SnC 346 – Audio treats
As quirky a selection of music as you’re likely to get in your ear all week with tasty audio treats from The Bloody Angle, Little People, Choir of Young Believers, Orfanij, Lola Dutronic and firstly, You Bred Raptors?
I’m actually pleased to be locked away in the barn this week, it was raining when we got back from Cornwall and it has been dark, dank and foggy ever since.
Orchids – You Bred Raptors? (Astoria, New York, USA)
“Born somewhere between the Neolithic Era and the Industrial Revolution, You Bred Raptors? minstrel through the NYC subways with the Music Under New York Program.
The trio of egghead rockers comprise Eplileptic Peat (real name Peter Rains/eight-string bass), Zach Schmidlein (drums) and Bryan Wilson on (cello), who named themselves after a line in Jurassic Park.
“Our name is a question? The band is an inquiry, not a declarative statement,” says Peat. “I want people to like us but not know why.”
They also aim to raise awareness about Dinosaur cloning research. [Yeah, I’m sure they do, really.]
Their latest album “Hammond” came out in February 2012 and is a fascinating listen. “Thanks for the support and hold on to your butt.”
The Bloody Angle – The Bloody Angle (Charlottesville, VA, USA)
The Bloody Angle plays southern-fried swamp rock, with a touch of americana and a hint of country. Gritty guitars, lap-steel, and finger-picking support vocal harmonies and traditional keyboard tones. The sound conjures the southern countryside, civil war battlefields and backroad watering holes.
The eponymous debut album was released last week. The album was recorded entirely in the analog realm, at producer-songwriter Matt Singleton’s studio in the Central Virginia countryside. “We wanted to produce a record that was warm, immediate, and spontaneous.” quotes Singleton. “This album was a direct backlash against the modern style of making music… no edits, no grid, no auto-tune. We wrote and performed together in the studio, and captured the songs to tape as they came out, warts and all.” When the record was finished, the band had the vinyl masters cut directly from the analog tape. “As far as we can tell, there is only one guy around who even does this anymore. Carl Rowatti, at Trutone Mastering Labs in New York. We went up and watched him cut it. So cool.”
The songs toggle between personal stories and character driven studies. The common thread is the southern landscape, where the stories live among the soldiers, drunks, bible-thumpers and other characters that Singleton either encounters, inhabits, or pulls from the pages of history.
The sound has a surprising maturity, given that the band has only been together for a year.
Aldgate Patterns – Little People (London, UK)
Little People is the moniker of UK-based downtempo electronic musician Laurent Clerc.
He returns with his second full length album We Are But Hunks Of Wood on Youth & Progress Records. Along the lines of DJ Shadow, RJD2 and Four Tet, Little People plays downtempo, intelligent electronic music.
Part beats, bleeps and real live instrumentation, this new record falls in a place where Bonobo and Explosions in the Sky would hypothetically meet.
We are But Hunks of Wood is a sonic leap forward for Little People, which establishes him as a key proponent of the downtempo electronic music scene. Having initially come from the world of instrumental hip hop where tracks are often more akin to just sketches or interesting ideas, Laurent Clerc’s pieces are fully fledged songs whose arrangements create a sense of mood and movement, effortlessly going from nuanced electronic patterns to soaring string arrangements over the course of the journey. This is no beat tape.
There are many reasons why it has taken time for Little People to release his follow up record. However, the primary reason is that he feels he has to reinvent his work methodology through writing and record his tracks from the ground up. He views sampling as tantamount to taking another man’s 2 bars of inspiration and passing it off as your own. The story of the samplist making the jump to creating his own material is not new, but it isn’t always a successful one. Laurent has taken the time to make sure that leap was taken with aplomb.
Paint New Horrors – Choir Of Young Believers (Copenhagen, Denmark)
When listening to Denmark’s Choir of Young Believers, it’s hard not to imagine an army of white-clad singers with arms outstretched, their voices raised in holy polyphon — in fact, the Danish group is the brainchild of Jannis Noya Makrigiannis. For years, Jannis moved in the underground circles of the Copenhagen indie scene. In 2006, he moved to the Greek island of Samos and began developing his own solo material. Jannis returned to Copenhagen and, gathering musicians and friends around him, formed Choir of Young Believers, an orchestral-pop project marked by magisterial melodies, dark lyrical concerns, and a healthy dose of cathedral-grade reverb.
Choir of Young Believers have garnered an imposing number of accolades in their Danish homeland and in Europe for their debut full-length, This Is for the White in Your Eyes. The band received praise from outlets such as Mojo, The Guardian, Uncut and more. This Is For The White In Your Eyes, signalled the arrival of a powerful new talent, possessed of a fully formed vision, arch compositional ingenuity and a tenor to die for. While White in Your Eyes racked up overwhelmingly positive press, it can practically be seen as a soft launch for Choir of Young Believers’ masterful Rhine Gold.
Now a proper band, the collaborative dynamic has imbued their sound with more authority and daring, as Choir inhabits a wholly unique space where intimate folk, classic Krautrock, big-sky Americana, avant-garde composition and bombastic theatricality seamlessly serve the same master. Like Choir’s music, Makrigiannis’ powerful voice unifies the ambitious scope of Rhine Gold by sounding at once dolorous and magisterial. The rich, enveloping production does wonders to corral such creative largess under a unified, sepia-toned song cycle.
Inertia – Orfanij (London, UK)
Orfanij are Jonny on vocals, acoustic and electric guitar and Alexei who contributes vocals, synth and samples.
The musical birth of Orfanij took place in East London’s warehouse raves. This was followed by months in an attic studio where a Minimoog and a few guitars met digital synths and samples.
Inspired by the duos engagement with the global non-violent movements against tyranny, corruption and oppression, the lyrical story told by Orfanij comes from the individual’s dark and beautiful experiences with contemporary culture defined by an age of connections and the increasingly easy sharing of information.
The result of their hard work is their soon to be released debut album which will be supported by a European tour beginning in November.
S.O.S. – Lola Dutronic (Toronto-Berlin-Dusseldorf)
The 4th album by Lola Dutronic, “Everyone’s A Star“, and their first full album for Red Star, comes hot on the heels of the well-received “New York Stories” EP – we heard a few tracks from that a while back.
Available as a digital download and as CD it’s already being hailed in some quarters as their best album yet, it contains the pensive electro ballad “On My Radio“, the epic title track “Everyone’s A Star” and the song that some people are already calling the Single Of The Year, “Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead“, featuring backing vocals from Chris Frantz & Tina Weymouth, Hugo Burnham, Mona Mur & En Esch, Jeremy Gluck, David Buckley, Eric Debris, Ian MacKay, Ray Coburn, Bill Wood, Billie Bucko Brock, Jaymz Bee, Teddy Fury and Project Heartbreak.