Amelia’s Magazine | James Blackshaw – A Live Review

b&b-zolor.zigzag

On a self proclaimed “mission to print the world” Basso & Brooke’s SS10 collection Neo Pop is as enticing as bubble wrap. Popping it, website sales not wrapping yourself in it of course.

b&b-bright.short.drape

The Neo Pop collection was a vision of cascading silk jersey dresses. The collages of hot pink shatters, treatment more about linear cobalt striations, and purple swirls clung to the models’ figures. The designs gave a wide berth to the duo’s loose and girlie romp wear from SS09.

The collections’ imagery was inspired by the post modern 80′s artist Jeff Koons and the oiled up figures of legendary 90′s photographer Herb Ritts.

Similar to Hussein Chalayan’s foam moulded, car crash inspired SS09 collection of bright swirling colours, Basso & Brooke pulled and twirled colours like taffy with the occasional appearance of a black and white zigzag.

b&b-pouf.text

The designers’ fondness for asymmetrical shoulders, occasionally present in fibrous strips returned with bravado alongside their wonderful application of draped silk to a structured bust. Statements that were not made in the tightly wrapped silk georgette were achieved in cinched organza constructed with a gathered bust.

b&b-cinch

An ankle length viscose playsuit deceivingly printed with sequins captivated entirely with it’s shimmery effect. Beading appeared as black and white swirls of baguette beads, surrounded by wavy ripples of Technicolor that stood apart from the digital prints hyper realism.

b&b-onepiece

One outfit stirred everyone within their seats. A blinding vision of golden foil mosaic cropped jacket atop black pleated trousers. It was an electrified ode to Futurism, and possibly Jeff Koons’ gargantuan metallic pink balloon animal.

b&b-gold

Tailors of a different species, Basso & Brooke (for AW09′s 18th century Baroque inspired collection) bend graphics to their will, using them to cut, shape and illustrate the form on seamless sheaths of fabric. For SS 2009 they loosened the reins and let the imagery spill out across the dresses with wild abandon. In some cases graphics trailed off and nude stretch netting filled in the rest of the garments.

b&b-sheer

Hair was as slick and stiff as the abs in a Herb Ritts photo and so very very 90′s. Deep burgundy lips kept the show’s edge well balanced with a dark matte feel.

Cubist heels had all the power of a Boccioni sculpture high stepping down the runway in blue suede, black pony hair, gold leather pumps and ankle boots. One shoe in particular with its white backward facing “rudder” made me wonder if it wasn’t inspired by the yacht Jeff Koons painted for a Cypriot art collector…you MUST see this thing.

b&b-lightening

It’s impossible NOT to remark on the eerie similarity to the rippling high-def prints on Mary Katrantzou’s SS10 catwalk. Saturated hues with a touch of black and white graphics, the fashion newbie also opted to sent out bodycon minis and cinched party dresses with Dale Chihuly like fabric undulations embellishing the front.

b&b-bright.short.drape

However all paths lead to Rome, and Amelia’s Magazine are happy to follow the pied pipers of print, Basso & Brooke.

All photographs by Sabrina Morrison

b&b-zolor.zigzag

On a self proclaimed “mission to print the world” Basso & Brooke’s SS10 collection Neo Pop is as enticing as bubble wrap. Popping it, health not wrapping yourself in it of course.

b&b-bright.short.drape

The Neo Pop collection was a vision of cascading silk jersey dresses. The collages of hot pink shatters, linear cobalt striations, and purple swirls clung to the models’ figures. The designs gave a wide berth to the duo’s loose and girlie romp wear from SS09.

The collections’ imagery was inspired by the post modern 80′s artist Jeff Koons and the oiled up figures of legendary 90′s photographer Herb Ritts.

Similar to Hussein Chalayan’s foam moulded, car crash inspired SS09 collection of bright swirling colours, Basso & Brooke pulled and twirled colours like taffy with the occasional appearance of a black and white zigzag.

b&b-pouf.text

The designers’ fondness for asymmetrical shoulders, occasionally present in fibrous strips returned with bravado alongside their wonderful application of draped silk to a structured bust. Statements that were not made in the tightly wrapped silk georgette were achieved in cinched organza constructed with a gathered bust.

b&b-cinch

An ankle length viscose playsuit deceivingly printed with sequins captivated entirely with it’s shimmery effect. Beading appeared as black and white swirls of baguette beads, surrounded by wavy ripples of Technicolor that stood apart from the digital prints hyper realism.

