Amelia’s Magazine | Lana Del Rey: Blue Jeans remixed by Kris Menace

Lana Del Rey by Jo Ley
Lana Del Rey by Jo Ley.

I am sure I should know more about Lana Del Rey than I do but the fact is, beyond the basic concept that she’s had an awful lot of hype this is one pop vixen who has thus far stayed totally off my radar. But not any more: not since I was sent a link to the remix of her tune Blue Jeans by Kris Menace, a music maestro who has worked with the likes of Kylie, Robbie Williams and Depeche Mode.

Lana Del Rey by Kris Keys
Lana Del Rey by Kris Keys.

Like Lana del Rey, producer Kris Menace uses a pseudonym – doesn’t sound quite so mysterious and glam when you say that good old Christophe Hoeffel has worked on a remix with Elizabeth Woolridge Grant does it? Kris Menace runs two of his own record labels, a radio station and in the way of superstar DJs he travels around the world to play at all the top nightclubs. Where does he find the time?! Anyway, enjoy. This remix is utterly addictive, I warn you.

Lana Del Rey by Rukmunal Hakim
Lana Del Rey by Rukmunal Hakim.

Lana del Rey by Janneke de Jong
Lana Del Rey by Janneke de Jong.

Lana Del Rey by Gemma Cotterell
Lana Del Rey by Gemma Cotterell.

Lana Del Rey by Deborah Moon
Lana Del Rey by Deborah Moon.

Kris Menace has a new album out in April: Electric Horizon follows on from 2009′s Idiosyncrasies, with a blend of magical melodies and hypnotic trance-like tunes that belie his Germanic roots. The first single Falling Star came out on March 5th 2012. Lana Del Rey releases her version of Blue Jeans on April 8th.

Categories ,Blue Jeans, ,Christophe Hoeffel, ,Deborah Moon, ,Depeche Mode, ,dj, ,Electric Horizon, ,Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, ,Falling Star, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Idiosyncrasies, ,Janneke de Jong, ,Jo Ley, ,Kris Keys, ,Kris Menace, ,Kyle, ,Lana Del Rey, ,Matt Nevin, ,Producer, ,Radio Station, ,Record Label, ,Remix, ,Robbie Williams, ,Rukmunal Hakim

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Amelia’s Magazine | Climate Camp at Glastonbury 2010: Line up information

Glastonbury-June-2009-Climate Camp
Can it really be a year since the last Glastonbury? In 2009, try for the first time, for sale Climate Camp was given it’s very own space in the Dragon Field just above the Craft Field as you wend your way down to Shangri La. This year we’re back to once again educate and entertain festival goers at our beautiful site only a few minutes walk from the Old Railway Line.

Glastonbury-June-2009-Climate Camp workshop
Glastonbury-June-2009-Climate Camp paddling pool
Glastonbury-June-2009-First Aid Kit
Workshops, illness at play, and First Aid Kit playing at the Climate Camp Tripod Stage in 2009.

In 2010 Climate Camp is targeting the Royal Bank of Scotland, which has been bailed out with £50 billion of public money that is now being used to finance the extraction of fossil fuels across the world, with no regard for climate change or the destruction of communities that it causes. We will be camping near the RBS global headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, between 19th-25th August, but in the meantime to find out more about why we decided to focus on RBS this year come along and take a look at our exhibition at Glastonbury, then pick up a copy of our Never Mind The Bankers newspaper to peruse over a cup of tea or share with friends. We will be running DIY screenprinting workshops where you can learn how to screenprint your clothing with an anti RBS slogan. Simply bring your own or print onto one of our tshirts or bags. A great activity for kids! There will also be a chance to take part in Tripod Training: Tripods are used to blockade and secure a space on a direct action protest; come find out how to put them up and climb them safely. Good fun, and no previous experience or skills required.

Glastonbury-June-2009-tripod training
Glastonbury-June-2009-tripod training
Tripod Training.

Then of course there is our fabulous music, poetry and comedy line up, put together by yours truly. Read on to find out who will be gracing our Tripod Stage…. Pyramid Stage eat your heart out, this is where the real talent is.

Green Kite Midnight.

When I wrote up about the Climate Camp presence at Glastonbury in 2009 in my blog I talked about my hope that my band Green Kite Midnight would be able to play as the Climate Camp house band in 2010, so I’m very excited to report that we will be doing daily gigs this year. Five years ago I co-founded the barndance troupe Cutashine out of a desire to make traditional collective dancing more fun: after all, what’s better than a dance where you get to meet other people and really work up a sweat?

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With Cutashine I played at gigs all over Glastonbury for several years, then left to start Green Kite Midnight through my contacts in Climate Camp; a band that supports and plays at direct action protests. Our first gig was at the Climate Camp in Bishopsgate during the G20 in April last year, we played to 800 people at the Blackheath Climate Camp in August 2009, and more recently we went on a 10 day solidarity bike ride together to play gigs to support the struggle against the Shell gas pipeline at Rossport in Ireland. With myself as emcee (I’m a gobby shite, so turn your mind away from those boring barn dances you might have attended as a child) we can teach anyone how to barn dance, so please come and join us.

And now for the rest of our fabulous line-up:

anna log
Anna Log
My Luminaries
My Luminaries, photography by James Dean White.

On Thursday we kick off four days of renewably powered music with a fabulous folky female. Anna Log – singer with pop folk band We Aeronauts – will be doing a solo set accompanied by her trusty uke. After our first ceilidh Glastonbury Emerging Talent winners My Luminaries round the evening off with a special semi-acoustic set of their epic indie rock.

Kirsty Almeida
Kirsty Almeida
Danny and the Champions of the World
Danny and the Champions of the World

On Friday Kirsty Almeida opens for us with her bass heavy soulful Bayou blues, then we’re pleased to welcome the epic musical dreamscapes of Newislands, described as Pink Floyd meets Depeche Mode. After that it’s time for some other Climate Camp regulars, Danny Chivers, Claire Fauset and Merrick, to grace the stage with their “triple-headed tag team political poetry extravaganza”. They’re all friends of mine that I’ve seen perform before so I highly recommend their set, which will be repeated on Sunday afternoon. As a closer we have the country-tinged big band folk of Danny and the Champions of the World.

kyla la grange
Kyla la Grange
Patch William
Patch William
The Federals
The Federals
Dry the River
Dry the River

To kick the day off on Saturday we welcome an exclusive Glastonbury appearance from a talented newcomer with a stunning voice; Kyla La Grange creates soaring melodies and is nearing completion of her debut album. Then comes Patch William – the dreamy lovechild of Nick Drake and Jimi Hendrix, who are followed by the scuzzy rock sound of York boys The Federals, described as a cross between the White Stripes and The Beatles. Then, time for a very special guest. Following my interview with Robin Ince a few weeks he very kindly promised to come by and do us a *special secret set* which will be a must see for all comedy fans at the festival. Tell all your friends! And come on by for a very intimate set from this well known comedian. Dry the River end the day with their beautiful melodic folk, singing songs of religion, history and community to rival those of Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons.

Pete the Temp
Pete the Temp
Pete Lawrie
Pete Lawrie
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

On Sunday we’ve got another packed day to end the festival. Pete the Temp returns to wow us with his comedic eco-political music and spoken word, then we look forward to hearing the bittersweet gospel blues of latecomer Pete Lawrie, who confirmed just as our flyer had gone to print. I am particularly pleased to welcome Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. the official moniker of singer songwriter Sam Duckworth. He will be showcasing music from his new album due for release later this year, and I’ve got a soft spot for him because he appeared in the print version of Amelia’s Magazine. Robinson will play a gypsy cajun folk set before we round off the festival with our GRAND RAFFLE. If you see our outreach team out and about please give generously to support Climate Camp and come along to our grand prize giving, which will be hosted by the inimitable Danny Chivers.

Glastonbury-June-2009-Grand Raffle presented by Danny Chivers
The Grand Raffle presented by Danny Chivers in 2009.

Don’t forget to follow myself and Climate Camp on twitter to find out how the festival is going; we can always live in hope that 3G reception will be better than it was last year! But most of all, don’t forget to come and visit us… and bring your friends along with you. I will of course write up a full report on my return. For a reminder of what to expect read my blog from last year here.

For a map and full timing information for all bands and workshops see this listings page.

Categories ,Anna Log, ,blues, ,Climate Camp, ,Danny and the Champions of the World, ,Danny Chivers, ,Depeche Mode, ,Direct Action, ,diy, ,Dry the River, ,Fleet Foxes, ,folk, ,g20, ,Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., ,glastonbury, ,Green Fields, ,Green Kite Midnight, ,Jimi Hendrix, ,Kirsty Almeida, ,Kyla la Grange, ,Mumford and Sons, ,Newislands, ,Nick Cave, ,Patch William, ,Pete Lawrie, ,Pete the Temp, ,Pink Floyd, ,Pyramid Stage, ,RBS, ,Robin Ince, ,Robinson, ,Rossport, ,screenprinting, ,Shangri La, ,Shell, ,soul, ,the beatles, ,The Federals, ,Tripod Stage, ,Tripod Training, ,twitter, ,We Aeronauts, ,White Stripes

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Pati Yang plus free download of Wires and Sparks

pati yang by daria hlazatova
Pati Yang by Daria Hlazatova.

You’ve had an extremely interesting life – starting with six years on tour as a youngster with your dad’s punk band – how did that influence your outlook?
It gave me this sense of freedom that somehow clashed with reality. Poland was under an extreme regime at that point and I very early on noticed that our home and people that I was surrounded by were different; free, kind of …awakened… The punk movement in Poland was basically pop music in the 80′s and my dad’s band and the people around us were directly responsible for helping to bring Communism down, so it was risky, even though it was happening on a huge scale via the only major national censored record label. The movement was too big for the government to eradicate because the only free gatherings were allowed at gigs and churches. It was all about smuggling anti-system messages past the censors without getting the band members arrested, and that’s what people loved. There was so much passion! We had a real purpose, giving people hope for freedom, so hundreds of thousands of people went to those gigs and there was a kind of mass hysteria. I had this sense of the absurd, because I was navigating between two opposite worlds whilst I was going to school. I was always an outsider; I didn’t realise I was a kid. I’d hang out backstage when I was 3 and fall asleep under a stack of coats. So the main point is that I can’t stand barriers and limitations. The idea of the impossible just doesn’t occur to me. I love traditions but I am against systems, whatever they are, because they represent a lack of individual responsibility and choice, and sooner or later someone tries to abuse them.
pati yang
You have been on the music scene for some time, first as a solo artist supporting Depeche Mode, then as part of Children and then Flykkiller – how did you get to where you are now?
I just kept going; it gets so hard sometimes. I can be very emotional and I worry too much, which is helpful for songwriting but it’s also like shooting fireballs inside my mind. You have to listen to your gut feeling: don’t get attached to ideas, people or places and don’t make plans. It’s a chain reaction that looks like a string of coincidences but you actually know it’s not and when you see that, it becomes fun. I just meet people, I try to learn, things happen, and I am thankful every day.

pati yang by daria hlazatova
Pati Yang by Daria Hlazatova.
What’s the underground music scene like in Poland? Any other top tips for acts we should listen to?
I can’t say I follow it that much as I have dragged myself around the world for the past 13 years. But I came across a really cool electronic project called KAMP! recently, and I am a huge fan of Henryk Gorecki which is not very underground as he’s an iconic classical composer. I like all the vintage stuff, bands like Breakout who were total pioneers in the 60′s, then there is Komeda and some other awesome film composers.

pati yang
I’ve had Wires and Sparks from Wires and Sparks EP x 1 on my brain for weeks – why do you think this tune is so catchy?
Aw, thanks! You know the crazy thing about those EPs was that right from the start we just couldn’t pinpoint which tracks should lead them, as everyone we played the songs to would have different favourites. 

How did you come to shoot the video on a Warsaw rooftop? What is that very impressive building behind you?! it looks very gothic!
I spent most of last year in Brooklyn where bands would regularly set up guerilla gigs on rooftops and play until police took them down. One day I thought I’d be great to do that in Warsaw, so I rang a couple of friends who were film makers and we almost gate crashed this 30 storey office building on Halloween when it was empty, (turned out the security guy was a fan which helped I guess!) The building behind us is really iconic, so well spotted! It was a ‘gift of friendship’ from our Russian comrades in 1955 – there is a similar one on the Red Square in Moscow. Apparently there are rooms with no doors in it and it’s really magnificent: it has this gigantic old white marble public swimming pool in the basement, a purple velvet concert hall and a whole labyrinth of underground corridors used in the past for the Party leaders on the military parades. For the generation of our parents, it was a symbol of the Russian regime; for my generation, it’s an icon of change and chaos. I remember ending up on some amazing random rave parties there…
pati yang photo by anna bloda
Who is in your band? Can you introduce us to Kasia? Who does what and is anyone else involved?
I went through so many line ups and I really love to work with big bands but somehow it feels really good to have this self contained little combo right now. Kasia is an amazing talent, I met her years ago when she was in a band in Warsaw and we started working together last year. She plays keyboards, bass and she sings backing vocals. I operate my big pedal board with a little mixing desk, effects, a sampler and a guitar and percussion stuff. I have to give a big credit to Mikko, who is our sound engineer but also sort of a third invisible member of the band.

Pati Yang Illustraton by Asa Wikman © asa wikman
Pati Yang Illustraton by Asa Wikman.

What can people expect from a live Pati Yang performance?
The gigs are quite raw and stuff happens unexpectedly, but I get a real buzz out of them. I heard they’re quite emotional… 
pati yang photo by anna bloda
You are currently working on a full length album – what’s the day to day reality of this? Can you talk us through the process.
I recently moved back to London from New York so I have only just set up a studio where I spend most of my time, it’s still really fresh and exciting. I am in the middle of the writing process which happens in random places and times really. But then every day I just put those ideas down… at the moment I play all instruments and record vocals but I am really looking forward to getting other people involved. It’s always really touching to blend genes and see what happens if you let it go.
Pati Yang by Gareth A Hopkins
Pati Yang by Gareth A Hopkins.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?
These days just to carry on is a huge achievement. I know so many people who have way more talent than myself who put it on the back burner because it’s so difficult to sustain a life and not feel down about the music business these days. I have a lot of gratitude towards whatever and whoever makes me carry on. Factually, I guess I am really chuffed I had the chance to collaborate on some great soundtracks with some really super special people; they were my real teachers.
pati yang
Where do you currently live and what is best about that place? Where would you take a visitor and why?
I am based in North West London near Hampstead Heath. It’s really quiet and you have to walk a long way to a any cafe or a grocery store, it’s very green and there are not many people around. There is an amazing church in Hampstead; I walked into a Sunday mass by accident and the choir was seriously out of this world. It’s nice to discover those little random gems; these are the moments you won’t forget. If I had a visitor I’d take them there, and we could visit the beautiful old cemetery near the church. There is also a mini zoo in the park near my house with some really funny looking animals. So, you probably won’t find me in a hip cafe in East London – I’m not sure if I’d be any good as a tour guide.

Listen to the Wires and Sparks EP x 1 in full below, released in April. Wires and Sparks x 2 is scheduled to be released at the end of July. Get your FREE download of Jagz Kooner‘s remix of Wires and Sparks here. I can’t wait to hear the album.

Categories ,80s, ,Asa Wikman, ,Breakout, ,brooklyn, ,children, ,Communism, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Depeche Mode, ,ep, ,Flykkiller, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hampstead Heath, ,Henryk Gorecki, ,interview, ,Jagz Kooner, ,KAMP!, ,Kasia, ,Komeda, ,Mikko, ,Pati Yang, ,Polish, ,punk, ,Warsaw, ,Wires and Sparks, ,Wires and Sparks EP x 1, ,Wires and Sparks x 2

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Amelia’s Magazine | Depeche Mode at the O2 Arena: Live Review

Depeche Mode by Sam Parr

Depeche Mode by Sam Parr

I was definitely in unknown territory, trying to make sure I took the right exit from North Greenwich station on a bitterly cold evening, with literally minutes to spare before stage time. I’d been reassured by a friend who had already gone ahead to the venue “don’t worry, Depeche Mode won’t be on until 9.30”, only to subsequently receive a text (with many exclamation marks) that it was actually half an hour earlier. It didn’t help that I’d never actually been to the O2 before (well, not since the days of its original incarnation as the Millennium Dome), so I was flying blind in terms of where I had to go. Luckily, after scaling two sets of escalators, I’d made it to my seat just in time, perched precariously in the top tier of the venue (the O2 is definitely not for those of a vertiginous disposition).

Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

The O2 Arena seems to get mixed reviews, certainly in terms of the sound quality (though on the night, from where I was sat, it seemed fine to me), but being so far from the stage does, I think, make a difference to the whole gig experience, it tends to feel a bit more detached (especially if, like me, you’re more used to venues like the Lexington, the Windmill or the Buffalo Bar – about as much contrast as you can get!).

Depeche Mode by Claire Kearns

Depeche Mode by Claire Kearns

Well, what is there left to say about Depeche Mode that hasn’t already been said? Formed in Basildon, Essex, they first appeared as part of the synth pop scene that coalesced in the wake of acts such as John Foxx, Gary Numan, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark and the (original) Human League, and whilst many of their contemporaries have long since been consigned to the annals of music history, Depeche Mode recently released their thirteenth studio album, Delta Machine.

Depeche Mode by Laura Collins

Depeche Mode by Laura Collins

Tonight’s appearance was the band’s third gig in London this year (after two nights at the same venue in May), with the current Delta Machine tour apparently being their biggest in around 20 years. Still comprising of core members Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, the live band is complemented by Peter Gordeno on additional keyboards and Christian Eigner giving the songs some beef on drums.

Coming on to a darkened stage, backed by giant video screens, Depeche Mode kicked off with the opening track from the new album, Welcome To My World – all brooding synths and Dave Gahan’s typically lugubrious vocals. Another new track, the pounding Angel, followed, before old favourite Walking In My Shoes made an appearance. A fair few tracks from the generally well received Delta Machine album cropped up during the set, including the single Heaven (accompanied by a black and white film from long time collaborator Anton Corbijn), whilst Martin Gore took over vocal duties for The Child Inside. Accompanied solely by Peter Gordeno on keyboards, Gore did a couple of other solo numbers, including a mid 1980s B-side, But Not Tonight, which got the crowd singing along, and a reworking of an even older song, Leave In Silence (from 1982’s A Broken Frame album). The inclusion of oddities like these, at the expense of some of the more well known tracks from Depeche Mode’s extensive back catalogue, meant that this was no greatest hits set, but the crowd (made up of a real mix of ages) didn’t mind.

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Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

On stage, you could see the band had three very different roles – Dave Gahan was very much playing the rock star, spending much of the set bare-chested and spinning his mic stand, leaving Martin Gore to divide his time between playing keyboards and guitar (when not taking centre stage himself), with the bespectacled Andy Fletcher diligently prodding away at his keyboards and waving to get the crowd clapping along. All the while, a series of dazzling visuals, both specially recorded films and treated close-ups of the band, filled the wall behind them.

There were a few crowd pleasers thrown in too, with some selections from the band’s late 80s breakthrough albums, Black Celebration, Music For The Masses and Violator. As the set approached its end (well, until the encore at least), we got an extended version of Enjoy The Silence, which at times seemed in danger of morphing into New Order’s True Faith, and a slow, bluesy opening to Personal Jesus, before the song just took the O2’s roof off.

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During the encore, Depeche Mode went back to basics with that staple of student discos (and having played it as a student DJ myself, I should know) Just Can’t Get Enough, though it did seem a bit odd, especially considering how much darker the band’s material subsequently became, to see a tattooed, 50 year old Dave Gahan singing this light and breezy electro pop classic. The band finished the set with an imperious Never Let Me Down Again, with Gahan getting the crowd (when they weren’t all singing along) to wave their arms in the air.

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Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

Depeche Mode by Daria Hlazatova

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And so we departed from the arena, some people braving the queues to get on to the Jubilee Line, some deciding to let the moment linger in the bar that was having a Depeche Mode theme night, with cocktails named after various DM songs and a playlist consisting (with the exception of the odd incursion from Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys) of songs from Basildon’s finest. One thing is for sure though, and that is, after over 30 years, Depeche Mode are showing no signs of slowing down, and they can still deliver an amazing show. Music for the masses, indeed.

Categories ,Andy Fletcher, ,Anton Corbijn, ,Buffalo Bar, ,Christian Eigner, ,Claire Kearns, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,dave gahan, ,Depeche Mode, ,Erasure, ,Gary Numan, ,Human League, ,John Foxx, ,Laura Collins, ,Lexington, ,Martin Gore, ,new order, ,O2 Arena, ,Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, ,pet shop boys, ,Peter Gordeno, ,Sam Parr, ,Windmill

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with The Witch and The Robot on the release of new album Fear of Mountains

The Witch and The Robot fear of mountains
They live in the Lake District, drug they’re neighbours with British Sea Power and they make bewitching alternative music that has been labelled psych folk but which really doesn’t fit in any box. New album Fear of Mountains has just been released on digital download and features a series of unique songs inspired by their isolated location and a fabulous mash up of influences. Meet Sam Hunt and Andrew Tomlinson of Cumbrian band The Witch and The Robot (otherwise known as TWATr) for a fabulous insight into some truly creative musical minds. We’re talking everything from Wordsworth to Alex Reid

The Witch and The Robot Fear of Mountains head
How has living in the Lake District affected your approach to music making?
It pops up everywhere really; we are situationists through necessity rather than design. Growing up in places like the Lakes you have to create your own sense of scene, help a strange amalgam made up of half understood snippets from the radio or read in magazines. We found ourselves on a strange diet of Mo Wax/Warp/Ninjatune, New Romantica/Depeche Mode/Prince and David Bowie/90’s jingly jangly indie and Tupac; unable to appropriate a single scene we made one up ourselves. It’s hard not to reference where you live in songs, if you want to write about yourself, we are conscious of the romantics and the various other assorted lunatics, artists and rum buggers who by and large saw the Lakes as a place to escape the ‘real’ world. Wordsworth on the run from memories of the French Revolution, Josefina de Vasconcellos (who pops up a lot in our songs) on the run from London society, Kurt Swchitters on the run from the war…

The Witch and the Robot by Rachel Higham.
The Witch and the Robot by Rachel Higham.

The place is filled with them, hotel staff who are a bit cagey about life before the Lakes, rich artists who see themselves in the mould of the before mentioned Schwitters, loads of people who find it very easy to create their own reality in this rural bubble. Josefina had a view on it that the mountains are both muse and jailer, we quote her on Fear Of Mountainsthis place can make things seem more than they are’ it heightens emotions I suppose, to quote Lou ‘there is only one good thing about a small town that you know that you gotta get out‘ .. Fear Of Mountains Pt 1 is about getting out….
Witch and Robot by Carne Griffiths
Witch and Robot by Carne Griffiths.

Are you happy with your acronym? Was it a conscious decision to use TWATr and if so why? And why the little r at the end?
When we decided to call ourselves The Witch and The Robot we were just trying to think of two creatures who would not have met before, the acronym was just a happy accident.. We’ve written a number of stories about how the two met, some of them should be on our blog but as far as the little rTWAT is a funny word and word that is used a surprising amount in endless context, maybe it’s a Cumbrian thang…

YouTube Preview ImageHoudini

Love the video for Houdini, where was it shot and what inspired the treatment?
Why thank you – the video was shot at Wastwater – I think Sally Webster from Coronation Street got it voted ‘Britain’s favorite view’ on a ITV special – it’s England’s deepest lake, as deep as the North Sea and provides much of the water for the cooling process at Sellafield just down the way – I think there was a doctor who killed his wife and flew over Wastwater in light aircraft with her weighted body intending to drop her into the icy depths but missed and she ended up on the side of the mountain.. There’s also the Gnome garden, put at the depth where it starts to get dangerous for divers, Gnomes all happy surrounded by white picket fences, the police removed it, to prevent gnome tourism but it was put back up the next week. We filmed it on a very hot day with all our Star Wars figures and HeMan figures with the intention of tying them all to helium balloons, but you would be surprised at how many balloons you need to make an action figure fly.

The Witch and The Robot Fear of Mountains balloons
The Witch and The Robot Fear of Mountains balloons
How do you write your songs, can you describe the process of how you work together?
We have always written together, it’s a very easy process as we’ve known each other literally all our lives, the thing about TWATr is that we are not really sure anyone else is listening, its what we as a group of friends have always done and will continue to do.
Witch and Robot by Gareth A Hopkins
Witch and Robot by Gareth A Hopkins.

And for that matter, how did you meet and start making music?
We all grew up together, in and around Ambleside, I think music making came from the lack of anything else to do.

YouTube Preview ImageHetero
Fear of Mountains is apparently the first of three concept albums in a Rock Opus. What can we expect from the others?
Like David Bowie’s 1. Outside it is our ‘A Non-Linear Gothic Drama Hyper-Cycle‘, also like 1. Outside Andrew thought it would be funny if it was the only one of the trilogy we ever did. I on the other hand have an idea about an album/graphic novel/action film/musical starring Celeb Big Brother winner and former beau of Jordan Alex Reid as a battle hardened William Wordsworth, we’ll just have to wait to see who wins out.

The Witch and The Robot Fear of Mountains
The Witch and The Robot Fear of Mountains grave

Can you describe your attraction to some of the oddball characters that feature within the music, and what exactly comes across of their personality in particular songs?
Most of the oddball characters are probably us in some way or form, so it’s probably safer just to remain hidden behind abstract lyrics, but as mentioned some real life people do tend to pop up quite a lot – the key one being Josefina de Vasconcellos, a daughter of a Brazilian diplomat, became a bit of a legend in the Lakes. She was a monumental sculptor and Blake-like visionary who specialized in figurative religious art and died at the ripe old age of 101. Religious art has never really be cool – unless you were a sculptor in renaissance, but her work was totally insane, if ever in Edinburgh have a look at The Last Chimera at The Cannongate Kirk on the Royal Mile or Escape To Light overlooking Morecambe Bay at Millom Lifeboat Station. I spent 2 years making a film about her, which in the end wasn’t that good, but was certainly an experience, as someone who struggles to believe the news let alone the presence of a God, it was a fascinating insight into what is faith…

The Witch and The Robot by Barb Royal (2)
The Witch and The Robot by Barb Royal (2)
The Witch and The Robot by Barb Royal (2)
The Witch and The Robot by Barb Royal.
The album can be bought in the Hide & Horn shop in Ambleside – has it since been stocked elsewhere or would you encourage a digital download of the album instead?
We released our first album On Safari on a proper label with distribution and the like and to be honest we’ve seen not a bean, so we thought it was time to scale back and try and do something interesting with the release – when you are in a Z-list psych-folk band I think it would make more of a difference to do something like that than let an un-bought album grow dusty on Rough Trade East’s shelves – also Pete at Hide and Horn could really do with the trade. But I have succumbed to peer pressure (Andrew) and put it on sale digitally as well, if you do get it from Hide and Horn Andrew has made you a lovely picture to go with it.

The Witch and The Robot Fear of Mountains bw
Are there any particular Lake District traditions that you feel the rest of the world should know more about, and why?
At the beginning of Fear Of Mountains pt1 we have recoded a snippet of Ambleside’s Rushbaring – for years we were told that this obviously pagan fertility rite was how they used to change the rushes on the floor of the church – but stiff like that happens everywhere – I once went to 2 or 3 Cumbrian wrestling lessons when I was 12/13 wish Id stayed on as I’d probably be world champion by now. But apart from noticeably excessive daytime drinking I think the wider world is probably better off with the Lakes traditions staying in the hills.
You can hear the whole glorious record here: I recommend you take a listen. Fear of Mountains Pt 1 is out now on digital download and at the Hide & Horn shop.

Categories ,90’s, ,Alex Reid, ,Ambleside, ,Ambleside’s Rushbaring, ,Andrew Tomlinson, ,Barb Royal, ,Blake, ,British Sea Power, ,Carne Griffiths, ,Celeb Big Brother, ,Coronation Street, ,Cumbria, ,David Bowie, ,Depeche Mode, ,DJ Aesthetic Heartbreak, ,Escape To Light, ,Fear of Mountains, ,Fertility, ,French Revolution, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gnome, ,HeMan, ,Hide and Horn, ,Houdini, ,ITV, ,Jordan, ,Josefina de Vasconcellos, ,Kurt Swchitters, ,Lake District, ,Millom Lifeboat Station, ,Mo Wax, ,Morecambe Bay, ,New Romantica, ,Ninjatune, ,On Safari, ,Pagan, ,prince, ,Psych Folk, ,Rachel Higham, ,Rock Opus, ,Rough Trade East, ,Sally Webster, ,Sam Hunt, ,Sellafield, ,Star Wars, ,Stuart Shingler, ,The Last Chimera, ,the witch and the robot, ,Tupac, ,TWATr, ,Warp, ,Wastwater, ,Wordsworth

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Owlle: introducing new album FRANCE

Owlle by Andrew Khosravani

Owlle by Andrew Khosravani.

French electro-pop chanteuse Owlle is set to take the world by storm with her unique fusing of 80s era melody, super danceable beats and a pop-art aesthetic. Owlle describes the process of her musical creations with us, all accompanied by fabulous illustrations.

Owlle wall

Owlle by Sarah Bromley

Owlle by Sarah Bromley.

