TPR Featured Band: The Blues Project

blue

Critically acclaimed New Jersey based blues band, The Blues Project creates a classic and real take on post modern blues and jazz. With grungy and dark lyrics sung by Danny Petroni’s raspy and experienced voice, The Blue Project is a great find for anyone who loves to listen to musicians who have a story to tell. With local east coast shows coming up, you can experience this penetratingly real band in NYC.

Do your best to make it out to their upcoming show at Silvana Harlem on July 24th. You can give this awesome music project a listen below. They are hard to turn off and even harder to forget!

Lael Summer’s Burdens to Bear

lael

Produced and released by NYC based record label, True Groove Records, Lael Summer’s new album Burdens to Bear is an interesting mix or funk and pop R&B. Summer’s vintage voice layered over a plethora of essential funk instruments, like full horn sections, the songs are feisty, eclectic and creative. Some of the song reflect a Carlos Santana-esque vibe while other songs swim in P-Funk musical territory. Nonetheless, Summer’s lights and soulful voice carries the songs into a feminine atmosphere.

If you’re into classic R&B, funk and soul, you’ll be into Summer Lael.

 

We’re into the True Groove roster, and think you should be too.

 

Marla Mase Returns with Half – Life

mase

 

New York City based artist, Marla Mase has  recorded and released a follow up to her poignantly searing album, SPEAK. Her new eight track EP, Half – Life shows Marla in a different light, and it more importantly highlights that fact that she is a musician that is constantly evolving.

Half – Life is sexy and sensual, and sometimes heavy and rock and roll based. The album is definitely makes it clear that the pain she endured during her last album has brought a more confident side of Mase.

The title track is a favorite as it is a groovy adult contemporary R&B track that is comforting and an enjoyable listen. The album’s songs are diverse as Gaping Hole is a gospel based soul song, while the opening song, Drown in Blue is a heavy rock track. The album twists and turns and is full of sonic surprises.

Give Marla Mase’ album a listen. We’re always excited to hear the work she puts out.

 

 

The Legndary No Wave Musician James Chance Releases New Music

 

james chance

James Chance is one of the founding fathers of the NYC No Wave musicians scene which emerged in the late 1970s. Chance was on the forefront of the musical movement as a saxophonist and vocalist. No Wave was a response to the aggressive and artistically stunted punk rock scene, and became popular after young producers like Brian Eno, and later to be prominent representatives of the scene like Lydia Lunch and Glen Branca began to play live, and release impressive albums.

Chance’s bands, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and The Contortions were staple bands back in the day, and now Chance is recording and releasing music again. Check out this new James Brown cover Chance has recorded with his new band, James Chance and the True Groove Allstars, pairing him up with one of his oldest music collaborators, Tomas Doncker who signed Chance to his label, True Groove Records.

Listen to “I Don’t Want Nobody” by James Chance and the Allstars:

no:carrier Prepares to Release New Album – Wisdom and Failure

nocary

Based in San Francisco, California by way of Germany no:carrier has staked its claim and its sound in the Bay Area is preparing to release their new album entitled Wisdom and Failure. This album is not as dark as one would think, as the electronic instrumentation seems hopeful and the pop vibe of the album keeps you engaged and listening. You can preview the album via soundcloud. If you like what you hear and reside on the west coast, you can catch no:carrier live as they are going on tour to promote this awesome new album!!

Tuesday 04/22 Blue Moon Comics – San Rafael

Tuesday 04/29 The Viper Room (9:30pm) – West Hollywood

Friday 05/02 First Friday – Las Vegas

Sunday 05/04 BrainWash (6:00pm) – San Francisco

Monday 05/05 Seahorse (7:00pm) – Sausalito

TPR Featured Artist: Amatus

amatus

Amatus is a Brooklyn based multi talented musician and designer. Her style and eclectic musical persona will move you and prove that music can be interpreted in so many different and wonderful ways. Her new ep, Broken Compass carries a myriad of different styles, including experimental rock, hip hop and electronic music. Amatus’ voice is smooth and beautiful, making the music flow and creating soundscapes that would catch any music lover’s ear. Give Broken Compass a listen, and enjoy what this talented artist has to offer.

