Tag: Angelo Badalamenti (Page 1 of 2)

A Short Conversation with I AM SNOW ANGEL

The quietly subversive I AM SNOW ANGEL launches her most ambitious body of work yet in her second full-length album ‘Mothership’.

The space vehicle of Julie Kathryn, the multi-talented singer, musician and producer hailing from Lake Placid, an unusual combination of electronica and Americana has steadily evolved since her self-titled debut EP.

Following works such as ‘Crocodile’ and ‘Desert’, the spiritual intensity of ‘Mothership’ offers a work which is rich and melodic but perhaps a shade darker than where I AM SNOW ANGEL has boldly gone before, reflecting some turbulent times in a volatile world.

Julie Kathryn kindly talked to The Electricity Club about her ‘Mothership’ and where else she might be landing…

Your first album was called ‘Crocodile’ and from the title alone, ‘Mothership’ indicates a great sense of ambition?

This album definitely felt more substantial for me from the start. It feels like one piece of music, split into acts. I knew I needed to isolate myself to create it, and that the finished product would be more intense than what I’ve created in the past. This album was something I felt compelled to create.

Spirituality has been a recurring theme in your music, is ‘Mothership’ connected to that?

Definitely, ‘Mothership’ is an intersection of traditional spirituality and paranormal / science fiction – both of which are present in my inner artistic life. At the beginning of the album, the protagonist struggles in an emotionally uninhabitable world, longing for escape – and even for abduction. When the ‘Mothership’ finally arrives, her fantasy of escape feels more like a nightmare. But in the end, she returns to an altered world where she is enlightened. She can feel love again.

How important was the interim ‘Desert’ EP on your musical journey to ‘Mothership’?

Musically, it was very important. My songwriting on that EP – in particular, ‘Desert’ and ‘Losing Face’ – took me to a deeper place, lyrically and emotionally. I think this served as a bridge to this new, more intense material.

You recorded this album alone in a cabin in the woods, how was it to be cut-off from all the distractions of the city and to function self-sufficiently?

It was so wonderful. I didn’t want it to end. I was able to get lost in artistic flow for days at a time, working around the clock in my favourite place on earth.

Is this what contributed to the nocturnal demeanour of ‘Mothership’?

Yes. In the middle of nowhere during the winter, it was dark and quiet a lot of the time. And I definitely created a lot of the music late at night or in the early hours of the morning. Those are my prime creative hours.

It all starts with a wondrous instrumental ‘Inception’ which is a new path for you?

That piece of music seems to write itself. It didn’t seem like it should have lyrics, so I left it as it was.

‘Honeybee’ is perhaps one of the album’s pivotal tracks, what inspired it?

‘Honeybee’ – like much of the first half of the album – describes a sense of disillusionment and a desire to escape. I chose sounds that reminded me of buzzing bees and gurgling honeycomb, but with an ominous edge, intended to represent a natural world out of balance. Once I settled on guitar chords and synth sounds, the melody and narrative came to me quickly.

Things seems grander on this record, ‘You Were Mine’ sounds like it’s been backed by a huge synthetic orchestra?

I remember creating the music for that song. I was sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace in the cabin with my gear spread out around me. I used some of the sounds from Ableton’s “Orchestral Strings” soundpack, looping and layering various parts – whatever felt natural. The sonic landscape for this track materialized in a really fun and intuitive way.

You’ve opted to include both variants of ‘Honyebee’ and ‘You Were Mine’ on ‘Mothership’, what were your reasons?

For ‘Honeybee’, I felt very connected to my original version – the Cabin Mix – and still I had a nagging desire to re-imagine the song once I was back in New York City. So I spent a day or two remixing my own track (which was a really fun exercise in itself) and I ended up with the City Mix. While the Cabin Mix feels very organic to me, the City Mix is more glitchy and anxious. I thought it would be fun to include them both.

With ‘You Were Mine’, I was curious to hear another interpretation of the song. I asked a collaborator whom I really respect – the Swedish artist / producer THE LAND BELOW to remix the song and I loved his dark twist on it.

You’ve applied more glitch techniques ?

