Archive for the ‘features’ Category

Gatto Fritto : s/t

03:44 PM

The press promo tries to mystify him, but already his alias perplexes. A lone walking around in the London Underground stations, that’s what Gatto Fritto, whose actual name is Ben Williams, is now described as, before locking himself away with numerous instruments to record his nameless debut album. And a fried cat is what you get, when you translate the moniker back from Italian to English, which again reminds of boring German T-shirt humour (shirt says, “I like cats! They taste like chicken.”) But these 54 minutes of beautiful music are a serious experience.

The LP just got released by International Feel, one of the many Wunderkinder of digitalised global music world, which hereby makes its album premier after releasing sixteen singles in the last two years, being as unerring as their fellow countrymen, Uruguay’s national football team in the 1920ies. The new insights into the detail-rich cosmos of Williams are manifold, with the heavenly association picked consciously, since Gatto Fritto has made the soundtrack to various remained-a-dream adventures lost in spaces.

Of course, this musically roots all back to the krautrock era, as a nostalgic futurism quasi, but in more current contexts, “The Hex” reminds one of the Chromatics and how could one not directly think of Studio, when a single guitar introduces you into the heavy eleven-minute-long trance that is  “Invisible College”. Though, but tracks already got released as singles via Andy Blake’s Dissident label or Williams himself between 2007 and 2008, so it’s actually more a parallel process. And when he sings, for instance in “The Curse” or “Lucifer Morning Star”, which both recently got accompanied by official vintage videos (watch below), the artist naturally uses a vocoder.

Eventually, we would love to launch the album into outer space, to every little corner of the universe, but with us in its tow, vanishing into the music.

Gatto Fritto Gatto Fritto is out now via International Feel / NEWS. Tonight, Gatto Fritto will play live at Soju Bar, Berlin, (programme below), and on Saturday at Elli Disco, Munich.

Gatto Fritto : Lucifer Morning Star

Gatto Fritto : The Curse (Video)

Gatto Fritto : Hex (Download)

Tyler, The Creator : Pact of the wolves

04:07 PM

I don‘t want to be the future of „L.A. Hip Hop“ I want to be the future of music“, Tyler, The Creator wrote on his Twitter account last month. And the consent between music press, listeners and other rappers such as Mos Def, Kanye West or Pharrell Williams demonstrates that he’s by now not only the future of the local scene anymore. Much more, it suggests that the 19-years-old has successfully refreshed the hip hop culture with his dark to ironic approach already.

Tyler sits on a bar stool . He wears a patterned shirt and a cap, looking just like the cute(?) post-pubertal skater boy he probably is. But it’s not cuteness, which you would associate with him, when the sharp sounds of „Yonkers“ and Tyler’s deep, blurred-by-darkness voice come on. He’s angry, uses fuck in exorbitantly high number, eats a cockroach, which makes him puke, wears black contact lenses, turning him into a sociopath in a patient chair, from which he hangs himself off at the end.  This as lyrically as visually brilliant work earned him more than 7m clicks on Youtube. But he doesn‘t give a shit. He just wants to make music to conquer the whole universe with.

I’m feeling like the Bulls, I’ve got a Gang of Wolves
Odd Future is children that’s fucked up on they mental
Simple but probably not, fuck them („Bastard“)

That Tyler’s favourite English word seems to be fuck, is not hard to guess from his lyrics or tweets. And yes, this might not be unique characteristic in the rap business, but seldom it’s embedded as viciously as the FUCK in his (con)texts. In the music of  Tyler, The Creators dark thoughts and insults just culminate into an alter ego that is his Mr. Evil.
The diabolically lyrical genius becomes visible between rapes and a fatherless childhood, both main themes of his first album Bastard, the genesis of the hip hop collective Odd Future (Wolf Gang Kill Them All), short: OFWGKTA. Here about ten artists from Los Angeles, or more precisely: the deprived area of Crenshaw, where Ice Cube was born and raised and Ice T grew up, collaborate, while presenting their talents via an own Tumblr, from which you can download free mixtapes and productions. But the free number of which might decline soon, since just this week, the collective sold its distribution rights to major label Sony RED. And while still earning complete artistic freedom, this should earn them lots of money from now on. Also May 6 will mark the official release of Tyler, The Creator’s next album Goblin via XL Recordings / Beggars. So the creator is already busy ironising the probable changes the undoubted future success might have on him with the fictional golf playing character of Thurnis Haley.

Odd Future includes video artists, rappers, djs and skaters, declaring intensity and viciousness to their constitutive features.  They not only write about raping and bitches, but with their extroverted TV appearances, such as on the Jimmy Fallon Show, and the personification as wolves they collective turns into a permanent extreme. Extremely loud, extremely musically and sometimes even extremely funny, like when being portrayed by Terry Richardson. It shouldn’t get boring with them soon.

On May 6 Tyler, The Creator and OFWGKTA will play at Cossiopaia, Berlin, alas, the gig is already sold out.  A good overview on the Odd Future works offers the feature Youth And Young Manhood by The Quietus.

Cat’s Eyes : Faris Badwans neuester Streich

10:00 AM

After Lumina apparently did not progress well, Faris Badwan of The Horrors has founded new side-project Cat’s Eyes together with Canadian opera-singer Rachel Zeffira. And it already has illustrious supporters: The first EP Broken Glass will be released on February 28 by Polydor in the UK featuring artwork by no other than Chris Cunningham, who also directed the video for “Sheena Is A Parasite” by the Horrors; Steve Osborne, producer of New Order and Happy Mondays fame, went to studio with duo to record their debut album, which should be out on April 11.

And two songs have already been published. First, “Not A Friend” is a short, harmonic sixties jam with only Zeffira singing or the shy sister of the Beach Boy’s “God Only Knows”. You can stream it below or download it from in exchange of an e-mail address. Second, “I Knew It Was Over” is a sad, sacral duet with even more harmony choruses. The song comes with a video that was allegedly shot live in the St. Peter’s Basilica of the Vatican, which would be quite a coup. Watch it below, there you also find the band’s first three live dates in the UK.

Cat’s Eyes : I Knew It Was Over (Video)

Cat’s Eyes : Not A Friend (Stream)

Cat’s Eyes live
14.02. Manchester, St Philips
15.02. Glasgow, St Andrews
18.02. London, Amadeus Centre

Cloud Nothings

11:30 AM

To be fair: We didn’t drop a single word about Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings on our site last year, although the admirably unrestrained, harsh but indeed catchy as hell full-length Turning On of the back then just 18-years-old Dylan Baldi fasten onto our ears song-by-song like barely another record. Hence we recognise with regret that new and first single “Should Have” from the upcoming, nameless (or just Cloud Nothings called) second work already comes in a jot more smooth cut.

On the other side there’s already a superbly bizarre video by New York director John Ryan Manning. Here, girls and boys not only share one and the same haircut, but also do exchange lots of (sexually) oral endearment on their braids. In terms of disgust one could take this piece as a clean version of  Xiu Xiu’s “Dear God I Hate Myself“, not only because all actors are high school students.

Baldi recorded “Should Have” with the ten additional songs of the new long-player together with local producer Chester Gwazda (Dan Deacon, Future Islands) in the Copycat Building of Baltimore, a turned-to-stone open music and art community, comparable to Berlin’s Kunstquartier Bethanien. Furthermore he spent the times between the originally in 2009 released debut and the new recording sessions in August with split-EP he did with Campfires for the only-cassettes releasing Bathetic Records label.

On Cloud Nothings the lo-fi attitude is flown away now, but the sensational tempo with pop affiliation is still there. This means for the dynamics of the just 28 minutes of music, which will be released on January 28 via Wichita / Cooperative Music, a certain iffiness with the first listen, but already with the next round Dylan’s typical sense for good melodies erupts to our ears. Not every chorus ignites as the predecessor’s did, though. So the more proper production eventually results in transition instead of becoming a transistor.

February will see Cloud Nothings playing an UK-Tour, a single German gig then follows on March 2 at the former Bang Bang and now Levee Club in the middle of Berlin.

