There has been an ongoing competition regarding Dead Can Dance’s latest video “Children of the Sun” and the winner was announced today. Jeronimo Albornoz won the prize with a fantastic video but I must say that every single entry is a masterclass of videography and they are all beautiful.
Dead Can Dance have been touring for a while and I have my tickets ready for the 2nd of July to see them. I erred and wondered over getting the album of the tour prior to seeing them live but in many ways I’m glad I have. It’s a great way to sample how this tour sounds live but has also grounded me from feeling a twinge of disappointment too.
The entire album of Anastasis is included on In Concert and each song sounds nigh on identical to the album versions. “Kiko” feels a bit faster, as do a few of the tracks, but in the main they sound identical – apart from the vocals. Brendan’s vocals in general sound excellent while Lisa’s sound slightly weaker in volume than she has done in previous years. There’s no frenzy ala “Cantara” from “Towards the Within”. There are vague flashes of it for a few seconds but it felt like she needed to be turned up a bit in the mix!
Aside from the Anastasis tracks we have faithful versions of “Rakim”, “Sanvean”, “Nierika” and “Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove” the latter of which sounds like it fits the new album perfectly. There’s a good version of the unreleased outside of a live CV “Dreams Made Flesh” which is a fantastic Lisa/Dulcimer track that is a personal favourite too. “The Host of Seraphim” is given a slightly different tone because Brendan provides a lot of low harmonies and drones to the music. There is also throughout the concert a third female vocalist whom provides a lot of backing vocals but here she helps fill up the speakers with a great tonal range.
That leaves two previously unheard tracks. Brendan leads on them both. “Song to the Siren” frankly sounds a bit ropey and its partly due to the vocal delivery and partly due to harsh reverb that’s placed onto the vocal itself. It pales in comparison to Elizabeth Frasier and its a difficult thing to say but it’s unavoidable because Elizabeth and Lisa stand together in many ways. However “Lamma Badda” is an excellent playful track. Mixing keyboards, a Moorish beat and Eastern guitar it weaves something quite ancient and wondrous.
Whilst it’s not quite reaching the dizzy heights of “Towards the Within”, “In Concert” showcases a powerful duo whom make some amazing timeless music. A good entry point for the band and enough to keep fans happy for more.
Dead Can Dance have visited KCRW and performed a short twenty minute set which you can now see in its entirety by following the link here. I’m very excited to see them in July!
Dead Can Dance have their live album from their reunion Anastasis tour ready for release on the 22nd April but you can stream it now from rolling stone. HPM will be reviewing the album once its arrived and HPM will also be going to the 2nd July date at The Roundhouse in London. Excitement is not the word!
Stream the album in full here
In 2012 I felt that actually some of my usual favourite artists played it very safe and therefore when I came to look at whose made the top 10 albums of the year, there are four completely new artists to me and two that I’ve only known since last year. That’s exciting for my ears for the years to come.
A few self-imposed rules are in this time round. Tori Amos’ Gold Dust (not that it’d have made it) and Patrick Wolf’s “Sundark & Riverlight” (could have done) are reworks of older music that I’ve chosen to ignore them. Also Atticus Finch & Imogen Heap, despite making some of my favourite music, have done only singles in 2012 and therefore isn’t included as there’s no album yet. A separate top 10 for game soundtracks will feature later.
Honourable Mentions: Jesca Hoop, A City on A Lake, Module, Garbage & Sunday Lane.
10) Arcana – As Bright As A Thousand Suns
Arcana have been around for years and I preferred the more melodic and percussive band effort compared to the melancholic Peter Bjargo solo album. It’s one of those albums you feel like you’ve already known for ages with the beautiful mesh of different instruments from aeons passed.
Try Out: As Bright As A Thousand Suns
I had never heard of the band before a “You may like” on Amazon presented their album to me. From just the samples I felt like I’d been on a journey. The guitar work, the way the tracks just build and build into life defining climaxes and the vocal and string arrangements are simply amazing.
Try Out: Lightning Song
The wonderfully detuned and mumble happy Soap&Skin returned with a short but beautifully formed second album fusing her piano and industrial bleep roots together. What was made see’s her ripping her heart out and smearing it over your speakers. Her screams are like yelps and the quiet moments are like lullaby’s for the lost.
Try Out: Boat Turns Toward the Port
Rifftastic bass/drum duo Clatter blasted back onto my speakers in 2012 with their best album to date mixing nutty percussive chops, strong vocals and euphoric choruses to mosh to. I still feel like I have to tell everyone there’s only two in the duo as there’s so much sound coming from them – it’s my favourite rock album of 2012.