Yes I definitely used some glitchy sounds on this album. In ‘Inception’ I reversed sounds of children playing and simple xylophone notes to create an eerie, subtly off-kilter mood. In ‘Prey of My Own’ and ‘Wake Me’ I chopped, warped and reversed a lot of the backing vocals. And as I mentioned before, ‘Honeybee (City Mix)’ ended up a bit glitchy and crunchy.

‘Loud and Sharp / Hard and Fast’ does what it says on the tin with talk of “falling out more times than falling in”, what was the catalyst for that?

As I was writing this, I was thinking about the concept of “falling in” or “falling out” of love. I started to wonder if there’s an exact moment when each of those occurs. In the case of “falling out”, I envisioned a loved one’s previously soothing voice suddenly sounding harsh and abrasive. And then I realized that I can recall “falling out” of love more times than I can remember “falling into” love… which seems paradoxical.

‘Prey of My Own’ is quite intense and almost claustrophobic, a case of cabin fever?

This song was partially inspired by a post-apocalyptic novel by Emily St. John Mandel, ‘Station Eleven’, that I read while I was conceptualizing this album. The characters in the book, including the female protagonist Kirsten, must fend for themselves in a wild, uncivilized world. In ‘Prey of My Own’, my protagonist has become a warrior in a cold and dangerous winter forest.

The ‘Mothership’ title song and ‘Wake Me’ both have a sombre air?

Both of these songs depict the protagonist’s abduction (or, dream of being abducted). Desperate for relief from her unhappy life, she eagerly awaits the ‘Mothership’, even drinking special elixirs in an effort to expedite its arrival. But when the ship lands, its sound is harsh and deafening. What follows (in the rest of the track and in ‘Wake Me’) is either an actual abduction or a very vivid nightmare that leaves her frightened and disoriented. When the protagonist wakes up/returns to consciousness, she finds that the world has changed, and she has changed.

The lyrical content of the closing number ‘I Love You’ could have many interpretations for the listener?

The album’s narrative ends here. Unaware exactly how long she has been gone from this world, the protagonist wakes up to an altered reality – both internally and externally. Her spiritual composition has changed, and the world feels different.

She finally feels peace and love within herself. She remembers someone she loved many years ago and makes a trek through a new futuristic landscape to find this person.

You must be very proud of ‘Mothership’, what’s the next step as far as presenting it to the wider world?

Thank you so much. I’m hoping to reach as many people as I can with this album, and I’m grateful to people like you for taking the time to listen to and share my work.


The Electricity Club gives its warmest thanks to I AM SNOW ANGEL

‘Mothership’ available as a download via the usual digital outlets

http://iamsnowangel.com/

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https://twitter.com/I_Am_SnowAngel

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Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Julie Drummond
2nd February 2019

I AM SNOW ANGEL Mothership

The ‘Mothership’ has landed and it is indeed I AM SNOW ANGEL’s most ambitious work yet.

The quietly subversive vehicle of Julie Kathryn, the Lake Placid native wrote, performed, programmed, produced and engineered the album herself in a woodland cabin retreat outside New York, although there are some guitar contributions from Charlie Rauh on two tracks.

At eight tracks, while this is not a long concept album in that progressive rock kind of way, ‘Mothership’ has a thematic core which is possibly darker than the dreamier I AM SNOW ANGEL material of the past.

With a political air of alienation, ‘Mothership’ has been described as an intersection of traditional spirituality, the paranormal and science fiction.  After a surreal instrumental intro with the widescreen overtures of ‘Inception’, ‘Honeybee’ provides some Americana twang alongside glitchy atmospheres and dense icy strings, recalling the mysterious air of Hilary Woods who released her debut solo album ‘Colt’ on Sacred Bones Records in 2018.

On the wispy drama of ‘You Were Mine’, the feelings of loss conveyed over an airy collage of mystery are chillingly bittersweet, accompanied by a magnificent synthetic orchestra and a minimal dressing of guitar. More loudly dynamic, ‘Loud and Sharp / Hard and Fast’ does what the title suggests in an aural cocoon of drum loops, bass synth, guitars and voice samples.

