Zooanzoo releases surprise EP ‘[AD-HOC]’ to raise funds for Local Service Industry

As Restaurants and Bars continue to close their doors and Service Industry Workers are laid off, many are searching and wondering if and when help will come. In the city of Harrisonburg Virginia, with a population just over 50,000, more than 45 restaurants and other food and beverage related businesses and it’s employees are feeling the weight of this uncertainty.

In an effort to help, Local resident Zach Williams aka ZOOANZOO has just released a surprise EP titled [ad-hoc] to assist in raising money and awareness. The limited-edition EP is being released exclusively as a mini-CD-R (Yes, it’s that exclusive!) with all proceeds going towards the “Harrisonburg Culinary District Workers” fund; HCDW is an emergency relief fund organized by Nevin Lough Zehr with a goal of raising $50,000 to help support the struggling community.

The limited-edition EP is available HERE and includes 7 tracks, custom artwork and a download link to goodies including the entire album digitally, a Max for Live VDJ patch + other Max patches, a remixed score of a scene from the Animatrix and more!

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Find the first single “Demolish” on all streaming platforms!

 

Connect with Zooanzoo 

Instagram

Website

Bandcamp

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TOGETHER APART

“A Digitally Curated Collaborative Art Show”

 A Collaboration with NOMEL ARTS and Five Points Framing

“TOGETHER APART” is a project to promote creative connectivity during this time of isolation. The spread of COVID-19 is something we can all help to reduce and it is important during this time to do everything we can to watch out for the safety of ourselves and others by adhering to these new and changing regulations. As challenging and different as social distancing is to anything we’ve experienced in our lifetimes, it is also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how we live, learn different processes, generate new and creative ways of thinking and take a step back from our hectic lives.

THE GOAL is to showcase how we are all connected even while apart, create a collaborative environment through social distancing and support local creatives and businesses in an interactive way. The idea is to digitally* collect small works of art from local artists of ANY MEDIUM over the next few weeks (or months if it gets to that point), have the work printed and framed at no cost and when we are able to have events again, we will celebrate the coming back together and reveal what everyone has created! This program may also span outside of the Buffalo area if there is interest.

INTO FRUITION has curated a playlist that supports the music community and throws some groovy inspirations your way while you make your visual creations? These are friends, neighbors, peers, and mentors and we believe in their paths through sound. We believe in yours too. Through all this crazy, we hope you stay healthy, be inspired, and continue to grow. You got this. We can cheers to that!

 

 

 

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From the South towards the Setting Sun, Shadowgraphs seamlessly transport their sonic signals in ‘Another Time’

Like Krispy Cream and Pepsi Cola, Shadowgraphs formed just east of the Appalachian Mountains amongst the Longleaf Pines of North Carolina. Founded in 2014 by Wils Glade and Bryan Olsen, the two wrote, recorded, and released two full length albums by summer 2017.

While listening to these first records, it became clear that the two had shared a focused vision since the beginning. Their music is almost reminiscent of a Robert Beatty album cover, an alluring landscape where layers upon layers of warm and rich textures are waiting to be discovered beneath the surface.

Last year the duo released their third LP titled ‘Another Time’ and headed west on a 3,000 mile journey to Oregon. I caught up with founding member Wils Glade to talk about it all.

“Channel the past, become one with the present, and wink at the future.”

– Frenchpressley

 

SHADOWGRAPHS

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‘Return to Zero’ (2015) 

Can you give me a little history on the formation of Shadowgraphs leading up to this release?

Bryan and I had a mutual friend named Blake who was moving to San Diego and before he left he was like “yall need to meet! you guys are like the same people and into the same things”. I remember when Bryan and I first started hanging out, we were excited that out of everyone we had met we were into the same type music.

For this first record you guys recorded and mixed everything in Bryan’s home studio. Was this a first for you both?

Yeah, it was real trial and error back then. I had never used tape/analog gear, but knew about mixing techniques from my previous band, and Bryan had never really spent too much time mixing, he was more about recording. So it was great for the both of us to learn from each other.

Would you say you guys were more interested in recording techniques at the time over playing the songs out live?

Yeah, actually Bryan was like “I’m too old for playing out” (this was 5 years ago lol) so it was just a recording project at first, but then people kept talking about wanting to see us live, so we eventually slipped into that by adding two members and then officially starting the band.

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‘Venomous Blossoms’ (2017) 

For this record you guys opted to have someone else do the mixing. What led to this change?

Well on RTZ, we recorded and mixed it ourselfs, but then paid a pretty penny to have it mastered somewhere fancy. The overall change in audio wasn’t that big of a difference from where we had it, other than making it louder, so we thought that the change in audio would be a greater difference in the mixing process. So we decided to give that a try.

