Cloak & Dagger
The Jesus And Mary Chain
The legendary Jesus and Mary Chain forged from the chaos of a post punk music wasteland that left the 1980s youth of the UK looking for a new band to hang their disaffections on.
Brothers William and Jim Reid took their own version of teenage angst, from their bedroom in East Kilbride Scotland to the D.I.Y. underground music scene of London in 1984.
Their attitude and thrashing guitar sound, bought them to the attention of Creation Records boss Alan McGee.
Creation released their first singe ‘Upside Down’ and its success saw the band perform a series of adrenalin fuelled live shows that often ended in controversy.
From the chaos and madness that surrounded the band, Williams true song writing genius and Jims heart stopping lyrics gave life in1985 to their debut album ‘Psychocandy’ that is today still held as a musical mile stone and spawned such classics as ‘Just Like Honey’ and ‘Some Candy Talking’.
In 2015 the band revisited the album to celebrate its 30th year, following their re acquaintance with Alan McGee, now operating as Creation Management. There followed with a hugely successful and much acclaimed world tour with a set that included the classic album being played end to end, after a shorter greatest hits opening set, still being controversial, but dazzlingly brilliant.
The band has spent most of 2016 in the studio, in London, Dublin and LA, finally readdressing the issue that they were now being begged for a new album. (Their last release was 1998.)
After signing a worldwide deal with ADA, the label service division of Warner Music Group, at last the finishing touches of the new record are being detailed in London, and the world holds it’s breath to hear the new material destined for release in March 2017.
Speaking to Canada’s CBC Music, McGee let slip. “They’ve made another album! It’s a big deal! It’s kinda enormous.”
The internet lit up with the news as it slowly dawned that finally the brothers had put their personal differences on hold and had produced another masterpiece.
The album will have its presale release in December 2016 and the band will embark on another world tour in support of the new album throughout 2017.
Producer and designer Seth Haley, born and raised in upstate New York and currently based in Los Angeles, California.
HEALTH are the new frontier of noise rock. Formed in 2005, HEALTH self-recorded their debut album over the course of 9 months at Los Angeles D.I.Y. venue The Smell, birthing an urgent and extraordinary album which seethed with ghostly, epic pop and spurts of chaotic noise. Their shows grew wilder, kids danced & moshed, blogs freaked out, critics raved, and everyone wondered how in God's name HEALTH was going to follow it up. While the anticipation continued to build, HEALTH released a critically-acclaimed remix record HEALTH//DISCO, toured with the likes of Crystal Castles, Nine Inch Nails, and Of Montreal and played over 420 shows!
In April of 2009, HEALTH emerged with their first new single since 2007: "DIE SLOW" received immediate accolades from Pitchfork & NME, with the effects rippling across their DIE SLOW THROUGH EUROPE tour, resulting in a near-riot in Eastern Europe. The song's infectious fusion of noise and dance was the most fully-formed and undeniably rad piece of music from HEALTH yet. And it only served to rile up their fans more. The new full-length was desperately needed.
On September 8th 2009, HEALTH answer the call and release their second album GET COLOR. Recorded in an especially gnarly part of Lincoln Heights, L.A, GET COLOR is an exuberant proclamation of noise, rock and electronic splendor. It's a celebration of sound; pretty, harsh, soft and basked in a blanket of ethereal vocals. GET COLOR is the manifesto HEALTH have been promising since their inception. HEALTH are the band. GET COLOR is the record. NOW is the time.
Two years after releasing the revered noise/dance record HEALTH//DISCO, HEALTH return to the remix realm with DISCO2 on June 22, 2010 on Lovepump United Records.
Curated and produced by HEALTH, DISCO2 features the epic noise jams of GET COLOR remixed by electronic luminaries Tobacco, Crystal Castles, Salem, Javelin, and Gold Panda (among others), morphing 2009's GET COLOR into an electronic masterpiece.
DICSCO2 leads off with the killer new HEALTH single "USA BOYS", mixed by legendary producer Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode). HEALTH have turned the dancefloor filthy again. It's going to be a noisy summer.
The Gaslamp Killer
LA’s William Bensussen, aka The Gaslamp Killer, is many things at once. The San Diego native is a bonafide one-off; an artist and human being that can never be repeated. With an unparalleled energy, the DJ, producer, promoter and curator brings a different level of performance and showmanship to electronic music.
“I always felt drawn to party time ever since I was little. Any kind of opportunity; a wedding, bar mitzvah, holiday. Whatever kind of event that was going on in my little community in San Diego, if there was music, I was dancing. It’s just the way it was. I’ve always been into the energy and the happiness that it brings.”
Being a true music lover, and a complete obsessive, as a DJ/selector Bensussen has opened minds around the world to music that wouldn’t otherwise get heard. In his own words: “As artists, it’s our job to entertain as well as educate.” Alongside co-founder Daddy Kev, GLK has put Southern California on the music map for years to come, with their beat mecca Low End Theory and the vibrant creative
community they’ve built around it. The weekly Wednesday club night has brought together different scenes and generations, breaking new artists while also getting the likes of Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu to play DJ sets to the fevered Low End crowd, who often wait hours to get in.
