May 252019
 
May 23, 2019 – UK Electronic-Pop
band EMPATHY TEST is pleased to announce the release of their limited
edition EP, EMPTY-HANDED

Availble on limited edition digipack
CD, 7" vinyl and digital formats June 20!

Following the success
of double A-side single, "Holy Rivers / Incubation Song", which has
racked up over 150,000 streams on Spotify since its October release
and was praised by Clash Music for its “shimmering synths, glacial
electronics, and heartrending vocals”, London Synthpop group EMPATHY
TEST returns with a second, tantalising taste of their upcoming third
album, in the form of new single "Empty-Handed."

Stream the
"Empty-Handed" single
HERE:
https://soundcloud.com/empathytest/empty-handed/s-lHd56

Track
List:
1. Empty-handed
2. A River Loves a Stone
3.
Empty-handed (TRAAPS Remix)
4. A River Loves a Stone (Ari Mason
Remix)

Empty-Handed presents another sonic leap forward for a
band that has never been one to tread water when it comes to their
sound, presenting a harder, darker style whilst simultaneously tipping
their proverbial hat to the Synthwave scene that helped launch their
career back in 2014. An arpeggiated synthesiser provides a relentless
momentum from the get-go, while the deceptively simple composition
gradually builds to its epic conclusion.

Opening line, “My
heart is an empty vessel / Drifting out to sea” sets the tone both
lyrically and emotionally. It’s about being unable to give a partner
the emotional support or commitment they need and the feeling of
emptiness that comes with that. As always, Empathy Test delivers a
perfect marriage of music and emotion, the sudden flourishes of
strings and synthesisers rushing past like spirits in the
night.

There’s a sense of urgency here that has not been
present previously, as well as an innate confidence that suggests the
third album, which comes after the simultaneous release of two debut
albums Losing Touch (Remastered) and Safe From Harm in November 2017
and is slated for release in early September, might just be the
band’s most accomplished to date.

UK tour with
Actors

June 20, 2019 – Trillians – Newcastle
June 21, 2019 –
Voodoo Rooms – Edinburgh
June 22, 2019 – Ivory Blacks –
Glasgow
June 23, 2019 – FAC251 – Manchester
June 26, 2019 – Maze
– Nottingham
June 27, 2019 – Esquires – Bedford
June 28, 2019 –
Slade Rooms – Wolverhampton
June 29, 2019 – O2 Academy Islington –
London
June 30, 2019 – Exchange –
Bristol

Festivals

June 09, 2019 Wave Gotik Treffen,
Germany
Aug 11, 2019 Mera Luna, Germany
Aug 15, 2019 W-Festival,
Belgium

North American tour with Aesthetic
Perfection

Sept 06, 2019 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA
Sept
07, 2019 – Club Red – Mesa, AZ
Sept 08, 2019 – Rock House – El
Paso, TX
Sept 12, 2019 – Amp Room – San Antonio, TX
Sept 13,
2019 – Elysium – Austin, TX
Sept 14, 2019 – Warehouse Live –
Houston, TX
Sept 15, 2019 – The Church – Dallas, TX
Sept 17,
2019 – The Goat – New Orleans, LA
Sept 18, 2019 – Drunken Unicorn –
Atlanta, GA
Sept 19, 2019 – The 926 Bar – Tallahassee, FL
Sept
20, 2019 – The Orpheum – Tampa, FL
Sept 21, 2019 – Will’s –
Orlando, FL
Sept 24, 2019 – The Milestone – Charlotte, NC
Sept
25, 2019 – Fallout – Richmond, VA
Sept 26, 2019 – Dangerous Pies –
Washington, DC
Sept 27, 2019 – Voltage Lounge – Philadelphia,
PA
Sept 28, 2019 – The Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY
Sept 29,
2019 – ONCE Ballroom – Boston, MA
Sept 30, 2019 – Mohawk Place –
Buffalo, NY
Oct 01, 2019 – Coalition – Toronto, ON
Oct 02, 2019
– Howlers – Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 03, 2019 – The Event Center –
Cincinnati, OH
Oct 04, 2019 – Small’s – Detroit, MI
Oct 05,
2019 – Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
Oct 06, 2019 – Club Anything –
Milwaukee, WI
Oct 07, 2019 – Warehouse – LaCrosse, WI
Oct 08,
2019 – Red Sea Lounge – Minneapolis, MN
Oct 09, 2019 – Riot Room –
Kansas City, MO
Oct 11, 2019 – Marquis Theater – Denver, CO
Oct
12, 2019 – Area 51 – Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 14, 2019 – Pub 340 –
Vancouver, BC
Oct 15, 2019 – Highline – Seattle, WA
Oct 16, 2019
– Paris Theater – Portland, OR
Oct 18, 2019 – Brick and Mortar –
San Francisco, CA
Oct 19, 2019 – Lodge Room – Los Angeles,
CA

