Next week Alabaster DePlume will be gifting the world with his eagerly awaited album, GOLD. So far he has released two magnificent double singles, ‘Don’t Forget You’re Precious’ b/w ‘‘The Sound of My Feet on this Earth is a Song To Your Spirit’, and before that ‘Mrs Calamari’ b/w ‘Who Is A Fool’, both of which have left us itching with anticipation for the full album release. As we near release day, the aboundingly inventive composer, artist and activist is offering the third double single from his upcoming album, ‘I’m Good At Not Crying’, b/w ‘Visitors XT8B – Oak’. ‘I’m Good At Not Crying’ comes with a brilliant and witty video by TENTACLE, directed by Jordan Copeland. Here’s the statement that accompanies the video:
“The sun never set on the British Empire…
Alabaster draws attention to an outdated tendency to inhibit emotional expression & healthy communication using the the best example he can find – himself. Dressed in drag as a fading representative of empire, he boasts to the viewer of his ability to not cry, while beside him a choir of men sing in women’s voices. His lion is long dead and stuffed, staring with glassy eyes, and behind him, repeatedly, (and contrary to the age-old saying), the sun is indeed setting, on the British Empire.”
Check out both songs below and find out how it is impossible not get engrossed in DePlume’s life-affirming new album.
February started on a high note with the release announcement of GOLD, the new double album from ingenious, thought-provoking and unpredictable spoken word artist, bandleader, composer, saxophonist and activist Alabaster DePlume. After giving a first glimpse of the album with a magnificent two-song single, ‘Don’t Forget You’re Precious’ and ‘The Sound of My Feet on this Earth is a Song To Your Spirit’, DePlume is enticing us again with another set of double singles, ‘Mrs Calamari’ and ‘Who Is A Fool’. ‘Mrs Calamari’ is offered with an accompanying video shot on 8mm film, which marks the directorial debut of Dan “Danalogue” Leavers (The Comet Is Coming / Soccer 96)). Speaking about the video, Danalogue says:
“The film explores the archetypal hero’s journey, the symbolism of circles (transformation/death/life cycles). Mrs Calamari is represented as a squid goddess, a teaching of the ‘other’. It is essentially a story about growth and being guided by love. I felt strongly about the magical, organic sound of the music, recorded live and to analogue tape. This gave me inspiration to film on Super8, an antiquated format that holds within a mystery and timelessness.”
Watch the video below and watch out for the release of GOLD on April 1st through International Anthem, Lost Map and Total Refreshment Centre.
In other related good news, Alabaster DePlume is embarking on his first ever US tour next month, with live dates in Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Knoxville, Tennessee, where he will be artist in residence at Big Ears Festival. DePlume will perform with a different ensemble in each city, having invited local artists from the International Anthem family to curate his ensemble.
Ingenious, thought-provoking and unpredictable spoken word artist, bandleader, composer, saxophonist and activist Gus Fairbairn, aka Alabaster DePlume, got us under his spell a while back. So we’re a little bit more than excited to know he’s following his divine To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1, which was one of our Album Picks of 2020, with a double album called GOLD. An artist who thrives on collaborations and is known for mixing and connecting people, DePlume surrounded himself with the most talented musicians to bring the music of GOLD to life, including Rozi Plain, Conrad Singh, Sarathy Korwar, Tom Skinner, Tom Herbert, Danalogue and Matthew Bourne, amongst many others. Recorded at London’s Total Refreshment Centre, GOLD catapults us to a profoundly beautiful, earnest and gentle universe, brimming with positive energy.
We’ll have to wait until April 1st for the album to be out through International Anthem, Lost Map and Total Refreshment Centre but DePlume has already shared a magnificent two-song single, ‘Don’t Forget You’re Precious’ and ‘The Sound of My Feet on this Earth is a Song To Your Spirit.’ ‘Don’t Forget You’re Precious’ comes with an accompanying video directed by Jordan Copeland. Here’s both songs.
We're big fans of Run Logan Run, the adventurous duo of Andrew Neil Hayes (saxophones and FX) and Matt Brown (drums and percussion). Based in Bristol and born out of a shared passion for improvisation, spiritual jazz and heavier experimental music, they are versatile and talented musicians who push the boundaries of jazz. Their upcoming and much anticipated third album, For A Brief Moment We Could Smell The Flowers, captures perfectly their energy and their intense, inventive, intricate and exhilarating sound. We asked them to put together a mix of some of the artists and bands that inspire them and we're thrilled to start September with this superb selection of tracks. So be sure to grab their new album when it comes out later this month, and right now, press play and enjoy the ride!
Yacine Boularès, Vincent Ségal & Nasheet Waits – Dar Shems – The House of The Sun [Accords Croisés]
The Meters – (The World Is A Bit Under The Weather) Doodle-Oop [Rhino Records]
Cochemea – Tukaria [Daptone Records]
Tortoise – TNT [Thrill Jockey / City Slang]
Soccer96 feat. Alabaster DePlume – Children Will Dance [Moshi Moshi Records]
Jon Hopkins – Open Eye Signal (Happa remix) [Domino]
Tonbruket – Vinegar Heart [ACT]
M.A.N.D.Y. vs. Booka Shade Feat. Laurie Anderson – O Superman (Matt John Remix) [Get Physical Music]
John Pope Quintet – Plato [New Jazz And Improvised Music Recordings]
Tin Hat Trio – Bill (Nebraska Soundtrack) [Milan]
Johnny Dyani Quartet – Angolian Cry [SteepleChase]
Soccer96 are ready to take us by storm again with a new EP called Tactics and a treat of a new song, ‘I Was Gonna Fight Fascism’. The drums and keyboards duo of Dan Leavers aka Danalogue and Max Hallett aka Betamax, who are also two thirds of The Comet is Coming, will release Tactics on June 26th via Moshi Moshi Records. The new EP sees them turn into a quartet with the addition of thought-provoking and incredible musician and poet Alabaster DePlume and legendary multi-instrumentalist and producer Capitol K. Tactics “is built out of the raw energy of their improvisations, combining elements of jazz, electronica and heavier genres”, explains the press release. “A delicate balance of dark and light, heavy and danceable, the expansion from duo to quartet on this EP also sees Soccer96 re-situate itself within the vast musical universe that exists across their previous recordings and other projects.”
Danalogue had this to say about the collaboration with DePlume:
“In some ways it’s very similar to how we started things with The Comet Is Coming, plugging Shabaka into a guitar amp in our studio and egging each other on to go further, dirtier, louder. This time we plugged Alabaster into the Soccer96 turbo charger, and the results are pretty spectacular.”
There’s more good news. Just before lockdown, and as a quartet, they recorded a live show at Total Refreshment Centre. Featuring new material from the EP, these recordings are set to be released as a 3-part series of live videos and Part 1, with a version of their scathing new single ‘I Was Gonna Fight Fascism’ now available to stream. Here it is.