Tue Jun 2 2015
8:00 PM Doors
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Since their official formation in 2000 by old school friends Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, the Grammy and Mercury nominated Hot Chip have constantly pushed the boundaries of what pop music can be. In 2003 they signed to Moshi Moshi and 2004 saw the release of Hot Chip’s first studio album Coming On Strong, an ambitious record that displayed a distinct aversion to the aggressive nature of processed digital dance music and instead reintroduced listeners to its humanity and original spirit . They were later joined by Felix Martin (programming/ synths,) Al Doyle (cello, synths, guitar, horn) and Owen Clarke (guitar, synths & visual artist) who each brought their own unique skills to complete the indefatigable five headed pop colossus. At this point the newly formed quintet signed a U.S and U.K record deal with DFA records and EMI.
2006 saw the release of their second album The Warning, which was nominated for both The Mercury Prize and a Grammy award. This album presented Hot Chip’s easy, accessible eclecticism and established a signature pop aesthetic entailing wild electronics, off kilter beats and uniquely intoxicating musical experimentation. The Warning was followed in 2007 by Made in the Dark, a gold-selling, third studio album that was awash with Hot Chip’s trademark creative bravery. The finished record was an up-front, coherent and melodically bold testament to Hot Chip’s creative talent.
After completing a world tour in 2009 they returned to London to record their fourth album, One Life Stand, which was released in 2010 by Parlophone Records. True to their signature style, the finished album adeptly presented infectious dance floor fillers alongside songs of intimacy and melancholy. For the album they enlisted the considerable talents of two legendary innovators in their fields: Fimber Bravo ( Steel n’ Skin,) on steel pans and Charles Hayward (The Heat) on drums. Hot Chip supported the release of this album by returning to the live arena with a sell out, critically acclaimed UK tour supported by Norwegian electro-troupe CassioKids as well as one man electronic troubadour Rob Smoughton aka Grovesnor. The tour culminated in a special later-nighter in Brixton with special guests Simian Mobile Disco, Spring Heel Jack and Zongamin.
The band is also known for its DJ talent, DJing regularly worldwide and having released several mix CDs and including 2007’s DJ Kicks album, 2009’s Hot Chip A Bugged Out Mix, as well as remixes of tracks by the likes of Gorillaz, Amy Winehouse, Kraftwerk, Queens of the Stoneage and Matthew Dear to name but a few.
Having already stormed Glastonbury as penultimate headliners on the ‘Other Stage,’ In 2010 the band united with long term friends and pioneering musical comrades LCD Soundsystem to play a series of co-headline shows in U.S and U.K. including a sold-out show at the Alexandra Palace in London.
‘In Our Heads’ followed in 2012 and has been their most acclaimed album to date including new live staples ‘Flutes’, ‘Night & Day’ and ‘Let Me Be Him’. The tour featured the bands biggest headline shows yet at Lovebox and Bestival in the UK, Sonar and Primavera in Spain, Les Inrocks in France, Falls and Field Day in Australia and Celebrate Brooklyn, the Roseland Ballroom and the Hollywood Bowl in the U.S..
Away from Hot Chip Alexis has toured and released two albums with About Group (featuring members of Spiritualized and This Heat) as well as an EP of his own, ‘Nayim From The Halfway Line’, prior to recording a new solo album, ‘Await Barbarians’, which is released on Domino June 16th. He has also found time to make music with techno producer Justus Kohncke as Fainting By Numbers and collaborate with Jeff Tweedy and Mike Mills from REM on a Big Star tribute concert. Most recently he has performed with Damon Albarn, David Byrne and Money Mark on a trans-Atlantic tour with the Atomic Bomb band.
Joe has been busy remixing and producing everyone from Kraftwerk and Kanye West to Jessie Ware and Disclosure and released the critically acclaimed ‘Harvest Festival’ album under his own name prior to the worldwide club smash ‘Gabriel’ which featured vocals from Valentino. Joe is co-founder of the Greco-Roman label and club nights and has just finished recording the follow up to the acclaimed ‘Be Strong’ from 2 Bears, due for release via Southern Fried in September.
Al stayed on the road for the farewell tour with LCD Soundsystem and has released an album as New Build – a recording project with Felix and as well as a soundtrack for HBO. The duo are set to release more music as New Build soon.
Hot Chip are currently in the studio working on a new album and have contributed to the recent Donna Summer tribute album with an epic remix of ‘Sunset People’ and the William Onyeabor ‘Atomic Bomb’ album on Luaka Bop. Expect more news from Hot Chip soon….
“Five albums along and Hot Chip continue to outdo themselves, not to mention most of their peers.” – Q “They [have] joined Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode and Scritti Politti at the top table of intelligent British electronic pop.” – The Times “Increasingly…one of the great British pop groups” – Observer “It’s a brilliant thing isn’t it, when a band or a producer hit a trademark sound? Whether it’s Brian Wilson or J Dilla, I’m often drawn towards producers with a complete sonic signature of their own. People who you recognize their sound straight off.” – Joe Goddard
It’s soul music! And truly universal; uniting rhythm and styles from our world over to help you move, relate and be, Sinkane’s Mean Love rolls like an emotional, existential history of the artist. Co-produced with long-time Sinkane collaborator and childhood friend Greg Lofaro, 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, Yeasayerand 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.It is Gallab’s uncanny ability to embrace and assemble a huge history as pure and generous modern-musical expressions. The funky, infectious brasslines of “New Name,” as well as the Equatorial “Young Trouble” are prime examples of the incredible aptitude of Sinkane’s songwriting. 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.We could lay down a bunch of extra buzzwords to this collection, of course; 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.” In the end, these songs GIVE, and its up to you to take what you want.
You can detect a surprising country soul rising in the title track, “Mean Love”, and also in the hauntingly beautiful slide guitar work of “Galley Boys.” Both tunes are reminiscent of a time when soul heavyweights such as James Carr and Solomon Burke recorded juke joint anthems. The title track sits proudly on the same mantelpiece as an updated version of those classics, a tearjerker that will grip the imaginative heart of modern concertgoers and collectors of dusty soul on vinyl.
It takes a disciplined mind as well as an artistic heart to curate so many influences and disseminate them wisely. A longing and verve for his African origins emanates from the album in a particularly poignant sequence of songs. When “Son” undulates with the mantra, “I will not forget where I came from” and segues into the Sudanese Pop melody of“Omdurman,” (Gallab’s hometown in Sudan) it is the romantic recapturing of a lost childhood memory, and a jolt to the listener’s solar plexus. Says lyricist Greg Lofaro,“I think, to a lot of secular folks, the most compelling argument for heaven is the thought of seeing loved ones. In this case, the melody informed the content very specifically and I knew I wanted to speak graciously, not bitterly, about that. Ahmed typically names sketches for what they’re inspired by or remind him of. Often, that’s something Sudanese (“Warm Spell” had been called “Kurdufan” for awhile). So, it was fitting and we kept the title Omdurman.” This song also has a live quality – when you hear in on record, it precipitates the image of a live hymn, a promise that begs for an audience call and response, “Where, if I should settle down, will I finally settle?”
Mean Love is an album with an open door invitation, and gets deeper with every listen.You hear it right away in the blistering opening track, “How We Be.” An instant classic, sounding like a lost gem of soul funk, a sweetness of voice alongside honey bass lines, the tune grips you and makes you wish for a dance floor, while enticing you to stay for the whole journey of the album.
Paul Gilroy, the path-breaking scholar and historian of the music of the Black Atlantic diaspora, once wrote that a primary characteristic of black cross-Atlantic creativity is a “desire to transcend both the structures of the nation state and constraints of ethnicity and national particularity.” Nothing could be more precise about the cross-disciplined, multifaceted second album by Ahmed Abdullahi Gallab, aka Sinkane: Mean Love.
Hot Chip with Sinkane
Tue Jun 2 2015 8:00 PM Doors
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