Cloud Nothings : Should Have (Video)

Cloud Nothings live:
15.02. Newcastle Cluny, Byker
18.02. York Fibbers, York
21.02. Barfly Camden, Camden Town
25.02. Camp Basement, London
25.02. Dempseys, Cardiff
02.03. Levee Club, Berlin

James Blake

04:35 PM

We listen to many good things and write about far too few. Hence, there was one or the artists anno 2010 whose voice we didn’t make heard by our writing, although it would have been more than deserved. So instead of some half-baked top-of-the-year charts, we try to catch up for you and start with… James Blake:

A barely enlightened flat. Weightless fruits are floating around. Dreamy eyes wander through the room. The video to James Blake‘s most recent single, a cover of the Feist ballad “Limit To Your Love”, pictures despair and melancholic confusion. His mimic’s reduced, all in all the 22-year-old dubstep artist plays the distanced. But his voice is all the more intense, when it’s correlates with the piano.
The Brit knows, how to use his talents. Emotions are epically instrumentalised though his voice in connection with the sub-bass and the same piano. Besides fellow genre acts Mount Kimbie, Joy Orbison and Scuba, it’s also Blake, who’s letting vocals become a relevant sound device (again). (Mostly) left aside by the likes of Rusko, Rustie or Benga, they are now culminating in the works of Mount Kimbie (f.i. “Maybes”) and Blake (“Limit To Your Love”, “CMYK”). And the vocals as emotive extension do make the music more accessible for the listener. So you are even close to empathise with Blake, when he’s singing from his bed,  “there’s a limit to your care.”

James Blake : Limit To Your Love (Feist Cover) (Video directed by Martin de Thurah)

Whether described as post-dubstep, ambistep or post-classicism (?), the producer nourishes a fascinating potential of musical captivation (find the proof in “I Only Know (What I know now”), not easily letting the empathic listener go. Consequently, Blake is currently featured notfew 2010 charts.
First remixes as Harmonimix of Lil’ Wayne and Destiny’s Child and a first single “Air & Lack Thereof” under his real name were followed in this year by three extraordinary EPs. Before the both, Internet and music culture, polarising Klavierwerke EP (R&S Records), which with its blurry sounds recalled narcotic conditions, Blake already showed on The Bells Sketch (Hessle) and CMYK (again on R&S) his less emotional side.
Where he’s still orientating on r’n’b-like and rapider basslines on the predecessors, the Klavierwerke puts forward piano, bleeps and hushed vocals, suitably described with unexplainable dream sequences. And for his eponymous debut album, which will be released on February 7 by ATLAS/A&M Records (see artwork above and track listing at the bottom), one can expect more hazy sound elements vocal shreds. Furthermore, Blake told Pitchfork that the production was inspired by Bon Iver, Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell’s Blue.

And a first foretaste’s already promising: “Wilhelms Scream” is about nescience and sorrow, leading to pure hopelessness (“I’m fallin’, fallin’, fallin'”). Here Blake poetically arranges his voice with piano and ambient sounds again. The song is full of poetry and vulnerability. Once more, we reach a music therapeutic level though the artist:

James Blake : Wilhelm’s Scream (Stream)

Creative playing with one’s own voice, basses, synths plus piano (Blake) or guitar (Mount Kimbie) did and do characterise England’s young and rising dubstep artists. So one can be anxious to see what happens in 2011, as for instance the allegedly first live gigs by Blake on January 12 and 14 at Dutch EuroSonic Noorderslag Festival in Groningen and London’s Plan B – pre-sale is on. However, there was already a first and surprising live performance by the wunderkind in last week’s Manchester support slot for Everything Everything – watch the played beauts below (via The Fader):

James Blake James Blake:

1. Unluck

2. Wilhelm’s Scream

3. I Never Learnt To Share

4. Lindesfarne I

5. Lindesfarne II

6. Limit To Your Love

7. Give Me My Month

8. To Care (Like You)

9. Why Don’t You Call Me

10. I Mind

11. Measurements

Documentary: Making CONTAKT

11:28 AM

Nowadays, when it seems to one that everything has already been done by someone else, somewhere else and some other time before, it gets harder and harder for an artist to make his or her live performance to feel like a still unique, eloquent one for the consumer. Especially electronic music artists often just disappear behind their console. Instead of mass-appealing, sweaty guitar fetishisms, they need to make shifts by constructing they own little, light-built magical worlds.