How do you see that “extra ear” in the mixing process playing a role in the overall sound that you guys are trying to capture with your recordings?

It was probably the best thing we could have ever done. We were really excited with what Drew had done with the record and it kept us from getting into endless hours of mixing debates. He was really fast and we learned a lot from his process by just observing his workflow in the room with him.

The record release show for this album was the first time I had the pleasure of experiencing your live set. What was the process like for taking this songs from the studio and fleshing them out for a live show?

I think about half of the songs were songs we were playing live already, so we felt more confident with those after recording, but for the new ones there were a lot more things to consider. Like since there were a good amount of keys on the record, I started introducing keys to our live set. Then Bryan and I would figure out the best guitar parts for us to play live even if the other had initially written that part.

This album marked your first release with the label Golden Brown. Can you tell us a little about how this relationship came to be?

Yeah, we were actually about to put out VB by ourselves with a PR company called Parachute form Portland, OR, who had reached out to us. The head guy started pitching out the record and then said that he actually has a good friend with a label who would probably be really into the record and could put it out with a bigger PR budget and vinyl. That’s when we met Thom & Brooke Sunderland of Golden Brown Records.

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Album Artist Spotlight – Marcus Keef

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Marcus Keef (1934 -2012)

Marcus Keef, born Keith Lionel McMillan was an English artist responsible for capturing some of the greatest album cover photos of the 60’s and 70’s. The majority of his design career was spent working for the progressive label Vertigo after initially being hired to create the cover for the labels first release in 1968. Keef’s photos would oftentimes encompass the entire front and back of the sleeve, known as gatefold style. He experimented heavily with infrared film while exploring false color techniques. In the late 70’s he stopped making album art and pursued film. He went on to produce a number of music videos for the likes of Paul McCartney, Blondie, The Who, and most notably Kate Bush. He past away in 2012 at the age of 77.

keef first album cover

Colosseum – Valentyne Suite (1969)

keef - black sabbathBlack Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)

keef - affinity Affinity – Affinity (1970)

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Amsterdam Based Artist Mirjam Debets Walks Us Through Her Wild and Colorful Visual World

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IF: Can you start off by telling us a little about your background and how you first became interested in the world of VJing?

MD: I studied 2D animation at the HKU (Utrecht University of the Arts), where we mostly worked on making short films. I liked it, but I kind of struggled with the format of a narrative short film. I never really knew how to express my ideas in 2 minutes, or my concepts ended up being too big or too abstract. So the second half of my studies I started looking for a way of creating visual arts that felt less rational and more intuitive to me. That lead me to combining animation with music, because simply listening to a song has always created an infinite flow of visuals in my mind. That same time I went to an EDM festival in the Netherlands, where I got a bit of an idea of what most VJing was like. Then It felt like I just had to try it!

IF: How would you describe VJing for someone that perhaps has never heard the term? (Maybe imagine trying to explain your art to your 45 year-old Uncle who works at the Post Office)

MD: I’ve had to explain this quite a bit to my actual uncles and aunts, but I think I told them something like ‘working at concerts and using small clips of video and trigger and mix them to the music that is playing, which the audience can see on the screens’. I’m often a bit cautious with saying the visuals are there to complement or amplify the music, as I think in the ideal world those two strengthen each other equally.

IF: It seems that VJing is most often associated with DJing, particularly in the EDM world. What are your thoughts regarding this seemingly inevitable connection?

MD: I guess that makes sense, as the biggest VJ scene is probably still in EDM, but I think it’s starting to get bigger in other genres as well.

IF: Are you interested in working with DJ’s at all? Do you feel there is a strong difference between working with a DJ versus a band? (Particularly regarding the crowd and how they view / interact with with the visuals)

MD: I’d love to work with DJ’s! I think working with my band was actually quite similar to working with a DJ, as the focus wasn’t so much on the performance of the musicians. When working with a band there’s usually someone very charismatic up on the stage, or the dynamic between the musicians to look at. With a DJ you can create much more than just a ‘visual backdrop’, because you’ll have a lot more of the audience’s attention.

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Into Fruition Volume 6

 

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album art by AARON OLIVER WOOD

  1. Riot Factory – Gold Celeste
  2. Hey Elbow – Quest
  3. Land of Talk – Heartcore
  4. Ruby Haunt – Desert Candle
  5. Sonny Baker – Swollen, You’re Opening
  6. Jack Tatum – Above
  7. Broncho – Get In My Car
  8. Monochromatic Visions – Deep
  9. Kedr Livanskiy – Love & Cigarettes
  10. Friendship – If You See My Beloved
  11. Hotel Lux – The Last Hangman
  12. Dreambeaches – Trademark
  13. The Peppermint Club – Everything Is Changing
  14. Son Step – Jon Coyle – Fun & Levitating
  15. Contour – Spring/Fall
  16. Zen Mother – Strange Mother
  17. Rosie Carney – Winter
  18. Palm – Dog Milk

INTERVIEW W/ KEITH RANKIN – the visionary behind Giant Claw and Orange Milk Records

IF: Tell us a little about your life leading up to the creation of Orange Milk Records. How did it all begin?

