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Classic Album Sundays

CAS Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos performed by Camilla George Video

Check out the full video of our evening at The Jazz Cafe with Camilla George and her band performing Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos with Cherise Adams-Burnett on vocal duties.


Read more: The Legacy of Fela Kuti in Five Records
Read more: The Story of Fela Kuti ‘Gentleman’ & ‘Zombie’

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CAS Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos performed by Camilla George

Check out the full live recording of our evening at The Jazz Cafe with Camilla George and her band performing Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos with Cherise Adams-Burnett on vocal duties.


Read more: The Legacy of Fela Kuti in Five Records
Read more: The Story of Fela Kuti ‘Gentleman’ & ‘Zombie’

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Mark Kimber Classic Album Sundays presents Lisa Stansfield on Dusty Springfield ‘Dusty in Memphis’

Thanks to Lisa Stansfield and everyone who joined us at Kings Place on May 13th 2019 to help celebrate the work of the iconic Dusty Springfield. If you couldn’t make it along, here’s a few of our favourite pics from the night.







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Mark Kimber Classic Album Sundays & Royal Albert Hall present Nitin Sawhney

Many thanks to Nitin Sawhney and everyone who joined us at the Royal Albert Hall on 14th May 2019 as part of of Love Classical. Check out some of our photographic highlights below.






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CAS An Evening with Joey Negro at Classic Album Sundays

Joey Negro joins Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy at Miranda at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch to discuss the albums that have soundtracked his life from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack to his own Remixed With Love series.

Joey Negro is the most well-known pseudonym of master British DJ, producer and remixer Dave Lee who also goes under a plethora of other monikers including Akabu, Doug Willis, The Sunburst Band, Sessomatto, and Z Factor to take a look back at the albums that have influenced him the most.


Watch: Dimitri From Paris on Salsoul Records with guest Francois K at Classic Album Sundays

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Mark Kimber The Legacy of CAN in Five Records

It would be lazy to place CAN under the broad umbrella term of krautrock. The truth is, the band were a universe unto themselves, fusing the once separate worlds of avant-garde composition and rock n’ roll songwriting to form a unique, celestial body of work. In their ‘70s heyday their genius was exemplified by masterpieces such as Future Days and Ege Bamyasi; albums which saw the peak of their rhythmic propulsion and mesmerising psychedelia, powered by a seemingly telepathic communication between drummer Jaki Liebezeit, singer Damo Suzuki, keyboardist Irmin Schmidt, guitarist Michael Karoli, and bassist Holger Czukay.
CAN’s influence remains undeniably prevalent on the outer fringes of mainstream rock, offering a blueprint for bands hoping to construct their own cerebral yet kinetic sound. Below are some of the finest examples of the band’s singular influence.


Read: Modern Classic: Vampire Weekend ‘Vampire Weekend’

Swans – To Be Kind (2014)

American noise rock veterans Swans grew out of the same no wave scene as bands such as Sonic Youth in the early 1980s. Their slowly expanding lineup has been led by longtime frontman Michael Gira, who has overseen the band’s gradual evolution away from their snarling early material towards a sound best described as panoramic and cinematic. In 2014 they released To Be Kind, arguably their finest album ever – a meandering, nightmarish journey through the borderlands of rock and noise. Precise and often beautiful sonic flourishes are contrasted by explosive moments of thrashing intensity, as a rhythmic pulse bubbles just below the surface. It’s a formula that’s as stunning as it is terrifying.

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (2016)

Probably the highest-profile exponents of CAN’s influence, Radiohead have built an impressive career that manages a tricky balance between stadium sized power and delicate introspection. Their latest dispatch, released prior to a period of solo soundtrack work by Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, was 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool – an album which finds the band in a reflective and percolating mode of brooding intensity. Disquieting highlights such as ‘Burn The Witch’ and ‘Daydreaming’ generate quiet shockwaves through endlessly looped phrases, eschewing riffs for subtle atmospheric cohesion. Yorke has expanded on this with his recent soundtrack work for Luca Gaudagnino’s Suspiria remake.


Listen: The Flaming Lips ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’ Legacy Playlist

Beak > – >>> (2018)

Having sprung to life from an impromptu jam session at a Christmas party around ten years ago, Beak > have since become one of the most endearing krautrock-influenced bands of the decade. Consisting of musicians from both Portishead and Moongangs, the band fuse electronic and acoustic sound in a way that feels both artistically complementary and immediately fun. Geoff Barrow’s eerie soundtrack work alongside Ben Salisbury is contrasted here by the playful use of synthesisers on their latest album, >>>, which add bursts of vibrant colour to its earthy rhythm section.

Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Hormone Lemonade (2018)

Cavern of Anti-Matter began life as a temporary solo project of Stereolab’s Tim Gane, but after its success the musician decided to expand the project’s lineup to that of a full band. They have since recorded for influential labels such as Ghost Box and Peripheral Conserve, building up a style of mechanised, streamlined rock that nonetheless is ambitious in its  use of expansive song structure. Whilst the organic element of a band like CAN is absent, the rhythmic focus and emphasis on collective cohesion feels deeply in tune with the pioneering German artists of the 1970s.

Die Wilde Jagd – Uhrwald Orange (2018)

A collaboration between German musician Sebastian Lee Philipp and various guest contributors, Die Wilde Jagd proves CAN’s influence is alive and well in their home country. Their sound is heavy on atmosphere, an interlocking tension that arises through the melange of looped phrases contributing to the dark and wild edge of their music. Having had one of their songs featured on the BBC smash hit Killing Eve in 2018, their latest album capitalises on this momentum, taking its name from A Clockwork Orange and exploring the dark corners of rock with cavernous percussion and German lyrics.

