Matt had a conversation with Rose Mason from Guestlist about Galaxians, Leeds, disco and more. Read the full interview here:
Matt spoke to Sam Lidicott from Music Musings & Such blog about Galaxians, our new album Let The Rhythm In, music culture in the north of England and more…..
Full feature HERE.
Guestlist has premiered the video for the radio edit of our song ‘How Do U Feel?‘
The video was shot in Hackney Wick and showcases the incredible talents of Kamilė Davidonytė, a Lithuanian-born dancer now living in London. We followed Kamilė as she freestyled around the streets of Hackney dancing in the sunshine, against a backdrop of graffiti and urban noise.
Filmed and directed by BBC director and founder of Phono Films Clare Tavernor, the film also features Keith Haring-inspired graphics by Victoria Ford which add a further playfulness and accentuate Kamile’s dancing perfectly.
‘How Do U Feel?’ is taken from our new album Let The Rhythm In (Dither Down) and will be released as a digital single on Dither Down along with exclusive guest remixes.
Read the article here.
GALAXIANS – LET THE RHYTHM IN
Debut album on Dither Down (Brooklyn, New York).
“A tour de force of exuberant club energy” CLASH
Available from Dither Down Records from 20 October on limited edition gatefold 180 gram double LP.
Pre-order the vinyl and download at Bandcamp. Vinyl available from selected record stores from 5 November.
Produced by Ross Halden at Ghost Town, Leeds 2016. Mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters, Los Angeles. Artwork and layout by Luke Drozd.
Photography by Tim Dunk.
October Tour Dates:
19.10 LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
20.10 BRISTOL Crofters Rights
21.10 AMSTERDAM Doka
22.10 JEUMONT Jardin de l’espérance
24.10 COLOGNE Buhmann & Sohn
25.10 BRUSSELS Bonnefooi
26.10 LILLE Gare Saint Sauveur
(event info tbc)
28.10 LONDON Total Refreshment Centre
You might be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at the suggestion that the country of Lithuania is a hotbed of contemporary street dance styles and hip hop culture. The southernmost Baltic state isn’t well-known for it’s dance culture, but times are changing.
Dancers Kamilė Davidonytė and Greta Lukošiūtė are at the forefront of Lithuania’s changing cultural landscape and are helping shape the future of dance in cities such as the capital Vilnius, alongside the country’s first urban dance company Low Air Urban Dance.
Both Greta and Kamilė also teach and were themselves students at the well established Roots dance studio in Vilnius, where students practise a variety of disciplines and styles through regular workshops, and go on to compete in battles and dance events hosted by the studio.
We found out about the two dancers – who are also best friends – through a post on Facebook which linked to video clips of them dancing in urban areas around Vilnius. Now living in London we met with Kamile in August and were super-excited when she agreed to work with Galaxians and BBC director Clare Tavernor on the video for our new single ‘How Do U Feel?’ We spoke to her ahead of the release of the video and single this month.
I’d like to ask you about where you’re from. What was life like growing up in Lithuania? What’s the dance culture like there, in general?
Lithuania was definitely a nice place to be brought up in as it is very family orientated. We are all very close because I’ve always had my relatives around me starting from very young age. I would say I was kind of living like a gypsy and was the first baby in my generation. Everyone just couldn’t get enough of me.
As the country is very small, the dance culture is pretty narrow. We have some world-known dance collectives but dancing is not very popular field to be in.
What was the spark that fuelled your interest in dance?
Music first. Reggae then hip hop mostly. Music that I was listening by the time that I started dancing was the music that had the rhythmical base line which moves you in that hip hop way.
I was one of the first wave of teenagers who got really into hip hop, electro, and breaking. I think that was a really exciting time for young kids in the UK. Do you get a sense of the same excitement from young people you work with and teach?
Kids that I teach are always extremely passionate about what they are doing, which is really exciting for me. Seeing the excitement and fire in their eyes helps drive my passion for teaching.
Do you have any singular dance influences – particular dancers or people who you take inspiration from?
