Tag: electronic rock

Darren Jackson, is a Bison, SD-born, Minneapolis, MN-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, whose solo recording project Kid Dakota partially derives its name as a loving homage to Jackson’s home state and a play on Kid Rock. In 1999, Jackson along with long-time friend and producer Alex Oana, wrote and recorded the five songs that would eventually comprise his 2000 self-released EP So Pretty before permanently relocating to Minneapolis.

Interestingly, Jackson’s debut EP caught the attention of Low‘s Alan Sparhawk, who offered to release the EP on his label Chairkickers’ Union under the condition that Jackson expand it to a full-length album — with the full-length version of So Pretty being released in 2002. Sparhawk’s label released Jackson’s sophomore effort, 2004’s The West is the Future, which continued the Bison, SD-born, Minneapolis, MN-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumetanlist’s collaboration with Oana while featuring Low’s Zak Sally. However, his last two albums — 2008’s A Winner’s Shadow and 2011’s Listen to the Crows as They Take Flight was released by Graveface Records.

Jackson’s fifth, full-length album Denervation can trace its origins to a brief summer vacation at his parents’ house in the Black Hills in 2014 that turned into an extended nine-month stay convalescing in a hospital bed, after fracturing his pelvis in a horrific bicycle accident. The blunt force trauma from the accident also caused severe nerve damage, which made it extremely questionable whether or not Jackson would ever be able to walk again without a brace. And naturally, he found himself in a rather dark place. To cope with crippling depression, Jackson began writing the material that would eventually comprise Denervation, which will be released by Graveface Records on February 9, 2018.

After making some rough demos, Jackson sent them to his longtime friend and producer John Kuker, with whom he has collaborated with on several Kid Dakota recordings. And as the story goes, Kuker recognized the material’s raw potential and suggested that the Bison, SD-born, Minneapolis-based artist record the album at famed Cannon Falls, MN-based studio Pachyderm, which Kuker had recently purchased and renovated. Along with that Kuker suggested that Jackson enlist Birthday Suits‘ Matthew Kazama to play drums on the album. Jackson agreed and flew out to Minneapolis in late 2014 to meet with Kazama — and the duo spent several weeks woodshedding the material before heading to the studio in early 2015. After three days of tracking, the duo planned to record the album at Kuker’s studio that spring. Tragically, however, Kuker died from a heart attack in early February 2015, and the album’s came to a standstill. And understandably the album’s material was linked both with Jackson attempting to come to terms with the trauma and aftermath of his bicycle accident and the death of one of his dear friends.

Interestingly, it was only after Jackson got married and returned to Minneapolis from a stint teaching music in rural South Dakota and his Ph.D. studies in philosophy and film at Virginia Tech that he began to find the fortitude to finally finish the album he had started with his dear friend two years prior. And when he went to the studio, he enlisted the help of an All-Star cast of friends and collaborators for the Denervation sessions including Martin Dosh, Andrew Broder, Alan Spearhawk, Johnny and Molly Solomon, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Jeremy Messersmith, Todd Trainer and Dave Simonett. And as you’ll hear on the album’s first single “The Convalescent” the material possesses a feeling of loss, as the material focuses on loss from similar although different perspectives. Whereas some of the album’s songs focus on the potential loss of the use of a limb and its subsequent sense of helplessness, this particular song focuses on the loss of someone close — and as a result, their lingering and inescapable presence. Sonically speaking, the song pairs precise, math rock-like, angular guitar chords and drumming with arpeggiated synths, and arena rock-like hooks, evoking an uneasy, tense vibe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comprised of Mark Ryan, a member of bands like The Marked Men, High Tension Wires and Radioactivity, along with Baptist Generals‘ Peter Salisbury (synths) and The Marked Men’s Mike Throneberry (drums), the Fort Worth, TX-based synth punk act Mind Spiders is a decided sonic left turn from each of the individual members’ various projects  — with their forthcoming album Furies, reportedly being the project’s most electronic leaning album to date. And as you’ll hear from the album’s first single, album title track “Furies” is an urgent, post apocalyptic industrial rock track, complete with layers of buzzing synths, propulsive drum programming, howled vocals and a mosh pit worthy hook reminiscent of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails; but underneath the urgency of the song is a healthy sense of panic and dread — the sort of panic and dread of our impending doom, as a cabal of dangerous and greedy idiots fuck up everything we’ve ever loved or valued.

