Wednesday’s Forthcoming Releases [Part I]

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KASABIAN 'Where Did All The Love Go?' [Release Date 17/08/2009]

C5 I 10": 'Where Did All The Love Go?' asks Kasabian's epic new single and the follow-up to their No.3 single 'Fire' – out August 3rd on Columbia, from their acclaimed No.1 album 'West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum'. Written by Serge Pizzorno and co-produced by Serge and Dan The Automator, 'Where Did All The Love Go?' is set to a thrilling, euphoric disco backdrop. "I just wanted to pose the question – what's happened? I don't want to hark back to the 60s, but you just feel people had more time for each other then," says Serge. "It's a mad disco tune." The track is littered with multiple hooks, cinematic strings and psychedelic choral refrains from Serge and Tom.

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SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO 'Temporary Pleasure' [Release Date 17/08/2009]

CD I Ltd 2CD I Ltd 2LP: Simian Mobile Disco release a brand-new album 'Temporary Pleasure' through Wichita Recordings on the 17th August 2009. The album will be preceded by the single 'Audacity Of Huge' on the 3rd August 2009. 'Audacity Of Huge' features vocals from Chris Keating from the critically acclaimed Yeasayer. 'Temporary Pleasure' was recorded at the bands studio in east London throughout 2008 and 2009, when the band weren't busy touring their live show, DJing and producing. As well as representing the best of UK dance music, the record contains some staggering pop anthems, featuring vocal contributions from the likes of Beth Ditto and Alexis Taylor. The album will be available on LP, CD and deluxe limited edition CD. Following the stunning videos she made for 'Synthesise' and '10000 Horses Can't Be Wrong', Kate Moross (www.katemoross.com) will be designing all the artwork for the album and singles, as well as making the video for 'Audacity Of Huge'. 'Temporary Pleasure' is the follow up to the bands 2007 debut 'Attack Decay Sustain Release'. Simian Mobile Disco continue to be in huge demand as remixers, having remixed everyone from Armand Van Helden to Bjork via Muse and Klaxons.

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SOULSAVERS 'Broken' [Release Date 17/08/2009]

