Posts Tagged ‘Hercules and Love Affair’

Hercules and Love Affair : Support Gossip x sign to Moshi Moshi

09:53 PM


News overfloat concerning Hercules and Love Affair: While we are still waiting for their cover the XX‘ “Shelter” and new album Blue Songs and have already enjoyed quite a few European gigs recently, Andy Butler and his beautiful crew are once again conning our pastures – this time in tow of the formerly omnipresent Gossip, whose giant Sony promotion budget seemed to be shifted to HURTS. Now there even nine common greater hall gigs on the bill for November and December in Germany, France and Switzerland, following six solo dates of the disco house quintet in Rome, London, Amsterdam and other cities already in October.

Too, it looks like the above mentioned, upcoming Hercules album Blue Songs is finally in friendly waters after British Moshi Moshi announced their signing with the band for the record today on its Twitter. German wills probably see the LP coming in a Coop Music sleeve in early 2011 eleven then, if everything follows the usual way.

By the way, recent days saw both bands under the flag of fashion after H&LA played at the after show party of Versace’s Milan catwalk and Gossip’s Beth Ditto curvaceously walked over its Parisian equivalent, dressed in Gaultier. Furthermore, anyone interested in a half-naked Andy Butler should have a look here over at soso magazine.

Hercules and Love Affair live:
13.10. Circolo Rome, Rome

15.10. Debut, London

16.10. Iceland Airwave, Reykjavík

19.10. Train, Aarhus

21.10. Libertine Supersport, Brussels

22.10. Trouw, Amsterdam

23.10. Babylon, Istanbul

Gossip supported by Hercules and Love Affair live:

29.11. Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt

30.11. Porsche Arena, Stuttgart

02.12. X-Tra, Zurich

03.12. Zenith, Munich

04.12. Arena, Leipzig

05.12. AWD Hall, Hannover

08.12. Philipshalle, Düsseldorf

09.12. Omnisports Mercy, Paris

10.12. Halle Tony Garnie, Lyon


Melt! Festival 2010

02:26 AM

As already in the year of  2009 we presented you the most important and current information directly from the Melt!-Festival. 2010 the line up also promised a lot of good music and fulfilled all expectations and even more than that.  From punk sounds with Fucked Up or The Big Pink to electronic music à la Hercules and Love Affair and DJ Shadow the weekend was rich of musical highlights. This gallery will take you on a short tour through all days and stages at the Melt!.

[nggallery id=67]

photo: Christoph Paul

Hercules & Love Affair: “Blue Songs”, The XX, Kele

12:36 PM


First, John Talabot remixes “Shelter” by The XX and, now, Hercules and Love Affair have even covered this song. Their interpretation shall be released at some time in November and thereby probably two months before their second full-length called Blue Songs in January. Date and title just got “leaked” by Andy Butler himself in an interview with the OMG Blog. According to this chat, not only Kim-Ann Foxman and current part-time workers Aerea Negrot, Shaun Wright and Mark Pistel can be heard on the new record, but definitely Kele Okereke, too. The common song “Step Up” has made it on the final version and was already performed together at London’s recent Lovebox Festival. See live footage below, please:

[via P4K]


Melt! Liveblog: Der Samstag

08:59 PM

Hello again! After our first live blog in 2009 we are finally back at the fantastic Melt! Festival to cover the 13th issue as it happens – including photos (by Christoph Paul) and some first impressions (by Thomas Vorreyer).

Sunday, 16:40: The end is near … After it’s implementation in 2008, the third issue of festival day number three, the Sunday, invites us to a smaller (three instead of five stages) but even denser cast day. While Kings of Convenience are currently stroking their strings behind us, the Post War Years, Fucked Up, Crookers, WhoMadeWho, Slagmalsklubben and of course Goldfrapp and festival headliner Massive Attack are getting ready to hit the stages over the day and night.

Alas, we got a bit kept away from the blog yesterday because of interviews and more. So here’s eventually our review of the complete Saturday:

Despite of the mild weather the day kicked off quite slowly and turned out to don’t enjoy as much as highlights as the Friday before. Although, our dear Friendly Fires, who told us their gig at Melt! 2008 during the rain and storm mayhem was their first ever, played one of the by far best shows of the entire weekend. The band machine appeared to be very well oiled by now and the crowd cheered them, waving and dancing as one. During the new song “Running Away” even transformed-to-balloons condomes danced over our heads – interview follows soon. Of course, the dance-rock of Holy Ghost was lenient in comparison, while Hurts suprisingly well filled the light, late afternoon slot between these two on the Gemini stage with the usual big-gesture pop grandezza.