b&b-onepiece

One outfit stirred everyone within their seats. A blinding vision of golden foil mosaic cropped jacket atop black pleated trousers. It was an electrified ode to Futurism, and possibly Jeff Koons’ gargantuan metallic pink balloon animal.

b&b-gold

Tailors of a different species, Basso & Brooke (for AW09′s 18th century Baroque inspired collection) bend graphics to their will, using them to cut, shape and illustrate the form on seamless sheaths of fabric. For SS 2009 they loosened the reins and let the imagery spill out across the dresses with wild abandon. In some cases graphics trailed off and nude stretch netting filled in the rest of the garments.

b&b-sheer

Hair was as slick and stiff as the abs in a Herb Ritts photo and so very very 90′s. Deep burgundy lips kept the show’s edge well balanced with a dark matte feel.

Cubist heels had all the power of a Boccioni sculpture high stepping down the runway in blue suede, black pony hair, gold leather pumps and ankle boots. One shoe in particular with its white backward facing “rudder” made me wonder if it wasn’t inspired by the yacht Jeff Koons painted for a Cypriot art collector…you MUST see this thing.

b&b-lightening

It’s impossible NOT to remark on the eerie similarity to the rippling high-def prints on Mary Katrantzou’s SS10 catwalk. Saturated hues with a touch of black and white graphics, the fashion newbie also opted to send out bodycon minis and cinched party dresses with Dale Chihuly like fabric undulations embellishing the front.

b&b-bright.short.drape

However all paths lead to Rome, and Amelia’s Magazine are happy to follow the pied pipers of print, Basso & Brooke.

All photographs by Sabrina Morrison

b&b-zolor.zigzag

On a self proclaimed “mission to print the world” Basso & Brooke’s SS10 collection Neo Pop is as enticing as bubble wrap. Popping it, seek not wrapping yourself in it of course.

b&b-bright.short.drape

The Neo Pop collection was a vision of cascading silk jersey dresses. The collages of hot pink shatters, linear cobalt striations, and purple swirls clung to the models’ figures. The designs gave a wide berth to the duo’s loose and girlie romp wear from SS09.

The collections’ imagery was inspired by the post modern 80′s artist Jeff Koons and the oiled up figures of legendary 90′s photographer Herb Ritts.

Similar to Hussein Chalayan’s foam moulded, car crash inspired SS09 collection of bright swirling colours, Basso & Brooke pulled and twirled colours like taffy with the occasional appearance of a black and white zigzag.

b&b-pouf.text

The designers’ fondness for asymmetrical shoulders, occasionally present in fibrous strips returned with bravado alongside their wonderful application of draped silk to a structured bust. Statements that were not made in the tightly wrapped silk georgette were achieved in cinched organza constructed with a gathered bust.

b&b-cinch

An ankle length viscose playsuit deceivingly printed with sequins captivated entirely with it’s shimmery effect. Beading appeared as black and white swirls of baguette beads, surrounded by wavy ripples of Technicolor that stood apart from the digital prints hyper realism.

b&b-onepiece

One outfit stirred everyone within their seats. A blinding vision of golden foil mosaic cropped jacket atop black pleated trousers. It was an electrified ode to Futurism, and possibly Jeff Koons’ gargantuan metallic pink balloon animal.

b&b-gold

Tailors of a different species, Basso & Brooke (for AW09′s 18th century Baroque inspired collection) bend graphics to their will, using them to cut, shape and illustrate the form on seamless sheaths of fabric. For SS 2009 they loosened the reins and let the imagery spill out across the dresses with wild abandon. In some cases graphics trailed off and nude stretch netting filled in the rest of the garments.

b&b-sheer

Hair was as slick and stiff as the abs in a Herb Ritts photo and so very very 90′s. Deep burgundy lips kept the show’s edge well balanced with a dark matte feel.

Cubist heels had all the power of a Boccioni sculpture high stepping down the runway in blue suede, black pony hair, gold leather pumps and ankle boots. One shoe in particular with its white backward facing “rudder” made me wonder if it wasn’t inspired by the yacht Jeff Koons painted for a Cypriot art collector…you MUST see this thing.

b&b-lightening

It’s impossible NOT to remark on the eerie similarity to the rippling high-def prints on Mary Katrantzou’s SS10 catwalk. Saturated hues with a touch of black and white graphics, the fashion newbie also opted to send out bodycon minis and cinched party dresses with Dale Chihuly like fabric undulations embellishing the front.

b&b-bright.short.drape

However all paths lead to Rome, and Amelia’s Magazine are happy to follow the pied pipers of print, Basso & Brooke.

