Gagarin, The Strapping Fieldhands
2639 Poplar St
Philadelphia, PA, 19130
This event is 21 and over
Smash the Hegemony of Dance. Stand still.
Pere Ubu return with their first new studio album for over three years in January 2013, the thirty-fifth anniversary of the group's debut (The Modern Dance). Lady From Shanghai is to be released on new label Fire Records (home to Guided by Voices, Mission of Burma, Giant Sand, Bailterspace, Josephine Foster and many others). The album ushers in a new era in the history of Pere Ubu, with David Thomas and band continuing to provoke and shock listeners, further establishing them as one of the most innovative, progressive and important bands of all time.
Lady from Shanghai is an album of dance music it is the Ubu Dance Party. "The dancer is the puppet of the dance," says singer David Thomas. "It's long past time somebody puts an end to this abomination. Lady From Shanghai has fixed the problem.
"What is the problem Dance encourages the body to move without permission." An accompanying book Chinese Whispers: The Making of Lady From Shanghai will be launched around the same time, extensively exploring the ideas and methods behind the recording.
The Pere Ubu project was supposed to be an end, not a beginning. Assembled in August 1975 to be the Crosby Stills Nash & Young of the Cleveland music underground, the plan was to record one, maybe two singles and exist no more. Within months, however, those first self-produced records were being snapped up in London, Paris, Manchester, New York and Minneapolis. Pere Ubu was changing the face of rock music. Over the next 34 years they defined the art of cult; refined the voice of the outsider; and inspired the likes of Joy Division, Pixies, Husker Du, Henry Rollins, REM, Sisters of Mercy, Thomas Dolby, Bauhaus, Julian Cope and countless others.
Pere Ubu make a music that is a disorienting mix of midwestern groove rock, "found" sound, analog synthesizers, falling-apart song structures and careening vocals. It is a mix that has mesmerized critics, musicians and fans for decades.
Singer David Thomas named the band after the protagonist of Ubu Roi, a play by Frenchman Alfred Jarry.
Gagarin has been making music on the edges of the musical galaxy for many years in many guises. Currently he works alone crafting atmospheric digital soundscapes, sculpting future grooves and polishing aching melodies. He plays out live - an exciting mix of software precision and human frailty/spontaneity thats never the same twice.
Early adventures in cult Manchester band Ludus were followed by a sustained period playing and co-writing with the legendary Nico of the Velvet Underground. He's since recorded and collaborated with John Cale, Suns of Arqa, Eric Random, David Thomas & Pere Ubu, Bill Pritchard,Cabaret Voltaire as well as many others and played at the Tabyck shamanist festival in Siberia,in castles in Scotland and France, festivals and clubs across the globe.
A regular on the London electronica scene in recent times he's played at the Lexington, Club Integral, Moonpalace, Slack Sabbath, Fade In, Multivitamins, London Headphone Festival, Netlabel festival, Ginglik, Foundry, Klinker, Recluse, Disco-rdance, Guerrila Zoo etc as well as other UK nights like Spirit of Gravity, Xposed Club, Working Classes, Cafe Concrete, Open Circuit, Nob Out Room, I betya etc.
In recent years he has released several Gagarin albums - Ard Nev, Adaptogen and currently Biophilia as well as several singles, remixes and other releases. All of his work has gained acclaim across Europe and lots of airplay.
He completed an extensive and hugely succesful European tour supporting the legendary Pere Ubu and again with Ubu as temporary synthesist. He remains an associate member of Pere Ubu providing gagarin atmospheres and more for Pere Ubu's Bring me the Head of Ubu Roi feat films by the brothers Quay which has been performed around Europe at numerous prestigious venues including Queen Elizabeth Hall and the ICA. He is currently contributing typical sounds to the forthcoming Ubu album Lady from Shanghai.
For the last few summers he has provided beats and more for the legendary Suns of Arqa at festivals including Glastonbury and Big chill, alongside Youth, Pritam Singh and others. Currently mixing tracks for future SoA releases.
He's part of an exciting band with Welsh-Iranian songstress Roshi ( ft Pars Radio ) whose debut EP and album have been widely acclaimed including two experimental records of the month in Mixmag. They have contributed to several compilations and played numerous gigs including live on Radio 3's the Verb. They are working on a new album for release in early 2012 following and EP of Iranian songs for Rif Mountain in 2011.
He has played on and released material by label mates Raf and O and during early part of 2011 recorded an album with Mark Beazley from Rothko under the name Low Bias. This album - the Oak and the Ash is due for release on Trace recordings in Autumn 2011.
Two gagarin tracks are to be found on the current Law and Auder compilation Step into Dubizm.
His own latest album Biophilia was released in Summer 2011 and has gained the best critical response of any of his work. Increased interest in gagarin has led to numerous interviews including in Tokafi, PennyBlack music and Headphone Commute. All gagarin recordings are available from this website, through our distributor - www.kudosrecords.co.uk, many other shops and the usual webstores.
He's also an active and experienced Community Musician running workshops for many community groups, specialising in facilitating creativity with technology, teaches at Goldsmiths College and delivers training for professionals in the field.
The Strapping Fieldhands
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