I get influenced by many dancers and non-dancers. Definitely couldn’t name them all as there are a lot. I do have few favourites who always leaves me with my mouth open. Jaygee and Batalla in particular.
Like other art forms, it seems that modern dance incorporates many styles that crossover? Do you think that benefits the art form itself, and encourages greater freedom?
It’s always good to be versatile and being able to achieve that gives you tools to build up your confidence as a dancer. I think it’s important to make make sure that you’re not a jack of all trades though. Dancers are informed by a lot of styles and there is a greater level of style crossover now. But we also incorporate things that aren’t necessarily or specifically dance movements, like a certain attitude or approach.
“Low Air is Lithuania’s first urban dance company, combining contemporary and street dance forms such as popping and locking and breakdancing, and challenging the notion of what “belongs on stage.” The founders and choreographers are Laurynas Žakevičius and Airida Gudaitė, artistic collaborators and real-life couple. Gudaitė is a professionally trained dancer with a background ranging from classical ballet to jazz, gaga, and hip-hop, making her the ultimate threat in a dance battle. Her partner Žakevičius worked in the juvenile system using urban dance with children in foster care.”
Sarah Holcman TIME OUT
How do you create a balance between technique and good ideas? Do you think they are equally important?
Oh that’s a very hard question. They are both equally important so if you manage to balance them both, I guess that would be the perfect combination.
You and your friend / fellow dancer Greta teach people to dance? Tell me a little about that?
Oh yes! We both love to teach. I just love seeing people getting better or being able to do things that were extremely hard for them. I recently moved to London and am really excited about teaching in the UK.
In your video clips for Roots you look like you’re both having a lot of fun dancing together? How long have you been friends?
We have been best friends for over six years. I guess the best part of it is being able to travel with my best friend and dance with her. Not many people get to share their passion with their beloved ones.
You both have different styles, which is one of the things I really like about watching your clips. Do you learn from each other and share ideas regularly?
Definitely yes, because we spend so much time together. It would be very difficult not to get influenced by each other.
Your performances are really fluid-looking. How do you choreograph your ideas?
Most of the time it’s freestyle. We barely choreograph anything. Unless it is a special showcase then our teacher does the choreography.
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
Just to be as happy as possible with myself and always remind myself that I am enough and everything else will come if I work hard.
Stargaze Records Presents……
(Dither Down / Stargaze)
Brudenell Social Club
We would like to invite you to party with us as we celebrate the release of our first long player, Let The Rhythm In. The record is our first as a trio and our third release on Brooklyn New York imprint Dither Down.
Within the music of Galaxians – the trio of Emma Mason, Matt Woodward and Jed Skinner – lies a powerfully hedonistic strain that does much to loop a thread through the party lineage of their adopted hometown of Leeds. Coupled with the first impressions of what the pair loosely term their “pre-digital dance music”, you might not raise an eyebrow to find out that their cues are taken in-part from classic disco and house labels such as Sleeping Bag or Chicago’s TRAX, nor that their early EPs found homes across the Atlantic on the similarly-minded Dither Down in Brooklyn, and Atlanta’s Rotating Souls Records.
However, it’s the beating pulse of Northern England club life, married with the thriving independence of much of the region’s best venues and spaces that forces its way through on the duo’s debut LP Let The Rhythm In. Recorded at Leeds Ghost Town studio with Ross Halden, the eight tracks come steeped in the Yorkshire city’s less-trumpeted but enduring house heritage – with inspiration drawn from the all-day parties of the late 70s and early 80s, the disco that emerged from the fading Northern Soul movement of the early 80s and the resonant acid house era that boomed across both sides of the Pennines.
Previous 12”’s Galaxians and Personal Disco Component captured much of the lo-fi scuzziness that Galaxians have long-surrounded themselves with – as likely to pop up playing more punk-associated DIY spots like their hometown’s Wharf Chambers as they are in front of the heads at Beat-Herder or late-night with the likes of Horse Meat Disco and Auntie Flo. That raw playfulness in their sound still bubbles beneath the surface, but there’s a whole new fluidity to proceedings, a seamless flow between the rattle and strut of their analogue funk.
