Friday, 23 March 2012

STREAM: AM And Shawn Lee - Celestial Electric

An album released last year, a digital copy was sent to me a few months ago, which I enjoyed immensely. This was due for a UK release in February, and a review will be coming to this blog soon. In the meantime have a listen..... A great album with a musical nature than spans many genres and visits many places. 


(From AM And Shawn Lee Facebook page)
"Celestial Electric finds L.A.-based indie-pop auteur AM and London-based groovemaster/experimentalist Lee pooling their talents to create a unique brand of electro-soul that achieves seamless pop perfection, while mining a startlingly broad array of stylistic influences. The resulting blend of heartfelt, warmly melodic songcraft and vivid, inventive soundscapes underlines the artists' abiding love for all manner of vintage genres, encompassing pop, soul, funk, jazz, Brazilian tropicalia, Turkish psychedelia, and soundtracks and library music from the '60s, '70s and '80s.

Celestial Electric's sleek, boundary-pushing approach is reflected on such uplifting tunes as the insightful generational anthem "Dark Into Light," the bittersweetly soulful "City Boy" and the hauntingly intimate "Can't Figure It Out," which merge irresistible melodicism with deeply distinctive grooves. Elsewhere, "The Signal" demonstrates the duo's penchant for exotic, eclectic arrangements, suggesting an '80s Bollywood synth-pop dance party, while the swaggeringly funky instrumental "Callahan" (named in honor of Clint Eastwood's '70s cop anti-hero Dirty Harry) conjures up a bracingly atmospheric vibe a la Lalo Schifrin, while adding a dollop of futuristic electronic melody. The twosome's irresistible pop sensibility also drives their effervescent reading of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' 1974 hit "Jackie Blue".

AM and Shawn Lee documented their recording process in Los Angeles and London through photos, emails, and behind the scenes studio videos. Andy Votel, U.K. DJ and tastemaker mixologist of Finders Keepers/B-Music fame, provided the album's cover design and liner notes. The album is now available worldwide."



"Celestial Electric, the first-ever collaboration by AM & Shawn Lee, sounds like summer, a drive along the beach, a packed nightclub at one o’clock in morning, a hot funky groove coming through the speakers of a hi-fi stereo via 1972...or maybe ’82. The album marks a creative milestone for both artists, offering timeless, deeply compelling music that showcases the duo's remarkable creative chemistry.
Celestial Electric finds L.A.-based indie-pop auteur AM and London-based groovemaster/experimentalist Lee pooling their talents to create a unique brand of electro-soul that achieves seamless pop perfection, while mining a startlingly broad array of stylistic influences. It's a resulting blend of heartfelt, warmly melodic songcraft and vivid, inventive soundscapes underlying the artists' abiding love for all manner of vintage genres, encompassing pop, soul, funk, jazz, Brazilian tropicalia, Turkish psychedelia, and soundtracks and library music from the '60s, '70s and '80s.

L.A.-based tunesmith AM has won widespread acclaim by merging pop, soul, folk, R&B and psychedelia into highly personalized songcraft. In addition to releasing several albums on various labels (including 2010's Future Sons & Daughters), he spent practically all of last year out on the road touring with a diverse range of artists including AIR, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Josh Rouse and legendary Brazilian tropicalia icon Caetano Veloso.

London-based composer/producer/instrumentalist Shawn Lee has established a reputation as a mischievous sonic innovator, releasing more than twenty genre-spanning albums of his original material, usually as Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra. He has worked on recording projects with Clutchy Hopkins, Saint Etienne, Arthur Verocai, Greyboy, Coldcut, Tony Joe White, Darondo, Money Mark and Tommy Guerrero and has opened for bands such as Phoenix and Sigur Ros.

The seeds for AM and Shawn Lee's collaboration on Celestial Electric were planted when AM heard Lee's Music and Rhythm album on L.A.'s KJazz, and was impressed enough to reach out to him online.

AM & Lee worked on Celestial Electric from their respective hometowns, trading ideas and tracks via email. Lee, armed with an early-'80s four-track deck and other vintage tape machines in his London studio, began by creating solo drum beats and sending them to AM, who wrote songs and lyrics over Lee's grooves, added vocals, guitars, bass and synths, then emailed the tracks back to Lee, who then added keyboards, percussion and a variety of instruments and mixed the tracks. The two commented on each other's work via email until each was happy with the result.
U.K. DJ and tastemaker mixologist Andy Votel, of Finders Keepers/B-Music fame, provided the album's cover design and liner notes.

www.facebook.com/amandshawnlee
www.amandshawnlee.com
videos: www.youtube.com/amsounds
Tumblr: www.amandshawnlee.tumblr.com"

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