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ALGIERS

Algiers

Shook

    Algiers returns with Shook, their first new music since 2020’s There Is No Year, called “a heady concoction of post-punk, ‘60s soul and political insight.” (NME ****) Shook features contributions from Rage Against The Machine’s Zack De La Rocha, Boy Harsher’s Jae Matthews, Big Rube, billy woods, Backxwash, and many more. September’s standalone release of Shook single “Bite Back” was greeted by The FADER with a glowing “Song You Need” review: “A sober state of the union rallying cry for the revolution.”

    “The world got shook”

    So Algiers formed a crew. The band—who have built one of the most exciting catalogs and cult followings of recent years, with 2020’s There Is No Year described as "electrifying and unpredictable" (The Observer) and "precise, thoughtful and powerful" (NME) —gathered a posse of like-minded artists to create their fourth album, SHOOK, out February 24th on Matador. Stacked with guests spanning icons through to future stars, SHOOK is a lightning rod for an elusive yet universal energy and feeling. A plurality of voices; a spiritual and geographical homecoming; a strategy of communion in a burning world; the story of an end of a relationship; an Atlanta front porch summer party. Ultimately, it's a 17-track set of the most mind-expanding and thrilling music that you are likely to hear anytime soon.

    Algiers have always been unflinching, but SHOOK is at the same time notably joyous and celebratory. It was born when Fisher and Mahan found themselves back in their native Atlanta for several months, reeling from growing pressures and burnout as touring musicians. This triggered an intense period of beatmaking, reconnecting as friends over hours immersed in episodes of Rhythm Roulette and Against the Clock and descending deep into alt-rap YouTube rabbit holes. A revisit of DJ Grand Wizard Theodore’s 1970s punk-infused New York City rap masterpiece ‘Subway Theme’ served as a spiritual moodboard for the album’s cross-pollination of urban and counter-culture styles. Across the seamlessly flowing set, including spoken vignettes and ambient instrumental segues, the band pay respect to a sprawling lineage of rap and punk iconoclasts from DJ Premier, DJ Screw and Dead Boys to Lukah, Griselda and Dïat – chopping and screwing beats on a dusty SP-404 and a Sequential Circuits Tempest, building imagined sample libraries from scratch.

    While community and collaboration has always been integral to Algiers’ ethos, SHOOK brings this to its fullest manifestation. The liner notes read like a who’s who of ground-breaking and contemporary underground music, featuring Zack de la Rocha, Big Rube (The Dungeon Family), billy woods, Samuel T. Herring (Future Islands), Jae Matthews (Boy Harsher), LaToya Kent (Mourning [A] BLKstar), Backxwash, Nadah El Shazly, DeForrest Brown Jr. (Speaker Music), Patrick Shiroishi, Lee Bains III, and Mark Cisneros (The Make-Up, Kid Congo Powers). Their contributions throughout deftly reshape and recontextualize the notion of being Shook from a variety of perspectives, occupying shifting roles as oracles and narrators. “It very much deepens and broadens the world of Algiers”, says drummer Matt Tong.

    Atlanta, where the genesis of this record took place, is ultimately at its heart. It opens with a robotic train announcement from Hartsfield Airport—iconic to many Atlanta natives—that used to frighten Fisher when he was a child. Field recordings and original samples created by the band emphasize throughout a sense of place, collectivity, imagined community and home, all building a world that evokes the elusive sensory experience of growing up in the urban South. “We were working in an environment that we were used to”, says guitarist Lee Tesche. “It feels like the most Algiers record that we've ever made.”

    The accomplishment of this record is made all the more impressive by the fact it was made by a band who were falling apart and on the verge of breaking up. But instead they have produced an extraordinary, transformative record born from a shared sense of place and experience. “I think this record is us finding home,” says Mahan, with Fisher adding: “It was a whole new positive experience— having a renewed relationship with the city we're from and having a pride in that. I like the idea that this record has taken you on a voyage but it begins and ends in Atlanta.”