TPR Feature: The Plum Magnetic

plum

Typically, you may not think that a banjo and a tabla would agree with each other, let alone produce anything pleasing to the ear; surprisingly, when utilized correctly, quite the opposite is true. The Plum Magnetic proves that music really is a blank canvas, and in turn, uses paint from all genres. Formed in New Orleans in 2011, Trent Ciolino and Oliver Burke welded together their variety of musical interests (including African, Reggae, and Afro-Cuban styles) into a new project, one that draws from what feels like nearly every corner of the world. Soon after their initial formation, they added Andrew Mclean, (who spent ten years studying raga and tala at the prestigious Ali Akbar Khan College of Music) on guitar, and John Solomon (of Gravity A) on bass. Their debut album “Terra Animata” introduces the band and their unmistakable “cool” factor. “Trece Leches” jazzily says “hello,” “Sweet Confusion” smoothly asks for a dance, and “The Delicious” serenades you to sleep with a rich, full, modulatingly sweet sound. The title track swaggers in with a simple, deep intro and slides into a groove accented by smart vocals reminiscent of David Byrne, as well as a brief horn overtone. Slowing it down a bit, “The Electric Jungle” begins quietly, but begins to peak about a minute in with an outstanding Bach-esque mandolin line, a laid-back (yet crucial) tabla beat, and a beautifully elegant violin cameo. “Sheshbesh” starts with a jazzy groove, and slickly segues to an uplifting guitar line that sounds straight out of the 70’s. Originality is defined as “being novel or unusual,” and this album is every sort of novel, while still managing to pay respects to its contributors’ influences; one full listen of their album “Terra Animata,” will undoubtedly lead to many more. – By Kat Collins

TPR Feature: Four Bands To Watch From Glasgow

Written by Ola’s Kool Kitchen

“Glasgow is a very frustrating place; very insular, parochial and predictable in their tastes. The amount of utter shite indie-pop garbage that is spouted is ridiculous…..When every second person on the street, at gigs or in pubs looks like a Franz Ferdinand reject with straightening irons and an eating disorder who’s been kicked through a Top-Man store, it’s hardly surprising this mass brain-washing has diluted the live music being heard… We mean what we do. If you really want to make psychedelic music it has to come from a very real source and experience. If you’re jumping on the latest fashionable band wagon then those who understand the music will suss it out in no time at all.”

-John-Paul Hughes from Helicon.

HELICON

IMGP0050Helicon live in London at Paper Dress Vintage: picture by OKK

Welcome to a quick tour of four fabulous bands in Glasgow that deem further investigation. Starting things off is Helicon a personal favorite of mine and one I have played on several occasions, including recording their live set in London for broadcast on the Kool Kitchen radio show. They are described as doom-mongering behemoths of Psychedelic Rock, as sincere as the quote above from band member John Paul; the band completely means business in creating layers of rich textured sonic reverb.

A good place to start is with their epic track, “The Point Between Heaven And Hell”. If not already, this should be a classic in the shoe gaze cannon of must have tunes. Like all the best songs, this is a journey that twists and twirls like the title, someplace in the imagination between heaven and hell. For your perusal, the song by Helicon to make your ears tingle with delight!

Having just performed at Liverpool Psych Fest in the UK, live Helicon is equally mesmerizing. There is an intricate melancholy to their soul gazing, click here for a sample of their London gig at Paper Dress Vintage in my podcast to give you a taster.

ST DELUXE

St Deluxe

Glasgow’s premier fuzz-noise-terrorists St Deluxe, is harkening back to 90’s old school blessed out indie. There is an enthusiastic quality to this energetic three some fused with moments of pure riff/pop joy, teenage punk riot and dense, shoe-gaze fog. To listen to them fulfills my yearning to return to the hey-day of Creation Records and a UK chart that still had elements of real indie in the rock. They have also been known to make appearances live and on recordings with Stephen Lawrie from The Telescopes.

Their song “Evil Dead” is a nice introduction, immersed in horror and zombie film imagery laced within the lyrics. I always enjoy any references to B movies in songs, so the theme is rather compelling in the fast-paced, guitar pop tempo. To check out the scary nostalgia here is the track.

HIS NAME IS CODEINE

his name is codeine

Although His Name Is Codeine are not officially based in Glasgow (from Elgin), when asked about bands to be booked for a gig in Glasgow their name came up. Tenuous geographical connection, I know but will make it work anyhow! This band is murky, with some moments of sludge-psych/gaze, oozing a Cimmerian shade of subterranean depths of sound.

A closer look at their song “The Measure Of Your Misery” off their latest album The Only Truth Is Music, reveals all those elements intertwined with a slightly jangly sad song. Like a snake it slithers in a slinky manner, hypnotizing the listener into a warm sonic cotton woolly ball. Sometimes there is true pleasure in wallowing in the forlorn and I find this so here; but don’t take my word for it, check it out and judge for yourself.

