Q&A: Floratone

Floratone: II

Floratone: II (Savoy Jazz, 3/6/12)

Floratone: “Move”

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Following its 2007 debut, Floratone was established as a highly collaborative and innovative musical force with no lack of original ideas. Comprised of guitarist Bill Frisell, drummer Matt Chamberlain (Critters Buggin), and producers Lee Townsend and Tucker Martine, the collective concerns itself with the art of “spontaneous compositions,” an approach that crosses from improvised jam sessions to cut-up production work and back again.

Floratone II was recorded over a two-year period, molded from a collaborative process of Frisell and Chamberlain laying down improvised musical motifs that were finished by accompaniments and tweaks from Townsend and Martine. For the second go-round, the members seem to have settled into a stronger dynamism, carving out vibrant layers of well-spaced grooves, rhythms, electronic ambience, and synth bursts.

And if the project wasn’t virtuosic enough, guest spots from Ron Miles, Eyvind Kang, Mike Elizondo, and distinguished soundtrack composer and producer Jon Brion make sure that all grounds are covered. We caught up with Martine to talk about the new record, Floratone’s collaborative process, and some of his favorite producers of all time.

The Black Heart Procession works with Lee “Scratch” Perry and Eluvium on new EP

Brooding indie rockers The Black Heart Procession have announced a limited-edition mini-album entitled Blood Bunny / Black Rabbit, to be released on October 12 (Temporary Residence Limited). The EP will include three new songs, a collaboration with reggae/dub pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry, and a 10-minute orchestral reconstruction of the song “Drugs” by ambient artist Eluvium.  Listen to the EP’s opening track below.

The Black Heart Procession: “Blank Page”


Additionally, in celebration of the album release, The Black Heart Procession will tour this fall alongside label-mate The Books (coming off its recent, stellar performance in Chicago’s Millennium Park).

BPM Counter: First Five of 2009

ALARM columnist Sean-Michael Yoder shares his first five electronic picks in 2009. The list includes Aether’s “melodic” Artifacts, London’s John Tejada with Fabric 44, the pop/dance beats of Hercules and Love Affair’s self-titled album, a Lollapalooza mix, and Jaga Jazzist leader Lars Horntveth’s 37-minute song, “Kaleidoscopic.”

What We’re Doing This Weekend

Shining (Norway)

CMJ in New York, Voodoo Experience in New Orleans, four great nights at Chicago’s Hideout, — this weekend is packed. Shudder to Think, Shining, Coliseum, Fucked Up, The Eternals, sBACH, Deacon John, and Pillars and Tongues are all among our recommendations to catch live.

Qui queues up for new album release

Though Qui has been a band for seven years, chances are, to some, they’ll be perceived as a brand new project. Since its inception, guitarist/vocalist Matt Cronk and drummer/vocalist Paul Christensen have been slugging it out as a two-piece, releasing their previous full-length, Baby Kisses, in 2003.