M.A.N.D.Y, aka Philipp Jung and Patrick Bodmer, have carved a unique niche in electronic music by consistently selecting productions that induce their audience into a somatic frenzy. On the platform of their aptly titled Get Physical label, M.A.N.D.Y. has achieved massive success in colluding to create music that makes bodies move. “Body Language”, a collaboration with Booka Shade, was the ubiquitous hit of 2005 and M.A.N.D.Y.’s Fabric Series three years later cemented their reputation as two of the most captivating selectors on the planet. They play Clapham Common’s South West Four on Saturday, August 27th – the first day of the weekender festival – and join us for the second in our series of interviews with acts from the dance music event.
Karl Hyde and Rick Smith aka Underworld are the undisputed heavyweights of the electronic world. Famed for their techno/rock fusion, their sound has been acclaimed in both commercial and underground domains for more than 20 years. “Born Slippy” smashed both, a marriage of house, techno, drum & bass and pop. Featured in the iconic film Trainspotting, the chords form arguably one of the best-known dance tracks ever. Such epic crossovers have been a sturdy platform for success, having released six monstrous albums – including the best selling Oblivion With Bells On and the most recent Barking. They’ve gone from selling 500 singles out of the back of a van to sound tracking summer after summer as festival headliners at the likes of Glastonbury, Glade and the Love Parade. They played to rocking stadium-sized crowds during last year’s sell out concerts in London, Manchester and Glasgow and they’ve been one of the most influential acts of the past three decades. Jetting into the capital for a huge homecoming at SW4, Underworld will round off their festival with a headline set on Saturday, August 27th.
As festival season approaches, acts are gearing up for their chance to perform live outside to thousands of their fans and music lovers once more. Dubstep duo Nero and rapper Example kick off their season heading to Scotland for RockNess over the weekend of June 10th to 12th while Nero also have to head south to London for LED Festival in Victoria Park on Saturday 11th. zap! bang! Magazine caught up with both to find out about their preparations.
Ali Campbell, the legendary voice of UB40 is set to release his fourth solo album Great British Songs. Produced by Ali, with Sly & Robbie at the helm of the rhythm section, it is a collection of iconic British hits reinterpreted in a reggae style.
Beautiful Losers is the debut album from two men whose paths crossed and together created a wonderful testament to their prodigious musical heritage. Eddy Temple-Morris is XFM’s legendary trailblazer, DJ, producer, remixer and dance floor provocateur of the highest order is one half of Losers. The other is Tom Bellamy, a keyboard, FX pedal and guitarist whose chiseled cheekbones and wild techno-noise became an integral part of the progressive 1990s band The Cooper Temple Clause. Their legendary studio, ‘Bleak House’, became Tom’s domain when Coopers split and this Noughties British indie shrine in rural Berkshire was where Beautiful Losers was created. We caught up with Tom to find out what to expect from the album released next month.
Having been seen on tour recently with Frank Turner, acoustic king Ben Marwood is about to hit the festival circuit. Notably, he will be joining Frank Turner, The Subways, Metronomy and Bombay Bicycle Club at this year’s 2000Trees Festival. zap! bang! took a few minutes with Ben Marwood to see what he was most looking forward to.
Cats and Cats and Cats are one of the many upcoming acts to be performing alongisde The Subways, Metronomy and Frank Turner at Cheltenham’s 2000Trees festival. Designed as a showcase of the UK’s most exciting music talent, zap! bang! jumped at the chance to find out more…
In 1989 Sound Iration’s In Dub spearheaded a new age in homegrown British reggae, continuing a mission started by Nick Manasseh and Steve ‘Scruff’ Guilder which pioneered what became ‘UK steppers’. Since then Nick has been at the heart of London’s roots reggae scene as DJ, producer and radio presenter and on the eve of a re-release for In Dub, zap! bang! Magazine caught up with him to hear his thoughts about the current reggae scene.
Back at home in Canada, electro-popstar Lights is already a sensation. Having had her debut album The Listening crash into the Top 10, Lights was also rewarded with the Best New Artist gong at the Juno Awards – Canada’s answer to the Grammies. With the homeland captivated, Lights has decided to spread her magic further afield, with her herat set on scoring a chart hit on this side of the Atlantic. Her distinct flavour of electro-pop has been heard most recently alongside Owl City, whom she has supported on tour. zap! bang! managed to catch five minutes with Lights as she prepeares for the release of debut single “Ice”.
Having missed the UK Top 40 with their seasonal offering “Wishing You A Happy Christmas”, Boston quintet The Hush Now are far from dissapointed. Having their sights set firmly on British stardom, The Hush Now release their second album Constellations on February 22nd. With a new line-up and determined attitude, lead singer Noel Kelly seems optimistic about the future when he speaks to zap! bang!
The Scottish music scene has always been a notable affair. The country that has spawned the likes of Del Amitri, The Proclaimers and Franz Ferdinand is already proving that 2010 could be their year to reclaim the top of the charts. Alongside Twin Atlantic and The Frightened Rabbit are brother duo Oswald, who have asked their current fanbase to help them make some instrumental decisions. The public chose the tragic tale “Flying To The Ground” as the pair’s next single after an online vote. zap! bang! took a moment to talk to lead singer Tom McCreery about the impact of social networking on the band.
26-year jazz trumpeter, composer and producer Christian Scott is fast becoming one of the hottest properties on the contemporary jazz scene. Having already received much critical acclaim, his forthcoming duet with Scroobius Pip is only the latest in a long line a high profile collaborations. Previous projects have seen him pairing up with Prince, Jill Scott and Mos Def, so it is little surprise that Christian is opening up the jazz scene to a younger market. A lot has changed for Christian since his 2006 debut Rewind That, but on the dawn on his fourth solo venture You Said Yesterday Tomorrow Christian is facing a new challenge — the British market. With pop-jazz currently pleasing the public, can Christian entice the Brits into something slightly more authentic? zap! bang! took a moment to find out.
Having formed in 1988 as a quintet, Boyz II Men lost founding member Marc Nelson before even being signed. The remaining four, Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris and Michael McCarry carried on undeterred. 1990 saw them sign to Motown Records and the rest as they say is history. With 60 million album sales under their belt and unforgettable hits including “End Of The Road”, I’ll Make Love To You and the massive Mariah Carey duet “ One Sweet Day”, it is little surprise that Boyz II Men want to celebrate their 20th anniversary in style. Now a trio, following the departure of Michael McCarry in 2003 due to chronic back problems, Boyz II Men have just released their ninth studio album Love and will be embarking on a tour of the UK in late 2010. Shawn Stockman took 15 minutes out to reminisce with zap! bang!
Electro maestro Vitalic, aka Pascal Arbez, released his second album Flashmob last year to widespread acclaim. The man behind dancefloor favourite “La Rock 01” is on the road touring an impressive new live show featuring two mirrored walls and mesmerising graphics. Ahead of his visits to the UK and Ireland, zap! bang! was granted an interview to find out how Pascal’s latest opus came about and get an indication of who to look out for in 2010.
“I know it sounds very diva-ish but I’ve just been speaking to the director of my music video.” Self-proclaimed ‘Soccer-Mum turned Rocker-Mum’ Stacey Jackson is having a hectic day. In the build up to the recording of the promotional video for her forthcoming single “I Hear A Symphony” lifted from her album Upside Down, Jackson has already had a costume fitting and a somewhat challenging meeting with her video’s director when zap! bang! get a moment to chat to the London based Canadian. “I wanted to find a way that I could include my own kids somehow in the video. And he’s all professional and not a big fan of having kids on board, I was like, “You know what, I want my kids involved somehow, so let’s just figure this out.” I have four children, so two of them are completely written into the script and that’s easy. The other two I am trying to find a way that I can even just have them in the video for a split second. I can’t have two kids and not the other two kids in the video because that’s not fair. We’re busy arguing about that.”
