Fusing low-res electronic noise and pop hooks so effortlessly that it can seem accidental, Crystal Castles began as producer/multi-instrumentalist Ethan Kath’s solo project in late 2003. Kath got the moniker from the name of She-Ra’s dwelling in the -He-Man and -Masters of the Universe cartoon series; it’s also the name of a 1983 !Atari video game, which is oddly appropriate, considering that one component of the band’s distinctive sound comes from a keyboard modified with an !Atari 5200 sound chip. When Kath collaborated with singer Alice Glass on some songs in spring 2005, Crystal Castles’ lineup was complete. One of the songs the pair recorded, “Alice Practice,” was something of an accident: it was intended to be a demo of Glass testing out a microphone, but its presence on /MySpace piqued record labels’ interest. “Alice Practice” was released as a limited-edition 7″ in summer 2006 on Merok Records, also home to Klaxons; its 500-copy run sold out in three days. The duo worked on their own songs and also honed their remixing skills, tweaking songs for Klaxons as well as GoodBooks, Uffie, Health, and Bloc Party. Tours with the Presets and Metric in 2007 set the stage for the release of Crystal Castles’ self-titled debut album, which Last Gang released early in 2008. Crystal Castles set new album release date. Crystal Castles have revealed details of their new self-titled album. “Crystal Castles” is due for release on June 7th. Crystal Castles have sold over 200,000 copies of their uncompromising, independently-released debut album, which NME included in their “50 Best Albums of the Decade”. The antisocial duo of Ethan Kath and Alice Glass have created an unexpected level of excitement and cult loyalty, clocking up a staggering 50 million plays on MySpace and Lastfm and headlining sold out tours around the world. Produced by Ethan Kath, tracks were recorded and written in contrasting environments around the world, including a church in Iceland, a self-built cabin in Ontario, and a garage behind an abandoned convenience store in Detroit. The new LP will be preceded by a limited 12″ vinyl release of “Doe Deer” on Record Store Day, followed by the single “Celestica”.
La Roux’s third single ‘Bulletproof’ went straight in at #1 in the UK top 40 last week, her debut album ‘La Roux’ entered at #2 yesterday with 63,000 sales. Of all the pop debutantes perched on the edge of success as 2009 began, La Roux – AKA 21 year old South Londoner Elly Jackson – is currently the only one to be commanding such genuine mass crossover appeal. Her music is as likely to appear on urban blogs, as it is to be blazing out of cars and over summer parks from Radio 1 or pounding out of Shoreditch clubs. This spring she headlined the sold-out NME Radar tour, which, considering the previous year’s headliners were art-punk dilettantes Crystal Castles, pays great testament to both La Roux’s credibility and broad appeal. After all, not many artists headline an alternative music tour while sat at the top of the charts. This self-possessed young girl, poised beneath an extraordinary gravity defying hair sculpture, making music that looks backwards to leap forwards, has leapt beyond her electropop contemporaries with the raw confessional quality of her songwriting and the sharp sophistication of her through-the-looking-glass 80s aesthetic. La Roux seems to know exactly who she wants to be and is fully aware she’s already achieving it with ease. After playing to a packed out dance tent at this years Glastonbury and a rip-roaring album launch show at the Forum last week – Elly Jackson is pleased to announce a series of live shows this coming November.
Live dates are:
12/11 Dublin, Academy
13/11 Leeds, Stylus
14/11 Newcastle, University
16/11 Glasgow, ABC
17/11 Nottingham ,Rock City
18/11 Birmingham ,O2 Academy
20/11 Bristol ,O2 Academy
21/11 Manchester, Warehouse*
22/11 Norwich, UEA
24/11 Southampton, Guildhall
25/11 London, O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Glaswegian alt-rockers Twin Atlantic who are currently recording with John Travis (The Answer, Kid Rock, Sugar Ray) in Los Angeles, have been confirmed for this years T In The Park Festival. The band who played a much talked about set at last years event, on the T Break stage – a platform for unsigned Scottish acts, have made the impressive progression to the Futures stage at this years event. Singer/Guitarist Sam McTrusty says, “We’re all over the moon to be playing T In The Park this year. It’s a dream come true, you always aspire to play your home festival and to be invited back again is a real honour for us.” The quartet perform on Saturday 11th July. Other acts already confirmed for the Futures stage include Crystal Castles, Fight Like Apes, Little Boots and The Virgins. For more on Twin Atlantic, please see: http://www.myspace.com/twinatlantic.
The Courteeners, Regina Spektor, Edwyn Collins, Twin Atlantic, Frank Turner, Crystal Castles, Little Boots, The Virgins, Fight Like Apes, The Hours and Daniel Merriweather get set to wow at T in the Park this summer!
