Allah Las met while working at the biggest of all the L.A. Record stores, but they became a band in an even more rare and special space—a California basement, dug out somewhere between the mountains and the beach. They began gigging shortly after their inception in and around Los Angeles in the later part of 2008. It wasn’t until three years later that they would find the proper environment to record their first single “Catamaran” / “Long Journey” which now bookends their upcoming self-titled release. These are the kind of songs that bounce between London and Los Angeles, the kind of thing that could have comefrom Mick Jagger or Arthur Lee or both at once, with crystalline guitar and slow-mo drums that recalled the way the waves take big bites of the beach at night. This is mystery music from the strange and ancient-modern California fringe, more Night Tide than Easy Rider. Allah Las are a reflection of a reflection, an echo of an echo, a band that is psychedelic not because of reverb or shredding through pedals but for the simple way their songs seem to extend to infinity.
Double Gatefold LP.Gatefold CD Digipack
BADBADNOTGOOD is a young supremely talented trio of musicians made up of Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alex Sowinski on drums. Since their inception at Humber College’s Music Performance program in 2011, the three have challenged the rule book on improvised instrumental music and taken jazz tradition into the future. With early champions including acclaimed BBC broadcaster Gilles Peterson and Tyler The Creator who helped fuel their discovery with a series of live jams that instantly went viral and dubbed them the “Odd Trio”, the band released their first EP BBNG in June 2011 to wide praise. The marriage of jazz virtuosity and hip hop source material offered a fresh take on the traditional “standard” applied to hip hop classics by taking on choice cuts from the golden era rap cannon and writing inspired arrangements for them instead of one-dimensional covers. The band hit a landmark by introducing original material into their composi- tions with BBNG2 in 2012. New songs like “Rotten Decay”, “Vices” or “UWM” carried on the proud heritage of musical juxtaposition by bringing together jazz, hip hop, punk, and dance music into vigorous balance. Since then, they’ve won praise from the four corners of the globe and collaborated with Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, MF Doom, Pharaoh Monch and RZA among many. Their no- torious live performances have brought fans across the whole musical spectrum together, taking the band around the world from Coachella to Glastonbury. Now, the inseparable friends are prepping to release their biggest project to date III on prodigious young label Innovative Leisure, a highly-anticipated project ushering in the group’s newest explorations which are proving to be limitless.
BADBADBADNOTGOOD is the talented young quartet of Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, Alex Sowinski on drums & Leland Whitty on saxophone. They formed and became inseparable friends at Humber College's Music Performance program in 2011 and have been on a critically acclaimed, rule bending musical journey ever since. BBNG took the music world by storm with their 2014 LP, III, a brash yet refined record of angular jazz improvisations, lush ballads, kraut rock, & futuristic hip-hop tinged rhythms which led to a couple years of touring the world & collaborating with some of the best and brightest artists around the globe
The boys are back with the new album IV, their most impressive and highly anticipated project yet. IV continues their forward thinking progression, sounding something like a jam session in space between Can, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, Weather Report, Arthur Russell & MF DOOM.
With tracks like "Time Moves Slow" featuring haunting vocals from Sam Herring of Future Islands, the syncopated groove of "Lavender," a collaboration with Montreal based producer Kaytranada, the rumbling fusion build of "Confessions Pt. II" featuring Colin Stetson on the bass sax, "Love" which is highlighted with smokey left field raps from Mick Jenkins & the epic chords of "Speaking Gently," IV is an exploration in post-genre virtuosity. Out Summer 2016 on Innovative Leisure Records, BBNG prove yet again that the possibilities & discovery in their musical quest are infinite.
Time's All Gone
Nick Waterhouse is the New Breed - a 25 year old R&B fanatic who combines an uncanny old-school sensibility with a charged, contemporary style. He joins the ranks of similar acts and producers of recent times - Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones, Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc et al – that are all moving forward into the past, yet all quite different. For Waterhouse, his muse is the over-modulated sound of vintage ‘50s R&B. His take on such a time-honored tradition evokes the back-alley thrill of New Orleans, Detroit and Memphis in their heyday and has resonated with fans the world over (his debut 45 sells for upwards of $300 dollars). Waterhouse combines an astute attention to detail with an honest desire to match.