In the meantime the main stage got covered in some rougher sounds: Blood Red Shoes stormed powerfully, but solid as always through their set and Dendemann demonstrated the numerous international guests, that in Germany intelligent and brave hip-hop and mullet cuts can indeed go hand in hand. Parallel to this Darwin Deez stole their hearts of the younger crowd in the Intro tent, before The Big Pink entered it to blow the not fully filled tent away. But yet their grandiloquent guitar-synthie rock may would have fit the man stage better then the bit dry Jamie T did – interview follows.

Next: dance attack! Soul-pop singer Jamie Lidell, DJ Shadow, Sinden and German band Die Sterne played live parallel to each other. And it might hasn’t been a knockout victory, but a clear one by scores for Lidell, who thus had best sound at the Gemini. Here then Hercules and Love Affair took over the mic and beats with an almost all-new set basing on their new, yet-unreleased, second album. Sadly, the new line-up and their stringently chruny Chicago-to-Detroit oldschool mix, including the even sphericly re-arranged old hits “Blind” and “You Belong”, were a bit too many news for the crowd and the set undeservedly did not enflame everyone fully. Still, they all stayed at the stage to get loose of their coresponding dance reserves at Chromeo, who turned their gig with some nice audio and visual show extras into a really good on, before the DJs A-Trak, Tiga, Carl Craig and of course German tiro Moderat (Fotos) took over the direction for the rest of the night.

Chromeo, DJ Shadow, Hercules and Love Affair, Melt! crowd (2), The Big Pink, Jamie T, Friendly Fires (2), Dendemann, Hurts, Blood Red Shoes, Holy Ghost, Jamaica

Saturday, 16:00: The Melt! Saturday has just begun and while we are looking forward to the likes of Jamaica, Holy Ghost!, Darwin Deez, Maskinen, Hercules and Love Affair, Chromeo, Tiefschwarz and Hurts (and to interview Friendly Fires and the Big Pink), let’s have a short and final retrograd look on Friday night. After Jónsi some strange sitar sounds led us to Yeasayer, where Chris Keating showed up with a vocal performance with all the sexiness and extravaganza immediately reminding us of Prince and, yes somehow, Michael Jackson in their greater days. One haven’t seen and heard such thing in  quite a long time and would have perfectly fit on the big main stage, where The XX were facing the mammoth task to present their intimate and minimalistic compositions within such a great frame. Apparently, they did it master it well. Key role was taken over by Jamie once again, who was enthroned behind a great, white X on black ground and a laser light roof drawn over the Ferropolis. He not only did rearranged the band’s songs but relined them with some heavy beats. And who watched Oliver trying out some unexpected, standard rock bassist moves, can may predicted the possible new direction this band will take from now on. Who, who already did follow this electronic path on his own, is Kele Okereke off Bloc Party. While his muscle-bound body satisfied completely, his set did only partly considering quite a few lengths in it. Too, not totally convincing where Foals, who played a – compared to their own benchmark – just average set despite a very driven Yannis Philippakis. Headling their own day stage at beach Modeselektor then didn’t reach the maximum as well, although guest appearances by Bonaparte promised a lot more action. Alas, it turned out to be just the addition, but not the desired multiplication of their forces. But still there was a 100% great end with the energetic live set of autoKratz in the Intro tent.

Autokratz (2), Modeselektor, Foals, Kele (2), The XX (2), Yeasayer

Friday, 23:32: Another round of diverse gigs lies behind us. We smiled at all the adolescence in the front row of Two Door Cinema Club, left the stage to dance to a brilliant dubstep-electro DJ set by Jamie XX at the beach (!) and got pulled away to the main stage again by our German heroes Tocotronic. Here, Dirk von Lowtzow almost enthusiastically greeted the crowd and praised the resistance once again and just for fun, while Rick Mc Phail was miming a modern god of guitar. This spectacle got followed by a delicious visual sandwich: a blue flash light orgy and loads of cheesiness by Delphic, lightening and thunder at HEALTH, who fantastically re-structured “Crimewave” into a new, even bigger version, and finally Jónsi, whose great, but complex and intimate setting and show was maybe ab bit too intimate for the big main stage and the oval in front of it. Now we are looking forward to Yeasayer, Four Tet, The XX, Kele, Foals, autoKratz, Modeselektor ft. Bonaparte and many others.