Kicking off a King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent catalogue of top acts, The Courteeners will return to Balado a year after a triumphant set on the Radio 1/NME Stage, which the band themselves said was one of their favourite shows of 2008. We are also ecstatic to announce that the unique & wonderful talent that is New York’s Regina Spektor will perform at T in the Park this year, to follow the release of her fifth album, FAR’. Almost 30 years since we first heard the post punk sound of Edwyn Collins’ then band Orange Juice, he’s gone on to be recognised as a key foundation of indie music, revered by many other Scottish bands as a true trailblazer. He’ll play the King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent on Friday 10th. Obviously we’re chuffed to bits at his long overdue debut, and so’s he apparently: “It’s exciting to be playing at T in the Park. I’ve never been there before, but my son and nephews and niece are there every year. They reckon it’s about time I got there”. We agree!
Fresh from making an almighty impact on the SXSW Texas crowds, Glasgow goodies Twin Atlantic will keep riding high as they step onto the Futures Stage on Saturday and continuing his meteoric rise to superstardom is Frank Turner, who has just released details of his biggest headline tour later in the year, making T in the Park his first pit stop as he scores a set on the Radio 1/NME Stage.
The Futures Stage is shaping up to be a real highlight for 2009, much like the careers of many names that have been added. Canada’s finest electronic duo Crystal Castles lead the way on Friday. In addition to that, lady of the moment and BBC Sound of 2009 winner Little Boots is set to shine in front of crowds on Sunday. New York natives The Virgins will follow their UK tour in April with a T in the Park slot on Saturday along with Dublin dynamites Fight Like Apes who will follow their cracking 2008 show. Members of The Hours have been part of some of the most influential bands of the past 20 years including Pulp, Elastica and UNKLE and they’re sure to be catching up with a few friendly faces when they hit the Futures Stage on Saturday.
The stunning and emotive sounds of Daniel Merriweather will be best known and heard for most on his producer Mark Ronson’s chart smashing Smith’s cover ‘Stop Me’, but the heavenly voice of this Australian melody maker can be heard in King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent on Sunday this year to follow the release of his long awaited debut album ‘Love and War’ due out in May.
With a line-up already crammed full of fans’ favourites OXEGEN 2009 is shaping up to be the music event of the summer. The great and good of Rock ‘n’ Roll are coming from all over the world to play for you this July. Today, we are delighted to announce the latest star players to be added to the musical team sheet. Turntable-maestros 2 Many DJs have been added to Friday’s line-up. Renowned for pioneering the mash-up scene, the Belgian duo have recently been busy working with the likes of Daft Punk and Gorillaz.
Fans can also look forward to the soulful and bluesy vocals of James Morrison. Still only 24, he’s already been compared to the likes of the mighty Otis Redding and Van Morrison. Scottish post-rock pioneers Mogwai bring their own wall of sound to Friday. This critically acclaimed 5 piece always deliver an outstanding, often deafening live show. Regina Spektor is a unique singer songwriter that cannot be pigeonholed. Her undoubted talent embraces influences as diverse as folk, punk, rock, hip-hop and jazz. Check out a virtuoso at work on Saturday. With 18 top 20 singles including classics such as ‘The Day We Caught The Train’ and ‘The Riverboat Song’, Ocean Colour Scene will need no introduction to the OXEGEN masses on Friday. It’s a big welcome back to Maximo Park who last rocked out in 2007. Their eagerly anticipated third album ‘Quicken the Heart’ is due out on May 11th and OXEGEN is the place to experience it live on Saturday. The Hours have an enviable music pedigree, with members Antony and Martin having worked with Pulp, Elastica, Black Grape and UNKLE. Now they have teamed up with their pal artist Damien Hirst on his new label,check out their cracking new single,’Big Black Hole’, due out today. A big, fresh sound for Friday night. Fresh from starring at SXSW and riding their ever-growing wave of buzz, You Me At Six will bring their provocative punk metal sound to the up for it OXEGEN crowd on Sunday. Since forming in the summer of 2004, Crystal Castles, the Toronto-based duo of Ethan Fawn and Alice Glass have amassed a cult following through their uncompromising and intense delivery, a slew of limited edition singles, and shows packed solely from word of mouth. Catch them on Saturday. Having supported Kings of Leon and The Killers on tour M83 come highly recommended. Jump into their dream pop sound on Friday. Described by The Guardian as an ‘Irish Outkast’, the Republic of Loose define themselves without any reference to anyone else other than a respectful nod to James Brown and The Rolling Stones. Nominated for 2 Meteor Awards this year, they add their funk-filled sound to Friday’s line up. BBC Sound of 2009 hot tip La Roux will go ‘In For The Kill’ on Sunday this year. Following their current support slot on Lily Allen’s UK tour and the forthcoming headline gig on NME’s 2009 Radar Tour, the annual new talent showcase will lead them nicely into their summer slot at OXEGEN.