“Our music business is different from being a sportsman. Being a sportsman you peak when you are twentysomething. You are old when you are thirty, I have to laugh at that sometimes. A tennis player can be in his late twenties and they will talk about him as if he is 90, which I find quite sad. Or a footballer who is 29-years-old, well I suppose he only has a year or two left, I think how negative, the poor guy. If the poor guy was to really take that in, he’d probably go and top himself. In our business you can go on until you are, I don’t know.” Billy Ocean may turn 60 in January, but Trinidad’s finest is far from ready to retire. Having taken a break from the music industry to raise his family, Ocean decided to finally return to his passion. “Well, I’m getting accustomed to it again. I’ve been back out there since 2007 and I’m trying to make the most of it. Enjoy myself as much as I can. And the people, you know, they come to see me so I have to be the best that I can. On my best behaviour at all times, so I try to do that.”
“Sorry, I’m just laughing cos you said Zap! Bang! It sounds like a 60s superhero or something!” Ella Montclare is giggling, it is a good start to the interview. Trip-hops latest potential superstar isn’t really a newcomer to music industry. “Being background was really nice for me as it was the safe place to be,. They had all the pressure and I could just go ‘la la la’ behind.” Having spent years as a background for the likes of Babyface, Montclare was never sure about the spotlight. “I didn’t know if I wanted to be a front person, I wasn’t sure it was for me. But the turning point was when I did those songs for Steve Baughman in America, basically I came back to UK and put them on MySpace. Then, what happened was I got an incredible reaction. I had all these people writing to me asking about the album. I thought I was making music for myself and my friends and I don’t think without MySpace I would have ever got much further. The major turning point was the reaction. I thought I could make an album and people would buy it. It’s such a positive arena. Now being up front is great, it is a dream come true.”
Alex Davies and Ed Minton first had the idea of forming a band whilst students at Uppingham School in York. Davies had been on course for a career as a concert violinist, when Minton introduced him to the world of rock. The pair set about recording and writing, taking a gap year after finishing at Uppingham School in 2005 to focus on their music. During that year, Davies bumped into his childhood chum Dan Hetherton and invited him and his brother Ed to join the group. Then came Ali Paul, another of Davies’ childhood pals to complete the line-up. Initially performing as The Academy, before changing their name to Elliot Minor, the group built up a fanbase locally and online. In 2006 came a life changing competition win, which saw the group support McFly on tour, leading to a record deal and a hit debut eponymous album. Record company issues followed, with Elliot Minor leaving their Warner Bros. deal. Fans waited with baited breath whilst the quintet got their act together. Finally they can breathe, with the difficult second album Solaris finally on shelves. zap! bang! grabbed a few moments with lead singer Alex Davies to find out what really went on.
In 2007, Ryan Idzi thought he had the X Factor. Reaching Boot Camp, he was an early favourite. However, when he forgot his words, his dream was shattered. Heartbroken, Idzi returned to his day job in the British Army. However, it wasn’t long till he got an unexpected letter that would set his singing dreams in motion once again. Lance Corporal Ryan Idzi was about to embark on a new mission. Teaming up with Sergeant Major Gary Chilton and Sergeant Richie Maddocks, they were to form the singing trio The Soldiers. Little did they know that their project would launch them to stardom. Debut album Coming Home has already reached number four in the album charts, while the trio have performed in front of the Queen. Idzi took a few moments out of his hectic schedule to tell zap! bang! all about it.
