03 specials

Sunday, 6. June 2010


If you're not being redirected automatically, please click on the following link: http://musicisokay.com/

See you there!
30837 read

Monday, 24. May 2010

Have no fear, just listen.


Emanuel And The Fear were touring Europe for the first time in April. So I took the chance and visited them backstage for a little chat. And they told me about different audiences, dead rock star dreams and of course, a lot about their music.

We heard rumors that people listen to you, when you come to Europe and they don't talk when you play. And it's true. They have always been really quiet and into the music. We usually feel uncomfortable playing the slow songs, and we quite have a few, but we rarely play them in New York. But here, we've been playing acoustic and soft songs and people sit and listen. It is a different crowd, it really is. And I think it's a different culture, when people turn up, they wanna hear what you do. We all felt very welcome and definitely wanna come back to Europe as soon as possible.

After some band experiences and working for a film composer, it sort of moulded that I wanted to do the writing and scoring, but not dealing with all the drama and different personalities you have in band. So I approached musicians with that in mind and organized that eleven person thing after I had made a four track demo. Then we started gigging and everyone got in the studio and we did the EP and the LP.


Yes, it's my little brainchild. I wanted to do something different and unique, like a spectacle. And also with that many people, if everyone was writing it would take ten times longer and we probably hate one another and things would be really complicated. At the end of the day, it's my name on it, so it's sort of my responsibility, I guess.

The people that were coming on, have become solid members. It started as a project, but we're definitely a band now. It's evolving.
As a musician you only invest time and energy in something you really believe in. So you wanna be a part of it and you automatically become a band.
We're working together, I mean they all know their instruments better than I do.

We are all formal trained and professional musicians and because of the skill level there's a lot of room to do something really different. And it's a theme, that I want to be in our music. I mean sometimes we change complete songs on the fly while playing a gig. Or we even work new ideas out when we walk into a venue. People love that about us and our music. Playing your songs like on the record is like killing an animal and stuffing it. Like 'here, that's what it looked like, when it was alive'. And it's great if people come up after a gig telling you 'I liked you so much better than on the record.' I mean the other way round is really upsetting isn't it? I think that's a great problem to have.


I'm absolutely happy with what we came out, but I'm happier with our music being played live. And it's so much fun playing songs live and with that many people, there are things happening between us on stage, you can barely catch it on a record. But it's my goal for the next recordings. People shall hear that it's not just a studio thing, but we're real musicians.

It's very visual music, so I'm fine when people say it sounds like a movie score. I definitely see things when I'm playing or writing music. But if people don't understand what we're doing, it's fine. I don't understand it either. The thing is, if you are into heavy guitar rock, you will be disappointed with 70% of the album. If someone is into quiet piano ballads, they will be disappointed with 70% of the album. But if you're a fan of all kinds of music, you will love 100% of the album.

The sound of what we're doing is definitely too difficult to categorize. I wrote this music and I don't want it to be in a certain genre. It should sound like a cool person you wanna talk to. And the sort of cool person I'm talking about would not delimit oneself to behave in a certain way. I wouldn't wanna hang out with a robot all the time. So many people just follow the rules. And I don't like the rules.

If you're playing music, it's because you like it. The rock star dream is dead. I mean people who don't accept that, are deluding themselves. You play music, because you have to. That makes you happy. I may starve the rest of my life, but I have to play music, because I would be miserable if I didn't. And if you're thinking in terms of becoming a rock star and get rich and famous, then you're probably in the wrong business.


There's nothing left for me to add. Emanuel And The Fear are planning to come back to Europe in October. Don't miss them and their mazing show. And don't forget to buy the debut album LISTEN.
Check out the album review on Emerging Fervour:
3371 read

Wednesday, 28. April 2010

Olafur Arnalds - A Fresh Breeze From Iceland


What do you think of when I say Iceland? Probably an ash cloud. But this should change soon and you will think of music. Especially the music of Olafur Arnalds. The Icelandic musician is a busy guy. He has just finished his first tour in China, will be touring Europe in may and releases his new album ...and they have escaped the weight of darkness on the 17th of may. Apart from that he is one half of the Techno project Kiasmos and composes music for other artists like the German heavy metal band Heaven Shall Burn. Lucky me, he was in London and willing to spend a few minutes with to talk.

music is okay: The range of your musical activities is quite diverse. You're releasing your new album in may, are part of the techno project Kiasmos, you're composing music for other bands as well and you also did the music for the Wayne McGregor ballet Dyad 1909. On a musical map, do you have something like a hometown?