Jónsi, HEALTH (2), Delphic, Tocotronic (2), Jamie XX, Two Door Cinema Club

Friday, 20:36: Words race with drops of sweat towards the keyboard – this Melt! Festival has already crossed its melting point. It’ sunny and super hot here and after the Audiolith Pferdemarkt yesterday at the festival side and the Introducing party in Berlin (photos below) Bonaparte and Midlake could finally open the big party to everyone, while the Big Wheel Stage was surrounded by a sweating mass covered in dust and seduced by the fine tunes of Oliver Koletzki. Then – parallel to Ja, Panik and Pantha du Prince – Sweden’s finest, the Shout Out Louds, hit the stage. Too bad they prepared an undercooled set to fight the heat. But they were some highlights still: the undestroyable beauty of “Impossible” for instance or their short cover of “Walking Like an Egyptian”, which now stands in a line with “Train in Vain” from their 2007er Melt! appearance. Now Two Door Cinema Club, Jamie XX and Tocotronic are about to begin. Looks like everyone reached working temperature immediately.

Shout Out Louds, Converse Mainstage

Post War Years and Alexander’s Festival Hall, Introducing (yesterday in Berlin)

We recommend: Hercules & Love Affair

05:50 PM

After their short trip to Europe at the end of last year (see a review of their Berghain gig here), multi international combo Hercules & Love Affair is back to the old continent. And this time, Kim-Ann Foxman and Andy Butler have a ready, second album with them. The piece, that Andy announced to us already back in 2008 (see our sadly German-only interview with him here), was recorded in Vienna (!) together with co-producer and techno artist Patrick Pulsinger during the recent spring.

Under this musical influence and Butler’s recent personal move from NYC to Detroit, listeners can surely expect a more classical techno album – a thesis, Andy himself underlined when talking to Pitchfork (interview here). Besides Aerea Negrot, Shaun Wright and Mark Pistel, who are all part of the current live band, too, Kele Okereke of Bloc-Party fame could appear on the record as well.

Now, H&LA will take over the stages of Berlin and the Melt! Festival, among others.

Hercules and Love Affair live:
09.07. Lounge On The Farm , Kent, UK
10.07. MTV Murcia Night 2010, Murcia, Spain
11.07. The Garden Festival , Zadar, Croatia
14.07. Lido, Berlin, Germany
15.07. Neid, Hamburg, Germany
16.07. Puerto Giesing (musikexpress Klubtour), Munich, Germany
17.09. Melt! Festival, Gräfenhainichen, Germany
18.07. Lovebox Festival, London, UK
31.07. Afisha Picnic, Moscow, Russia

Hercules and Love Affair: the Return

06:01 PM

hercules and love affair bw

Hercules and Love Affair are back on the touring track and they did not forget to show up for a little tryst in Berlin last week at the well known Panoramabar (Berghain).* The gig was highly anticipated since the band behind the epic debut of the same title hit the town more than a year ago from now for the last time and everyone was curios to see how Andy Butler and full-time member Kim-Ann Fox would recreate the project with a new line-up and live on stage.

So much the worse that the first sounds of the set are already greeting me through the thick Berghain walls while I’m rushing inside. On the stairs to Panoramabar I recognize “Raise Me Up” and after finding a proper stance to watch the show, the song is already put to a cheered end. “Endlich!” [sic] (German for “finally), the first new face on the right side of  the stage,  Aerea Negrot, comments the emerging atmosphere. In front of me stands a literally reduced version of the band. Besides  singer Nomi Ruiz, bassist Andrew Raposo, keyboardist Morgan Wiley and the usual wind section are missing, too. (Not to mention Antony Hegarty – of of the first album’s brilliant voices – who never had toured with H&LA.)

Instead three new members are joining Kim-Ann Fox and a apparently good-humoured Andy Butler, who now introduces one by one. Berlin-based Negrot – a tall woman with a as great soul vibe in her voice – had met him already some years ago, as Butler tells the crowd, and immediately fascinated him with her talent, although it took until now to unite the two creative minds in a common project. Next to Butler and, too, in the second row stands Mark Pistel, who first reached a bigger audience as part of the industrial band Consolidated in the late 1980ies and early 90ies and then went on working as a producer, engineer and songwriter with legends like Grace Jones. The picture is accomplished by Shaun Wright on the left – the visually most outstanding part of the five-piece – wearing a little golden jacket  (“My Mommy made it!”) combined with a Rick-James haircut.

