Tag Archives: City Slang

Sinkane Releases New Track, New Name, Prior To Release Of His New Album, Mean Love

With the release of his inspired and eclectic new album Mean Love being tomorrow, Sinkane reveals another new cut and confirms new London shows, including a Rough Trade East instore on Sept 1 and a second London headline show.

In addition to the free album launch show at The Shacklewell Arms on Sept 12, Sinkane will play at London’s Oslo on Dec 1 with a full UK tour soon to be added.

You can listen to the latest cut, New Name here.

Sinkane

Sinkane

Melodically beat-driven and meditatively lyrical, Sinkane’s Mean Love rolls like an emotional, existential history of the artist. Ahmed Gallab has created an altogether unique compound of sound, stylistically nostalgic and ultramodern at the same time.

From Gallab’s childhood in Sudan there is a Pan-African influence of popular Sudanese music and haqibah as well as distinct horn and synth arrangements more common to East Africa. This background merges with the lessons learned from Ahmed‘s stints with obsessive craftsmen such as Caribou, Yeasayer and Of Montreal and especially the monumental task he underwent as musical director of ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor.

Gallab excavated and arranged a treasure trove of lost classics from the West African synth-pioneer to put together a now legendary series of performances. Alongside his band-mates in Sinkane (jaytram on drums, Ish Montgomery on bass, Jonny Lam on guitar), he also brought on guests Damon Albarn, David Byrne, The Lijadu Sisters, Money Mark and members of Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture and Blood Orange.

The experiences from this on-going endeavour contribute to the collective feel of the record and attest to his uncanny ability to embrace and assemble a huge history as pure and generous modern-musical expressions. Employing the architecture of pop and a forward-thinking approach to its classic instrumentation, the vibes of Sinkane’s deep-groove past remain intact, in full force.

There are doses of West African funk slow-burners, a noir blaxploitation cool and a more afro-centric Curtis Mayfield is present, specifically in album standout Hold Tight. A surprising country soul rising is detectable in the title track Mean Love and also in the hauntingly beautiful slide guitar work of Galley Boys a la such soul heavyweights as James Carr and Solomun Burke.

Mean Love will be released September 1 internationally on City Slang (and on DFA Records in North America).

Look for Sinkane on tour this fall as the band embarks on a run of dates in the EU in September and a nationwide tour of the US in October.

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To Rococo Rot – Instrument Album Review

Over the course of 18 years, Berlin-Duesseldorf trio To Rococo Rot have carved an identifiable niche for themselves and one which has crossed a variety of styles; neither wholly in the realms of ambient or pure electronics. The late 1990s albums of Veiculo and The Amateur View brought their fundamental and innovative landscapes of sound to the fore while 2001’s collaboration with I-Sound, Music is a Hungry Ghost, showed their ability to blend disparate influences into something cohesive. Remixed by Four Tet and Daniel Miller and heralded by the likes of Modeselektor, their influence extends as far as their unique approach deserves.

To Rococo Rot

To Rococo Rot Instrument artwork

The music of brothers Robert and Ronald Lippok and Stefan Schneider has always existed in its own world and Instrument is a landmark album for the group. The serenely soft melodies of No Wave pioneer Arto Lindsay (Lounge Lizards/Ambitious Lovers/DNA) adorn three tracks, offering up a new perspective. Though melodies have always been a big part of their sound, the inclusion of a human voice is a distinctive modification making it the most accessible introduction to their world of diverse electronics and experimentation.

Instrument starts with the single release, Many Descriptions, one of the three tracks on the record that features vocals while the latest single release, Classify, features later on the album.

Next comes Besides with its calming and ambient tones. This song has all those things that allow it to be the sort of background music everyone should have in their lives.

Down In The Traffic appears next with its jazz inspired ambience. The drum beat is heavily influenced by jazz and the whole song is mesmerising and interesting yet soothing. The melody is repetitive but it never becomes boring – there are so many other layers to this track that are brought in gradually which builds the song and allows it to expand and breathe, give it that pulsating effect. Similarly, Baritone has the same feel to it; it’s jazz with a distinct twist. In the background, there’s a synth used which creates the effect of distorted human voices. If you listen really carefully, it sounds like people talking in atmospheric places like cafes and coffee shops giving it that very real feel. There’s a sense of sophistication in this track – you imagine that those indecipherable conversations are of philosophy and poetry.