Try Out: Strawberry Park
Yes, they are an indie rock group but I don’t think of them as a rock group – they’re like a spacious story group. Alt-J go out of their way to make sure no song follows a well trodden path and their lyrics are cryptically awesome. I’m so glad they got the Mercury Prize this year although I hope that doesn’t mean doom like so many others before them.
Try Out: Breezeblocks
Internet sensation for her music video strangeness, Kin marked her first full album release. It’s dirty, filthy, emotive and like you’re freaking out in slow motion. I personally love the way it all feels together as one seamless piece in a way and when played with the barmy DVD of continuous music videos telling a story of sorts, it only draws you further into the world of Kin.
Try Out: Drops
Such an early release in 2012, Lila Rose became my favourite album in 2012 for a lot of it until some later releases pushed it down. The mix of pop beats along with mature alternative slants, minor keys and Lila’s very downbeat vocal delivery that suggests knowledge beyond her years all merge perfectly to make easily the best radio playable album of 2012. It’s like she’s found her own mini percussive piano pop genre for herself.
Try Out: Casting Shadows
Recently reviewed a few weeks ago, Carina Round’s latest album is such a repost to clean-cut music. Messy, harrowing, haunting, unleashed and furious in places, Tigermending’s synth alt-rock mash-up goes out its way to tell you stories from the bottle of every bottle and alleyway. Carina has never sounded so good and she can still push out anthemic ballads too.
Try Out: Weird Dream
Fiona’s output is slow at best but it is always worth the wait. In many ways The Idler Wheel is her most direct and simple to date but with the purity comes the undistilled emotional impact of each song. Her vocals rasp and growl, her melodies stay stuck in your head for days and way the album comes together as a whole is phenomenal.
Try Out: Anything We Want
After thinking for many year it would never happen I was delighted to have Dead Can Dance back together and their album proved that sometimes when two people work together magic happens regardless. An exercise in music of period and territories, each track pushes off into different versions of the Middle East. The instrumentation is rich, the melodies are sumptuous, the vocals of Brendan and Lisa are as strong as ever and although the album feels like they are separate in many ways, you can feel looking deeper how each has effected the other. Mesmerising.
Try Out: Kiko
And there we have it. My favourite albums of 2012.
Don’t forget you can also listen or even buy my latest studio album here too which I would be blessed to be considered in anyone elses top 10 of anything
The top 10 game soundtracks of 2012 will feature soon.
Dead Can Dance have released some absolutely beautiful music videos from their latest album whilst they tour some stunning locations around the world. Take a look at these time lapse beauties:
Finally in the Live Vault trio its Dead Can Dance whom I can’t find a ticket for anywhere! Here’s two songs from Brendan that aren’t on an album but are both beautiful.
And a few others too:
Dead Can Dance are back! After far too long away from our speakers they’ve reunited. I’ve followed and thoroughly enjoyed their solo projects but sometimes things come together when you pair greats up. The eight track “Anastasis” is very much a tour de force and in many ways it feels a natural progression.
“Children of the Sun” opens the album, where vocal duties are split firmly down the middle. Brendan’s vocals have only became more soulful and wise over time. His recent solo album has a real influence over the general sound of the album but no more so than here. The album constantly flows in a mid tempo and the song builds and builds to its almighty fanfare finale. It makes you wait but the emotion by feeling the explosion is worth it. It’s great to hear the Yang Chin in full swing too. “Anabasis” veers more towards the spooky oriental with Lisa’s mysterious vocal delivery we’re now all so familiar with leading the way while a hang drum makes it début into the instrument collection and fits beautifully. Lisa’s vocals are more soothing than powerful throughout the record aside from the next track.
“Apage” continues the lean towards the Middle East with some fantastic bent string arrangements that do their very best to miss any specific note and just float and soar around them. Lisa’s vocals are left off the reigns around the stunning arrangements. Dead Can Dance have always had some top-notch melodies and bridges and this is not exception. “Amnesia” is a spacious track full of reverb and Brendan’s deep voice floating away over the piano and keyboards. Again it builds into a symphonic triumph. Brendan led tracks have this intense building to them which I particularly enjoyed.
“Kiko” has a great time signature to it as the Asian influence seeps through the instrumentation and even the guitar solo. It’s another mid paced track but the percussion is particularly foreboding and it feels almost like a march to the death. “Opium” is possibly the most pacey track on the album with lots of percussion and the hang drum returning to beat out the melody. It another excellent track before you break into the only track where both Lisa and Brendan really interact together. “Return of the She-King” starts off with synthesized bag pipes before mellowing into a collage of Lisa’s vocals that slowly envelope and rouse the track into something regal and noble. The final third then explodes into a fanfare of keyboards and both our members overlapping almost in call and response. It’s a real stand out part of the album. The album then closes with “All in Good Time” which reminds me of Archangel from Brendan’s first album but replacing guitars with keyboards. It’s a sweet closure.