CD I LP: In 2007, when Soulsavers released their second opus 'It's Not How Far You Fall, It's How You Land', the collective's leader Rich Machin explained what lay behind it. "I didn't want to be in an electronic band. Or a rock'n'roll band. I wanted the freedom to explore". Today, he reaffirms that position. "I love all kinds of music, which allows me to open all these doors. There's nothing better than bringing in great people who inspire, to keep you on top of your game, and to keep things fresh and never boring. That's the nature of what we've set up here." Soulsavers had begun as more of an electronic affair, with Machin partnering studio engineer Ian Glover for the 2003 debut 'Tough Guys Don't Dance'. Josh Haden of slow-core moodists Spain [the band, not the country], added three vocals, but the following 'It's Not How Far You Fall…' set a new benchmark, threading soul, gospel, rock, jazz, country into the mix and a matching spread of singers. Principally, though, out front was the indefatigable Mark Lanegan, former Screaming Tree whose profound, growling croon was the perfect match for Soulsavers' broader, richer vein of sepulchral cinerama. Besides Lanegan's eight vocals, there were telling contributions from The London Community Gospel Choir, Will Oldham and Doves' Jimi Goodwin; voices to throw light and shade on Machin's expansive music and to contrast Lanegan's tobacco-tarred laments. Now you must be prepared to follow Soulsavers even further, for 'Broken' is even better, a future classic that delivers 13 tracks of wide-ranging majesty. The main difference this time, says Rich, is the influence of Soulsavers' stage incarnation. "Touring has definitely brought the guitars to the front of 'Broken' and it's got a more soulful twist too. And though it clearly has some very dark overtones, I don't think it's quite as dark as the last." Like its predecessor, 'Broken' was recorded in Los Angeles, in the wee small hours. It took about a year to finish, Rich and Mark bouncing ideas off each other, and back and forth between LA and Rich's base in the north of England, until it was time to sign off on the record. Perhaps 'Broken' is a little lighter than the last because of its circumstances. 'It's Not How Far You Fall…' was funded off Rich's credit cards, without a record deal in place. "During the mix, you realise what a dumb thing you might have done, so it became quite stressful," he recalls. "It was a huge undertaking. But V2 came in and bailed us out." Not only have Soulsavers a full support network, from label to loyal press and fans alike, but they can count on fans who themselves pursue dark-eyed rock hues. Like Spiritualized's Jason Pierce, who duets with Lanegan on 'Pharaoh's Chariot', which came about after both bands toured together in 2008. That most left-field of mainstream rollers, Mike Patton duets with Mark on 'Unbalanced Pieces', Broken's most electronic-enhanced cut, while Richard Hawley adds shadowy backing vocals to 'Shadows Fall', and finally Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers infamy appears alongside Lanegan on 'Death Bells'. In the studio the band added Martyn LeNoble [Porno For Pyros, Jane's Addiction] on bass duties. 'Broken' also introduces a new voice, Red Ghost [Rosa Agostino]. Her suitably dark, sultry tones unfurl across three standout tracks – the stately 'By My Side', the glowering 'Praying Ground' and the sensual, jazz-blues of 'Rolling Skies', on which she trades verses with Mark over a steamy, New Orleans-tinted groove. "This young Australian girl from Sydney kept on sending me demos," Rich recalls, "and she was better than most everything else we'd heard. We traded ideas, and it really gelled." Finally, Rich contributes two instrumentals, which bare his soundtrack soul. Soulsavers songs have unsurprisingly been used for US TV dramas, from Grey's Anatomy & CSI New York through to HBO's new smash hit 'InTreatment', but Rich – a huge film buff – has his eyes on the bigger screen. Brilliant 'auditions' both, 'The Seventh Proof' and 'Wise Blood' are gloriously moody in the Morricone/Nicolai [both formative influences of Rich's] Italian school of killer orchestrations. To help him, he called on a contemporary Italian arranger Daniele Luppi, "He brought alive our ideas, which has pushed me harder to try and work a lot more in that film world."

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DAVID SYLVIAN 'Manafon' [Release Date 14/09/2009]

CD: David Sylvian is a man apart. In a thirty-year career that spans the New Romantic movement, ambient works and progressive rock, and mature and esoteric pop, Sylvian has tested popular styles and bent them to his own vision. But the '00s have seen a more extreme side of his work. While 2003's 'Blemish' startled long-time fans with its emotional rigour, Sylvian has taken the next step with 'Manafon' [his first solo album in 6 years] – a work of nuance and stern musicality, that is also intriguing, suspenseful, and horribly beautiful. On Manafon, Sylvian pursues "a completely modern kind of chamber music. Intimate, dynamic, emotive, democratic, economical." In sessions in London, Vienna, and Tokyo, Sylvian assembled the world's leading improvisers and innovators, artists who explore free improvisation, space-specific performance, and live electronics. From Evan Parker and Keith Rowe, to Fennesz and members of Polwechsel, to Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide, the musicians provide both a backdrop and a counterweight to his own vocal performances – which, minus one instrumental, are nakedly the center of each piece. Sylvian's voice has never been so dominant or so striking, and his resonant tenor and deliberate vibrato captivate the listener from the start of 'Small Metal Gods'. "It's like a one-man monologue in which every change of light and backdrop is crucial to the carrying of the central performance. It's an ensemble work even though there is a central performance". Intuition drew Sylvian to these pieces and these players, and the surprises they bring: a cello visiting like a warm hand on a forehead, the unpredictable use of unadulterated sine waves, the brassy path of Evan Parker's soprano sax solo. 'Manafon' has a forbidding core, but aesthetically, each piece is an engrossing discovery. Presented as ever in a beautiful digipak featuring exquisite artwork from Ruud Van Empel and designed by Chris Bigg.