THE CHERRY WAVE

1184956_592088147522188_153483394_n

The Cherry Wave is a shoe-gaze band from Glasgow creating structures of echoing drenched fuzz and distortion while also incorporating melody into their dense tone-brume. In certain moments the band has an underwater warble that burbles slowly to the surface, mimicking the unconscious in a rock song.

The song “Drown” rams home the sub-aquatic nature of these musical ocean floor dwellers. Something about this track reminds me of a Crustacean crawling through sea weed. It’s a pleasant sonic trawl through dark muddy gaze. If ever there was a way to “Drown in Sound” this is it. If you like it uber-fuzzy, fishy and liquid lush, I highly recommend testing it out here!

There is an ulterior motive for writing this article, The Telescopes will be returning to play at King Tut Wah Wah’s in Glasgow on Friday October 25th 2013. Joining Stephen on stage as the Scopes will be St Deluxe and Cherry Wave will be supporting alongside dark psychedelia from Dead Temple. For those in Glasgow, you can check out some of these bands in exciting action or for those further afield enjoy the snippets collected here!

Telescopes glasgow

TPR Featured Artist: Highspire

Written By: Ola’s Kool Kithen

highspire

Highspire describes themselves as the aural megacosm of Alex White and EJ Hagen, perhaps harkening to a new branch of shoe-gazing, proliferating the notion of universe-gazers instead. White and Hagen founded the band in Philadelphia in 1999, releasing To Tomorrow’s Highways EP in 2001 and touring along the East Coast with a revolving cast of personnel for the first part of the decade.

Highspire’s debut full length album, Your Everything, was released on Clairecords in 2004. It is a substantial record that fuses fuzz seared sounds with ethereal dream vocals in a catchy dressing of pop. There is the collective gazer sound present, expanding into the vastness of space. With the idea of the cosm theme; a universe of sound is layered with beatific chorals that stand out as their unique sonic take on the genre. Critics compared elements of their sound to Ride, the Charlatans, Slowdive, Bowery Electric, Radiohead, and Massive Attack.

Many compilation appearances followed over the next few years, while White and Hagen focused their energies on other projects, eventually reconvening as members of Australia-via-NYC psych-rockers The Morning After Girls.

The long-awaited second Highspire LP, Aquatic, was released in 2010. This album envisages a more ambient state. It’s soaked in dreamscapes and encapsulates many of the same elements from their earlier work – head spinning cascading guitars, lush, layered vocals, and twisting melodies — smoothed-over and expanded. The album has been cited as a must have for shoe-gaze lovers, pushing all the right buttons in a spectacular manner. It was followed in 2011 by Sleight of Hand for the Down and Out, a compilation of selected rarities.
Here is the track “Glacier” from Aquatic to give you a taster.

Coinciding with the completion of their July 2013 tour, Your Everything was recently ranked in the Top 100 Shoegaze Albums of All Time by the website Sounds Better With Reverb. The 2013 version of the band is comprised of White and Hagen, with guitarist Blake Monahan, bassist Kristin Fayne-Mulroy (Soren Well) and drummer John Brodeur (The Morning After Girls). Highspire is a band definitely to keep a watchful ear out for in the future.

TPR Exclusive: An Interview with Dax Riggs

Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth

Edited By: Ola’s Kool Kitchen

Syria is not just a place to me. It’s a place where some of my favorite music comes from. 100,000 people are dead there. I’m not political scholar, but I do know that there is a war going on right now, and it’s for power over the people. So, I think it all ties together. Not only should you care about everyone on this planet, but if we cared about each other, we’d be strong together.

daxriggs1

The most important thing to me, particularly when it comes to speaking with musicians who permeate a persona of otherworldly powers and knowledge is to understand their humanity by cutting through the fog of musical mysticism and folklore. Dax Riggs‘ fans idolize him, and the connection he has with them seems to be very profound.

If I did believe that Gods and Goddesses walked the Earth, I would still want to know how they felt in their human form and what they wanted out of their time on this planet. Riggs’ music examines, pokes, prods and experiments with the ideas of death, angels, demons, God, Satan and general the war between love and blood. As a listener, he confounds me in how he has found a way to flow through these notions in a career of 20 years and yet avoids overt repetition. His music never uninteresting, and in this interview he speaks about his influences, which includes middle eastern and world music which is something people may not expect to be inspirations for his swampy soulful requiem ballads.

During our interview earlier this summer, he mentioned to me that there were times that he felt like a priest to his fans, so, I made it a point to ask him what he really thought about the world, his music, his fans and his lifestyle.