Olafur Arnalds: No, I wouldn't say that, not at all. I just want to be good at myself and I like different things. It's really that simple. I'd like to try everything, music is just music. So, I don't look at music in genres, for me it's all in the same pool. I want to study some some really far away music, I did some stuff with a Klezmer band some time ago. Doing more like this and trying to incorporate it with Western music, these are things I'm always working on.

music is okay: I find it really hard to describe your music. It's not only contemporary classic, it's not pop, it's not chamber pop. But, what is it? How would you describe your own sound?

Olafur Arnalds: Well, I say it doesn't really matter. For me these things are actually so stupid. It doesn't matter to anyone whether I'm turning pop into classical music or classical music into pop. I'm somewhere in between and I don't care how people want to phrase it. I they call it neo-classical, or post-classical or modern-classical, in the end it's all the same thing: it's just music.

music is okay: Your new album is coming out soon. What can we expect?

Olafur Arnalds: I wanted to make the music on the new album more accessible. It's incorporating more pop elements then I did on the previous albums. And it's not only piano and strings, I'm working with more instruments. I've also spent a long time arranging the songs in the studio, recording layer after layer and all sorts of synthesizers. I'd say it sounds crispier then my previous recordings. I don't want to repeat myself musically and this time I decided to do something heavily produced.

Ólafur Arnalds – Hægt, kemur ljósið (Official Video Trailer) from Erased Tapes on Vimeo.

music is okay: Let's talk about the contemporary classical music scene. There are many things going on at the moment with musicians like Nils Frahm or Greg Haines or yourself. What do you think about this developments?

Olafur Arnalds: I think it's great, a few years ago I was one of like three musicians and many people did music behind closed doors. But now they're releasing albums and touring, it's great. And if I am a part of helping to open up this world to the audience and get people more interested, I can be very proud and happy. Anyway, I wouldn't call myself a neo-classical composer, I don't associate much with that term.

music is okay: You have just finished your tour in China and it was a great success. You did a lot of interviews, some of your shows were sold out. How come that people are so excited about your music in China?

Olafur Arnalds: I think Chinese people have a lot of respect for classical music in general. And there are more younger people interested in classical music then in Europe. I think the people are more craving for something new then they do over here.

music is okay: Tell us a bit about the Icelandic music scene.

Olafur Arnalds: The Icelandic music scene is very varied. There are a lot of different things happening, maybe more than in other countries. But that's what often happens on islands and small countries, for example the Faroe Islands. There are a lot of really great bands coming from there. And the other thing is that people have to work together and support each other, because as an island you're more cut. The musical scene is often your audience, when you're playing a gig in Iceland, it's all very close. And if you try to do things on your own, you will end up alone.

music is okay: Last year you did something which really impressed me, because I thought the idea was fantastic. For seven days you released a song a day via twitter for free. Afterwards these seven songs were released as a "proper" record (Found Songs) and the booklet was made out of pictures your fans could upload via flickr. Where did this idea come from?

Olafur Arnalds: I had some ideas for songs and I knew they wouldn't end up on my new album. But I wanted to finish those ideas, to get them out of my head and I wanted to give them away for free. There was no real reason for this, maybe I thought people didn't want to pay for them. So I decided to take one week to get these songs "out of my way" for a fresh start. And after the first day I had the idea to give people an opportunity to upload photos and stuff on flickr. There was no plan to release the Found songs as an album, but when we decided to do so, I wanted to use all these photos people had sent me as artwork for the booklet.

music is okay: How does it feel for you to see that your work inspires other people and they're sending photos and videos they've made? For instance the beautiful video for Ljosio from the Argentinian artist Esteban Diacono.

Olafur Arnalds: That's what keeps me going. I wouldn't do music if I couldn't inspire people. It's the main purpose for me.