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LITTLE DRAGON 'Machine Dreams' [Release Date 17/08/2009]

CD I LP: Little Dragon return with a spectacular second album offering in August, a pulsating electro pop epic that Prince would be proud of [only fronted by a beautiful Swedish lady with a sultry voice]. A bold and surprising side/two step onwards from their self titled debut, released two years ago to great acclaim especially among specialist circles. 'Machine Dreams', with its nagging hooks and gloriously infectious tunes, should finally see the band break out into the mainstream. Recorded in their home city of Gothenburg, 'Machine Dreams' is a gigantic leap on from previous material but still maintains a distinct sound that can only be Little Dragon. Be it Yukimi's warmly inviting vocals, Erik's dextrous drumming, the vast array of synths and bleeps created by Hakan or Frederik's bubbling bass lines, together they don't sound like anything else around right now. The move towards a more electronic sound was a conscious one, as Yukimi explains; "The title 'Machine Dreams' seems obvious. These days, humans seem more and more like machines, and as technology evolves, machines feel more human and it becomes fuzzy and beautiful and science fiction-ish. We feel dependent on our machines to create and live, and their sounds reflect us". Album opener 'A New' breaks us in gently with a single whirring note on the synthesiser, an almost alien sound that gradually morphs into a slow, thumping bassline. Yukimi's vocals flow alongside Hakan's assortment of sound effects interspersed with militaristic drums breaks. A magical opener that sets the scene and seems to sink into itself, taking us with it, until the pace is swiftly ratcheted skywards with 'Looking Glass', the massive snare, crisp driving beat and experimental synths revealing the band's current penchant for the 80's. This influence continues apace into stand out track 'My Step'. Utilising a solid drumbeat that nestles next to jagged and playful synthlines, the track breaks down into motorik propulsion with a scuzzy techno bassline that Yukimi works with ease. Upcoming single 'Feather' finds Yukimi's voice at its most detached and blaze, seemingly nonchalant yet magnificently seductive. Backed by Hakan's keyboard atmospherics, the song creates a soundscape reminiscent of Tears For Fears' more reflective moods. Gradually layering more vocals, synths, echoes and reverb, it builds to a quietly psychedelic, dreamy cosmic swirl. 'Runabout' brings forth a mini Airto style percussive breakdown at the tail end of yet another Little Dragon pop gem. 'Swimming' bursts forth into vision with stabbing keys and reflective bass alongside yet another wonderful vocal performance from Yukimi who sings of young love "and now so many years have past, my memories as clear as glass". The song is over as quickly as it started, flowing into the next miniature masterpiece in the form of 'Blinking Pigs'. The album closes with the stunning track 'Fortune', which has already caught the attention of none other than DJ Shadow. It's no wonder really, as the textured melodies blend with the drifting percussion, creating a blissful sonic mood. With a smattering of drums and bass and the magic of Yukimi's voice and Hakan's electronic dynamics floating on top, it's the perfect track to end this fascinating journey through Little Dragon's brave new world. With disparate influences from Depeche Mode to Prince, LCD Soundsystem to James Holden, Dancehall to R&B, Jazz and Soul, Little Dragon take their place among artists who straddle many genres, yet somehow create their own and in doing so create "sounds that make time stop" (Yukimi). Futuristic yet somehow retro, 'Machine Dreams' sees Little Dragon achieve something timeless; that elusive pop classic.

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WILLIE NELSON 'American Classic' [Release Date 24/08/2009]

CD: 'American Classic' represents old-school record-making at its most sumptuously swinging, with a lighthearted yet sophisticated jazz feel influenced by Bob Wills and the Texas Plaboys and Django Reinhardt. Three-time Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma, known for his best-selling work with Natalie Cole, Barbra Streisand, Anita Baker, Michael Buble and Diana Krall among others, helmed the sessions. The album features guest appearances from jazz vocal heavy weights Norah Jones and Diana Krall. Many of the tracks also feature the legendary Joe Sample on Piano.