If Skinner and Woodward have deftly refined things however, then what’s altered the soundscape unequivocally is the addition of long-time friend and vocalist Emma Mason. Though not a constant, her presence is felt immediately on the opening track Street Level, a powerful, soulful vocal that commands the track in a way that resonates far beyond the relatively brief time she actually appears. On Subway Dancers, meanwhile, the heat and hustle of its bassy propulsion melts beneath the shimmer and sway of the melody.
October tour dates:
19.10 LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
20.10 BRISTOL Crofters Rights
21.10 AMSTERDAM Doka (ADE)
22.10 JEUMONT Jardin de l’espérance
24.10 COLOGNE Buhmann & Sohn
25.10 BRUSSELS Bonnefooi
26.10 LILLE Gare Saint Sauveur
28.10 LONDON Total Refreshment Centre
The artist formerly known as Game_Program, aka multi-instrumentalist and member of Hookworms, Cowtown, and Nope, Jon Nash.
Recent performances have shown a tasteful refining of ideas incorporating lo-fi, lo-slung house grooves, arpeggiated synth lines designed to hypnotise, and classic drum machine sounds. Altogether it’s a sound not dissimilar to artists such as Warp’s Clark and Argentinian DJ / producer Leonel Castillo, though it’s an arguably more soulful listening experience.
Back to basics pop duo VIDE0 comprises song writing partners Alex Brown and Emily Garner, previously of bands Bathymetry and Prowles. Operating in Salford, the pair’s direct, uptempo, fun pop music may come as a surprise given the more whimsical guitar-focused sound of their previous band. However, in reality it’s a logical progression to a more immediate, fully formed sound, expressed for the most part through sparkling synths and riff-heavy bass, accompanied by machine programmed beats and dual vocal melodies. Comparisons to New Order may appear lazy, but there’s a definite link here to the city’s lineage of bass-driven synth pop and post-punk.
Leeds-based Matt Woodward and Jed Skinner formed house act Galaxians in 2012. Over the past five years they’ve forged a beautiful soundscape that’s all about keeping dance floors moving and grooving. Now a trio thanks to the addition of vocalist Emma Mason, they’re about to unveil their full-length, Let The Rhythm In, on Brooklyn’s Dither Down. The LP is an expression of their love for soul to house music, and it’s founded on the studio experience they’ve gained over the years.
Galaxians put the single “Out They Minds” in the capable hands of SIREN, a collaboration between NYC legends Darshan Jesrani of Metro Area and Dennis Kane. It’s nothing short of spectacular, and we’re thrilled to world premiere it! BIG SHOT
Sheffield DIY collective The Audacious Art Experiment returns to the Picture House Social for another Bank Holiday marathon of intense and delirious underground sonics, chopped against the rarest visual stimulants.
Featuring 15 acts curated over 12 hours, TAAE will take you on a fibre optic journey through their favourite zones of noise, pop, loud, bounce, indie, techno, quiet, odd, weird and shuffle. All via 3 interchanging rooms and a few Windows compatible PC towers.
Performances come from acclaimed UK DIY acts such as London’s sonic innovator Ewa Justka, Leeds’ future funk navigators Galaxians, newly signed Rocket Recordings quartet Housewives and rising Manchester no-wave legends DUDS. All this will be backed and buffered by the cream of Sheffield’s current TAAE squad and stable mates Isis Moray, Baglady, Toucans, Acid Mass, Negative Midas Touch and Sleep Terminal. If that wasn’t enough, the ever advancing noise duo Trans/Human will make a special main stage appearance, whilst Lincoln collective Weird Garden take over the outside decking with performances from the esoteric kinetic sculptor Experimental Sonic Machines and Tape Noise.
