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Archive for February, 2012
Gemma Ray Announces New Album
Island Fire out May 29th
Catch Her On Tour This March and at SXSW
UK maverick songstress Gemma Ray has gone all out with her latest and most ambitious album Island Fire,out May 29th Bronze Rat. True to previous eclectic form, the album is a trip through Gemma’s ever-growing, over-flowing bag of tricks. From lavish orchestral alt-pop (“Bring Ring Ring Yeah”), to intimate stop-you-in-your-tracks tracks (“Flood And A Fire”), to bitter-sweet girl-group-sounds (“Put Your Brain In Gear”) to brooding psychedelia (“Make It Happen”) to a sci-fi waltz (“Rescue Me”), and much more besides. Runaway, to be released as a 10” on 4/17 (Record Store Day) , is Link Wray’s guitar laid over a cheap drum machine, but bottle-rocketed to God Knows Where with a new level of posh, courtesy of vocal harmonies galore and runaway (yes, runaway) strings. It shouldn’t really make sense. On paper it probably doesn’t. But that’s the whole point of being taken by surprise, right?
Download Gemma Ray -Runaway
To top the album off, Gemma instigated an unprecedented collaboration with Ron and Russell Mael, also known as Sparks. In what can only be described as Sparks covering Gemma Ray covering Sparks, the end result is a Sparks re-interpretation of Gemma’s interpretation of Sparks. ENOUGH!! All you need to know is the two tracks that are the result of this unlikely meeting of minds appear on the album as bonuses, after already being released as a must-own* 7” complete with artwork by Rick Froberg (Obits/Hot Snakes). (* you’re too late)
“Blowing sugary femme-pop out of the water, Gemma Ray is untouchable” - NME
Gemma Ray 2012 Tour Dates:
2/29: New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall
3/5: Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
3/6: Atlanta, GA @ Star Bar
3/7: Nashville, TN @ TBD
3/8: Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover Festival
3/9: Tuscaloosa, AL @ Green Bar
3/10: Baton Rouge, LA @ Chelseas
3/11: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
3/12: Austin, TX @ CNN Grill (Max’s Wine and Dive) – 10pm (SXSW)
3/14: Austin, TX @ Tap Room on Six, 11 p.m. (SXSW)
3/15: Austin, TX @ Redeye Artist Lounge, (Okay Mountain Art Gallery), 11 a.m. (SXSW)
3/15: San Antonio, TX @ Big Spill Festival
3/16: Austin, TX @ Jacked Stage, 1 p.m. (SXSW)
The friendship with Jason Lanox and HENK goes way back into the early days when we started holding parties on an old shipyard in Amsterdam. From the first moment HENK was captured by the productions of Jason Lanox. HENK followed him closely and saw him grow as a person, producer and performer. The first album ”Burning Every Bridge That I Cross To Find Some Beautiful Place To Get Lost’’ was the reason to finally realize the long kept ambition to start HENK recordings.
Against all new digital trends, HENK deceided to honour this impressive productional superiority with a classic vinyl press. The last couples of months we have worked with a great team of artists, technicians and friends to fine tune this double 12 inch masterpiece which will be in the shops from 15th of march 2012.
This concept album represents a turbulent period in Jason’s life, which he describes as one endless night full of story’s, people and experiences. With this record he gives you a personal invitation to his musical dairy. Wipe the dust off your record players and get caught up with his amazing cinematic tracks, which have a perfect balance between an intense deep listening experience and on the other side a melodic techno drive which we all know from his energetic live performance.
Jason about his first release:
”There was a period in my life where I traded the days with nights. It’s hard to separate all those nights in my memory, so thinking back to this period, it feels like one endless night full of story’s, people and experiences.
It was in this period that this album was created, although I didn’t know then that it would become an album. I was simply using music to express and register my feelings and story’s. Kind of like a musical diary, I naturally just felt the urge to do that.
In those nights, full of story’s, there is love, depression, friendship, crazy conversations, losing myself, druggy-trips, destruction, party’s, after-party’s and in the end: finding myself, learning who I am, what is right and what is wrong and making the transition to balance and see the beauty of it all.
The title of the album ‘Burning Every Bridge That I Cross, To Find Some Beautiful Place To Get Lost’ explains the concept that when you get lost there is never a way back but a path which leads to finding something beautiful.
I created a story of one night that represents this period in the form of an album. When the album starts the night falls, and when the album finishes, it is morning. Making this a concept album telling a story within a story.’’
German DJ / Producer Joachim Spieth returns on Affin with a superb remix ep of his successful tune “Sensual” from the label’s 100th release. Therefore Spieth included Brendon Moeller, Reggy Van Oers & Jamal Moulay. It’s impressing to see the variety the guys put out of the original.
