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.”
“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.
We’re excited to announce the first of two Galaxians releases for 2017…..
‘Out They Minds’ 12 (Dither Down Records // Brooklyn)
Release date: 23.01.17
A) Out They Minds – Original Mix
B) Out They Minds – SIREN Remix
Dither Down Records, founded by Brooklyn resident Tim Wagner (Sunrise Highway // 33hz) and Chad Chicus Snyder (Redbud Records) presents DD024, our second release on the New York label after Personal Disco Component in 2015.
Recorded and mixed at the former Ghost Town studio in Leeds by Ross Halden, and mastered in New York by legendary masterer Herb Powers Jr.
We’re delighted to be able to share a new song with you from our forthcoming album Let The Rhythm In.
The song, titled ‘Street Level‘ is the first to feature the new Galaxians line up featuring the voice of Emma Mason, and was recorded at Ross Halden’s Ghost Town studio on Mabgate in Leeds. The studio has since closed after a seven-year residency, with Galaxians having been one of the last bands to have recorded there.
“The Galaxians records we made at Mabgate are some of my proudest achievements, I’m pretty much setting up the new studio for the next one” ROSS HALDEN (head of Ghost Town studio)
The song includes lyrics by Matt Woodward and will be the band’s first song from the new record to be performed live as a trio, along with three further album tracks featuring Emma.
New Galaxians album track ‘Street Level’ debuted on KMAH Radio, Leeds 31 March, by resident Steven Nuttall (Nope).
The song is the first to be debuted on radio featuring the band’s new line up of Emma Mason (voice), Jed Skinner (synths & programming) and Matt Woodward (drums & programming), and will feature on upcoming new album ‘Let The Rhythm In’.
We’re extremely excited to announce our new lineup for 2016.
During recent recording sessions for our upcoming record we collaborated with our friend and singer Emma Mason, who worked with us 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’.
Having been officially invited to join the band in 2016 following the studio sessions, Emma spoke to Stargaze Records….
Stargaze Records: How did your path as a singer take its course? When did you first have that ‘hey, I can sing!’ moment?
Emma: I was a late starter, I knew I could carry a tune and loved music but I didn’t get a notion that my voice was anything special until my late teens. I remember singing a Brand New Heavies song and my sister came in the room looking surprised and said ‘Was that you’? She told me I was really good and it hit home that maybe I was.
SR: I know that for me as soon as I knew I wanted to learn to play a musical instrument that I was going to play either bass or drums, how did your realisation that you were going to do something musical occur?
E: Singing on stage was something I daydreamed about a lot but didn’t have the confidence to do for a long time. There came a point in my mid-twenties where the need to sing outweighed the terror of performing in public. A friend urged me to put an ad in the free paper saying I was looking for a band and it all started from there.
SR; How old were you when you first felt that music was a serious thing for you?
E: Well I’ve always been passionate about music, it keeps me sane, but I probably became serious about my own musical aspirations in my late twenties when I started to write and perform my own music with the band ‘The Bloody Wowsers’. I wanted to perform as much as possible and I realised this was something I needed in my life to be happy.
SR: What was your first performance?
E: My first performance was with a Motown covers band called Chicago Joe and the Soul Divas in a pub somewhere near Leeds. I still laugh at the name and we were a motley crew but the music was decent. I drank a bottle of wine to get over the stage fright.
SR: What kind of music were you heavily into as a teenager?
E: A huge variety of music, Ella Fitzgerald, Depeche Mode, Cud, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, The Cure, The Housemartins, Nina Simone, The Smiths, Sugarcubes, Stevie Wonder, Eddie Cochran, Neil Sedaka, David Bowie, Donna Summer, Aretha Franklin and music from Cabaret and The Rocky Horror show….I could go on and on but those were probably the artists I probably listened to the most. Mum has great taste in music and my older sisters were always bringing music home to listen to so I was lucky.
SR: Who were your first singing influences? Who influences you now?
E: Stevie Wonder has a very special place in my heart particularly his early Motown tracks and 70’s albums Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the key of life. I spent hours singing along to Stevie Wonder songs when I was young along with Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald. They taught me how to really sing. I still love those artists but I’ve expanded my tastes since then. In recent times I’ve been influenced by old RnB and gospel artists like Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Lavern Baker, such amazing musical talent largely forgotten by the mainstream. I love discovering new old artists. I’ve been listening to more 80s disco lately too since working with Galaxians, Gwen Guthrie is the bomb. Most of my musical influences are pre-90s.
SR: The art of performing, and of writing music is quite complex isn’t it? But then it is also by nature very simple sometimes. What has always intrigued me is that the nature of art can be very contradictory at times, and that’s part of what drives people to make it, and to engage with it? Because above all else art is human and it mirrors humanity, and contradiction is part of the human condition?
E: I would agree with those statements, I think for for most serious musicians it is a need rather than a choice to make music and that’s why we persevere through the challenging times, disappointments, creative block, crises of confidence and the general burden of the sensitive creative temperament. Sometimes the joy of making and performing music just falls into place seamlessly but, as with life in general, we only really appreciate those moments because of the trials we face.