Full line up:
Ewa Justka // Galaxians // Housewives // Isis Moray // Trans/Human // DUDS // Baglady // Toucans // Acid Mass // Negative Midas Touch // Sleep Terminal // Tape Noise // Experimental Sonic Machines
SUNDAY 27th AUGUST
Picture House Social
3pm – 3am
£15 / £17.50 / £20
Limited early birds on sale now —-> http://bit.ly/LANGathering
This August, we’re bringing you one of our most diverse, high-octane and party ready bills to date! Make sure you’ve got your dancing shoes ready for this one…
Hailing from Leeds, Galaxians have been busy wowing crowds at festivals like Beacons and Bluedot with their dynamic, lively mixture of funk, house and space disco. Since the addition of vocalist Emma Mason, their live show has become even more immersive, and with new studio material on the way, we’re delighted to be bringing Galaxians back to Newcastle after a three year gap for this special summer headline slot.
One of the most in-demand names in north-east hip-hop, Kay Greyson had built a formidable reputation on the back of shows with the likes of Pharoahe Monch as well as last year’s Morning After Music mixtape. Get excited for this one!
Having amazed us (and plenty of others) at Evolution Emerging this year, Jennifer Walton’s opening set is not one to be missed. Although relatively new to live performance, her intricate and dazzling productions have already been making waves nationally. The future is now.
PLUS: Endless Window DJ after the live acts until late, playing…
BROADCAST / THE FALL / MY BLOODY VALENTINE / ST VINCENT / THEE OH SEES / GHOSTPOET / EAST INDIA YOUTH / STEREOLAB / FKA TWIGS / THE CRAMPS / CHROMATICS / WIRE / NICK CAVE / PJ HARVEY / SLEATER-KINNEY / CAPTAIN BEEFHEART / THE AVALANCHES / DEATH GRIPS / TALKING HEADS / RUN THE JEWELS / ROBYN / MAGAZINE / MELT YOURSELF DOWN / JANELLE MONAE / WILD BEASTS / CATE LE BON / OMD / FACTORY FLOOR / D’ANGELO / SIOUXIE AND THE BANSHEES / DAVID BOWIE / EMA / SLEAFORD MODS / ROXY MUSIC / SAVAGES / PIXIES / THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS / DEVO / KATE BUSH / THE MONKS / DEERHUNTER / PREOCCUPATIONS / PANDA BEAR / GANG OF FOUR / CHVRCHES / SONIC YOUTH / LONELADY / GALLON DRUNK / HEALTH / XTC / JOY DIVISION / BATTLES / THE GUN CLUB / KRAFTWERK / LIARS / RAMONES / DEERHOOF / THE VELVET UNDERGROUND / CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS / M.I.A. / DJANGO DJANGO / GALLON DRUNK / THE SONICS / DAN DEACON / OUTFIT / LUKE HAINES / CLINIC / PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED / THE SLITS / ANOHNI / YEAH YEAH YEAHS / AND SO MUCH MORE…
£6 on the door, 7:30pm until late.
Host Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/endlesswindow/
Stargaze Records Presents….
(Night School // Glasgow)
(Dither Down // Leeds)
1 more tbc
Amor is a new quartet based largely in Glasgow, consisting of Richard Youngs, Luke Fowler, Michael Francis Duch and Paul Thomson (Franz Ferdinand / Yummy Fur). AMOR is a master-class in blissful, searching, avant-disco fuelled by telepathic ensemble playing and an untouchable, higher joy.
Recorded predominantly at Glasgow’s Green Door and mixed by Golden Teacher/The Modern Institute-member Richard McMaster, both tracks edge the 14 minute mark, slices of ecstasy seemingly hewn from a band deep in the Zone. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy Studios, the balance between hefty, bass-thick kicks and crisp percussion, an elastic double bass that lends a bounce to proceedings and floating piano chords recalls a warped take on Philadelphia International Records, a version of Can decimating the disco charts of late 70s USA. Paradisebegins with a proto-house kick drum and Paul Thomson’s inescapably funky percussion, inviting Duch’s bass into the mix. Fowler’s subtle electronic touches set up some of the most open-hearted, love-infected vocals Richard Youngs has ever set to tape. Guided through various drops and ecstatic highs by ceaselessly inventive rhythm composition, the listener is elevated to several plains, to different levels and spirits. In Love An Arc, arguably goes deeper. Jane Sayer’s guest violin scrapes us in, with formless shapes polluting the stereo field until a plaintive piano chord pattern brings us into the groove. Sounding like a lost spirit looking through the glass darkly, Youngs’ vocal is melancholic and truthful. Fowler’s synth playing evolves upward, duetting with the stringed instruments’ deep excursions into the night.