Look for the album on January 26, 2018 through Dirtnap Records.

New Video: Watch Game of Thrones’ Lena Headley Party with King Richard III in Hilarious Visuals for Kasabian’s Swaggering New Single Ill Ray (The King)”

Currently comprised of founding members Tom Meighan (vocals), Sergio Pizzorno (guitar, vocals), and Chris Edwards (bass) with Ian Matthews (drums), the Leicester, UK-based indie rock/dance punk act Kasabian initially formed under the name Saracuse and  derive their name from Linda Kasabian, a member of the infamous Charles Manson cult. As the band’s Chris Edwards explained in an interview with Ukula, their former guitarist Chris Karloff had been reading up on Charles Manson, and the name Kasabian just stuck with him. “He thought the word was cool, it literally took about a minute after the rest of us head it . . . so it was decided.”  And although the band has gone through several lineup changes — at one point being a quintet before settling on its current lineup, the band can trace its origins to when its founding trio met while attending Countesthorpe Community College. 
The founding trio along with a rotating cast of studio drummers recorded their Scott Gilbert-produced demo EP,  which was finished in December 1998 and featured three songs “What’s Going On,” “Life of Luxury” and “Shine On.” After making their first live appearance to celebrate Edwards’ 18th birthday, the band was signed to BMG by London-based DJ and producer Sam Young, who took over managerial duties for a period of time before both sides had a massive falling out. Since then the band has released six studio albums — 2004’s self-titled debut, 2006’s Empire, 2009’s Pauper Lunatic Asylum, 2011’s Velociraptor!, 2014’s 48:13 and For Crying Out Loud, which was released earlier this year — all of which have further cemented the Leicester-based act’s reputation for crafting a sound that’s been described as a mix between The Stone Roses, Primal Scream and Oasis and for a critically applauded live show. Along with that, the band has managed to be commercially successful in the UK as they received a Brit Award for Best British Group in 2010, won two Q Awards for Best Act in the World Today in 2010 and 2014, as well as one Best British Band at 2007’s NME Awards. 

Produced by the band’s Sergio Pizzorno and recorded at his Leicester-based studio the Sergery, For Crying Out Loud has proven to be commercially successful, as it’s the band’s fifth #1 album on the UK Album Charts, thanks to the success of its first two singles “You’re In Love With A Psycho” and “Bless This Acid House,” both of which continue the band’s reputation for crafting swaggering, arena-friendly rock with shout worthy, crowd rousing hooks. Interestingly, album opening track and latest single “Ill Ray (The King)” is full of hip-hop inspired swaggering braggadocio paired with club-banging beats, buzzing guitars, rousing shout and stomp friendly hooks with a surprisingly disco/psychedelic house-inspired bridge — and as a result, it possesses a riotous “we’ll stomp the shit of you” vibe, reminiscent of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” 

The recently released video was written and conceived by the band’s Sergio Pizzorno and features three-time Emmy Award-nominated actor Lena Headley, who’s best known for playing Queen Cersei in Game of Thrones. The video follows Lena’s character as she meddles with the occult in a weird ploy to bring King Richard III, who was buried in Leicester, back from the dead. And in case you ever wondered what it might be like to drink way too much with a British royal, who has been dead for over 500 years, this video may be your primer. 

New Video: LCD Soundsystem Returns with Their Most Dance Floor Friendly Track in Several Years

Founded by frontman, multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ and DFA Records co-founder James Murphy in 2002, Brooklyn-based indie rock/electro rock/dance punk act LCD Soundsystem along with acts like  The Rapture, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party, Radio 4,  Liars and a few others, are considered pioneers of a dance punk renaissance that saw its height at the early part of this century; but among that group LCD Soundsystem set themselves apart as one of the more commercially and critically successful acts of their era — 2005’s eponymous full-length debut, which featured their most successful single “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” was nominated by a Grammy for Best Dance Recording with the album also being nominated for a Grammy Best Electronic/Best Dance Album. With a growing national and international profile, Nike commissioned Murphy and company to write and record a workout-inspired, workout-friendly album — 45:33 — as part of the Nike+ Original Run series. The members of LCD Soundsystem followed that up with 2007’s critically acclaimed Sound of Silver, which was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album.  2010’s This Is Happening managed to be the act’s most commercially successful, as it was their first Top 10 album in the States; however, by the following year, the band announced it was breaking up and was celebrating a wildly successful run together with a series of farewell shows at Madison Square Garden and Terminal 5, with the events surrounding their final show together, chronicled in the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, and a live album, 2014’s The Long Goodbye, which Murphy painstakingly mastered. 