The last track on the album, Longest Escalator In The World is a little bit John Martyn influences on tracks of his such as Small Hours. It’s incredibly unusual and heavily synth based which all makes it entirely atmospheric and indulgent. There’s the recognisable spontaneous guitar twangs, lingering synths and randomness that make this song feel like Small Hours. There are also world influences heard in the drumming introducing a whole other level to Longest Escalator In The World.

Instrument may be a To Rococo Rot record unlike any other – and one that treads unfamiliar ground – but it also represents a return to the beginning. Instrument is out now via City Slang.

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Sinkane To Release New Album, Mean Love, In September

Sinkane has announced his new album Mean Love for release on City Slang on September 1 2014 and has revealed the first two tracks, Hold Tight and How We Be. He’s also confirmed a string of European live shows for September.

Melodically beat-driven and meditatively lyrical, Sinkane’s Mean Love rolls like an emotional, existential history of the artist. Ahmed Gallab has created an altogether unique compound of sound, stylistically nostalgic and ultramodern at the same time.

Sinkane Mean Love

Sinkane Mean Love album artwork

From Gallab’s childhood in Sudan there is a Pan-African influence of popular Sudanese music and haqibah as well as distinct horn and synth arrangements more common to East Africa. This background merges with the lessons learned from Ahmed‘s stints with obsessive craftsmen such as Caribou, Yeasayer and Of Montreal and especially the monumental task he underwent as musical director of ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor.

Gallab excavated and arranged a treasure trove of lost classics from the West African synth-pioneer to put together a now legendary series of performances. Alongside his band-mates in Sinkane (jaytram on drums, Ish Montgomery on bass, Jonny Lam on guitar), he also brought on guests Damon Albarn, David Byrne, The Lijadu Sisters, Money Mark and members of Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture and Blood Orange.

The experiences from this on-going endeavor contribute to the collective feel of the record and attest to his uncanny ability to embrace and assemble a huge history as pure and generous modern-musical expressions. Employing the architecture of pop and a forward-thinking approach to its classic instrumentation, the vibes of Sinkane’s deep-groove past remain intact, in full force. There are doses of West African funk slow-burners, a noir blaxploitation cool and a more afro-centric Curtis Mayfield is present, specifically in album standout Hold Tight. A surprising country soul rising is detectable in the title track, Mean Love, and also in the hauntingly beautiful slide guitar work of Galley Boys a la such soul heavyweights as James Carr and Solomun Burke.

You can catch Sinkane live on the following dates:
04 Sept First We Take Berlin Festival – Berlin, DE
05 Sept Grelle Forelle – Vienna, AT
06 Sept Deep into the Woods Festival – Heer-Sur-Meuse, BE
07 Sept Into the Great Wide Open – Vlieland, NL
09 Sept Ekko – Utrecht, NL
10 Sept La Badadoum – Paris, FR
11 Sept Shacklewell Arms – London, UK
12 Sept La Peniche – Lille, FR
13 Sept Big Next Festival – Ghent, BE
16 Sept Iboat – Bordeaux, FR
17 Sept Scopitone Festival – Nantes, FR
18 Sept Palace – St. Gallen, CH
20 Sept Reeperbahn Festival – Hamburg, DE
22 Nov Sonic Visions Festival- Luxembourg, LX
23 Nov Prêt A Porter Festival – Heidelberg, DE
24 Nov Atomic Cafe – Munich DE
25 Nov Conne Island – Leipzig, DE
26 Nov Lido – Berlin DE
29 Nov Week-end Festival – Cologne, DE

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Kevin Drew Releases Video For You In You Were

Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene released his second solo album entitled Darlings earlier this year through City Slang and yesterday he debuted a brand new music video for You In Your Were along with European tour dates.

The video features comedian (or, in this case, music video expert and choreographer extraordinaire) Zach Galifianakis as well as fellow Broken Social Scene member and indie heroine Feist.

