Dec 10, 2010

James Yuill

Like many music lovers of his generation, James Yuill has a passion for both the emotional songwriting and atmospheres of artists such as Nick Drake, Radiohead and Sufjan Stevens and the visceral beats and dynamic rhythms of Justice, Chemical Brothers and Aphex Twin. Unlike anyone else however, Yuill has fused these seemingly disparate influences into a magical sound of his very own, something that hasn’t gone un-noticed; he is quickly becoming an influential part of London’s popular “folktronica” scene.

Since the UK release of Turning Down Water For Air this past October 2008 on revered independent label Moshi Moshi Records (Bloc Party, Hot Chip, Au Revoir Simone), Yuill has garnered a huge amount of critical attention, including features in NME, Dazed and Confused and Clash Magazine, who featured him as “Best Newcomer 2008.” UK radio also jumped on board, with DJs including Huw Stephens, Colin Murray, Zane Lowe and John Kennedy all championing him on air.

A hectic live schedule including SXSW, Radio One Big Weekend, Latitude Festival, Club NME and numerous sweaty, dark venues across the globe, has added to the tangible buzz around James Yuill. Seeing him live is a truly unique experience: one minute you’re drawn in to the tender simplicity of his voice and acoustic guitar, the next minute your head’s spinning and your feet are moving to the dazzling array of beats and effects pumped out by James’s laptop and boxes of tricks - not bad for a one man show that fits neatly into a reconditioned guitar case.

No Surprise (Earth Version) - James Yuill

James Yuill / How could I Lose

James Yuill - No Pins Allowed

James Yuill - This Sweet Love

James Yuill - No Surprise

Dec 9, 2010

Spearhead - Hole In The Bucket

Michael Franti

Michael Franti

Michael Franti is a gifted and much-heralded spoken word artist and political activist from San Francisco, CA. As leader of the politically and socially-charged group Spearhead, Franti is at the forefront of hip-hop’s renaissance, expanding the music’s boundaries as he draws on funk and soul-driven beats. Through his music and poetry, Franti tackles a range of issues—the criminal justice system, corporatization of our daily lives, AIDS, gay rights, homelessness, the death penalty, drug addiction and suicide.

Earlier projects of Franti include The Beatnigs and The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, which had more of an experimental/industrial sound, but addressed many of the same social/political issues.

As a celebration of the Election of Barack Obama Franti recorded the Obama Song, offered as a free track on downloaded at their offical website,

Michael Franti & Spearhead - Soulshine

Michael Franti & Spearhead - Hey World

Michael Franti & Spearhead - Say Hey

Dec 7, 2010

Animal Collective - Fireworks

Animal Collective - Peacebone

Purple Bottle - Animal Collective

Animal Collective - Brothersport

animal collective

Baltimore, MD (2000 – present)
Animal Collective is a New York City/Washington, D.C/Lisbon based music collective of avant-garde musicians from Baltimore, Maryland. Animal Collective consists of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), and Geologist (Brian Weitz). Records released under the name Animal Collective may include contributions from any or all of these members; the lineup is not uniform. The band members met in school and started recording together in various forms of collaboration from a young age. Although the band is often classified as psych folk or noise rock, it is hard to define the Animal Collective sound as they often experiment with diverse styles and ideas from album to album. The group also runs the record label Paw Tracks on which they have released their own material as well as material by artists such as Ariel Pink, Terrestrial Tones, and The Peppermints. Paw Tracks’ latest signee is Tickley Feather, with whom the band recently toured.

Animal Collective - My Girls

Dec 2, 2010

Zuco 103 with Tomy

Zuco 103

It has been 13 years since Lilian Vieira, from Rio de Janeiro, moved to The Netherlands. It was there that Lilian, a former nursing student, started singing nights in Amsterdam and Zuco 103 was born.

Zuco 103 is a trio lead by Lilian that brilliantly mixes traditional Brazilian singing and European electronic music. The great majority of the lyrics are in Portuguese with the exception of a few written in English.

