I stumbled upon Greek music band Daemonia Nymphe while searching for Dead Can Dance news. You can say that they are sister sounds and their cousin The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices are also making global waves with their new recording. So I got curious and listened to their two songs. It is great to have a reference point beforehand because it is easy to digest the music and appreciate the depth of their craftsmanship.
Daemonia Nymphe are comprise of Spyros Giasafakis and Evi Stergiou established around 1994. As you recall this was the start of many interesting music and various genres that were deemed ‘underground’ were at the time, regaining recognition. What drew me to the band is my fascination with ancient Greek music, which I also explored in the 90s. Stumbling upon them has a sort of nostalgic appeal.
Further research into their style tell me that their lyrics are drawn from Orphic and Homeric hymns and Sappho’s poems for Zeus and Hekate. In the music market they are categorized under neoclassical or neofolk for lack of better label. We have to remember that labels are important in the business or marketing sense-but never in the creative realm. The vocals are provided by Dessislava Stefanova leader of the London Bulgarian Choir (she sung in Hollywood films such as Troy, 10,000 BC and The Brothers Grimm).
I wrote about FRXNS a few days ago. This time let’s get to know the duo behind it. Yes, from musical group that can turn heads because of that distinctive sound? Why not?! I have an imagery of this sonic tidal wave: a raging sheath of drums, bass, guitars around a vocal style that can sound a bit like Thurston Moore or the lateIan Curtis.
What’s the origin of your band name?
We we’re @ Karina Broce’s art show “Ashes to ashes dust to life” where she did installations of the remains of their ancestral house that burned down when we saw an interesting article on the wall written in coal. It goes something like “The fractions of a legacy…” we cannot recall exactly what it said but that was the jist. The word struck us as something positive – that you can create something beautiful out of fractions. The pseudonym FRXNS came to life when we realized Fractions was not a very smart choice on a digital marketing perspective. It’s funny cuz when you search “Frac/tions” youtube, math stuff comes up and who wants that? Haha.
Out of the five songs you wrote and recorded for the EP,what’s the longest to complete?
I wrote and arranged all the songs on the EP years before it was recorded except for “Other Half” and “Now, Somehow” which was a collaborative work between me and Kara so those two took time to complete. Other half was the longest because we had to fill it in with different riffs to make it aptly sound like new wave.
How did you form the band together?
Music is the only thing Kara and I like doing. We have a lot of outside the box ideas that we want to materialize and perform so the decision to be in a band together was just automatic.
What are your top 5 bands today?
Top 5 bands today would be Fazerdaze… Uhhhh… This is a hard question, can’t think of any. We listen to a lot of new bands on Spotify. Their songs are good but nothing has really struck us to worship a whole album yet. But if you ask our top fave bands of all time that would be The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Morrissey, New Order, Joy Divison and, Rico Blanco.
Describe a typical frxns jam session.
We like having people over to our home, coffee, drink, jam… Old school. If it’s just Kara and I, we purposely put guitars on our bedside so we can just grab it incase a random tune comes up.
Where can fans get your EP?
We are out of physical copies but our EP is still available on digital format (Spotify, iTunes, Youtube etc) just type “FRXNS”.
Any future gig you want to promote?
We have a regular set at Tippy’s Bistro every last Saturdays of the month from 9pm – midnight. We play originals, new wave, alternative and indie covers. Everyone’s invited!
What’s next for the group musically?
We have a new song “Timeless” which we recorded with Nicolo Abadiano on Bass and Shaolin Javier on drums. We’ll put it up on Spotify soon. We are also working on 2 new songs. We tried to inject muffs/shoegaze/dream pop to our sound which is very melodic and melodramatic. The gameplan is always to keep playing. It’s all about the music.
There you have it folks. Be sure to like their Facebook band page for updates.
Of course you know The Stunning! Everything Rises was a smash hit in the 90s. Every kid who grew up in that period must have owned Once Around the World. This Dublin-centric band catapulted the Irish rock scene to the world, originally dominated by the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Dishwalla, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Soundgarden. I do love these bands and everything about the 90s! I mean wouldn’t you? It was a decade of The X Files, MTV and so much more.