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THE PRODIGY 'Take Me To The Hospital' [Release Date 31/08/2009]

C5 I 12": Having smashed it with their intensity and energy at virtually every major UK festival this year including headline performances at Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Download to name a few, The Prodigy release a new single 'Take Me To The Hospital' on August 31st. Still riding high in the UK charts, their album 'Invaders Must Die' is among the top five selling albums of 2009 and has reaffirmed the band's status as true legends of both dance and rock. 'Take Me To The Hospital' is the exhilarating car crash sound of all three members… a sound so frenetic, unhinged and deeply bass driven it could only come from the minds of Liam, Keith and Maxim. Steeped in the history early 90s rave, the Prodigy themselves pioneered but given a suitably awe inspiring 21st century reboot, this ain't no retro banger … it's a future classic. Remixes include an apocalyptically gnarly remix from Queens Of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme collaborating with Liam himself. On the dancefloor side there are mixes from Rusko and drum & bass demons Sub Focus, all making 'Take Me To The Hospital' a total festival banger you'll be hearing blasting out of late night legal high stalls all summer long.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS 'Woodstock 40' [Release Date 17/08/2009]

2-CD I 6-CD: To assemble the most comprehensive document of the myth-steeped weekend, the boxed set's co-producer Andy Zax pored over every inch of multitrack tape in search of the strongest parts of each of the 33 sets. "The way we approached all of the material was as if it was a cinéma verité documentary-the raw record of the event," Zax says. In addition to the music, the set offers considerable amount of ancillary material sprinkled throughout the discs-stage announcements, lysergic babble, the sounds of rain, a cameo appearance by Abbie Hoffman, and the graciousness of Max Yasgur's address to the crowd, heard for the first time in its entirety. Another significant byproduct of 'Woodstock 40' is that, by virtue of its size and rigorously chronological sequence, it gets closer to a sense of the performances as they occurred in real time than any previous compilation. For the first time, the complete and accurate set lists will be available in the boxed set's booklet. Some Woodstock aficionados will be taken aback by the actual order of the performances; it differs from both various written accounts and from Michael Wadleigh's film Woodstock, which takes certain liberties with chronology in order to maintain its narrative flow.

BRENDAN BENSON 'Feel Like Taking You Home' [Release Date 17/08/2009]

Ltd 7": Following his phenomenal success with The Raconteurs, Brendan Benson returns in August 2009 with 7" single 'Feel Like Taking You Home', which precedes his fourth and finest solo album, 'My Old, Familiar Friend'. Recorded in Nashville and London, produced by Gil Norton [Pixies, Maximo Park, Foo Fighters] and mixed by Dave Sardy [The Rolling Stones, LCD Soundsystem, Oasis], 'My Old, Familiar Friend' is a marriage of passion and perfectionism and an illustration of all that is special about Benson. From the seductive glimmer of 'Feel Like Taking You Home' to the Motown swoon of 'Garbage Day' Benson has shaped his restless-hearted stories into songs that fit together with exquisite neatness and carry the delicious clunk-click of rhyme. It is a style he has honed, of course. On 1996's 'One Mississippi', the songs came rough-hewn but charged with hooks and with wit; 2002's 'Lapalco' brought a perfect pop ripeness, and by 'The Alternative to Love' in 2005, there was something quite brilliant and burnished about his song writing. Along the way he has co-written and recorded two spectacular albums with The Raconteurs, 'Broken Boy Soldiers' and 'Consolers of the Lonely'. For Benson, the Raconteurs was not just an opportunity to play with close friends Jack White [The White Stripes] Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler [The Greenhornes] but also a chance to roll around in the rock, psychedelia and blues that has shaped his musical taste. Through all of the songs on 'My Old, Familiar Friend' ribbons a delight in melody. Benson's musical approach is detailed, craftsmanlike and fastidious. Take for instance 'A Whole Lot Better' in which harmonies, hand-claps and guitar are layered to produce a work of such heart-filled buoyancy, a work that culminates in the sweet, dove-tailing swoop of its refrain: "I fell in love with you/ And out of love with you/ And back in love with you/ All in the same day." These are songs that arrived perfectly formed and immaculate, songs from the very top drawer… the sound of a classic singer/songwriter operating at the top of his game.

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