The name of the band, Zuco 103, was suggested by the drummer Stefan, who, with his poor Portuguese, wanted to say “suco” which means “juice” but instead said “zuco”. Lilian liked the mis-pronunciation so much that the name was approved. “The 103 is the alcohol tax” in Amsterdam, explained the singer. 

The Start

After having given up to start nursing school again in the Netherlands, Lilian started singing in the night, and taking singing lessons in the Conservatory of Rotterdam, where she met Stefan Kruger, a drummer who had a passion for Brazilian music. “We made a bossa nova and jazz quintet”, tells Lilian. 

Later, when they were taking part in a project with Indian and African musicians, Lilian met Stefan Schmid. The three made a song together and, later, recorded a CD. They also had one song included in a compilation of Brazilian music released in New York - for the Ziriguiboom stamp, of Béco Dranoff, who discovered the band. After this, the first CD was released by the Belgian label Crammed (partner of the Ziriguiboom), and were indicated to the local prize Edson Awards.

Zuco 103 @ North Sea Jazz 2008, Rotterdam

Zuco 103 - Longing

Zuco 103 - Treasure

Nov 25, 2010

Cinnamon Chasers - Two Hours Time

Cinnamon Chasers

Cinnamon Chasers, solo project of Russ Davies, has strong musical roots and cites early pioneers like Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, Jean-Micheal Jarre, and KLF as key influences and leading to modern talent such as Alan Braxe, Rex The Dog, Junior Boys… 

Rather than create pretentious moody dance music Russ wants to create music that has an honest heart, and good intentions, and feels like a good friend. Cinnamon Chasers achieves this with a perfect blend of crisp electronics, Pop based song structure and melodies, and an Indie feel.

Cinnamon Chasers have been gaining major notoriety this year with their tune and video Luv Deluxe, which just won the award at the 2010 SXSW Conference for Best Music Video. The video has been a major viral hit on the web with over a million views in the first two months of launch and is being screened on over 30 film festivals world wide. Sunset Drive is their eagerly anticipated follow-up release and is a perfect warm-up for the summer season with 5 sunshine soaked electro pop tunes all in the quirky unique style that CC have become so well known for.

Cinnamon Chasers - Ultraviolent

Cinnamon Chasers - Ray of Sun

Cinnamon Chasers - Jetstream

Cinnamon Chasers - Luv

Nov 5, 2010

The Album Leaf - On Your Way

The Album Leaf officially began in 1998 as the solo project of Jimmy LaValle, guitarist for, -based  band Tristeza. LaValle has also performed in several other San Diego-area bands, including Swing Kids, The Locust, GoGoGo Airheart, and The Black Heart Procession.

An Orchestrated Rise to Fall

Jimmy LaValle had been playing a ocarina in the post-rock instrumental band Tristeza. Being a multi-instrumentalist, during downtime in the fall of 1998, he began playing drums for San Diego band GoGoGo Airheart. The singer and guitarist for the group, Mike Vermillion (which later inspired the song name “Vermillion” on One Day I’ll Be on Time) recorded LaValle doing improvised material playing to a vintage roland drum machine on a Rhodes Piano that would become his first full-length album, the 10-track An Orchestrated Rise to Fall. Benjamin White of GoGoGo Airheart and Vermillion both supplied added improvisation with synthesizers and vocals to these recordings.

The Album Leaf - Always for You

The Album Leaf - There Is A Wind

The Album Leaf - On Your Way

Nov 2, 2010

Gorillaz - Stylo

Gorillaz-On Melancholy Hill

Gorillaz - Hong Kong (Studio)


Gorillaz are a British virtual band formed in 1998 by a collaboration between Damon Albarn of Britpop band Blur and Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the comic book Tank Girl. They had the idea to create the band while watching MTV in their London flat and originally intended to call the project Gorilla. The band is comprised of four fictional band members: 2-D (vocals, keyboard), Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar, vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums). These characters only appear in animated form and are not alter-egos of real people, as is often mistakenly assumed. There is an extensive fictional back-story behind these band members, written by Albarn and Hewlett. The albums, several videos and their autobiographical bookRise Of The Ogre all tell the saga. Damon Albarn is the only permanent musical contributor to the band, which is a collaboration between various musicians. Their style is broad, with a large number of alternative influences including ,  and .

