About this Playlist
Mr. Bird has been laying down the soul, jazz, funk & hip hop grooves for credible indie labels for a while now. With this new material he takes a look forward rather than back & fuses the spirit of Fela & his Afrobeat legacy at an atomic level with deep, far out spacey synths, gives it a rocket fuel bass injection & launches the EP into deep, cosmic, Afrofuturistic territory.
Mr. Bird explains “Martian Arts’ A study in attempting to communicate with aliens via the medium of filtered and electronic sounds and compelling rhythms
Steve Bird AKA Mr Bird is a musician, producer & DJ, based in Lisbon, Portugal for the last 12 years. As Mr Bird, he has released 4 albums and many other digital releases, including the album ‘Low-Fi Classics’ which was released by BBE Music in 2014. A collaboration with singer Greg Blackman, it received strong support from radio and DJs worldwide, including Craig Charles on his Funk and Soul Show, and tracks from the album have were remixed by legends Tom Moulton and Ashley Beedle and released on vinyl on the Ramrock Blue label.
In 2013, he released the 3rd Mr Bird LP, titled “Bird Bird Bird” on the Vital Force label. He also released two 7″ singles on Resense Records and Lisboa Records with Portuguese producer Dedy Dread, as well as 5 vinyl releases on the Heavy Duty Booty label and several digital releases on his own ‘Fat Bird Sounds’ label.
Back in 2001 he was invited to record a session for the legendary DJ John Peel at the BBC Maida Vale Studios, which was broadcast twice in 2002.
Mr Bird is currently in demand as a re-mixer, having remixed over 100 artists & bands including Weekend Sun – September, Daytoner – Doin Nothin, Karthala 72 – Trop Fort, Renegades of Jazz – Jamboree, Savages – Happy Gallopers, Odyssey – Inside out and many more. He is currently working on several new musical projects, singers & collaborators world-wide.
The Hoof caught up with Mr Bird for a chat..
What’s the inspiration behind the music and production of ‘The Martians E.P’
The “Martian Arts” E.P. was released recently by The Slow Music Movement label. I’d played some early versions of a possible E.P. to James (head honcho at TSMM) late in 2020, he liked these initial mixes but he felt they could be pushed further ‘out there,’ and he asked if I could go a bit more cosmic, psychedelic and crazy and see where I could take the tracks!
This was actually a really good push for me and I went back to the tracks and got to work with my synths! I think the finished tracks definitely have a vibe and a sound, so I’m very grateful for James for encouraging me to push a little further with these 3 tracks!
How have you kept busy during the last year or so, did the pandemic stifle your creativity or did the free time allow you to experiment more.
Well it’s certainly been a roller coaster for the last 20 months since March 2020, all my DJ work here in Lisbon pretty much vanished over night, so I’ve mainly been keeping my head down in the studio and trying to put my energy into creating as much music as I could. Strangely I think I got more creative as a result of the pandemic, I wrote loads of music, the problem was not really knowing what to do with it!
What is your 2021/22 looking like, what are your hopes and dreams, do you have any exciting plans, new releases, tours or gigs.
Well…2022…hmmmm…hopes and dreams…well…just to keep releasing as much music as I can from this backlog of music I’ve built up and slowly start to DJ again next year (fingers crossed but still not super optimistic about that!). No, no exciting plans/tours/gigs but I have been in the process of releasing a series of “Bird Beats” E.P.s (just via my Bandcamp), just released the 4th on the 10th of December with 6 more planned.
Can you give us a classic track, something that has inspired you or simply one you love and never get sick of listening to.
This was one of my fav tracks this summer, Barrio Joyride and their summer anthem “Cool It” featuring rising star Anna Marie Castro.
Can you recommend any new music, something that you’ve just discovered or are just really digging at the moment.
LOVE this new track “Lady Wray – “Through It All” on Colemine records, currently patiently waiting for my 2nd copy to arrive here in Lisbon (first one got waylaid by a funky postman somewhere).
Do you think playlists are important, what types do you enjoy, in your opinion, what’s the future of the playlist.
I’ll be honest here, I don’t use Spotify. At all. I understand the importance of getting playlisted by the right channels etc, but I prefer to listen and buy digital via Bandcamp or vinyl (when possible).
The Hoof understands everyone has their own personal way of listening to music and here at Musicto we predominantly use Spotify and I recently started to create these ‘Where To Start With’ playlists for every artist featured as a short introduction to their music, but Mr Birds comment got me thinking about Bandcamp and its importance to artists in these difficult times, so I’m currently going through every artist link and converting to Bandcamp where possible.
How do you prefer your music to be heard, streams, downloads or physical product sold. Why?
I prefer vinyl first (but that’s of course getting tougher to do), then downloads, with streaming at the very very bottom of the list.
How do you connect with your audience, email, social media, PR firms.
Via Soundcloud and Bandcamp mainly, occasional email updates. I have a FB page but it’s pretty pointless unless you pay Zuckerberg to reach any of the people that have actually subscribed to your page.
What’s the best way a fan could help you today if they had just ten minutes to spare.
Have a listen through my tracks on Soundcloud, most then have BUY links direct to Bandcamp.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your career in music.
Probably still working in a bar making beats when I could in small very occasional 5 minute chunks.
Artwork by Harriet Clare