January 19, 2021

Richard Barbieri (Japan, Rain Tree Crow, Porcupine Tree) Returns With His New Album 'Under A Spell'

Released on Kscope on 26th February

(photo credit – Carl Glover)

The man whose illustrious career began in the late 70s with synth-pop visionaries Japan and more recently as a member of influential art-rock band Porcupine Tree follows up 2017's Planets + Persona with new album Under A Spell.  

CHECK OUT THE TRAILER HERE:

Richard Barbieri didn’t plan to make an album like Under A Spell, originally intended his fourth solo album to be a direct follow from its predecessor, 2017’s Planets + Persona.

That record, made in different studios across Europe and heavily incorporating live performances from a range of musicians, was adventurous and bold, showcasing Barbieri’s endlessly inventive song writing and mastery of electronic music. The follow-up would pick up where it left off, journeying further into the expansive terrain he mapped out on the previous record. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and everything changed. “I wrote and recorded it in my studio at home, with all this strangeness going on outside,” says Barbieri of Under A Spell. “It became something completely different: this weird, self-contained dream-state album.”

On Under A Spell, Barbieri was intent on capturing the atmospheres and moods that his disconnected brain was conjuring rather than slaving over arrangements and melodies. Songs such as ‘Flare’, ‘Serpentine’, ‘Sleep Will Find You’ and its companion piece-of-sorts ‘Darkness Will Find You’ are sharply defined despite their dream-inspired genesis. He points to the evocative opening and closing tracks, ‘Under A Spell’ and ‘Lucid’, as the keys that unlock the album. “Those two tracks have the whole meaning within them,” he says. “The first song, ‘Under A Spell’, is leading you down a path, moving into places where you’re not sure what’s going on. There are whispers in the background, spells being cast in a deserted wood. Then the final track, ‘Lucid’, is the opposite. You’re in this comforting lucid dream, but then you're drifting further away from it, trying to come out of it. There are voices saying: ‘Wake up, wake up, come back alive...’”

Listeners will be able to make out those voices but there are no vocals, these voices, collaborators, include Marillion frontman Steve Hogarth and Swedish singer Lisen Rylander Love (who co-wrote ‘A Star Light’).

The album’s title perfectly encapsulates the haunting, evocative world Barbieri has created. Songs such as the skittering, billowing ‘Clockwork’ and ‘Sketch 6’s dub-inspired soundscape hang suspended in that strange half-world between sleep and waking – a subconscious reflection of the surreal state the planet has found itself in over recent months. “I was having a lot of bizarre, recurring dreams that were hanging around after I woke up,” says Barbieri. “They were based around this woodland pathway, which is really summed up by the album cover – this surreal, deserted, Blair Witch Project type of environment. You’re going through these woods, heading towards this light, almost like you’re leaving life. That’s where the title Under A Spell came from – it was a feeling of not being totally in control. Almost as if your dreams are pointing you in directions that sometimes you can control and sometimes you can’t.”

As ex-founder of Japan, the new-wave pioneers and one of the most ground-breaking bands of their era, Richard Barbieri helped spark the electronic music revolution that followed, his synthesiser sound not only defined the band but influenced the likes of The Human League, Duran Duran, Gary Numan and Talk Talk. Following Japan’s split, Barbieri joined Steven Wilson to form the legendary progressive outfit Porcupine Tree, that saw him play on nine of the band’s albums, including 1999’s Stupid Dream, 2002’s In Absentia and 2007’s acclaimed Fear Of A Blank Planet. Following PT’s hiatus Barbieri has pursued a solo career, releasing albums that include 2005’s Things Buried, 2008’s Stranger Inside and 2017’s Planets + Persona, as well as his recent EP series, Variant.1-5.

Barbieri's willingness to constantly redefine his own musical boundaries are never more evident than on the brilliant, hypnotic Under A Spell – the latest milestone on this utterly unique journey.