One of the most sophisticated, complex and indeed groundbreaking, recent attempts of these kind of visualisation came to life with the 2008 CONTAKT tour of British-Canadian DJ and producer Richie Hawtin together with his fellows Magda, Troy Pierce, JPLS, Gaiser and Hartthrob – who are all acts of Hawtin’s minimal techno label M-nus, which celebrated its 10th anniversary with the tour. Aligning forces with visual artist and old long-time friend Ali Demirel tried to serve club crowds across the globe with an audiovisual spectacle, which, too, allowed the viewers to participate in the whole live experience. So while the artist on stage entered new grounds then leaving the standard set-by-set concept aside to unite all together in one single, but big set played with shifting units, the crowd could interact with the visuals and musicians through a “magic” cube devise at the venue and through the internet.

Directed by Hawtin (the photo above shows him at the movies premier at ctm.10 in Berlin) and Demirel themselves, a tour documentary called Making CONTAKT was created with the help of Niamh Guckian and Patrick Protz. The film not only follows the minimal trek on the complete tour, but gives an interesting insight view into the complex plannings and technically ambitious synchronisation of all artists and units. Too it pictures all the highs and lows between Detroit, Europe, Buenos Aires and Tokyo and gives one the opportunity to (re)experience the complete show (once again) (see extracts filmed in London, Berlin and Buenos Aires at the end).

The documentary just got its exclusive digital release over at zero”, who accompany the release by giving away three of the very exclusive, much sought-after eißbegehrten M-nus memberships and ten iPhone versions of the documentary. You can win one of them by leaving your nicest, funniest comment at the zero” special.

But zero” made us a little present as well, so everyone who comments article (or its Facebook link) until Saturday 2pm (Berlin time) can win one of two downloads of either the documentary including the soundtrack or the iPhone one. Good luck!

Throw your own Berlin super party!

12:30 PM

In dark times like ours it might look a bit decadent to throw a single party worth € 150.000, but hey, it’s not your money that will get spent, though it can turn into your very own event! The Smirnoff Experience Berlin gives you the opportunity to celebrate a huge nightout with your favourite acts and 1.500 1.499 other peopleat your fave location in Berlin. And since the event’s title already tells you, whose money will pay the whole thing for you, you can be assured, that vodka will pour at every corner.

Visit the SEB’s website over at our friends from Vice to put together a super line-up with one main and one support act, two dj sets on the main floor and another line-up organized by your favourite local promoter. Afterwards you have to decide, whether you want to throw the party either at .hbc, the Haus am Köllnischen Park or E-Werk in Berlin.

“Sadly” Simian Mobile Disco are already firm as main act, but who if not the British electro duo and hit machines could be a better setting for that slot? Too, you can invite such great artists like Afrikan Boy, These New Puritans, Telonious among others to play for you and our friends from Awesome to take care of the 2nd floor. Then you only need to create a cool poster for your party and enable it for the big vote, since the poster with the most votes will be the only one to get hosted. But hurry up! The application time is already ending on March 13.

Or you relax, lean back and vote only once for our party with the perfect disco setup featuring Danish long runners  WhoMadeWho, Finnish Renaissance Man in Berlin exile and the still really new and even hotter The C90s from London, and leave all the “stress” of electioneering for it to us. In addition to this Mr Hugo Capablanca and his friends will play nakedly on the 2nd floor – if he keeps promise.

Though we can understand, if you want to win the sweep yourself, since you will eleven exclusive VIP invites for the night (surely you want to bring some friends to celebrate with).  All other tickets will get spread among all registered users or here, because we are giving away 2×2 tickets for the 23rd of April among all comments under this article – equally where and with whom it will take place. Check the event’s website once again as well for more prices.

See a complete overview with all 31 (!) acts and promoters you can pick from below.

