Amoeblog

Prolific Producer L'Orange Unleashes His Finest Work To Date: "The Orchid Days"

Posted by Billyjam, May 14, 2014 06:40am | Post a Comment

L'Orange "The End (feat. Billy Woods)" from The Orchid Days (2014)


Hot on the heels of his collaborative album with Stik Figa (The City Under The City) talented prolific producer L'Orange now returns just six months later with more of his refreshingly unique sound: the highly recommended The Orchid Days that was released last month and that, like City, comes via the high caliber indie label Mello Music Group. "Two and a half years ago I got out a piece of paper and wrote down every single thing I wanted to do in the next year and at the very bottom of it I wrote Mello Music Group," the artist told me of finding his ideal label home after self-releasing some free albums digitally. "This is where I have seen myself for a long time and it is definitely an honor to be counted among the roster." His brand new Mello Music release The Orchid Days features carefully selected guest vocalists, (including Blu, Homeboy Sandman, and Billy Woods) on just 7 of its 19 tracks allowing the Nashville based producer to fully stretch and flex his trademark, hypnotically dreamy production style - while interweaving just the right amount of vocal guests to perfectly compliment his (and their) styles - all the while subtly moving the album's storyline along. The Orchid Days storyline is the story of love - finding love, falling in love, and then losing it and missing it - a story told via random soundbites expertly assembled - to the backdrop of an old world mood crafted by building layer upon layer of dreamy jazzy  grooves from digging deep into really old jazz records with flutters of dramatically engaging soundbites/samples (handpicked over time by  L'Orange) from old black and white movies, along with, often static sounding, classic old radio broadcasts. These samples along with the mood created by the musical backdrop tell a story that strongly hint that there was some specific romantic figure in L'Orange's life that inspired The Orchid Days. So I asked the artist was there a specific girl in mind as he recorded the album? "Of course there's a girl. I'm a poet," he replied adding. "Since that's not a satisfying answer I'll tell you something I haven't told anyone yet- she's on the album cover." [above left]

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Swiss Surrealist Artist H.R. Giger Has Died

Posted by Billyjam, May 13, 2014 09:59am | Post a Comment

Word arrived early this morning from several European sources including Swiss Public Television that renowned Swiss artist H.R. Giger passed away yesterday (May 12) following serious injuries sustained after falling down stairs. He was 74. Born Hans Rudolf Giger the influential fantasy realism artist (surrealist painter, sculptor, and set designer) is best known to most for being part of the special effects team that won an Academy Award for effects and design work on Ridley Scott's film Alien. He also worked on the special effects artwork for such other movies as Aliens, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Species, Dune, Batman Forever, and Poltergeist 2

H.R. Giger is also known for doing the cover artwork for numerous albums over the years including Emerson, Lake & Palmer's 1973 release Brain Salad Surgery (pictured left), Danzig's 1992  release Danzig III: How the Gods Kill, and the Dead Kennedys' 1985 LP Frankenchrist for which he did the highly controversial "Penis Landscape" poster insert in the original record sleeve. That controversial poster, which was a painting of rows of penises and vulvae, almost bankrupted Alternative Tentacles at the time after its owner and DKs lead man Jello Biafra was brought to trial over indecency charges brought by the then burgeoning PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center). Much of Giger's fantastic realism and surrealism work was of so-called "biomechanoids" as seen in photo with him below. Currently on exhibit through June 13th the Galerie SansvoiX in Leipzig (DE) is Giger's "Zeitgeist" that includes the piece in photo at top of page. More info.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #81: The Dream House, CASH Music Summit, DMC NYC Part II, Hip Hop Hall of Fame Awards + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 13, 2014 06:55am | Post a Comment