Under A Spell tracklisting
1. Under A Spell [07:19]
2. Clockwork [02:33]
3. Flare 2 [08:51]
4. A Star Light [03:50]
5. Serpentine [06:22]
6. Sleep Will Find You [02:51]
7. Sketch 6 [06:30]
8. Darkness Will Find You [04:58]
9. Lucid [06:14]

Under A Spell will be released on Kscope on 26th February, on CD,  gatefold double black vinyl LP, limited edition gatefold double red vinyl LP (exclusive to the Kscope store) and digitally with pre-orders available HERE https://RichardBarbieri.lnk.to/UnderASpell

For Hi-res images please go to www.kscopemusic.com/media/richardbarbieri

Follow Richard Barbieri:
https://www.facebook.com/RichardBarbieriOfficial/
https://www.instagram.com/richardbarbieri_music
http://kscopemusic.com/artists/richard-barbieri

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

January 18, 2021

Be-Bop Deluxe “Drastic Plastic” 4CD/2DVD Deluxe Box Set Available For Pre-order

Released February 26, 2021

• A DELUXE 6 DISC LIMITED EDITION BOXED SET OF THE CLASSIC 1978 FINAL STUDIO ALBUM BY BE BOP DELUXE
• NEWLY REMASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES
• FEATURING AN ADDITIONAL 88 TRACKS DRAWN FROM NEW 5.1 SURROUND SOUND & STEREO MIXES FROM THE ORIGINAL MULTI-TRACK MASTER TAPES, NON-ALBUM SINGLES, PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BILL NELSON DEMOS, A BBC RADIO JOHN PEEL SESSION AND THE “SIGHT & SOUND IN CONCERT” PERFORMANCE FOR RADIO IN JANUARY 1978
• ALSO INCLUDES A VISUAL DVD FEATURING BILL NELSON’S HOME MOVIES OF THE DRASTIC PLASTIC SESSIONS AND THE 1978 BBC TV “SIGHT & SOUND IN CONCERT” BROADCAST
• INCLUDES A LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED BOOK WITH MANY PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN PHOTOGRAPHS & NEW ESSAY BY BILL NELSON
• ALSO INCLUDES POSTCARDS AND A REPLICA POSTER

Esoteric Recordings is proud to announce the release of a new re-mastered six-disc deluxe expanded boxed set limited edition (comprising 4 CDs and two NTSTC – Region Free DVDs) of “Drastic Plastic” the classic 1978 album by BE-BOP DELUXE.

“Drastic Plastic” would be the final Be-Bop Deluxe album and was recorded in the summer of 1978 in the South of France at The Villa Saint Georges, Juan-les-Pins, utilising the Rolling Stones mobile studio, with final sessions taking place at The Manor Studio and Abbey Road Studios. The record saw BILL NELSON (vocals, guitars, keyboards), CHARLES TUMAHAI (bass, vocals), ANDY CLARK (keyboards) and SIMON FOX (drums) venture into new musical styles, with the album being ground-breaking in its move to more “art rock” and “new wave” influences. In many ways it can be seen as the signpost to where Bill Nelson would head with his RED NOISE project with a desire to continue to progress as an artist by pushing musical boundaries.

Co-produced by BILL NELSON and JOHN LECKIE, “Drastic Plastic” was another hit album in both the UK and the USA and featured such classic material as “Electrical Language”, “Panic in the World”, “New Mysteries”, “Islands of the Dead” and “Surreal Estate”. The recording sessions produced many more tracks which would appear as singles (such as Japan) and others that were originally planned for release as an EP set (“Autosexual”, ‘Lovers are Mortal”, “Speed of the Wind”, “Quest for the Harvest of the Stars”, “Face in the Rain”), all of which eventually appeared on the retrospective compilation “The Best of & the Rest Of”… later in 1978.

This expanded deluxe reissue has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes and features an additional 88 tracks, (43 of which are previously unreleased), drawn from stunning new 5.1 surround sound & stereo mixes from the original multi-track tapes by award winning engineer Stephen W. Tayler, previously unreleased out-takes from the album sessions, a BBC Radio John Peel Show session from January 1978, along with a CD of Bill Nelson’s previously unreleased demos for the album, “A Feeling of Playing”.

Also included is an additional DVD featuring Be-Bop Deluxe in the South of France, (a collection of Bill Nelson’s 8mm home movies shot whilst recording “Drastic Plastic”) and the band’s Sight & Sound In Concert performance for BBC TV from 1978.