After LCD Soundsystem broke up, the members of the band went on to pursue a number of creative and business pursuits — Nancy Whang released solo material and DJ’ed; Tyler Pope spent a stint in the touring band of !!!,; Gavin Russom has released solo material under the moniker Black Meteoric Star, collaborated with Viva Ruiz in The Crystal Ark and recently came out as transgender and transitioning; David Scott Stone has collaborated with Melvins, Unwound, Jello Biafra, Mike Patton, No Age, and others; Jerry Fuchs went on with stints in The Juan MacLean, !!!, Maserati and MSTRKRFT; and Murphy arguably being the busiest of the band as he not only continued his production and sound engineering work, working with Arcade Fire during the Reflector sessions, he was in 2014 commissioned by the US Open to create a special set of remixes based on the actual sounds and events of the tournament’s matches. Along with that he remixed David Bowie‘s “Love Is Lost,” for an expanded edition of the legendary artist’s The Next Day and was known to occasionally DJ, including famously DJing to close out DFA Records’ 12th Anniversary Party at Grand Prospect Hall. He also participated in Canon’s Project Imaginat10n, a film project in which the folks at Canon invited 5 different celebrities to direct short films based on pictures uploaded by photographers and other creatives around the world to a special website, with the result being his directorial debut “Little Duck,” set in Japan. And in other non-musical pursuits, with the assistance of Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman, Murphy released his own blend of espresso, and then he opened a critically applauded restaurant in Williamsburg, which he personally designed and chose the menu. And although Murphy had publicly stated that LCD Soundsystem’s breakup allowed him the time and ability to pursue an array of projects, he wasn’t able to do before, he also missed being in a band and creating music. 

Interestingly, in light of those comments, towards the end of 2015, there were rumblings across the blogosphere that Murphy and several members of the band were considering a series of reunion shows for the major festival circuit — and naturally, those rumors exploded upon the release of Christmas Will Break Your Heart,” which the band released on Christmas of that year, marking a big Christmas surprise for fans, who had been clamoring for new material and/or the possibility of a reunion for the better part of 5 years. Naturally, with the release of the single, Murphy and company confirmed that a reunion tour with appearances at several major festivals, a residency to  The Bowery Presents‘ newest venue, Brooklyn Steel and a new album, American Dream, which is slated for a September 1, 2017 release through Columbia Records/DFA Records. 

As my colleagues mentioned, their early Brooklyn Steel sets featured material, which would appear on their new album, including the atmospheric, “Call The Police,” which features Murphy’s archly ironic lyrics and manages to sound like a mesh of the sound of This Is Happening and their incredible cover of Harry Nilsson‘s “Jump Into The Fire” and “American Dream,” a slow-burning track featuring shimmering synths but subtly nods at “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” thanks in part to Murphy’s dramatic crooning, 

“tonite,” the third single off the soon-to-be-released album is arguably one of the more dance floor friendly singles they’ve released to date as it features an unrelenting and propulsive beat paired with wobbling, house music-like bass synth and twinkling keys, and Murphy’s ironic observations on the state of contemporary music, human relationships in the age of constant connectivity and his own random musings. And interestingly enough, despite the 5 years apart, the band manages to sound as though they haven’t missed a beat; in fact, it sounds as though it were the song and the album that they would have made regardless of breaking up — all while subtly nodding at Man Machine-era Kraftwerk. 

Directed by Joel Kefall, the recently released video for “tonite” features a handful of members performing the song, while others look cooly detached, reading or staring into space on a spinning stage, lit by explosively bursts of concert lighting. And the entire time, the band’s frontman sings with a tape recorder strapped to him. 

