MAGIC MIX

folk . americana . blues . r&b . rock&roll

WEEK STARTING 18 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of Vena Portae - Bonus Remix CD Edition by Vena Portae.
Vena Portae are an Anglo-Swedish alt-folk band, comprised of BAFTA award-winning singer songwriter Emily Barker, songwriter and performer Dom Coyote, and Swedish producer and multi-instrumentalist Ruben Engzell. Vena Portae’s eponymous debut album draws the listener into an epic journey of love, loss, memory and longing. From the heady alt-pop highs of ‘Flames’, ‘Fury’ and ‘Summer Kills’, to the dark, atmospheric depths of ‘Turning Key’ and ‘Transatlantic’, this is an album that is atmospheric, moving and irresistible.

The album features stunning lead single ‘Summer Kills’, which is remixed by Swedish indie legend Peter Morén (lead singer of Peter, Bjorn and John). As the band puts it ‘Summer Kills’ is “A song about longing, about a broken past and an uncertain future. A song about regret and vain hopes. A song about love.” "Vena Portae" means "vein portal" in Latin; it’s a short vein that carries blood to the liver. The band were inspired by ideas of roads, rivers, veins, portals, creative openings, connections between people, places and life force.

In the winter of 2012, Vena Portae found themselves in the tiny, snowed-in Swedish town of Mölnbo just outside Stockholm. They built a make shift studio, full to the rafters with analogue equipment, spring reverbs, electric guitars, banjos, pianos and an array of weird and wonderful instruments. Over the space of a month, they recorded a treasure trove of songs, inspired by heartbreak, passion, and intrigue, which together make up the album Vena Portae.

Emily Barker is the BAFTA award-winning writer and performer of the theme to BBC TV crime drama Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. With her band The Red Clay Halo, she also provided the atmospheric theme to highly acclaimed noir thriller The Shadow Line. Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo have released four critically acclaimed albums, toured extensively over the world, performed alongside friend and collaborator Frank Turner at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony and recently released their album ‘Dear River’ in the UK on Linn Records to critical acclaim, with four and five star reviews across the board.

British songwriter-theatre maker Dom Coyote is an associate artist with the world renowned Kneehigh Theatre and has performed in sold out shows with them throughout the UK, South America and the U.S. He has performed and composed for acclaimed companies such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, Art Angel and the National Theatre as well as creating his own brand of gig-theatre, mixing alt-folk, rock, world music and multimedia. Ruben Engzell is a shining light in the Swedish music scene. Working with Christian Kjellvander, Peter Morén and EP’s Trailer Park to name a few, Ruben worked on ground-breaking London projects such as Future Cinema and Sona Soul before returning to his home country to set up his own studio in SoFo, the creative heart of Stockholm.

Jesper Jonsson, who joins the band onstage as a live drummer/percussionist,
grew up on the remote Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic sea, before moving to Stockholm where he headed up the rhythm sections for highly regarded artists such as EP’s Trailer Park, Lisa Lindal and Laakso.


FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: Includes CD featuring whole album plus 3 bonus tracks: Summer Kills (Peter Morén remix), Boys
and Sidereal.

The Blues Brothers Band

The Blues Brothers OST - Blue Vinyl Edition

Comic actors John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd rightfully get credit for exposing many people to the music of blues, soul and R&B veterans. The soundtrack to their hugely successful musical comedy The Blues Brothers was released on June 20, 1980 as the second album by the Blues Brothers Band, which also toured that year to promote the film.

The rollicking remake of the Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’” was a Billboard Top 20 hit, featuring an arrangement notable for the horn section that replaces Steve Winwood’s rumbling organ work. Ray Charles has a good time with “Shake a Tail Feather,” and he’s helped out by Jake and Elwood Blues (Belushi and Aykroyd, respectively). The cover of Solomon Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” is a lot of fun, thanks to the great overall rhythm and Elwood’s lightning-fast stage rap, while James Brown and the Reverend James Cleveland Choir provide a blast of gospel music on “Old Landmark.” Aretha Franklin’s “Think” is explosive, and Cab Calloway’s “Minnie The Moocher” is slyly irresistible.

Bob Carpenter

Silent Passage

    Bob Carpenter came close to being a major star. He received a glowing mention in Rolling Stone in 1970, recorded an album for Warner Brothers and had his songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Billy Joe Shaver and others.

    However, ‘Silent Passage’, his lone solo album recorded in 1974, was pressed and ready to ship when contract negotiations shelved the record indefinitely. By the time things were resolved it was the end of the 70s singer-songwriter boom and Warner had moved on.

    He died in 1995 and the last decade of his life was spent in religious devotion. He joined a Buddhist monastery shortly before his death.

    The album saw release on the Canadian Stony Plain label in 1984 but has been out of print until now.

    It’s a tragic story of one that got away: if things had gone differently perhaps ‘Silent Passage’ would be considered a country-rock classic - slotted somewhere between, say, Gene Clark’s ‘No Other’ and Neil Young’s ‘Tonight’s The Night’. Perhaps it’s not too late for that - Carpenter's songs are timeless, magical and waiting to be discovered.

    There’s a talented backing behind, featuring a lot known session players from the era and soon to be famous singers (Emmylou Harris, Anne Murray) but it's Bob Carpenter's voice that takes the lead here and it soars.

    Flamingods

    Hyperborea

      Flamingods are a five piece multi-instrumental experimental band originally started by Kamal Rasool in late 2009, now comprising of Kamal, Charles Prest, Sam Rowe, Karthik Poduval and Craig Doporto. Their sound has been described as ethnic pop, with elements of noise, tribal and freaked folk. They use a number of percussion instruments, some of which were collected during Rasool’s travels to places like Tanzania and the Amazon. The album was written after new Visa laws forced founding member Kamal Rasool out of the UK. The album deals with themes of identity, belonging and alienation whilst also day dreaming of leaving to foreign far away lands such as the mythical island of Hyperborea. The album was made with none of the band members in the same room, sending audio files back and forth across the internet.

      Already receiving BBC6 radio plays from Lauren Laverne, Tom Ravenscroft, John Kennedy, Huw Stephens Stuart Maconie and press reviews:
      “The London/Dubai soundclashers create global-minded psychedelia with their dance-party-ready new album Hyperborea” DAZED
      “African rhythms and soundscapes cribbed from across the world music remit" 8/10 NME
      “A record of superb scope, vision and energy” 8/10 Loud & Quiet
      “An eclectic mix of tribal-esque chants and hypnotic harmonies” The Line Of Best Fit


      Elvis Presley

      Bossa Nova Baby - Green Vinyl Edition

        Originally featured in the Elvis movie (& soundtrack) Fun In Acapulco and released as a single in 1963, “Bossa Nova Baby” was recorded by Elvis with a legendary vocal group backing him up; The Jordanaires.

        Fast forward 47 years. In 2010, the third official posthumous album of Elvis Presley created from scratch was released: the Viva Elvis album [MOVLP233]. This highly energetic remix album of famous Elvis soundtrack songs was specially produced for the Cirque du Soleil show Viva Elvis, complete with dance, acrobatics, live music, and video clips.

        Another four years down the line, a large global beer company decided to feature the Viva Elvis remix for “Bossa Nova Baby” in one of their epic commercials.

        This calls for an exclusive Elvis Presley 45 on beer bottle green vinyl, featuring both the original and remix of “Bossa Nova Baby”! Strictly limited to 1500 numbered copies. Party on!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        7" Info: 45 RPM 7” single with large dinked jukebox hole. Includes original and new remix. 1500 numbered copies on beer bottle green vinyl. Just 250 for the UK

        Savaging Spires

        We Should Be Dead Together

          Savaging Spires pass through the songs like ghosts, drawn from the circle around since departed Midlands favorites Virgin Passages, make the most of whatever acoustic instruments might be at hand on these collected recordings. There is an exciting feeling inherent in the tracks that someone could walk into the room at any time and add percussion or piano or guitar or an additional octave in the soaring choruses. It is rare that songs of this depth and range can feel so loose - while also being delicate and swirling in intensity. You can feel the act of creation in every note or creak or cadence and it is intoxicating. The results are not overtly folk or psych or pop or rock yet they appeal to all of those senses at once. What they are is English, in the purest sense. Not London trying to be cool England, but the real England.

          It is odd to have an 11-track EP. Even more strange is to organize it as one track followed by 10 tracks, as is done on the sleeve, especially when it plays out in a more traditional order in practice. But everything about Savaging Spires seems to go against convention. A band that All Music likened to "Animal Collective and the Incredible String Band jamming on foundinstruments at The Residents' house, with Mark Kozelek as guest vocalist" never ceases to surprise. This continues their habit of producing amazing results in front of a microphone, as their self-titled debut was considered by many to be an instant cult classic. "Recalling the glory days of pastoral psychedelia" according to The Wire, and receiving airplay from ardent fans in the UK on BBC Radio 1 (Tom Ravenscroft), BBC Radio 6 (Stuart Maconie), BBC Radio 3 (Late Junction) and Resonance Fm. It also found heavy rotation in the US on KALX, WFMU, WNYU, KVRX and many others. "We Could Be Dead Together" sees the band continuing to grow and leaves them presented in a way to reach even more fans of beautiful and challenging music.


          Mirel Wagner

          When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day

          There is a defiant air of unflinching bravery in Mirel Wagner’s carefully chosen words and the skeletal chords of her acoustic guitar. Her songs are like smooth, polished pebbles, thrown into a cold bottomless pond, drops of life that set the darkness rippling.

          Squeezing the last drop of life from a worn out genre, her acoustic balladry is as far as you'll get from clichéd coffee house folk. It has more to do with the primeval darkness of Swans than the folksy bonhomie of Bob Dylan.

          Her background couldn't be more normal: a relatively sheltered childhood in one of the better-off suburbs of Helsinki, teenage years spent rummaging around the blues section of her local library, fumbling around with her brother’s acoustic guitar. She is wary of speaking of her Ethiopian origins (Wagner was adopted at 1½ years of age) and sees herself as Finnish. Her art is all the more astonishing considering this cultural context, all the more shocking in its strangeness because it stems from something so normal.

          ‘When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day’ was recorded at Shark Reef Studios in Hailuoto by electronic music producer Vladislav Delay (Luomo, Uusitalo). Delay fleshes out Wagner’s sound, adding subtle production touches that give her songs a newfound vastness and gravity, while keeping the winning formula that garnered critical acclaim for her self-titled debut.

          The new album also features Academy and Grammy award winning Scottish composer Craig Armstrong.

          James Yorkston

          The Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society

          James Yorkston, an artist not unfamiliar with the notion of collaboration, has opened the studio doors to a broad and brilliant selection of players on this his eighth studio album.

          Produced by Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor in London’s Livingston studio, it features KT Tunstall, The Pictish Trail, Rob Smoughton, Fimber Bravo and his long term collaborators Jon Thorne and Emma Smith.

          ‘The Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society’ finds James at his most personal and reflective, following 2012’s ‘I Was A Cat From A Book’.

          What James and his collection of fine musicians have created is an album that connects the intimacy of his hometown life with the camaraderie of good friends. ‘The Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society’ flows with acceptance and relief and is James’ fullest body of work.

          The album artwork was created by celebrated children’s author and illustrator Clare Beaton.

          James Yorkston

          The Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society - Indies Only Deluxe Edition

            James Yorkston, an artist not unfamiliar with the notion of collaboration, has opened the studio doors to a broad and brilliant selection of players on this his eighth studio album.

            Produced by Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor in London’s Livingston studio, it features KT Tunstall, The Pictish Trail, Rob Smoughton, Fimber Bravo and his long term collaborators Jon Thorne and Emma Smith.

            ‘The Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society’ finds James at his most personal and reflective, following 2012’s ‘I Was A Cat From A Book’.

            What James and his collection of fine musicians have created is an album that connects the intimacy of his hometown life with the camaraderie of good friends. ‘The Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society’ flows with acceptance and relief and is James’ fullest body of work.

            The album artwork was created by celebrated children’s author and illustrator Clare Beaton.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xLtd LP Info: Double 180g virgin vinyl pressing in a deluxe die-cut gatefold sleeve.


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