Another highlight of this limited-edition boxed set is the lavishly illustrated 68-page book with many previously unseen photographs and an essay of recollections by Bill Nelson. Additionally, the set includes postcards and a replica poster. This special deluxe limited-edition boxed set of “Drastic Plastic” is a fitting tribute to the creative vision of Bill Nelson and the musicianship of Be-Bop Deluxe.

Track List:

DISC ONE:
DRASTIC PLASTIC
THE ORIGINAL STEREO MIX REMASTERED

1. ELECTRICAL LANGUAGE
2. NEW PRECISION
3. NEW MYSTERIES
4. SURREAL ESTATE
5. LOVE IN FLAMES
6. PANIC IN THE WORLD
7. DANGEROUS STRANGER
8. SUPERENIGMATIX (LETHAL APPLIANCES FOR THE HOME WITH EVERYTHING)
9. VISIONS OF ENDLESS HOPES
10. POSSESSION
11. ISLANDS OF THE DEAD
BONUS TRACKS
12. JAPAN
13. FUTURIST MANIFESTO
14. PANIC IN THE WORLD (SINGLE EDIT)
15. BLUE AS A JEWEL
16. ELECTRICAL LANGUAGE (SINGLE VERSION)
17. LOVE IN FLAMES (SINGLE VERSION)
18. FACE IN THE RAIN (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED ON CD)
19. ISLANDS OF THE DEAD (TAKE FOUR) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
20. THE SAXOPHONIST (JUAN LES PINS VERSION) (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)

DISC TWO:
ADDITIONAL TRACKS & SESSIONS

1. AUTOSEXUAL
2. LOVERS ARE MORTAL
3. BLIMPS
4. SPEED OF THE WIND
5. QUEST OF HARVEST FOR THE STARS

RECORDED AT THE MANOR STUDIO, AUGUST 1977 FOR AN INTENDED EP

6. NEW PRECISION (BBC IN CONCERT 1978)
7. SUPERENIGMATIX (BBC IN CONCERT 1978)
8. POSSESSION (BBC IN CONCERT 1978)
9. DANGEROUS STRANGER (BBC IN CONCERT 1978)
10. ISLANDS OF THE DEAD (BBC IN CONCERT 1978)
11. PANIC IN THE WORLD (BBC IN CONCERT 1978)
12. LOVERS ARE MORTAL (BBC IN CONCERT 1978)
13. LOVE IN FLAMES (BBC IN CONCERT 1978)
14. BLAZING APOSTLES (BBC IN CONCERT 1978)

BBC RADIO ONE “SIGHT & SOUND IN CONCERT” – 19th JANUARY 1978

15. SUPERENIGMATIX (JOHN PEEL SESSION 1978)
16. POSSESSION (JOHN PEEL SESSION 1978)
17. PANIC IN THE WORLD (JOHN PEEL SESSION 1978)
18. LOVE IN FLAMES (JOHN PEEL SESSION 1978)

BBC RADIO ONE JOHN PEEL SESSION –
30th JANUARY 1978

DISC THREE:
DRASTIC PLASTIC
THE NEW STEREO MIXES

1. ELECTRICAL LANGUAGE (NEW STEREO MIX)
2. NEW PRECISION (NEW STEREO MIX)
3. NEW MYSTERIES (NEW STEREO MIX)
4. SURREAL ESTATE (NEW STEREO MIX)
5. LOVE IN FLAMES (NEW STEREO MIX)
6. PANIC IN THE WORLD (NEW STEREO MIX)
7. DANGEROUS STRANGER (NEW STEREO MIX)
8. SUPERENIGMATIX (LETHAL APPLIANCES FOR THE HOME WITH EVERYTHING) (NEW STEREO MIX)
9. VISIONS OF ENDLESS HOPES (NEW STEREO MIX)
10. POSSESSION (NEW STEREO MIX)
11. ISLANDS OF THE DEAD (NEW STEREO MIX)

SINGLES AND EP TRACKS
12. JAPAN (NEW STEREO MIX)
13. FUTURIST MANIFESTO (NEW STEREO MIX)
14. BLUE AS A JEWEL (NEW STEREO MIX)
15. AUTOSEXUAL (NEW STEREO MIX)
16. FACE IN THE RAIN (NEW STEREO MIX)
17. LOVERS ARE MORTAL (NEW STEREO MIX)
18. SPEED OF THE WIND (NEW STEREO MIX)
19. QUEST FOR THE HARVEST OF THE STARS (NEW STEREO MIX)

