Archive for the ‘new artist’ Category

Introducing Incredibly Strange Creatures

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

We are pleased to announce that Gomez, Earl, and Brandon, formerly of Illus Ocean have a new album: Faustian Ethics and a new name: Incredibly Strange Creatures. Picking up where the Illus Ocean debut (Meskin In The Attic) left off, they maintain the ability to make what is essentially an album that calls to mind the bold sense of adventure, musicianship and actual songwriting that characterized much of the best of albums from the 70’s and in so doing make something that sounds very fresh and new. With elements of Jazz, Ragtime and Honky Tonk infusing Rock songs with the feel of a carnival barker, a marching band and a tack piano maestro, you’re not likely to hear much else this summer that sounds like this. The Ft. Worth based band manage to make exploring the compromises we all make in our own Faustian dealings through the lens of relationships gone amok, deranged people, damaged people and words from the devil himself, sound entertaining.
Faustian Ethics will be out September 11 on mini cd and digital formats. We’ll have a free sample and more details in the coming weeks. For now here’s the cover and track listing:

1. Hunch
2. Devil Made Me Do It
3. Leslie Lynn
4. Annabelle
5. Lost On Toodle Oo
6. Sick Little Girl
7. It Sucks
8. Fever

Introducing Luscious Skin

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

If not for the diligent and courageous work of the Kansas City Police Department our next release Luscious Skin’s debut album Ventriloquist might never have seen the light of day. After months of writing and recording the exquisite left field pop tracks on the album a laptop containing the sole copies of the tracks was burgled from vocalist/songwriter Rhys Ziemba’s apartment. At this point Rhys and the other member of the duo, Kyle Combs, were faced with the option of re-recording the entire album or scrapping it and starting with new tunes. After a few months stuck in this quandary the aforementioned K City Police Dept. amazingly found the laptop at a local pawn shop and even more amazingly, all of the tracks and files remained! We are lucky that they did because the sounds and songs on these recordings are totally irreplaceable. The title track “Ventriloquist” sums up all of what is fresh and appealing here with it’s opening infectious acoustic guitar lick, it’s 8 bit pulse and most importantly it’s powerful and playful lead vocals, this is the sound of guys who’s day job is art handling and who’s influences of Afrobeat, Tropicalia, Balearic Beat and World Folk Musics are transmuted into something clearly Del Norte but retaining much Soul. Unlike many other “Western” albums that have borrowed sounds from other cultures (ie Graceland) Luscious Skin’s influences lie buried deep within the sound in a subtle way. The result is something they can truly call their own and perhaps deserves a new Genre (maybe Plainsbeat?). Whatever you call it we say it could be the ultimate soundtrack to your Spring and Summer.

Ventriloquist will be out May 14th on c35 cassette and digital formats. Look for a free sample and more details soon.

LUSCIOUS SKIN

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Paul Slocum Video Interview

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Here’s a Brooklyn Independent TV interview with Paul of our upcoming Softoft Techech release. He demonstrates some of his creations in his studio and raps on all things Slocum.

Introducing Softoft Techech

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Happy New Year Alchemist friends! Our first release of the year came to us in a serendipitous fashion. It’s from a new project called Softoft Techech, which is the work of Paul Slocum who is something of a veteran at pushing the boundaries between musician, artist, programmer and tinkerer. His well received world touring band, Tree Wave, used self made hardware and software (including a dot matrix printer turned percussion synth and an atari 2600 synth) to make music not normally associated with such gear. Instead of quaint little video game Chiptunes, Treewave made fuzzed out Shoegazey kind of stuff with depth and a range of emotions and feels. The new EP we’re putting out, self titled Softoft Techech, represents a continuation of his focus on making music from the ground up, this time relying mainly on his own sample sequencing software “Looper”. The resulting work explores earthy fuzzed out post-dance sketches with layer upon layer of rhythms, voices and tones swirling and stomping all covered in unknown warmth and intrigue. It is a unique sound that seems somehow futuristic like some kind of weird funk you’d hear in a sci-fi film scene of a disco on another planet yet at the same time seems very primal and ancient like ritualistic music from a jungle tribe’s ceremony. This is a case where process is important and the resulting work carries unique watermarks of is creation and makes it an inviting listening experience. The Softoft Techech EP will be out on Feb. 27th on tape and digital. We’ll have the album art and traclist up soon.
In addition to his musical output check out his artwork, gallery, programming/hardware and his software/app development which incidentally bears the same name as this music venture. We asked Paul some questions about this EP and some of his other work and here are the results.

So there seems to be some remnants of your previous project Tree Wave in these tracks. Am I hearing that correctly?
Yes. Plentyc is an abstract remix of a Tree Wave song, and there are other Tree Wave samples scattered around. But also, some of the songs have samples from other bands that sound like they could be Tree Wave.

