With the resurgence in popularity of physical media, you’d think more companies would be offering storage solutions for records, tapes and CDs. Sure, you can pop down to IKEA and get yourself a generic shelving unit, and these are fine, but what if you’re looking for something a bit more special? That’s where UK-based company Tunetables comes in. Their idea, quite simply, is genius. What they’ve done is taken the design of musical-instrument flight-cases (you know the sort – you’ve seen them on countless record covers and in countless photo-shoots) and build these into bespoke storage/tables for your precious music collection.
There’s a good story behind this. Rob Chappelhow, the man behind the company, is clearly a music-fan himself. He got the idea for Tunetables after visiting the Joe Strummer exhibition in Covent Garden. In Rob’s words: “Set out under an acrylic plinth was Strummer’s personal tape cassette collection…his musical heritage and inspiration perfectly showcased. It was totally spellbinding. I soon started to conceptualise how I could create my own version of this…a personal time capsule of life-affirming music. I wanted something that could be inherently useful, something that I would see and use every day, and that would be a talking point for like-minded music enthusiasts.”
Supreme Unbeing is a progressive rock and power metal band from Sweden, they emit mystery and ambiguity, led by vocalist Zac Red, along with his fellow band members D. Vine (Lead Guitar), D.Sciple (Rhythm Guitar), Unknown (Bass), and Al Mytee (Drums).
Taking an MF DOOM / Gorillaz-esque approach by using animated characters to enforce their already mysterious appearance, the band has recently transformed this into flesh and blood identities. Their debut album Enter Reality impacted the music industry in October 2020 which gained 3rd place in “Album of the Year” according to the readers of Swedish Rock Magazine. Since then, their debut quickly made astounding accomplishments such as entering Spotify Playlists, placing themselves on New Metal Track’s and Thrasher’s, as well as gaining an astonishing +5.5 million video and digital streams in less than 12 months since the LP’s release.
This month, October 22, 2021, release the first prophetic and ominous-sounding single Face of Evil, from their upcoming second album Enduring Physicality, which is to be released on 22 February 2022. Lead vocalist Zac Red acts as a “physical form of our consciousness”, according to the band, what is to be expected is an album that emits a message that is close to our own personal thoughts, something everyone can connect with.
Zac Red states about the new E.P: “This song is about self-proclaimed kings, tyrants, societal leaders… and your friends. Whether you have your own life agenda or not, they’ll manipulate and rob you of your free will to get what they want with their – as the song goes – ever-changing ‘Face Of Evil’. Humans are dual in nature, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, we all have a good side and an evil side, which side, and face, you decide to show at any given moment is yours to balance carefully on this grand stage. How do you want to be remembered?”
Due to the band’s ambiguity, not much is known about them, but their animated videos Animals and You’ll Never Make It, both of which premiered in REVOLVER Magazine, areclassed as a great success by their many fans. The new music video for Face of Evil stars Swedish actor Dragomir Mrsic, who is known for acting in “Snabba Cash” and “Edge of Tomorrow” where he co-stars along with Tom Cruise.
The band members jointly agree that they are “On a quest to enlighten the people of the Earth through heavy riffs, astounding solos, and intriguing lyrics” which is something they continue to do through Face of Evil.
The track is mixed and mastered by Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann, vocalist/guitarist of German founded metal band Orden Ogan, the track is available now for streaming and download on all major music platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer.
After being a part of two of rock & roll’s most foundational bands (the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, respectively), and four years removed from a life-saving liver transplant, David Crosby channeled the creative frustration he had been feeling into CPR’s 1998 self-titled debut. Joined by noted session guitarist Jeff Pevar and Crosby’s recently reunited son James Raymond, the trio crafted smart, heady, jazz-indebted rock that showcased their stunning harmonies. They followed that three years later with 2001’s Just Like Gravity, an album that refined the burgeoning trio’s sound. On May 15th, BMG will reissue CPR, Just Like Gravity and the group’s two live album – Live at Cuesta College and Live at the Wiltern. All four albums will be available digitally, and CPR and Just Like Gravity will be available on CD July 31st, with liner notes written by Steve Silberman, the award-winning science writer who hosted the illuminating Freak Flag Flying podcast with Crosby from earlier this year.
“CPR was me realizing that the world of CSN and Y was getting old and stuck in its place and that I needed to still keep moving,” says Crosby. “That I had more and different music in me that needed room to grow and stretch. CPR was me finding my son James and realizing pretty quickly that he was an even better musician that I was, and that he was rapidly becoming the best writing partner I’d ever had. CPR was a wonderful chemistry that has now become the Sky Trails band. I don’t think very many people heard these records, and I do think that they are some of the best work I’ve been involved with. Enjoy.”
