Welsh singer/songwriter Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley of White Fence formed their collaborative duo Drinks in 2015, releasing then their debut album Hermits On Holiday. Three years on, the pair’s creative collaboration is still going strong and they have announced a follow-up album, Hippo Lite. The album came to life in the south of France, and both Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley wrote a few words describing it:
“A month spent in an old mill in the under belly of France.
River swimming thrice a day.
Hot nights soundtracked by the rattle of randy frogs. Scorpion fear. In the sheets, on the face.
Hours of bird watching – no phone service. No wifi. 3 DVDs; Jurassic Park 1, 2 & 3.
Violin practice. Bread scoffing.
Early morning coffee drinking before the sun was too hot to do anything but snooze in the thick walled house. Music in the afternoon after a dip in the river and a cold beer on the square.
An album made for each other by one another with no hands, eyes or ears piercing the bubble other than that of dear friend Stephen Black who kept note of it all.”
– Cate Le Bon
“In a town, so very still and quiet.
A month in St. Hippolyte Du Fort, South France.
Where completely all of their brave young men vanished forever from the death machine of the first world war.
At one time left with only women and young girls.
Only relics of time standing still.
All the deceased names of men chiseled under a stone angel, that watches over the town square.
We set up a recording unit in an old stone mill turned house and began to write and record with the attention of tree trimmers or gardeners.
It got so hot we had to swim in a local river near by just to be able to think, then back to our home to make sounds and songs. Any sounds we could think of or wanted.
We used night sounds, night insects and used frogs as instruments. Did you know frogs have saxophones in their throats?
This is a broken music. a crumble. It’s the music of the building we called home for a month. We’ve never made & recorded music in such a simple living environment.
With all the ease, and air we needed. We were in a town 8 miles over from Robert Crumb’s hidden residence.
We lived in a mysterious place.
We had a flock of bats over for dinner many nights. No internet, or a phone to look to.
We had a beautiful big stone house, a river, and from time to time a lovely elderly yet young-hearted couple who would visit.
It was the opposite of what a typical recording experience usually is for any of us.
We tried to capture all of this and put it on record.”
– Tim Presley
Hippo Lite will see the light of day on April 20th through Drag City and we can already hear the first single ‘Real Outside’.
We’ve been keeping a keen ear out for new music from New York based multimedia artist and producer Brandon Locher ever since we came across his work in 2013. Involved in a variety of collaborative projects, including The Meets and Stage Hands, his first solo EP, EP1, is out today through Hush Hush Records. We had previously heard and loved ‘Medium Frequency‘, a delicate and powerful track featured in the EP. Locher has created and directed a stunning video for another track off it, the enigmatic and outlandishly wonderful ‘Air Notes’. Speaking about the video, Locher explained he devised it “by saving thousands of .jpg files by alternating and adjusting multiple layers in Photoshop, frame by frame”. Watch it now.
London based Japanese vocal performer Hatis Noit has signed to Erased Tapes, who will reissue her Illogical Dance EP. Originally released in 2015 and available only in her native Japan, the 4-track EP will be out worldwide on March 23rd. Hatis Noit, whose name means the stem of the lotus flower, draws from a variety of genres and traditions, including western classical music, Japanese folk, whispering, and poetry reading. All the sounds on Illogical Dance come from her mouth, with her mesmerizing and wordless improvised vocals multi-layered to create each song.
“The human voice is our oldest, most primal yet most powerful instrument”, said Hatis Noit. “I use it to describe nature’s many sounds, a language that isn’t logical. Yet it forms a beautiful conversation that isn’t restricted to words like the human language is. I want my music to remind us of that.”
Illogical Dance was co-produced by Haruhisa Tanaka and Matmos, and ahead of its reissue, let yourself be marvelled by the staggering beauty of ‘Illogical Lullaby’.
In other related news, Hatis Noit is performing at London’s Jazz Cafe on April 15th and at Devon’s Sea Change Festival in August.
We’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of Belief, the upcoming album from brilliant and enchanting multi-instrumentalist and improviser Richard Youngs. He had already enticed us with the staggering first single ‘Nebulosity‘ and now he has made a video to accompany the song. Watch it below.
Bitchin Bajas released their latest album Bajas Fresh last November and now they are taking it on the road. The Chicago trio have announced a string of lives dates in the US this month before heading to Europe for several shows, including a stop at London’s Cafe Oto on May 15th.
A divine double record, which made it to our Picks of 2017, Bajas Fresh spans 80 minutes of music in 7 tracks. The album features their longest track to date, the twenty-three minutes and three seconds ‘2303’. Meditative and serene, ‘2303’ boasts a sense of peace and purity, pulling us into its depths. Bitchin Bajas have unveiled a visual pairing for the track, created by the band’s own Rob Frye. Let yourself get carried away.
Intriguing, intense and compelling, ‘Quatere’ opens Mario Batkovic‘s outstanding self-titled album, released last year through Invada. The track is now being offered with an accompanying video. Watch it below.