Supporting Act: Afrikan Boy, Bugati Force, The CocknBullKid, Metronomy, These New Puritans, WhoMadeWho

Main DJ: Boy 8-Bit, Renaissance Man, Shit Robot, Telonious, Zombie Disco Squad

Supporting DJ: Biffy, The C90s, Les Gillettes, Headman, Shir Khan

COOP, Beatproviders, Awesome, Team From Hell, Creathief, New Judas, keinemusik, Discos Capablanca, Whizzkids, Easyjetset, De:Bug, Bang Bang Berlin, Intro, Groove, Motor FM

The Greco-Roman Interview

11:08 PM


If you’re following this site or are part of the cool kids scene around the globe you’re surely already aware of the new club sensation Greco-Roman Music. They started running secret parties in London some years ago, then doing nights across the globe and at Glastonbury and finally even putting out their own records. Next stop: total world domination.

It surely did help them that one of their founding members is Joe Goddard from Hot Chip, but what’s really special about Greco-Roman is their playful and open-minded attitude towards every good genre and music on this planet and a way of life not caring about money but about great fun and exploring new things. And with Drums of Death and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs they have two of the hottest talents we can think of at the moment under their wings.

So after -finally- surviving our first ever GR-night in Berlin earlier this summer we sat down for a chat with one of the label’s mastermind, Alex Waldron. Calling himself a professional A&R manager Alex surely already had his hands on at least one of your favourite records ever, since his quite impressive CV includes employments for the likes Island Records, 13Amp,  !K7 and currently XL Recordings in Berlin, the city which he calls home now.

Too, started the now infamous Über Alles nights and then went on deejaying together with Joe or solo as Half/Full Nelson – a fruitful cooperation leading into into Greco-Roman. According to his Myspace Alex is seeing himself in 30 years “wearing a Hawaiian shirt with a silver pony-tail and sunglasses […] going on about [his] times with Tom Vek, Matthew Herbert, DJ Shadow, Hot Chip and Nine Black Alps”. That pretty much says it all. Or not?

When did you start the Greco-Roman label?
Three years ago, when we started doing the parties. We actually didn’t intend to be a record label, although we all had worked for or with ones, but the parties kind of had an own natural scene. Then there was David E. Sugar, who played on our parties and wrote this song about us. We thought: We have to put this out, it’s really good! So that’s how the record label started.
The record was going to be a flyer for the party as a record about a party. So if you bought the record, you could come to the party for free, we’re going to put some free ticket or so in it. It would be a white label. That was the idea. And then we got a remix done and Jesse Rose wanted to remix it and then Hot Chip. Suddenly we had all this remixes coming it, so it felt a little bit more official and we could sell it.That was it.

Who’s we in this case?
Well, I don’t make music. But Joe (Goddard) from Hot Chip will do his solo album. We’ll hopefully finish it next week. And then there will be one by Drums of Death. Obviously we want to release good music, but the idea behind the label is to release music that represents the parties we do. And therefore every artist we release has got a very strong personality. They always look really good, have a good light show. That’s really important to us, to see the show before you release something.
Hopefully the people now listen to this music and come to our parties. We experiment a lot on the parties. Joe plays a lot – he’s in a band, he deejays a lot – but he likes our party since it’s a bit more informal for him. It’s his party so he can do whatever he wants. We can experiment a lot more, play back-to-back with other artists or sometimes Alexis or Owen from Hot Chip come down and try out new tracks together, plugging in drum machines and other stuff and singing over the top, putting masks on and just doing some hot shit. It’s just trying out new material and being stupid sometimes. We are friends and you can only really do this with friends.

Joe has been pretty busy at the moment. He produced two tracks for Little Boots before she totally fucked the whole thing up.
Yeah, I know. He was quite happy he didn’t produce the whole album. Well, maybe he should have done it since it would have been a lot better than. But he wants to move into the more production stuff artists anyway. He’s producing Drums of Death. He’s not writing with him in the studio but helping him find his tunes.

Like Rick Rubin?
Maybe, I don’t really know this Rick-Rubin-style. Joe not only lends him his equipment but he also gives him a lot of tips about how to finish tracks. Finishing tracks is really the hardest thing for anybody. Drums of Death has not only one but five new ideas everyday. They are all amazing but he never actually finishes his particular track. But when he and Joe are together they can finish that stuff.
When Drums of Death started he was making just hard beats, they were really clubby – six minutes long beats – and worked really well as club tracks. The first EP was bit like that. But through the last months he’s really developed as songwriter. He’s really singing them and playing a lot more piano. The new single (“Got Yr Thing”) is quite a club track, but the other stuff on the album is a lot more song-based, a bit Gonzales-like.

Sounds cool, but let’s move back to the parties for a while. How got the first one set up?
It was spontaneous. Me and Joe deejayed as Greco-Roman for about a year, before Hot Chip became really big and before I moved to Berlin to work for !K7. We always really enjoyed it and we wanted to do our own party, since London is really shit – or it was it four, fives years ago. Clubs were really expensive and it was really difficult to get different styles in one. You had house in one club, techno in another and then drum’n’bass or hip-hop. But we like everything. It’s quite normal to say this now, but three and half year ago it was more interesting to put everything together.
So we did our own party and organized it three days before and announced it two days before. We did it in this warehouse in North-East London and thought no one would come. But it was amazing! About 400 people came. This is why Myspace is really powerful. Joe just put one Hot Chip post out saying he’d got some new material and wanted to test it out. And they all came!
But we were really disorganized and had only one turntable working the whole time. We didn’t have anyone on the door. Matthew Herbert turned up – I knew him and he knew all of us anyway – and he came in and said: You really need someone on the door! And then: Okay, I’ll do it for a bit. So he did the door for us about two hours, which is amazing! But he had just been on this weird country trip, where he and this quite famous TV guy went camping to a forest for about a week or two. They just ate worms and washed themselves in a river and survived. And he came back with this massive beard and really big hair doing the door for us. He really wanted something to drink because he hadn’t for about two weeks and was really exhausted, so he left the door later with the money box open and everyone came in for free.
And that was it but it was a really magic party, a very special one. So we did another one at the same place after some months and even more people came. That was again fucking awesome. David E Sugar played there and then we went to New York to do a party there in November and his a bit of a sound-clash record „OI NEW YORK THIS IS LONDON!“ was ment for this.

Was there no American response?
No, there wasn’t actually. They were really interested, lots of people came to our party. I think because it was a Hot Chip thing. When we go abroad the Hot Chip link it was people know us for since Joe, but it’s actually four people who do Greco-Roman. He’s only one quarter. But anyway, I wanted a „OI LONDON THIS IS NEW YORK“ record but it sadly never happened. But the idea is that the travel a lot as Greco-Roman naturally. We go to different parties in different countries.

You were for instance in Ulm, Germany, which left me quite confused seeing this.
I don’t know. It was a guy, who I knew from Berlin, who does some parties down there. So we went there with Drums of Death, me and Raf Daddy.

And you went to Austin, Texas.
Yeah, last November with Drums of Death and Joe from Hot Chip. That was almost the most amazing party. I didn’t go but they told me. Some guy had a swimming pool in his back yard and he likes doing parties and let us have one at his place. Then 650 people turned up, climbing over the walls trying to get in and then someone called the police.
[Some strangely looking guy from the desk beneath us turns around interrupting the chat talking about L.A. and doing parties over there. Alex met him afterwards for business.]
I’m really interested in doing something in L.A. Sorry, where were we?

Talking about your international parties. Where else did you go to?
It’s Moscow – fucking weird -, Lyon – that was great -, London – obviously -, Berlin. We shall go to Paris, too, and will do a party in Tel Aviv quite soon.

So you’re global players, I guess.
You know what we want to get across when we do this is… Well, this is a side project to all of us. It’s neither a Hot Chip nor a !K7 thing. We only play cities we really what to go to. So we’re currently really fascinated by Tel Aviv and so we go to Tel Aviv, do you know what I mean? Some parts of the club scene in Paris are really amazing, but they aren’t the most interesting places, where I want to party out. This is about exploring new places. Maybe Ulm isn’t the best example for this but it’s about going to Malmö instead of Stockholm when coming to Sweden.