All photographs by Sabrina Morrison

b&b-zolor.zigzag

On a self proclaimed “mission to print the world” Basso & Brooke’s SS10 collection Neo Pop is as enticing as bubble wrap. Popping it, ampoule not wrapping yourself in it of course.

b&b-bright.short.drape

The Neo Pop collection was a vision of cascading silk jersey dresses. The collages of hot pink shatters, remedy linear cobalt striations, and purple swirls clung to the models’ figures. The designs gave a wide berth to the duo’s loose and girlie romp wear from SS09.

The collections’ imagery was inspired by the post modern 80′s artist Jeff Koons and the oiled up figures of legendary 90′s photographer Herb Ritts.

Similar to Hussein Chalayan’s foam moulded, car crash inspired SS09 collection of bright swirling colours, Basso & Brooke pulled and twirled colours like taffy with the occasional appearance of a black and white zigzag.

b&b-pouf.text

The designers’ fondness for asymmetrical shoulders, occasionally present in fibrous strips returned with bravado alongside their wonderful application of draped silk to a structured bust. Statements that were not made in the tightly wrapped silk georgette were achieved in cinched organza constructed with a gathered bust.

b&b-cinch

An ankle length viscose playsuit deceivingly printed with sequins captivated entirely with it’s shimmery effect. Beading appeared as black and white swirls of baguette beads, surrounded by wavy ripples of Technicolor that stood apart from the digital prints hyper realism.

b&b-onepiece

One outfit stirred everyone in their seats. A blinding vision in a golden foil cropped jacket atop black pleated trousers. It was an electrified ode to Futurism, and possibly Jeff Koons’ gargantuan metallic pink balloon animal.

b&b-gold

Tailors of a different species, Basso & Brooke (for AW09′s 18th century Baroque inspired collection) bend graphics to their will, using them to cut, shape and illustrate the form on seamless sheaths of fabric. For SS 2009 they loosened the reins and let the imagery spill out across the dresses with wild abandon. In some cases graphics trailed off and nude stretch netting filled in the rest of the garments.

b&b-sheer

Hair was as slick and stiff as the abs in a Herb Ritts photo and so very very 90′s. Deep burgundy lips kept the show’s edge well balanced with a dark matte feel.

Cubist heels had all the power of a Boccioni sculpture high stepping down the runway in blue suede, black pony hair, gold leather pumps and ankle boots. One shoe in particular with its white backward facing “rudder” made me wonder if it wasn’t inspired by the yacht Jeff Koons painted for a Cypriot art collector…you MUST see this thing.

b&b-lightening

It’s impossible NOT to remark on the eerie similarity to the rippling high-def prints on Mary Katrantzou’s SS10 catwalk. Saturated hues with a touch of black and white graphics, the fashion newbie also opted to send out bodycon minis and cinched party dresses with Dale Chihuly like fabric undulations embellishing the front.

b&b-bright.short.drape

However all paths lead to Rome, and Amelia’s Magazine are happy to follow the pied pipers of print, Basso & Brooke.

All photographs by Sabrina Morrison

Lemonade are Callan Clendenin, recipe Alex Pasternak and Ben Steidel, information pills three lads from San Francisco who brought their party to rock Brooklyn

You have an eclectic mix of sounds in your music, pilule which individual members have brought which elements to the table?

We just all liked all the elements, and contributed quite equally despite each other’s expertise. We began the group during a period of massive musical exploration, and were listening to so many new things, so a lot of different sounds and ideas ended up in the music. We used to say that Alex brought the Middle Eastern and Latin sounds, Ben brought the techno and house elements, and Callan brought the more conceptual and new age-y stuff but that isn’t really all that true because everyone brought everything really.

What do you feel is the perfect track length?

That is funny, because all of our songs on the record are quite long. When we wrote them we just wrote them for dancing, and we wrote until the groove climaxed or whatever and they came out long. As a band though we tend towards patient listening, long tracks, minutes of intro, like LCD Soundsystem’s E2E4.

Tell me about you in the studio…

We sequence electronics rather crudely on a laptop. It usually starts with one person’s idea, then everyone sorta messes with it. Once it’s done we have added all our own ideas. Then we teach ourselves to play to it, filling in the gaps with live bass and percussion and vocals. We then adjust the track around what we have written. Once it is barely ready we start playing it live on different systems. Then based on the reactions to it, we adjust it accordingly.

Which track of yours was the hardest to finish and why?

If they were hard to finish we probably dumped them. Usually if we like a track it writes itself. We can feel if it’s just flowing out of us and if its not flowing really quickly it doesn’t get far. Big Weekend was probably written in one session.