Still on the road with CSN – but as Crosby says merely “turning on the smoke machines and playing the hits” – the two-time rock & roll hall of famer wanted an outlet for his still churning creativity. After meeting Raymond for the first time shortly after his liver transplant, the pair discovered a creative chemistry neither saw coming. They went on a songwriting spree, and after recruiting Pevar, went on to make CPR. After a series of successful tours, they went back into the studio to record Just Like Gravity. And by opening himself up to working with younger artists to help stoke his creative fires, Crosby’s recent late-career resurgence – highlighted by 2014’s Croz, 2016’s Lighthouse, 2017’s Sky Trails and 2018’s Here If You Listen – can really be traced back to working with Raymond and Pevar in CPR.
CPR was very much a precursor to Crosby’s acclaimed Sky Trails album and the ace live band that grew out of that album, both of which feature Pevar and Raymond. Spin called Sky Trails Crosby’s “most stylistically diverse and sonically lush solo album,” while the Associated Press called it “an excellent batch of tunes.” In many ways, CPR and Just Like Gravity were albums that pushed against what was popular in rock at the time – CPR going up against the nu-metal wave of the late 90’s, and Just Like Gravity coming at the beginning of the turn of the century “rock revival” led by acts like the Strokes and the White Stripes. Crosby, Pevar and Raymond weren’t chasing after the flavor of the day or trying to recreate old glories, they simply followed their muse, trends be damned.
As Silberman says in the liner notes for the Just Like Gravity reissue, “CPR and Just Like Gravity were two of the most powerful and personal records Crosby made in his celebrated career, but they flew under most critics’ radar and quickly went out of print. The lessons that Crosby learned by opening up his creative process, however, made possible later collaborative breakthroughs like Croz, Sky Trails, Lighthouse, and Here If You Listen. Far from done at this point, his best work was still ahead of him.”
The one night only show coming to The Troxy in London on the 22nd of October is not to be missed by any one who can appreciate a rock show, or the theme of two lovers with a doomed relationship. Cruel by Tibor Molnar is an original opera that challenges classical musical genre characterization. It is a mixture of a rock symphonic poem with a pop/rock/sung through musical. The music encapsulates the wide range of emotions in the play, from agony to ecstasy in a futile challenge to equilibrate morality with the unstoppable craving for love.
The story deals with the emotional exploration of an unattainable love relationship between a married man and a libertine girl dying of cancer. What impresses most is the acuteness, the depth and the versatile perspective revealed in this musical exploration. The point of the dramatical musical poem is that love is something that chooses us as opposed to the other way round, and that gaining your heart’s desire is as much a tragedy as losing it, as relationships doom us all.
The UK premiere of CRUEL is definitely suitable for those who are sick of seeing the same thing and hearing the same old story. The show will not only deliver in terms of its musical expertise in the form of four talented vocalists, but it will also leave the audience with some food for thought on the complexities of love and relationships.
Being labelled ‘The Biggest Unsigned Band’ isn’t exactly the label every band would want in the day and age, but when you are playing to crowds bigger than Adele’s, surely they are doing something right!
This fantastic compilation of tracks derives from the minds of three talented musicians; Rob, Adam and Peter, who make up the band that is Chasing Deer. Additionally, it’s hard to pin down what exact genre this band are. They may label themselves as ‘Pop’ but the elements of indie, and what can only be described as ‘Muse-like’ comparisons, make it very original.
The simplicity of the album cover almost completely contrasts from the complexity of their tracks, but this is an excellent way of hiding away all the excellence of this album, until it is listened to in full.
What does is sound like?
There are a lot of elements in most tracks which emit tonal comparisons of Arctic Monkeys (pre-2015/or when they were good if you want to call it that…). The guitars are very well mixed within the tracks, and overall the album has a fantastic fluidity to it, that doesn’t drop it consistency at anytime throughout, making it an excellent album to play on a long car journey!
Of course it is easy to sit and compare them to other existing bands, but what should really be focused on is the fact that they are incredibly talented musicians, with the idea of expressing their passions and stories through music which all can enjoy.
It is difficult to been even the slightest bit negative about this album, and there is no doubt that with the slightest bit of promotion, this will be an absolute hit.