While these are only the first recordings by AMOR, the members have separate exceptional histories in modern music. Richard Youngs has a 140+ long discography covering any number of musics often invented by Youngs himself, while Luke Fowler is an award winning film-maker and visual artist, as well as an electronic musician in his own right. Paul Thomson is a drummer and percussionist with Franz Ferdinand and The Yummy Fur and Michael Francis Duch is a double bassist based in Norway with deep roots in the world of improvisation and minimalist composition. Most importantly, however, is that this is the sound of a band, as one.
Super Friendz & Youth Club Sounds Collaborate On Mixtape
From I Like Press press release…
With the Collaborationz project, the promoting team behind Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow House, Super Friendz, wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the people and partnerships that make the North an exciting place to collaborate. One collaboration will be launched each month with each having its own focus on a different partnership, the aim is to highlight the diverse range of talent being cultivated in the North at this moment in time.
The first three months of 2017 will see Super Friendz and the venues partner up with the likes of Youth Club Sounds, Welcome Skate Store and Alphabet Brewing Co. Details of each collaboration will be released quarterly and each will be produced on limited release and available for one month only.
The first collaboration to see the light of day will be a 16 track mixtape put together in conjunction with Leeds label Youth Club Sounds, featuring a host of Leeds’ artists including Krrum, Caro, Denmarc Creary & Izzy Flynn, and Galaxians. Harris Hameed who has received heavy rotation from the BBC Asian network, and producer/multi-instrumentalist Dulahli who’s chopped and screwed hip-hop has seen his added to this years Soundwave festival.
Youth Club Sounds continue the grand tradition of Leeds’ Hyde Park area sitting at the beating heart of its underground and DIY music community. Youth Club Sounds’ Robbie Russell explains their beginnings “We started Youth Club about 18 months ago, for fairly selfish reasons. We simply wanted to hear the music we loved on big speakers. It opened a door for us to start introducing the city to new music, influenced by the experimental Soundcloud beat scene, fusing together aspects of Atlanta trap, New York hip hop, grime and dance music.”
Youth Club Sounds were approached by Super Friendz to become a part of the Collaborationz project. “Having the opportunity to work with Super Friendz has been immense, as they’re always willing to commit to pushing the Leeds scene, facilitating shows with cutting-edge musicians and given local talent a stage to cut their teeth on. This release is about showing the city off, condensing the best of Leeds new wave onto a nicely packaged cassette tape.”
The Super Friendz / Youth Club Sounds Mixtape will be available from Crash & Jumbo Records in Leeds and available to listen to on Soundcloud from the 28th January.
Ben Lewis – Head Booker, Super Friendz:
“Leeds has always had praise heaped on its guitar music, but right now there’s a really exciting scene coming up of producers, multi-instrumentalists and MC’s, what we’re doing with this mixtape is wanting to shine a light on some of these artists and the forward thinking, progressive music they’re making. We’ve teamed up with Youth Club Sounds to help curate the tape as they’ve been at the forefront of pushing Leeds’ nightlife in the last few months and have really nurtured a stable of artists, many of whom can be found on this mix.”
Krrum – Blessing In A Black Dress
Denmarc Creary – Rollin’ Remix Ft Dialect
Peakes – Pray For You
Caro – Cold Comfort
Jason Everest – Island
Duhlahli – All I’m Doing Is Fortune Tellin’
Harris Hameed – Let’s Go
Galaxians – Street Level
Loyal Hardware – On You
Moegli – U A Freak
Izzy Flynn – Gracious
Kaluax – Into U
The Northaze – Azorian
Raymond’s Child – Kohaku
Georgia Thursting – Take it out on me
Paya – One
Leeds Print Festival / Room 237 / Recon present..
