Saturday, December 7, 2013
By Aimsel Ponti firstname.lastname@example.org
Portlander Chris Burns, better known as C Money Burns, has been producing and making music of the electronic/hip-hop/microstep/nerdfunk/nu-jazz persuasion (try saying that five times really fast) since the late '90s.
C Money Burns, or Chris Burns of Portland, is releasing his first full-length solo album, called “Friends With Money,” which has been eight years in the making.
WHAT: C Money Burns CD-release show with Sole, Brzowski & Moshe and 32French
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Aug. 17
WHERE: Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland
HOW MUCH: $8; ages 18-plus
WHAT'S ON CHRIS BURNS' iPOD
"Run to the Hills," Iron Maiden
"Otha Fish," The Pharcyde
"Babylon Sisters," Steely Dan
"E=MC2," Giorgio Moroder
"Behind the Wheel," Depeche Mode
"Elegy," Art Tatum
"Soul Traveling," Gary Wilson
"Jettin'," Digable Planets
"Dayvan Cowboy," Boards of Canada
"Aht Uh Mi Hed," Shuggie Otis
TURN YOUR RADIO DIAL to 102.9 WBLM every Friday at 8:30 a.m. to hear Aimsel Ponti wax poetic about her top three live music picks for the week with the Captain and Celeste.
His work has been released on several independent and global boutique labels as well as featured in independent films, commercial productions and syndicated programming.
The time has finally come for Burns to release his first full-length solo album, and it's called "Friends With Money." Take a listen to his work at soundcloud.com/cmoneyburns.
GO got hold of Burns long enough for him to take a breather and tell us his story.
"Friends With Money" is your first official solo album, but tell us about some of your previous projects.
I used to play with Satellite Lot, Seekonk and Slowing Room, and moonlit with pretty much anyone who would have me, playing bass, keys and a variety of other instruments. I've done a few remixes and a single for local sister labels brick.city.media and Milled Pavement (gracious home of my new album), as well as some production, recording and mixing for other artists, but this is my first self-produced full-length record.
Where and when was it recorded? How long did it take, and what were some of the challenges?
I recorded the whole thing myself in bits and pieces over the last eight years in various locales on my laptop. Wherever I could grab a seat became my studio. I write quickly, so each piece is only a day or two of work, but trimming the fat (I have a couple hundred finished pieces), coordinating cross-country collaborations and adhering to a strategically overwrought aesthetic really stretched it out, embarrassingly so. "No wine before its time," I guess.
What did you listen to growing up, and did any of it influence you?
In junior high and high school, I went from listening to lots of thrash metal, punk and industrial music to what we'd now call hipster obscurantism (free jazz, prog-rock, experimental electronics, indie rock, limited-release clear-blue vinyl from Japan; you probably haven't heard of it). Yes, I was insufferable.
In college, my uncle Keith introduced me to The Beach Boys, and I started digging into the rich history of music made before 1975. I began listening to a lot of '60s baroque pop, modal jazz, easy listening, krautrock and electronic dance music. I totally dispensed with the idea of the guilty pleasure and just sought music I love, regardless of genre.
In the years since, I've amassed thousands of records, and have come to love everything from Viking folk metal to minimalist tone-phasing to countrypolitan to Schaffel House. Everything I've ever heard influences me profoundly; aside from workday obligations, I only listen to and play music.
When did you first start writing songs? Has your process changed over time?
I got my first job busing tables at Governor's restaurant when I was 13 with the express purpose of getting instruments. I had been editing cassette tape loops of radio broadcasts on a splicing block for a while, and decided I needed to make my own sounds. My mom matched my savings so I could get a guitar, keyboard, drum machine and four-track cassette recorder and do something productive with my time. I shortly made the first of hundreds of songs.
While the technical part of my songwriting process has changed vastly, the artistic part has remained relatively similar to when I first started. I like to combine disparate elements of style (say, the coolness of a Chet Baker standard and the French House pop-disco stomp of Daft Punk via a video game), and I like to figure out how to incorporate some sound effect or process that is new to me, all the while being sternly conscious of the limitations of the idiom I'm working in.
What are your live shows like?
A lot of my stuff is sequenced, and a good deal is relatively unplayable by human hands, so it's a question I've asked myself for a bit. With my history playing real instruments in bands, I wanted to have a more engaging show than other DJ/electronic acts I've seen, so I've endeavored to make it appear more than just some nerdy dude checking his email on stage.
I have a laptop running a variety of programs, a keyboard and various DJ controllers, and my good friend and drummer Jason Ingalls, late of Sunset Hearts and with a long and storied history as one of the best rhythmatists around town. We'll be joined by a number of vocalists and rappers, along with a bunch of other hopefully entertaining media and in-between stuff.
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: