Saturday, December 13, 2014

In Conversation: People at Parties

 People at Parties came as one of the best discoveries in 2014 and we are already thinking about naming them as our newcomer of the year. Very impressive, prolific and brilliant what these girls managed to deliver this year. A real new wave music inferno combining influences from both sides of the Atlantic. People at Parties are LK Naps (Vocals) Kelly Harris (drums) and Becky Kupersmith (synths). The bands first official full length self titled release came out November  2013 in digital form with official vinyl release in February 2014. Their debut album which combines dirty lo/fi electro with underground synth pop has certainly been a great soundtrack for our 2014 and we do hope to hear more of them in 2015. About this and more, find out in this exclusive interview.

2014:  Edna Leshowitz

1. Who are People at Parties? When did you first meet and decide to do music together? 
We were all distant fans of each others former projects we didn't really know each other, but one night wound up at the same bar in Brooklyn through a mutual friend... I gave Kelly a CD of a solo project I was doing, but was looking to collaborate on something new. The next week while her and Rebbecca were still in town, we decided to do a jam session for the hell of it... just to mess around, we had no clue if we would even mesh well with each other. I don't think any of us expected to connect as well as we did that first time, it was like we had all already been in this band together forever...seamless and effortless...every sound and every space between was perfect. It was new and it was old and it was completely different. I think we all knew right then that we needed to work together seriously.

2. Which artist, band or genre has influenced your music? Anything outside the music maybe? KH..I really am into David Byrne and Mark Mothersbaugh, I love that they are artists in every sense of the word...I just finished Byrne's "How Music Works," it's a great overview for anyone to read who is the slightest bit interested in the relationship between artist creativity and the music industry.
LK..It would be so hard to pick one band or genre so I'm going to say Dan Flavins light installations..the simplicity yet the strength and intensity has always inspired me.

3. Being divided between NY Brooklyn and San Francisco, where do you feel at home?
Home may be different for each of us but I think as a group we are incredibly comfortable on both coasts

4. Could you elaborate on your songwriting and recording process? Who takes on what particular responsibilities?-
It's sort of different for each song, we don't really have a formula. The writing process is usually a flood of energy and emotion for all of us. I think the coolest thing about PAP though is we know when one of us is on to something interesting,... and to keep going with it, weather it be one of us noodling around with one sound, one sample, one hook, one vocal line, one beat, someone will say ..hey wait that's cool keep going keep going..and encourage, then we will continue to explore that feeling until it burst out into something we feel is powerful enough to record.

 5. Until this date you have released a great debut album which was sold on sliding scale donation basis. Has this way and format proved as good for the debut release? Any chance of releasing it officially under contract?
KH...We think this format of release was a total success...It puts the power in our hands and proves that the harder you work as an artist the better the payback. We are totally responsible for ourselves and our own success. I think that most artists will eventually follow suit. I think we would be interested in working alongside an artist collective type thing, maybe where shared concepts and styles help catapult us into other arenas, maybe to new audiences.

 6. Your debut album provides a lot of good new wave energy, it’s quite atmospheric and could easy fit into 1984 as good as in 2014. Now almost a year after its initial release, how do you feel about it? Would you change anything?- ---
Thank you, nice compliment! I think there are probably many things each one of us would want to change, and hindsight is 20/20..the thing is the process from the initial emotion that even drives us to the idea of the song, into a fully developed record ready for the universe, is quite a process for us, but In this record i think it needed to come out exactly as it did. That's where we were and exactly how we felt at the time of conception, and if we could go back in time and change things we would never have that initial gut wrenching thrust. the force that drives us. Going back and changing feelings is like retouching, we aren't against it, but we felt we needed to put the raw tracks out there and not rethink and edit how we felt. We did re record 2 songs from our original demo EP and would up just going back to the originals after all was said and done. They just felt better the first time.

7. Tell us more about your live performances so far? How was the feel a warm and positive reception from your audiences? Any outstanding experiences?
LK We absolutely love playing live. Its a must. Its one of the most magical things about this project. I think our audiences have been incredibly supportive encouraging and honestly, for me very inspirational. I have met so many interesting and amazing people throughout the life of PAP and I look forward to meeting more
KH I think we really surprise people when they see that we are playing everything live, and out of amps. We do not have a laptop or any backing when people see how connected we are...they really respond. Our shows are loud, and our vibe still the same as our gets people excited to hear synths turned up and driving our sound through amps...LK delivers her voice on top and creates a unique vibe that people are not used to seeing live.

 8. How important is your visual image, does it go ahead the music?-
 We think the visual does compliment the music, the artwork we have is a visual interpretation of the sound, and as far as our physical selves, we do in fact love great style, but we all kind of just wear what we feel good in, we are somehow attracted to geometry, vintage things, new young designers that we meet, sometimes our friends make us outfits and that is really the best. I guess i would say the music comes first but i suppose it is hard to separate the two.