Brendon Moeller (Echologist/Steadfast Records) comes up with flowing fx lines, fat stabs, nice added chords, just a massive reshape. Reggy Van Oers version is more on the chords. So this one tends to be a straight but very clear sounding techno trip you won’t forget. Jamal Moulay shows a different insight on it. A fat kick, layered chords and some nice acid extracts on a base that seems to develop constantely. Nice rework.
ARTIST Joachim Spieth
REMIXERS Brendon Moeller,Jamal Moulay,Reggy Van Oers
RELEASE 5th March 2012
1 Sensual Brendon Moeller mix
2 Sensual Reggy Van Oers mix
3 Sensual Jamal Moulay mix
“Sensual” original was already charted & played by Shlomi Aber, DVS1, Electric Indigo, Agaric, Vidal, Patrick Siech, Steve Parker,…
Only the Techno Siren, with her Pandora box of wonky keys, could rouse the dormant AR creature. Every Dog Has Its Night is her groggy sonnet, to unclog the crust of a three-year slumber from bleary bloodshot eyes. Fashioned from transitory bed times between sleep and awake, it’s the hazy candied daydream awash with choral watercolours before monkey chattering memories usher in consciousness. I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to work. I want to stay right here, in blissful limbo, with Ada, with you.
Metope on the other hand has been dancing all night. The sun is rising, but he is sinking into a 4/4 reverie, remembering the time when you swayed just so. The floor was one, but now I am alone. I’ll ride out the day with your voice tickling my soul, until the night returns and I can find you once more.
Every Dog Has Its Night paves the way for 100 Jahre Areal —a compiled homage to AR’s older, wiser parent label, set to release next month. Calling upon its roster family—including Basteroid, PascalFEOS, Hrdvsion, The Cheapers, Falko Brocksieper and many more—100 Jahre Areal presents fresh works, using samples from its back catalogue. From Basteroid’s Areal-founding Automatique / Drehoment release up to Metope’s Betaowl / The Quiek EP—a total of 57 records spanning nine years have been transformed into specimens. Turned on by their own creators and spliced into even more fantastical reinventions. But first there is Ada.
Let her dog have your night.
Phace & Misanthrop’s Neodigital label returns with a weighty third release from Mefjus, both tracks incorporating the highest quality production levels as ever.
Facebook band profile:
Out on March 26
High up in the skies, amongst the clouds, Rocket Juice And The Moon was born. Literally. It happened back in 2008, when Damon Albarn, Flea and Tony Allen convened on the same Lagos flight, to play and exchange musical ideas in that city as part of the Africa Express collective. There and then the triumvirate laid down the blueprint for Rocket Juice, but more than a year passed before conditions were set for three weeks together at Albarn’s West London studio, recording and refining two-dozen startlingly out and deeply funky instrumental grooves.
The next stage was to invite onboard some extremely talented friends, with further sessions in Dallas, New York, Chicago and Paris… Erykah Badu, no less, queen of contemporary soul. Three companions from Africa Express: Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, whose debut album has topped World Music charts since its release last Autumn; her compatriot Cheick Tidiane Seck, veteran collaborator of Youssou N’Dour and Hank Jones; the young, Ghanaian rapper M.anifest, quizzically existential, switching seamlessly between Twi and English; and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, long-time stalwarts in the Honest Jon’s set-up, with a second album for the label due in May… Finally, the tracks were dispatched for mixing to Berlin, to be meticulously honed, polished and envenomed by Mark Ernestus, one half of the legendary Basic Channel and Rhythm And Sound partnerships.
The result is Rocket Juice And The Moon, a triumphant exploration and proliferation of kinetic Afro-funk rhythms: organic, exuberant, communal music-making. From the inaugural bars, the liquid pulse of Fela Kuti’s classic recordings drives the action through a suite of 18 shape-shifting compositions: the greatest drummer in the world has never sounded so good as he does here. His intricate cross-patterns jostle and lock with Flea’s nimble, rumbling bass riffs. Joined by Seck on There and Extinguished, Albarn’s keyboards spray synth fusillades up top, over, and under… splicing into the mess of wires running between the freaked Afro-disco of William Onyeabor and the space-jazz-moog of Sun Ra.
Where the best of vintage Afrobeat sides sustained their concentrated energies over the course of sprawling, marathon jams, Rocket Juice manages something altogether different: the group bottles the idiom into capsules of funk… and real songs. Beautifully buoyed by Erykah Badu’s unmistakable vocals, Hey, Shooter brilliantly traverses metaphysical spaceways sans any semblance of noodling. Lolo and Follow-Fashion — featuring the open-hearted sensuality of Diawara’s singing, M.anifest’s quick, brawny science, and more brass blasts — play like its musical cousins or codas. Indeed, the album’s shrewd sequencing creates the composite effect of tracks working both individually or within the context of an extended song-cycle.