Ingrid Michaelson is the latest indie queen. Following in a long line of American singer/songwriters, Michaelson’s talent and sheer determination finally paid off when her 2007 album Girls and Boys sold over 400,000 copies on her label Cabin 24 Records. The album’s success was prompted by the hit single “The Way I Am”, which benefited from Old Navy placing it in a commercial. “The Way I Am” went on to sell 1.5 million copies, whilst her song “Keep Breathing” was used in 2007’s season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. Having already visited the UK to support Jason Mraz on tour, Ingrid Michaelson has just released her fourth album Everybody as her UK debut. zap! bang! grabbed a few moments with Michaelson to talk about being the latest indie star.
Fans of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing may not know the name Hayley Sanderson, but they will be sure to recognise her silky smooth vocals. Peterborough-born Sanderson’s profile was raised after her haunting rendition of “Moon River” during the 2008 series. Sanderson, who has been a regular vocalist at Ronnie Scott’s and can be heard both as a singer and saxophonist in Pink Floyd tribute band Think Floyd, has finally been offered the chance to record her own record. Her vintage reworkings of timeless classics can be heard on debut album Just Songs. With 2009’s Strictly Come Dancing drawing to a close and an album to talk about, zap! bang! grabbed a few moments with Sanderson to see who she is backing.
Formed in 1992, Walthamstow boys Tony Mortimer, Brian Harvey, John Hendy and Terry Coldwell reached worldwide fame as East 17. Launched at a time when the boyband was prevalent, East 17 were the grittier alternative to nice boys Take That. All went well for five years as the quarter achieved hit after hit — from “Deep” their Gabrielle duet “If You Ever” via Christmas Number One “Stay Another Day”, however things turned sour when in 1997 singer Brian Harvey claimed Ecstasy “can make you a better person”. Harvey saw himself sacked and soon after songwriter Tony Mortimer parted with Hendy and Coldwell due to creative differences. All of a year later, Hendy and Coldwell invited Harvey back into the fold and they relaunched themselves as the trio E-17 with somewhat limited success. Mortimer, till now, has refused to rejoin his former band mates. However, having been asked by Born Free to join Bryan Adams, Peter Andre, Mutya Buena and Gabriella Cilmi in the line-up for their Wild & Live concert on November 14th, Mortimer decided that instead of launching his new solo material he would treat fans to much awaited reunion. zap! bang! jumped at the chance to find out more from Tony Mortimer.
“I suppose in the beginning we kind of expected to be successful otherwise we wouldn’t have done it. No, I don’t think we’d have thought that in thirty years time we’d being doing this, so I don’t think we even imagined it really. So the length of our careers is a little bit of a surprise.” UB40 are one of the most successful British bands ever. Formed in 1978 by a non-musical group of Birmingham school friends, their first instrument was bought with compensation money former lead singer Ali Campbell received shortly after his 17th birthday. Spotted by Chrissie Hynde, the group were offered a supporting slot on The Pretenders tour. 70 million album sales later, UB40 are still going strong with two albums set for release and an impending UK tour, zap! bang! managed to grab a quick chat with drummer James Brown.
Sannie Carlson may not be a name you all recognise. Sannie had studied music before becoming a successful model. A chance meeting with producer Larry Pignagnoli transformed the 23-year-old Dane’s life forever. He decided to rename the pretty blonde Whigfield and launched her with the song Saturday Night in 1993. The song became a phenomenon, with Whigfield become the first non-UK or US act to debut at number one in the UK Top 40. Far from a one-hit-wonder, Whigfield has notched up an impressive five albums with Sannie balancing her work as a performer with songwriting. zap! bang! jumped at the chance to speak to the 90s icon about then and now.
Singer/Songwriter Daniel Hart saw his group Love Revue’s popularity jump when they won the Samsung £400 ‘Share’ Campaign with “Soothe My Soul”. The London-based performers suddenly saw themselves launched into the realms of national radio. Undeterred, they set about recording and releasing their debut album Love Revue — a 70s inspired radio friendly collection — and have teamed up with Swedish songstress Therese and the BBC introduced The Fuel for their UK tour. zap! bang! grabbed a few moments with Daniel Hart to find out more…