Fujiya e Miyagi
Fujiya e Miyagi are not only the names of two Karate Kid characters, they’re four English, Brighton- based, krautrock and indie pop- obssessed musicians.
Their outstanding mix allowed them to earn remarkable positions on prominent music publications such as NME and Pitchfork.
Their last album is Ventriloquizzing (2011, Full Time Hobby/Pias) produced by Thom Monahan, former Pernice Brothers and Devendra Banhart’s producer.
“We like a lot of the groups Thom has produced, and besides his involvement with acoustic acts, he has a real love of electronic music too. And he likes Sly & the Family Stone…” says singer/guitarist David Best.
As Monahan is based in the States, that meant the album was written in Brighton and recorded in sunny California.
The atmosphere is notably darker than before, the mood is forceful, aggressive and confrontational, but all the while maintaining the taut, minimalistic funk that’s become their calling card. “It’s quite an accusatory record” says David. “I think there’s an underlying anger, or perhaps just annoyance, at institutions and people in general, and probably ourselves too.” Topics touched on include over-medication, eco-hypocrisy and the myth of Chanctonbury Ring, where it’s said if you run round a clump of trees backwards seven times the devil will appear and offer you soup. The song’s called Minestrone.
Be prepared to dance, to chuckle, and to be a little bit creeped out listening to Ventriloquizzing.
Nils Frahm, born on September 20th 1982, works as an accomplished composer and producer from his Berlin-based Durton Studio, where he has worked and collaborated with many contemporaries such as Peter Broderick, Ólafur Arnalds, Anne Müller, Deaf Center, Efterklang and Dustin O’Halloran amongst other fellow musicians. His unconventional approach to an age-old instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, has won him many fans around the world, including Thom Yorke, who featured one of Nils’ songs in Radiohead’s HQ office chart. As the recognition continues to grow for his previous solo piano works Wintermusik (2009) and The Bells (2009), October 10th 2011 saw the release of his most acclaimed album to date: Felt.
Having recorded his last album live in a large, reverberant church, Nils Frahm now invites you to put on your headphones and dive into a world of microscopic and delicate sounds – so intimate that you could be sitting beside him. Recorded late at night in the reflective solitude and silence of his studio in Berlin, Frahm uncovers a new sound and source of inspiration within these peaceful moments: Originally I wanted to do my neighbours a favour by damping the sound of my piano. If I want to play piano during the quiet of the night, the only respectful way is by layering thick felt in front of the strings and using very gentle fingers. It was then that I discovered that my piano sounds beautiful with the damper.
Captivated by this sonic exposition, he placed the microphones so deep inside the piano that they were almost touching the strings. This brought a host of external sounds to the recordings which most producers would try their hardest to hide: I hear myself breathing and panting, the scraping sound of the piano’s action and the creaking of my wooden floorboards – all equally as loud as the music. The music becomes a contingency, a chance, an accident within all this rustling. My heart opens and I wonder what exactly it is that makes me feel so happy.
After their debut in 2010 with Twin-Hand Movement, which received the unanimous consent of critics, Lower Dens come to Video Sound Art to present their new album, their second one which is due to be released on April 30 for Ribbon Music (a division of Domino). Titled Nootropics, this work opens a new chapter in the artistic career of the band formed in 2009 by the creative will of Texan Jana Hunter, Devendra Banhart collaborator already.
Centered on the singer Jana and created by Tristan Patterson, the song Brains, the only single to be released ahead of the album, reveals the central themes of Nootropics: a sort of monumental minimalism, in which the sounds that might seem barely perceptible at a first listen turn out to be central and fundamental for the album’s architecture.
Lower Dens today are Jana, Geoff Graham, Will Adams, Nate Nelson and Carter Tanton.
Nootropics was recorded at Key Club Recording in Benton Harbor in Michigan, with the help of producer Drew Brown, a former collaborator of Radiohead, Beck and Blonde Redhead, and was then concluded in Baltimore.
No hay banda
NO HAY BANDA is an experiment conceived by four young Milanese artists with the intention of exploring different media, such as electronic music, contemporary and video concept, in search of a universal message made possible by the union of different languages at the moment of the live performance.
Nicolò Parsenziani (Piano / Percussions)
Glauco Canalis (Video Artist)
Video Sound Art Festival
29, 30, 31 May 2012
Villa Simonetta, Milano
In collaboration with:
(Scuola di teatro Paolo Grassi, Cinema e Televisione, Civica Scuola di Musica)
With the patronage of:
Comune di Milano