Pre-order ...and they have escaped the weight of darkness and get a free mp3:

Olafur Arnalds on myspace:

See Olafur Arnalds live:

07.05.2010 Leipzig, PopUp Festival
08.05.2010 Berlin, Friction Festival
09.05.2010 Stuttgart, Rosenau
10.05.2010 Munich, Café Muffathalle
11.05.2010 Bern, ISC
12.05.2010 Brussels, Ancienne Belgique
13.05.2010 Antwerp, Arenbergschouwburg
15.05.2010 Utrecht, Tivoli
16.05.2010 Ottersum, Roepaen
01.07.2010 Manchester, The Bridgewater Hall

links for tickets:
Leipzig http://www.leipzig-popup.de/
Berlin http://www.frictionfest.com/
Stuttgart http://www.rosenau-stuttgart.de/
Munich http://www.muffathalle.de/
Bern http://www.isc-bern.ch/
Brussels http://www.abconcerts.be/nl/
Antwerp http://www.provant.be/
Utrecht http://www.tivoli.nl/
Ottersum http://www.cultureelpodium.nl/
Manchester http://www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk/
4892 read

Monday, 19. April 2010

Into the wild - an interview with Gabby Young

Gabby Young and her eight piece band Other Animals are ranging from gypsy folk, pop, rock, jazz to cabaret and swing music. Their shows are something between a circus, a burlesque cabaret and a ballroom event. They recently released their debut album "We are all in this together" on their own label Gift of the gab records and will be touring Europe and Australia this year. So, time to ask Gabby a few questions about her music, her fashion and of course, her upcoming plans.


MUSIC IS OKAY: Your style is unique and quite flamboyant, your music is a mix of swing, folk, jazz and pop, you entitled it "Circus Swing". It's obvious that you're here to entertain and your intention is to bring a happening to your audience, not only a gig. But who is this Gabby Young? Are these your true colors onstage or are you any different backstage?

GABBY YOUNG: I have never sat down and planned a persona for the stage Gabby Young, I just try and be myself. I definitely get possessed by confidence when I step out on stage and the audience seems excited to see what I’m about to do. It’s a powerful feeling and one that makes me feel like I can do anything. When I am home or walking the dog I don’t have the energy of the audience to keep me as confident but I am always as positive as I can be and try and spread happiness! It is important for me to put on a show and keep the people that came to see me as interested and involved as possible- that’s why I put on events- not just gigs- so they can join in and become part of the show. I think I have always done this throughout all parts of my life though –collaborated with other people to create wonderful, exciting things!


MUSIC IS OKAY: Dare I say you're an authentic person, you don't seem to be phoney or fake.
How hard is it to remain true to yourself even if people sometimes don't appreciate what you're doing?

GABBY YOUNG: Thankyou! I am predominantly a musician and a hard worker - I never try to pretend to be anything else. I am a firm believer that we are all equals- I have never understood a ‘diva’ sensibility – ‘We Are All In This Together’ after all- cheesy I know but I mean it most sincerely. If people don’t ‘get’ what I’m doing I try not to let it get to me- I am lucky enough to have a lot of amazing people who differ to them and I am so thankful for there support- it allows me to just do what I do and not let anything change that.

MUSIC IS OKAY: And tell us a bit about you and your band. You're called Gabby Young and other animals. So, are you the leader or is every member equal?

GABBY YOUNG: Oh everyone is equal but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I am the captain of this ship! I’m no good at discipline issues though and I adore every animal- they are family to me! We are a very lucky band- all are positive, supportive, loving and incredibly generous to each other- we also LOVE playing music together- so that’s lucky!

MUSIC IS OKAY: Take this as compliment: you're music's very special, nothing I would describe as mainstream. So how difficult was it to get your debut album done and released? And was the foundation of your own label "Gift of the gab" records something inevitable or a chance you wanted to take anyway?

GABBY YOUNG: I have always been the one to back my own horse and throw everything into something I want to do- this has been my lifetime ambition, no this has been my life. From 11years old I was going to be a singer – I went through many phases from Opera to Jazz and swiftly past the musical theatre and heavy rock stage but when I started writing songs at 17 I haven’t looked back. I am also not one to sit and wait to be picked up and ‘allowed’ to do things like record an album, put on shows in dream venues and tour relentlessly – I decided to do that all by myself. My label was the next stage and the easiest decision. I am incredibly fortuitous to have my parents running the label with me and now we have a great team helping me make it all happen. It is a risk but I wouldn’t be content not being in control and involved with all aspects of my career.


MUSIC IS OKAY: Let's stick to the life within the music business. Looking to the British music scene it's mostly male dominated and you see female artists like Pixie Lott or Sheryl Cole and not to be forgotten shows like the X-Factor. Is there actually any room for self-confident and musical opinionated artists like you?

GABBY YOUNG: Well I actually think we are in a female dominated time – there is a lot of girls out there and I am impressed by a lot of them- bringing out a fresh sound into the charts. I try and not take life too seriously and that includes the music business… I am fully aware it is a fickle, scary scene right now and I don’t let it affect what I do. I’m a fan of the X-Factor- makes great TV viewing! There is always room for everyone- I don’t strive to be mainstream or huge so I’m sure there’s some space for little ole me to be appreciated!

MUSIC IS OKAY: And how do you seize the general role of women in music nowadays? Do you think it's an equal business or is it harder for women becoming successful?

GABBY YOUNG: I guess I just answered that… 2010 is a powerful year for women getting together and creating amazing things especially art, crafts, fashion- I’m sure it will be the same for music!


MUSIC IS OKAY: I have to say I really like your idea of fan involvement. On your website you're offering your fans the chance to become a part of Gabby Young and the other animals by becoming an animal themselves. Depending how much a fan likes to spend, he gets an album and a free gig ticket, up to a backstage visit, attending a band rehearsal or suggest song topics. How did you hit on that and why?

GABBY YOUNG: We were invited to come out and play at SXSW, Austin, Texas which is the biggest and possibly most important music festival for the industry but we couldn’t afford to get out there for it so that was the catalyst- we needed funding to do things that normally a big label would pay for –recording, making videos and travel to name a few. That’s when I started plotting ideas to get the fans involved and that sort of took over it no longer became about money- it was more about giving them more for there money and learning about our fans –so that when we are planning shows we can include them, chose the city by how many ‘animals’ we have there or give them bonuses for helping us out. I have got so much from fan input and I wanted to be able to carry this on and give something back.

MUSIC IS OKAY: I reckon people who sort of "invest" in an artist happen to appreciate the artist's work a lot more. Would you say your fans stand out due to something? Would you say they're maybe more engaged or loyal?

GABBY YOUNG: I have a wonderfully loyal and supportive fan base- I am so thankful for that – I think they are a special bunch of people and everyone I meet is always doing something amazing with their life – they are all open to ideas and willing to help us with ours- I think that’s pretty unique and I hope as our fan base grows that stays the same. I hope that they feel part of what we do because they are.

MUSIC IS OKAY: What is the nicest thing a fan ever said or did for you?

GABBY YOUNG: One fan made me 8 BENCHES! Yes wooden benches- with my name all over it… he delivered them to me at a series of gigs I did one summer but I never had room to take them home so they are still now dotted around the country!! I think the best things fans to say to me is ‘I love what you do and would love to work with you’ –that happens a lot with fashion designers and crafty types and I am more than happy to oblige as much as possible.

MUSIC IS OKAY: I've heard you're going to play at the New York Fashion week? Off the record: dog's bollocks, I'd say! What are your plans this year what can we expect?

GABBY YOUNG: I have quite a year coming up- I can hardly believe it! The next show is 8th May at The Jazz Café, which is definitely crossing a venue off my wish list! This summer is full of festivals with Glastonbury, Womad, Green Man and Standon Calling to name a few. I’m off to tour Australia in October (we got signed by a Aus label earlier this year) also there are talks of a European and Irish tour… but yes NYC Fashion week – SO EXCITING! I am launching my own collaborative clothing label with Miss Kiki Salon- Salon Gabrielle there so it can’t get much better than that!!

MUSIC IS OKAY: If you could make a wish, what would be THE one thing you want to do as a musician?

GABBY YOUNG: To work with an orchestra and a choir is my ultimate dream – I WILL make that happen!

MUSIC IS OKAY: And lastly: What's the one song you wish you would've written?

GABBY YOUNG: This is a seriously tricky question – many songs are going through my head… but my decision for now is Jeff Buckley’s ‘Lover You Should’ve Come Over’ .To me it is perfect- lyrically and musically.

Where to see Gabby Young and the other animals live:

05.06.10 Sunrise Festival
12.06.10 Wiltshire Jazz Festival
25.06.10 Glastonbury
09.07.10 Marlborough International Jazz Festival
10.07.10 Nozstock Festival
23.07.10 Womad
07.08.10 Standon Calling Festival

On the 8th of may they're playing at the Jazz Café in London, get tickets right here:


Check Out their websites page for updates:

4272 read

Thursday, 25. March 2010

Hamburg im April

Einige Monate sind ins Land gezogen seit den letzten Konzerttipps, aber dafür gibt's hier und jetzt ein paar Perlen für den April. Da geht die Sonne auf!