They have released three studio albums: Gorillaz (2001), Demon Days (2005) and Plastic Beach (2010). Additionally, they have put out two B-side collections, G-Sides (2001) and D-Sides (2007), and a reggae remix of the Gorillaz album entitled Laika Come Home (2002). The band has also released three DVDs: Phase One: Celebrity Takedown, Demon Days: Live at Manchester Opera House and Phase Two: Slow Boat To Hades. 

The band’s first single, Clint Eastwood, was released on 5 March 2001. This single was the first of four from their first full-length album, Gorillaz, which was released on 26 March 2001. The other three singles were released over the next year. These were: 19-2000, Rock the House, and Tomorrow Comes Today. The album sold over 7 million copies worldwide and has gone platinum twice in the United Kingdom earning them an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as the Most Successful Virtual Band. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize, but the nomination was later withdrawn at the band’s request. Collaborators on the first album included Del tha Funkee Homosapien (often mistaken as a band-member), Miho Hatori(formerly of Cibo Matto) and Ibrahim Ferrer. The album was produced by Dan the Automator.

At the end of 2001 the band released another single, 911, which was a collaboration between Gorillaz and rap artists D12, Eminem and Terry Hall. The single was from the soundtrack to the 2002 action comedy Bad Company.

Their second studio album, Demon Days, was released on 11 May 2005 and included the hit singles Feel Good Inc., DARE, Dirty Harry and Kids with Guns / El Mañana. Demon Days went five times platinum in the UK, double platinum in the United States, and earned five Grammy award nominations for 2006 and won one of them (Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals). Collaborators on this album (produced by DJ Danger Mouse) include De La Soul, Bootie Brownof The Pharcyde, Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays, Neneh Cherry, Ike Turner, MF DOOM andRoots Manuva, among others.

In late 2007, Albarn and Hewlett began working on Carousel, a new Gorillaz project which eventually evolved into the band’s third studio album, Plastic Beach, which was released 9 March 2010. Albarn said, “I’m making this one the most pop record I’ve ever made in many ways, but with all my experience to try and at least present something that has got depth.” The album features guest performances by Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Mos Def, Bobby Womack,Gruff Rhys, Mark E. Smith, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Kano, Bashy, De La Soul, Little Dragon,Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Sinfonia Viva and The Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music. 

A 3D projection of the group was shown at the 2005 MTV Music Awards, and at the 2006 Grammys. They also performed at the Brits, in a different format, using screens rather than projections. Gorillaz have performed live in other occasions as well, in 2001 & 2002 they did tours where the musicians played behind screens, in 2005 & 2006, Gorillaz had 5 nights in Manchester and New York respectively. This time the screens were behind the musicians, however the setup was set so that none of the musicians (except for the guest-stars) could be visible to the audience, only as silhouettes.

Since the band began to achieve mainstream success there have been rumours that the band has been working on a full length movie. Some of these have been confirmed, however nothing has got beyond planning stages mainly due to conflicts between the band and studios involved. In 2008 Hewlett said “Ultimately we didn’t think that feel we’re in a position to make the kind of movie we want to make with Gorillaz at the moment. […] But I’d still like to make a full, lavishly-animated Gorillaz movie someday.”

Albarn and Hewlett created a Pop Opera called Monkey: Journey to the West, which premiered in the summer of 2007 at the Manchester International Festival. A soundtrack album was recorded in the summer as well (initially only digitally available though a CD version was released in 2008). The production went on to show at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in September-October 2007, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, USA in May 2008, and the Royal Opera House in London in July 2008.

The duo behind the Pop Opera built on ideas from Monkey: Journey to the West to release a short film in the Summer of 2008 which accompanied the United Kingdom’s coverage of the BBC Olympic Coverage in Beijing. It featured a basic outline of the main plot elements of the Opera, reworked into a “Journey to the East”, with the characters finishing in the Beijing Olympic Stadium. 

Gorillaz headlined the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2010, as an immediate replacement forU2, who dropped out of performing at the festival.

By Gomalina