SR: You’ve had experience at performing in quite a few really different musical environments haven’t you?
E: I surely have, I think because my tastes are so eclectic I never felt the need to limit myself or be pigeon holed, plus it makes life interesting to try new things and increases performance opportunities. I’ve performed in a Motown covers band, acoustic soul duo, swing bands for dancers, rhythm and blues ensembles, I’ve done classic jazz and blues, collaborated with hip hop artists, I’ve even tried a little classical singing as part of a project called Symphony for Yorkshire for the BBC and of course now this wonderous union with Galaxians which is so very exciting.
My cabaret showgirl persona ‘Em Brulée’ has been a big part of my performing life for the last 8 years, I love the decadence of burlesque and cabaret shows, the creativity and the theatre of it. I basically fantasise that I am Sally Bowles in 1930s Berlin. My cabaret work has made a performer of me as well as a singer.
SR: Can you talk a bit about working with Galaxians and how it came about?
E: Well Matt and I have been great friends and neighbours for many years, we have always shared a passion for good music and a mutual admiration and support of one another’s work; we have played together on a couple of occasions. I’ve been a fan of Galaxians since the beginning, so when Matt suggested the boys might want to try a few vocal tracks on the new album I jumped at the chance to be involved.
I think we were all amazed about how seamlessly it all went in the studio, I’ve never enjoyed the writing/recording process so much and the results were beyond expectations. It started out as a collaboration but we want to keep making sweet music together and Jed and Matt have officially invited me into the fold.
Galaxians are included in the first wave of acts announced for Recon festival in October, at multiple venues across Leeds and Bradford. The festival pioneers music, art, film and technology in West Yorkshire and runs from 15 – 18 October 2015. Earlybird tickets priced at £25 are available on the festival website at http://reconfest.co.uk/
Pictures from our recent UK and European tour in May and June…
20.05.15 LEEDS Hifi Club (w. Golden Teacher // Bambooman)
21.05.15 LIVERPOOL Kazimier (w. Golden Teacher // Game_Program)
23.05.15 BRADFORD Playhouse (Threadfest)
25.05.15 MILTON KEYNES Craufurd Arms
27.05.15 DUSSELDORF Salon Des Amateurs
28.05.15 LILLE Aeronef (w. Bodybeat)
29.05.15 PARIS Pop In
30.05.15 NANTES Le Lieu Unique
01.06.15 ZURICH Boschbar
02.06.15 GENEVA L’Ecurie
03.06.15 FRANKFURT Robert Johnson
04.06.15 LEIPZIG Ilses Erika
06.06.15 KOLN Klub Genau
07.06.15 LILLE Le Rouge
BRAINTRUST BLOG // 25.06.15
CHOSEN BY: GALAXIANS
Playlist chosen by us ahead of our show at the Waiting Room in London on July 17.
“I first saw Galaxians play at Tramlines last year in the back room of a social club in the outskirts of Sheffield. They had this intricate set up with multiple analog synthesizers going against a small acoustic drum kit, but they produced this uplifting disco sound going on. I loved the fact that their general positive vibe that they brought to a night meant they can slot onto genre bending bills and make punk kids fall in love with them. Drummer Matt Woodward is a DJ at the Release Yourself parties at Wharf Chambers and we’re delighted that he’s made a fifteen track mix for us. I guarantee you’ll find gems in here.” NIALL CUNNINGHAM (Braintrust)
Galaxians headline The Waiting Room with support from Teej on Friday 17 July. Tickets are available through: Billetto + DICE
1) MATRIX METALS ‘Ray Ban Meltdown’
Matrix Metals is Sam Mehran. He’s possibly more well known as a member of Test Icicles, but for us the MM record is his finest hour. It’s one of those records that defies categorization and people who dig it really dig it. A hard record to describe for sure, but it has a drugged-out, hypnotic, cyclical beauty to it, and it’s all the more amazing when you discover it’s essentially made from tape loops.
2) WICKED WITCH ‘Under Your Spell’
WW is the solo studio alter ego of Washington DC’s Richard Simms and this is from the compilation album ‘Chaos 1978-86’. Again, it’s hard to describe because it’s a pretty nuts record. It’s dark, wild, fucked up psychedelic machine funk, that’s pretty much the only way we can describe it. Matt picked this record up from a-Musik in Cologne recently.
3) RAVIOLI ME AWAY ‘Cat Call’
We played with RMA recently and enjoyed them a lot. They are Sian Dorrer, Rosie Ridgeway, and Alice Theobald and this one is taken from the album ‘The Inevitable Album’ on Good Job Records. It’s just a winner, firstly because it’s a straight up pop hit, secondly because the lyrics are good, and thirdly because the video has them doing some good David Byrne-style dancing in it.
4) SHOPPING ‘In Other Words’
Another ace band we’ve had the pleasure of playing with a few times over the past year. We both dig their album a lot and they’re always super-fun live. Shopping are Billy Easter, Rachel Aggs, and Andrew Milk. They’re also known for being members of other bands such as Wet Dog and Trash Kit. This is one of our favourite songs from their album ‘Consumer Complaints’ (Milk Records) and that guitar line just chops its way into the brain and stays for days.
