Formed in 1999 in San Francisco, California, by Vincent James. Originally called “DreamSpy” and later “SpaceWave,” the name Machine Love was officially taken in the summer of 2001.
Machine Love has made a significant impact on the Internet music scene. Tracks such as “Night Digging”, “Midnight World”, “Mr. Flux,” “Easy Turbo,” “Stoner Girl,” and “Lost In Transport,” have all hit number one on many Internet based electronica, space rock, jazz and alternative music sites.
Machine Love has a worldwide fan base and their music is in frequent rotation at east and west coast nightspots, heard on fashion show catwalks, college radio stations and cafes.
Six independent films have used Machine Love music in their soundtracks. Six albums have been licensed to MTV Networks for use in “The Road Rules”, “The Real World” and “Making the Band” TV shows.
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All Machine Love material is written, recorded, and produced by Vincent James. Vocal textures and scatting are provided by jazz vocalist Belinda Blair. Electric guitars are currently played by Jim Hedges. In addition, some tracks also feature guest performers such as spoken-word artists, funk piano players, and turntabilists and others.
James’ musical tastes are a vast array of electronica, space rock, philly soul, and jazz however he credits the main influences for Machine Love as being like The Future Sound of London meets Porcupine Tree meets Visit Venus meets Coldcut.
James also has a special place in his heart for French and Italian film soundtracks of the ’60s and ’70s. In addition to his musical influences, James draws on his passion from other pastimes such as sex, astronomy, and traveling the Northern California coastline.
James often pops in a DVD from his collection of obscure and off-beat films for fuel in the creative and writing process. He sometimes begins playing along with the movie as if he’s recording a fresh new soundtrack for the film. James has no set formula to song creation, though, “A lot of time it’s just a blank canvas and then a little riff or a melody or a drum beat. I’ll light some candles, burn some incense, put on a movie, and just create a tune–I’m jamming with myself mostly–and it’s always fun.” Fun, but painstaking. The result is an ambient groove that sounds utterly spontaneous.
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James builds the core of each Machine Love tune by starting with a simple melody, riff or bass line which is then wrapped in layers of rhythms, soulful chord changes, textures and samples. At that point, “Belinda will come over and sing for hours over the groove and I will record a dozen tracks of her doing so. The same thing with Jim, he will play a variety of styles and lay down many tracks of riffs and melodies, and all of it sounds great. They both build on what is already there and take it to their own special place. Occasionally I will feel the need to add a few more players into the mix. The hard part is going in the next few nights and editing all that down to find the best bits”.
“At some point, I became bored with traditional vocals and lyrics. I think lyrically, everything’s been said already and in every possible interesting and uninteresting way. It’s just been done to death.” I have no interest in telling people what to feel, just giving them a feeling and letting them sort out what it means to them.”
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