Featuring core members, founder and creative mastermind Isaac Flynn (vocals), who comes from a family of musicians and whose parents own Lawrence, KS‘ well-regarded guitar store, Mass Street Music; Eric Davis (keys, synths) and Garrett Childers (guitar, vocals), the Kansas City-based indie rock act Hembree received regional and national attention with the release of “Can’t Run Forever,” a shimmering and slickly produced, dance-floor friendly track that simultaneously nods at 80s New Wave, St. Lucia, and Interpol simultaneously.

Building upon the success of “Can’t Run Forever,” a track that has seen as of this post, over 500,000 Spotify and YouTube streams, the members of the Kansas City-based band went to record new material at Los Angeles-based Sunset Sound Studios with Chris Coady, who has worked with Beach House, Future Islands and Yeah Yeah Yeahs; but when Flynn returned home to Kansas City, he decided that those sessions should be tabled, and that it was time for the band to take a much different approach. “After ‘Can’t Run Forever’ came out, I was feeling the pressure to make our second single bigger and better, and found myself putting limitations on my writing,” Flynn explained in press notes.. “After being frustrated for several months, I decided to record whatever I want; just let it all pour out.” And with that mindset, Flynn, his bandmates Davis and Childers recorded their latest single “Holy Water,” with Foreign Fields’ Eric Hillman contributing additional production and Joe Visciano, who has worked with The Kills, Jamie xx and Beck mixing the proceedings.

“Holy Water” is a decided change in sound, as the swaggering and propulsive track nods at Kasabian and Primal Scream as the band pairs an an arena rock and dance floor-friendly hook with a slick production featuring layers of undulating synths, twinkling keys, enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats with a “we’re ready to take over the world right this fucking moment” feel. Interestingly, part of the song’s anthemic nature stems from the song’s overwhelmingly positive message. As Flynn says of the song, “The song started with me making a conscious decision to stop letting the bad win. It was time to start embracing the obstacles and then doing my best to overcome them. I really just want to be true to myself and good to others, and I want the same for other people. Perhaps that’s the message from this song.” Certainly, considering how maddening and dire everything seems on a daily basis, any positive message seems desperately necessary.  Unsurprisingly, since the single’s release at the end of last year, the song has seen regular rotation on 10 Midwestern radio markets including Columbus, OH; St. Louis, MO; and the Kansas City area — and the track has seen over 250,000 Spotify steams as of this writing.

 

 

The band will be going on a run of tour dates in the Midwest, with the first show of the tour, finding the band opening for Cold War Kids. Check out the tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
3/25 Columbus, Express Live
3/27 Omaha, Reverb
3/28 Iowa City, The Mill
3/29 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
3/30 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/24 Omaha, Reverb
4/25 Davenport IA, Raccoon Motel
4/26 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
4/27 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/28 Kansas City, Record Bar
4/29 Columbia MO, Rose Music Hall

New Video: Barry Adamson Returns with Sexy Slasher Film-Inspired Visuals for Latest Single “They Walk Among Us”

If you’ve been frequenting this site at some point over the course of its almost 7 year history, you’ve come across a couple of posts on the renowned Manchester, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and filmmaker, Barry Adamson. Tracing the origins of his musical career to stints a member Magazine, Visage, The Birthday Party, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Adamson has had a lengthy and critically applauded solo career, in which he’s recorded and released 8 full-length albums, 7 EPs and a retrospective compilation, including I Will Set You Free, one of my favorite albums of 2012.

Now up until last year, it had been some time since I had written about or heard from Adamson. In 2013, the Manchester-born and-based musician and singer/songwriter rejoined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for the recording of Cave’s critically applauded Push the Sky Away and over the subsequent few years, Adamson was busy composing soundtracks and getting more involved in film; however, Adamson released Know Where to Run last year, an effort that found the renowned multimedia artist and multi-instrumentalist pushing his sound in a number of different directions with the album’s material drawing from film noir, pop standards, jazz, dub, trip-hop and indie rock — but in Adamson’s imitable style.

Adamson’s 8th EP, Love Sick Dick is slated for an April 14, 2017 release and reportedly the EP will thematically explore the deepest, inner workings of a lovelorn, sad sack bastard in all of his downhearted, paranoid, self-flagellation and grief paired with a sound that the renowned British artist and producer has dubbed “futuristic blues” — and as he explains in press notes, ‘The blues is the blues and if the heart aches then that’s the sound that will come out, whether you are playing guitar, a synth, a piano or performing futuristic guitar solos on your iPhone!” Of course, Love Sick Dick will also further cement Adamson’s reputation for writing, playing, sampling and recording every note, frequently employing the use of new technology to replicate his sound both in the studio and live.