The Stunning are touring the US soils this November along with fellow Irish rocker James Vincent McMorrow. Read the press release below:
The legendary Irish band’s long-awaited return to US this November –
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 5th ~ CONNOLLY’S, KLUB 45, TIMES SQ, NYC
1990 was a pivotal year in Ireland. The national football team had done the country proud in the World Cup in Italy and Ireland had her first lady president. There was also a new soundtrack to that summer, the debut album by a young band from the west of Ireland. Coming out of Galway city, The Stunning took Ireland by storm, and shifted the focus from a Dublin-centric rock scene to the provinces, paving the way for many more artists to come. They released a string of hit singles and 2 number one albums and toured relentlessly, building up a following that would make them one of the most successful Irish bands ever. Their debut album ‘Paradise In The Picturehouse’ spent five weeks at number one in 1990 and became one of the best-selling Irish albums of all time. Two years later, the follow up ‘Once Around The World’ also hit the number one spot, and the band went on to sell over 100,000 albums in Ireland alone. They toured the US and the UK with the likes of Bob Dylan and the B52’s.
“Brewing Up A Storm” has become an anthem of sorts – a rallying call at football internationals and a guaranteed floor-filler in pubs and clubs around the country. Breaking up and making up – Despite two number one albums, winning major music awards and a huge fanbase, the band split in 1994. They eventually reformed in 2003 for the re-release of their debut album ”Paradise in the Picturehouse’’ and the subsequent run of dates turned out to be one of the highest grossing tours in Ireland that year. In 2012 around 30,000 people turned out to see them play a concert in their old hometown of Galway city.
Things have changed dramatically since their early days of constant touring – now the band have their fingers in several pies and the challenge is to find the time to gig –lead singer Steve Wall is also an actor, appearing in shows such as Vikings (MGM/History), Sile nt Witness (BBC), Crossing Lines (Netflix) andMoone Boy (SKY/Hulu); Joe Wall teaches in BIMM – Dublin’s ‘school of rock’; Jim Higgins is a much-in-demand bodhrán player, touring with folk-legend Christy Moore; Derek Murray works as a sound engineer with Tommy Tiernan, one of Irelands finest comedians, and Cormac Dunne plays with practically everybody west of the Shannon.
Tickets available on their web site or at the door night of show – BUT it may sell out!
Dubliner James Vincent McMorrow has just released his new LP – ‘We Move’ – out September 2nd via Caroline Records. The follow-up to 2013’s acclaimed ‘Post Tropical’ marks a breathtaking and radical sonic shift for the Irish artist, in what is his most expansive, generous, and ambitious work to date. The 10-song collection features production from Nineteen85 (Drake, dvsn), Two Inch Punch (Sam Smith, Years & Years), and Frank Dukes (Kanye West, Rihanna), as well as mixing from the legendary Jimmy Douglass (Donny Hathaway, Timbaland).
Unlike his previous releases, ‘We Move’ was written in constant transition. McMorrow decamped to Los Angeles in late-2014 for six particularly fish-out-of-water months, where the new songs began to crystallize. He then recorded between Toronto, his home city of Dublin, and London over the course of roughly the next year. The album’s backbone was formed in each of these places by a few key producers that McMorrow met during his travels, who were able to finesse the record’s warm, vintage yet forward-thinking feel. The result is an album about movement – geographically, mentally, and emotionally. Far from the dense, protective imagery at the heart of ‘Post Tropical’, ‘We Move’ is McMorrow’s most honest statement yet, touching on anxiety and social unease.