5) ROLANDE GARROS ‘Polycrosscourt’
Rolande Garros is the alter ego / solo project of Tobias Piel, who is also one third of the trio Les Trucs from Frankfurt. We played with RG at the Robert Johnson club in Offenbach recently and it turned out to be one of the most memorable nights on our European tour this year. And he was one of many very nice people we met that night, too. And that sound system….oh my.
6) J.A. GROOVE ‘Release The Tension’
This is, as far as we know, the only record ever released by Jeff Seifer and Archie Lucas. It’s something of an obscurity but is a regular feature of Matt’s DJ sets at the Release Yourself parties he hosts at Wharf Chambers in Leeds. It’s one of those post-disco / proto-house records from the mid-80s with a super-tight bass line and conga groove that just jumps out of the speakers and gets people up and onto the floor. At 10:48 minutes long it’s no radio-friendly pop hit. It’s for people who want to get in deep, y’know?
7) MADONNA ‘Lucky Star’
…..and speaking of radio friendly pop hits, this is one of our favourite Madonna songs. For us this is Madonna at her finest and in her most natural, instinctive setting. That early 80s NYC boogie funk club sound was just perfect for her in those first years. Of course, ‘Into The Groove’ is incredible and a more obvious choice (for THAT bass line alone) but the naivety and charm of those early songs is so attractive. It’s the sound of pop rapture.
8) KENTON NIX Featuring BOBBY YOUNGBLOOD ‘There’s Never Been No One Like You’
A West End Records NYC classic and christ, there are so many of those that picking one is a mission. Weirdly, we only came across this one fairly recently, despite being huge fans of the label. But that’s one of the many great things about music and buying records – just when you think you know every record on a label something pops up from a rack in a record shop and blows you away. This is one of those. It’s classic West End – soulful, shimmering, and beautifully arranged.
9) JAMES MASON ‘I Want Your Love’
This is a recent release on Amsterdam’s Rush Hour Records, but it’s actually two songs from 1984 and 1978. The A side ‘Nightgruv’ is really good too, and has a great proto-house vibe to it, but this one is a stunning, sexy, slow burner, more in the boogie style. One of the things we love on this jam is the combination of the slow beat with the crazy fast conga pattern. Marry that with the soulful vocal and those great piano chords and it’s a big win.
10) WALTER WHISENHUNT ORCHESTRA featuring GLORIA ANN TAYLOR ‘Deep Inside You’
This is a really beautiful song from 1973, and we read recently that the original EP – which also features the even more stunning ‘Love Is A Hurting Thing’ – is one of the most expensive disco / soul records ever. More importantly, it’s a gorgeous, eerie, seductive, super-soulful record from start to finish and every home should have one.
11) ADONIS Featuring THE ENDLESS POKER’S ‘!The Poke!’
Not our favourite cut on DJ International Records by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s something Jed picked up recently from Kompakt Records in Cologne when we did a bit of record shopping whilst on tour. It’s kind of a daft record, but just has that unmistakable late 80s Chicago house vibe, with those 303 sounds and that wobbly acid house bass line. And it’s always going to remind us of our time in Cologne which turned out to be a real highlight of the tour.
12) DIBLO DIBALA ‘Super K’
Diblo Dibala is a Congolese Soukous musican whose nickname is ‘Machine Gun’ because of his insane skill and speed on the guitar. This song is from a mid-80s album Matt picked up from Deco Records in Withington in Manchester the morning after we’d played a show at Fuel Cafe. If there’s a more positive and uplifting record than this in the entire world we’ve yet to hear it. Diblo’s records are a big influence on Matt’s other band Azores.
13) DEERHOOF ‘Paradise Girls’
Choosing just one Deerhoof song for a playlist is a near impossibility. Choosing a favourite top five albums is difficult enough and we are constantly amazed by their ability to keep writing genuinely incredible music after thirteen albums. Just such a great band and a constant inspiration as people, writers, musicians, the whole shabang. This one is from the most recent album La Isla Bonita.
14) UNIVERSAL ROBOT BAND ‘Barely Breaking Even’
It’s always difficult for us to put into words how much we love the combination of Leroy Burgess (as songwriter and performer), Greg Carmichael (as performer and producer), Patrick Adams (as producer) and John Morales (as remixer). For us this 1982 record is a benchmark and the pinnacle of the NYC post-disco / boogie era (there’s even a record label named after it). It’s just the perfect boogie jam and is a deejaying no-brainer. It always brings a full floor along with whoops and hollers.
15) GOLDEN TEACHER ‘Party People’
GT are Cassie Ojay, Charles Lavenac, Laurie Pitt, Oliver Pitt, Richard McMaster, and Sam Bellacosa. Together they somehow seem to effortlessly combine every element you’d want from a dance act and in live terms there’s probably no one to touch them right now, at least not as far as we know. When we played with them on tour recently their new material just floored us, and we like them a lot as people, too. They are part of Glasgow’s great tradition of community-focused experimental music and art.