Music

“This World is Drunk”: Raphael Saadiq

In this world of political unrest and earth’s seemingly hopeless decay, a voice cries out through the dark. The Oakland raised recording artist and multi instrumentalist, Raphael Saadiq has written songs for the brightest stars of R&B including Solange, D’Angelo, Whitney Houston and TLC. Even under the crushing weight of his three brothers and one sister passing, Saadiq embraced his passions, growing in maturity significantly since his introduction as part of the three-piece group ‘Tony! Toni! Toné!’. Saadiq grasped life in his hands and began shaping it with vigour and care until it mirrored his dream, we are now seeing the fruit Saadiq’s life force has bore, his first studio album release in eight years, 'Jimmy Lee'.

‘Jimmy Lee’ is a melancholic soundscape to the world’s incredibly dizzying turn, felt greatest by the world’s most vulnerable. In the same way as David Bowie used his music to observe and shape the world for better, Raphael Saadiq offers a spoonful of sugar to help digest the bitter medicine you might see on a newspaper headline or bearded face with creases running deep in sunburned skin of a homeless man holding a cardboard sign in downtown California that reads “dollar for a song”. There’s no greater tragedy than bad things happening to good people. If this is true then Saadiq is the best of us and his voice is a vital one to pay attention to in the 21st century.

On the song “This World is Drunk” Saadiq finds himself contemplating how lost, stretched out and estranged the life of an addict can be. The swimming chords drone in and out while high octave piano keys play out like the very heart strings they echo from. Music like this can get lost in the ocean of choices that streaming services offer up, there is a multitude of reasons not to miss this rare chance to better understand life and our world through music. “Jimmy Lee” throws the blame back on the endless rat race that corners good people to find their darkness and use it. Whether that darkness is a drug, a violence, lust, Raphael Saadiq reminds the listener bluntly “this world is drunk and the people are mad”.

www.raphaelsaadiqmusic.com



Music

The Smashing Pumpkins announce their "Shiny And Oh So Bright" Tour

Formed in Chicago 1988, The Smashing Pumpkins have marked a chapter for the history of alternative rock.

They released their debut album Gish in 1991, reaching mainstream success later on in 1993 and 1995 with respectively 4x multi-platinum Siamese Dream and 10x multi-platinum Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Overtime, they gained worldwide attention as well as influenced several groups for a very distinctive sound, exploring the more diverse genres and music styles, such as heavy metal, progressive rock, psychedelic rock and more recently electronica.

After several changes in their line up and 30 years later, the band has announced their “Shiny And Oh So Bright Tour”, which will be the first in nearly 20 years to feature founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and James Iha, including also guitarist Jeff Schroeder.

Produced by Live Nation, the tour will feature material from their debut trough 2000 and kick off in Glendale, AZ on July 12, 2018 and North American arenas throughout the season.

At ZOO we wished it was already “Tonight, Tonight “, yet we’ll make a count down because we can’t wait for seeing them live this summer!

Music

NAO At Paradiso

The effect of NAO’s sound, songwriting and stage presence can be firstly be described as physically impactful. Soul-splitting, heart-wrenching lyrics paired with a vocal ability on par with the R&B greats leave an unexpected bodily impression that hits you direct in the gut. Bold and boundless, NAO taps into all shades of the human experience in a honest, exposing way that escapes any risks of pretension or disingenuinity.

NAO very much takes the reigns of the show at Paradiso, Amsterdam, ensuring that the experience is truly a shared one, not merely a screen projected for the audience to neutrally detach from. Riffing with the crowd, she guides them through a full orbit of emotions, through every peak and trough, celebrating all the experiences symptomatic of the human condition. ‘A Life Like This’ and ‘Another Lifetime’ are particularly striking, stop you in your tracks and capture your heart.

This intensity would most certainly be too overwhelming if it were not for the dam-like burst of unrelenting joy in ‘Get To Know Ya’, ‘If You Ever’ and ‘Inhale/Exhale’ as NAO joyously bounces around the stage, actively engaging the audience to the point where you catch your unwitting grin begin to ache. ‘Drive and Disconnect’ is just effortlessly cool. This ability as a performer is only supported by an exemplary sense of musicality, phrasing and rhythm. Her vocal acrobatics are nothing short of impressive, particularly in the melismatic stretching from the piercingly high then dipping into a resounding, hearty register.

