Julian Lennon Picks

julian new1"If I was gonna write again I had to live again I had to look deep inside myself and start again." So says Julian Lennon of his decision to return to the music industry after an absence of seven years.  Music - Photography - Documentary

Below Zero = huge fans.  Read and learn more of what goes on in Julian's world.

 

lalmeri

It's no coincidence that Nancy Kaye, Ireesh Lal and Carmen Rizzo chose to name their groundbreaking collaboration after the ancient Sufi folk song, "Lal Meri," an interpretation which closes the trio's seductive and refreshing Six Degrees Records debut.

"The message of the song is unifying different people from different cultures and beliefs," says Nancy, the mystery-laden honey-and-sand voiced siren, with a gift for expansive turns of phrases and indelible melodies. "Why can't we basically be together as one? It's a beautiful message."

If ever a band represented such ideals, it’s Lal Meri, with each musician coming in from different backgrounds, cultures and musical sensibilities, all combined into a unified, vibrant whole. Nancy’s singing and writing – both urgent and timeless – have powered her forays in pop (a 2002 debut album for Island/Def Jam Records) and jazz (her recent, saucy tour de force Luckiest Girl), both under the artist name Rosey.

Ireesh’s multiple instrumental, composing and arranging talents have been spotlighted in his previous bands Hot Sauce Johnson and Animastik. Carmen’s global-conscious sense has brought him to the forefront as a writer, producer and remixer with Seal, Coldplay, Paul Oakenfold, Jem and countless others, while his expansive vision is at the core of his own wide-ranging album and his work as a member of the groundbreaking world-fusion act Niyaz.

 

Pacifika2Pacifika is the multi-talented Silvana Kane, a Peruvian born singer, and accomplished actress with a love of flamenco, electronica, and textured percussion; Adam Popowitz a Canadian bred guitarist adept at new wave, classical, and pop, and a skilled producer responsible for a catalogue that includes indie rock and Armenian folk music; and Toby Peter, a dub wise bassist born in Canada and raised in Barbados, explorer of jazz, hip-hop, Latin, metal and Caribbean grooves.

Together the Vancouver based trio is making a new kind of global pop, music that nods to its diverse international influences, while forging its own unique voice. Latin tinged, marked by gently flowing melodies, deep grooves, waves of cracking percussion and the occasional burst of exhilarating guitar noise, Pacifika's comfortable, complex sound defies categories, creating soothing soundscapes held together by Kane's smooth, intimate vocals.  "The group's new album is nothing short of transcendent- a bold fusion of jazzy beats, electronica, and Latin flavor that suggests a multi-phased trip to Paradise."

Learn more about Pacificka through their label Six Degrees Records.

 

thebpaThe BPA stands for “The Brighton Port Authority” and is an alias for none other than Norman Cook who is better known as Fatboy Slim.

In 2008 The BPA collaborated with David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal on the title “Toe Jam”.  The creative video featured nude dancers with censor bars on them making pictures and words with them.  The track “He’s Frank” has been included on the TV series Heroes featuring Iggy Pop as the vocalist.

The band’s first album “I Think We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat was released January 2009.

The BPA’s background started in September 2007, solving a Brighton mystery.  While rumors had long been rife, few were sure if the shadowy musical project known as The Brighton Port Authority really existed. Proof of their recorded output was only confirmed when a cardboard box of dusty reel-to-reel tapes was found during the development of a Brighton dockside warehouse. The find was brought to the attention of East Sussex music lecturer Dr. Randolph Seal who immediately hoped these were the famed lost BPA tapes. One listen told him that they were.

"I've spent the last ten years trying to track down this elusive outfit," he explains, "and I knew the BPA studio was supposedly down at the docks but even insiders have proven shaky on the details. To me this find is akin to locating Sly Stone's long lost Panther Funk sessions with the MC5 - it's a goldmine."