Hanni El Khatib
Will The Guns Come Out
Los Angeles based Hanni El Khatib grew up in San Francisco raised on skateboarding (former creative director at HUF), punk rock, and 1950s and 60s classic Americana. Influenced by pioneers of early rock and R&B, the multi-instrumentalist and producer derives his unique sound from a menagerie of inspirations: blues, soul, garage rock, doo-wop … and the most American thing of all, car wrecks. It's malt shop music for those who drink them spiked with bourbon or in Hanni's own words "these songs were written for anyone who's ever been shot or hit by a train. Knife fight music." No word yet on whether Hanni's tested that knife fight thing at any of his shows.
Will The Guns Come Out is his debut album on the Innovative Leisure label, following two 45s: Dead Wrong & Build Destroy Rebuild.
Nick Waterhouse grew up in a coastal town near Long Beach, CA. It was a serene setting: the ocean stretching out for miles to the North and South, manicured lawns, two-story homes, long swathes of concrete highway, fast food chains and mega malls. He was there for two decades. Then, he left.
He found a home in his early 20s in San Francisco, working at record stores alongside a collective of likeminded young crate-diggers and 45 collectors. And then he started making his own records: “Time’s All Gone” in 2012, “Holly” in 2014, and “Never Twice” in 2016. These were evocative albums, steeped in a perfectionism and clarity of vision that informed every choice, from the studios to the players, the arrangements to the album art. Everything, deliberately designed and purposeful, bubbling over with power and feeling.
And as those records rolled out into the world, Waterhouse found a dedicated audience of his own as well as a bevy of influential champions and collaborators, including garage-rock mystic Ty Segall, retro-futurist R&B bandleader Leon Bridges and the LA-based quartet Allah-Las, whose first two albums he meticulously produced and played on. There is a “Waterhouse Sound” and it comes from both the man and the method — recording everything on magnetic tape, through analog equipment, and playing live (!), eyeball to eyeball, whenever possible.
Now, he’s finished his fourth album. He’s calling it “Nick Waterhouse.” And whether intentional or not, it is perhaps his most reflective — and reflexive — album, employing all of the mature production techniques learned throughout his professional career while retaining a viscous edge that allows it to land with colossal impact — more raw, heavy and overtly confrontational than anything he’s made before.
“Nick Waterhouse” was recorded at the finest working studio in Los Angeles, Electro Vox Recorders, and co-produced by Paul Butler (The Bees, Michael Kiwanuka, Devendra Banhart), the master of all things warm, rich and wooly. Nick’s songs here are personal, but personal in the way that “Please Mr. Postman,” “What’s Going On” and “Cathy’s Clown” are — intimate, direct, yet still malleable enough for listeners to suffuse their own life stories into the mix. The album is thick with talented players, including Andres Rentaria, Paula Henderson and the staggering, howling saxophone of Mando Dorame.
All of the new Waterhouse songs sound big. Brawny and muscular. The lyrics are suspicious, outraged and, at times, very vulnerable (muscle is just flesh, after all). Waterhouse uses an economy of words to deliver complex, coded messages. He offers up equal parts criticism of the time we live in and innate human flaws. He paints relationships under the cover of darkness, slashing through neo-noir fantasies that are romantic, blood-spattered and bracingly aware of the powerlessness felt among people, amid the rapid onslaught of commercialism and technological progress. And, as has become his signature, he throws in a tune written by a close friend. On this record, he covers “I Feel an Urge Coming On” in tribute to the song’s author, Nick’s own mentor and collaborator Joshie Jo Armstead, who wrote music with Ray Charles and sang as both an Ikette and Raelette in the ’60s and ’70s.
He’s four albums in, but it makes sense that this specific record is the one that takes his name. You can really here Nick on this one. Not just the band. Not just the songs. Not just the sound. HIM. You can hear his mind at work. His passion. His focus. More importantly, you can feel it.