Over the last ten years, Gaslamp Killer’s iconoclastic attitude has led him beyond LA to far-reaching corners of the globe, one stage at a time: from Pitch in Amsterdam, to Sonar in Barcelona, to Austin Psych Fest, to Roskilde in Denmark, to Coachella. Holding a collection of well over 13,000 vinyl records, GLK’s untamed, unpredictable sets take traditional genres of rock into the outer reaches of hip-hop and the deep into the cosmic pressure of the heaviest electronic beats, with plenty of obscurity and bizarreness in-between.
The now rare, GLK collectables “I Spit On Your Grave” (Obey) and “All Killer” (Finders Keepers) inspired a new generation of DJs to appreciate the art of a mixtape. Dusted Magazine described his follow-up mix, “Hell And The Lake Of Fire Are Waiting For You” (self-released), with words that describe GLK as a DJ in general: “Trying to figure out what’s going on is half the draw.”
“The music that I grew up with influences me today enormously still. I love classic rock, I still love Dub and I still love Rap. Real rap. Gansta rap. I love bands, live bands, it’s the music I grew up with. I don’t think there are that many bands that can compare to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors. They’re not popular for no reason. I play The Beatles in my sets all the time still. Their music is a huge influence on me. I still play Dr Dre in my set all the time. His beats and the rhymes, the energy, they just affect me so much. They are a part of me. As well as Hip Hop, as well as Rock, and Blues, and Soul, and Jazz, and Reggae, and Dub. That kind of music I think lends to everything that we are all into today. All of us are fueled by that. The formulas that they laid and
the foundations that they laid are used by musicians forever and will continue to be used forever.” interview with Serato: http://serato.com/icon/the-gaslamp-killer)
As a producer, The Gaslamp Killer has worked with artists such as Gonjasufi, Prefuse 73 and Flying Lotus. His own experimental solo material pushes the borders of genre as much as his performances, particularly with his heavy-weighted EP ‘My Troubled Mind’ (Brainfeeder) and the monster ‘Death Gate‘ EP (Brainfeeder), which featured Gonjasufi, Computer Jay and Mophono.
Forthcoming on Brainfeeder in September 2012, ‘Breakthrough’ will mark the debut full-length album from the Gaslamp Killer. Blending California-inspired psych with widespread global influences, on ‘Breakthrough’ GLK brings together a potent cast of friends to contribute to the album, with guest appearances from Gonjasufi, Adrian Younge, Dimlite, Daedelus, SAMIYAM and more. A musical anachronism and unconstrained compilation from a wandering spirit.
A fearless artist at his challenging yet melodic best, Mykki Blanco releases his debut album "Mykki" (produced by Woodkid and Jermiah Meece) on 16th September on Dogfood Music Group / !K7.
Mykki Blanco has metamorphosed many times. The multi-faceted star was a child actor who founded a performance art collective as a teen, ran away from home, and won scholarships to two prestigious art colleges, quitting both as he realised that "the art world is just one big scam for rich people" - an idea touched upon in album track "High School Never Ends" written with Woodkid, which premiered on FADER in May.
Finding fame first as a fearless noise rap poet, he published a book "From The Silence Of Duchamp To The Noise Of Boys". Then what started as a video art project about a "teenage drag rapper" transformed into 2 years of Blanco living as a transgender woman in his personal life. Though eventually not transitioning, Mykki Blanco graduated in real life experience as well as artistically into the non-binary gender-queer post-homo-hop musical artist that we see before us today. Needless to say, it's impossible to pigeon-hole Blanco and his unique and beautiful sound is no exception.
Amassing a vast online following with a savvy and savage social media output, Mykki is hailed online as a digital warrior princess who rules across the underground music scene with mixtapes like Gay Dog Food, cult hits like Kingpinning and sensational videos like Coke White, Starlight, The Initiation, Wavvy, and Haze Boogie Life. Blanco's output to date has been hailed as razor sharp, ahead of its time and sometimes deliciously far out. Yet this album seems to leave much of the mayhem behind, marking yet another departure, this time in favour of melody and musicianship, and Mykki comes of age as a serious chart contender.
"I realised as an artist I need to focus on myself and on my work. Arguments with people online distract from that. I used to have a problem with the media trying to define me, either as a drag queen, or a transvestite, as a homosexual rapper, a transsexual or an HIV positive pop star, but most people need labels and my true fans know who I am and what I'm about"
The spaced-out touchdown track 'I'm In A Mood' sets the tone for this challenging eponymous debut, a synth-layered and classically-arranged landscape that frames a vivid tableau from within which Mykki muses and provokes across thirteen fascinating tracks.
The summery pitch-shifted slopes of 'Loner' hint at the looming isolation of "social media" and the notion that the big bad wolf is, in fact, a lone wolf. "High School Never Ends" is an epic ballad that queers the Romeo & Juliet story to expose growing racism in Europe, the despicable refugee crisis and society's increasingly relinquished appetite for diversity, much of which Mykki observed first hand while touring internationally for the past 4 years.