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Everybody Shatter (ft. Big Rube)
    2. Irreversible Damage
    3. 73%
    4. Cleanse Your Guilt Here
    5. As It Resounds (ft. Big Rube)
    6. Bite Back (ft. Billy Woods & Backxwash)
    7. Out Of Style Tragedy (ft. Mark Cisneros)
    8. Comment #2
    9. A Good Man
    10. I Can’t Stand It! (ft. Samuel T. Herring & Jae Matthews)
    11. All You See Is
    12. Green Iris
    13. Born (ft. LaToya Kent)
    14. Cold World (ft. Nadah El Shazly)
    15. Something Wrong
    16. An Echophonic Soul (ft. DeForrest Brown Jr. & Patrick Shiroishi)
    17. Momentary (ft. Lee Bains III)

    Algiers return in 2020 with their third album 'There Is No Year', which will be released January 17th on Matador Records. 'There is No Year' solidifies and expands upon the doom-laden soul of their foundation, toward an even more epic, genre-reformatting sound, one somehow suspended in the amber of “a different era,” as described by guitarist Lee Tesche. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Shouty melancholic rockers Algiers bring us all the feels on their newest outing, 'There Is No Year'. Clearly influenced by the torrid political climes, this rousing and hearty romp is as meaningful as is effecting, a brilliantly written call to arms.

    TRACK LISTING

    There Is No Year
    Disposession
    Hour Of The Furnaces
    Losing Is Ours
    Unoccupied
    Chaka
    Wait For The Sound
    Repeating Night
    We Can’t Be Found

    Algiers

    Algiers

      Algiers release their self-titled debut album on Matador Records. Steeped in radical politics and deeply indebted to postpunk’s sonic trailblazing and gospel’s spiritual bloodletting, the album imbues neo-modernist hymns with caustic social sentiment and explosive noise.

      Algiers comprises singer / guitarist Franklin James Fisher (deemed “one of the most powerfully guttural vocalists in rock today” by SPIN), guitarist Lee Tesche, and bassist Ryan Mahan.

      From the militant stomp of ‘Remains’ to Fisher’s commanding presence on the gospel no wave blowout ‘Black Eunuch’, Algiers channels righteous fury into an incisive, innovative assault that Vice Noisey calls “intense… right on the beat of the current cultural climate.”

      A trio of émigrés of the American Deep South, now split between New York and London, Algiers synthesize their eclectic influences, from Nina Simone and PJ Harvey to Suicide and Public Enemy, into frightening new forms.

      “Gospel spook… a double-edged sword of religion and politics to slice through the pasty, vapid mess of pop culture in America.” - Stereogum

      “While Nick Cave channeled Old Testament fury in order to explore evil with uncomfortable intimacy, Algiers employ it politically, in an effort to name the sound of dispossession.” - Ad Hoc

      “Mesmerizing… really sucks you in with its weird power.” - The Wire

      “Dark stuff, but good grief they’ve got soul.” - The Guardian

      “Insane... Rowland S Howard vs Nitzer Ebb vs politics vs Southern Gospel.” - The Quietus

      “Sounds like the end of the world.” - Line Of Best Fit

      Abdel Hadi Halo & The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers

      Abdel Hadi Halo & The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers

        Chaabi has its roots in the Andalusian music of Moorish Spain, spreading to North Africa with exiled Jewish and Moorish communities; but it really took off in the music schools, parties and bars of occupied, post-WWII Algiers, where its Andalusian, Middle Eastern and North African lineage infused with the Mediterranean soundtrack of that era — chanson, jazz, snatches of tango and a little boogie-woogie. "Abdel Hadi Halo And The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers" was recorded on the tilting fifth floor of the Conservatoire d'Algiers, in a room overlooking the sea on one side, and the Casbah on the other: the orchestra was recorded 'live' in full flight — all together, in continuous takes. For our recording, the Orchestra included four singers — joined in chorus by the voices of the entire orchestra — and five-man banjo, percussion and violin sections. The scale and organization are thrilling; the music is swirling and improvisatory, surging from the haunted to the bluesy, the devotional to the knees-up.


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