“Grace,” the poet Frank O’Hara once wrote, “to be born and live as variously as possible.” Though early in his musical career, this ambitious but certainly worthy aspiration toward “variousness” might be said to be the defining characteristic behind the artistic output of Alexis Georgopoulos, aka Arp.
After all, not many people can claim to have curated and performed at New York’s downtown bastion of the avantâ€“garde, The Kitchen (where Laurie Anderson, Glenn Branca and Philip Glass cut their teeth), to have been DJ’ed by NY underground disco pioneer David Mancuso (at his legendary party The Loft), to have soundtracked a Chanel runway show per Karl Lagerfeld’s request and to have released an album of minimalistic classical music (Arp & Anthony Mooreâ€™sFRKWYS 3 [RVNG Intl]).
Perhaps best described as a pop album by an avantâ€“garde musician, MORE is an album that begins in one place and ends in another, melding bedroom artâ€“pop with avant-garde composition to create a world of heady atmospherics and melodic song craft over its concentrated 46 minute arc. Played almost entirely by Georgopoulos, MORE reveals an impressive grasp of style and vision, following a distinct narrative, dipping into 70s art rock, autumnal baroque pop, musique concrĂ©te, minimalistic piano epics, narcotic gospel, sound library atmospheres, and delicate space folk.
After touring The Soft Wave, Georgopoulos took a break from performing live, choosing instead to work on projects in the worlds of art and modern dance, creating sound installations at the Walker Art Centerfor hotly-tipped architect/designers ROLU, making a conceptual Flexi-Disc 7″ for White Zinfandelmagazine, contributing a track for a Sol Lewitt tribute album, scoring a dance piece for Merce Cunninghamdancer Jonah Bokaer, and most recently, performing a site-specific collaboration with visual artist Tauba Auerbach at Philip Johnson’s Glass House.
Although 2010â€™s The Soft Wave (a New York Timesâ€śNotable Album of 2010â€ť) may be his mostâ€“heard album so far, Georgopoulos’ 2010 collaboration with Englishman Anthony Moore may provide more appropriate background for MORE. Not merely content to espouse the voguish sounds of the day, Georgopoulos decided early in 2012 that he’d abandon his analog synthesizerâ€“centric abstractions in favor of something he’d never done, write songs. The better to challenge himself. As such, with MORE, he has made his first albumâ€“length foray into song.
The 12 pieces that make up MORE might best be heard as distinct scenes in a single film. And this being his first New York album, the city figures in significantly, both in scale and in character. â€śHighâ€“Heeled Clouds” locates its protagonist amongst the wellâ€“heeled, boutiqued mirages of Manhattan’s 5th Avenue, a lilting waltz and a tale of delusional souls and refracting mirrors. “Judy Nylon” is all highbrow primitivism, chugging forward on an adrenaline rush of Phil Manzaneraâ€“like fuzz guitars and locomotive rhythm, picking up speed as it builds. The otherworldly, baroque atmospheres of “A Tiger In The Hall at Versailles” are a tale in contrast, with the tension of the harpsichordâ€“led verses giving way to a lush, doeâ€“eyed chorus, akin to a shaft of light breaking through a sinister scene. “E2 Octopus” is the first of three candyâ€“coated morsels of musique concrĂ©te onMORE, revealing a love of innovators like BBC’s Delia Derbyshire and Bernard Parmegiani and tactile field recordings. Moved by the premature passing of Broadcast chanteuse Trish Keenan, “Light+Sound”is a delicate, moving ballad awash in Mellotron and harpsichord, calling to mind the kind of softly psychedelic, autumnal atmospheres Robert Wyatt has specialized in. “17th Daydream” begins in the open air of the country and travels, by air and rail, to the rising steam of the city. The very New Yorkâ€“inspired, minimalist miniâ€“epic “Gravity (for Charlemagne Palestine)â€ť is an alternate Empire State theme, an ecstatic pull portrayed by an alwaysâ€“ascending pillar of sound chugging on piano, cello and spiraling guitars. “More (Blues)” suggests a stoned choirboy fronting a gospel church group, Georgopoulos’ delicate delivery melding with the song’s narcotic sway. The misty mix of astral folk and beachâ€“influenced atmospherics of “Daphne & Chloe” is, simply, epic. Finally, closer “Persuasion” rides into the sun, a bookend in the form of overdriven fuzz guitars and Moog synthesizer.
MORE establishes Georgopoulos not as a stylistic shapeshifter but rather as a restless artist not content to stay put. Like a visual artist who works on a particular body of work within a larger body of work, he makes albums as complete wholes. And then he makes another. If MORE seems like quite a different beast from The Soft Wave or FRKWYS 3, as the dust settles, they will reveal an artist who follows his own trajectory, regardless of trend. If MORE proves we do not know what Georgopoulos might do next, his work is all the more compelling for it.