The Brighton Port Authority were an outfit who built a huge word-of-mouth reputation on England's south coast from the early 1970s onwards before petering out in the mid-'90s. From what can be easily pieced together, they were a loose-limbed jamming unit, originally known as the Brighton Phonographic Association. At its core were local musicians Norman Cook and Simon Thornton who gathered various singers and session men around them, built the rather ramshackle BPA studio, and would occasionally hold multi-day warehouse parties from which their semi-legendary reputation stems.thebpa_logo

To learn more and read the full BPA story…  Read More

dustykidPaolo Alberto Lodde aka Dusty Kid aka one half of Duoteque, comes from Italy.  At the young age of 11 years old he started mixing Mozart, examined meticulously piano and string, and insists that the first word he could speak was not “mummy” but “record”.  The music he creates is a big sound cinema and is always direct and focused.  He did not hesitate to call on of his tracks, “I Love Ritchie Hawtin”, simply because of the influence the Plastikman has had on him musically.  “A Raver’s Diary” is exactly that, wearing his heart on his sleeve musically with some beautiful chilled out beats and dubs as well as minimal-techno.

Dusty Kid pushes the audience straight into the party and tells them the tale of one who travelled to learn what partying meant.  Not more, not less.

ThiefTHIEF is a collaborative project between SASCHA GOTTSCHALK and two members of JAZZANOVA, STEFAN LEISERING and AXEL REINEMER (together EXTENDED SPIRIT). So far THIEF is best known for his outstanding contributions to the SECRET-LOVE compilations as conceived by JAZZANOVA and RESOUL (Soultrade Record Store). He has also collaborated with people such as CLARA HILL, ANDRE ZIMMA and AIRMATE. After two singles (SK125 and SK129) the long awaited debut album by THIEF is finally standing on the starting blocks.

Already after the first few bars it is obvious that in THIEF Sonar Kollektiv have found one of the best songwriter teams of the labels entire portfolio. At the center of the project there is singer and guitarist SASCHA GOTTSCHALK who together with EXTENDED SPIRIT has managed to build a bridge between a classical singer-songwriter concept and the advanced studio productions of JAZZANOVA. Some pieces are very traditionally arranged with just vocals and guitar, while other tracks were the result of studio sessions - this was an exciting process for all involved and also marks a departure to new musical pastures. STEFAN LEISERING: "Never before have we occupied ourselves so intensively with song structures as we did on the THIEF album. It wasn't about making 8 minute club track where one can still surprise people at the end with a gimmik, rather it has much more to do with songs and musical substance." Indeed some of the pieces are thoroughly orchestral arrangements, but occasionally there are still flashes of synth sounds and intelligently groovy beats which have become the mark of JAZZANOVA. Yet all the time THIEF stands on the (rather earthy) ground of musical facts.

The band was completed by a team of handpicked guests: besides the vocals, bass and guitar by SASCHA GOTTSCHALK and the production by EXTENDED SPIRIT (who also recorded keyboards and percussion as well of course as programming), other musicians have contributed to the arrangements and overall sound. These include CLARA HILL and GEORG LEVIN, who each sung backing vocals on one track, the double-bass player PAUL KLEBER (who also plays with MICATONE, NYLON, LISA BASSENGE TRIO) and HARALD KÃœNDGEN on vibraphone. On some of the songs there are also strings and a horn section.

Often the song writing and production is reminiscent of the BEATLES. Sunchild is very much in the tradition of the big studio albums of the second half of the 1960s. But as it was recorded in a modern studio the album naturally expresses new facets of this sound. Sunchild is in no way a retro album, but much more weds "classical" musical qualities with forward thinking production techniques. Folk and psychedelic sound, the audio openness of tremolo guitars and other "real" instruments meet the futuristic touch of typically JAZZANOVA synthesizers with their sometimes claustrophobic introvertedness. A perceptive prism of the senses comes about in combination with SASCHA GOTTSCHALK's manic and sensitive lyrics.

One could suppose that the album concept was preconceived to fit the current musical zeitgeist but the album grew together organically, song for song, and so had time to develop. Of course, it should not be forgotten that with their SECRET-LOVE compilations, JAZZANOVA must count amongst the initiators of the current folk renaissance. Sunchild comes straight from the heart of the neo-folk movement and is also intended for true fans of this genre.

One thing's for certain: with THIEF, JAZZANOVA and the Sonar Kollektiv have once and for all arrived in the world of song writing.

Bio provided by Sonar Kollektiv

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