Monday, April 30, 2012

Mads Bjørn: Gold + White Trees + New Sailor

In November 2009, Danish multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Mads Bjørn began recording material for his debut album in a summer cottage on the windswept west coast of Jutland, Denmark, resulting in the 11 highly layered, gorgeous tracks that make up 'Monolith", released in January 2012.

NOTE: The kalaidoscope like video for 'New Sailor' is composed of vintage footage from Copenhagen, circa 1930-40s.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Marybell Katastrophy: Somewhere Behind Your Lips

Danish band Marybell Katastrophy of Århus, Jutland released two 5-song EPs in 2007 and in 2008, respectively. A 15-song debut album 'The More' followed in November 2008 in Denmark, and throughout Europe and Asia in September 2009. A second full-length album 'Amygdala' dropped on April 4, 2012.

"Somewhere Behind My Lips" is the unofficial title track since it revolves around the amygdala - a small area in the brain's frontal lope. A small almond shaped unit that deals with fear and defense reactions, it can be activated by smell, taste and other senses.

Members are: Marie Højlund, vocals, guitar. Emil Thomsen, keys, vocals. Jakob Schweppenhäuser, beats. Q, drums.

The video was created by artist Olaf Zhiga who also does the visuals for the band's high energy live shows.

Besides their native Denmark, incl. a gig at the Roskilde Festival in 2007, the quartet has toured Germany, France, Norway, England, Italy and Ireland.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rumpistol: I'm Not Listening

"On April 13, 2012 Danish electronic artist Jens B. Christiansen aka Rumpistol released his fourth and most ambitious album yet , 'Floating', a collaboration with Los Angeles based Danish expatriate, vocalist Red Baron that further explores the post dub-step vocal territories opened up on last year's 'Talk To You' EP. With tighter song structures, intimate lyrics and the Baron's ecstatic vocal projections, the two create a parallel world in which the domestic breakdowns of wintry Copenhagen are filtered through surreal sun-bleached Californian dreams, resulting in a robotic and hypnagogic hybrid of soul."

The info is taken from the excellent artist bio by Berlin-based label Project: Mooncircle. Italics are mine. Being from Copenhagen, Denmark and a longtime resident of the L.A. area, the highlighted words above naturally sturck a chord with me.

Note 1: Red Baron aka Tobias Buch-Andersen also sings in the Danish band The Late Great Fitzcarraldos.

Note 2: 'rum' means "room" in Danish.

The video was directed by Thomas Jorsal & Michael Bojesen and features actor Andreas Pietras.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Robert Glasper Experiment: Cherish The Day (Featuring Lalah Hathaway):

"Cherish", one of my all time favorite Sade songs, is given a very fresh jazz/hip hop/R&B treatment by acclaimed New York producer/bandleader Robert Glasper.  His sublime cover version features flawless vocals by Lalah Hathaway, daughter of the late great Donny Hathaway.

Robert Glasper Experiment's stellar album 'Black Radio' was released on February 28, and includes tracks that feature Bilal, Erykah Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello, Musiq Soulchild, and others. Robert Glasper Experiment are: Glasper himself on piano and Fender Rhodes, Casey Benjamin on vocoder and saxophone, Derrick Hodge on electric bass, and  Chris Dave on drums.

Emeli Sande: Heaven

I dedicate this beautiful Emeli Sande track to Benjamin who passed away Saturday April 7.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Little Dragon: Crystalfilm

Swedish band Little Dragon's most recent album "Ritual Union" came out last year. Their latest video was directed by Daniel Wirtberg.

Info for US fans: there will be a show in Seattle on May 25, but before that date the band has gigs in Italy (April 19 in Milan) Mexico (May 5 in Toluca) and Brazil (May 11 in Sao Benedito). Additional European dates are scheduled for the summer and early fall. Click link for details:

Be sure to read my November 2009 interview with Yukimi Nagano, the band's vocalist and co-songwriter: