“Remarkable Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traore has demonstrated a consistent desire to expand the reach of her sound since she first emerged on the global circuit in 1998, slowly adding Western instruments and influences to her gently cycling but insistent music. In fact, electric guitars elbowed out traditional n’goni, acoustic guitar, and balafon on her fourth and most recent album, Tchamantché (Nonesuch), from 2009. Still, I wasn’t prepared for the force electric guitars exert on her forthcoming Beautiful Africa—due from the same label on April 9—which marks a major transformation and a huge step forward artistically. The circular patterns remain at the heart of her music and her deeply soulful voice is generally as pretty, vigorous, and nuanced as ever, emphasizing certain melodic lines or words with shape and inflection rather than volume. But the flesh on that rhythmic skeleton is much different.
The record was produced by longtime P.J. Harvey collaborator John Parish—who has a record of his own film music due from Chicago’s Thrill Jockey imprint on April 16 called Screenplay—and he also plays guitar on it. The beats are played on drum kit (by Seb Rochford of Polar Bear, who also played on the debut album by Fatoumata Diawara) and human beatboxer Jason Singh rather than the usual calabash and tam-tam, and the main guitar parts are played by Italian musician Stefano Pilia, known better for his membership in 3/4 Had Been Eliminated and working with David Grubbs than for his involvement in African music. But boy does it all work. The complexion and edge of the music has changed, but Traore hasn’t—but she does bust out some very different cadences on today’s 12 O’Clock Track, the aggressive, backbeat-propelled “Beautiful Africa.” I’ve only listened to the album once, but it sure feels like something I’ll be coming back to all year.”
APRIL 10 @ EMB, SANNOIS – FR / 11 @ TV5 , PARIS – FR / 12 @ Noisiel Ferme du Buisson – FR / 13 @ Cully Jazz, CH / 15 @ France Inter, radio, PARIS, FR /16 Chorus 92 / Avant Seine, COLOMBES – FR / 17,18,19 Petit Bain, PARIS – FR / 20 @ Den Atellier, LUXEMBOURG – LU
MAY 10 @ Druga Godba Festival, LJUBLJANA – SL / 12 @ Womad, CACERES – SP / 14 @ MADRID (tbc) – SP / 18 @ Afro-Pfingsten Festival, WINTERTHUR – CH / 20 @Band on the wall , MANCHESTER – UK / 21 @ NORWICK & NORFOLK Festival – UK / 23 @ Cargo , LONDON – UK / 24 @ HAEY Festival- UK /
JUNE 21 @ CHIASSO – CH / 24, 25 HARSTAD – NO / 26 @ OSLO – NO / 29 @ GLASTONBURY -UK
JULY 3 @ Cognac Blues Passion – FR / 5 @ ROSKILDE – DK / 6 @ BARCELONA – SP / 11 @ ARLES – FR / 15 @ Auditorium, ROMA – IT / 17 @ Villa Arconati, MILANO -IT / 19 @ VIEILLES CHARRUES – FR / 20 @ Fnac, PARIS / 21 @ COLOURS OF OSTRAVA – TCH / 23 @ NUITS DE FOURVIERE’ – FR / 25 @ SINES – PT / 26 @ NUITS ATYPIQUES, LANGON / 27 @ WOMAD – UK / 28 @ PALEO festival – CH
AUGUST 2 @ CROZON -FR / 3 @ Festival Nuits Secretes , AULNOYE – AYMERIES – FR / 4 Festival ESPERENZAH – BE / 5 @ STOCKHOLM – SE / 7 @ MALMO – SE / 8 @ theater de la mer, SETE – FR / 11 @ festival PETIT PIERRE – FR
David Grubbs is one of the most influential musicians of his generation: a legacy that includes such bands as Squirrel Bait, Bastro and Gastr del Sol. Moving eccentrically forward from the straight-ahead hardcore punk of Squirrel Bait (after all, he was a wizened eighteen years old when SB called it a day) David increasingly infused his songcraft with an experimental strain, culminating in the discography of Gastr del Sol, who drew widespread interest with the ways in which they combined so-called “songs” with experimental music. Participating in the reinvigorated Red Krayola during this time exposed David to the formative tutelage of Mayo Thompson as well. But after the gradually more streamlined Gastr period concluded with Camoufleur, David’s output became more segregated; the albums of pop songs were more focusedly, more cussedly pop, and the more experimental projects (including duo recordings with Mats Gustafsson, Nikos Veliotis, and Loren Connors, not to mention the entire catalog of his Blue Chopsticks label) became more unrelenting.