KR: I co-run Orange Milk with Seth Graham, we met each other in Dayton Ohio, and I think we were both starting to get into noise and synthesizer music being released on tape around 2008 or 09. I wanted to be involved with that music somehow, and we wanted a place to showcase our own music. Throughout my life I’ve been attracted to different communities or scenes, feeling the urge to be a part of something or to associate with likeminded people, but those communities have always left me feeling alienated after a while. The beginning of Orange Milk was probably at the start of one of those urges.

IF: What is your current role in OMR? What has changed since the beginning?

KR: There’s obviously more work involved now but our roles haven’t changed very much. We switch off shipping duties every year or so, Seth is handling that right now. I do most of the visual art, and we will both talk to artists and split other duties.

IF: How do you find the artist on the label? Is there anything in particular you are looking for?

KR: I do a lot of soundcloud searching, and we get a lot of great demos. There are extremely vague parameters stylistically that we look for, it’s easier to define as an ambition or work ethic that shines through in someones work. It’s exciting to me when experimentation mixes with an inner drive, the effect is almost like someone pushing beyond their limitations, like when a singer goes just above and outside their octave range. That’s usually an interesting place to be musically. We also obviously have our whole life’s worth of experiences that have built up into a continually refined aesthetic which is constantly being transposed over the music we’re considering, like “does this fit my idea of cool?”

IF: In a recent interview you said “A lot of response to the record so far have discarded the conceptual aspects in favor of the purely musical ones, which I think is perfectly fine and justifiable – that musical reality is a deep part of the work and is by far the easiest entry point into it” What are some of these more conceptual aspects you aim to reach in your music and art?

KR: I think there’s a dual stigma with intellectualizing art and also not being conceptual enough, you’re caricaturized in either scenario. But every action anyone takes has an entire history behind it, we just choose to access that history or conceptual backing in different ways. I find making music more enjoyable when I have a conceptual world brewing behind it, and that usually starts as a vague or general philosophy. For example, I’ve been thinking about how much taste and style is determined by the culture and class systems we’re born into and how that changes a lot of ideas about individuality in the arts. That’s obviously a topic with a lot of facets, so I’ll daydream about it while recording or working. Eventually I find that the recording process, or the simple act of relying on a skill set, merges with whatever my mind has been preoccupied with, and the act of creating music starts to refine and clarify those initially cloudy ideas. It’s difficult to explain exactly, but have you ever been in emotional turmoil and then felt better after verbalizing your thoughts to someone? I think making art is like using a non-verbal language to bring a similar clarity.

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IF: We first discovered you through Kate NV. We remember seeing the album cover artwork and being pulled in before ever hearing her music. What was your process in creating this particular album artwork?

KR: Kate had wanted some more abstract, Kandinsky-like art for her cover, and we both tried pieces like that that didn’t seem to work. Actually we both liked what the other had done but didn’t like our own attempts. I remember after that sitting down and thinking “I’m gonna try to really translate this music into a visual.” I’m not as skilled with that translation when it comes to visual art, but it worked for that one, in my opinion. There’s a clearness and calmness to Kate’s NV music and also a bittersweet joy that I latched onto.

IF: What role do you believe album artwork plays in the grand scheme of things?

KR: From my experience, people seem more in tune with their visual sense than other senses, like it’s a visual interface we consciously perceive the world through. Hearing might be more in the realm of subconscious detection, there’s always a lot of sound happening that isn’t considered unless it’s disruptive or specific. That’s all to say that when visuals are paired with any of the other senses the impact can’t be underestimated. Covers dictate our perception of the music, more popular artists use their entire persona and style in that way, to express an identity and a worldview, but for many smaller artists the album cover is all there is to set the scene.

IF: You’ve mentioned the importance of growing up with the internet and also the endless rabbit hole that it can lead to. What are some of positive aspects you see in this as well as any fears you may have?

KR: The internet is creating a more global culture, which also means it will eventually erase a lot of localized culture, or at least replace them with hyper specific internet niche cultures. I’m sure that’s good for some bad for others. Personally, the net let me escape or expand the local culture I was born into, and allowed for probably my first really in depth communication with people different from me which I saw as a blessing. I don’t know, it’s a very big subject. I think the increase of accessible data is creating more malleable and expansive identities, but probably a lot of mental dissonance as a byproduct of the rapid shift. Most aspects of globalization could be seen as good or bad depending on the context.

 

IF: What are you doing when you’re not creating music or running a record label? Any special interest or hobbies?

