Hiatus Kaiyote

Hiatus Kaiyote

The opening song in Hiatus Kaiyote's Tawk Tomahawk captures you instantly. Guitarist and lead singer Nai Palm's vocals are raw and sincere—weaving in and out of a beautiful blend of strings and snares. The debut EP is bold, yet intimate. Close your eyes after pressing play and you will be transported from your seat to the desert sands of Australia where the video for "Nakamarra" was filmed.

The Melbourne quartet is an internationally acclaimed "future soul" band. In little under two years, highly-respected artists, audiophiles and everyday people have been waxing poetic about Hiatus Kaiyote. The music is diverse and it expands into a sound that can't fit within the boundaries of a single genre. Each track is like a key ingredient in the listening experience that adds to a fusion of jazz, hip-hop, electronic, opera, rock and soul. Subtle traces of the group's major influences, ranging from Stevie Wonder and J Dilla to Flying Lotus are imbedded in the project.

Hiatus Kaiyote formed organically through a series of jam sessions that took place in a house three members shared. The Tawk Tomahawk recording process was inspired by everything from watching relationships unravel to traveling the world. There's a freewheeling spirit to the band, comprised of Nai Palm, keyboardist Simon Mavin, bassist/producer Paul Bender and drummer/producer Perrin Moss. Prior to joining forces, the bandmates were working the local music circuit and refining their respective talents.

When Tawk Tomahawk was released in spring 2012, the EP quickly climbed the indie charts. It was as if a word-of-mouth shock wave moved from Melbourne, to Gilles Peterson in London, to Questlove and Erykah Badu in New York City and beyond. Hiatus Kaiyote began performing with artists like Taylor McFerrin (Brainfeeder) and José James (Blue Note) and are now headlining sold-out shows.

But this is only the beginning, as Hiatus Kaiyote embarks upon its U.S. debut tour.

"Music has always been medication to us," Nai Palm explains. "It's a force for self-healing that we're ready to share with the world." Through a musical symbiosis, the band has created its own lane and Tawk Tomahawk showcases the breadth of their talent and love for music lyric by lyric, and beat by beat.

Contact Field Orchestra

In 2008 I came across a box of 7" tapes at an estate sale in Altadena. They were labeled "Contact Field Orchestra"--a collection of field recordings that seem to date from sometime around the turn of the 20th century (possibly earlier). The woman there said that they had belonged to her father and were "field recordings" of a turn-of-the century orchestra.

It took me maybe another year to actually load them up and transfer them to the computer. When I did, what I found was an incredible documentation of indigenous folkloric music that was meticulously recorded and then later transfered to 2-track tape sometime in the 1960's.

After transferring the tapes and cleaning them up as best I could, I discovered that due to the frequency range, they must have been recorded largely with hand-made piezo transducers of some sort. Some of the tapes were partially destroyed, so I found that I had to re-play or play over the songs as best I could to fill-in and augment the original ideas.I tried to stay as true to the original recordings as much as possible. I'll admit I took some liberties with the eq (perhaps too much...) and where applicable added a small amount of delay and reverb to accent the track. (Okay, and maybe a few electric guitars...sue me.)

The result, I think, is an amazing collection of esoteric folk recordings of a mysterious band of San Gabriel miners turned musicians. Apparently having given-up after the gold boom, these folks stayed in what would later become Upper Mallard Canyon in Altadena -- living in the old Dawn's mine shaft, and crafting their own instruments from discarded mining equipment and whatever small guitars and banjos they had brought with them.

The sound this orchestra created is like something out of a Jim Jarmusch film, and reminds me of an old Library of Congress or Folkways recording. The music itself is full of opposites -- hypnotizing and odd; meditative and jarring. It's strangely familiar, but also distantly unrecognizable. Some songs are more minimalist in their approach, building up a rhythm with mbiras and percussion, while others seem to have much more harmony and tonal structure and almost Blues/Country feel. Either way, they had me hooked from the first bar, and I find myself returning to it again and again, irregardless my heavy-handed noodling...
I'm really happy to have discovered this, and I hope you are too.
All the best,
Damon Aaron

JEREMY SOLE (89.9 KCRW / theLIFT / Musaics)

Jeremy Sole is on a mission to show how music is a singular universal language, and that each culture’s rhythms and melodies are no more than slang--different accents of the same mother tongue. His DJ sets, remixes and original compositions juxtapose world sounds and experimental beats into a sonic ritual - a celebration of life out loud.