Flash forward to April 16th, 2013: Drag City releases the sixth and latest David Grubbs album of songs, The Plain Where the Palace Stood, which finds David once again twining together the diverse strands of his vast interests. As in the days of Gastr del Sol, songs float in idiosyncratic yet exceptionally unhurried arrangements. The Plain Where the Palace Stood features vocals on just four of the eleven tracks, yet the album as whole flows—breathes—effortlessly alongside the most critically acclaimed releases of his great catalog, not to mention his contemporaries and kindred artists – Oren Ambarchi, Scott Walker, Talk Talk, and Sunn O))).
This is a process begun on David’s previous pop album, An Optimist Notes the Dusk, nearly four years previous. Despite the fluid activity of collaborations, many of which have been released in the time since (and several others coming to fruition this year), patience, meditation and time were required to afford the depth and detail to The Plain Where The Palace Stood. The effect is both striking and tangible; the glass partition which all too often separates genre-spanning rock and academic experimentation shatters under Grubbs’s langourously insistent, idiosyncratic, immediately recognizable songs and arrangements. It’s 2013 and this is David Grubbs: Punkademic Godfather.
Andrea Belfi on drums, percussion and electronics Stefano Pilia on electric and acoustic guitar C Spencer Yeh on Violin Attila Faravelli on electronics
Like a stationary air guitar. A distorted guitar, caressed, a binary rhythm. Converted. More to emotions than to chords. An intimate splitting solo. Two sides, apiece. Stefano Pilia and Paolo Spaccamonti subtract to stylize. They remove to amplify. The magic is to hold (notes) to hold (listening). “Maurizio Blatto”
01. Non lacrimare
03. CarapaceAll music by Paolo Spaccamonti
except ‘Carapace’ (Julia Kent)
Dario Bruna: drums on ‘Fuga’ and ‘Carapace’
Ramon Moro: trumpet on ‘Fuga’
Paolo Spaccamonti: electric guitar, e-bow
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Ezra @ No.Mad Studio, Torino, Italy
our first full lenght album “White Sun Black Sun”! Here you will find some info. The vinyl version of the record will be available from March 19th thanks to Tannen, Sound of Cobra and Offset. The Tape cassette version on whocayoutrustrec
fri, feb 15: freakout – bologna, italy / sat, feb 16: csoa tnt – jesi, italy / sun, feb 17: teatro della tosse – genoa, italy / mon, feb 18: the black sheep – montpellier, france / thu, feb 21: cobra – solingen, germany / fri, feb 22: king georg – cologne, germany / sat, feb 23: orkz bar – groningen, netherlands / sun, feb 24: occii – amsterdam, netherlands / mon, feb 25: prince albert – brighton, england / tue, feb 26: the lexington – london, england / thu, feb 28: the marr’s bar – worcester, england / fri, mar 1: the cluny – newcastle, england / sat, mar 2: the art school – glasgow, scotland / sun, mar 3: bunatee bar – belfast, northern ireland / mon, mar 4: whelan’s (upstairs) – dublin, ireland / tue, mar 5: eric’s – liverpool, england / wed, mar 6: the trades club – hebden bridge, england / thu, mar 7: the harley – sheffield, england / fri, mar 8: the cookie jar – leicester, england / sat, mar 9: the cavern – exeter, england