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’.
The four songs form part of a collection of nine which are set to be released as Galaxians’ first full-length album ‘Let The Rhythm In’ (scheduled to be released in 2017).
In 2014 the band’s vinyl EPs – ‘Personal Disco Component’ and ‘Galaxians’ – released on US dance labels Dither Down (Brooklyn, NYC) and Rotating Souls (Atlanta, GA) respectively, sold out quickly in both Europe and the US. They have also featured on both vinyl releases on upcoming DIY dance label Stargaze (Leeds, UK).
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.”
“Fiercely danceable astral-gazing house-influenced duo with the dials cranked.”
DITHER DOWN RECORDS (Brooklyn //NYC)
“When Leeds duo Galaxians formed in 2012, their mission was clear, to bring back BEAT, and at a breakneck pace, including releases on Rotating Souls (ATLANTA) and Leeds’s own Stargaze, plus stages shared with the likes of Tom Tom Club, Golden Teacher, Zombie Zombie, and Ultramagnetic MCs, Galaxians are here to bring back visceral funk.
With their latest release on Brooklyn’s Dither Down records, Galaxians have found the perfect home for a duo inspired by NYC boogie labels like West End and Sam. Giving them the perfect opportunity to showcase the sounds that have made them such a hit with festival crowds.
It’s their inherent love of NYC’s hard attack, that makes the bounce of Ducket$z through the slippery glide of Skydive all the more, visceral and exciting. Say hello to your new favorite Gang of Two, Galaxians”.
PICCADILLY RECORDS, MANCHESTER
“Leeds two piece Galaxians follow up their boogie bomb on Rotating Souls with another EP of electronic funk brilliance on America’s Dither Down. In the past few months the duo have shared their brand of visceral funk on stages with Tom Tom Club, Zombie Zombie and Ultramagnetic MCs, and it’s the heavyweight synth chug of the Frenchmen which inspires the zero gravity boogie bounce of lead track “Ducket$z”. Combining a thick and brooding bassline of the Zombie Zombie ilk with warbling synths, live drums and fusion keys, the Yorkshire lads deliver a space walking killer for the Red Laser crowd to sink their teeth into. “Stictly Business” slows the pace a little for a flip-flopping, topsy turvy boogie bomb augmented by crystal clear synth melodies and pitch bending solos. On the flip we dive into the cowbell clatter of “Skydive”, a electrofunk groover with more than a hint of jazz-fusion in there. The exotic melodies and sunny drum programming offer the possibility of a Balearic crossover, referencing the breezy 80s work of Jan Hammer or Ryuichi Sakamoto (“Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia”). If that was a little out there for Levy’s boogie massive, then the smooth sounds of “Visual” get things back on the boudoir track. The seductive track could pass for a lost Leon Lowman B-side until that synth bass solo rips through the speakers on a direct course for the dancefloors of 84″.
“Rotating Souls return with this f-f-f-fresh four tracker from Leeds two piece Galaxians. Their heritage may be more Burley than Brooklyn, but you’d never have guessed from the killer tunes and peachy production on this bumpin Boogie 12″. First up is “Blasting Off”, a highly percussive electro-funk jam, with dance floor damaging synth funk melodies and a hint of Beverly Hills Cop! The follow up, “My Shit is Custom” is a more modern synth funk / disco song with many style change ups… starts electro, moves into funk, then sweet 90s house keys in the end with a strong electro-bass undercurrent. On the flip, a slowed down soulful jam “Nightlife” features more sweet electro-bass melodies with a steady percussive groove. Closing it out is “Fire & Magic.” This synth disco funk jam has a chugging bassline, with some sleazy keys in between… culminating in a disco laser shootout!
OUR FAVOURITE PLACES / SHEFFIELD CULTURE GUIDE
“Channeling New York’s late ‘80s “freak disco” (Was Not Was, Liquid Liquid, Arthur Russell) and Detroit’s Acid House scenes, Galaxians produce a maximum output from minimal set-up. Get your white sneaks on and hit the dance floor”.
MATT WOODWARD – Ludwig & Gretsch acoustic drums // percussion // programming
Matt Woodward also plays drums in Azores and has previously played drums in bands such as Cissy, The Dragon Rapide, The Lapse, Origami, Kito, Bosco, Bear Cub, and Sofahead. He works as a drum teacher in Leeds and is a co-founder of Stargaze Records (along with Jon Nash of Cowtown and Hookworms).
Matt is also one of three hosts and DJs at the quarterly dance party ‘Release Yourself!’, held at Wharf Chambers in Leeds. He also DJs at Hifi Club and a number of other venues in the city.
Since his move to Leeds in 1998 Matt has promoted occasional DIY shows under the ‘Petit Machins’ banner, and was one of two curators of L.I.M.E (Leeds Independent Media Exposition) at Leeds Central Library in 2008.
JED SKINNER – Roland JX3P analog synthesizer // Nord Electro digital synthesizer // programming
Jed Skinner is a musician, mainly to be found playing the keys (and drums from time to time), and also writes about music.
In addition to Galaxians he writes jams under his own name which can be found on his Soundcloud page.
He also keeps a website ticking over at www.jedskinner.com.