Biography
Since Empathy Test’s conception in January
2013, the independent London electronic pop duo has produced two
stunning, four-track EPs and a steady stream of memorable singles
which have won them both critical acclaim and a legion of dedicated
fans worldwide. Their unique brand of cinematic synth pop has been
featured by the likes of Vice, Netflix, HBO, MTV, XFM, KCRW, BBC
Introducing, Clash, Idolator, Earmilk, PopMatters and many
more.

In 2017, the band began a crowd funding campaign to fund
the self-release of two debut albums, ‘Losing Touch’ and ‘Safe
From Harm’. The PledgeMusic campaign was 661% funded and the band
raised over £26K to release the two albums via digital, CD and vinyl
formats. To date, Empathy test has sold nearly 1,500 copies of each
album on CD and 300 on vinyl.

After touring extensively in
Europe and beyond, Empathy Test released the first taste of their
forthcoming third album (set for release in September 2019) in October
2018, , in the form of a new double a-side single Holy Rivers /
Incubation Song. Clash Music wrote that the new material, featuring
"shimmering synths, glacial electronics, and heartrending vocals",
illuminated the band's "potent creativity".

Empathy Test are
childhood friends Isaac Howlett (vocals) and Adam Relf (production).
Isaac performs their songs live with the help of Christina Lopez
(drums) and Samuel Winter-Quick (keyboards).

For More
Information:
https://www.empathytest.com/
http://www.facebook.com/empathytest

Marc Urselli

www.marcurselli.com
info@marcurselli.com
+1 (917) 470 1170

 www.facebook.com/marcurselli
 www.linkedin.com/in/marcurselli
 www.myspace.com/marcurselli
 www.twitter.com/marcurselli
Other sites by Marc Urselli:
LIVE MUSIC in NYC: LIVE www.marcurselli.com/live
FOOD AROUND THE WORLD: www.marcurselli.com/food
WIND for KITESURFERS: www.marcurselli.com/wind
EASTSIDE SOUND STUDIOS: www.eastsidesound.com
EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC MAGAZINE: www.chaindlk.com

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May 142019
 
The Heathen Apostles are proud to announce Deadly
Nightshade, their new Southern Gothic horror music video, directed by
good friend Jorge Jaramillo. It is the third video from their
Bloodgrass Vol. I & II album, out on Ratchet Blade Records.

Deadly Nightshade takes the band back into familiar dark
territory; this time, the atmosphere is that of the quintessential
Universal horror films of the 1930’s and 40’s.

Those
familiar with the iconic genre will thrill to the sights of a
mortician-like banjo player piloting an angelic victim down river to
her doom and corpses floating up from their graves, while
burlap-masked musicians provide the soundtrack to a feral witch
stealing the soul from our helpless heroine.

‘Inspired by
classic horror movies and German expressionism, the main goal was to
not romanticize an old style, but rather to bring it to something that
could still be dark, creepy and beautiful,’ states director Jorge
Jaramillo (who also directed the Heathen Apostles’ Paint the Stars
video).

Lead vocalist Mather Louth: ‘When the Heathens sat
down for the initial pre-production meetings with Jorge, we all agreed
that reinventing and modernizing the classic black and white horror
genre would be the perfect visual direction for “Deadly
Nightshade”. I’ve always felt very strongly about “Deadly
Nightshade” being incredibly cinematic in nature, and it was always
clear to me that Jorge would be the perfect director for the song. His
work is thought-provoking, filled with symbolism and horrifically
disturbing creatures, and he is a true visionary and
original.

The video also served as a fun exploration for me to
portray both predator and prey, and I particularly enjoyed finding the
physicality and mannerisms of the witch’s character. There is
something quite freeing about playing a character that is so wholly
repulsive and ugly, especially in today’s overly filtered and
appearance-obsessed culture.’

Deadly Nightshade is the third
music video from the band’s Bloodgrass Vol. I & II album. The
Heathen Apostles' fifth album, Dust to Dust, is out June 7th on
Ratchet Blade Records.

