Alexis Taylor’s ‘Await Barbarians’ Announced

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Domino have announced the release of Await Barbarians, Alexis Taylor’s second solo album (and first for the label) on 9th June 2014. Alexis will be touring to support the album (full tour dates below the album biog). Watch a clip for the first track from the album – Elvis Has Left The Building – here:

“Possessing the same immediacy as his music with Hot Chip and the adventurousness of his work with About Group, there is a special intimacy to the lyrics of Alexis Taylor’s Await Barbarians, a simplicity and candour in his expression of emotion, though the moments of honesty are matched with a sense of humour, playfulness and fun.

“Playing and recording all the instruments himself apart from strings, Taylor also presents a more reflective side of his writing and singing, which comes into focus in a more confident and defined manner than before. With its brushed cymbal-led quiet and solitude, and its startlingly direct recording approach, the album recalls in places the work of such English luminaries as Mark Hollis and Robert Wyatt. Recalling such recordings is one thing, but the record doesn’t sound especially like those. Await Barbarians‘ soundworld is entirely Taylor’s own – at times claustrophobic, synth-led and dry, and at others spacious, warm and homely, it always places Taylor’s unique and recognizable vocals up front in the mix, rarely adorned by audible effects.

Await Barbarians is a record whose warm tones draw you in, whose sequencing asks of the listener an uninterrupted session of close listening, and whose sound world reminds us of the pleasures of all that is quiet in music. It is rich in deep insight and profound feeling, a truly significant album by one of the country’s most continually arresting musicians.”

Watch a video for the album track ‘Elvis Has Left The Building’, HERE.

Await Barbarians will be available on CD (WIGCD334), standard LP (WIGLP334) and Digital (WIG334D). Copies of the LP purchased through Dom Mart or indie retailers will include a bonus 7” featuring the tracks I Hope (a Bobby Charles cover), b/w Song Of Long. Click HERE to buy the album through Dom Mart.

The tracklisting for Await Barbarians is as follows:

Lazy Bones
From The Halfway Line
Without A Crutch (2)
Immune System
Dolly and Porter
Closer To The Elderly
Elvis Has Left The Building
Piano Ducks
New Hours
Where Would I Be?
Am I Not A Soldier?
Without A Crutch (1)

Alexis will be performing live throughout the summer. The dates are:

Fri 23/05/14: Hay on Wye – The Globe
Sun 25/05/14: London – The Ace Hotel – SOLD OUT
Sat 31/05/14: Glasgow – The Wee Chill
Thur 12/06/14: London – The Vortex
Wed 18/06/14: Leeds – The Brudenell
Thu 19.06/14: Manchester – Band On The Wall
Fri 20/06/14: London – Roundhouse Studio
Fri 18/07/14: Eigg – Howlin’ Fling – SOLD OUT
Fri 29/08/14: Shaftsbury – End Of The Road Festival
Sat 06/09/14: Portmeirion – Festival Number 6

New Hot Chip DJ Dates

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A load of new DJ dates added for (nearly all) members of Hot Chip over the coming months:

25th Oct – Alexis & Justus Kohncke at Rockmarket, Frankfurt
26th Oct – Felix at Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
7th Nov – Felix & Al at Postbahnhof, Berlin
8th Nov – Felix & Al at Bob Beaman, Munich
8th Nov – The 2 Bears at Fabric
9th Nov – 2 Bears at WAYF, Bournemouth
9th NOv – Felix & Al at Gewoelbe, Cologne
15th Nov – Joe at iBoat, Bordeaux
16th Nov – Joe at Somerset House, London
23rd Nov – Felix & Al at Nitsa, Barcelona
29th Nov – Al at Snafu, Aberdeen
6th Dec – Joe at Seeds, Oslo

All these dates with maps and links are now in the live section.