Anastasis is a fantastic album. It’s a little one tempo if I were heavily critical but each song has such a different dynamic that actually you don’t notice until afterwards. It’s great to have them back with us and I hope there’s more to come in the future!
Whilst it is an unofficial video, it is very well done plus is gives us more anticipation of their new album out next month. The album is available to stream in full already but I’d rather wait until the CD is in my hands before I pass official judgement. From what I’ve heard though, I am astounded as ever.
Dead Can Dance are releasing their new album – their first of new material together since 1996. They’ve released a song for free from the new album and its the radio edit of a track called “Amnesia”. Just pop over to this website and stick in your e-mail address.
The tracks great. It’s a Brendan led track and very similar to the style of his latest solo album “Ark”, which I love. The album’s new at the end of the year.
Brendan Perry announced today that he and Lisa Gerrard will reform Dead Can Dance for a new album and world tour in 2012! We’ve been hoping for years it’ll happen and seems like it was almost on the cards after their tour in 2005 but finally now it’s come to fruition. Watch the press conference here.
Something slightly different, Baraka was released in 1992 as something of a lardmark film. Baraka is a visual/audio experience quite unlike anything I’ve really come across. It takes cultures from all around the world and then slowly envelopes fantastic artistic camera work with some powerful music of various eras and nations. It’s really something that you don’t sit down to lightly watch, its something to really get lost and engaged in, so long as you appreciate the sheer art of the film. Baraka features some of the best world music I’ve listened to. Dead Can Dance are probably the best known but Michael Stearus’ own otherworldly layers are phenominal too. Once combined with the poetry in motion on screen, something special happens.
If you’re able to get the 2 disc edition, disc 2 has a really in depth making of documentary that’s actually longer than the original film but is really interesting to see how they came about what they ended up with.
You can see the movie trailer here.
Well was there really any doubt? OverClocked Remix absolutely smashed the charts with almost more views on OCR posts than the rest of the site put together! Only Imogen Heap’s track listing for her latest album Ellipse was able to pull in big numbers too. Interesting we had almost exactly the same number of visitors as June (14 difference) and it was our third most viewed month of the sites history. We did break one new record, our first day with more than 200 hits! August should be a great month too. Let’s enjoy the summer!
01) OverClocked Remix (RE)
02) Imogen Heap (v)
03) Brendan Perry (^)
04) Utada (^)
05) Vienna Teng (v)
06) Hiroki Kikuta (RE)
07) Akira Yamaoka (v)
08) Natalie Imbruglia (NE)
09) Patrick Wolf (v)
10) Dead Can Dance (v)
Top 3 Games Reviews
02) Trash Panic
03) Magic Ball
June missed being our most busiest month by just 21 hits so March 09 still holds the crown of busiest month – however for the first time ever one artist completely outrun everyone else by such a margin, their top post (our most viewed post this month) had more hits than the second, third and fourth busiest posts combined! Well done the Imogen Heap – everyone’s gone mad over the tracklist for Ellipse and we’ll be buying the album on release day so expect a sharp review on the day (provided its in shops – we couldn’t get a copy for Speak For Yourself in a store and had to buy online and wait). Patrick Wolf, Dead Can Dance & Vienna Teng’s album reviews all followed behind. Here’s the top 10 artists followed by the only two game reviews on site (we will be doing a top 5 game hits too). Congrats to Lisa Germano for making a new entry and Tori Amos, number 1 last month, dropped straight back out the charts again! June should be a busy month with lots of reviews not just here, but over on new site I Love Disaster Movies, which is another personal indulgence to another hobby of mine! Enjoy the summer!
01) Imogen Heap (1 Month)
02) Patrick Wolf (RE)
03) Dead Can Dance (RE)
04) Vienna Teng (-)
05) Akira Yamaoka (^)
06) Utada (v)
07) Brendan Perry (-)
08) Sarah Slean (v)
09) Lisa Germano (NE)
10) Yasunori Mitsuda (RE)
Brendan Perry has just released the first studio recording of Dead Can Dance from 1982. The songs “A Means of Escape” is available to download from Brendan Perry’s website. It keeps true to the début albums more rockier sound with Brendan on vocals. It’s pretty good too with the strange percussive bells rounding off the song.
Slightly delayed it may be, but here are the top ten artists that have been viewed for April 2009 which saw a bit of a change at the top with Utada taking top step from Tori Amos, Vienna Teng & Sarah Slean! Congrats to everyone on the list and here’s to another great month which will be full of new content (and a bit more prolific than last month!). However, it was our second busiest month of the sites history despite it being one of the quietest in terms of new content. May will be a busy one!