However, the old Mykki Blanco who likes to keep the internet awake at night is never far away. "Fuck being low key!" spits Mykki at the start of "Fendi Band", a filthy twister of a track that trades in straight jackets, handcuffs, duct tape and whips. Mykki exposes his cheek on "My Nene", a mysterious siren-call which plods along hauntingly before unapologetically dropping its knickers into a sexually-charged ass-banger before dissipating into the spiralling-cynicism of "The Plug Won't", a curb-crawling hymn to the deceitful face of club culture.
"Shit Talking Creep" is a daring shooter glass of hip hop and global politics with echoing militant cries and gritty mud-grovelling effects. The track shines the mic on hatred and intolerance in Russia, while toeing a line of pornographic innuendo - "Fuck n*gger, NO, I'm coming with the Russians" - a commentary on the country's hypocritically large output of gay porn. The track's shock blanket of tribal war drums are both ejaculative and quite literally 're-percussions'.
"For The Cunts" is a self-conscious gay club party anthem that perhaps ridicules and mimics the club-boppers in Mykki's fan base more than he'd care to admit. Meanwhile "Rock n Roll Dough" hangs low like a vintage Snoop Dogg track, punctuated with minimal snares, it catches the light with the hard-faced campness you would normally get on a Gwen Stefani classic. "You Don't Know Me" touches upon Blanco's openly HIV+ status but underlines a determined unwillingness to be unfairly defined by this reality.
Mykki Blanco's referential framework is both archival and futuristic: a myriad of culture references, spiritual anecdotes, designer labels, make-up brands, hippie jargon, Fendi here and Snapchat there - all perfectly reflecting the creative dialogue digital landscape we live in.
What stands out above all of this though on "Mykki" is the musicianship, melody and depth, that help Mykki Blanco birth a heavyweight album about feminine empowerment, the discovery of one's "second soul", giving a voice to the marginalised and scratching a question mark that cuts deeps over and over again.
Steve Moore (born in 1976) is a multi-instrumentalist coming from Seattle, WA. He plays piano, wurlitzers, casiotones, bells, trombone and is also a composer. He played with artists as Sufjan Stevens, jazz performer Bill Frisell, and Sunn O))).
Since 2001, he has played and toured with Laura Veirs' band Saltbreakers (along with Karl Blau and Tucker Martine) playing keyboards, trombone, singing and sometimes playing bass.
Drab Majesty is the solo project of Deb DeMure, the androgynous alter-ego of L.A.-based musician Andrew Clinco. With its combination of reverb-drenched guitars, synth bass lines, commanding vocals, and rhythmic drum machine beats, this project is a stark departure from Clinco’s previous stints as drummer in Marriages and Black Mare. Dubbed “Tragic Wave” and “Mid-Fi” by DeMure, Drab Majesty eloquently blends classic 80s New Wave and hints of early 4AD with a futuristic originality. Drab Majesty’s first release, a limited-edition cassette of 100 copies titled Unarian Dances, was self-released in 2012 and re-pressed by Lolipop Records shortly thereafter. Drab Majesty then signed with Dais Records and put out the debut LP Careless in 2015. Careless was met with high praise from critics and fans alike, and the original pressing is now a sought-after gem. A year after the initial pressings of Careless sold out, Dais released a compilation titled Completely Careless, featuring Drab Majesty’s entire discography, including two previously unreleased tracks.
A talented multi-instrumentalist, DeMure composes all of the elements of Drab Majesty. However, rather than taking personal credit for the music, DeMure insists that the inspiration for the songs is received from an other-worldly source and that Deb is merely a vessel through which outside ideas flow inward. But Drab Majesty is more than just a musical project — it’s a methodical experiment in the identity of creativity. The character Deb DeMure is an enigma that eludes all expectations of gender and ego. When DeMure’s imposing 6’ 4” figure assumes the stage, Deb’s playful, harlequinesque appearance, tempered by an ominous body language, and clashing with the dreamy, ethereal melodies comes across as a web of contrasts. The result is a perfect balance between seemingly conflicting messages, between the high and the low, the drab and the divine.
Tropic Of Cancer
Tropic Of Cancer is the solo project of Camella Lobo.
Skeleton Hands, comprised of Evan Scott Sharfe and Chase Anderson, bring an eclectic electronic sound reminiscent of the glory days of post-punk that is simultaneously foreboding and uplifting. With influences ranging from House and Techno to Post-Punk and Traditional Goth, Skeleton Hands creates a moody sound with a joyful darkness that rumbles the floor and circles the atmosphere.
Starting out as a studio project in 2010, the band has released two singles on RACECAR Ltd. including Ravage and Oxygen, along with a handful of self-released EPs. Their debut full-length album Gone, presented a sound that is both familiar and fresh. It garnered many praises the world over, selling out of vinyl copies shortly after its release. As the album continues to gain new listeners, Sharfe and Anderson have continued to explore their sound, with their follow up album entitled Wake.
With every subsequent release, Skeleton Hands continue to blend their sorrowful vocals alongside a guitar-tinged, synth-infused palette that firmly plants them at the forefront of a new movement of buzz worthy names in dark pop.
Jess Labrador and Shannon Sky Madden. San Francisco, US.
David Scott Stone