OXEGEN artists announced so far:
FRI 10TH JULY
Blur, Snow Patrol, The Script, Keane, Lily Allen, James, Pendulum, Eagles of Death Metal, Ladyhawke, Fight Like Apes, Swedish House Mafia, Crookers, Dreadzone, God is an Astronaut, Tom Middleton, Aeroplane, 2 Many DJs, Mogwai, Ocean Colour Scene, The Hours, M83, Republic Of Loose
SAT 11TH JULY
Kings of Leon, Pet Shop Boys, Bloc Party, Elbow, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Doves, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Pete Doherty, The Mars Volta, The Game, The Saturdays, Squeeze, Hockey, Tiga, Digitalism, Gary Go, James Morrison, Regina Spektor, Maximo Park, Crystal Castles, La Roux
SUN 12TH JULY
The Killers, Razorlight, Nine Inch Nails, The Specials, Lady Gaga, The Ting Tings, Jane’s Addiction, Katy Perry, Manic Street Preachers, Paolo Nutini, Glasvegas, Florence and the Machine White Lies, Jason Mraz, Foals, Friendly Fires, of Montreal, Miss Kittin and The Hacker (Live), Hudson Mohawke, Wallis Bird, You Me At 6
Tickets for this year’s festival are on sale NOW and are priced at a 2008 price freeze of 224.50 Euro (incl. booking fee) for 3 day including camping ticket. For an extra 20 Euro fans can purchase a 4 day including camping ticket which will include Thursday campsite stay also.
Filthy Dukes, first they were djs, now they are a band and djs and also producers. They say: It was just Olly and Tim playing records, it still is in fact, then we started to work with Mark to make music. We have now made an album, it’s out in March 2009. We have also made singles that are part of this album, some are out before february so keep an ear and eye out because they should be pretty good and will probably have some great remixes.
We run a club night called Kill Em All that has been going for 5 years, this particular disco is held at Fabric. We have had guests like Justice, Erol Alkan, Bloc Party, Crystal Castles, Late Of The Pier, Chemical Brothers, James Murphy, Jackson & His Computer Band, Zombie Nation, Schinichi Osawa, Brodinski & Simian Mobile Disco. It’s a good party.
Our album, like most personal art forms is a result of our influences, these range from Tangerine Dream to Hot Chip, Can to SMD, Roxy Music to Soulwax, Hip Hop to Krautrock. You know, a bit of old stuff and a bit of modern, plus loads of other things it would take too long to list.
We have a mixing desk which was made and used by Connie Plank, he was possibly the most important German producer ever, and had a great beard. We also have a ton of old synths which we have used to make this album, Roland Juno 60, Arp 2600, Moog Voyager, Roland Sh101 plus loads of pedals, distortion units and other geeky stuff.
In making this album we have worked with a collection of artists who we really like and most of them have also played Kill Em All, you will find out who these are in due course.
Ok I reckon that’s it for now, we are very excited about our album it took us ages but we love it, can’t wait for it to come out, and oh yes its called Nonsense In The Dark.
The only way to hear it at the moment is to come and see our live show, we play quite a lot of it. Our live show is damn good, so you should come along.
We also have nice bags.
Last week’s Brit Awards were all very clean cut in the end. Pristine princess Duffy walked away clutching a bunch of gongs in her dainty hands, Paul Weller somehow won an award and even Lady Gaga looked reasonably sensible performing with the Pet Shop Boys. In short, very little scandal. There will be no such behaviour at the NME Awards, taking place tonight at London’s O2 Brixton Academy.
Comedian Mark Watson is in charge – well as much as you can be with tables quaking under the pressure of free alcohol.
Joining Watson on the night to play live are White Lies, Friendly Fires, Glasvegas, Franz Ferdinand and The Cure, who’re being inducted into NME’s hall of Godlike Geniuses.
Those looking to pick up a middle finger [NME's crude statuette] include Oasis, leading the pack with seven nominations and Kings Of Leon closely following the Gallaghers with four.
The red carpet will be graced by, um, Grace Jones, MGMT, The Ting Tings, Little Boots, The Killers and Crystal Castles amongst a host of other stars.
Much of the running order and attendees remain undisclosed but rumours of a collaboration between Florence & The Machine and Glasvegas persist and that The Cure will play amongst a Tim Burton-esque forest stage set up.
What would really be exciting – seeing as Oasis are up for so many Awards – would be for Blur to make their first public appearance since reforming last year. We’ll see.
The nominations – with our predicted victors – in full:
BEST BRITISH BAND
Last Shadow Puppets
Going home with a finger: Oasis
BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND
Kings of Leon
Going home with a finger: The Killers
BEST SOLO ARTIST
Going home with a finger: Jay-Z
BEST NEW BAND
Late Of The Pier
Going home with a finger: MGMT
BEST LIVE BAND
Kings Of Leon
Going home with a finger: Kings Of Leon
Kings Of Leon
Going home with a finger: Glasvegas
Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
Last shadow Puppets – Age Of The Understanding
Kings of Leon – Sex On Fire
The Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name
MGMT – Time To Pretend
Going home with a finger: MGMT – Time To Pretend
Late Of The Pier – Heartbeat
Last Shadow Puppets – My Mistakes Were Made For You
Radiohead – House of Cards
Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
Oasis – Shock Of The Lightening
Going home with a finger: Late Of The Pier
Foo Fighters Live At Wembley
Rolling Stones – Shine A Light
Kaiser Chiefs – Live From Elland Road
Arctic Monkeys At The Apollo
Muse – HAARP
Going home with a finger: Arctic Monkeys At The Apollo
BEST BAND BLOG
Noel Gallagher / Oasis
Going home with a finger: Little Boots