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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.

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

Oh hi. Recently we've heard some grumbling about these news updates on brassland.org. "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....



Steven Reker of People Get Ready wins award, debuts at Lincoln Center - February 08, 2015

Things may have seemed quiet on the People Get Ready front since the summer release of their sophomore album Physiques but rest assured respect, accolades and affection continue to accrue for the members of this uncategorizable indie/performance quartet. That accrual has been most pronounced in the case of main man Steven Reker. First Lincoln Center selected him to debut a new piece of work at their prestigious American Songbook series. (The date is February 27th for those who like keeping your calendars up-to-date.) And just this morning The New York Times announced that Steven has been awarded American Dance ....continue....

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This Is The Kit announce April release date for Bashed Out - February 03, 2015

Earlier today, after This Is The Kit wrapped up an UK opening tour for The Barr Brothers, Stereogum broke news of the release date for their long-anticipated new album Bashed Out, which was produced by The National's Aaron Dessner. Before we say more, take a listen to the first music released, the album's title track. "Kate Stables has been recording music as This Is The Kit for years now, but this is probably one of the first times you’re reading about her," wrote Stereogum. "Bashed Out will be her third full-length album, and…it ....continue....

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Brassland takes Éire, The Gloaming snare year-end honors - December 09, 2014

Brassland has landed in Ireland! No awkward puns or repetitive use of verbs intended! For a thorough round up of what's going on, take a listen to this hourlong podcast prepared by Dublin's National Concert Hall. It also serves as a great capsule history of the label. Alternatively, if you try to observe the "pod-" in podcasting, you may download part one and part two from Soundcloud (or, if you're a real traditionalist, via iTunes). They were produced by the most-excellent Ben Eshmade in honor of NCH's just-as-excellent Perspectives series which launched this year ....continue....

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