Love Sick Dick’s second and latest single “They Walk Among Us” is a sultry and propulsive track in which Adamson’s husky baritone crooning is paired with a dance floor-friendly production featuring stomping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, layers of shimmering arpeggio synths, ominously swirling electronics, a sinuous bass line and an infectious, ear worm of a hook to create a song that evokes the murkily foreboding, late night prowl of someone looking for action while being remarkably cinematic — as though it could easily be part of a soundtrack of a psychological horror film. Interestingly, as Adamson explained to the folks at Dangerous Minds the song and its accompanying, “‘They Walk Among Us’ explores the conviction of who or indeed what lies beneath the mask we present. The fantasy, the illusion, and all too often foreboding reality.”

Directed by Adamson himself, the recently released video also stars the Manchester, UK-born artist as a debonair English gentleman walking back to his flat, when he comes across a stunning woman, who he invites back to his place — but it ends with a horrible and bloody conclusion that hints at the fact that people aren’t what they seem or what they really are.

Live Footage: Fufanu Live on KEXP

Over the past couple of months here, I’ve written quite a bit about the Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu. The trio, which is currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar, was a member of The Sugarcaubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation, by the way) along with Erling Bang (drums) can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met while at school. According to the band’s founding duo, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. And after quickly bonding over mutual interests, the duo went into a studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. Within a month of their formation, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had started playing shows in and around Reykjavik.

Building on a growing local profile, the duo went into the studio to record what would be their full-length debut as Captain Fufanu; but in a strange twist of fate, the studio where Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had recorded the album was burgled. And as a result, the album was presumed lost. Instead of trying to recall the material they initially wrote from memory, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson decided that the moment was a perfect time for them to completely reinvent their sound. Interestingly, as that happened, Katkus was in London working on Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots and touring with Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics. Simultaneously Gulli had started to create a revised sound, which according to Kaktus Einarsson managed to coney exactly what he had been thinking. The duo then added guitars and drums, along with Kaktus’ brooding and detached vocals — and with their revised sound, renamed themselves Fufanu.

Their first live set with their new sound and aesthetic was at Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. Building upon the buzz they had received, they went into the studio their full-length debut A Few More Days To Go. And with the release of their debut, the duo received a rapidly growing national and international profile as they toured with a number of internationally renowned acts including The Vaccines and have played at JaJaJa Festival. With their recently released sophomore effort Sports, Kaktus and Gulli recruited Erling “Elli” Bang (drums) to further flesh out their sound as they expanded upon it and its thematic direction.

Now, you may recall that I’ve written about the first two singles off the Icelandic trio’s recently released sophomore effort Sports — the album’s title track “Sports,” which retained the synth-driven sound that first captured national and international attention while pairing it with a tight, motorik-like groove reminiscent of Can, Neu! Joy Division and early ’80s Peter Gabriel (in particular, think of Peter Gabriel 3 and Security) along with live instrumentation, which gives the material both an organic feel and a forcefulness — and “Liability,” which while continuing in a similar vein was a bit more slow-burning. Both singles possessed a murky and enigmatic air, they point at the soul-crushing mundanity and drudgery of daily life but just under the surface there’s the broiling frustration and resentment of someone who’s desperate to break free — and not sure how to do so without some recrimination.

Last year, the members of the band were on KEXP and the set included live versions of “Circus Life” and “Now” off their full-length debut Few More Days to Go along with “Sports” and then-unreleased single “Bad Rockets” off the recently released Sports. And while being fairly straightforward renditions of the material, the KEXP set will give you a sense of their intense and live set, a live set that frequently includes Kaktus Einarsson storming, strutting and stomping about the stage, alternating between being menacing and playful and so on. During this set, Kaktus throws his monitor headphones off his head and on to the floor, to headbang and stomp about as Gulli plays a furious and blistering solo. Just from this particular footage, I’m hoping that the Icelandic act will play a set or two here in NYC.