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PALM

Nai Palm

Needle Paw - 2023 Reissue

    Nai Palm releases this deluxe reissue of ‘Needle Paw’ via Brainfeeder Records.

    Naomi ‘Nai Palm’ Saalfield is the composer, guitarist and tour de force frontwoman of three time Grammynominated group Hiatus Kaiyote.

    Nai and her group have been co-signed by Erykah Badu, accompanied by Q-Tip, and sampled by Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak.

    Upon its original release in 2017, Pitchfork gave ‘Needle Paw’ an 8.0, saying of Nai, “her performance as vocalist, producer, arranger, and musical director confirms her talents - and, in her interpretive care, reaffirms listening as an act of love.”

    For fans of Erykah Badu, Moses Sumney, Little Dragon, Jordan Rakei, Nick Hakim.

    “On her solo debut, Nai Palm abandons her band Hiatus Kaiyote’s expansive future-soul aesthetic in favor of acoustic intimacy; it is, above all, a testament to the power of the voice.” - Pitchfork (8.0).

    “‘Needle Paw’ is a sea of vowel runs and stressed syllables, interwoven throughout angelic backing vocals and gospel-like notes.” - Billboard.

    TRACK LISTING

    Wititj (Lightning Snake) Pt 1
    Atari
    Crossfire / So Into You
    Haiku
    Mobius
    Molasses
    Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
    Atoll
    When The Knife
    Blackstar / Pyramid Song / Breathing Underwater
    Borderline With My Atoms
    Homebody
    Wititj (Lightning Snake) Pt 2

    Palm

    Nick And Grazzes

      To confuse parts for the whole is inevitable with Palm. Drummer Hugo Stanley, bassist Gerasimos Livitsanos and guitarists/vocalists/high school sweethearts Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt started making music together as teenagers, and spent much of their twenties in the kind of proximity unusual for adults, outside of touring bands and the International Space Station. For a number of years the band consumed the lives of its members to a point of exhaustion: “To be honest I think we got a little burnt out. There were times where it wasn’t clear if we’d make another record,” says Alpert. It was only after multiple freak injuries followed by a pandemic, forced a pause - from touring but also from writing, rehearsing, even seeing each other- that the four were able to regroup and see a way forward again.

      On their latest effort, Nicks and Grazes, Palm embrace discordance to dazzling effect. “We wanted to reconcile two potentially opposing aesthetics,” Kurt says. “To capture the spontaneous, free energy of our live shows while integrating elements from the traditionally gridded palette of electronic music.” In order to avoid what Kurt refers to as “Palm goes electro,” the musicians spent years educating themselves on the ins and outs of production by learning Ableton while also experimenting with “the percussive, textural, and gestural potential” of their instruments. To this end, the band continued the age-old tradition of instrument-preparation, augmenting guitars with drumsticks, metal rods and, at the suggestion of Charles Bullen (This Heat, Lifetones), coiling rubber-coated gardening wire around the strings. The unruliness of the prepared guitar on songs like “Mirror Mirror” and “Eager Copy” contrasts with the steadfast reproducibility of the album’s electronic elements.

      While Palm cite Japanese pop music, dub, and footwork as influences on this album’s sonic palette, they found themselves returning time and again to the artists who inspired them to start the group over a decade ago. “When we were first starting out as a band, we bonded over an appreciation of heavy, aggressive, noisy music,” Alpert reflects. “We wrote parts that were just straight-up metal.” Kurt adds, “I found myself rediscovering and re–falling in love with the visceral, jagged quality of guitars in the music of Glenn Branca, The Fall, Beefheart, and Sonic Youth, all important early Palm influences.” Returning to the fundamentals gave Palm a strong foundation upon which they could experiment freely, resulting in their most ambitious and revelatory album to date.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Touch And Go
      2. Feathers
      3. Parable Lickers
      4. Eager Copy
      5. Brill
      6. On The Sly
      7. And Chairs
      8. Away Kit
      9. Suffer Dragon
      10. Mirror Mirror
      11. Glen Beige
      12. Tumbleboy
      13. Nicks And Grazes

      Naima Bock

      Giant Palm

        The roots of Naima Bock’s music are far reaching. Born in Glastonbury to a Brazilian father and a Greek mother, Naima spent her early childhood in Brazil before eventually returning to England and various homes in South-East London. This heritage combines with more recent pursuits in Naima’s music. From the Brazilian standards that the family listened to while driving to the beach, to the European folk traditions she tapped into on her own, and the pursuits that interest her today – studies in archaeology, work as a gardener, and walking the world’s great trails – Naima’s music draws from family, the earth and music handed down through generations.