Watch the new video HERE:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v35lJoa0eBk

Marc Urselli

www.marcurselli.com
info@marcurselli.com
+1 (917) 470 1170

 www.facebook.com/marcurselli
 www.linkedin.com/in/marcurselli
 www.myspace.com/marcurselli
 www.twitter.com/marcurselli
Other sites by Marc Urselli:
LIVE MUSIC in NYC: LIVE www.marcurselli.com/live
FOOD AROUND THE WORLD: www.marcurselli.com/food
WIND for KITESURFERS: www.marcurselli.com/wind
EASTSIDE SOUND STUDIOS: www.eastsidesound.com
EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC MAGAZINE: www.chaindlk.com

This is a private email address, please do NOT add this email to ANY mailing list without consent!
Please do not print this message. Save paper, save trees, save the environment.
Thank you.

May 142019
 

Shohei Amimori started his career as a composer and arranger of both classical and contemporary music when he was still a student. His orchestral graduation work was so appreciated that Tokyo University of Arts decided to purchase it and preserve it permanently at the university’s art museum. After his initial stylistic fields, his interest gradually moved to different forms of sound art and pop music, and he also began to produce music for commercials and television programs. His output on Noble Records (released at the end of November 2018) partially mirrors this path, but also embraced the bizarre concept of pataphysics that French writer Alfred Jarry defined as “the science of that which is super induced upon metaphysics, whether within or beyond the latter’s limitations, extending as far beyond metaphysics as the latter extends beyond physics.” It’s a sort of parody (quoted by many musicians in the past including the Beatles, Soft Machine and the awesome Japanese band Acid Mothers Temple) that Shohei tried to apply to his music generation according to a derivative process and the bold hypothesis that “music does not yet exist ≈ imaginary music ≈ PATA MUSIC.” We had a quick chat with Shohei about this concept that we invite you to explore by checking out his nice album.

Shohei Amimori “PATA Music” cover artwork

Chain DLK: Hi, Shoei! How are you?

Shoei Amimori: I’m good.

Chain DLK: What is PataMusic in your own explanatory words?

Shoei Amimori: For me, ”PataMusic” is an issue for the existence of music by using pop music.

Chain DLK: Any conceptual connection with the notorious Jarry’s Pataphysics? Do you feel like a Dr. Faustroll for music? 🙂

Shoei Amimori: Of course I was inspired by the Pataphysics that Jari advocated. However, rather than using it as a concept, the issue I was thinking about at the beginning was Pataphysics.

Chain DLK: How many possible approaches do you take into consideration to inject abstractness into music? What’s your favourite one?

Shoei Amimori: Today, I think that with the way of listening to music, the power of the album package has been disabled. So, I did something to highlight the contradiction of the package form itself. For example, if you move on to the next song, the previous song will be seriously ruined. I set up such an element. Bringing abstraction into music, making it stand out and sharing it, is always a big goal for me. But that’s very difficult.

Chain DLK: Can you provide some commentary on the tracks of PataMusic? Any hidden story behind it that you want to share with our readers?

Shoei Amimori: Anyway, there were many kinds of songs and it was difficult. I’m not a singer but there are some songs where I’m singing, some songs like “Climb Downhill 1” that require elaborate post production on a computer, and so on. I made full use of the right and left brain poles. However, in order to raise the above-mentioned issue, there had to be many kinds of songs.

courtesy of Arata Mino

Chain DLK: You have a relevant academic background…is there any composer you studied that paved the way to PataMusic? If so, how?

Shoei Amimori: I have always given respect to and credited some critical aspects to John Cage. Cage had valued the ‘‘sound’’ and ‘‘listening.’’ I would like to draw out the power of such elements without making them mysterious.

Chain DLK: Some tracks sounds like mirroring TV commercials…any jingle that became like a recurring nightmare during composition or over your career?

Shoei Amimori: For me, the most interesting element of music is melody. The reason is that it is difficult to create or listen from a quantitative point of view like harmony or rhythm. Nevertheless, it can be addictive to listeners. That may be why it sounds like TVCM.

Chain DLK: Many moments of PataMusic resemble the amazing experiments by other great Japanese composers, who became famous out of national boundaries, like Haruomi Hosono or Nobukazu Takemura…do you feel closer to some of them, by chance?

Shoei Amimori: As you say, my work may resemble their works in some ways. I’m intending to look over the music all over the world in the same way as them, but that may be just “Japanese.”

courtesy of Arata Mino

Chain DLK:  Are there any connections of PataMusic with your previous outputs? Can you talk about your more or less recent past releases?

Shoei Amimori: Last year, we presented an orchestral piece of contemporary music under the commission of NHK (State-owned broadcasting stations of Japan). Since the premiere on the radio was released, I added a part just before the broadcast occured in the piece to be interesting when listening on the radio. For example, using a very long silence. This attempt is similar to the challenge for the form of the album that was made in “Pata Music.”