09.04. Arrested Development @Fabrik
Muss man dazu was sagen?

10.04. Two Door Cinema Club @Molotow
Die neuen Lieblinge von den Kitsuné Füchsen. Und womit? Mit Recht. Noch mal schnell im kuscheligen Molotow anschauen, bevor es zu spät ist.


20.04. The Miserable Rich @Knust
Hach...schön. Hingehen.


The Miserable Rich - 'Monkey' Live from The Miserable Rich on Vimeo.

21.04. New Young Pony Club @Prinzenbar
So sieht sie aus und hört sie sich an: das Paradebeispiel der Londoner post-wave Band. Irgendwie alles geklaut, aber wen interessiert das? Geht nach vorne, das reicht ja durchaus so ab und zu.

22.04. Emanuel And The Fear @Zentral (Ex-Nachtasyl)
Elf Leute auf einer Bühne? Nein, hier geht's nicht um Fussball. Emanuel And The Fear musizieren zwischen Rock, Pop und Klassik, hört sich gut an, sieht gut aus, dauert hoffentlich 90 Minuten.


26.04. Tunng @Knust
Mit neuem Album und neuem Sound am Start. Ab jetzt mit mehr Frauenstimme. Und immer noch ein Geheimtipp. Warum eigentlich? Ich kann's mir nicht erklären.


28.04. Noah & The Whale @ Knust
Bezaubernde junge Menschen, die bezaubernde Musik machen. Und das nennen sie dann Anti-Folk. Finde ich gut.

28.04. Grossstadtgeflüster @Haus73
Ich muss garnix ausser schlafen, trinken, atmen und ficken! Und natürlich zu Grossstadtgeflüster gehen. Danach kann man auch um vier Uhr früh 'nen Burger verdrücken. Geile Scheisse.


1085 read

Wednesday, 3. March 2010

Alles eine Frage der Zeit - Just a matter of time

An interview with Robert Raths, founder of Erased Tapes. Visit Emerging Fervour to read the English version:


Ein Architekturstudium brachte Robert Raths vor sechs Jahren nach London, geblieben ist er allerdings für die Musik. Vor drei Jahren gründete er das Label Erased Tapes und beweist damit ziemlich eindrucksvoll, dass sich "die besten Dinge des Lebens natürlich ergeben."

music is okay: Du hast dein eigenes musikalisches Projekt an den Nagel gehängt um Dich mehr auf Erased Tapes zu konzentrieren. Was war der ausschlaggebende Grund?

Anfangs wollte ich mich selbst musikalisch auszudrücken. Ich habe versucht meine Ideen live zu verwirklichen, aber das hat nicht so richtig geklappt. Es war schwer Musiker zu finden, denen ich mein Konzept näher bringen konnte und die mich danach nicht fragend angucken würden und sagen: "Das habe ich ja noch nie gehört, warum willst Du da denn Streicher haben – wir sind doch eine Band, lass mich doch ein Gitarrensolo spielen..." Ich wollte nicht einfach das machen was alle anderen machten. Aber ich habe einfach mit der Zeit gemerkt, dass das, was ich vereinen wollte, besser für sich alleine steht. Das es so mehr Luft zum Atmen hat und nicht so überlaufen ist. Die musikalischen Elemente, die ich alle in ein Projekt packen wollte, sind im Endeffekt die Sachen, die ich später einzeln aufs Label aufgenommen habe. Irgendwann kam der Punkt, wo ich die Musik anderer Künstler lieber gewonnen habe als meine eigene. Und das fand ich sehr gesund, denn es hat mir gezeigt, dass ich der Beobachter sein möchte, nicht der Schaffende. Ich kann konstruktiv sein und meinen Künstlern helfen. Und bin als Label trotzdem Teil des kreativen Prozesses und schaue wo und wie ich meine Künstler am besten supporten kann. Auf allen Ebenen.

music is okay: Thema Unterstützung; was ist für dich die Aufgabe eines guten Labels?

Ich denke es ist wichtig jemanden zu haben, der auch einfach mal nein sagt. Wenn du Künstler bist und immer nur Leute um Dich hast, die alles super finden, fehlt einfach das Element der konstruktiven Kritik – oder nenn' es Qualitätskontrolle. Klar hat man auch mal Differenzen und fetzt sich, aber es braucht diese Reibung und Auseinandersetzung um am Ende das beste Ergebnis zu haben. Mir geht es darum etwas zu kreieren, was interessant ist und wo die Leute hinhören und hinsehen und was sie im besten Fall selbst inspiriert kreativ zu werden.

music is okay: Wie wirkt sich das auf die direkte Zusammenarbeit mit deinen Künstlern aus?

Die Zusammenarbeit ist vielfältig. Es gibt Künstler auf dem Label, da bin ich Teil des Masterns, Aufnehmens, Arrangierens, Co-Produzierens, bastle oft mit am Konzept und entwerfe das visuelle Gegenstück zur Musik in Form von Cover Artwork oder Video Skripts. Das ist nicht immer der Fall. Als ich die erste Platte von Ólafur gehört habe oder eigentlich sogar nur den ersten Song, war mir sofort klar, das ist perfekt, so wie es ist. Ich hatte nicht das Gefühl, ich müsste Teil des kreativen Prozesses sein, was die Musik angeht, aber trotzdem gab es Bereiche, die noch ausgebaut werden mussten. Zum Beispeil die Tatsache, dass er völlig unbekannt war, noch nie wirklich auf Tour in England war und letztendlich auf der Networking und Marketingebene noch viel Hilfe brauchte. Anfangs habe ich ihm sogar die Shows noch selber gebucht.
Später bei seiner ersten EP war das so, dass er keine Songtitel hatte. Ich habe ihm vorgeschlagen, dass er die wichtigsten Zeilen aus seinen Computer-gesprochenen Gedichten nimmt, sie ins Isländische übersetzt und als Titel benutzt. War eigentlich total einfach, aber manchmal ist es genau das Einfache, was man nicht sieht. Ich bin für alles Ansprechpartner, denn es geht um den Ideenaustausch, darum sich Bälle zuzuspielen.

music is okay: nach welchen Kriterien entscheidest du, ob ein Künstler zum Label passt?

Es ist mir wichtig, dass es sich bei jedem Künstler, den ich aufnehme, um zeitlose Musik handelt. Jemanden zu finden der aus tiefster Seele komponiert und nicht, weil er jemandem gefallen will. Denn nur eine zeitlose Platte überrascht Dich immer wieder und lässt Dich etwas neues entdecken, jedes Mal wenn du sie hörst. Das setzt natürlich die Meßlatte sehr hoch und macht die Entscheidung einen Künstler aufzunehmen oft sehr schwer. Oder im Fall von Nils Frahm sehr einfach. Es war mir sofort glasklar, dass er mit dabei sein muss.

music is okay: Alle Künstler auf deinem Label verbindet die Zeitlosigkeit ihrer Musik, verstreut über sämtliche Genres. Welche Rolle spielt der Begriff "cinematic pop"?

Das cinematic steht für Kopfkino, denn unsere Musik hat viel Platz zwischen den Zeilen. Mir gefällt der Gedanke, dass die Leute ihrer Fantasie freien Lauf lassen können. Den Kontrast dazu bildet der Pop, denn unsere Musik ist keine Nische und soll auch nicht als solche gesehen werden. Ich vertrete meine Künstler und will jemandem wie Ólafur nicht sagen müssen, dass seine Musik "Nische" ist. So was sagt man ja auch nicht zu seinen Kindern – "Du bist irgendwie Nische". Das Gefühl möchte keiner haben.
Eigentlich ist Erased Tapes ein Crossover von Extremen wie Techno oder Klassik zu Pop. Was ich am Begriff Pop mag ist, dass er für etwas sehr Universelles steht, das keine Grenzen kennt. Also wenn die Leute uns schon in eine Schublade stecken wollen, dann wenigstens eine, die offen steht.

music is okay: Momentan wird viel über die Krise der Musikindustrie und den schwindenen Wert von Musik diskutiert. Wie siehst du die Entwicklungen und wie gehst du damit um?

Mir war von Anfang an bewusst, dass ich mich in einer Branche bewege, wo sich eine Menge tut und alle möglichen Statistiken besagen, dass es bergab geht. Aber das was wir machen wird für Menschen immer einen gewissen Wert haben. Die Leute, die unsere Musik mögen und sie einen Teil ihres Lebens werden lassen, werden darin auch immer einen Wert sehen. Wo dieser Wert nun liegt, muss ich den Leuten überlassen. Ob sie das nun in die Platte, ins Konzert oder ein Band T-Shirt investieren, wir müssen darauf eingehen, dass die Zeiten sich ändern und der Wert nicht nur beim physikalischen Produkt liegt.

music is okay: Inwieweit spielt die Zeitlosigkeit der Musik dabei eine Rolle?

Dadurch das unsere Musik zeitlos ist, geben wir uns im Endeffekt selbst mehr Zeit. Es geht bei Erased Tapes um Substanz. Und wenn etwas Beständigkeit und Substanz hat, sind die Leute auch bereit darin zu investieren. Die Musik, die wir machen, wollen und müssen die Leute selber entdecken. Ich glaube weder an Zeitgeist noch daran den Menschen Musik einimpfen zu müssen. Sowas muss auf natürlichem Weg passieren und manchmal dauert es eben ein wenig länger.

music is okay: Und wie lange hältst du noch durch?

Für mich ist es wichtig etwas zu machen, worauf ich stolz bin. Ich wollte immer etwas finden, worin ich aufgehen kann, was meine Berufung ist und das hat die letzten drei Jahre gut funktioniert und es sind so viele Sachen passiert, die ich mir nie erträumt hätte. Aber ich weiss nicht, was morgen passiert und das ist ja auch das Spannende.

music is okay: At the end of music all happiness will be erased. Was bedeutet dieser Satz für dich?

Der Mensch kann ohne Musik nicht existieren. Es geht nicht nur um das was wir kreieren. Das Universum hat einen Klang und wenn dieser Klang nicht mehr da wäre dann wäre es undenkbar still und undenkbar traurig.

Erased Tapes Collection II zum Schnuppern GRATIS mit folgendem Download Code auf http://ddc.erasedtapes.com erhältlich: MY-FREE-ERATP020

2381 read

Wednesday, 13. January 2010

The Drums


To be honest, this band is ridiculous.
They're young, cool, good looking and talented. I'm desperately trying to hate them, but no chance. The first single "Let's go surfing" has the best whistling part since "Young Folks" and is a hit or rather it will become one. The music is an intoxicating mixture of 50s surf pop, British invasion beat rock and 80s synthpop tunes. I presume they're on the way to become the new decade's "The Strokes". So, is this it? Yes, that's it. Buy it, listen to it, go and see them live, dance.

Download "Let's go surfing" for free:

1322 read



You don't know what Disco Lento Deloroso is? Don't worry, most people don't. And you don't know the band Hurts? That's a shame and here's your chance to know better. Have a look at wikipedia, this will explain everything you need to know about Disco Lento. Trying to find out more about Hurts is a bit more complicated.

You can find them on myspace, but apart from the video for Blood, Tears & Gold, you'll find scarcely anything. And if you go to the band website, the name – informationhurts.com – says it all. It's just a link back to nothing. So you look on youtube and find the video for Wonderful Life. Alright, two good looking guys (Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson) in decent suits, who look and sound like a mixture of The Human League, Spandau Ballet and Zoot Woman.

This old fashioned synth pop transports you directly to the mid/late 80ies and after listening to Hurts, you'll feel the deep need to de-dust your Ultravox and Talk Talk vinyls. It's absolutely nothing new, but it's beautiful.

One thing is for sure: they won't remain a secret. They're playing a little tour, so see them live on February 24th @Wiltons Music Hall in London, on the 26th @Lido in Berlin or on the 27th @Gebaeude 9 in Cologne. The single Wonderful Life (Arthur Baker Remix) will be released on January 18th and definitely worth buying it!


5323 read

Wednesday, 2. December 2009

Great Expectations - 2010


The best thing about EBONY BONES!' debut album "Bone of my bones", is the fact, that all music critics will rack their brains to describe her style. At the end it will be something like "electronic punk-funk-rock". I recommend these people should face the truth: she gives a damn about genres. And how she does that, sounds and looks pretty good.



How do you make a traditional blackmail letter? Right, you cut several characters from different magazines, put them together again and create a new meaning. HUDSON MOHAWKES' debut "butter" is like a musical blackmail. And believe me, even if you'll pay the ransom, he won't release you.