The lovely ballad, Poison, is bittersweet and ruminative: ‘If you’re looking for love, beware the signs / They will paralyze you one by one / Poison, it will only break your heart.’ Down-tempo and dubby, Check Out and Worries amplify the range of styles and moods. And by the time of Fatherless — a chugging Afro blues that evokes John Lee Hooker lost in Lagos — one gets the sneaking suspicion there’s very little outside the reach of this collective’s inventive musical grasp.
There is, in fact, a palpable openness pervading Rocket Juice And The Moon — the sense of a limber willingness to follow creative impulse — right down to how the group acquired its name. When Ogunajo Ademola — the Lagotian commissioned to do the album’s cover artwork — dubbed his submission ‘Rocket Juice And The Moon’, it quickly morphed into the formal name of the project, like trying to hold onto mercury.
Surely, the stars above also approved.
(Chairman Jefferson Mao, New York City, 2012. )
- / Hey, Shooter
- / Lolo
- / Night Watch
- / Forward Sweep
- / Follow-Fashion
- / Chop Up
- / Poison
- / Extinguished
- / Rotary Connection
- / Check Out
- / There
- / Worries
- / Benko
- / The Unfadable
- / DAM(N)
- / Fatherless
- / Leave-Taking
How do you follow up a year of delivering some of the best music on the planet? Find some thats even better. Crosstown Rebels do it again and discover a true talent in Amirali unleashing his longplayer ‘in Time’ as their first entry into 2012.
Amirali goes beyond your average dance music producer. A musician at heart, every instrument heard on ‘In Time’ was played by the Iranian-come-Canadian producer. He shapes his songs in mysterious patterns and subtly hypnotises with his dexterity. The album passes swiftly and stops time in its path, leaving a deep longing to hear it again and yearning to unravel its secrets
Amirali’s voice is mysterious and evocative, a futuristic hybrid of indie idols (think a sombre Ian Brown or intoxicated Radiohead) while tainted with the auras of favourite 80s synth heroes Depeche Mode amidst the current energy of dance enigmas Art Department and Underworld. Forging a strong element of surprise in his tactics, he takes a bold course, daring to create subtle complexities in house music.
The pensive buds of ‘The Harmonious Song’ softly open this quiet masterpiece. Tinkering on weightless pads, Amirali expresses a need to be taken seriously. In ‘Missing’ he spins out swirls of instrumentation and throbbing basslines while his singing curls and smoulders within its light textures.
‘Just An Illusion’ skips with the heartbeat of house music as Amirali fiirts with a higher tempo. But soon enough ‘Painting On A Canvas’ and its successor ‘Last Words’ revives the buoyant space of before, sketching bright skies and pregnant moods within Amirali’s sunken gothic bells, charged guitar strums and reflective keys.
Other highlights in Amirali’s maiden voyage include his first single, ‘Beautiful World’, unleashed on Lazarus’ own Crosstown Rebels label in early 2012. Apop-infused bomb that captivated the dancefloor, it was an apt introduction for this multifaceted talent and powerful signal of the swells and surges of ‘In Time’ and of the great new talent in our midst.
“Making this album was a period of self discovery in which I got to know myself aa deeper level. ´In Time´, the year and a half journey into an experimentation of myself and my sound consists of 13 tracks. Each track has a different story to tell and is a reflection of my past. It’s the most honest and personal I have ever been with my music, like I´m giving a part of my soul to the listener. I hope they enjoy.” Amirali 2012
Label: Crosstown Rebels
Cat no: CRMCD017
Distribution: Above Board Distribution
Released: Monday May 14th, 2012
- The Harmonious Song
- Just An Illusion
- Painting On A Canvas
- Last Words
- Midnight Train
- My Way
- Beautiful World
- No Doubt
- Hear Me
- Story Of Us
- The Sounds Of My Life
Damian Lazarus has a sharp ear and talent for A&R and he illustrates this with great clarity through his latest introduction. He went on a scouting mission for something more alternative for the label, and uncovered the Iranian music maker. Amirali’s heritage from Iran hangs heavy in the atmospheres of ‘In Time’ but Toronto is where he evoked the spirits of dance music into his style. Currently residing in London, Amirali will tour his new and exclusive live set this year to mark the launch of the album including vocals, live keys and a visual exploration into his weird and wonderful mind.
Following a year that the label was crowned the leader of the pack, spawning albums from the biggest artists of the year such as Art Department, Deniz Kurtel and Maceo Plex and coming top of the charts in many end of year charts, Crosstown Rebels dare to introduce another raw talent with unique dimensions. Later this year they have aligned new album material from their homegrown team including Resident Advisor’s no 1 DJ of the year, Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex plus new collaborations and signings Fur Coat, Mother Of Seven and more.
Feb 25 Nest, Leeds
March 2 Rebel Rave, Melbourne
March 3 Rebel Rave, Sydney
March 24 Get Lost, Miami
March 31 Calypso, Tunisia
April 7 Fabric, London
April 14 Watergate, Berlin
June 16 Lovebox festival, London