Reminiscent of Angelo Badalamenti, ‘Prey of My Own’ is intense and claustrophobic; “One of the big influences for me on my new record was actually David Lynch” confessed Julie Kathryn to The Electricity Club, “especially the new series of Twin Peaks”.

The sombre air of the ‘Mothership’ title track gives a very austere atmosphere swathed in intensity…

“What follows (in the rest of the track, and in ‘Wake Me’) is either an actual abduction or a very vivid nightmare that leaves her frightened and disoriented” Julie Kathryn said, “When the protagonist wakes up / returns to consciousness, she finds that the world has changed, and she has changed.”

Drifting among sombre strings, ‘Wake Me’ works with detuned spacey synths to provide a twist, building around a steadfast swung rhythm, mighty guitar textures and haunting whispery vocals, before drones and six string make a profound declaration in ‘I Love You’, an ultimate expression of blind devotion which captivates and unsettles simultaneously.

Sonically nocturnal and emotive, embroiled in a delicate melancholy via an earthy merging of technology and nature, ‘Mothership’ moves I AM SNOW ANGEL away from dreams into more cerebral climes but is still quietly subversive.

At the end, there is almost a sense of cabin fever, isolation and uncertainty, reflecting some turbulent times in a volatile world.


‘Mothership’ available as a download from 25th January 2019 direct from https://iamsnowangel.bandcamp.com/album/mothership

http://iamsnowangel.com/

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Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Shervin Lainez
23rd January 2019

TWIN PEAKS & FRIENDS: Introducing The Weird & Wonderful Musical World of David Lynch

Photo by Mark Berry

“My childhood was elegant homes, tree-lined streets, the milkman, building backyard forts, droning airplanes, blue skies, picket fences, green grass, cherry trees. Middle America as it’s supposed to be. But on the cherry tree there’s this pitch oozing out – some black, some yellow, and millions of red ants crawling all over it. I discovered that if one looks a little closer at this beautiful world, there are always red ants underneath. Because I grew up in a perfect world, other things were a contrast”.

And so we are invited to go in; into the mysteriously twisted, sickening at times, never straightforward world of David Lynch. One likes the arts and photography, another excels in music, or vocals, few make good films, while the rest write or paint; Lynch has done it all. Having introduced his unparalleled strangeness into American film making and being true to his own ideas, the “madman” (as Mel Brooks called him), even refused to direct ‘The Return Of The Jedi’, claiming that Lucas would do it better his way.

Meeting Angelo Badalamenti, while filming his hugely successful ‘Blue Velvet’, proved to be the start of a captivating musical relationship, which Lynch has proven to treasure till today.

Angelo Badalamenti, whose superlative musical understanding led to various working relationships with many a pop and rock band, with Pet Shop Boys, Orbital, Tim Booth, Anthrax, Marianne Faithful and others, all creating electrifying soundscapes with a little help of the virtuoso.

As Lynch’s films gained critical acclaim worldwide, his musical interests and collaborations grew in parallel.

Who directed a 2011 Duran Duran gig streamed live from Mayan Theater in LA? Lynch did…

Who collaborated with Interpol on ‘I Touch a Red Button Man’ animation? Lynch did…

Who directed Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Came Back Haunted’ video? Lynch did… (incidentally striking a further musical pact with Reznor)

Photo by Michel Delsol/Getty Images

As it often appears, happenstance creates the optimal conditions for working relationships, and that’s exactly what happened with Lynch and Cruise.

The ethereal sounding, dainty Julee may have never worked with the visionary, if it wasn’t for the fact that Lynch couldn’t use Tim Buckley’s ‘Song To The Siren’ covered by This Mortail Coil in a key scene of ‘Blue Velvet’. As an alternative, he commissioned Badalamenti to compose a song of similar feel, with lyrics by Lynch.

As someone had to sing ‘Mysteries Of Love’, Badalamenti recommended Cruise, known for her sublime voice. Recently the rather talented Kid Moxie re-visited the tune with Badalamenti , putting her own spin onto the Badalamenti/Lynch hit.

And so enter ‘Twin Peaks’; first aired in 1990 on ABC, later being taken off air due to dwindling popularity, the series was far more than the crime drama with a twist, expected by the fans of Lynch. Having teamed with Mark Frost, the master created a cult program, which is often described as one of the best TV series ever.

