Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Busy...



I have been very busy over the past few weeks, and it looks like I will continue to be so for a while. The blog has not been updated nearly as much as usual because of this, but it is still here and will be updated every now and then in the coming weeks.

However, do check out the Galaxy Tumblr page by clicking here (it takes a lot less time to maintain a Tumblr page, so it is updated on daily basis).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Step Back In Time!...



Now available to pre-order, for the very first time – Kylie’s first four albums have been remastered and expanded as Deluxe Edition 2CD/DVD sets and lavish, top-of-the-range Collector’s Edition box sets including 2CD/DVD and picture disc vinyl!

Click here and here for all the info!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Where Else...



Cherry Red Records is delighted to announce it will be releasing the new solo album from Claudia Brücken on Monday 6th October: Where Else. The new record is available to pre-order now on CD and limited edition 12” Vinyl.

Claudia Brücken’s third solo album Where Else (follow up to 2012’s acclaimed collection of cover versions, The Lost Are Found) is, with the exception of Nick Drake’s ‘Day Is Done,’ a self-penned collection of songs that explores different genres and styles – it moves through and around folk, blues, rock, film score, country and electronic music. Every album of her career, solo or in groups, has been a way of demonstrating her passion for evocative musical atmosphere, but this is the first one that does so without relying on computers and synthesisers. As Claudia says: ‘I always collaborate with different producers and programmers who are obviously bringing a lot of themselves into the project, and a lot of studio gadgetry. Normally my musical settings have been electronic music, whereas with this album, although there are elements of electronica in there, it soon became clear that the sound was going to be as much rooted in folk, blues and even country rock, and for me this was novel and exciting. It was actually exotic. The guitar could create special effects instead of the usual machines, which have become much more ordinary than they were when I first started.’

The album is a collaboration with co-writer and producer John Williams (Housemartins, Proclaimers, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, Blancmange, Petula Clark) and was written and recorded in the winter and spring of 2014 at John’s studio in North Kensington. Used to constructing songs in a more abstract electronic setting, Claudia felt it important that in this new environment, each new song they wrote could be sung accompanied only by piano or guitar. It was only then that the songs were ready to be recorded.

Influences on Where Else were varied. For Claudia, the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, Depeche Mode and Roy Orbison. For John, Jimmy Webb, JJ Cale and The Zombies set the standard. On Where Else, these reference points deftly interact. Claudia elaborates: ‘Some of the albums I’ve recorded were albums of other people’s songs, and that has definitely made me think harder as a song writer about how to get across complicated feelings as economically as possible. The story aspect of a song has always been a very important part for me – for example the first song of the album (‘I Want You’) was inspired by Lou Reed’s method of storytelling. John’s background is a lot different to mine; he’s really into artists like Nick Drake and singer song writers. That brought a lot of elements into the writing that were fresh to me. The songs basic architecture was developed in a very different way than when you mostly use machines. The guitar being at the centre of the writing and recording took me towards more of a blues and folk sound – I think people will be surprised how different this album sounds because of that but in the end it’s still about songs, and storytelling, and singing.’

As she recorded the album, Claudia learned to play guitar – an instrument she had toyed with as a teenager before the electronically ethereal sounds of Kraftwerk and synths took over and took her somewhere else. As she learned to play the guitar, she learnt to play her favourite songs by artists as diverse as Marlene Dietrich, Patti Smith and The Temptations – and out of this, these new songs with new textures, spaces and intentions began to emerge.

Where Else follows the lyrical thread of Claudia’s debut solo album Love: and a Million Other Things. The album is not only a collection of moods and styles but a further examination of the vagaries of love; exploring emotion, beginnings, endings, past life and future hopes. ‘That’s my nature,’ says Claudia. ‘I want to explore different styles, a big reason why the title Where Else suits me – where else will I go? What will I do next?’

1. ‘I Want You’
2. ‘Nothing Good is Ever Easy’
3. ‘I Lay All Night’
4. ‘Day is Done’
5. ‘Walk Right In’
6. ‘Nevermind’
7. ‘How Do I Know’
8. ‘Moon Song’
9. ‘Letting Go’
10. ‘Time to Make Changes’
11. ‘Sweet Sound Vision’

Pre-order here

The first single will be "Nevermind":

Yes Please!...



More than six years after her last record (Discipline), Janet Jackson is reportedly back in the studio at work on new music.

The news comes from vocal producer and engineer Ian Cross. Cross helped engineer Jackson's last three studio albums, and in a new interview, he opened up about the collaboration, saying, "The new album is going to be great. It's a process. There's a lot in store, yet to come."

Not long after Cross' interview went viral, Janet Jackson herself responded to the rumor with a boss tweet (that technically neither confirmed nor denied anything): "If there is a new project, you'll hear it from my lips," she tweeted.

Cross talked at length about his work with Jackson in his Barefoot Sound interview. "Janet [Jackson] and I had a little bit more of a special relationship because we became friends naturally,” Cross said. “You meet a lot of people and you become friends with a couple of them, but sometimes there is one person you become really good friends with. She asked me to work on an album with her called Discipline in 2007 and, again, just do the same thing, produce the vocals. That led to her hiring me full-time to work with her. That’s where I’m at now.”

"The Janet Jacksons of the world can’t just spend their time in one studio in one city anymore…we’ve been working in Qatar. We’ve been working in Paris, the Middle East, and now we feel like we can work anywhere," he said. (BTW, Janet's husband, Wissam Al Mana, is a Qatari businessman, which helps explain her city-hopping recording schedule.)

 Jackson was last on tour in 2011, with Number Ones, Up Close and Personal.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tracks...



It's tracks time again. This lot includes among others the first ever appearance on these posts by Coldplay (never been a fan, but I quite like their latest single), a new rather intriguing single (and video) by Kiesza and a couple of really great videos by Otto Knows and Austra (the one by Austra is probably my favorite song at the moment). Give them a go :)

SOTD...



It is sadly the last day of a (short) summer vacation. The only thing I can think of to cheer me up is a little bit of disco, courtesy of the lovely Madleen Kane.

Monday, July 28, 2014

"I Think It's Beginning To Rain"...



22 years after recording them, two unreleased Madonna songs from the Erotica sessions have just leaked!

The songs are from a cassette (the legendary Rain Tapes), so the quality is not perfect - but how fabulous to finally have these in full!

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