I just got back from the San Francisco meeting for SoundCloud Global Meetup Day at Mission district clothing store and event space Hangr 16, and I’d say that it was an all around great experience. The crowd that showed up was a mixed bag of music creators, SoundCloud team members, music industry professionals, and fans of the site, with everyone united by their passion for sharing audio online. It’s said that music brings people together, and you could see it happening live and in person at this gathering.
I met quite a few people that were all working on really unique and interesting projects. Here’s a roundup of the musical artists that I met and what they had to say about their work and their interactions with SoundCloud.
Deepthawtz is a hip-hop producer that borrowed his name from the well-known skits of SNL veteran Jack Handy. Originally a bass player, he began making beats after injuring his finger and being forced to take a break from stringed instruments. He turned to drum machines and naturally progressed to creating hip-hop beats, and has since perfected his craft by seeking out in depth production techniques and putting them to use in his audio creations.
Seraphim is a three member hip-hop group where the rappers create their own beats, enabling them to get closer to the song and be more in control of their own creative process. They have learned to use their voices as instruments that add musical value to the track and not just as a means to rap out lyrics. The group released an album last year, and they’re excited to host these tracks on SoundCloud, as it gives them an easy way to store their music online for seamless sharing with friends.
Cabeson is an ambient downtempo DJ that everyone at this meeting got to hear, as he played a set of head-twitching beats that made for a perfect soundtrack to the event. I took a break from wandering the room to watch him live mix his deep and rhythmic sounds, and it was a great added bonus to this meetup.
Jiggabits is a singer and a producer that has had great experiences with collaboration efforts on SoundCloud. She has reached out to different artists when she finds a track she likes, and suggests that they could work together to create music together, or offers to add vocals to one of their existing tracks. This has been a major draw to SoundCloud for Jiggabits, and she also uses the site to upload her own original compositions.
Thadizzie1 creates an offshoot brand of electronic hip-hop, and lists artists Shigeto and Dabrye as his strongest musical influences. He likes that his tracks get a good amount of feedback from fellow SoundClouders, and is glad that they’re checking out his music. His creative process is different every time he approaches a new track, but he does most of his mixing with different software programs in addition to using an Arturia mini keyboard.
Cubosity puts together tracks using unusual chord sequences that serendipitously come together to create sounds catch your ear, but not in a dissonant way. For example, for one track, he recorded numerous combinations of six random piano keys, picked the ones that worked, and used these unconventional chords to assemble the song.
Swircle987 recently released a progressive house album, Bassic Lahjic. The tracks are meant to be experienced collectively so that the listener can be taken on a journey through the album’s slow evolution of sound. Swircle987 creates a minimalist atmosphere that changes over time, while still focusing on the same overarching simple motif that holds the tracks together.
Greg Z produces tracks that can be described as polyrhythmic experimental minimalist techno. He records most of his material with hardware rigs as opposed to “all in the box” software production solely on computers that many other artists favor. He uses old drum machines and even personally built some of the hardware to create these zoned out beats.
As you can see, it was a very diverse group of SoundClouders that came out for the Global Meetup Day. It was a great chance to connect with people who are passionate about what they do and hear about their favorite aspects of SoundCloud. It was very cool to take this community that mainly interacts online and turn it into an in-person meeting, it really adds another dimension to the relationships between SoundClouders and opens the doors to further collaboration on all kinds of projects.
If you are interested in audio at all (this includes music, podcasts, voicemail messages, anything you can hear!), I would highly recommend checking out events like this in the future. In the meantime, you can visit the SoundCloud SF Bay Area User’s Group and hear more sounds from people who were at the meeting or just a part of the greater Bay Area user community.