The story of the death of young and beautiful Laura Palmer, set in idyllic landscapes of rural Washington state, and the search for her murderer has, for years, evoked fear, lust, wonder and interest into the metaphysical and mystical.

Needless to say, a correct musical setting was necessary to depict the uncertainty, terror and weirdness of the events unfolding in, otherwise, quiet town of Twin Peaks.

A quiet town… at least that’s what one expects on the surface; but Twin Peaks has its own dark secrets. The horrors and wrongdoings that underline the death of Laura Palmer are palpable and Lynch made sure that his take on the human immorality is fully stamped on his characters.

Cruise was again chosen to perform a number of songs, and Badalamenti provided the musical mysticism, resulting in a multi-million selling soundtrack to the series, even with the tracks being largely instrumental.

But within those magical non word pieces, lay three acutely polished gems, all performed by Cruise. ‘Falling’, acting as the theme tune, must be, by far, one of the most recognised songs that go with any TV series.

Cruise further benefitted from the Lynch/Badalamenti collaboration by releasing her first album ‘Floating Into The Night’, which housed ‘Falling’, ‘Into The Night’ and ‘Nightingale’, all used in ‘Twin Peaks’.

‘Rocking Back Inside My Heart’ is one of the songs performed by Cruise live on stage at the Twin Peaks bar everyone gathers at, with most of the young female characters singing to it.

‘Falling’ has been so popular, that a number of artists decided to cover it, and further inspirations appeared by Apoptygma Berzerk, Bright Light Bright Light, The Joy Formidable, The Wedding Present and many others. The latest cover is, interestingly enough, performed by Chrysta Bell, who appears in the Twin Peaks revival series, and has been involved in working with Lynch for many years.

Joined by LA based music magician and celebrated producer John Fryer, Bell provides a synthy rendition, which is a true testament to the song’s longevity and prowess.

Lynch and Badalamenti also produced ‘Summer Kisses Winter Tears’, which, originally by Elvis Presley, was covered by Cruise and featured in ‘Until The End Of The World’ movie. A wonderfully presented come back of the 50s, with dreamy guitar and lazy piano, floating over the consciousness, not without an underlying uncertainty, however.

Chrysta Bell met Lynch in 1999 and the pair have collaborated since, with the master co-writing two of her albums. Her stunning song written with the director himself, ‘Polish Poem’, was featured in the closing scenes of ‘Inland Empire’. Not only is it hauntingly beautiful, but depicts the end of the movie in a sublime manner.

But Lynch sings himself too, oh yes! ‘Good Day Today’ is minimal electro, breaking into the popular culture, with heavily melodyned vocal pleading for the want of having “a good day today”. The lensman wants to be sent an angel, and complains of tiredness over a fast paced, catchy beat; all this happening against a back drop of a disturbingly Lynchian video.

Karen O joins the magician on ‘Pinky’s Dream’, which has been skilfully remixed by Trentemøller into an electronic burst of metallic beats and heavy bass. Together with ‘Good Day Today’, both taken from ‘Crazy Clown Time’, the first album by Lynch, the tracks have been described as having serious electro pop influences.

‘I’m Waiting Here’, performed by the Swedish singer and songwriter Lykke Li, found itself on Lynch’s second album ‘The Big Dream’. Featuring a video, which could have been taken from any of Lynch’s productions, the dreamy arrangement gets abruptly cut off by unexplained noise and the uncertainty is ushered, breaking off the waltzing style of the music. This is what David is about; nothing is ever perfectly straightforward.

He remixes too… ‘Evangeline’ by John Foxx and Jori Hulkkonen was masterfully adapted by the filmmaker. It’s gritty, dirty and fragmented: mechanical in texture. It feels like observing the intricate workings of a Swiss watch, while on blow, being surrounded by robots.

Moby has collaborated with the master for years too. This includes video directing, interviews and remixes. ‘Go’ was largely influenced by the Twin Peaks theme, which is sampled here, and it sold a staggering two million copies. And now Richard Melville Hall stars as the guitar player in Rebekah Del Rio’s band, performing live in Part 10 of ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival.

The Lynch collaborations are endlessly eclectic when it comes to genre and style. From ambient, pop, rock, via synth, classical and experimental. The working relationship with Marek Zebrowski, a Polish-American composer, also started during the production of ‘Inland Empire’, part of which was shot in Łódź. As both displayed interests in musical experimentation and improvisation, a concept evolved under the name of ‘Polish Night Music’.

More recently the hungry fans of the original ‘Twin Peaks’ series have been in for a treat. Lynch has always stressed that the story of Laura Palmer wasn’t complete and this year has seen the revival series hit the television screens. When Julee Cruise happily took to the stage in the original series, dazzling with a plethora of eerie, ethereal notes and semi-shy demeanour; the Revival brings plenty of musical surprises, inviting different performers to do their own sets in The Bang Bang Bar, a roadhouse in Twin Peaks. Each episode features a live performance from handpicked musicians, many of whom have a long history of association with the film master.

First off, Chromatics showcase ‘Shadow’, the video to which reminds of the Black Lodge’s red curtains. The Portland based band has undergone many a member change, but ‘Shadow’ certainly proves that the current set up is perfect. The track is Badalamenti dreamy, still bearing the electronic sounds of the now, and as an opener to the newest of the tales of the sleepy Washington town, it blends in nicely.

Au Revoir Simone from New York picks up the baton in Part 4, following The Cactus Blossoms. ‘Lark’ keeps in with the intangible atmosphere, leading through to Trouble’s ‘Snake Eyes’. An Americana rock and roll style, with added sexy saxophone and jazzy influences, this instrumental track leads into Part 6, with Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Tarifa’. With the copious amounts of folksy soothing day dream, the quirky vocal and bluesy elements, at times a la Fleetwood Mac, it’s a perfect summer evening track.

None other than Lynch’s old collaborator Trent Reznor comes back to mingle with the master yet again, after having worked on the score for ‘Lost Highway’, and Nine Inch Nails’ video for ‘Came Back Haunted’. This time taking the role of a goth band frontman, the leather clad Reznor and co, take to the Roadhouse stage to deliver ‘She’s Gone Away’.

As the first band to be actually introduced by an MC, NIN hauntingly induce their semi psychedelic, disturbingly mish-mashed track full of guitars over Reznor’s seductive male interceptions. Backing vocals are provided by Mrs Reznor, Marqueen Maandig.

Hudson Mohawke takes the DJ reins on ‘Human’ in Part 9, while Au Revoir Simone returns in the same episode with ‘A Violet Yet Flammable World’, which begins with a similar beat to Depeche Mode’s classic ‘Ice Machine’, to develop into an all girl extravaganza of voice and purely electronic sound, reminiscent of Marsheaux.

Rebekah Del Rio delivers memorable rendition of ‘No Stars’ written by Lynch. The Latin-American songstress has been a muse for the filmmaker for years, providing a cameo appearance in ‘Mulholland Drive’ to perform a Spanish a cappella performance of Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’. In ‘Twin Peaks’, she is seen in a dress with a pattern reminiscent of the Black Lodge floor, ushers in a stunning vocal, both in English and Spanish. Yet another classic ‘Twin Peaks’ track.

What follows in Part 11, is a twist: a beautifully composed piano piece ‘Heartbreaking’ performed by Count Smokula.

Chromatics return in the next episode with instrumental ‘Saturday’, while the ominous number 13 brings the original series’ familiar James Marshall with ‘Just You’, which also appears on ‘Twin Peaks Music: Season Two Music and More’.

Folksy Lissie performs ‘Wild West’, just where David Bowie appears for the first time in Cole’s dream as Phillip Jeffries of ‘Fire Walk With Me’ movie.

Bowie moves back in in Episode 15, which is wrapped up by The Veils performing ‘Axolotl’. The London based indie band has been yet another of Lynch’s favourites chosen to perform live in Twin Peaks and they don’t disappoint with the quasi electronic, gripping tune, which injects a further dose of fear and uncertain weirdness so typical of Lynch’s disciples.