How and why did you form a band?

We formed the band when we were all in San Francisco and someone asked Alex “hey you are in a band, do you want to play a show?” We had a band name, so he said yes, and we played a show after just a few practices. It was pretty primal and there was a lot of excitement and wild dancing. We all have backgrounds in music so it was inevitable that we would do something somewhat serious with it, but the fact that it was Lemonade was a nice surprise to us all.

Which act did you aspire to be like when you were teenagers? Has that changed?

When we were teenagers we listened to indie rock and hardcore punk and stuff like that. We certainly didn’t think that dance music was cool and actually thought that ravers were totally lame. Nobody that we went to high school with expected us to end up playing club nights and writing epic piano breaks, though given our interests in extreme music and DIY communities, it kinda makes sense that we ended up at such antipodes.

Which current music acts are you particularly liking at the moment?

Brackles, Shortstuff, Joy Orbison, Delorean, Glasser, Girls.

Are there any particular individuals that you are thankful to?

We have had great relationships with the people at our labels- True Panther in the States, and Sunday Best in England. We are thankful for all that they have done for us. We are thankful to Chris Coady, who gave so much of his time to record us, simply because he believed in us. Also all the people who used to bug out and dance at all of our early shows and for those who still do.

What is the last gig you went to that you weren’t playing at?

Alex- random free jazz show at work last night- does that count? (yes)
Ben – I saw Twitch from Optimo DJ recently and that was pretty rad. Apparently I left before he played Human Resource “The Dominator”, which is a bummer.

What are you geeks about?

Ben loves snack foods and diet soda. All of us are record geeks, though some of us don’t really buy vinyl anymore.

Do you have any bizarre tour bus habits?

We make music on our laptops and text a question answering service really inane questions.

Describe your ultimate party…

The ultimate party is a place where everyone is on the same level, and everyone is communing with one another and sharing an experience. Your usual friends are there but everyone there is your friend too.

Which countries have the best party spirit and why?

The best party spirit is certainly not in the states, but that is what is so good about throwing a great party in America is that people really remember it, and it feels so different and new. Spain has the party. Brazil has the party. Latin and tropical countries are way more likely to have a street party with tons of drummers and dancers.

What are your aspirations as a band, short-term and long-term?

In the immediate we just want to stop working any other jobs that keep us from realizing our potential as artists… and to eat well whenever we want. In the long run we all want houses with decks and stuff like that, but I think more importantly we want people to have really meaningful connections to our music, even if it is just remembering a great party where they got really loose.

lemonade band by-andrew-eisberg

Lemonade are Callan Clendenin, ailment Alex Pasternak and Ben Steidel, viagra sale three gents from San Francisco who brought their party to Brooklyn shores, in search of dance music domination, toeing the line of eclecticism somewhere between oft-improvised Gang Gang Dance and !!!. Entrusted with wizardly producer, Chris Coady, who has previously twiddled knobs for TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the aforementioned !!!, the trio have made an album that’ll spread their rapturous spirit across to this continent, where they’ve already got Rob Da Bank‘s backing. The band speak to Amelia’s Magazine through the powers of electronic mail about studio time, aspirations and good old fashioned partying.

You have an eclectic mix of sounds in your music, which individual members have brought which elements to the table?

We just all liked all the elements and contributed quite equally despite each other’s expertise. We began the group during a period of massive musical exploration, and were listening to so many new things, so a lot of different sounds and ideas ended up in the music. We used to say that Alex brought the Middle Eastern and Latin sounds, Ben brought the techno and house elements, and Callan brought the more conceptual and new age-y stuff but that isn’t really all that true because everyone brought everything really.

What do you feel is the perfect track length?

That is funny, because all of our songs on the record are quite long. When we wrote them we just wrote them for dancing, and we wrote until the groove climaxed or whatever and they came out long. As a band though we tend towards patient listening, long tracks, minutes of intro, like LCD Soundsystem’s E2E4.

lemonade2

Tell me about you in the studio…

We sequence electronics rather crudely on a laptop. It usually starts with one person’s idea, then everyone sorta messes with it. Once it’s done we have added all our ideas. Then we teach ourselves to play to it, filling in the gaps with live bass and percussion and vocals. Once it is barely ready we start playing it live on different systems. Then based on the reactions to it, we adjust it accordingly.

Which track of yours was the hardest to finish and why?

If they were hard to finish we probably dumped them. Usually if we like a track it writes itself. We can feel if it’s just flowing out of us and if its not flowing really quickly it doesn’t get far. Big Weekend was probably written in one session.

How and why did you form a band?

We all have backgrounds in music so it was inevitable that we would do something somewhat serious with it, but the fact that it was Lemonade was a nice surprise to us all. We formed the band when we were all in San Francisco and someone asked Alex “hey you are in a band, do you want to play a show?” We had a band name, so he said yes, and we played a show after just a few practices. It was pretty primal and there was a lot of excitement and wild dancing.

lemonade3

Which act did you aspire to be like when you were teenagers?

When we were teenagers we listened to indie rock and hardcore punk and stuff like that. We certainly didn’t think that dance music was cool and actually thought that ravers were totally lame. Nobody that we went to high school with expected us to end up playing club nights and writing epic piano breaks, though given our interests in extreme music and DIY communities, it kinda makes sense that we ended up at such antipodes.

Which current music acts are you particularly liking at the moment?

Brackles, Shortstuff, Joy Orbison, Delorean, Glasser, Girls.

Are there any particular individuals that you are thankful to?

We have had great relationships with the people at our labels – True Panther in the States and Sunday Best in England. We are thankful for all that they have done for us. We are thankful to Chris Coady, who gave so much of his time to record us simply because he believed in us. Also all the people who used to bug out and dance at all of our early shows and for those who still do.

What is the last gig you went to that you weren’t playing at?

Alex: random free jazz show at work last night- does that count? (yes)
Ben: I saw Twitch from Optimo DJ recently and that was pretty rad. Apparently I left before he played Human Resource’s “The Dominator”, which is a bummer.

What are you geeks about?

Ben loves snack foods and diet soda. All of us are record geeks, though some of us don’t really buy vinyl anymore.

Do you have any bizarre tour bus habits?

We make music on our laptops and text really inane questions to a question answering service.

Lemonade

Describe your ultimate party…

The ultimate party is a place where everyone is on the same level, and everyone is communing with one another and sharing an experience. Your usual friends are there but everyone there is your friend too.

Which countries have the best party spirit and why?

Spain has the party. Brazil has the party. Latin and tropical countries are way more likely to have a street party with tons of drummers and dancers. The best party spirit is certainly not in the states, but that is what is so good about throwing a great party in America is that people really remember it, and it feels so different and new.

What are your aspirations as a band, short-term and long-term?

In the immediate we just want to stop working any other jobs that keep us from realizing our potential as artists… and to eat well whenever we want. In the long run we all want houses with decks and stuff like that, but I think more importantly we want people to have really meaningful connections to our music, even if it is just remembering a great party where they got really loose.

Lemonade’s self titled debut album is out now.

lemonade band by-andrew-eisberg

Lemonade are Callan Clendenin, help Alex Pasternak and Ben Steidel, medicine three gents from San Francisco who brought their party to Brooklyn shores, in search of dance music domination, toeing the line of eclecticism somewhere between oft-improvised Gang Gang Dance and !!!. Entrusted with wizardly producer, Chris Coady, who has previously twiddled knobs for TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the aforementioned !!!, the trio have made an album that’ll spread their rapturous spirit across to this continent, where they’ve already got Rob Da Bank‘s backing. The band speak to Amelia’s Magazine through the powers of electronic mail about studio time, aspirations and good old fashioned partying.

You have an eclectic mix of sounds in your music, which individual members have brought which elements to the table?

We just all liked all the elements and contributed quite equally despite each other’s expertise. We began the group during a period of massive musical exploration, and were listening to so many new things, so a lot of different sounds and ideas ended up in the music. We used to say that Alex brought the Middle Eastern and Latin sounds, Ben brought the techno and house elements, and Callan brought the more conceptual and new age-y stuff but that isn’t really all that true because everyone brought everything really.

What do you feel is the perfect track length?

That is funny, because all of our songs on the record are quite long. When we wrote them we just wrote them for dancing, and we wrote until the groove climaxed or whatever and they came out long. As a band though we tend towards patient listening, long tracks, minutes of intro, like LCD Soundsystem’s E2E4.

lemonade2

Tell me about you in the studio…

We sequence electronics rather crudely on a laptop. It usually starts with one person’s idea, then everyone sorta messes with it. Once it’s done we have added all our ideas. Then we teach ourselves to play to it, filling in the gaps with live bass and percussion and vocals. Once it is barely ready we start playing it live on different systems. Then based on the reactions to it, we adjust it accordingly.

Which track of yours was the hardest to finish and why?

