Features: Lapalux

The summer is almost there and we have another special planned for you. On May 27 we are presenting the British charming prince Lapalux live in concert. For those who have no clue who that is, because you were on a sailing trip around the world or any other reason that made you have no access to modern music, here is a little update for you about this guys career and his music.

Stuart Howard a.k.a. Lapalux (short for “Lap of Luxury”) grew up in Essex, England, immediately north-east of London. The first time he appeared in the world of music was when he pulled out a bootleg remix of Gwen Stefani’s song “Luxurious”, which went viral. After a first self-published EP entitled “Forest”, in 2008, he caught the attention of the British label Picture Music who then released his “Many Faces Out Of Focus“ EP, in 2011. The EP is a perfect demonstration of the producer’s limitless skills. Catchy key lines that are difficult to shift from the memory for a long time after listening, a hypnotic manipulation of vocal samples, half-time beats and reversed chords. Long story short, “Many Faces Out Of Focus“ is refreshing, unique and definitely a very impressive label debut. The success of the EP made him work even harder and so he released not one but two EP’s the following year, 2012, both on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder Records. Continue reading “Lapalux”

Features: Autograf

This up & coming Thursday, May 4, the trio Autograf, from Chicago, will perform live at Gretchen. The sound of the band is often described as electronic pop or future house. With more than 139,000 Soundcloud fans and almost 90,000 Facebook likes, the group’s fan base is more than established, but the bands focus is not only on the music but also on the whole presentation. What that means? Well, let me give you a clearer view on what these guys are all about.

The three members of Autograf, Mikul Wing, Louis Kha and Jake Carpenter began not as the enigmatic and dreamy house group it is today, but as a visual art outlet for creatives who wanted to return to their roots. They all come from visual art or design backgrounds, but during the years before the formation of the group, in 2013, they found greater success as solo artists and in groups like Midnight Conspiracy. Right from the start Autograf’s plan was to provide something different. Their first show was an event at the House of Blues, titled “Warhol’s Factory.” At this event, the group transformed the venue into an art installation. This included a massive re-creation of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup piece, which the group continues to use, and Brillo boxes. After that first successful event, Autograf continued with a serie of events at Chop Shop & 1st Ward (former auto body shop and now butcher-deli-restaurant and bar with a 6,000 square foot event space) with Collaboraction, a local mixed media theater and arts company. Just like the first event at the House of Blues, these Chop Shop & 1st Ward spectacles had a theme and transformed the location Continue reading “Autograf”

Features: Mndsgn & Kingdom

This up and coming Saturday, April 29, we will take you on a trip to the stars. Two very inspiring musicians will jump in their spaceship to showcase their talent at Gretchen. Both are based in Los Angeles and have made a name for themselves during the last few years with their unorthodox productions. You would like to know who are these two astronauts that we are talking about? Ringgo Ancheta and Ezra Rubin of course! Oh, you still do not have a clue? Well, let us get more into detail then.

Ringgo Ancheta, better known by his stage name Mndsgn, pronounced “mind design”, was born in San Diego to former members of the Philippine arm of the Aum Supreme Truth Cult, a doomsday cult that was originally founded in Japan in 1984 and gained international notoriety when it carried out the deadly Tokyo subway sarin terror attack in 1995. His parents were granted political asylum in the U.S.A., otherwise his life probably would have taken a different route. Spending his childhood on the edge of a commune with no electricity and mostly no technology, he did not had access to any kind of modern music until he sneaked out and hitchhiked to Philadelphia where he got in contact with the sound of hip-hop for the very first time and immediately fell in love with the art form. A Philly resident, who explained the art of sampling and beat making to him, inspired him so much that he acquired some equipment within the same day and started to work on his own productions. From then on he went more and more often to “The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection” (author’s note: common American nickname for the city of Philadelphia.) which finally led to a move to Los Angeles to be a full time musician. Continue reading “Mndsgn & Kingdom”

Features: SHAPESHIFTER

There are many bands out there who have tried to play live drum’n’bass before, but none of them have brought it to a level of perfection as these guys, multiple award winning, platinum selling, world famous Shapeshifter from Christchurch, New Zealand. They will be back in Berlin, April 20, to play one of their energetic live shows at Gretchen. Since their formation in 1999, Shapeshifter have worked their way up to be one of New Zealand’s top musical exports and definitely have caught worldwide attention with their live performances. We have had a look at the bands history and have brought together all the interesting facts about them in this little article.

The four founding members, Devin Abrams, Redford Grenell, Sam Trevethick and Nick Robinson met first at the Christchurch Jazz School. Their wide musical background included dub, jazz, hip-hop, metal, funk and electronic, this led into the decision to bring all these influences together and create live drum’n’bass. In 2001, Shapeshifter released their first longplayer entitled “Realtime”. For the album they worked together with producer Kaps and Tiki Taane, a member of the famous New Zealand dub/reggae formation Salmonella Dub. It also features the sweet vocals of Ladi6, who has been called “New Zealand’s answer to Erykah Badu”, on the track “Move With Me”. At the 2002 b-Net New Zealand Music Awards the album was awarded as the “Best Electronic Release” and was also nominated for “Best Electonic Album” at the Rainz New Zealand music Awards. Continue reading “SHAPESHIFTER”

Features: Jeff Parker and The New Breed

This week we will continue our series of jazz events with a truly outstanding artist. On April 7 we are opening doors for Jeff Parker and The New Breed. So many interesting facts to talk about, where do we even begin?

The American jazz and rock guitarist, born in Hampton, Virginia, in 1967 was attracted to music from an early age on and decided to study at the Berklee College of Music. Soon after he moved to the jazz capital Chicago and started working on his career as a musician. Parker  became a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a non-profit organization, which supports and encourages jazz performers, composers and educators. According to its charter the ACCM is devoted “to nurturing, performing, and recording serious, original music”. Also members of the organization are, for instance, George Lewis, Chico Freeman, Anthony Braxton and the Art Ensemble Of Chicago. But Parker was not only interested in playing jazz, his skills as a rock musician were widely acknowledged when he joined the famous post-rock band Tortoise. The almost entirely instrumental music of Tortoise is quite experimental and, rather than the standard rock and roll sound, a mixture that incorporates everything from the so called krautrock, dub, minimalist music, electronic to various jazz styles. Their last album “The Catastophist” was released, by the Chicago based indie label Thrill Jockey, i Continue reading “Jeff Parker and The New Breed”