April 27th 2018
Once again, Amanita Design has, for their next collaboration, invited the duo DVA, who previously worked on the soundtrack for the Botanicula game. Their entertaining game entitled Chuchel was released in the Spring as a follow up to their successful (third) sequel, Samorost. This is a comedy-tuned game packed with situational humour, tasks and jigsaw puzzles, featuring Chuchel as the main character and Kekel as his rival. The soundtrack could not be written by non-other than the DVA duo. They let their imagination run wild and created the crazy Cherries On Air (Chuchel Soundtrack). The soundtrack will be finally released for wider distribution on April 27th (digital download and streaming services), and physically on red 12” vinyl on May 31st.
Bára Ungerová and Jan Kratochvíl take full advantage of their musical creativity, including their own language (in this case, perhaps the closest to English). They have packed the set of twenty-three tracks with a handful of preludes and interludes that are interwoven with regular melodies with near poplike contours. Their own humour is also present (reflected in the titles of the tracks), while also present is playfulness, attention to detail, and the childlike excitement of the world of Chuchel and Kekel. Cherries On Air is fast-paced and spirals forward, just like the action sequences of the game itself. Also present are sampled bustle effects and pre-recorded loops of distorted human voices, almost as if Bára and Jan intended to transform all the virtual dialogues of the characters from the game itself. The variety begins with the splendid Buena Vista Chuchel Club, and the captivating Chuchel Walk With Me leads to a dreamlike alternative world of the secretive maze of puzzles. On the other hand, the Young Chuchels is interwoven with rap and “Labyrinth presents itself as an unexpected ambient final touch. The Botanicula Soundtrack is, therefore, a less madcap vanguard than Cherries On Air (Chuchel Soundtrack) although it can be assumed that this was the intention of the duo from the beginning.
Project DVA have been active since 2006. They combine many genres in their music, including cabaret, circus numbers, beatbox, freak folk, acoustic and electronic music - according to the duo, it is a variation of pop without specific borders and boundaries with its own (fictional) language. An important item in their discography is the previously mentioned soundtrack for the Botanicula game. "DVA have successfully managed to get their microcosmos on Botanicula to the next level. The experience has been strengthened by them once again revisiting their childhood, their frolics with individual melodic elements while the vocal inserts work and click into each other like the most beautiful kaleidoscope,” emphasizes Dan Hájek at the end of his review on musicserver.cz; everything that was said also applies to their new musical adventure on Cherries On Air (Chuchel Soundtrack).
LP [180 gram LP on transparent red vinyl] can be pre-ordered in the online store now. All pre-orders will be shipped on May 31st.
November 10th 2017
Today is the release date of an incredible Are We Now Here or Nowhere? album by Hey!zeus.i and Radimo, a duo who have teamed up to record an album that is an unconventional fusion of jazz and hip-hop. It took six long years for the final version of the Are We Now Here or Nowhere? to see the light of day and the release of this original material can be seen as the natural outcome of this long-term collaboration. The album features several other excellent musicians. For example, Hey!zeus's partner from Obba Supa, Teknical Development.IS, other unmistakable vocalists such as King Kashmere of Strange U and Stacy Epps who to date has released two albums, the Ruff Draft and The Awakening. Honza 'Watcha' Koukal is featured on bass guitar and Blue Daisy (real name Kwesi Darko) on keyboards , who has previously worked with Tricky and Snow Ghosts ; the list of his remixes include items such as the hit Night Air from Jamie Woon and Stay The Same from the works of Bonobo.
Radimo from the Champion Sound band met his producer and rapper in person for the first time a long time ago in London, and many years later recalls this meeting: When I happened to meet Hey!zeus back in 2008 in the London Jazz Café, I did not have a clue that such a paramount connection was being born. This became clear after our first studio session. I have never experienced such creative freedom in terms of an instrumentalist-producer collaboration as with him. Most tracks were recorded on the first take, so the first thing that comes to me is recorded, the initial inspiration as it were, and in most cases, it also ended in this raw form on the track. Sometimes with crazy effects, other times in several layers. Their first track recorded together was Annunaki Ninja Trials, which was released in a digital form as early as 2011, revealing where their joint creative efforts were heading, i.e. combining free jazz and hip-hop with a more classic jazz form and a large dose of psychedelia.
The basis of each fragment, as previously mentioned, was their jam sessions that were always recorded and followed by the edge grinding stage. In addition to sound experimenting, the melodic preludes gradually came to the forefront, creating a form of bridging of these rumble loops. Radimo also played a wide range of wind instruments (alto and soprano saxophones, flutes) percussion, keyboard instruments while many sounds “came straight from his mouth” (voices, whistles). The electronics are really just an allusion that sort of hang around; even then individual tempos and beats were created in other ways than by programming. Are We Now Here or Nowhere? talks to the audience with sweeping instrumentation and the voices themselves (and not only those of the guest protagonists) often become another instrument used to create the final version of a given composition. Individual jazz forms blend into each other, from free variations through to contemporary cuttings right to the wood, the most traditional form. Their counterparts are the hip-hop building elements and Hey!zeuse´s studio work.
2LP [180 gram LP on black vinyl] can be purchased in the online store now.