As a teenager, Chicago-born Jeremy Sole's loft parties were a culture clash of creative urban youth. Jeremy's upbringing was seeped in the rich Chicago history of Blues, Jazz, Disco and Funk - and he reveled in that sacred space where they all blend together. He matured as a turntablist in Jazz, Dub, and experimental hybrid bands. Meanwhile his obsession grew to include music from every corner of the world. In 2001 Sole moved to Los Angeles, and with his broad musical palette, felt right at home in the spiciest melting pot in the country.

As Co-Founder and resident deejay of "AFRO FUNKÉ", Sole and his partners have drawn a loyal crowd every week for the past 9 years. This is his arena for Afrobeat, Latin, Brazilian, Indian, Jamaican and other authentic and remixed world rhythms. Hundreds of international guests have joined them, from deejays Rich Medina and Cut Chemist to impromptu jam sessions with Zap Mama and Stevie Wonder.

Collaborating with Eric "Wiseacre" Tucker, Sole returns to his underground roots with "theLIFT" - roaming monthly, all-night warehouse events with heavyweights like Bonobo, Nickodemus and King Britt gracing their stages. What started at his small downtown loft, grew to well over 1200 people by their one-year anniversary. Since then, theLIFT has taken place in Miami, NYC, Palm Springs, Portugal, London, and San Francisco.

Jeremy has had the honor of sharing the stage and the studio with hundreds of his creative inspirations, including Roy Ayers, Ben Harper, Tony Allen, Stevie Wonder, Seu Jorge, Fat Freddy's Drop, Parliament, Lee Scratch Perry, and Quantic. Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio1), widely known as the most influential tastemaker of our generation, listed Sole as "#2 DJ OF THE YEAR 2011" at Peterson's prestigious "Worldwide Awards". Sole's DJ performance at Coachella 2012 played a large part in further embedding his name as a pioneer in the burgeoning "Global Bass" scene. This, by no means, defines his sound nor his "scene". He remains a free agent - moving fluidly between any and all cliques that appreciate good music. Sole was the last DJ to open for Ray Charles, deejayed for Sly Stone's birthday party, and had the distinct honor of mixing at the California Democratic Party's Election Night Celebration - playing for over 10,000 people at the exact moment when Barack Obama officially became the 44th President.

Sole spent most of 2006 in the studio producing with Ms. Lauryn Hill. After hearing him mix, she asked if he had ever considered getting into radio, "because this is the music the people need to hear”. A few months later, KCRW called to ask him that exact same question, and he agreed to join the ranks of what New York Times dubbed the "most influential radio station in the country,". You can tune into Sole every Wednesday at midnight in Los Angeles on 89.9 KCRW (or worldwide, streaming and archived at www.kcrw.com/jeremysole).

Sole has also produced official remixes for BECK (US), FEMI KUTI (Nigeria), NATURAL SELF (UK), NOVALIMA (Peru), JAZZANOVA (Germany), THIEVERY CORPORATION (US), ROCKY DAWUNI (Ghana), QUANTIC (Colombia) and others. EMI enlisted Sole to remix DAVID BOWIE'S "Golden Years". The result features Ticklah (of Antibalas and Amy Winehouse) with the Daptone musicians for an all-analog reworking of the 1976 classic.

In Sole's most ambitious project to date, he enlisted some of LA's most sought-after musicians to birth an organic, turntable-led, 9-piece ensemble featuring steel drums, a 4-piece horn section, renown violinist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and more. He calls this massive undertaking his "MUSAICS", a musical mosaic of many genres interlaced into a spiritual dancefloor ritual. Their debut concert was held at the historic Getty Museum, and a live album has been recorded to crystalize the improvisational style they embody. More on that in the days to come...

"Jeremy Sole was a revelation."
- Gilles Peterson

"If I was a DJ full time, I would most likely spin like Jeremy Sole.
His mind and soul hears exactly what I hear."
- Raphael Saadiq

"Beautiful choices of music... a whole different vibe."
- David Lynch


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