There is no sense of censorship or false cultivation. NAO genuinely feels like a passion artist, writing and singing for the sheer love of and need for it, relishing in the live experience and exhibiting a colorful, refreshing force of unshackled expression as she does so.

NAO is a English musician from East-London currently touring her second studio album around Europe, ‘Saturn’, the follow up to her debut ‘For All We Know’. Her style is self-described as ‘wonky funk’ fusing the electronic with the soulful. Having performed with the likes of Bon Iver, Lauryn Hill and Nile Rodgers to date, she has very early on established herself as a promising musician to look out for.


www.thisnao.com

Music

Groove producer FKJ

A new generation of pioneering musicians is taking over! Contemporary artists like Tash Sultana, Jordan Rakei and FKJ (French Kiwi Juice) conquer the world as solo multi-talents with niche productions that often enclose multiple genres. They are a DJ, a producer and an artist all at once and continually explore their horizons by entering into surprising collaborations mostly based on improvisation.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, 27 year-old Vincent Venton (FKJ) from Tours, France gave two sold-out amazing one-man performances in Paradiso, Amsterdam. He can play almost every instrument both electric and acoustic with a focus on bass guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, saxophone, and he also has a modest jazzy voice. His oeuvre is influenced by electronic, rhythm and blues, soul, neo-soul, R&B, hip-hop, and even house. He already gave concerts at music festivals including EUPHORIA, CRSSD and Coachella.

FKJ seems to be in a very relaxed vibe during his performance. He does not talk or sing much; he just plays in a very sincere way. But when he sang live, it was more like he was talking, telling short stories. His keyboard and saxophone solos sounded like naturally improvised sessions that just aroused on the spot. FKJ recently jammed with fellow musician and producer Tom Misch at the Red Bull Studios in Berlin where “Losing My Way” got born. Last summer FKJ collaborated with Jamaican “traphousejazz producer” Micah Davis, better known as Masego (which means blessing in Tswana). “Tadow”was created, a piece of music that emerged from an undeniable shared chemistry.

Despite FKJ being alone, he looped his riffs and solos to give the illusion of a fully performing band of at least five members. While doing this, he mixed-in these earlier collaborations, giving the impression of Misch and Masego really being there. You also clearly hear that FKJ is touched and inspired by previous soul and jazz icons for example American R&B and disco singer Thelma Houston.

Making music is acting from the soul for FKJ. Rhythms are relatively simple and there is a lot of repetition, but the way in which all the layers flow into one another is the music of FKJ. Sit down, do not think about it, and do what feels right.

www.frenchkiwijuice.com

Music

News from another planet: King Krule performs live on the moon

Just stop for 30 minutes, wear your astronaut gear and let him overwhelm you with his warm voice and brazen sight.

As a matter of facts, Archy Marshall aka King Krule has relocated to the moon to record his latest music video, performing 8 tracks from the most recent album “The Ooz”. In a very short sequence, the video opens with the singer laying down on the bad looking at the moon, which is then mirrored in his blue eyes.

Afterwards, we find him wearing a space suit and the performance begins. Is it a dream or is it reality?

Over the years, the Londoner has been able to show the world an innate talent in experimenting with different music genres, which continuously float between punk, jazz, hip hop and loading them with an intensely dark sound.

Besides that, his fascination and approach to visual cultures expands the comprehension of his music, making its concept even more psychedelic and somehow referential. If Lizard’s state (2014) black and white video is an open tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, on the other way around, in “Dum Surfer”(2017) we are absorbed by a creepy scenario where both the band members and red curtains are reminiscent of David Lynch Twin Peaks’ character the Giant.

“Live on the moon” would perhaps recall another British dude who bring his music on another planet in 1969. Space oddity, anyone? There is a lot of material, though.

Yet originality lies in trasforming exhisting things in totally new ones, and Marshall is undoubetely trascending the more diverse languages to create his own style.

The turbulent soul will tour around USA starting from April, while for those like us who would love to see him live in Europe will have to wait because after all, he just started walking 6 feet beneath the moon.

The video can be watched on the webpage: oozdelalune.com