet and beautiful landscape I'm suddenly going to start sounding like Sigur Ros. It's more the musical input/progress with an instrument, that effects my output. 


have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? 

I haven't to my knowledge, nor do I honestly ever expect to.

how has one non-musical subject affected your music?

It's hard to say, We're all such amalgamations of our experiences and our genes. I don't think we can honestly pinpoint all of our influences.. We might be subconsciously inspired by the shitty jingle for cocopops, who knows. Whatever it is, for me, it's happening mostly beneath consciousness, at least in the beginning when raw ideas are coming out, I never start by thinking "I'm going to play a beat now, in 4/4, something hip hoppy.." It just starts (whether it's crap or not).. Then maybe later consciousness comes in to try and carve out some kind of order.. I seem to have digressed again, sorry. 

Follow Don The Toga on Facebook and Soundcloud.