For more information:
https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/be-bop-deluxe-drastic-plastic-4cd-2dvd-deluxe-box-set/
https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/be-bop-deluxe-drastic-plastic-2cd-remastered-expanded-edition/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

January 15, 2021

DOWNES BRAIDE ASSOCIATION Launch “Your Heart Will Find The Way” – The Second Track From Upcoming Album 'Halcyon Hymns'

Downes Braide Association (DBA) have announced the release of “Your Heart Will Find The Way” - the second track to be taken from their forthcoming album Halcyon Hymns. Watch the video here: 

Chris Braide says: “Your Heart Will Find The Way has an almost YES like quality of all the songs from Halcyon Hymns I feel, in that it's very up and direct. It’s also a great example of how Geoff and I will sometimes write. Geoff sent me the verse chord progression and the riff and then I added the chorus chord progression and the melody just fell out on top of those two elements. The brooding verse and majestic riff coupled with the uplift of the chorus dictated the lyric which is about listening to your inner voice and trusting your gut instinct to navigate you out of adversity…It’s a positive self-affirmation of a song.”

A few words from Geoff: “It was such a joy to hear the basic idea I sent Chris for ‘Your Heart Will Find A Way’ turn into something of a mini-epic. The masterful development of the rhythm section of Ash & Andy really enhances the track and brings it to life. It has become something of a feature of mine and Chris’s songwriting where the verse (in the minor key) sets the mood of the piece only to climax into an upbeat chorus (in the major). Here is a good example I believe of how we mix pathos with positivity – but ultimately delivering the overall message as one of hope and promise. It could be about a relationship, or indeed about having a belief and confidence in yourself that will eventually succeed. It’s for the listener to relate to and hopefully feel the strength of the message contained within.

Halcyon Hymns is the fifth DBA collaboration and follows their previous critically-acclaimed studio albums Pictures of You (2012), Suburban Ghosts (2015) and Skyscraper Souls (2017). The duo also released Live In England (2019) recorded at their first ever concert at Trading Boundaries, East Sussex, in 2018.

Here’s the video to the first track that was released in December, “Love Among The Ruins”: 

About Downes Braide Association

Downes Braide Association was formed as a studio-based project by Geoff Downes and Chris Braide and has now produced three studio albums: Pictures Of You (2012), Suburban Ghosts (2015) and Skyscraper Souls (2017) and a live album Live In England (2019). The project draws on Downes’ and Braide’s rich musical heritage to create a delightfully accessible brand of classic rock.

Keyboard wizard Geoff Downes was thrust into the limelight with the worldwide success of “Video Killed The Radio Star” in 1979. The single topped the charts chart in 16 countries for The Buggles duo of Geoff and Trevor Horn (vocals, bass guitar). They briefly joined prog legends YES before Downes became a founder member of the supergroup Asia with YES guitarist Steve Howe, ELP drummer Carl Palmer and the late John Wetton (vocals, bass guitar). The Wetton-Downes composition “Heat Of The Moment” became a world-wide hit in 1982 heralding many years of success for Asia with their FM radio-friendly brand of rock. Downes later rejoined YES in 2011 and remains with the band alongside Steve Howe.

British singer-songwriter-pianist Chris Braide has recently returned to UK shores after many years based in California. He enjoys enormous success writing and producing music for film scores, advertising campaigns and working closely with artists including Sia, Lana Del Rey, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Paloma Faith, Britney Spears and Marc Almond.

Downes Braide Association: “Your Heart Will Find A Way” on Halcyon Hymns is released on 15th January 2021 and is now available to order from Cherry Red Records:
CD/DVD https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/downes-braide-association-halcyon-hymns-cd-dvd-edition/
2LP White Vinyl:  https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/downes-braide-association-halcyon-hymns-limited-edition-2lp-white-vinyl/

For more information:
Twitter: @TheRealDBAMusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/downesbraide
www.downesbraide.co.uk
www.christopherbraide.com
www.geoffdownes.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com