Number 16 showcases none other than Pearl Jam’s finest, Eddie Vedder, introduced as Edward Louis Severson with ‘Out Of Sand’. The fact that Vedder had been listed as a cast member well before the episode aired, created a stir and many fans eagerly awaited his performance at the Bang Bang Bar. Although the tune had been available prior to the premiere of Part 16, EV toned it down to acoustic guitar as the only instrument accompanying his hauntingly hungry voice.

Interestingly enough Vedder isn’t in the closing titles; Audrey Horne gets to perform ‘Audrey’s Dance’ once more, with a more sinister ending however.

The real treat wraps up Episode 17, with none other than Julee Cruise returning beautifully to finish the part, where Cooper and co go back to the past to try and save Laura Palmer. Julee’s second to none, ethereally magical voice on ‘The World Spins’ is an ultimate tribute to the whole of the series, with Number 18 (being the last) stripped off the, now familiar, musical end.

If anyone wanted answers in the Revival series, they’re probably banging their heads against the wall (or are getting tangled in the Black Lodge curtains), because more questions were introduced and the aura of weirdness has been intensified to almost mystical levels. Has the evil been eradicated? We don’t think so.

Have we got a happy ending? Certainly not so.

But isn’t that what Lynch is all about?

Riddles, riddles, riddles…

And what’s next for the genius? More music perhaps? Who knows, but with the wealth of experiences from the master over the years; musical or visual, haven’t we all been in for a treat?

ELECTRICITY ELECTRICITY


‘Twin Peaks (Music from the Limited Event Series)’ and ‘Twin Peaks (Limited Event Series Soundtrack)’ are available now via Rhino Records

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Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
Original photos courtesy of Showtime execpt where credited
8th September 2017

VILE ELECTRODES Captive In Symmetry

Captive in Symmetry-video02The UK’s top independent synth duo VILE ELECTRODES have unveiled a mesmerising new number entitled ‘Captive In Symmetry’ as their brand new single.

The beautiful song hints at the direction of their new, as-yet-untitled second album. Martin Swan told The Electricity Club last summer: “We’ve just written a lovely new song called ‘Captive In Symmetry’, which we’re very pleased with… That is definitely going to feature on the album. The new album has a kind of theme running through it, and we’ve got some very strong ideas for how it’s going to sound. It’s very filmic”.

“Filmic” is indeed a very apt description of ‘Captive In Symmetry’ and the booming synth bass motif has echoes of the ‘Twin Peaks’ theme tune ‘Falling’. As beautiful sequences, eerie choral samples and Anais Neon’s hauntingly alluring vocals take hold, it all comes over like a dreamboat collaboration between JULEE CRUISE and OMD that could easily be considered for use in the proposed revamp of the surreal North American drama.

‘Captive In Symmetry’ also shares some cinematic common ground with the under rated ‘Little Death Capsule’ from ‘The Last Time’ EP.  The video features details of Anais’ face merged in with clips from the 1947 film noir ‘Lady From Shanghai’, which was directed by Orson Welles.

On the follow-up to the acclaimed debut long player ‘The future through a lens’, which was voted Best International Album at the 2014 Schallwalle Awards, The Swan added: “I think it’s fair to say that we’ve developed quite a bit as a band and as individuals since we wrote some of the songs for the first album. The follow up will sound, if not very different, then certainly much fresher…”

The ‘Captive In Symmetry’ release will additionally include the long established live favourite ‘Real 2 Reel Love’ and the hauntingly minimal ‘Dead Feed’. ‘Captive In Symmetry’ is expected to be part of VILE ELECTRODES’ live set with other new numbers ‘Drive’, ‘Last Of The Lovers’, ‘Evidence’ and ‘Stark White’.


‘Captive In Symmetry’ is available as a CD EP in a hand-screen printed card slipcase via http://vileelectrodes.bigcartel.com/product/captive-in-symmetry-ep-released-13th-april

The three track download EP can be obtained from
https://vileelectrodes.bandcamp.com/album/captive-in-symmetry-ep

http://www.vileelectrodes.com/

http://www.facebook.com/vileelectrodes

http://vileelectrodes.blogspot.com/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
15th April 2015, updated 6th June 2015

KID MOXIE 1888

Since her first releases ‘Human Stereo’ in 2007 and ‘Selector’ in 2009, KID MOXIE has developed her self-confessed “gutter pop” into something altogether more sophisticated and cinematic.