Chain DLK: Did you plan any touring to spread PataMusic out of Japan as well?

Shoei Amimori: Regarding the live performance related to my solo works, I’ve only done them in Tokyo. So I want to do it all over the world. I will make plans in the near future.

Chain DLK:Any other work in progress?

Shoei Amimori: This year, I am planning some productions. These are an exhibition of sound installation, a production of other artists, and so on. Now I’m enjoying some collaboration works. I want to start making my own work next year.

Shoei Amimori website URL: www.shoheiamimori.com

May 142019
 

About Miguel Ángel Ruíz aka Orfeón Gagarin, the Spanish artist we recently interviewed after listening to the re-release of his self-titled debut album (initially released in 1986 by the Spanish independent label Toracis Tapes) on Valencia-based record label Verlag System, Antoni Aura, director of the label, wrote: “This Orfeón Gagarin’s debut of 1986 sounds to the XXI Century and collects the savoir-faire of Miguel. The signal of the DIY punk spirit is evident. It is a clear designation of origin for that underground electronic 80ies cassette from outdated Madrid; the one who had no place in the exquisite ‘movida madrileña’ (madrilean new wave). It is evident that ‘In vitro process’ could never access that Olympus of the gods. It is perceived in courts as ‘Last Instance’ to that young man who is around the twenties, who hears crackling needles of the turntable in the groove of the German LPs of Sky, as it would happen to the founder of Mute Records or the ambient series of Eno in ‘Eucarystics.’ It is that crude, hard cover, full of thick points, that portrays the viewer’s gaze beyond the shape of the dish. This image captures the essence and mystery of this album. Do not be deceived, that look goes beyond the O.V.N.I. and from human finitude observes with stupor the immeasurableness of the cosmos, its infinity, its power.” Let’s validate his feedback by meeting this interesting artist.

Orfeón Gagarin – cover artwork

Chain DLK: Hola, Miguel! How are you?

Orfeón Gagarin: After dinner, grateful to appear in your magazine!

Chain DLK: I’ve recently relocated to Spain… I only know some aspects of contemporary and modern music development of this country (the first name that pops into my mind when thinking of the Spanish experimental/electronic music is the one of Esplendor Geometrico… but there are many more…), so I’m happy I have the chance to have a chat with a veteran like you… Any introduction to the Spanish electronic music scene of the recent decades? Anything that foreign listeners could have missed (even if worthy of consideration) in your viewpoint?

Orfeón Gagarin: Yes, Esplendor Geometrico were (and still are) the best known worldwide. But there was an amazing movement in the 80s for bedroom artists and some groups, and a cassette exchange network that also expanded across Europe and the USA. An important point was a program on Radio 3, a state radio station, dedicated to electronic alternative music. There I could hear the most outlandish things, from Comando Bruno, Avant Dernieres Pensees, Macromassa, Luis Mesa, the Necronomicon fanzine, etc., so I realized that there were people doing strange things like me at that moment. But over the years everything changed; many left the guerrilla and the new generations already in the 90s fell into the temptation of techno and dance music. Recently, there has been a return to the primitive artisan roots thanks to the popularization of electronic instruments, musical software and Internet communication, where the producer and the listener can deal without the need of an intermediate.

The problem is that many works have sometimes been relegated to the retail boxes of record stores, international distribution has always been the biggest problem. Spanish listeners often overlook what has been done within their borders.

And also, there are few festivals and occasions to listen to this music live, except for brave initiatives, almost always counting on dark & uncomfortable, bad sounding venues.


Orfeón Gagarin in 2018 – courtesy of Carlos Lopez

Chain DLK: Can you tell us something about the very first days and sources of inspiration for the birth of Orfeon Gagarin? Why such a weird name?

Orfeón Gagarin: Once, I saw an exhibition of Russian cosmonauts here in Madrid at the beginning of the 80s. I took pictures, I became interested in the subject, I bought a gigantic book about the life of Yuri Gagarin in a Russian Spanish bookstore. The name came to me simply because of the union of two seemingly unrelated words. Cosmonauts, surrealism, the unknown, everything is part of my private universe.

Chain DLK: Your self-titled album, which recently come out on Verlag, is your third one, isn’t it? Any word about your first two albums? Do you think they might deserve a re-release?