Owen Jones


Watch: Primal Scream on ‘Give Out But Don’t Give Up’: Original Memphis Recordings at Classic Album Sundays

 

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Mark Kimber Classic Album Sundays presents An Evening with Joey Negro

Many thanks to Joey Negro and everyone who joined us at Miranda – Ace Hotel on April 30th 2019. Check out some of our photo highlights below.






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Mark Kimber Forgotten Classic Julee Cruise ‘Floating Into The Night’

Despite the Korean war, the Suez crisis, and the Cuban revolution, the 1950s is often remembered as America’s age of innocence. Thanks to a growing middle class and a consumerist boom many citizens of the United States felt a sense of security in their socially conservative society, threatened only by the steady eastern breeze of communism. Rock ’n roll had broken into mainstream media, and, with it, the romantic notions of teenage lust, love and rebellion that would come to define youth culture in the 20th century.

Although often contemporary in their setting, the films of David Lynch bask in the rose-tinted haze of sleepy small-town living. In his alternate universe, time seems to fold in on itself, collapsing the years onto one another until an eerie temporal disorientation is achieved. But it’s not simply innocence that Lynch is interested in – rather the corruption of it, his work pitting clean-cut characters against a world filled with misery and perversion; blurring the lines until morality becomes terrifyingly hard to discern.


Read: The Story of Aretha Franklin ‘I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You’ and ‘Lady Soul’

If you know the imagery of Lynch, you know the sound of Julee Cruise. Alongside the instrumental work of Angelo Badalamenti, her voice has been a cornerstone of the filmmaker’s soundscape since lending its ethereal tone to ‘Mysteries of Love’ – a song written to replace This Mortal Coil’s ‘Song to the Siren’ in Lynch’s 1986 suburban nightmare, Blue Velvet. Taking a prominent place in the film’s final scenes, the dreamy composition earned a cult following and struck on a near-perfect symbiosis of image and sound.

Iowa-born Cruise had met Italian-American composer Badalamenti in a Broadway theatre workshop, both being veterans of performance and having helped stage a Janis Joplin revue together. Badalamenti had previously soundtracked films such as Gordon’s War and Law And Disorder in the 1970s and received little acclaim, but in 1986 an opportunity arose when he was hired by Lynch as a vocal coach to Blue Velvet’s seductive star Isabella Rossellini. Throughout production Cruise’s talent became an essential part of the director and composer’s nascent mythology that would later reach its zenith on the cult TV series, Twin Peaks.

Sensing they were onto something special, the trio combined forces to help create polymath Cruise’s first full-length musical release. Lynch, who claimed to have “$700,000 in the bank” following Blue Velvet, hoped to creatively shape the album by contributing his lyrics and ideas. As Cruise recalls, his direction was a necessary influence: “When David came into the studio it made a big difference. It was really a great team because Angelo and I are so malleable and so good at being chameleons.” Lynch’s lyrical style drew on the romantic, lonely, and slightly surreal atmosphere he had honed on his recent masterpiece – often dwelling on themes of abandonment and lust leading naïvety astray.


Read: The Story of Sade ‘Stronger Than Pride’

Album opener ‘Floating’ benefits particularly from the unique strengths of each contributor. Cruise’s somnambulant croon is a siren call, obscured by an impenetrable mist that only heightens her ethereality, whilst Lynch’s fatalistic lyrics toy with the well worn cliché of love as a burning, mesmerising flame. Meanwhile, the phantasmagoria of Badalamenti’s music takes the listener into the heart of the Overlook ballroom, evoking a sense of faded revelry that would later become a hallmark of his lounge jazz compositions such as ‘Audrey’s Dance’ and ‘Dance of the Dream Man’. The overall effect is arresting, tapping into a nostalgia for a time that, for many of us, is completely unknowable.

Floating Into The Night’s most popular song, ‘Falling’, would be the gateway to Lynch’s next major project. Badalamenti had created the melodramatic musical sequence that would become the Twin Peaks title theme in response to the directors prompt of a young girl alone in the woods at night. In its album incarnation (released before the show) Cruise’s voice blends seamlessly with the synthetic bliss of Badalamenti’s composition, embodying the sweet vulnerability of teenage bewilderment. After its Grammy-winning instrumental became an iconic introduction to the show in 1990, the singer’s original became an unexpected global success, charting in fourteen countries worldwide, including Australia, where it peaked at number one in April 1991.

For better or worse, Twin Peaks would come to define the legacy of Floating Into The Night and the future of Cruise’s professional life. She appeared in the surreal soap-opera herself several times as a musical guest at the town’s smokey nightspot, The Roadhouse, and subsequently became a cult figure for diehard fans of the show (which was cancelled after just two seasons). Cruise has since held a complicated relationship with its legacy, grateful for the continued fanaticism of its audience yet wary of the pressures Twin Peaks has placed on her: “I don’t want that responsibility”. But despite the overbearing influence of Lynch and Badalamenti on her initial two album run, Floating Into The Night is undoubtedly Cruise’s shining moment. A captivating and evocative vocal talent, she imbues its leading role with the beguiling quality that makes the trio’s work so incredibly singular.

Owen Jones


Read: Modern Classic: Julianna Barwick ‘The Magic Place’

 

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CAS Nas ‘Illmatic’

The 1994 hip-hop landmark is a sterling example of how great rap can be. Check out Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy’s hour long podcast telling the story behind one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.


Read: The Story of Nas ‘Illmatic’
Listen: Nas ‘Illmatic’ Musical Lead-Up Playlist
Listen: Nas ‘Illmatic’ Legacy Playlist

 

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