Kevin Drew forthcoming tour dates:
June 7: Field Trip Arts & Music Festival / Toronto, ON
June 8: Field Trip Arts & Music Festival w/ Broken Social Scene / Toronto, ON
June 10: The Music Of Daniel Lanois at Massey Hall / Toronto, ON
June 28: The Club Theatre Complex / Banff Centre
July 22: Mac Hall / Calgary AB*
July 24: Shaw Conference Center /  Edmonton, AB*
July 25: Conexus Art Center / Regina SK*
July 26: O’Brian’s Event Center / Saskatoon SK*
July 27: Burton Cummings Theater / Winnipeg, MT*
July 31: London Music Hall / London, ON*
Aug 2: Osheaga Festival / Montreal, QC
Aug 9: Squamish Festival / Squamish, BC
Aug 12: Bitterzoet / Amsterdam, Netherlands
Aug 13: Postbahnhof / Berlin, Germany
Aug 15: Festival Im Fluss / Basel, Switzerland
Aug 16: Frequency Festival / St. Polten, Austria
Aug 18: XOYO / London, UK
Aug 18/23: Arboretum Festival / Ottawa, ON
* with Modest Mouse

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Wye Oak Release New Videos For Recent Singles, The Tower And Glory

Following an intimate London show a couple of weeks ago and with current single Glory in regular radio rotation, Baltimore two-piece Wye Oak have premiered new videos for The Tower and Glory.

The Tower was the first track to be announced from Wye Oak’s new album, Shriek, back in January and has now been brought to life with a silent film/mime inspired clip by Baltimore artist and comedian Ben O’Brien.

And now with their UK tour just over a month away, they reveal a new video for lead single, Glory.

Glory, currently in heavy rotation at BBC 6music, has received high praise across press and radio – and rightly so. The track showcases the Baltimore duo’s drastically new approach to song writing with guitars swapped for bass and keyboards leading the way for Jenn Wasner’s vocals which sound richer and more heady than ever before.

The new video for Glory was created by by Michael Patrick O’Leary and Ashley North Compton. In their words it: “…explores an internal and external power struggle and a fear of loss of control—through the lens of youth, anxiety, ease and tension.

“The narrative follows youth-oriented themes, colours, styles and struggles with jarring and uncomfortable characters and movements…Feelings of impulsivity and unsettledness are evoked.”

Shriek was released on April 28 through City Slang (Merge in the US) and marks a sonic shift from Wye Oak’s signature sound, which is usually focused around lead-singer Jenn Wasner’s guitar playing.

When Wasner set out to make the album, she ditched the guitar and wrote the whole album on bass while Stack layered synths and drums to support the very personal, emotional works.

Shriek is out now.

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EMA – The Future’s Void Album Review

Erika M. Anderson first graced the limelight under the guise of EMA in 2011 when her brilliantly scuffed debut album was released to a multitude of acclaim. Now she returns with The Future’s Void which is set for release tomorrow, April 7, via City Slang, seeking to deal with the fact that certain ideas that once seemed futuristic are now the norm. It straddles the ugly and animalistic, the pretty and civilized and the past and present, resulting in a quality piece of timeless work. And like any great punk record, it questions social convention and rebels against the status quo.

The Future’s Void starts with the previously released Satellites. Satellites introduces you to some of the new album’s metaphysical themes, of struggling to understand where we fit in the digital age and where we are all headed. Satellites explores the places where everyone has equal access but is also under constant surveillance: “We fought the wars with information. Outer space seems very cold.”

EMA

EMA

Track two So Blonde is very Veruca Salt inspired in terms of the vocals. It has a great rock drum beat giving it that attitude to pull of those strong, female vocals. The chorus, “Let me tell you about this girl I know/She’s so blonde…” will get stuck on repeat in your head leaving you wanting more.

EMA recently revealed 3Jane as her new single. She said about the track: “Did you know Facebook just bought the company that makes the Oculus Rift? The VR headset I am wearing on the cover of The Future’s Void? People ask me about themes of paranoia on the record but obviously I am not the only one with dystopian dreams of our plugged-in future.

“No one was really ever that mean to me on the internet. I never had that ‘thing’ that happens when you wake up one morning and somehow your life is ruined because a mortifying picture goes viral or a funny tweet becomes horribly misread. Sure, there were bitchy things in the comments of videos but organised trolls never unleashed a wave of death threats on me, and only a few people suggested that I kill myself.

“So the internet never actually did that to me. But it did that to somebody. And now we all have this stupid crippling fear that someday it will happen to us. And the likelihood increases as you move from relative obscurity to becoming more broadly visible on the internet. There are more cameras on you, more chances to be quoted saying something stupid and more people out there who relish seeing successful people disgraced and dethroned.”