Checked out legendary drone sound installation art space The Dream House in TriBeCa (pictured above) last weekend and it was amazing. Luckily I got to check it out when I did since the long running space is about to temporarily close again this Sunday (May 18th) before taking a break until its next (22nd season) in mid September.  A long running collaborative "Sound and Light Environment" piece, that dates back to 1993, by sound artist/composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela the Dream House is presented by the MELA Foundation. There at 275 Church Street there is a non descript door with no sign but just a buzzer that will get you inside and up the long steep flight of stairs to the third floor exhibit  - a floor below where the minimalist exhibits' creators live. Luckily too since any other tenant would surely not wish to live above such a wall (floor?) of sound which is one long continuous hypnotic humming single frequency drone care of giant speaker stacks in the long purple light fused room that overlooks Church Street looking up towards Canal. The shaggy carpeted floor is strewn with pillows to lay down and relax on and get the best effects of the drone. The guy at the door suggested moving your head around to get alternate soothing effects of the loud (but not deafening) throbbing drone. For some attendees the experience is a religious like one that transcends visitors beyond this lower Manhattan space.

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Lily Allen Announces US Tour In Support of Her Long Anticipated New Album "Sheezus"

Posted by Billyjam, May 12, 2014 12:37pm | Post a Comment

Lily Allen "Sheezus" - title track from
Sheezus (2014)


Lily Allen,
whose long awaited latest album Sheezus arrived in Amoeba last Tuesday care of Parlaphone Records (via Warner) in both regular and deluxe CD (bonus disc with 5 additional tracks) versions, has just announced that she will touring the States in September for the first time in five years. That last tour by the UK singer/songwriter and actress coincided with her last studio album - It's Not Me, It's You.  Part of the reason for the long gap between albums by the oft times controversial artist had to do with Allen's reportedly stepping back and taking time out from the rock n roll lifestyle and an effort to focus on her family. In 2010 she officially announced that she was taking a break from music for a few years to raise her young family and to set up her own record label. 18 months ago she returned from her hiatus with the release of both her cover of fellow Brit act Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know," and the track "Hard Out Here" - both UK hits at the time, with the digital only "Hard Out Here" now in physical format and included on the new album (see video below).  Sheezus is a departure from her previous more ska flavored style with more electronic and pop sounding production values now taking center stage. Meanwhile Allen's voice is as powerful and commanding as ever while lyrically she never fails to grabs listeners' attention by not holding back on sharing her opinions on everything, especially the state of pop culture. Even the new album title is a reference to Kanye while on the new album's title track she takes an honest evaluation of women in pop music; how they're perceived and marketed.  Sadly many have misunderstood this track (video above) as a diss to her fellow female pop artists while it is anything but. 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.09.14: Iggy Azelea, Nas, Drake, Eminem, YG, Dre's Beat$, PUTS, Zion I, Premier & Jakk Frost + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 9, 2014 08:57am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 05:09:14


1) Nas Illmatic XX (Sony Legacy)

2) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

3) Iggy Azelea The New Classic (Island/Def Jam)

4) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)

5) Eminem The Slim Shady LP (Interscope)

Celebrating its twenty year anniversary is Nas' flawless, classic 1994 album Illmatic which has been especially reissued by Sony Legacy for the occasion as  Illmatic XX. The album, which includes such hip-hop timeless gems as "N.Y. State of Mind," "It Ain't Hard To Tell," and "The World Is Yours," by the Queensbridge emcee is this week's number one chart entry at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store, where also charting in the latest top five is another 90's rap classic: Eminem's 1999 megahit The Slim Shady LP (Interscope) which finds itself back in top sales this week at the SoCal store. Other current top five chart entries include Drake's Nothing Was The Same on Cash Money, and YG's My Krazy Life (Def Jam) which drew inspiration from various West Coast hip hop classics as Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Speaking of Dr. Dre, the famous former N.W.A. member/influential solo artist who has made a huge impact as a hip-hop producer, looks about to make his biggest (financial) mark as co-creator of the audio equipment and music-streaming service Beats Electronics known for the headphones that carry his name (Dre Beats) if the company, as has been reported over the past 24 hours, gets purchased by Apple at a reported $3.2billion price tag!

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