        Naima’s debut album Giant Palm is undoubtedly infused with the Brazilian music of her youth and regular family visits. She found inspiration in “the percussion, the melodies, chords - and particularly the poetic juxtaposition of tragedy and beauty held within the lyrics.” By the age of 15 Naima was embedded in the music scene of South-East London, eventually forming Goat Girl with school friends and touring the world. After six years playing bass in Goat Girl, Naima left the band to try something new. She set up a gardening company and started a degree at University College London in archeology because, as she jokes, “I liked being near the ground.” During this time she wrote music, played guitar, learned violin, worked with ever-shifting South-London collective Broadside Hacks, and met producer and arranger Joel Burton through Memorials of Distinction label head Josh Cohen. Joel’s burgeoning interest in Western classical music, global folk music, experience in large scale arrangement and orchestration informed the collaborative process that eventually culminated in Giant Palm.

        Recorded with the help of over 30 musicians (including Josh Cohen on synth/electronics) by Dan Carey of Speedy Wunderground at his studio space in Streatham, South-East London, and engineered by Syd Kemp, the songs on Giant Palm represent a snapshot of a specific feeling, of brief moments in Naima’s life that make up a larger whole. The expansive yet delicate arrangements highlight Naima’s love for the collectivist values of traditional folk music, in which songs belong to everyone, and singing can take on countless forms without the need to exactly replicate something. “All the other representations that I’d had of singing felt so unattainable” she recalls. Giant Palm finds Naima bucking these expectations to let her unique voice and sense of communal creativity flourish. 


        TRACK LISTING

        Giant Palm
        Toll
        Every Morning
        Dim Dum
        Working
        Natural
        Campervan
        Enter The House
        Instrumental 
        O Morro

        Palm

        Rock Island

          “The brash clangor of pre-SST Sonic Youth, the tricky time signatures of math rock demigods Battles and the wonky iridescence of Deerhoof and tUnE-yArDs (the latter two have shared producer Eli Crews with Palm). - Pitchfork 'Shadow Expert EP' review.

          “Palm’s unpredictable songs prove there’s still room for boundary-pushing in rock” FADER.

          On Rock Island, their second LP, Palm produces evidence of a distinct musical language, developed over time, in isolation, and out of necessity. On the island, melodies are struck on what might be shells or spines. Rhythms are scratched out, swept over, scratched again. Individual instruments, and sometimes entire sections, skip and stutter. There is the sense of a music box with wonky tension or a warped transmission in which all the noise is taken for signal.

          Like other groups so acclaimed for their compulsive live show, Palm has been burdened by the constant comparison between their recorded material and their touring set. On Rock Island, they render this tired discussion moot, using the album form to present that which could never be completely live, reserving for performance that which could never be completely reproduced.

          Despite appearing behind the instruments typical of rock music, Palm trades in sounds of their own making. On these songs, one of the guitars and the drum kit are used as MIDI triggers, producing an index that can be combed through later and replaced with new information. The percussion is sometimes augmented so as to suggest a multiplication of limbs. The strings are manipulated to choke, crack, and hum like other instruments, or other bodies, might.

          Working again with engineer Matt Labozza, the band spent the better part of a month in a rented farmhouse in Upstate New York. With the benefits of time and space, Palm recorded the various elements piecemeal, only rarely playing together in groups larger than two or three. While some members tracked, others holed up in the next room, experimenting with quantization, beat replacement, and other methods borrowed from electronic music. Even accounting for the many labors that brought them to be, these materials seem produced by an organic logic. Their complex friction forms a habit of thought, scores a network of grooves on the floor of the mind.

          This is music with dimensionality. Sonic objects are deployed, developed, and dissected in various states of mutation. The listener flits about between the field and the lab. The tone is warm in a way only the sun could make, the pace as forceful and as variable as a gale. Whether one locates Rock Island in a sea or in a refinished attic (as in Greg Burak’s album cover), whether one escapes to there or is banished, its psychic environs are charted clearly enough. Only at this remove from the mainland can we sense the conditions necessary for such a strange species of sound.


          TRACK LISTING

          1 Pearly
          2 Composite
          3 Dog Milk
          4 Forced Hand
          5 Theme From Rock Island
          6 Bread
          7 Colour Code
          8 Swimmer
          9 Heavy Lifting 

          Norman Palm

          Shore To Shore

          In the midst of the music industry crisis art student Norman Palm had an idea: Why not visualize the rough recordings he had made between Paris and Berlin, produce a 200-page artbook with a cd and throw it on the collapsing market via his own DIY-record label? Sometimes it seems one has to ignore all golden rules to make something work: Norman Palm's book did not only sell pretty well, soon he was also invited to play live shows all over Europe such as the renowned Austrian art festival Steirischer Herbst and Haldern festival where he played along with bands such as Fleet Foxes and Yeasayer. He played at countless art events, sang next to Jane Birkin in a Parisian radio studio, was hyped by music magazines such as Stereogum, got filmed by french Blogotheque and eventually even found himself featured on the world's most visited blog run by Hollywood gossip boy Perez Hilton. Norman Palm got around.

          Norman Palm also gets around because he decided not to live his life at one place only. Taking the adventures of a long-distance relationship to a not always easy level he practically commutes between Berlin and Mexico City. Enough exercise for body and soul to make contacts, get inspired and write new songs.

          While Norman Palm's DIY-debut was a loose collection of songs, "Shore to Shore" is a homogenic piece and a musical quantum leap! Palm gets rid of his singer-songwriter image, irony and shyness of his debut have vanished. "Shore to Shore" is pop and love-long-distance set to music. Start/Stop, the album's overture brings together what is later split up into its parts: Ukulele, electronic beats, crazy choirs, African vs. technoid vibes, warm vs. synthetic. Above all floats Palm's distinctive voice. In Smile Palm sets foot into the american indie-terrain normally conquered by the likes of Wilco, he designs a 2.0 version of Paul Simon's Graceland with Images, flirts with Beck and the Beta Band in Landslide and spins out of $20 with an extensive Krautrock steelpan synth loop. Easy, virtually the title track of the album and a lyrical centrepiece ("Let's all be friends with the telephone calls / Let's all be friends with the departure halls") layers voices, basslines and synthesizers thus providing a perfect soundtrack for an early morning after clubbing. It's almost like listening to the radio, only that radio stations of such quality are hard to find!

          Norman sings about love and how it interferes with life. About distance and closeness, about intimacy and strangeness, about missing and losing, love in a digitalized and globalized design of life. Doing that he avoids kitsch and cliché, writes poetry without being corny, makes himself clear, honestly and humble, never awkward, never bigger-than-life. Palm throws his very personal and his musical influences into a pot, cooks his own soup and puts it right on the table of international contemporary pop culture.

          TRACK LISTING

          01. Start/Stop
          02. Smile
          03. Images
          04. Landslide
          05. $ 20
          06. WDYD?
          07. Easy
          08. Sleeper
          09. Phantom Lover
          10. Go To Sleep

          Various Artists

          Scratch

            Soundtrack album to the eagerly-awaited history of scratching documentary "Scratch". Mixing dialogue from the film - Theodore on how he first invented scratching, MixMaster Mike, Cut Chemist, DJ Shadow, Jazzy Jay, Bambaataa, Q-Bert... with exclusive live tracks from the film - DJ Krush, Mike & Disk, Faust and recent scratch bombs - the new version of "Rockit", X-Ecutioners "Primo's X-Ecution", not to mention classics like Skratch Piklz vintage team routine "Invasion Of The Octopus People". Can't wait for the movie!


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