If they were hard to finish we probably dumped them. Usually if we like a track it writes itself. We can feel if it’s just flowing out of us and if its not flowing really quickly it doesn’t get far. Big Weekend was probably written in one session.

How and why did you form a band?

We all have backgrounds in music so it was inevitable that we would do something somewhat serious with it, but the fact that it was Lemonade was a nice surprise to us all. We formed the band when we were all in San Francisco and someone asked Alex “hey you are in a band, do you want to play a show?” We had a band name, so he said yes, and we played a show after just a few practices. It was pretty primal and there was a lot of excitement and wild dancing.

lemonade3

Which act did you aspire to be like when you were teenagers?

When we were teenagers we listened to indie rock and hardcore punk and stuff like that. We certainly didn’t think that dance music was cool and actually thought that ravers were totally lame. Nobody that we went to high school with expected us to end up playing club nights and writing epic piano breaks, though given our interests in extreme music and DIY communities, it kinda makes sense that we ended up at such antipodes.

Which current music acts are you particularly liking at the moment?

Brackles, Shortstuff, Joy Orbison, Delorean, Glasser, Girls.

Are there any particular individuals that you are thankful to?

We have had great relationships with the people at our labels – True Panther in the States and Sunday Best in England. We are thankful for all that they have done for us. We are thankful to Chris Coady, who gave so much of his time to record us simply because he believed in us. Also all the people who used to bug out and dance at all of our early shows and for those who still do.

What is the last gig you went to that you weren’t playing at?

Alex: random free jazz show at work last night- does that count? (yes)
Ben: I saw Twitch from Optimo DJ recently and that was pretty rad. Apparently I left before he played Human Resource’s “The Dominator”, which is a bummer.

What are you geeks about?

Ben loves snack foods and diet soda. All of us are record geeks, though some of us don’t really buy vinyl anymore.

Do you have any bizarre tour bus habits?

We make music on our laptops and text really inane questions to a question answering service.

Lemonade

Describe your ultimate party…

The ultimate party is a place where everyone is on the same level, and everyone is communing with one another and sharing an experience. Your usual friends are there but everyone there is your friend too.

Which countries have the best party spirit and why?

Spain has the party. Brazil has the party. Latin and tropical countries are way more likely to have a street party with tons of drummers and dancers. The best party spirit is certainly not in the states, but that is what is so good about throwing a great party in America is that people really remember it, and it feels so different and new.

What are your aspirations as a band, short-term and long-term?

In the immediate we just want to stop working any other jobs that keep us from realizing our potential as artists… and to eat well whenever we want. In the long run we all want houses with decks and stuff like that, but I think more importantly we want people to have really meaningful connections to our music, even if it is just remembering a great party where they got really loose.

Lemonade’s self titled debut album is out now.

lemonade band by-andrew-eisberg

Lemonade are Callan Clendenin, cure Alex Pasternak and Ben Steidel, three gents from San Francisco who brought their party to Brooklyn shores, in search of dance music domination, toeing the line of eclecticism somewhere between oft-improvised Gang Gang Dance and !!!. Entrusted with wizardly producer, Chris Coady, who has previously twiddled knobs for TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the aforementioned !!!, the trio have made an album that’ll spread their rapturous spirit across to this continent, where they’ve already got Rob Da Bank‘s backing. The band speak to Amelia’s Magazine through the powers of electronic mail about studio time, aspirations and good old fashioned partying.

You have an eclectic mix of sounds in your music, which individual members have brought which elements to the table?

We just all liked all the elements and contributed quite equally despite each other’s expertise. We began the group during a period of massive musical exploration, and were listening to so many new things, so a lot of different sounds and ideas ended up in the music. We used to say that Alex brought the Middle Eastern and Latin sounds, Ben brought the techno and house elements, and Callan brought the more conceptual and new age-y stuff but that isn’t really all that true because everyone brought everything really.

What do you feel is the perfect track length?

That is funny, because all of our songs on the record are quite long. When we wrote them we just wrote them for dancing, and we wrote until the groove climaxed or whatever and they came out long. As a band though we tend towards patient listening, long tracks, minutes of intro, like LCD Soundsystem’s E2E4.

lemonade2

Tell me about you in the studio…

We sequence electronics rather crudely on a laptop. It usually starts with one person’s idea, then everyone sorta messes with it. Once it’s done we have added all our ideas. Then we teach ourselves to play to it, filling in the gaps with live bass and percussion and vocals. Once it is barely ready we start playing it live on different systems. Then based on the reactions to it, we adjust it accordingly.

Which track of yours was the hardest to finish and why?

