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Jherek Bischoff to release Composed record on Brassland - March 27, 2012

You've started to hear the name Jherek Bischoff around these parts (and by these parts, we mean the Brassland site), but allow us to take a moment to refresh your collective memories. The songwriter, producer, performer and composer has been called a “pop polymath” (The New York Times), a “Seattle phenom” (The New Yorker), and “the missing link between the sombre undertones of Ennio Morricone and the unpredictability of John Cale" (NME). We're trying not to get too braggy over here, but we are proud to be releasing this music and excited to finally announce the June 5th release date of his new album, Composed!

You can download a track from the first "single" right now:

This song will be released as a limited edition 7" vinyl record in an addition of 1,000 copies for Record Store Day. 500 hand-numbered copies will be available in the UK, 500 more in the US. On the 7", David Byrne collaborates on "Eyes," as sumptuous a slice of meta-pop as anything he has produced in years, while Parenthetical Girls' Zac Pennington and French singer/actor Soko duet on the buoyant "Young And Lovely." Neither of these songs will be sold digitally until the album is released. You'll have to buy the 7" to hear them.

Overall, Composed is a meticulously arranged album of nine orchestral pieces featuring guest vocalists on almost every track, a list of luminaries including the aforementioned David Byrne, Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls), and Soko -- as well as Caetano Veloso, Mirah, Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, Geraldine Fibbers), Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think) and Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables). Avant ringers like Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and Wilco's Nels Cline provide instrumental solos.

Fore a more holistic picture of the release, here is a preview video featuring audio excerpts from the entire album. (It's on Vimeo too if you roll that way.):

And here is the tracklist:

1. Introduction (Defeat)
2. Eyes (Jherek Bischoff & David Byrne)
3. The Secret Of The Machines (with Caetano Veloso & Greg Saunier)
4. The Nest (with Mirah Zeitlyn & Paris Hurley)
5. Blossom (Jherek Bischoff with Nels Cline)
6. Your Ghost (with Craig Wedren)
7. Counting (with Carla Bozulich)
8. Young And Lovely (with Zac Pennington & Soko)
9. Insomnia, Death And The Sea (with Dawn McCarthy)

Unlike many big-budget classical productions, Jherek took a particularly DIY approach to the record, first composing the album on a ukulele then producing, engineering, and mastering it all by himself, achieving an orchestral sound without the orchestral cost.

“I recorded each individual musician of the ‘orchestra’ in their own living rooms,” says Bischoff, “And then I layered each instrument--sometimes one violinist playing one part twenty times--until it was the size of a huge orchestra. I spent the summer riding my bike from house to house recording each musician. I finished the album by taking a road trip to record all the singers in person, except for Caetano Veloso and David Byrne, who recorded their own parts at home.”

The result bares traces of Jherek's past playing in DIY bands, his desire to make great pop music, and a love affair with the potential of the orchestra, all informed by his deep familiarity of a catalog of compositional ideas & technique. Particularly notable is Brazilian Tropicalismo legend Veloso guesting on "The Secret Of The Machines" singing lyrics adapted from a Rudyard Kipling poem, though each of the guests leave their own unique print on the remarkable whole. It took years to make this record but it was totally worth it.

All you New Yorkers will get the chance to see Jherek perform at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival on May 3rd.

[ More about Jherek Bischoff ] / [ More news stories for Jherek Bischoff ]

The Gloaming visit America; Buke and Gase tour UK/USA with Battles - September 30, 2015

It's rare that our artists have not one but two major tours happening in the United States simultaneously. So, contrary to our usual practice of filling these news updates with random yuks, jokes & asides, we'll get right to the point. (But yes, technically the image we've used with this news story counts as a joke.) Here is where you Americans can catch The Gloaming. OCTOBER - 02 Los Angeles, CA: Bovard Auditorium, USC - 05 Seattle, WA: Benaroya Hall - 07 AnnArbor, MI: UMS at Michigan Theatre - 09 Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center - 10 Chicago, IL: Old Town School of ....continue....

This Is The Kit collect praise, BBC support & tour dates - August 11, 2015

This year's been a doozy for This Is The Kit (aka Kate Stables and whoever joins her aka TITK for short). We released their new, Aaron Dessner-produced album Bashed Out in April. (Vinyl came along a few months later and, hey now, links to get it in any format are here if you are so inclined.) Reactions have been universally positive, with some daring to call it one of the best British albums of 2015. (That "some" includes "us" of course.) We'll get into more details about the positive reviews in a moment but ***HEADLINE ....continue....

[ More about This is the Kit ]

Bryce Dessner, So Percussion, Aron Buke & Gase team-up - May 27, 2015

Of late, Brassland has had our most Dessner-heavy release schedule in quite some time. There is the wonderful (and still fresh) Aaron Dessner production-work on This Is The Kit’s new album Bashed Out — the Bryce-curated indie-all star compilation MusicNOW: 10 Years — and, just last week, Bryce’s new solo album Music for Wood and Strings which, amazingly, was the Hot Shot Debut on this week's Billboard Classical chart!?! (That chart debut is even more amazing if you consider the fact that most of the Billboard "classical" chart is stuff like Lindsey Stirling's dubstep violin jams and ....continue....

[ More about Bryce Dessner ]

Secret history of Sufjan's CARRIE & LOWELL - March 30, 2015

Oh hi. Recently we've heard some grumbling about these news updates on "It's so long I didn't read it," people complain. "Why do your news updates take such a roundabout way of getting to the freaking point?" one friend told us. (i.e. Note the picture that goes with this particular update, a barely relevant #selfie of Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and some dude with a hat from the most recent installment of the MusicNOW festival.) Finally others criticize: "You could say the same thing with far less verbiage." ....continue....

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