 9. What music do you listen to if you are not recording your own?
KH...Lately I have been going back in time and listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain. A friend of mine just turned me on to Hala Strana..he blends Eastern European instruments with loops...I love that it provides a different visual for me every time I listen.
 LK..I have been into really deep house lately..drum and bass and lush synths with no vocals or minimal vocals..on the opposite side of that, also lately have been listening to my Nina Simon records and early german/swiss electronic/postpunk stuff like Malaria & Grauzone

10. One guilty pleasure from 2014?-
LK...FKA Twigs
KH...Kendrick Lamar
RK..Howard Stern

11. After the debut album release, what comes next? What are the further plans and promotional activities?
We do actually have allot going on! we have a show coming up DEC 14th in Brooklyn at "baby's alright" and, a spring mini tour in the works... some really cool DJs and musicians are working on some remixes of the old fan favorites from the record, we have some songs from the record in a new series coming out after the new year, AND we have a new single we are working on a video for to be released early we have had our hands full and it feels great.

12. Any plans of coming to Europe and touring outside USA? We are constantly considering Europe...maybe burning flame can put on a festival and invite us to play!? We want to do something in the spring, so we are trying to make connections now.

13. Where can fans gain access to your music?--- Right now its easy access on soundcloud and our website through gumroad. We stayed away from the big distribution to keep things simple and in our control...we felt very precious about this album and how it would be released.

A very special thanks to:
LK Naps
Kelly Harris 
Becky Kupersmith

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Next Wave: Miaux

Miaux is the stage name for the Belgian underground artist Mia Prce who is originally from Sarajevo (Bosnia). Mia a contemporary pianist whose music is dreamy and melancholic art pop. To this date, from 2010 Miaux has released four EPs and this year finally sees her releaseing her debut album 'Dive'. The album is out on the Belgian record label Ultra Eczema.

Monday, December 8, 2014

WAW: Kline Coma Xero- Mannequin

Kline Coma Xero is one of the brand new acts coming from Seattle based Medical records, a label know for a very distinctive and experimental minimal synth styles. The band was mainly influenced by the sterile and isolated iconography of authors such as Philip K. Dick, William Gibson and JG Ballard. The sound scapes are analogue spanning a realm of styles from experimental noise, tape loops and early industrial. We are presenting the video for their song "Mannequin" which was released this year. You might notice a Kraftwerk refernce in both vision and musical style.

WAW: Tempers- Hell Hotline

Tempers have announced a brand new video for the song "Hell Hotline" which is one of our favorite tunes this year. The video was revealed through their Youtube channel and was directed by Bela Borsodi. This is their third and final single for this year. We hope for their debut album in 2015. 

Psychic TV Release New Album 'Snakes'

Psychic TV will release a brand new album entitled 'Snakes' on Angry Love Productions. This is their first album since 2009 and musically it touches on various parts of Psychic TV's 35-year history. This LP will be a limited run of 1,000 copies bearing stunning five-color artwork and will have the trademark "random recycled vinyl" color process, meaning each copy of the vinyl will be completely unique in color. 'Snakes' is out next week, December 12th, 2014.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A-ha Deluxe Reissues Announced for 2015

A-ha have confirmed an extensive reissue plan for 2015 which will see four of their albums expanded and remastered. 'Stay on these Roads' (1988), 'East of the Sun', 'West of the Moon' (1990) and 'Memorial Beach' (1993) will all be reissued and expanded next year. 2015 will also see vinyl reissues of the first two albums, 'Hunting High' and 'Low and Scoundrel Days'.

Dimension Gondry: Daft Punk- Around The World

Here another great video in the Michael Gondry series most of you will remember from the 90's MTV heavy rotation. The song was taken from band's debut album 'Homework' and it was released in 1997. As already mentioned the video was directed by Gondry while the choreography was credited to Bianca Li. The video features five groups of characters on a platform representing a vinyl record: robots, skeletons, athletes, mummies and women as synchronized swimsuits move to the rhythm and beats of Daft Pank. According to Gondry, the video is meant to be a visual representation of the song in which each group of characters represents a different instrument or something from the musical arrangemtn. "Around the World" was Gondry's first attempt at bringing organized dancing to his music videos. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Retrovision: Experimental Products- Glowing in the Dark

Another great tune from 1984 that sadly did not chart on our 1984 singles countdown. It's one of the two singles Experimental Products released during their career. An excellent and obscure synth-pop at dead center of the eighties sounding very futuristic and ahead of its time. The single was reissued in 2005 and has been covered and remixed by DJ Hell. Even without touching still very up-to-date with today's music.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Spandau Ballet's Story in Music Documented in 'Soul Boys of The Western World'

Britain's iconic band Spandau Ballet story in music have finally been documented in a film.'Soul Boys of The Western World' is a journey through the 1980s and beyond; the story of a band, an era and how one small gathering of outsiders in London shaped the entire world’s view of music and fashion. The film is not only a fascinating, often hard-hitting social and cultural document of the time, but a brutally honest story of how friendships can be won, lost and ultimately regained. 
The film received its World Premiere in Competition at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas in March, to rave reviews. Long-time Julien Temple collaborator Hencken won acclaim for her honest and uplifting archive-only feature documentary, which combines newsreel footage with never-before-seen video from the band's personal archives, as well as candid interviews with all five band members.