01) Utada (RE)
02) Tori Amos (^)
03) Vienna Teng (^)
04) Sarah Slean (v)
05) Brendan Perry (v)
06) Dead Can Dance (NE)
07) OverClocked Remix (v)
08) PJ Harvey (RE)
09) Akira Yamaoka (v)
10) Hiroki Kikuta (RE)
With each album Dead Can Dance turn to a different place in time and space. With “Aion” the time and place is the French Renaissance. From jaunty jigs to mystical chants, the album delights from one end to the other.
“The Arrival and the Reunion” opens the album with a powerful chant led by Lisa Gerrard’s otherworldly vocal talent. There’s many backing vocals that support her and push this short song into the forefront of your mind. Followed is the jaunty jig that is “Salterello” that is a beautiful instrumental. The drums pound away (with kudos to the huge bass drum) while entwining pipes bring you an infectious riff that doesn’t leave your side when the song is finished. If the album didn’t flow so well as a one listen piece, you’d have this song on repeat. The ambience of “Mephisto” is a short but sweet string piece using many archaic instruments.
“The Song of Sibyl” signals the next section of the album with a haunting piece led by Gerrard and an eerie church organ. The tension can be felt like electrical pulses in this song. “Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book” is the first song with Brendan Perry singing and its a simplistic song on the surface with lots of hidden instrumental depth to it. It’s a bit like a wind up song that builds up and up and then slowly ebbs away and the playing of the stringed instruments is exceptional. “As the Bells Ring the Maypole Spins” follows on as a joyous song. The pipe playing is at the forefront with some excellent vocals from Gerrard as one of her more uplifting songs to date.
“The End of Words” is a calming vocal duet that signals the start of act three as it envelops you with its arms before “Black Sun” pushes you away and screams at you. Possibly my favourite track of the album, Perry’s vocals and the tense impending doom that surrounds the entire track really hit home in what is generally a soothing and quiet album. “Wilderness” quickly returns to a soothing vocal piece as if to reassure you its all ok! “The Promised Womb” is a more abstract piece of string and vocal rollings which has never fully grabbed me. “The Garden of Zephirus” is a bird singing, flute playing ambient section that leads to the final track “Radharc” which comes across almost Asian influenced in a way. This track is a favourite too as its got a good beat and a sense of urgency about it.
“Aion” is very much a mood piece. It’ll take you on a journey and some songs as a standalone aren’t as effective as when they are played as part of the album. However the overall feel is one of being transported away to some other plain and that’s what Dead Can Dance have always done best.
While trawling through the vast lands of YouTube I came across a bizarre but fantastic live performance of an unreleased Dead Can Dance song entitled “The Children’s Toy” recorded back in 1986! Lots of DCD’s live content wasn’t always released so it’s great to still have new stuff surfacing after all these years!
Dead Can Dance recorded this, their 3rd album back in 1985. In the days of LP’s and cassettes you could split a record. Lisa Gerrard takes the B-Side, Brendan Perry takes the A-Side and each has four tracks that fall onto your ears like a doomsday apocalypse raining down on your soul in crystal drops of heaven.
“Anywhere in the World” sets the tone with echoing synths and swirling melodies and Brendan crying out for a saviours arms. “Windfall” is where the orchestral side really begins to seep through with this instrumental piece of tension while “In The Wake of Adversity” sees brass and strings pumping out a pointed march to the bows of hell. “Xavier” closes the first half with dramatic effect. This song expands and expands and expands into a enormous climax and remains as one of my favourite DCD tracks.
Side 2 bursts into action with the dramatic battle cry of “Dawn of the Iconoclast” which leads into the iconic “Cantara”. This song showcases Lisa’s impassioned vocals however it sounds much better on the live DVD as the studio performance is a little darker and less fraught and much more hypnotic. Instead the winner of the dramatic Lisa song goes to “Summoning of the Muse” which its mesmerizing vocal lines and heavy reverb on the ringing bells leave you standing on the edge of a mountain top. The album then ends with “Persephone” which is like the twin of “In the Wake of Adversity” with marching strings and dark chord patterns.
“Within the Realms of a Dying Sun” is a classic album which fans of any kind of alternative music should enjoy. It’s unique and universal all at once and I’ve been smitten with it since day one.
Every Friday there will be a live performance posted here for people to watch. The first edition comes from the fantastic Dead Can Dance with their genreless, timeless and mystical sound. I’ve taken a song called “Dreams Made Flesh” which showcase Lisa’s vocals and Brendan’s music playing a Yang Chin. Such a unique talent…