Alexis with Fimber, inspired by Britten

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Alexis plays guest spots a couple of interesting shows next month. First, one with Fimber Bravo in Oxford on October 11th at the Pegasus Theatre, the following night as part of Faster than Sound/Aldeburgh Music’s night of Benjamin Britten inspired music with Green Gartside, Mara Carlyle, Anna Meredith, South London Ordnance, and Max de Wardener.

About Group Album Out Today, Gig Tomorrow

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About Group‘s third album, Between the Walls, is released today (July 1st) on Domino Records (click here to buy the record from iTunes or here from Domino). The band play a one-off launch gig at the Victoria in Dalston tomorrow night (July 2nd) with Hot Chip and Spring Heel Jack DJs. Tickets are £8.50 on the door.

Reviews of Between the Walls:

‘Between the Walls is a fascinating insight into the creative process that crackles electricity between Taylor, former Spiritualized and Spring Heel Jack man John Coxon, drummer Charles Hayward and keyboard player Pat Thomas.’ Q

‘Grinding psychedelic grooves alternate with slow soulful jams interspersed with the odd sonic breakdown… an intriguing experiment.’ Financial Times

‘Walk on By seems to rise, like mist, from a soul organ and drum groove lashed with splintered guitar chords, ultimately building to a thrumming climax powered along by Charles Hayward’s Can-like drumming.’ The Independent

‘Wonderfully unhinged.’ This is Fake DIY

‘Between The Walls is the sound of four talented musicians setting their egos aside in the hope of finding moments of musical serendipity… there are many moments of exquisite beauty to enjoy on this record.’ Music OMH

‘This album is laced with a chaotic genius.’ London in Stereo

Click here to read a brilliant interview with About Group from the ever-reliable Quietus website.

Enlightenment – An Alexis Taylor Mix For Oki-Ni

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The good people at Oki-Ni have posted an exclusive hour-long mix by Alexis Taylor. Called Enlightenment, it’s the perfect musical accompaniment to bleached out summer days. Says Alexis: “I took Enlightenment as a loose theme – some of the tracks suggest spiritual enlightenment, or reflection upon our time alone on the earth; in others characters journey through drunkenness and sobriety, and it’s unclear whether or not there is any great moment of enlightenment – although it is clear that they certainly see things. Some are in search of a greater truth, or someone/some thing to help bear the weight of the world, and others travel on personal journeys of discovery about what matters and what does not in love.”

The full tracklisting for Englightenment is:

1. Jai Rama Chandra – Alice Coltrane
2. Enlightenment (El Saturn single version) – Sun Ra and his Astro-Galactic Infinity Akestra
3. Jesus’s Birthday – Alexis Taylor
4. Pink Elephants on Parade – Chorus and Orchestra (Dumbo Soundtrack)
5. Sleepy Time – Raymond Scott
6. Pray 4 Love – Moodymann
7. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker – Prince
8. Lovely How I Let My Mind Float – De La Soul feat. Biz Markie
9. Right Here (Teddy Riley Human Nature Remix) – SWV
10. It Didn’t Matter – The Style Council
11. Night After Night – David Sea
12. Who’s Gonna Take The Weight – Gangstarr
13. Brown Rice – Don Cherry
14. Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground -Blind Willie Johnson
15. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child – Odetta
16. Enlightenment – Sun Ra and his Arkestra (Jazz in Silhouette album version)

Click here to listen.

A Stone In The Ground

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Fainting by Numbers – aka Alexis Taylor and Justus Köhncke – have a double A side single out at the moment. As well as a cover of John Lennon’s Watching the Wheels, the single features a Fainting by Numbers original, A Stone in the Ground (click link below to watch the video).

Alexis Taylor says of the video: “Award-winning visual artist Oliver Payne has made an incredibly beautiful, funny and very affecting video for A Stone In The Ground. Justus and I are really pleased with how Oliver’s video turned out – it is by far one of the most wonderful things I’ve been involved with, and certainly a breath of fresh air in the world of music videos. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”

The single is available as a limited edition 12″ and a download via Moshi Moshi.