Orfeón Gagarin: No, actually the Orfeon Gagarin album recently published by Verlag is my first work on cassette, in 1986, reedited and improved in vinyl format. KEDR was my second cassette, which will probably also see its reissue shortly by the same label; this work is dedicated to Gagarin’s space flight, because “KEDR” was the name of his ship in the conversations with the terrestrial control. “Contestacion Capilar” is a CD that was published in 1996, as a compilation of short pieces from the Toracic archives. There are more albums like Neumotorax s.XX, which was published in a small edition by the Italian label Menstrual Recordings some years ago. It is frankly a difficult task to summarize all this in words. An “orfeon” is a traditional choir in Spain with just voices, no instruments. A solo speaker but many personalities at the time. That’s how I consider myself.


Orfeón Gagarin in 1986 – courtesy of Miguel Ángel Ruíz

Chain DLK: The fact that there’s a ‘gagarin’ maybe influenced my imagination, but while listening to Orfeon Gagarin, my mind often jumped to the sceneries evoked by many works by Gennady Golobokov, a well-known Russian pop-artist, and his socialist space workers…do you know them? Any space age reverie in your music?

Orfeón Gagarin:I did not know the Russian artist that you say, but I see that it can be a form of plastic expression compatible with my aerial and dramatic sounds. Recently, 2 vinyl albums have been published in a collaboration with a friend from Madrid under the name of Dekatron, whose covers include retro-futurist paintings by Adamo Dimitriadis, a contemporary painter with whom I feel very identified.

Chain DLK: Re-releases normally occur for releases, which can be considered forerunners of something that could be better appreciated or understood years after its initial birth date…would you say the same for Orfeon Gagarin?

Orfeón Gagarin: Many young people listen to this music and are surprised that is was created so long ago and still sounds quite current. Keep in mind that in my case, they were recorded with few resources, exploring the possibilities of recorders, tapes, organs that now seem outdated, primitive computers or even electric razors that challenge the listener with devilish noises. Bearing in mind that now it is difficult to be surprised with new sounds, even though now stupid music software has thousands of them.

Chain DLK: There are many awesome tracks in Orfeon Gagarin. What are the more interesting (and more difficult to catch by contemporary listeners) technical aspects of some of its tracks, in your own words?

Orfeón Gagarin: At the time I recorded that cassette, my primary focus was to organize my existing brain chaos, since I wanted to do everything in a short time. I’m not disciplined, so they started to emerge as disparate themes, and always trying to use exciting tools and methods, like the voices of “Not is possible landing” created with a speech synthesizer for my newly acquired Commodore 64, the wave radio cuts through my Korg MS10, the rudimentary multi-track recording using two half-speed tape recorders, or the analog sequencer in Gulag. Unlike my contemporaries, I did not enjoy the UK industrial noise so much that I felt more comfortable between the cosmic couriers, the electroacoustic experiments of krautrock, or the American minimal composers, all contaminated by my own eclectic breath.


Orfeón Gagarin (2017) – courtesy of Lourdes Garcia

Chain DLK: …And any weird samples, such as the ones in “Voces Mauritanas”?

Orfeón Gagarin: Yes, the Maghreb stations are easy to tune to here, late at night. Then, modified by the synthesizer and with touches of persuasive percussion that can remember the nights where the moon shines in the desert and songs of fraternity resonate worldwide. Gagarin saw it from above.

Chain DLK: What does Omsk 1939 refer to?

Orfeon Gagarin: I am sure that year something important happened in Omsk, but I am not authorized to reveal it.

Chain DLK: One of my favorite moment of the album is the highly hypnotic “Ultima Istancia”…any words about this amazing track?

Orfeón Gagarin: That was a mix of different recordings. The sequencer was amazingly more or less tuned in that key, so I pressed the REC key and the miracle happened. Now with a computer everything is too easy, but it loses the magic. No space for accidents or casual coincidences.

Chain DLK: When you re-listen to some of your old entries, do you ever think that something could be better embellished or recorded?

Orfeón Gagarin: Next June I will play a reinterpretation of these songs live, at the Tagomago festival in Valencia, one of the few electronic music festivals in Spain. I, of course, do not call electronic music dance or club music. I do not think it will exceed the original versions, but for me it’s a challenge.

Chain DLK: Any work in progress?

Orfeón Gagarin: Soon a collaboration with another musician from Madrid (Giron) will appear as “Zytospace” in Verlag System as well a new solo album as Orfeón Gagarin with new material at the famous Geometrik label. Zytospace is music with multisequence and vaporous attitudes. Also preparing a reissue on my own Toracic label of “La Cámara Gamma”, another cassette from the late 80’s, dark and threatening and my solo second album “KEDR” as Orfeón Gagarin in vinyl for Verlag System record label too. Unfortunately some reel recordings are in poor condition so it will not be purely a reliable reissue. But also this can provide a point of risk. In Toracic things never go as planned!