In regards to song-writing, you speak a lot about your influences. Artists like John Lennon and Nick Drake seem to have been quite prominent to your artistic out-put . When you write records, do you take all that into account, and plan your albums with a long-term futuristic vision, or do your ideas come one at a time?

Definitely one at a time. I’m trying to figure out what I’m trying to do next. There isn’t really a plan. I’d like to smash some doom metal into the next record, but not in a typical way. I’d like to play music as if Kris Kristofferson was playing doom metal.

As a popular cult musician, you seem to have a very strong relationship with your fans. How do you handle the deep connectivity your fans feel with you, and does it make you happy?

Does it make me happy? When there’s someone who understands what I’m doing in the same way that I do, it’s fun to meet people like that. It’s great to meet people who are intensely into the music as I am. That’s certainly a good thing. Sometimes I feel like a priest or something. There’s a lot that comes with it. It’s not always on the happy side, but yeah it’s pretty intense. Each show is spiritually and psychically charged. You get enough people in a room that believe real heavily, that’s when something magical happens.

Is your experience with your fans isolating?

No. It brings me into the circle quickly. I mean, I might be lucky and things may work out great for me in certain ways, but it’s also good for me to keep in touch with people who have nothing but bad luck, and who know that. Those are my people.

How do you separate yourself from the pain and loss that you’ve been through in order to be so available for others?

I’m one of those people who will look towards the light. I guess I have certain Buddhist qualities in a sense that I feel like things come and go, and it’s supposed to be that way. I can deal with it all, because I know that it means everything, and that it means nothing. I know this whole thing is a blessing, and if you have perspective of that, then you go into a bad place.

Us breathing right now and being able to look around is the most sacred blessing we will ever know. There’s nothing greater than the spirits that we have, and to get side tracked, numb and dumbed down from everything; you can’t allow others to do that to you. You’ve got to go out and grab a handful of dirt and rub it into your skin.

So, with your new album, you’re still doing demos? Have you laid any songs down at this point?

No, not the real thing yet.

daxriggs2

You tend to express yourself through genres, or artists you’re into. When you write a new record, are they your own concepts, or are they based solely on music you’ve been listening to over the course of a few years?

The songs come whenever they want to, I guess. I more or less look at the world and speak of what I think of what I think is not here, or what I think is missing right now, and I think, what do I need? It’s really a selfish kind of thing, because I write about things I want to be here, things I want to exist in our reality. So, I’m going to make singer/songwriter style music and mix it with punk blues, and I’m also going to be reinventing some ancient ballads and folk songs.

Working on music is not different for me every time, it’s more like a long, long progression. When I was very young, I was into Iron Maiden and thrash music. So I appreciated Joe Cocker and Ray Charles type vocalists, but I could not understand how to really sing like that back then. I think I’m getting closer to what my dream was with that. I always wanted to get close to that, but I heard the music and felt like that was the real spiritual tool that I could get my hands on and doing something with it.

I’m also really influenced by Zambian music, a lot of African music, Turkish music, Iranian music, outside of folk, that music is my main influence. The way I see world music is like it’s the first step to loving someone or a culture that you can’t understand.

Do you consciously take the responsibility to embed Universal concepts to people who grew up in areas like the Bible Belt? Is that a purposeful mission for you, or do you just play music for the experience?

Well, it’s for me, but I believe it’s for everyone. I am from the Midwest. I was born in Indiana. I never really thought about it too much. I mean, I do make sure I turn people onto music that they may not have heard before, so that’s a part of it. It helps us all evolve. But to answer your question, I only put these ideas into my music because that’s where I am at the moment, and that’s where I’ve changed, so I am no different.

Listening to your music over the years, it seems like you look at death and God and Satan from a billion different perspectives. Can you expand on your music’s spiritual and lyrical content?

When I create music it’s never a preconceived thing. It’s a very trance-like, spiritual thing for me. It’s a language of the spirit. I just try to listen to myself, and what comes out of my mouth is what I’m trying to get out there. These ideas are so important and so big, and they’ve kept me up so many nights. In the beginning, it was like I was really wondering what’s going to happen. But now, it’s that I’m coming to an understanding where there is no understanding. It’s like finding something that makes me feel better about joining the darkness, and to look at it in a peaceful way, the way it really is.

What have you learned with age?

I guess I could sum everything up by saying I got control of my soul. It was really just raging and howling, and unforgiving of itself. I believe that I’ve done a lot of studying of how to be ok. My spirit was in such agony. Now I feel like I’m feeding it the right things, and the right information and trying to battle to stay creatively alive, and stay in it.