Did you use some of the same instruments and processes to make these tracks as you did in Tree Wave (ie dot matrix printer, 2600 etc)?
I wanted to try something different, so this album actually doesn’t use much of the old gear. A couple of tracks include my Commodore 64 synthesizer, but I think that’s about it. Sonic Tooth and Exp were made entirely with a Windows-based sample sequencer that I wrote called Looper. The other songs were made with a combination of Looper and general MIDI softsynths.

There’s definitely a techno and rave element to these tracks. On your site you’ve got some of your early Techno tapes is that something you’ve kept an interest in and carried through to these new tracks?
Yes. Although my overall approach was different with the old house and techno stuff, it definitely has a lot of similarity to this new set of songs, and I am reviving some of my old house production techniques.

Did you start with a concept of what kind of sounds and things you wanted to do with these tracks or did they just evolve over time with messing around?
My goals were to use Looper a lot, and to try making music without vocals or lyrics again. Other than that, it was a lot of experimentation.

I like the idea that Softoft Techech is a software/app company but also puts out experimental beat music. How do you see the correlation between the apps and this set of music?
I hadn’t finished the apps when I made these songs so the apps are not used on this album, but the Softoft Techech name seemed to fit the music, and it made sense because most of the music I’ve ever made has featured my own software.

Are you at liberty to say what other projects you have in the works and what things might be on the horizon for Softoft Techech?
I’m currently using a Roland drum machine as a MIDI sequencer for my sampler app, Sir Sampleton, and I expect my next music release will make use of this setup. Software-wise, this year I will probably release some new features for the Sir Sampleton app, and I’d like to eventually port my Looper program from Windows to iPhone and iPad. It takes a long time to write apps and I have to do freelance development sometimes to pay the bills, but in a few years I hope to have a pretty good catalog of music apps that are tailored to the way I like to make music. And hopefully others will find them useful too. :)

eat drink man woman

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Introducing FAVORS

Monday, September 12th, 2011

On Oct. 4th we’ll be digitally releasing the debut LP Five Million Years from Sacramento based band FAVORS. Born out of the ashes of a couple of bands, FAVORS is the Dance ready synth workouts of David Mohr. Electronic music has long been dominated by visions of robotic digitized dystopias. FAVORS hangs out in warmer more open ended visions of the future (or is it the past?) that read more like a Sci-Fi Noir adventure than an apocalyptic downer. When asked about the title David has said “it comes from my desire to create a larger time frame and a more expansive imaginary space for the listener to step into”, step being the operative word here as this album is a wall to wall rhythmic ride that brings in elements of House, Electro, Hip Hop and Synth Pop with nary a dull moment. Dance inspired Indie Pop is nothing new or notable, it’s become so ubiquitous that it can be quite rote and predictable but it’s the level of game that is brought to the offering here that makes it a standout and breathes new life into the scene. From synth/beat driven jammers like “D.D.D”, “Never Fun” and “The ATM” to the future primitive funk of “Cave Wall”, almost every track on this could be a single.   This album suggests a bright future in store for David Mohr and  FAVORS and the visions of the future in Five Million Years make it seem like we’ll have a hell of a party even if everything goes to hell.

1. The ATM
2. Robert
3. Cave Wall
4. D.D.D.
5. Starship
6.View Masker
7. Connector
8. Never Fun
9. Inventor Club
10. Courage Control
11. 41818

 

Introducing Silent Portraits

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Yes friends we find primo artists from the far corners of the earth that have a sound and feeling that seems at home in the Alchemist galaxy and we share them with you. The newest star in our constellation is the stunningly beautiful work known as ‘Silent Portraits‘. The artist responsible for said work is a Berliner that prefers to be known only as Maxi who lists “empty dancehalls” and “giant stars that have run out of fuel” as descriptions of her sound. As apt as those descriptions are we would add that it is the powerful yet subdued vocals and the beautifully emotive and unique voice behind them that really make these songs stand out and form the heart (however broken it may be) of the sound. These are minimal compositions based mainly on echoey guitars and reverb laden voices and it’s this minimalism and restraint that allows one the space to feel the moods that the pieces evoke.
For the past handful of months ‘Silent Portraits’ has been softly releasing new tracks through her bandcamp and we are elated to say that we’ll be putting out her debut EP on limited edition cassette/digital sometime in the near future. Dates and details are still assembling themselves but Maxi has many things to feast your ears and eyes on for the time being. In addition to her work as Silent Portraits Maxi is also quite a talented Director of videos and a visual artist. Some examples can be found here for Porcelain Raft and also for Quiet Lights. One of her most excellent videos (and songs) thus far is the melancholy yet cathartic one known as ‘Mama’. Here’s a new live version of the track and the video to tide you over. Stay tuned for more.

