Julian Lennon Picks

thenormalitiesAfterlife and Chris Coco's new project begins...

The Normalites are chillout dons Steve Miller aka Afterlife and DJ / producer Chris Coco.  The music reflects the pairs’ background in making mellow music but also the slightly awkward nature of both their personalities. Their desire to push the boundaries of a genre they have made their own, their desire to come up with new sounds and ideas, their love of politics, poetry, dub and bass.

The tunes on this EP were recorded at Steve’s place in Cornwall, in the gaps between sailing sessions, long walks on the hills and trips to the pub. They are knowingly cheeky and sonically fresh takes on 21st Century living.  “Election Day” was written and recorded on the night of Barrack Obama’s historic victory in the the US.

The Normalites have come full circle, beyond irony and cynicism. They exist in a place of naivety and joy, a world of hope for the future and musical experimentation. They make organic, local, fresh produce.  The Normalites is the sound of two top producers at the top of their game.


jamiecullumWith 4 million albums sold and with a Grammy, BRIT and 2 Golden Globe nominations under his belt, Jamie Cullum continues to be a British success story around the globe; the most successful UK jazz artist ever.

Jamie never even dared dream all this could be possible. Born in Essex and raised in Wiltshire, he was obsessed with all types of music from an early age discovering jazz as a teenager, entranced the moment he firstheard Miles Davis. By the time he went to university to study English, Jamie was working as a singer-pianist in pubs, hotels, cruise ships and anywhere else that would have him.

"I didn’t dream of being a pop star or anything. I never thought I had the talent or the confidence or the ability to do this so it came up and surprised me. I made albums but I wasn’t even selling them to record companies, I was just selling them at gigs and I didn’t really think much more about it."

Jamie has had a string of amazing releases, had startling versions of songs by Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Buckley, performed for Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal family, collaborated with Clint Eastwood and performed with the Count Basie Orchestra... just to name a few highlights.

ebb_hsSwedish imprint Gaymonkey records - responsible for delivering Melnyk and Sara Berg - is proud to present their new signing (and fellow Swede!) - Ebb.

Ebb is a songwriter and musician who, now living in Stockholm for the last decade, spent his formative years growing up in the deepest depths of Northern Sweden. His debut album Loona oozes with a soundscape derived from the environment from which he has sprung.

Loona is an album overflowing with an entrancing slew of cinematic songs - with a humane electronic multilayered pulse running throughout - akin to the likes of Four Tet, Sigur Ros, Mum or the Broadway Project. But with an extra emotive-driven, visual atmospheric kick. The north of Sweden is, during winter, very cold and snowy, and there are vast forests and wide horizons explains Ebb quietly, pulling his trademark woolly hat down over his ears. Having that kind of nature around me has influenced me, and my music, a great deal.ebb

Ebb realised he was drawn to music from an early age. His father played the guitar around the house and encouraged his young son to learn some basic chords. It didnt take long before the young Ebb threw himself straight in - hours locked away in his bedroom teaching himself to play. When I learned my first chord I immediately started writing songs, even though they were pretty basic! he laughs. Except for the first four chords that my dad showed me, Ive taught myself everything I know.

Loona was written over 24 months. Two years of pure dedication. And the result is worth waiting for. Stand out moments litter the entire album - from the opening title track you are transported immediately into Ebbs electronic landscape - through the drum n bass melodica of Keep Or Nothing, the haunting yet truly uplifting When Dusk Begins, and radio-friendly vocal pop anthem Life Is On TV - an Ebb favourite. Life Is On TV is stripped down and has a nice leaned back groove to it he enthuses. Its a simple pop song!

Ebb has produced Loona entirely himself - writing, recording, playing, arranging and singing. It has been a journey of self-discovery. Loona was written over a long time and it was about finding my own forest, my inner voice he explains, letting loose a shy grin. I want to reach the conscious, insightful listener who is tired of everything shallow and without substance.

As well as completing this stunning debut for Gaymonkey, Ebb has also remixed label mate Sara Bergs acclaimed single Another Night (which won over the ears of fan Laurent Garnier) and has also remixed Melnyks Sound Of Falling for the forthcoming Silence Remixed project due for release later this year. And if he isn't talented enough, Ebb also builds furniture in his spare time.

aurevoirsimoneAu Revoir Simone is an indie pop band from Brooklyn, New York that formed in late 2003. The group consists of Erika Forster (vocals/keyboard), Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard), and Heather D’Angelo (vocals/drum machine/keyboard).  Forster and Hart became friends while traveling by train from Vermont to New York. The band name comes from a minor character in Tim Burton’s Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.

Their track "Oh! Your Pretty Things" was this week's pick off the album Life Before Mars released in 2008 on Rapster Records.


jazzanova1Jazzanova is a German Berlin-based DJ/producer collective consisting of Alexander Barck, Claas Brieler, Jürgen von Knoblauch, Roskow Kretschmann, Stefan Leisering, and Axel Reinemer. Formed in 1995, the group is one of the foremost proponents of the nu-jazz, chillout and jazz house styles of music associated with record labels such as Compost Records and Sonar Kollektiv. They have also experimented with Latin jazz, which can be heard on the song "Tres Bien".

They also have a side-project, "Extended Spirit". They also gained recognition as innovative remixers for a vast number of acts such as Marschmellows, Ian Pooley, Incognito, 4Hero, M.J. Cole and Masters At Work to name but a few.

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