We customize our lives and the environment that surrounds us every day — from things as big as shaping our own boards to the smallest ones, like adding that little bit of extra milk to our coffee.
In our new Custom Spotlight series, we’re exploring the process of some of our favorite artists, musicians, and creatives to learn how they see their world and to find out what drives them to get their hands dirty and bring their ideas to life. We also give them free reign to create their own custom, one-of-a-kind Birdwell gear, and to bring their unique vision of our California tradition into the world.
Reverberation Radio is, before all else, a collaboration among friends. Driven by a shared love for rare and dusty grooves, the close-knit group of collectors have perfected a singular, vibe-centered aesthetic warmly embraced by listeners at events stretching from California to Indonesia. Their weekly mixes are a staple on the Birdwell soundsystem.
1) How did you get into starting Reverberation Radio?Matthew Correia: RR first started out as a radio show on 88.9 KXLU here in Los Angeles. Was a popular show but we got the boot by the program directors for playing the music we like. I don’t think they understood what we were trying to do so we turned RR into a podcast. There is a core group of us who normally contribute and occasional a guest mixes gets stirred in. We’ve all shared music with each other for years, throughout high school to now. RR was a way to share that dialog with whomever wants to listen.
2) Tell us about your artistic process.
MC: No rhyme for reason. Keep an open mind and welcome both the calm and chaotic.
Scott Johnson: We do whatever the heck we want. That's why it's so darn special.
3) Is your work a collaborative or solo process?
Robbie Simon: Reverb is Gestalt in action. Each member focusing on their own tastes and ideas makes for a strong single result but the compiling of all the efforts together is what makes it compelling and singular.
SJ: We've tried doing joint efforts in the past, but it doesn't work. We've all got different tastes. The one only thing we all have in common is a mutual appreciation of one another's musical taste.
4) Describe your workplace/studio.
MC: A moving mess
RS: 6th story with a wall of windows looking North. The downtown skyline always makes faces at me.
5) Describe your ideal workplace/studio.
MC: High up near the water or on a boat. Windows facing West seem to work
6) What does a working day look like for you?
RS: The day job is art and design, the music is the After School program. Never planned on being an Adult DJ but certainly no complaints.
MC: Hate schedules
7) Aritists/Musicians that inspire you ______.
RS: Josef Albers & Arthur Russell
MC: Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, Kevin Ayers, Chico Hamilton, Lou Reed
SJ: John Cassavetes and the expert sandwich makers of the world
8) What does Southern California mean to you?
RS: It's home. We were all lucky enough to be raised here and have mastered taking the bad with all the plentiful good.
MC: Island on land, Perpetual Summer, Plastic sunsets and golden dawns.
9) How important is the outdoors/surf/beach to your work?
RS: It keeps us all sane. the reward for a good day's work.
MC: Clears the mind
10) Favorite beach/vacation spot and what it means to your art/music.
MC: Mexico. The art, the colors, the language, the music, the architecture, the design, the cuisine, the history, the land. We owe so much more to them than we even know, particularly California.
RS: San O forever
11) How important is a connection to the past/classics to your work?
RS: Not so much important, it's just a natural gravitation. We do not think highly of fetishizing the past, we just enjoy chasing the endless supply of unique and exciting art that has been created throughout the ages. Whether it’s Ethiopian Soul, Japanese Disco or Native American Folk, it's exciting because its heartfelt and brilliant, not because it's old.
MC: Move into the future with an eye on the past. Timelessness is what inspires me most.
12) Can you tell us one rule that governs yourself/your art?
MC: “Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave.” --Constantin Brâncuși
Playlist cover art by Robbie Simon. Photos by Tony Accosta and Matthew Correia.
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