So why do play festivals like Glastonbury then?
Because they are really good fun. We try to do all small version of our parties there. What we do is: we get three to four hours and then put everything from a London party into a few hours. We have too many DJs playing, live acts and even live acts emceeing over the DJ-sets to see if it works in front of a thousand people. You know, what I mean? It worked really well last year at Glasto but it didn’t at another London festival. It was a chaos, we were terrible. It was the worst Djs I’ve ever seen and it was us… But we do experiment a lot, play new track and friends join.

Are the crowds usually like your fan-base?
Sort of. I was working all the time and so I didn’t want to push it in the same way I push other things. I wanted the people to come to us and so we never advertised a party. So we heavily rely on word-of-mouth. And in London we can do that since so many people are involved there. We do a party, don’t advertise it and still get 500, 400 people. If I would that in Berlin I would have a problem since I don’t know that many people here and do all on my own. But it’s good that we can now take us and our music around the world.

So your current record is four releases in about two years. Doesn’t look very busy. I guess you want everything to grow naturally, don’t you?
Sort of. We had jobs as well. Until this time last year I was working for !K7 and everyone had job, too. So it was difficult to find time to put a record out. But now we’ll put out two albums and more. And, too, it’s not only about the music, it’s about the act. You don’t find people making amazing music, looking great and having fantastic live shows all the time. You have to wait for these people to come.

Well, I’m not so sure about this looking-fantastic thing. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs actually looks pretty weird.
Well, it may not be fantastic, but it looks interesting. I guess it’s that we’re all into live music and that’s what Hot Chip are. You can really tell they are a proper band. And we always want to have this. Also – after the first party we’ve done here in Berlin – I wanted to bring this Berlin-party-to-the-morning thing to London, because two or three years ago every club closed at two or three o’clock. At the same time I wanted to bring the eclectic thing of the London scene to Berlin.Because everywhere the Djs used to play for hours the same fucking beat. Or people played on laptops.

It’s not the real thing.
Yeah, I want a show. I want something to look at and our music to be different. We’ll always keep our music changing at Greco-Roman.

Ah, here’s your wrestler attitude. Where does the name actually come from?
Oh it was because when me and Joe once deejayed we felt like wrestlers. We were drunk. It was a really funny night. And then it stuck and so we kind of explored the wrestling thing a bit more. I like it because it’s not the stupid American wrestling. It’s…

It’s indeed classic. It’s slow. It’s sweaty. It’s quite unsexy.

But it’s still erotic.
It is a bit erotic since it’s about sweating and hugging. That’s Greco-Roman.

And who does this fantastic cover-art for you?
It’s a guy called Lorenzo (Fruzza). He’s an illustrator in London. He’s amazing and was working in some advertising companies and then did our first sleeve. It was very, very good and so he kept doing them. And he’s getting better and better and people really do notice him as well. That’s cool. He’s really young and he needs a break. We are happy with the outlook.

Especially the new TEED-one.
Yeah, I think that’s his best yet. The Drums of Death one is really good as well.The idea there is that someone stole his heart and they put a drum machine in instead.


Drums of Death deeyaing in London

So the record will be finished this fall?
It should be done two months ago. He went on tour with Peaches and I said: You know, when it’s not finished yet you will never finish it after the tour. And he was like: Yeah, yeah, I know. So he went on tour and left it unfinished. I’m going a bit mad. But it should be finished this week.

So he’s currently working on it with Joe?
Yeah, they’re doing it in his bedroom. Everyone in London is doing it in his bedroom since you don’t get any space like here in Berlin. Hot Chip got their own studio now. For the fourth album they finally managed to get their own studio. The first three were all done in Joe’s bedroom which is from here to here.
[Alex draws a tiny room in the air.]
It’s tiny. He’d a double bed for him and his wife there plus a desk for his computer and all his records. That’s it. And there they made all their albums til now. Drums of Death’s is the same. He’s got a desk, a bed and a chair. In fact they’re rooms are nearly identical.

There’s this theory that you make better music than you face tough conditions.
Maybe. At least you do make music quicker in that situation. Something I noticed about London is that there’s a lot more urgency in the air. People push it really hard. I don’t know if that’s better or not but the style is way different. There bits of both sides which I like but Drums of Death definitely needs the money. He makes the music for that reason. But rich people can make good music, too.

