Brendan Angelides is a Los Angeles based music producer & composer who records and performs live as Eskmo. His multi-genre works have been featured on influential labels like Ninja Tune, Warp, Planet Mu and Apollo (the sidearm of R&S.)
He is the lead composer for the Showtime TV series "BILLIONS" starring Emmy and Golden Globe winners Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis.
He is one of the founding members of the Los Angeles based Echo Society. Started in 2013, the group has presented sold out events in unique locations featuring large orchestral ensembles mixed with electronics and custom lighting design for each show.
- “Electrifyingly enveloping…mind-melting invention here...” – BBC Music
- "Perfection...sterile yet somehow soulful contribution to “Billions” perfectly matches the overall mood, in a way that heightens the show’s psychological anxiety and the frosty exchanges between characters." - The Washington Post
- "...the feeling of bigger-than-all-of-us cosmic heat the record's best moments invoke" - Pitchfork
- “Eskmo has created his own sound.” – Future Sequence
- “..A unique vision and fascinating example of the intersection of organic and electronic.” Fact Mag
- “Elegantly melodic, beautiful electronics and enough skewed rhythmatics to make this release a brilliant opening full-length release.” – Bleep
- “Ethereal and very poetic in nature, and very representative of the whole listening experience.“ – The Line of Best Fit
- “Dark, moody and quite magnificent, prepare to have your ears cranked open by Eskmo’s innovative individualism.” DJ Mag
Interview with Dazed Magazine
"It turned into a more cinematic thing, for sure," says LA-based artist Eskmo of his second album, SOL, which is finally arriving on R&S offshoot Apollo five years after his Ninja Tune debut. "I don't listen to club stuff at all." Instead, what's been filtering into his sound is the influence of a collective of composers he's been working on live shows with in LA; the influence of wide open landscapes he's visited and recorded in Yosemite, Costa Rica, and Egypt; the influence of impersonal ideas about the universe, and of very personal ideas about love and loss.
If that sounds ambitious, that's because it is. SOL is a widescreen experience, full of diluted beats that leave acres of space for the trickle of field recordings and weaving of string sections and piano tinkering. Listen below, and read on to find out how the album that began as an attempt to conceptualise the sun as a "single drum hit" transformed into a very personal narrative.
Can you explain the idea of the sun behind the album?
Eskmo: Originally when I started writing the album, I specfically wanted to write an album that sounded like the sun. The title track “Sol” and “The Light of One Thousand Furnaces” came out of that idea. And then I had a lot of stuff happen in my personal life, I had a relationship end, and then a couple of really specifically heartbreak-oriented songs came out of it. I thought, okay that doesn’t really work for the sun thing, but I like the songs, so I’m gonna keep them. And then my biological dad passed also...business things shifted, relationship stuff...For me, it turned into this thing: it ended up with the sun being the central urge; the moon being related to the heart, female stuff I was experiencing, and the earth being the human side of it.
I’ve always equated the sound of tinkering to humans. If you were to zoom out, the sound that an ant colony might make. I kind of picture that that’s how humans sound. For the sun, I wanted to get this beaming, big feeling. The sun is a drum - I specifically was inspired by this idea, that our whole entire existence on the planet seems like a huge thing, but imagine zooming out and seeing our sun is just a singular drum hit. For us it seems like it’s going on forever, but imagine, if you were to zoom way out, the sun just seems like a ittle blip of energy, and it happens that our whole lives are based around that one blip of energy. I tried to convey that through big, saturated tones.
There’s a lot of field recordings on the album; where did those mostly come from?
Eskmo: I was in Costa Rica for seven days, I brought my field recorder, and I recorded horses and rivers and some stuff in the little town that was nearby, just a lot of nature stuff. “Tamara” and “Can’t Taste” specifically happened when a relationship ended that day. I took my field recorder and propped it on my friend’s piano, and I recorded for about an hour, just whatever came out, and then I took some of the really solid bits from that.
For “Feed Fire,” in Aspen I was recording fire and snow; “Blue Grey” has water I recorded in California. I beleve there’s a sample from Egypt in there somewhere. I really don’t go out trying to capture stuff pre-emptively, but I’ll bring my field recorder with me, it’s small enough that it doesn’t really feel like work. I’m able to still be present.
What inspired you about your travels to Costa Rica?
Eskmo: Something I’ve been doing in America is learning more about traditional Native American culture. I’ve visited a couple reservations...and over the past years I’ve sat in a few of their teepee meetings. The Costa Rica trip was a medicinal ayahuasca retreat, so I was there for seven days in the jungle with a small group of people that I know. I learned a lot. I learned a tremendous amount about trust; trusting myself, trusting a community...I really took away a sense of self-love and self-acceptance, in a very visceral, impactful way.
Alongside this album, you’re preparing a presentation for deaf children that you’ll be touring around the country. Could you tell us about that?