April 19, 2013Comments Off
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March 22, 2013Comments Off
For RocketNumberNine, capturing the spirit of the music is paramount and with their debut album, MeYouWeYou, the London-based Page brothers — Tom (drums) and Ben (synths) — invite you into their tribal Chingford roots, taking music forwards to reach where it came from. This is hard hitting, modern dance music played live without a single click track in sight. With a name taken from a song by space jazz crusader Sun Ra and musical influences from Detroit to London to Africa and beyond, RocketNumberNine, have spent the last eight years shaping, breaking and squeezing their sound into what it is today.
Before we get to today, let’s revisit the musical journey that got them here. While working with legendary drummer Steve Reid, Tom met Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) resulting in the band going on a short tour with Four Tet. By the end of this run, Kieran decided he must produce and release the bands 14 minute “Matthew & Toby” via his TEXT label. It was recorded and mixed in a day without so much as a sniff of a computer — a refreshing approach from the producer renowned for his electronic productions! This kick started a new era for RocketNumberNine as it saw them moving away from improvisation and condensing their electronic dance punk jazz mash up into bite sized chunks. Soon after, an early live collaboration with Four Tet and RocketNumberNine caught the attention of Thom Yorke who invited them to open for Radiohead at The Roseland Ballroom in New York in late 2011. At those shows, material started to take shape for what would later become the first collaborative release from RocketNumberNine and Four Tet, the “Roseland”/”Metropolis” 12″ (TEXT023).
This brings us to the present. The TEXT release has just hit, rumors are floating of a new collaboration with the enigmatic Miss Neneh Cherry, and, a long time coming, on May 21, 2013, their debut full-length, MeYouWeYou, is finally going to be released by Smalltown Supersound. 2013 appears to be the year RocketNumberNine crosses out of the shadows surrounding the darkest of live dance music over into the light that is the infamy of wider adulation. Thom Yorke, Four Tet, Gilles Peterson and Caribou can’t all be wrong!
LISTEN TO/SHARE ROCKETNUMBERNINE’S “ROTUNDA”
“‘Rotunda,’ from their forthcoming debut album, is raw and organic, with tribal rhythms and modern electronics combining for a track that feels both timeless and futuristic.” – Pigeons and Planes
04. Steel Drummer
06. Deadly Buzz
07. Black and Blue
08. Lone Raver
09. Matthew and Toby
March 22, 2013Comments Off
Hear JD Twitch of Optimo’s great remix of Carmen Villain “How Much”
March 1, 2013Comments Off
Finally back in stock! “Actions For Free Jazz” Tees in 3 different colors. The design is printed on American Apparel unisex t-shirts. Girls may prefer to order one size smaller, or the Jersey model. Design: Kim HiorthĂ¸y.
You can order them from our Superstore mailorder here
January 29, 2013Comments Off
You may have seen Todd Terjes video for “Inspector Norse”, and this is the full 15-minute film.
WHATEVEREST is a documentary about the unlikely inspiration behind a dance tune produced by Todd Terje called “Inspector Norse”. “Inspector Norse” is the internet alias of Marius Solem Johansen, a failed musician living in a small town, producing dance videos and drug recipes for YouTube.
The film has screened at CPH:DOX, AFI FEST, GOTHENBURG INTERNATIONAL, OSLO INTERNATIONAL and won at AFI FEST (Special Jury Award)
January 21, 2013Comments Off
Congratulations to Lindstrom and Neneh Cherry & The Thing!
HereÂ´s the juryÂ´s reason for the nominationz:
LindstrĂ¸m – “Smalhans”
An instrumental space disco concept album about traditional norwegian food? Why not, with the fingerspitzgefuhl of Hans-Peter LindstrĂ¶m, we are always in safe, groovy hands. Synthesizer-led tunes soulfully building a bridge from Miami to Milan for us to dance across, in six long stretches. He has already released another amazing album this year, the more experimental and totally rocking “Six cups of rebel”. But “Smalhans” shows a disco producer at his very prime.
Neneh Cherry & The Thing – “The Cherry Thing”
The shape of Nordic jazz and punk to come. The Thing is a Nordic power trio with Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Norwegian doule bass player Ingerbrit HĂĄker Flater and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. Neneh Marianne Karlsson Cherry, born in SkĂĄne, is a force of nature.
The winner is announced at by:Larm, Oslo, Norway, 13-16 February 2013. Get more info at ByLarm here.
January 20, 2013Comments Off
Watch this short film between Lindstrom and filmmaker Kristoffer Borgli on Nowness here.keep looking »