What ideas tend to permeate your lyrics and music the most?
I love telling stories, most of the time very personal, through descriptions, landscapes or surreal visions. I like mixing different or even antagonist atmospheres. Something that stroke me when I went through all my lyrics when I’d finished the album is that there’s the notion of someone running incessantly after something, someone impossible to catch all along. I didn’t realize that at first, that this was my theme lyrically, but also rhythmically in a way!

OWLLE by Alexandra Dzhiganskaya

OWLLE by Alexandra Dzhiganskaya.

How has your background in Fine Arts influenced your approach to music?
My time as a Fine Arts student was decisive, it helped me refine what I really wanted to do, I discovered and met many talented artists, Pierre Huyghe and Brian Eno to name just two that really had an influence on me; I also experienced lots of different mediums myself, visuals mainly. I learnt to mix visuals and music, to stage things. All of this helped me broaden my vision, my culture, and ultimately my horizons as a musician! Art continues to feed and inspire me on a daily basis!

Owlle by Emma McMorrow

Owlle by Emma McMorrow.

It is said that – despite your music – you prefer solitude over heaving dance floors, why is this?
Dancefloors can also be a very lonely place, a place of solitude, not necessarily in a bad way, somewhere you let go, you forget everything and everyone around you, and that can be very thrilling. But there’s truth in that I’m more the introspective type.

Owlle by David Tolu Graham

Owlle by David Tolu Graham.

When and how did you discover the work of Brian Eno and how has it influenced you?
I first discovered Eno not through a record or a concert but through an art installation he’d done at an Art Fair in Lyon in 2005, called « Quiet club », such installation obviously had music in it too, but not only… and all of a sudden, it was a blinding revelation to me: how much visual arts and sounds/electronic could interact. Suddenly I realized how I could combine both myself. I stared at it indefinitely, I was struck. Visuals play a key part in what I try do as an artist, they matter as much as music, it’s an integral part of the project!

Owlle by Emma Farrarons

Owlle by Emma Farrarons.

How did you get involved with Depeche Mode and what was the highlight of your collaboration?
That was totally unexpected and an unforgettable moment for me. I’m a big fan of them. Their live drummer had apparently heard of my first ep – Ticky Ticky – and liked it enough to put my name forward to the rest of the band when the time came for them to look for remixers! Their team contacted me on the eve of Christmas 2012… for a minute it was so unreal… quite the Xmas gift! The title of the song – Heaven – was very appropriate to the situation! I tried to give a part of me into this remix. I even dared adding backing vocals, I couldn’t resist ;) When I heard the melody and Dave’s beautiful voice, I knew that it’d be a great experience. I had zero direction from them but only stems and complete freedom to do whatever i wanted. I had no pressure from anyone except myself to live up to the challenge and the chance I was given! I hope I did. Feedback from Depeche Mode themselves and then their fans when the remix came out were an immense reward to me, and a huge encouragement at the vey moment I was working on writing my first album

Owlle multi

What has most influenced the look you create in your videos and artwork?
The fashion aesthetics from the 80’s, its craziness and theatrical aspect inspired me most, the 90’s are an obvious influence of mine too for that is when I grew up and I was very permeable to it, listening as much as watching artists like Madonna, Cindy Lauper or even Boy George but also designers like Alaia and Hussein Chalayan. I like things that have a dramatic aspect to them!

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Owlle: Don’t Lose It

Where did the name Owlle come from?
It’s derived from ‘Owl’. At first I mainly liked the sound it makes when you pronounce Owl, then I feminized it with two L and a E. Then everyone started asking if I had kind of an obsession for owls. Well, I don’t but, yeah I’m a night-ish person, I mainly compose at night, I love this bird and the whole mythology it carries too. I can be quite inhibited or, say, discreet, in my everyday life, having an alias is also a way to overcome this somehow.

owlle france cover

What next for Owlle?
2014 is going to be quite the busy year! I’ve just released my debut album FRANCE in Europe, it should come out stateside in the next few months and I’m going to tour a lot with it, as far and in as many countries as I can!

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Owlle: Ticky Ticky

Categories ,Alaia, ,Alexandra Dzhiganskaya, ,Andrew Khosravani, ,boy george, ,brian eno, ,Cindy Lauper, ,David Tolu Graham, ,Depeche Mode, ,Emma Farrarons, ,Emma McMorrow, ,heaven, ,Hussein Chalayan, ,Madonna, ,Owlle, ,Pierre Huyghe, ,Sarah Bromley, ,Ticky Ticky, ,« Quiet club »

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