The album will be released on Friday 30th November 2018, with an early physical release on 22nd November at their Album Launch Show, taking place at Bush Hall. This will will see them perform a fully BSL accessible show, with an interpreted performance on stage. Audience members will be able to get their hands on the CD a whole week before general release, in addition to copies of a very limited vinyl release!
After 6 months, £70 and a whole lot of patience, Gambino’s latest project, Awaken, My Love! has finally arrived on gorgeous double heavy weight vinyl, complete with a VR headset, full colour booklet and download code. So, was it all worth it?
Words: Darius Azadeh
Childish Gambino fan or not, there’s something for everyone in this latest album from multi-talented man-of-the-moment Donald Glover. Ditching the rap and hip-hop previously explored over the course of his previous albums, Glover returned under the same moniker in late 2016 with a new album so far off the beaten track of his career that it just went further to prove that the man can literally do anything. While not perfect, Awaken, My Love! demonstrated not only his extensive musical knowledge, but also prowess. It was a smooth, silky powerful funk/soul record that excelled past it’s peers with sheer inventiveness and influential adaptation that made a vinyl release seem inevitable, especially with it’s 70’s soul music vibe. So, when it was revealed that it would only be released as a limited edition, £70 boxset, which (expectedly) included two 180gram heavyweight records and (unexpectedly) included a Virtual Reality headset, anticipation and confusion grew and grew.
To think that his previous album, Because The Internet, came complete with a 72 page script, this level of ambition and exclusivity should really come as no surprise. And it’s very welcome. What other artist comes to mind when thinking of album releases that come packed with this sort of thing? Not many. As rumours of a shipping date and VR content poured through over the course of the next few months proceeding the pre-order of the record, excitement was reaching fever pitch. After a number of push-backs, a final release date was secured in April, and the end of the painfully confusing long wait was in sight.
Eventually, mid-June comes around. It is now just over 6 months since the initial pre-order of the record, and it’s finally awaiting collection at the post office. Once it’s home and unwrapped, a quick moment needs to be taken to simply appreciate that it’s physically here. After enough courage is mustered to open it, things are looking very promising. The full colour record sleeves present what are assumed to be unused album artwork, which are beautifully photographed images of various models in headdresses, similar to the stunning final album artwork. Next is the booklet, which is more of the same, yet more familial this time, with the headdress and model from the front cover in different poses. Though not sounding like much, it is actually rather beautiful, and thankfully as big as the records them selves, and not shrunk down to a flimsy booklet half the size. Finally, we get to the base of the box, which houses the VR headset. While lavishly decorated in what seem to be the tribal paint patterns akin to Gambino’s style during his live ‘Pharos’ performances. While looking great, however, it is still simply a piece of cardboard.
First off, the records play beautifully. The sound quality is really top notch, playing the record’s smoothest and grooviest tunes with a lovely, warm, subtle grain, perfect for this album’s sound. You can really feel the weight of the wax during slower grooves such as Redbone, adding to the timelessness and authenticity of the album. And if that wasn’t enough, a surprise bonus track, a live performance of the instrumental track The Night Me and Your Mama Met, is included right at the end. The VR headset, however, is a slightly different story.
Before use, the free ‘Pharos’ smartphone app is required to be downloaded, and then it’s off to the races. After slotting your phone into the opening, the content kicks off with a visceral 360 degree live performance of the album’s opening track, Me and Your Mama,from Gambino’s ‘Pharos’ showcase last year. While terrifically exciting, and offering a new dimension to the recorded track, the low frame rate and video quality does dampen the show. After awhile, the VR element slowly evolves into a gimmick that wears off.
The subsequent videos to accompany the rest of the tracks get even more confusing. As well the as live performance audio, the accompanying videos feature lavishly decorated alien landscapes, with purple hills and wild green creatures. Oh, and of course a Star Wars-esque holographic projection of Glover himself performing amidst the extraterrestrial environment. It’s at this point in the experience when one will likely step back and say, “Okay… what?”. It can only be assumed that this is Gambino’s idea of what should be envisioned when listening to the tracks. While an interesting and innovative thought, it doesn’t, and can’t, hit the mark, as this is too subjective. As well as the underwhelming video quality, this most ambitious element of the release, while thankfully ambitious, isn’t something that warrants much repeat usage.
So, overall, is it worth it? Hell yes. It’s a beautifully designed boxset, with embossed features, brilliant artwork and records of absolutely top sound quality. Worth the money and wait? Well, if the VR feature is indeed what jacked up the price tag, then no. It was probably the most anticipated element of the release during the 6 month wait, and for it to be revealed as a cardboard gimmick is rather disappointing. Nevertheless, the level of ambition that sparked it’s inclusion in the set is a very welcome breath of fresh air to the industry, and hopefully an inspiration to artists everywhere. At the end of the day, it could’ve been an overpriced, flimsy single record release with nothing else to it, but it wasn’t. It was, yet again, proof that Glover really is one of the most forward thinking artists working today. It’s undeniable that whatever he does next, in whatever field, is sure to be unlike anything else.