If they were hard to finish we probably dumped them. Usually if we like a track it writes itself. We can feel if it’s just flowing out of us and if its not flowing really quickly it doesn’t get far. Big Weekend was probably written in one session.

How and why did you form a band?

We all have backgrounds in music so it was inevitable that we would do something somewhat serious with it, but the fact that it was Lemonade was a nice surprise to us all. We formed the band when we were all in San Francisco and someone asked Alex “hey you are in a band, do you want to play a show?” We had a band name, so he said yes, and we played a show after just a few practices. It was pretty primal and there was a lot of excitement and wild dancing.

lemonade3

Which act did you aspire to be like when you were teenagers?

When we were teenagers we listened to indie rock and hardcore punk and stuff like that. We certainly didn’t think that dance music was cool and actually thought that ravers were totally lame. Nobody that we went to high school with expected us to end up playing club nights and writing epic piano breaks, though given our interests in extreme music and DIY communities, it kinda makes sense that we ended up at such antipodes.

Which current music acts are you particularly liking at the moment?

Brackles, Shortstuff, Joy Orbison, Delorean, Glasser, Girls.

Are there any particular individuals that you are thankful to?

We have had great relationships with the people at our labels – True Panther in the States and Sunday Best in England. We are thankful for all that they have done for us. We are thankful to Chris Coady, who gave so much of his time to record us simply because he believed in us. Also all the people who used to bug out and dance at all of our early shows and for those who still do.

What is the last gig you went to that you weren’t playing at?

Alex: random free jazz show at work last night- does that count? (yes)
Ben: I saw Twitch from Optimo DJ recently and that was pretty rad. Apparently I left before he played Human Resource’s “The Dominator”, which is a bummer.

What are you geeks about?

Ben loves snack foods and diet soda. All of us are record geeks, though some of us don’t really buy vinyl anymore.

Do you have any bizarre tour bus habits?

We make music on our laptops and text really inane questions to a question answering service.

Lemonade

Describe your ultimate party…

The ultimate party is a place where everyone is on the same level, and everyone is communing with one another and sharing an experience. Your usual friends are there but everyone there is your friend too.

Which countries have the best party spirit and why?

Spain has the party. Brazil has the party. Latin and tropical countries are way more likely to have a street party with tons of drummers and dancers. The best party spirit is certainly not in the states, but that is what is so good about throwing a great party in America is that people really remember it, and it feels so different and new.

What are your aspirations as a band, short-term and long-term?

In the immediate we just want to stop working any other jobs that keep us from realizing our potential as artists… and to eat well whenever we want. In the long run we all want houses with decks and stuff like that, but I think more importantly we want people to have really meaningful connections to our music, even if it is just remembering a great party where they got really loose.

Lemonade’s self titled debut album is out now.

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London-based 12-string guitarist, medicine James Blackshaw, viagra dosage is known for his compositions possessing of a subtle complexity beyond his twenty something years. The Hanbury Ballroom inspires a hushed reverence as you enter and provides the perfect setting to showcase Blackshaw‘s talents. The Ballroom may be not as grand as it sounds but there’s certainly an aura of opulence that prevails. Fitting then for tonight’s solemnization of sound, although this transpires to be far from any freak-folk shindig you might expect. Both Blackshaw and Mat Sweet of Boduf Songs are Englishmen recording for revered American labels who both make music often tagged ‘folk’ but there’s a world of difference between them and it made for a compelling performance.

jamesblackshaw

Boduf Songs take the stage as the Ballroom begins to fill out nicely. The first time I heard Mat Sweet’s music was a few years ago on his debut for Kranky Records. A largely acoustic affair, interspersed with field recordings, which I expected the same of tonight. Instead, Sweet wields a Fender Jaguar with quietly vicious intent. The set is tense and seethes with the same bottle-up-and-explode bitterness as Elliott Smith. Sweet’s hushed, melodic vocal inflection belies the inherent darkness of his music, punctuated by sparse, minimalist percussion. His ostensibly fragile sound design is disconcerting and eerie like the ominous, quiet rumble of summer thunder. By the time he’s finished, I’m exhausted, in a good way.