EMA has called 3Jane the lyrical centre piece of The Future’s Void and she is 100% right. It’s a sombre, ballad track which shows EMA’s softer vocals and range. The song is about the overuse of the internet in people expressing their emotions and unleashing the details of their personal life, “There should be a law where they can’t take videos of you/Of you/Of you/Of you/Of you/Feel like I blew my soul out across the interweb and screamed/It was a million pieces of silver and I watched them gleam/It left a hole so big inside of me/And I get terrified that I will never get back to me/To me/To me/To me/I guess it’s just a modern disease”. 3Jane is a thought provoking song which discusses how social media is taking over. It speaks about it being a “big advertising campaign” which relates to the idea that social media is becoming a powerful tool for the music industry to promote not only music but celebrity personas which ultimately help to sell the music – the idea of celebrity culture. It expresses the idea that EMA and other musicians may feel vulnerable that their life is displayed on the internet for all to see as a way for PR companies to sell their products.

Cthulu is a favourite track from the album. EMA’s vocals are screechy on the chorus keeping true to her punk style. Her vocals on Cthulu are strong and sexy, they will send shivers down your spine. It’s the really powerful and enthused vocals that carry this song.

Neuromancer begins with a tribal drum beat which builds the drama and excitement. It’s totally captivating from the word go. It’s such an unusual introduction to a track which is what makes it so utterly brilliant. Everything about this song draws you in. The chorus, “I’m not lucifier/But I will survive” demonstrates the strong female character EMA has.

When She Comes is a much gentler and soft acoustic track. EMA’s vocals shine through once again on this track, they’re given a chance to breathe. As this song is so completely different from tracks like Satellites and Neuromancer, it shows EMA’s diversity as an artist. When She Comes doesn’t sound like it belongs on the same record as any of the other track. It’s a breath of fresh air perfectly placed towards the end of the album.

The Future’s Void shows that EMA has come a long way since her previous album release, Past Life Martyred Saints. The Future’s Void shows a level of maturity in both subject and musical abilities. It comprises of a much more sophisticated sound. The vocals are stronger, solid and oozing with more confidence. EMA has produced a varied and captivating album that’s hard to place within a genre. It’s an album with a politically orientated stance on a very current issue and an issue which is proving to bother more people than first thought. There’s intelligence in the lyrics and sophistication in the music making it simply superb.

EMA’s The Future’s Void will be released tomorrow, April 7, via City Slang.

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Sinkane Acts As Musical Director And Producer For William Onyeabor Tribute Shows

City Slang recording artist Sinkane will be performing and directing a special set of classic jams by 1970s Nigerian synth pioneer, William Onyeabor, starting with The Barbican in London on 1 April 2014.

Sinkane

Sinkane

The core band for these tribute shows is Sinkane’s live band (Ahmed Gallab, jaytram, Ish Montgomery and Jonny Lam) with Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem), Money Mark (Beastie Boys) and legendary Nigerian funk singers, The Lijadu Sisters, who will also be performing some of their classic material backed by Sinkane. This band will be joined in the UK by Damon Albarn, Ghost Poet, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Kele Okereke (Bloc Party) and others. The US shows will feature David Bryne, Alexis Taylor, Tunde Adebimpe, Luke Jenner, Joshua Redman and others.

“It has been an honour to work with some of my heroes”, Gallab explains. “William Onyeabor’s music helped shape the sound of Sinkane as have the musicians involved. Jason Trammell, Ish Montgomery, Jonny Lam, Pat Mahoney, Money Mark and I have become a family. This is a dream come true.”

Sinkane, who has earned musical stripes playing with the likes of Eleanor Friedberger, Of Montreal & Caribou, released his exceptional and unique debut album, Mars, last year to great applause. Mars saw Sinkane seamlessly blend deep, polyrhythmic grooves that refer as much to early 70’s underground soul as back to Sudan, Gallab’s home country, into a 21st century party record that acknowledges the international musical village in which we all now live.

His work on the William Onyeabor shows sees Gallab taking a break from creating the follow up to Mars which we can expect to hear in the not too distant future.

Gallab said: “I want to create universal music. A sound and feeling that everyone can enjoy because they can relate to the sounds and words. I feel like I’ve come close to creating that music on this next record.”

You can catch Sinkane and collaborators recreating the works of William Onyeabor at the following shows:
1 Apr 2014- London @ The Barbican (info)
2 Apr 2014- Bristol @ Colston Hall (info)
2 May 2014- Brooklyn, NY @ BAM
3 May 2014- Brooklyn, NY @ BAM
6 May 2014- San Francisco, CA @ Warfield
8 May 2014- Los Angeles, CA @ The Greek Theatre

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