Here’s another making of videos from one of our favourite rappers of the year so far. The DELS album is a constant spinner in the hot weather we’ve been having and this nicely illuminates what it must have been like working with people like Joe Goddard and Roots Manuva on the record.
Tomorrow (May 24) former Golden Silvers frontman Gwilym Gold releases his debut solo single, ‘Flesh Freeze’. This would be fairly commonplace were it not for two facts: firstly, that the song is excellent, a million miles away from his alma mater’s irritating, vaudevillian electro. Chilling piano chords weigh heavily, light drum pads flit throughout, and his voice rings with ghostly softness, chattering softly about disbelief in almost rap-like intonation as if he has to get the words out quickly so that we might all be saved in time. The problem is, the message is jumbled, leading to the second fact: you will never hear this song twice – not the order of the lyrics, nor the introduction, nor the beat or the light sparkle that dances around Gold’s voice.
‘Flesh Freeze’ isn’t being released physically, as an MP3, or that revived nostalgic frippery, the cassette. Together with producer Lexxx (Wild Beasts, Björk) and a team of scientists from Goldsmiths University led by Dr Mick Grierson, Gwilym Gold invented Bronze, “a new format for recorded music, in which the recorded material is transfigured to producer a unique version on each listening.” From tomorrow, you’ll be able to download the Mac desktop version of the single – from NME.COM as well as other websites – and in the coming weeks, it’ll be available for PCs, smartphones and the iPod Touch. Just to clarify: it’s not an app. The format and the song are inextricable; the format is the song. As far as its inventors and a detailed search on Google are concerned, it’s the first of its kind. RjDj created “reactive music experiences”, taking albums by artists like Little Boots and remixing them according to your ambient surroundings. Bronze, however, requires no outside stimulation.
Very excited about this event in London tommorow. Lots of great labels from XL, Mute and Domino selling stuff alongside some EYOE/Field Day faves like Moshi Moshi, Double Denim and Transparent.
Head down and pick up some very rare and exclusive stuff and support the independent music industry in the UK and as if that isn’t enough then we will have some Field Day tickets onsale at the Rough Trade stall too!
We always look for something a bit fun to kick off the day on a Friday but today fun found us - in the form of a Chilly Gonzales Video Medley. Anybody who has ever wanted to see Chilly rap over footage of Sharks, act as the US President or play bongos for a lion-woman then please, don’t delay on watching the video above.
If you haven’t managed to hear ‘Diamond Mine’ by Kng Creosote and Jon Hopkins then where have you been? The two have graced us with one of the best collaborative efforts of recent times. Luckily for you late sleepers here is a stream from NPR so you can catch up before the show next week.
We also just announced another round with the two artists for later on in the year. Exciting stuff.
Metronomy feature in Notion mag right now, which thanks to the power of technology you can read on their Facebook page - I know, amazing right? The magazine are running their festival guide which nicely links in some of our other summer activities like Field Day.
Tribes are giving away a free cassette to anybody who signs up to their mailing list right now. The tape will have demos and all sorts and looks like something to snap up! Check out their Facebook page for more.
It seems like we’ve been waiting for this Dodos show for a long time - we have, kind of. The album is still doing it for us and now we have this session to pause on for a little while. Take a look/listen above.
Spots don’t get much bigger than Vogue, and that’s where Cat’s Eye’s Rachel Zaffira and finds herself today as Artist of the Week. Take a read of the article below:
If Canadian vocalist Rachel Zeffira surprised anyone with her latest project, Cat’s Eyes (a collaboration with Faris Badwan, the rake-thin lead singer of British phycho-Goth ensemble the Horrors), it was herself.
“I had lots of delusional fantasies as a kid, like winning an Olympic gold medal or an Oscar,” explains the 28-year-old, who, up until December, had spent the last ten years performing as a classical soprano, “but I never for a second thought I’d ever make an album as a pop singer.”
Strictly speaking, Cat’s Eyes isn’t “pop music”, but when you compare it to the arias and operatic solos Zeffira is used to, it’s close enough. Born out of a mutual appreciation for sixties girl-group garage rock, Badwan and Zeffira share singing responsibilities over stripped-back, barely there piano loops and hushed vocal harmonies, and their recently released, self-titled album feels more like lovelorn, Cocteau Twins–style dream pop if it sounds like anything at all. “By the time we got around to recording the album, I basically had to forget everything I’d ever learned about opera,” she says. “For instance, I didn’t have to concentrate on things like projecting anymore, because the microphone was right in front of me.”
