I really enjoy cracking a band’s aura, i.e. figuring out what they’re really about and what they truly want to communicate. The rest is just about finding the appropriate angle and color of language to best express this. A well written press release is a blueprint for promo strategy, which is why I prefer to write the press releases for the campaigns that I work on. Here are a few of the latest ones:

 

 

A refugee. An orphan. A street urchin. A 11 year old bearded, sticky-fingered now-where-did-your-cellie-go?! type miscreant. The prodigal son of the Afghani Big Lebowski. The other Dude. The street corner shit talker. The Bart Simpson of Kabul. The brother who claims he knows your moms and your girl, intimately. A hustler. Young Fuchy. The kid who used to sell poppy heads by the kilo. One of many, but definitely one of a kind. A beat maker. A maverick. A musical hypnotist. A kid on a mission to avenge Kenny for every single one of his deaths. The youngin’ with a truly odd future. A fucking menace with a golden heart.

 

 

The warmth of a mammal. The sound of the sea. A boy’s smile. When you truly behold something you become it. When this happens, you disappear. Serenity. Patches of noise. The roaring sound of blood rushing through the veins. Introverts attracted by the limelight. He rushes forward instinctively. She cultivates notes like bacteria in a petridish. It’s all research. Hesitation. Things left unsaid. Thinking so much that it leads to paralysis. Chaos. Shifting perspectives. Writing songs to preserve delicate emotions during rough times. Rain. Electricity. Sound as texture. Collecting sounds. Synthesizers and drum machines. Ways to escape a busy mind and keep fear at bay. Luckily, poetry is a code and you can say the most dangerous things out loud without actually saying them. The “Lighting” EP was written in Amsterdam and recorded in Berlin.

(The entire text was put together from an email conversation with vocalist Daniela Weinmann.)

 

 

Some say that life is a dream and that the only difference between what we perceive as real and what we call fantasy, is the density of the vibration. TRUE, the Swiss Pop duo, make music that feels like air. It’s uninhibited, breezy and when inhaled it subtly shifts the atmosphere from the mundane to the magically sensual. Their latest single entitled Hold it Back, is a peon to that fine line that separates reality from fantasy and commitment from infidelity. It’s a sultry exploration of the idea of relationships in the age of social media which, interestingly enough, is becoming all pervasive and invisible like air.

Hold it Back is the equivalent of feeling someone breathing lightly on the back of your neck – a lover whispering arousing words which although barely audible, resonate heavily inside you and linger on long after after they’re uttered. It’s a cool breeze cutting through a stuffy inner-city apartment, late at night, in the thick of summer –  cooling a naked body draped in sweat and doused in fantasies only. It’s an anachronistic R&B jam that’s neither retro, nor future, yet draws almost imperceptibly from both to create something thoroughly contemporary. It’s the first song announcing Wrapped in Air, the release of the band’s forthcoming debut LP, scheduled to arrive this fall.

TRUE are: Daniela Sarda (voice, keys) and Rico Baumann (drums, drum machines, keys). The duo have been featured on the BBC 6 Radio courtesy of Lauren Laverne, and have been doing serious damage on Spotify playlists, such as the Fresh Finds. They are currently gearing up for their debut full length release.

 

 

The mountains are Dub instruments. They generate echoes of all shades from any sound that they come in contact with. I think that’s why Lee Scratch Perry moved here. Who knows? Switzerland could be the next capitol of Dub. But we’ll definitely call this iteration Alpine Dub. Dubokaj

Dubokaj is a part-time Swiss highlander and a full-time Dub practitioner. The Bern based artist describes “Alpine Dub”, his first solo LP, as “unfinished Pop music that was sent through a bunch of effects”. These effects are, of course, a whole array of analog machines; all of them vintage, most of them as good as new, some of them barely working – yet because of their glitchy, hissy nature they’ve truly acquired unique voices. This btw. might be the reason why this record sounds like no other.

The finished piece took about 4 years to make. It was distilled from over 30 compositions that were worked, reworked and re/edited hundreds of times into what eventually became a sizzling, crackling, warm perfection. “Alpine Dub” is a wild exploration of Dub as technique and methodology. It’s an experiment that was embarked on without a fixed road-map or any pre-meditated results in mind. The mission was to create honest music and to allow it to tell its own story. There are no genre templates here, either, in fact, some of these tracks change their genre references several times as they unfold. And this is what makes this record so poignantly modern: its ability to flow freely from a hint of Funk, to dashes of Tropicalia, and then still take a bold, unpredictable turn into something that sounds like it could’ve been cut in the heart of Jamaica. Ultimately, though, “Alpine Dub” is a brain child of an adamant music lover who, not only found his voice, but also mastered unique ways of using it.

The majority of the record could be dubbed instrumental music, however Dubokaj’s jungle like vocalizations can be heard throughout – mostly added to individual songs as an extra color, a texture or an idiosyncratic, percussive detail – rarely as the main vocal line. There are, however, a few stunning appearances on songs by vocalist, song-writer Joana Aderi – and these are the pieces that could easily contend with any “left of field” Pop singles out there. These are also the tunes that emphasize Dubokaj’s mature production craft.

“Alpine Dub” is a personal record. Its strength lies in the ability to precipitate and verbalize the joys and the melancholies of life, not as complementary opposites, but, rather, two aspects of a single molecule. Most songs here are neither sad nor happy – in a strange way they are both simultaneously. So what is this record really about? In his own words: “I’m still fascinated by the fact that you can travel through the Net and create a story, or even a whole world from the experiences that you get from navigating this virtual landscape. I live in both worlds, but this record is about the travels through an analog mind. It’s about places I’ve visited in the past, but have revisited through memory recall, while writing this record. It’s also about places that I haven’t been to, simply because some of them don’t even exist – yet I can see them vividly in my mind’s eye”

Studio nerds will be happy to know that after the writing and recordingof  this LP was finished, Dubokaj spent another 4 days (14 hours per session) over a mixing desk and racks full of analog effects, dubbing and de/re/constructing individual tracks in the true spirit of the Dub genre. Everything was done live and in the moment. The mixing board was used not as a mixing tool, but as an actual instrument. This is what gave the whole record its unique “patina”, and unified a collection of compositions into one beautiful, cohesive whole.