Although featuring a new line-up and new songs Hercules and Love Affair are sonically and visually still masters of the impervious but seductive play with sexuality, gender and bass. Fox – fondly styled “bad boy” by Butler – has got the deepest and hardest and so most masculine voice of the singer trio, but switches to the high pitches within seconds. Wright however – the only male singer on stage –  appears quite feminine and draws – if he’s not infatuating the audience with his velvety voice – some mazy lines in the air with his hands, while Negrot takes the role of the charming all purpose tool sharing the former Hegarty and Ruiz vocals with Wright.

“Raise Me Up” and the introduction are followed by four new pieces. Like the mythic Hercules (Heracles in the Greek original) has been on the search of love – from both women and men – and himself through his whole life and even afterlife, so is every new H&LA song a between cosmos and disco light oscillating ode to being doomed. One track ask in its chorus, “Where do I come from?”, and then reaches out to Mars and Venus as potentional answers. Another track – the grooving, floor-filling “Painted Eyes” – pulls our view back from the stars to a look in the mirror, “How can you wait forever? … there’s no forever, forever” – the modern Hercules neither expects to find eternal youth and immortality after his death nor a goddess to marry.

“Painted Eyes” was already part of the band’s live set during their last tour dates with the old line-up in 2008. Back then it was Nomi and not Aerea singing with Kim-Ann and a live wind section let the song appear in a playful jazzy outfit. Nowadays the song is based on a heavy propulsive disco bass garnished with some catchy and simply brilliant string arrangements (the tasteful response to Shakira’s “She Wolf”). In short, it’s now a real disco hymne for some glorious late night tales. Watch the following two live videos to easily compare old and new, beginning with the first one recorded in Copenhagen on November 18 anno 2008:

And below performed by the “new” Hercules and Love Affair on August 15 anno 2009 in New York:

At all the new sound is one single time warp back into the US-American underground of the late 1970ies and 80ies and back again. Butler and Pistel lead Chicago House and Acid plus some Detroit Techno  and late Disco together to create a modern, humming extravagance which turns into an endorphin-bearing romantic club monster played through a high-quality sound system like the one owned by Berghain.

After four merging new Tracks Hercules and Love Affair pick the upcoming single “I Can’t Wait” – recently included by  Butler into his Sidetracked mix – as farewell (listen to a clip from the song here). A successful end which of course makes the clapping and now sweaty crowd calling out for an encore. A wish that gets fulfilled by the band with fantastic “You Belong” – again a pretty heavy bass with a pretty soft voice (by Shaun).  A glorious end of an as glorious return.

Hercules and Love Affair “I Can’t Wait” will be released in late December 2009 and be exclusively available on

*Since photography is generally forbidden at Berghain, we recommend you the live gallery of H&LA’s first onstage appearance this year by Brooklyn Vegan.

Hercules And Love Affair are back

07:22 AM

hercules and love affair

In the recent days we spotted some rare, new gigs of one of our favourite bands on some of our favourite venues live calendars. Last night all the excitement and anticipation became manifest in Hercules And Love Affair‘s official announcement of their upcoming European December tour. They are back on the road, dudes!

The tour will take them on seven dates through five countries – Portugal, The Netherlands, Ireland, UK and Germany – presenting their new band line-up and surely new tunes. Newly added members are Daniella, Mark and Shaun after Nomi Ruiz  from Jessica 6 and Tim Goldsworthy quit their part time cooperation with the band’s old and original basis Andy Butler and Kim Ann Foxmann as planned before. See a drawing of the new five piece posted with the current announcement.

Hercules And Love Affair were one of the bands of 2008 getting a lot of media attention for their phenomenal untitled debut record featuring the voice of this time Johnsons-less Antony Hegarty and straight brilliantly produced traditional disco vibes. Their last Berlin onstage appearance goes back to last year’s November where Andy told us that some new material was already finished. Later through the following summer Mr Butler released an own mix compilation and spent his days djing around the globe. Before he’ll turn into Hercules again he’ll do a last set in Munich. See all dates below.

Hercules And Love Affair live
4.12. Casa da Musica, Porto
5.12. Club Lux, Lisbon
6.12. Paradiso, Amsterdam
9.12. Hafen 2, Offenbach
10.12. Panorama Bar/Berghain, Berlin
11.12. Fabric, London
12.12. Tripod, Dublin

Andy Butler DJ Set
28.11. Erste Liga, Munich