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Archive for August, 2011

Liftoff!

Our friends at Fort Knox Recordings have something new for the waning days of summer.

“Liftoff” is a new project made up of two members of Thunderball (Steve Raskin and Rob Myers), Johnna Raskin, and Steven Albert (a former “Edsel” band mate of Steve’s).  When I heard about this release from the label and gave “Summer’s Shown” (see Bandcamp widget below, but you can stream it and “Kool it Man” at Liftoff’s bandcamp site) a spin, I didn’t realize the Thunderball guys were involved and thought it was a new group.  I was quite surprised (and pleased) when I read the press release to find out Steve and Rob were behind this effort.

“Sunday Morning Airplay” displays a number of musical elements and does a good job incorporating these new sounds and molds them together with a hint of the established Thunderball sound to create an irresistibly fun, yet relaxing new sonic idea.  I really liked how the vocal harmonies came together on some of the tracks, most notably on “Summer’s Shown” and “EmilyMaryAliceKatherine.”  It was reminiscent of a Mamas and Papas, laid back, psychedelic 60′s folk-rock sound where I really got the feeling of driving down the highway with the top down in a convertible enjoying a beautiful summer day.

“Feathered Up” was one of my favorite tracks and I think it summarizes the new sound perfectly.  I really enjoyed Rob Myers’ guitar playing on that track as he produced a perfect lazy, summery, and bluesy sound to go along with the flowing strings and a great laid back beat.  It is so light and delicate, one would think they actually are a feather floating along in the summer breeze.  The other track that really stood out was “Marshmeadows.”  Featuring a light beat, some flowing synth, and light vocals throughout, it also has the lazy daydream feel to it. The highlight for me was the slowly building glitchy intro coupled with acoustic guitar.  From then it takes you on a trippy journey which can be enjoyed in any environment, but instantly conjures images of laying on a grassy hill looking up at the clouds.

There was also the very cool “Kool It Man” and “The Morning” which seem to incorporate the Thunderball sound than the more chill wave influenced ones, but still fit in nicely on this new effort.  ”Kool It” really has a hypnotizing groove and tantalizing bass line and “The Morning” enjoys a bit of the international flavor with some bongos in the background and “spy movie” guitar style typical of Thunderball.

Unfortunately, you will have to wait until September to get your hands on this album, but by then it’ll provide a great reminder of how awesome your summer was.

Keep chillin’

-Chris

Event- Gilles Peterson to play US DJ sets

Radio One “Worldwide” host Gilles Peterson will be appearing in the US this month!  He’ll be performing a DJ set at Cielo Club in New York City on August 18th as part of the Giant Step Thursdays hosted by Giant Step Records.  He’ll also be making stops in LA and Chicago (at LIFT and Crimson Lounge, respectively) and a couple in Canada (full list below).  You can pick up tickets for the NYC event through TicketFly and they’re only $25!

Peterson is coming off of another successful installment of his “Worldwide Festival” in Sete (South of France) which featured many popular acts in electronic music such as James Blake, Quantic, Flying Lotus, among many more including pop sensation Raphael Saadiq.  The next segment of the festival is next month in Singapore.  You can check out the line up for that here.  For more information on Gilles, check out his website GillesPetersonWorldwide.com.

Keep chillin’

-Chris

Full list of DJ set dates-

AUGUST:

5th –  The Festival on the Other Side, Montenegro
7th – Apple Cart Festival, Victoria Park, London
11th – La Tulipe, Montreal
13th – LIFT, LA
17th – Crimson Lounge, Chicago
18th –  Cielo, NYC
20th –  Mod Club, Toronto

SEPTEMBER:
2nd – QEH, London
8th – Concrete, London
10th + 11th – Alex James presents Harvest, Oxfordshire, UK & Harvest festival, Jimmy’s Farm, Suffolk, UK
16th – 18th – Worldwide Festival, Singapore
23rd + 24th –  Tokyo
30th – Kee Club, Hong Kong

OCTOBER:
14th – Social, London
15th – Scala,  London

More shoegaze/post-rock goodness!

Our friends The Candlepark Stars released a new album yesterday!  We reviewed their previous album, “Shimmer and Gold” here last year and the follow up “All the Little Things” uses all of those same wonderfully beautiful elements that make their music so enjoyable.

“All of the Little Things” is only 8 tracks and Kerry recently posted on Twitter that it was originally planned to be an EP.  The running time is still 47 minutes, however, and still provides 8 great tracks of relaxing, beautiful atmospheric music.

“Fifteen Seconds Left to Live” is a beautiful, throbbing piece that pulsates like a beating heart.  During the beginning and middle portions, it is as though one is re-living images of their life as the seconds tick away and the music gets more and more intense.  Then at the end, the beating heart slows down to a halt and we are left with the sounds of gentle guitar and synth as we drift up into the heavens.  Truly an emotional track!

I also enjoyed the second track “Shimmerglimmer” which develops a nice little drum groove on top of their usual delicately produced sounds.  The epic final track “I Was Here” continually builds and builds using gentle piano strokes, guitar picking, and then goes into much bigger sounding guitar chord hits at the end.

If you are new to The Candlepark Stars, one of the best things about their music is it is ideal for pure relaxation.  You can sit back, relax, let your mind wander and take in everything. Or, you can envision a film playing in your mind and these wonderful sounds provide a soundtrack to your thoughts.  I think they have really grown musically since their last album and the more apparent layers of sounds is evidence of that.  This album appears to have more of a focus than Shimmer and Gold.  With tracks named “15 Seconds Left to Live” and “When I am Old and Gray” it appears as though there is a theme of facing one’s mortality or possibly reflecting on a loss of a loved one.  Either way, there is a definite soul to this album and they should be proud of what they’ve done with this new effort.

Keep chillin’

-Chris

Tracklisting-

1. Shimmerglimmer

2. Run With Me

3. 15 Seconds Left to Live

4. Take My Hand

5. It Gets Better

6. Love Wants Us to Win

7. When I Am Old and Gray

8. I Was Here