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James Blackshaw is well on his way to attaining cult status as evidenced by the packed audience and move to Young Gods Records. My only qualm with his recent album, The Glass Bead Game, is that it often drifts into coffee-table-lit, augmented as it is by tremulous vocals, strings and cascading pianos. Tonight, Blackshaw plays unaccompanied and loose. In this context, his new material is imbued with passion and urgency. Cross becomes something akin to a wordless incantation as Blackshaw shreds his 12-string with dexterous and delirious abandon. As Bled plays out in its entire slo-fi splendour, it aches and yearns on ascent to the ballroom’s painted upper limits. Indeed, it’s in this sweaty, spontaneous setting where Blackshaw works best. Here’s hoping he suffuses the subsequent solo works with this kind of relentlessness. After all, it’s obvious this talented artist will be gifting the world plenty more albums.

Categories ,boduf songs, ,brighton, ,elliott smith, ,gig, ,james blackshaw, ,mat sweet

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Amelia’s Magazine | Kept Impulses at the Barbican featuring Nancy Elizabeth, Hauschka and James Blackshaw

nancy elizabeth - abi daker
Nancy Elizabeth by Abigail Daker.

I made a decision to attend Kept Impulses at the Barbican at the last minute only because I wanted to support Fran – erstwhile violinist in my ceilidh band Green Kite Midnight – backing the extremely talented 12 string guitarist James Blackshaw, physician stuff who we covered here last year. But I knew we were in for a treat as soon as I spotted Nancy Elizabeth in the line up for this collaborative show, here directed by David Coulter.

Nancy Elizabeth featured in issue 09 of Amelia’s Magazine and she also made a tune to go on the accompanying usb, but I met her long before that at the Thermal Festival in 2007. Feel free to read all about my exploits at this boutique festival oop north, curated by Sam Genders, formerly of Tuung and my report of Nancy’s gig at 93 Feet East that same year. I am happy to report that her down to earth manner and strong Mancunian accent remain absolutely intact, despite her now rarefied setting.

Abi Daker - Nancy Elizabeth James Blackshaw
James Blackshaw and Nancy Elizabeth play together.

She glided across the stage in a flouncy tiered frock. “You stood on ma lead!” she remonstrated James, as he took centre stage between Nancy and the German avante guard pianist Hauschka, “I thought I’d better wear the poshest dress I own since I’m in the poshest concert hall. I was a bit freaked out about playing here; I think we all feel the same.” Apparently they’d been up rehearsing for 3 days. No pressure then.

The first part of the performance was devoted to rearranged collaborative versions of original compositions, with the backing musicians swirling in and out of focus behind the thin gauze curtain according to the lighting effects and their importance. These included the harpist Julia Thornton stage left, and Thomas Bloch on a glass harmonica and cristal baschet on the far side, so I was unable to see what fun he was up to.

Nancy’s voice, without wanting to sound like a huge perv, wavers between the sweetest maple syrup and heaviest treacle. She is at ease with the piano, guitar, harp, or… plastic chair. “I asked them to find me one I could hit and I swear they spent an hour looking for the right one. I wasn’t expecting it to be this manky though.” Her sparse compositions worked well swollen with extra instruments.

Nancy Elizabeth - Abi Daker
Nancy Elizabeth by Abigail Daker.

I’ve been to see Fran play with James Blackshaw before so I know that he is brilliant at complex cyclical picking that builds up into a glorious wall of sound, beloved of guitar aficionados aplenty. The real revelation of the evening was Hauschka, who I have not heard of before. His speciality is what’s known as ‘prepared piano’ whereby he drops bits of junk into the innards of the instrument to create interesting noise effects. Sounds diabolical, makes amazing noises. Picking each bit of debris out one by one, he then dumped a bag of ping pong balls inside so that they could bounce up and down with the music.

Abi Daker - Hauschka
In my eagerness to catch Hauschka in action for this illustration by Abigail Daker, I received a severe remonstration from one of the stewards. Worth it though, don’t you agree?

After the break Nancy reappeared in a change of outfit, this time a striped gold and black number with a wide angular bottom, “I thought I’d have a costume change to show James up. I did offer him the dress first though.” Each of the musicians had a chance to showcase their solo work in the second half, complete with a much enlarged backing orchestra, including Fran, her little white stockings aglow in the centre of the stage. The finale was a joint composition created a few weeks ago and given the name 1000 Angels thanks to the appearance of huge numbers of Hells Angels near their Hackney recording studio. “I don’t know where it was,” said Nancy, “somewhere down south.” Only a true Northerner would say that. It’s east love, east.

Categories ,Abigail Daker, ,barbican, ,David Coulter, ,Green Kite Midnight, ,Harp, ,Hauschka, ,Hells Angels, ,james blackshaw, ,Julia Thornton, ,Kept Impulses, ,nancy elizabeth, ,piano, ,Sam Genders, ,Thermal Festival, ,Thomas Bloch, ,tuung

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