John Talabot

If there is one person, who has been causing a stir on the international club circuit recently, it is Barcelona’s John Talabot. Already his debut “My Old School“ (which is meant literally by the way) on Permanent Vacation in 2009 and shortly after that the single “ Sunshine”, which he put out on his own Hivern Disc imprint, made him one of the most promising musicians of the Spanish electronic scene. And those two releases also already set the mark for John Talabot’s unparalleled music: raw, loopy, heavy on the kick drum, sample based, moderate on the tempo, distorted on the drums and light years away from the clean and ever revolving house sound of today. This unique style which also blends influences from afro beat, Detroit techno, Chicago house and cosmic disco, but also northern soul or the energy of Flamenco, immediately turned some heads around. James Murphy, Âme and Aeroplane started including Talabot music in their sets like it was the most natural thing. However – and this is quite rare – he not only gained legions of fans in the house and disco community, but also amongst the leftfield pop and indie rock followers. NME and Resident Advisor both had “Breakthrough“ features on John Talabot and he can be proud of a “Best New Music“ dubbing on Pitchfork. (Being rather elusive on showing his face in magazines or the web it also came to some funny rumors that John Talabot was the alter ego of a well-known techno producer from Detroit).

At the same time he drew the attention of like-minded artists like James Holden and Luke Abott from Border Community, Blondes or Delorean, which lead to a bunch of fertile collaborations: Luke Abbot and Blondes remixed Talabot’s “Sunshine“ single , John Talabot remixed a track by Delorean and vice versa Delorean’s Ekhi contributed vocals to the track “Journeys “ on John’s album). Another example is the Young Turks Label (home of Jamie XX, Holy Fuck, El Guincho or SBTRKT ) on which he released the “Families“ EP in 2010. It was praised beyond limits. Pitchfork for instance hailed: “… where pop and house influences sweetly buffer up against one another to provide an unyielding sense of elation“ and even brought Talabot a comparison with artists like Four Tet or Caribou.

While staying true to his sound, John Talabot has nevertheless shown a constant evolution as a producer since his first release. He has traced a solid musical path that has turned him into one of the big references of European House and has made him also a highly in demand Remixer (for the likes of The XX, Francesco Tristano’s “Aufgang” project, Shit Robot on DFA, Thaiti 80, Joakim or Teengirl Fantasy to name just a few ).

A progression that now crystallizes in “ƒin”, his first full-length album for Permanent Vacation. A record, in which the Barcelona mastermind sets aside the danceable immediacy to expand his stylistic palette more than ever. For that purpose, Talabot melts all the elements that have constructed his distinctive sound until now and makes them emerge from a new perspective, in which the construction of complex song structures, intricate rhythms and superpositions of ever-evolving melodies and atmospheres pick up the baton of the “a kick-drum and a sampler” philosophy of his initial productions. The result brings us 11 tracks (we should call them songs really!) dominated by dark ambiances, gaseous textures and bittersweet moods that, above all, reveal a kind of vivacity that’s really hard to find in contemporary electronics. “Fin” is far from being a track collection. From the majestic opener “Depak Ine“ to it’s solemn ending with “So Will Be Now“ , one of the two tracks that features Talabot’s soul and label mate Pional, each song traces an overall dialogue with the rest, culminating a highly emotional journey through Talabot’s always compelling and unique musical vision.

Formed in San Francisco, Lemonade initially crafted visceral, psychedelic, and vaguely tropical rave journeys that touched upon dozens of the group's influences (Liquid Liquid, Sons of a Loop Da Loop Era, Digital Mystikz) without sounding particularly like any of them. Early shows offered otherworldy, mind-bending experiences that drew a loyal MDMA-crazed local following. The phenomenon only intensified after the release of the band's self-titled debut LP in 2008 and subsequent move to New York.

That mostly improvised, ecstatic collection of "agile, hedonistic pop music" (as called by Radio 1′s Mary Anne Hobbes) earned praise from the indie and dance communities alike. Pitchfork wrote, "it vividly replicates that first sensation of losing yourself in a peak-hour, strobe-lit reverie, where the communal act of dancing teeters between liberation and disorientation."

2010 saw the band's second release, Pure Moods, an effort by Lemonade to steer their schizophrenic palate through pop waters. Combining warped old-school rave, R&B, grime, a variety of global rhythms, and other styles too numerous to list, the record was an important stepping stone for a group that was only beginning to discover the emotional potency of out-and-out pop songwriting.

Now, more than two years later, that transformation is complete, as Diver documents Lemonade operating as a focused unit, one that's more interested in speaking to your heart than blowing your mind. Traces of the group's disparate musical interests still populate the record, but make no mistake, Diver is a bold and sensual electronic pop record.

Diver swims ecstatically in every thing from the melodies of early 90′s R&B, UK 2-step Garage, Balearic house and NY freestyle to '80s pop-rock nostalgia, wispy new age, boy-band innocence, and synth-driven Euro-trance. The production, assisted by Fisherspooner collaborator Le Chev, is exceptionally crisp. Diver also contains some of most easily digestible music Lemonade has ever produced, yet it is anything but shallow. Callan's lyrics now look inward, to his attempts to hold on to redemptive love and romance in a cybernetic, information-rich world.

"The three San Franciscans-cum-Brooklynites in the band Lemonade ... process the best bits [of dance-music subgenres, hot world music, and the post-punk revival] into something practical and satisfying. ... With their muscular, aggressive approach to dance music, Lemonade operate from a similar base as other percussive post-punk new-schoolers, from party-starting outfits like !!! and Professor Murder to more abrasive acts like Aa and Liars. But the trio strike a singular balance between weird and wired: eight-minute centerpiece "Nasifon" finds Clendenin's voice sliding further into indecipherability-- imagine Metal Box-era John Lydon bellowing out Sigur Rós' Hopelandic lyric sheet-- but layers it with Arabic-accented melodies, machine-gunned synths and a pounding 4/4 beat that would go over both in Williamsburg warehouse parties and Dubai super clubs." -Pitchfork

DJ Mario Cotto (KCRW)

Working as a KCRW DJ is a dream come true for Mario Cotto, a preacher's kid from North Philadelphia.

A former middle school teacher and improviser, Mario moved to LA to pursue a career in sketch comedy. He started volunteering at KCRW, assisting longtime DJ's Eric J. Lawrence, Jason Bentley, Chris Douridas and Tom Schnabel. Once Mario realized he was spending more time at the station than at the theater, he knew this was where he belonged.

His first 5 records were Menudo's Quiero Rock, Michael Jackson's Thriller, The Beatles' Rubber Soul, Michael W. Smith's Project and -- unbeknownst to his parents -- The Beastie Boys' License to Ill

His sound is inspired by; strong coffee, Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades, the NuYorican Poet's Café, SAMO, Philadelphia's Making Time, Blade Runner, golden-age hip hop, Manchester, Repo Records, arroz con pollo, shell-top sneakers with New Yorker laces, ESPO, Tristan Tzara's 1918 manifesto, breakfast cereal, comic books, and metropolitan railways.

$15.00

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John Talabot with Lemonade, DJ Mario Cotto (KCRW)

Thursday, May 30 · 8:00 PM at Echoplex