And why aren’t you doing your own records?
I don’t know.

Did you try?
Yeah, but I was really bad. This is why I always worked at record labels. I can’t make music myself but I always wanted to work with it. I always understood that it was about, what would look good and who would be interested by what.

You have a talent for this.
Yes, that’s, too, so good about Greco-Roman. One is a musician and record producer, one’s working for record companies, one’s managing artists and the guy works at bank. And then there’s the other two. One already runs a record label and the other is a radio host and dejays a lot. Everyone comes from different directions, which is wise. The only part missing is someone, who used to promote events. That’s why our parties are that great fun but we don’t get any money out of it, because we aren’t actually good in organizing parties. Well, we made a small amount with the first but then lost a lot of it as well, but that’s why it still feels like a party and not a club night.

And what about the records?
No, we loose money with them as well. But we get it through festivals. That’s one reason why we do them. They pay a lot better than anyone else.

So what about your future. Are you still looking for new artists?
I think we have already enough so we aren’t actively looking for new acts, but I always want to listen to new stuff. Also we want to release different music from different genres as well. We done an electro record, a disco-pop record, a rave record. I’d like to put out a dub-step record and a garage one. Two weeks ago we talked to an indie act, Wolf Gang, about a single, but it didn’t work out.

So in the future Greco-Roman will operate like Kitsuné?
Yeah, quite similar. They tour a lot and have a very distinct visual identity. We’re kind of doing what they do I guess, but we’re a bit more fun.

So how does your and the label’s future look like?
It involves me sitting in my swimming pool with a pony-tail. I don’t know. Lots of parties in lots of different cities. Lots of mistakes especially live.

And if you’d still be on the screen than mankind starts settling on Mars and you would be the first DJ-Team to go over, would you grab this chance?
I wouldn’t take Drums of Death with me since he would scare the Martians.

From LA to Leipzig: Health video shot

02:52 PM

health videodreh preview 1 by k huth

For the shot of their new live-DVD for their forthcoming album “Get Color” Health didn’t go to their hometown Los Angeles but to Leipzig in former East-Germany, were once the Peaceful Revolution unhinged the GDR regime. One might question whether this project was worth such a long trip or not, but after you’ve seen the pictures of KATRIN HUTH and have read how FRANZISKA FINKENSTEIN witnessed the workings, you will surely immediately forget what you were thinking about.

Hi Franziska, were did you and Health end up in Leipzig?
We went to the UT Connewitz, which is an aged former cinema built back in the early years of the 20th century. Now it’s vacant. Imagine a building with very high walls and a huge hall in it on which Health stood and played. Everything fitted perfectly together: the band, the vibe, the atmosphere. There were  even some very old, red decorations on the wall which seemed to be quite decayed. Looked like a Fever Ray set.

How did the band feel there?
I think they were impressed by the atmosphere. Of course the music had an even more special appearance there than on every other stage. Needless to say, that for example “Die Slow” sounded pretty wicked.

health videodreh preview 2 by k huth

We already watched them play at Berlin Festival together. Were there any differences?
Well, what means differences? Such an old building surely influences the band itself in another way and so the music affects the observer even more. The echo there made the whole sound very intense.

How was the vibe in the band?
At the beginning pretty relaxed, but at the end of a take you could sometimes hear one of them swearing “Fuck!” when a micro passed away again.

And what about Jupiter’s (bass player) extra tight trousers: Did they survive once more?
Althoug I often thought: “Now, they are going to tear” they indeed did.

BJ’s drums, too?
Yes, but he constantly kept playing on them like in trance even during the breaks.

Yeah he’s a fantastic drummer. Okay so we’ve to wait no for the final result. I’m pretty excited to see it.

health videodreh preview 3 by k huth

The clips were made by Christian Fussenegger and Max Penzel, the later previously worked at the “Berlin Calling” movie and for Moderat and The Aim Of Design Is To Define Space, to name a few. All songs shall be released as a DVD later this year, but you’ll surely find some of them at different promo stuff around the web. But before  “Get Color” will be released on September the 18th, Health will put at the official video for the single “Die Slow”. See more pics from Katrin at her own blog

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