This Fall McMorrow will head out on a full band headline North American tour, playing his biggest venues to date. Full itinerary below. Tickets will go on-sale July 8th, but fans can get exclusive early access to his ticket pre-sale by pre-ordering ‘We Move’ from the official US store: shop.jamesvmcmorrow.com
Hungarian musical artist Koryan Daniel Csernei dabbles between writing music that is suited for films or computer games. Then there’s that singer-songwriter aspect that makes his works accessible to a wider public. Following his musical career, I can safely say that he falls in the category of the composer/artists who are comfortable writing in the background. They more concerned with the craft and they don’t usually care about the fame aspect of the field. They seem to be satisfied with the output.
His new EP Emberibb maszk is out. If you haven’t yet, you can read about my review here.
He handed me the answers in this interview after sometime as he is currently working on several music-related projects-a follow-up to the EP, the building of his recording studio
and his day job.
1. What inspired you to make this new EP?
The reason is too complicated. Actually it started with a demo song (Emberibb maszk) that was inspired by someone, who was close to me. The title of this song is talking about a human mask to hide the symbol of the lies, hypocrisy, the charade.
Then the momentum carried me with itself and I made two other songs too, in it I’m talking to the people. So the theme is similar.
2. What was the process involved in creating this recording?
There are two types. When I have a new idea, and write/compose a complete song, or when I have a theme, or a half music, or lyrics from the past and I finish it because I get idea, or I find it good and I want to make it complete.
Most often I write sheet music for the instruments, then I learn it and record. I insert a drum machine, and record the guitars at home. The vocals are recorded usually in my friend’s studio / Power Source Studio. Then I do the after-works and mastering at home.
3. Your songs are personal but some are also filled with social commentary. What are the topics close to your heart?
There is not a favorite topic. I compose from inside, my current feelings, my current opinions.
4. I love the way you sing and arrange the songs. Who influenced your singing style?
Thanks, but I think there is nothing extra. I sing the way I can. I have no qualification. I didn’t learn to sing. So I don’t think I’m a good singer, rather I know I’m not. I just like to do it. I have some favorite performer, but I cannot and I don’t want imitate them. As I said I sing the way I can, as the actual music requires.
5. Thanks for translating some tracks from your native Hungarian to English. Are you planning to record English songs in the future?
You are welcome. Yes, I’m currently working on that. My next EP will be in English. With my bad accent. 😀
6. Can you explain the title of the EP? Why Human Mask?
Actually, it’s More human mask, or Humanest mask. I don’t know which is right. As I made mention in the first answer it’s started from a demo. In this song I asked someone to wear a more humane mask for hiding her bad properties, features, such as lies,hypocrisy, charade, untrustworthiness. I asked her for more humanity.
I cannot explain it better. 😀 Sorry. So this song gave the title for the EP.
What I like about Mr Csernei is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously and he is really down to earth. He is not your typical metalhead/rockstar. He is actually an artist in a true sense of the word and a good friend of mine. I am posting his new stuff which is a different take on a Katy Perry song.
Dane Di Piero from Radiolab said that he is putting the Radiolab name to rest since he will be starting a new band soon. This came after he posted a picture of himself with his left hand in a cast via Instagram. Surprise, surprise we have the same situation! Mine is healing though, after I broke the right hand after fallingl two weeks ago. It strikes me that accidents can change a person’s perspective about life. You know, fresh eyes, fresh perspective, new direction, realisation etc….
Radiolab is a good project but like anything in life, change must happen. He said:
City Sketches is an EP with three songs. If you are familiar with the band Love Spirals Downwards then you will find that this duo share a bit of their sound in terms of atmosphere and vocal styles. City Sketches has an urban ‘pop’ feel without sacrificing the edgy appeal that they are known for.
It doesn’t matter if I don’t really pay attention to the lyrics of the first song City Sketch (feat. Sarai Jazz) because I think the song has accomplished what I want it to do-elevate the mood. My City Sleeps has that 80s New Wave synth sounds and again the Liz Fraser inspired vocals. From the Gutters of the Penthouses closes this EP with its instrumental goodness. It’s something you would like to listen to, coming home from work and staring at the ceiling while the moon swallows the metropolis.
It is sad that Radiolab is no more and that is why you better grab this EP. It’s so good!