Jessy Lanza (Hyperdub, Can)
April 1st 2017
£10 Advance (separate ticket to the Leeds Print Festival talks, joint tickets will be available in early 2017).
“a gorgeous and deadly pop music manifesto” – Pitchfork
“a formidable contender in contemporary electronic music.” – Spin 8/10
“upended R&B beamed down from outer space” – NME ****
“there could be a bona fide pop star in Jessy Lanza yet.” – The Guardian ****
#4 2016 Album Of The Year – The Quietus
#11 2016 Album Of The Year – Resident Advisor
Jessy Lanza is a producer and singer who comes from Hamilton Ontario, but studied music at Concordia in Montreal. Her debut album which she recorded with partner Jeremy Greenspan from Junior Boys ‘Pull My Hair Back’, came out in 2013 to almost universal praise, she was featured in Guardian, Times, Dazed and Confused, Wonderland, Pitchfork, Fader and more, and performed on KCRW, arte.tv in Europe and Channel 4 in the UK.
She has toured with Cut Copy and toured the world with Caribou, as well as contributing a song to his 2015 album.
In 2015 she also recorded singles with DJ Spinn and Morgan Geist as well as being short listed for the Polaris prize 2014 and performed on Canadian TV.
The first single from her album ‘Oh No’ ;’It Means I Love You’ was released in January 2016 to an excited audience and was immediately picked up for ‘Best New Music’ at Pitchfork, and was featured on ‘New Music Friday’ with Apple. Spotify and Tidal.
GALAXIANS are Jed Skinner (synths // programming) and Matt Woodward (acoustic drums // programming). The pair met in Leeds and played their first show as Galaxians in 2012. Their rise to prominence as an exciting live dance act has been swift.
In 2016, vocalist Emma Mason joined Galaxians. Emma’s stunning vocal delivery – reminiscent of Gwen Guthrie and other powerful female soul singers – appears on on four new songs, ‘Street Level’, ‘Subway Dancers’, ‘How Do U Feel?’ and ‘Worldwide Experience’.
Taking their cues from classic labels such as SAM, TRAX, Sleeping Bag, and Street Sounds, and producers such as Leroy Burgess and John Morales, Galaxians fuse 80s drum machine sounds with acoustic drums and analog synthesizers played live. Their live shows have earned them a reputation as an exciting and joyous spectacle, with the soulful energy of both the human hand and heart always at the forefront of their live sets.
Galaxians have shared stages with acts such as Tom Tom Club, The Juan Maclean, Golden Teacher, Zombie Zombie, Discodeine, Horse Meat Disco, Auntie Flo, Bodybeat, Marklion, You Man, Ultramagnetic MCs and Ital. They have toured the UK and Europe extensively since 2012.
“The spirit of disco is alive and well in Yorkshire. A two-piece consisting of Matt Woodward (drums) and Jed Skinner (synths), the house-influenced duo tear up every show they play, regardless of who they’re billed with. A room full of indie kids, a room full of disco lovers, a room full of punks – they all fall hard for the Galaxians party.”
The new outfit formed by Matthew Benn of Hookworms and Christopher Duffin of Deadwall. Their recent release on Sonic Cathedral brings tracks of improvised ambient beauty are both meditative and peaceful. It is astral jazz with an experimental kosmische undercurrent; modular synths meet saxophones; Cluster meets Terry Riley; Laurie Spiegel meets Pharoah Sanders; Ohr meets Impulse!.
XAM was originally Matthew’s solo project, the name borrowed from the closing song of latter-day Dusseldorf-via-Detroit cult classic ‘Subway II’. He recorded a number of tracks at home between Hookworms albums in 2014 which were released last year as the ‘Tone Systems’ EP on Deep Distance. Following the EP’s release, there were offers to play live, solo, for the first time.
Christopher says he approaches each song as a “mini-soundtrack to an imaginary film that doesn’t exist yet” and reveals that, while he was practising at home, he played along to clips of ‘There Will Be Blood’, ‘Mulholland Drive’ and ‘Synecdoche, New York’ to get the requisite atmosphere. Live sets are also completely improvised, meaning no two shows are ever the same.