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Silent Portraits ‘Mama’ from Silent Portraits on Vimeo.

Introducing GDC

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

As the Pythons say “and now for something completely different”. We are excited to announce that we’ll be releasing the phenomenal tape “Jours Avec Jennie” by the left field avant-poppp mastermind Zach Phillips under his GDC moniker. Hailing from the green country of Vermont, Zach Phillips has been steadily making a name for himself with his virtuosic piano and synth based tape explorations into what one his other labels (feeding tube records) has described as “an intricate and idiosyncratic world of private melodic symbology”. Known for his releases under the name Horse Boys, Sord, Nals Goring and lately Blanche Blanche Blanche, we are excited to be putting out the only record under the GDC umbrella, and what a record it is too! “Jours Avec Jennie” has been rightly called “one the best cassettes of the year and hands down the best pop record I have heard this year” and “this is a must hear!” by the astute blog Auxiliary Out. Recorded over a mere eight days and densely filling both sides of a c30, this is a lo-fi faux French masterpiece. It’s like a bootleg of a Smile era French version of Brian Wilson set loose upon the synths of Bernard Fevre with a head full of Scott Joplin and Thelonius Monk.
GDC’s “Jours Avec Jennie” will be out March 29th on a limited edition of 100 pro dubbed hi bias c30 tapes. Look for some samples and a pre order date soon. For now visit the site of Zach’s “non label, non press” OSR tapes dax bills.

Introducing BAnanas Symphony

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

2010 has been a great year for us and it’s due in large part to the addition of the talents of Illus Ocean, Atlantic At Pacific and Local Winds to the Alchemist Collective family. Now as the year draws to a close we are excited to reveal another awesome new artist joining the team: BAnanas Symphony. Hailing from the “City of Brotherly Love” Philadelphia, BAnanas Symphony is the work of Yohsuke Araki whose gift for captivating melodies is equaled by a voice fit to deliver them and an experimental production bent that takes them to another plane. Yohsuke is also a member of the up and comers super-group Blackhawks comprised of people from Cough Cool and Nude Beach. We have a special debut release from BAnanas Symphony that will be up in time to add something to your holiday playlists. Check back soon on that. A more full length BAnanas debut is scheduled for early in the new year and it’s shaping up to be something really special!! For now we’ll let Yohsuke introduce himself via this little q+a session.

What are some of your earliest musical inspirations?
Some of my earliest musical inspirations…I guess my earliest would be bands like metallica and nirvana and radiohead because me and my close friend mike learned how to play instruments and record by covering them when we got a recorder at age thirteen. Then at fifteen I got into more indie rock kind of stuff like built to spill, modest mouse, demeberists, all that kind of popular indie stuff in the mid 2000’s, and luckily animal collective when feels had just come out. By the time i turned 17 I was really into them and getting into their whole sort of NYscene, which was like black dice, gang gang dance, white magic, excepter and stuff like that. At the same time my brother was DJing at WNYU and getting into a lot of really obscure stuff but more importantly a lot of dance music as well. So i was sort of getting into that kind of stuff slowly, but surely, throughout my latter teenage years.
What are the live BAnanas Symphony shows like?
I don’t do BAnanas shows too often. I had my first show without a band this weekend actually. I played a show in Baltimore where I did a solo set, my friend dan who is Cough Cool did a solo set, and then we joined into our band and played as Blackhawks. It was a lot of fun. My set was really short, just sort of dreamy and dance-y at certain points. I’d say it was like 10 minutes.
What are your favorite venues to play? Best shows lately?
We’ve been playing this place in Jersey called The Basement Gallery for a few months. It’s sort of where I’ve befriended a whole array of friends and have the most fun playing. But it recently got put down so now I have to find a new favorite spot to play. I like basements, and small venues, and warehouses. The very first BAnanas show was at Glasslands in Brooklyn. They were pretty sweet there because the sound guy was on top of our shit and the vibes there are cool. I’d like to play that place again.
some of your favorite things you’ve been listening to lately?
A lot of Moritz Von Oswald. It’s really inspiring when I listen to all his projects but at the same time I can’t help but think I will never make music as good as his so what’s the point? Other than that I’ve gotten really into Irma Thomas. I really like oldies. A lot of Francoise Hardy because she’s probably my favorite. My brother got me Architecture & Morality by OMD for my birthday so I’m digging that a lot.
What’s the significance of the name?
Well, it’s a reference to a certain band that inspired me a lot a couple years ago, but I’d rather people find out on their own, than revealing it myself. Good luck if you actually care!