Record – 10/10
Booklet – 8/10
VR – 5/10
Check out the VR video for Me And Your Mama here –
Having dedicated his life to music since an early age, Joe Darone, pursued a career as a drummer and then in 2003 he decided to focus on songwriting allowing for Suit of Lights to be born.
“Even the greatest musical elitists will find something to love on this album”- RAG Magazine
Pushing the boundaries of modern music, “Break Open the Head” has the energy of punk, the immediacy of pop, the innovation of progressive rock and the timeless beauty of “serious” composers. This makes the band, and their music, distinct and innovative whilst cutting edge and acknowledging of songwriting tradition. Ultimately the band is fearless when it comes to creating music.
Electronic musician Johnny Normal delivers this shiny synth-driven rework of Adam & the Ants’ 1980 classic album Kings of the Wild Frontier.
Reaching number 1 in the UK album chart and spawning three hit singles ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’, ‘Dog Eat Dog’ and ‘Antmusic’, the original Kings of the Wild Frontier has left its legacy on the world.
Johnny Normal’s download only rework celebrates 36 years since the original release, and sees the talented producer recording his own unique versions of all of the songs. The album features double Ivor-Novello Award-Winning Ants songwriter and guitarist Marco Pirroni.
The album project was initially the idea of Adam Ant himself, who liked the style of Johnny’s music.
As Johnny explains: ‘My version of KOTWF is not meant as a copycat album as we could never improve on such a classic, rather an Ant fan’s homage to the fabulously exciting original record by Adam, Marco and co which had such an impact on my life and the lives of millions of the MTV generation.’
The project sees Johnny teaming up with close friend and guitarist Psycho Pete and backing vocalist/bass player Izzie voodoo. Whilst on tour supporting Adam Ant, Johnny and Psycho played several of their own electronic interpretations of Ants songs, performing to crowds of up to 3000 people. The performances were well-received by audience members, cementing the idea for the duo to create their own electronic cover album.
In 2014, the project came to a frightening halt when Johnny Normal was hospitalised in three intensive-care units with a succession of life-threatening illnesses. His life support was turned off twice and he was expected not to survive. Beating the odds, he pulled through, his family requesting that the unfinished album be played whilst he was in his coma, spurring him on to fight death. ‘I have no doubt this provided me with a subconscious link to the outside world and aided my recovery,’ Johnny has stated.
Appealing to both Adam and the Ants fans and electronic music lovers, it’s a record that all kinds of music enthusiasts can get into.
There will be an ‘album listening party event’ in London on Friday 17th June, tickets and info from www.johnnynormal.net
The enigmatic duo made up of Jeff Shapiro and Angelique Lihou, aka ‘Playing Mars’ are hitting the high notes with new track ‘Burning Desire’.
The newly formed two-piece are set to release the stunningly eerie brand new track ‘Burning Desire’.
The London-based twosome pride themselves on capturing stimulation from vibes caught out of spontaneity. ‘Burning Desire’ is the product of a jamming session on Angelique’s birthday at 4am in Clapton. Upon investment of their creative expertise, the track oozes drama with a conspiratorial feel, with Jeff’s hypnotic bass line and Angelique’s hauntingly melodious vocals.
‘Burning Desire’, showcases the pair’s musical talents and is an artistic demonstration of their unique creative chemistry. The pair are open to and influenced by every day moments that otherwise pass us by; making their music a captivating expression of what we all often think and feel. The pair are very much genuine music makers, taking inspiration from their surroundings, they even used the sound of Angelique’s spike scraping the floor in ‘Burning Desire’.
Playing Mars are not only a passionate musical duo, they are keen to experiment and express their joint creative talents through art, having worked closely with artists and film makers, Omri Taub, Joanna Imrie and Olga Gomez, to mention just a few. Films and short documentaries will feature on their website to give listeners a unique insight into their lives and personalities, “It’s all about life, politics, music, religion, love, lust and passion and everything that we breathe and live” says Angelique.
The quirky sounds of the duo show some resemblance to that of Goldfrapp, Sigor Ros, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd. The song has been remixed by Dan Goodie and Matt Schwarz, offering an energetic new take on the track.