Kid-Moxie-1888The musical moniker of Elena Charbila, KID MOXIE has progressed on a transient journey through her guest spots with fellow Greeks NIKONN and FOTONOVELA to her most striking work yet with her second full length album ‘1888’.

Preceded in 2013 by her best song to date ‘The Bailor’, one person listening was film director David Lynch. He commissioned a remix of ‘The Bailor’ in aid of his charitable Foundation, helping underprivileged populations across the world by raising awareness towards using Transcendental Meditation to heal traumatic stress.

And it is with a relaxed state of mind that ‘1888’ is best approached. The album has two distinct modes, one being widescreen synthpop for want of a better description while the other is more naturalistic sonic sandwich heavily influenced by classic and arthouse film soundtracks. ‘1888’ begins with the pulsating ‘Lacuna’ and sees some of Elena Charbila’s je nais se quoi being applied to a dreamy electro-continental soundscape with an almost understated sexiness. Unafraid to experiment with arrangements, Gregorian chants are even thrown in while as the synths fade, the song isolates to just tinkling ivories and vibes.

Then second, in a similar manner to American TV shows, comes the ‘1888’ title track, an abstract cacophony featuring backward vocals, layered sitar and echoing accordion all smothered together for a surreal theme tune. But it returns to comparative convention on ‘Jacqueline The Ripper’, possibly the most overtly synthpop number in the ‘1888’ collection. Slightly reminiscent of THE HUMAN LEAGUE, it sees KID MOXIE take on a girly snarl alongside her breathy cooing while the closing breakdown gives a chance for her to indulge in a solo on her beloved bass guitar.

The wonderful wash of ‘The Bailor’ continues the rich glaze of the album but then appears a beautiful collaboration with renowned film composer Angelo Badalamenti via a new version of ‘Mysteries Of Love’. With lyrics by David Lynch, the song was originally recorded with JULEE CRUISE and featured in the film ‘Blue Velvet’. This dreamy cover bridges the two approaches on ‘1888’ and suits Charbila’s wispy vocal style down to the ground as it chills alongside the melancholic orchestrations.

With further wispiness, ‘Ghost Town’ could be a Françoise Hardy song for the 21st Century mashed-up with a Spaghetti Western soundtrack as synths and a muted six string provide the bed for some haunting whistling a la GOLDFRAPP’s ‘Felt Mountain’.

KID MOXIE Andre GoviaOf course, the king of such soundtracks is Ennio Morricone and with the spectre of Da Maestro looming in a collaboration with THE GASLAMP KILLER, a sombre string and horn combo dominates proceedings on ‘Museum Motel’ while military drums propel the aural drama up to a climax. ‘1888’ then goes all electro again with the pretty ‘Shadow Heart’.

Recalling DUBSTAR with guitars, bass, synths and piano all combining with Charbila’s breathy continental vocals, it is a heavenly slice of exquisite pop.

To finish, Newcastle’s A SOULLESS PARTY directs proceedings on ‘Blackberry Fields’. The more unorthodox project of Kev Oyston from MOTORBIKES IN TOKYO, it sees Our Kid duetting with a scratchy field recording… only it’s not! Charbila said to The Electricity Club: “it’s actually not a sample, Kev produced the song but Chris Lambert (the other member of A SOULLESS PARTY) is singing! We tried to make it sound as close to an old British folk song as possible”… the song is a real oddity, but fascinating.

KID MOXIE has undoubtedly grown up and the nine tracks on ‘1888’ show an inventive maturity on both electronic and organic sides of the musical coin. This promise has been a few years coming and the girl who first appeared in 2007 has blossomed. Those who may have been disappointed with ‘Human Stereo’ or ‘Selector’ will be pleasantly surprised by the leap forward on ‘1888’.


‘1888’ is released as a deluxe 2CD set with additional remixes by Amour Records, available from https://kidmoxie.bandcamp.com/album/1888

http://www.facebook.com/kidmoxie

https://twitter.com/KIDMOXIEMUSIC


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Andre Govia
1st December 2014, updated 30th December 2017

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