Cheers! THE NEW WINE is from the same growing area as "The Whitest Boy Alive", slightly less complexity and character, but a bit more tangy. Without a doubt a good vintage and THE NEW WINE will improve with age.



Be quiet as a mouse, otherwise you might scare RAZ OHARA AND THE ODD ORCHESTRAS' second album (II) off. The finely wrought sound image made of acoustic pop elements, harmonic distortions, strings and loops must be treated gently. But if you do, it will unfold its full dramaturgical beauty.



If ALEXANDER WOLFE wouldn't have sold a Rembrandt Lithograph print, left to him by his grandfather in his will, to record his debut album "Morning brings a flood", we would definitely miss eleven shatteringly soulful folk pieces. Selling art to create art is sometimes necessary.



The fact that WILLIAM FITZSIMMONS is a psychotherapist from Illinois who makes depressing folk music about love and loss, shouldn't keep you from buying his records. Far from it. His music is veritable, profound and beautiful. On top of this, he is one of the funniest and most honest people I've ever seen live.




I dare say BEN HOWARD is the most impressive folk musician these days. This 22 year old guy has got a remarkable voice, a pretty unique way to play his guitar and writes outrageously beautiful songs. I'm almost scared, what he might be capable of doing in a few years. He will hopefully launch his album in 2010, so until then: buy his EP "These Waters" and watch him live, it's both worth it.



The BEACONS are like Noah's Ark for weird instruments. Refreshingly folk-pop with a hawaiian touch in combination with harp sounds, xylophone, something like a triola and a strange voodoo puppet flute. Ship ahoy!



The sun is shining brighter, the people are happier and the grass is greener on the side where JONATHAN JEREMIAH songs are played. He's the misbegotten child of Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers. Pick some flowers, hug someone you don't know and watch out for his debut album "Fool in Love".




I'm still trying to handle the fact that JOSE JAMES debut "The Dreamer" was a like a miracle for contemporary jazz. From the first to the last note an absolute pleasure to listen to. So, knowing that he will launch his second album "Blackmagic" in February 2010 gives me a sleep disorder. And if you listen to the new songs on myspace, you'll know what I mean. Enter at your own risk...




A soundtrack is made as a musical background to a movie. Listening to OLAFUR ARNALDS, I wish someone would make a movie as a visual background to his music. It would be a depressing and sad love story, taking place in a cold snow-covered scenery and someone has to die in the end. But it would be a must-see, a critics' darling and a classic.




Last but not least I have to ask a really essential question: what happened to REMY SHAND?
This guy has been torturing me for seven years. Shortly after he released his debut album "The way I feel" in 2002, he disappeared from the face of the planet. Where? Why? How? Anyway, I hope he's currently preparing new songs and not burgers at McDonald's.

5256 read

Wednesday, 28. October 2009

Still Bill

He was born in 1938 and grew up in West Virginia, his father was a cole miner. He was a stutterer, he was bullied by boys and ignored by girls. He left his hometown to join the Navy and worked as a technician. He decided to make music and between 1971 and 1985 he recorded eight studio albums. He married his wife Marcia in 1976, they had two children and they recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

Who would presume that this is the story of one of the most talented and influential soul musicians ever?
Most people know little about him, but they all know his music. Bill Withers created hits like "Ain't no sunshine", "Lean on me" or "Lovely day".

The fact that he never was the perfect cast for a star makes the documentary "Still Bill" unique. It's not about a fucked up guy who took drugs, beat up his girlfriend or committed suicide. No pointless comments from random celebrities just to pretend significance (except a really stupid Sting comment).

It's about a wise and gifted man and his experiences in life and views. And it is so unbelievable how eloquent and moving he is, everything he says is like a lesson from life. Almost everything he says could be a line from a song. And it slowly dawns on you, why his music is so authentic: it is his experience of life, his thoughts, his feelings. He never cared what was popular, it was and is all about the music.

What started as a four hour interview and became a personal journey through Bill Wither's life, filmed over two years. And without a doubt this documentary is maybe the best music documentary I've ever seen, an absolute must-see.

Look out for screenings near you or buy the DVD:


Still Bill Trailer from B-Side Entertainment on Vimeo.

1132 read

London sounds english

To toe the line, I will write some of my reviews and stories in english. I hope this experiment succeeds, but that decision is up to you.

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