Eskmo: Last April, I did an AV show with some of the Brainfeeder guys; it was in a movie theatre in downtown LA. It was just a regular movie theatre, but we put in a soundsystem and did a show in front of the screen. Prior to that, I had started working with this company called SubPac, which is basically a tactile vibrating bass pack...We had thrity of those packs in the movie theatre, and it went really well. So the idea I had was to do the same kind of thing, but a scaled-down version - instead of crazy 3D trippy visuals, something really simple, 2D and flat and childlike, and to do the show for deaf kids. The kids could sit int he chairs with the vibrating bass pack while watching a video that specifically correlates to what they’re feeling from the pack. I basically wrote a song that’s just a minute and a half of sub music - there’s no other music, it’s just sub notes playing with each other, kind of talking back and forth. I want the visuals to correlate to that, so it’s almost like there’s a narrative happening. And afterwards, the kids can play with the visuals on a MIDI keyboard. We’re doing a trial in San Diego this month, and ideally looking to do the first official one in March and then one in April in New York.
Bjork actually really inspired me, I found out about this a few years ago - during her tours, she’ll go to big cities and she’ll do a few shows, one of them a big show, and one of them a smaller show, and then she’ll do a kids' workshop. She gets to stay in a place for a few days and work with kids, and I thought, that’s so good, why don’t I just do that myself? That would genuinely inspire to actually want to get out on the road and do stuff.
BILLIONS (Showtime): TV series, all score and theme music
ESKMO: "SOL BSIDES" free give away
ESKMO: "Locomotive" : The Echo Society (Performed and recorded live at "VEILS" with a 9 piece chamber ensemble)
ESKMO: "Jupiter" : The Echo Society (Performed and recorded live at "BLOOM" with a 20 piece chamber orchestra)
ESKMO: "SOL" : (Full length LP) : Apollo
DAVID DOUGLAS: "Moonflower" feat Petter Carlsen (Eskmo Remix)
ESKMO: "Perspective" : The Echo Society (Performed and recorded live with a 12 piece chamber orchestra)
ESKMO: 5 unreleased songs from 2008-2012 given for free on Soundcloud
ESKMO: "Polar Bear and Blackbirds" : The Echo Society (Performed and recorded live with a 12 piece chamber orchestra)
HUNDRED WATERS: "Boreal" (Eskmo Remix) OWSLA
ESKMO: "Terra" EP : Ancestor
ESKMO: "Language" EP : Ancestor
WELDER: "Ocean" (made from field recordings from China) Expedisound
WELDER: "Florescence" LP : Ancestor
ESKMO: "Eskmo" LP : Ninja Tune
ESKAMON (Amon Tobin & Eskmo collaboration) : "Fine Objects" : Ancestor
ESKMO: "Lands and Bones" : Warp Records
ESKMO: "Let Them Sing" / "From the Standpoint" : Planet Mu
BIBIO (ESKMO REMIX): "Dwrcan" : Warp Records
STS9: "Shock Doctrine" (ESKMO + WELDER remixes) : 1320 Records
ESKMO: "Hypercolor" - EP : Ancestor
COTK (ESKMO REMIX): "We Are the Glitch" : Blipswitch
JASON SPARKS (ESKMO REMIX) : "One Eyed Man" : Contrabass
SUB SWARA (ESKMO remix) : "Deconstructing the Absence" : Sub Swara
ESKMO: "Agnus Dei " / "Harmony" : Ancestor
BAR 9 (ESKMO REMIX): "Murda Sound" : Z Audio
WELDER : "Chalice Well" EP
WELDER & SEED : "Last Place to Hide / Sirens" (2 tracks on "Chime" compilation) :
WELDER : "Bombo's Song" (single track on "Mongolia Expediasound" compilation)
WELDER : "Purple and Orange Remix EP"
ESKMO : "Willow Grail / Process / Trudge"
ESKMO+THE ANTISERUM : "Speaker's Corner REMIX"
AFGHAN HEADSPIN (ESKMO REMIX) : "MSG" : 2008
ESKMO+DJ QUEST : "Speaker's Corner"
ESKMO : "Jetski / Sand Dunes" Bassrock
ESKMO : "Amphibian" : BAD Compilation Full Melt
ESKMO+THE ANTISERUM : "Monstahs" : BAD Compilation Full Melt
WELDER : "Bamboo Snow" EP : Native State
ESKMO : 'Speaking In Tonuges / Inastance" : Mechanoise
ESKMO : "No Man's Land (30hz, Eskmo Remix) / Waterfight" : Vertical Sound
ESKMO+30HZ : "Ghost In The Machine" :2006 : Vertical Sound
ESKMO : "Only a Few / Forces of Spirit" : 2006 :Downbeat
ESKMO : "Cliffside / Embryonic" : 2006 :Cyberfunk
WELDER : "Vines and Stream" LP : 2006 : Cyberset
ESKMO+BACKDRAFT : "Basement" Downbeat
ESKMO : "Amston Lake Recordings" Self released- home made cd
ESKMO : "Ascension" Self released - home made cd
Eskmo : "Illuminate" Self released- home made cd
Eskmo : "Machines on Task" Self released- home made cd