Since Cat’s Eyes’ debut at the end of last year (they launched with a secretive performance at the Vatican. Yes, the Vatican), Zeffira admits she’s grown to favor the less-demanding life of a pop singer. Especially when she considers the round-the-clock maintenance and vocal fine-tuning opera requires. “After a point it was really freeing,” she explains. “It’s more natural and closer to what my real voice sounds like. When I’m singing I’m not thinking about technique or what my diaphragm is doing. I don’t have to avoid dairy products, air-conditioning, or talking too much. Also, if someone opens a candy wrapper at one our shows, it’s not going to ruin the atmosphere.” However, this has come with the disappointment of her still-devoted classical fans; since her early 20s, Zeffira had been hailed as a promising young talent, and still Google-able YouTube clips of her recordings are littered with comments bewailing her abandonment of the discipline. That said, as hushed and low-key as her new style is, Rachel admits Cat’s Eyes still has hints of opera’s theatricality. “It’s easy to forget sixties girl-group music was quite dark,” Zeffira continues. “Faris played one song for me called ‘Nightmare,’ by a band called The Whyte Boots. It’s about a girl who gets killed by a girl gang, and there is a wild range of emotion there that is very operatic.”
We love a good location session for bands and this one for VEVO is no exception as Erland and the Carnival play in an abandoned building. Morricone-esque Emmeline takes on a new feeling in these ruined surroundings.
Perfume Genius is quite the way to start a day, we have a feeling we might be fragile for the rest of the day now, but that doesn’t distract from this quite compelling performance for CBC recently. He plays ‘Dreem’ and talks a little bit about the UK above.
We have the brilliant About Group playing for us on Wednesday. The album is worming its way into our affections as a true contender for summer record of the year, dripping with gorgeous melodies and a laid-back charm that you wouldn’t expect from something recorded in a day. Refresh yourself by watching the video for debut single ‘You’re No Good’ above.
This Thursday sees the start of the Blackout series, an Eat Your Own Ears collaboration with Late of the Pier’s Sam Potter, and we are very excited. The idea is that in total blackness an unannounced - and never revealed - band play. It’s a little bit of a sensory experience, forcing you to tune your ears in to the small details of what’s being played with no visuals to help you. The anonymity for the band allows a certain free reign of expression that you don’t usually get.
Mr. DELS is back for us in October, gracing the hallowed XOYO again with his excellent rough and ready Hip Hop. He also just did a session on Lauren Laverne’s 6 Music show so we’re going to celebrate this announcement by listening to it, and pointing you in the right direction so you can join us.
This is a first for us, possibly because it’s not usually so fun to sum up a guy in five different songs but here we go. There’s the first one up there, the brilliant James Blake singing Feist’s ‘Limit To Your Love’, which was of course penned by Chilly - and possibly on piano first. Full circle.
Chilly also helped out Jamie Lidell on his breakthrough record ‘Multiply’. Take a listen to the two of them play the title track from that album above.
It wouldn’t be a proper guide to Chilly without some of his utterly transcendant piano music under the guide ‘Solo Piano’. Listen to a clip above.
A bit of a left-turn now. Gonzales is also a member of a a Berlin-based hip-hop group called Puppetmastaz. For a little taste, watch the quite incredible video above.
And finally we have to mention that Gonzales is in the Guinness Book of Records, holding the World Record for longest performance, clocking in an impressive 27 hours. Watch the highlights above. In just over 27 hours Chilly plays for us in London’s KOKO with Jarvis Cocker and Cocknbullkid as special guests. Don’t miss it!
Chilly Gonzales is taking over the hallowed hall of Camden’s KOKO on Thursday and he has a couple of friends there too - namely Mr. Jarvis Cocker. As attendees of Gonzale’s last show for us will know, anything can and probably will happen and we can’t wait.
To give you a chance to join in the fun we’re running a competition on our facebook page. We want you to post your favourite piano related video from Bach to Keyboard Cat on our facebook wall, we’ll be picking our favourite on Thursday morning!