KR: Going to a movie theater helps me relax, so does talking to people I know. Sometimes when I’m taking a break from music or art I’ll get on facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram, all social media and scroll through my feed endlessly.

IF: How did you come up with the names Giant Claw and Orange Milk?

KR: Giant Claw was something I picked on a whim, I didn’t think I would continue making music under the name but that’s how it worked out. When I think about that name I start to hate it sometimes, but that happens when I think about my real name too. Maybe I’ll change it soon? Orange Milk I can’t even remember, I think I just wanted something liquid related.

IF: The year is 2059, the internet has been forbidden for 30 years and all technological progress has been halted. Where are you?

KR: In a concentration camp I guess?

Keith Rankin

Dancing in the Dark with JESSICA WINTER of GLASS

 

IF: Can you tell us a little about your relationship with Scott and how you came to work together musically?

JW: Scott and I first knew of each other when I was about 16 years old down in Portsmouth.  I was playing piano and singing for a mutual friend who also happened to be Scott’s drummer.  It’s weird because we never actually met.  He saw me play but we never spoke.  We finally met when I moved to London a few years later, he was recommended to me by a drummer as ‘the best guitarist in the world’ so I thought I’d give him a go……..  Turns out they were right so I’ve not let him escape since.

IF: What are each of your roles in the band as far as instrumentation and songwriting, both during the recording process as well as live?

JW: Scott mainly plays guitar and I mainly play piano but we are more drawn to strings, synths and beats nowadays.  Scott is a hook machine first and foremost and I am a melody maker.    I really love doing a full production on the songs before we take them into a bigger studio, I think it’s important to get the vibe before you go in as usually, a big fancy studio will have absolutely every instrument and synth and sound you can imagine and sometimes your sound can get lost in awash of layers and effects.    

IF: How do you typically approach writing a new song?

JW: Sometimes Scott will write an entire song and sometimes I will and sometimes we finish each other’s off……. 😉   We are quite competitive and it pushes us to be better.  There’s never a set thing we do, it just happens at random.  I prefer that I think, if I knew a set format or theory behind writing then it might make music a little less magical to me.

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IF: What are the benefits as well as any restraints of being a two-person band?

JW: It can be both good and bad.  We have certainly felt all extremes of working together so closely, who knows how long we can continue but we are sticking it out for now!

IF: Do you foresee adding new members in the future?

JW: We have a live band now, Lisa Martin on drums and Theo Spark on bass.  

IF: You describe your music as CRANCE, Cry and Dance. Are we crying because it feels so good to dance, or are we dancing because it feels so bad to cry?

JW: It can be all those things! I think of it as a reflection of the writing process and the performance; sitting at the piano pouring out your sadness and then putting it to music that makes you move.  The performance; experiencing those memories on stage but also letting go and expressing it through movement.  

IF: In a recent interview you mentioned “Broken Bones” being your favorite song because it was born out of a traumatic experience with your brother. Can you talk more about this particular experience?

JW: My brother suffered from paranoid psychosis and when I looked into his eyes, he wasn’t there. ‘I’d take those broken bones if I could fix them, hold you close, make the most of what is left’ 

IF: You also mentioned preferring to collaborate with filmmakers and dancers to other musical artists. Can you talk a little further about this?

JW: People have very strong ideas and opinions on music, especially other musicians.  As an artist it’s important to stay confident in your own identity and to keep developing it.  There are so many pathways you can merge into, usually working with another musical artist is just watering down your own sound to blend with each others.  Not every time! I love working with dancers, dancing is the perfect partner for music and it’s inspiring and also enhancing to what you are doing.

IF: What responsibility do you believe filmmakers and artists have in the collaboration process when working with a band? What role do you feel music videos play in the overall message or meaning of a song, or even the image of a band?

JW: Artists are exciting to work with, they can capture an atmosphere in a still image, they can put a twist on something and make it larger than life.  My favourite photographer / artist is Luke Nugent.  He manages to make everything slightly alien and other worldly.  Mint & Lime Films are amazing at making music videos look cinematic for us struggling artists, they work with a lot of us South Londoners. 

IF: Is it important for you to have an image to go with the music? Seeing vs Hearing. What effect do you think seeing a bands image before ever hearing has on the listener? Would you encourage your audience to listen before seeing? Or vice versa?

JW: Image is important to people due to the age of the internet.  If I’m online and I see a photo of an artist, I won’t listen to them if the image doesn’t appeal to me and I’m sure this happens with lots of people too…….  So photos need to sum up everything you are about – which is hard to do in one shot!  However – we are almost back in radio age with streaming services such as Spotify / Apple Music etc – listening to their playlists and related artists is discovering with ears first again and this is a very good thing.  Less visual stereotyping.  The next problem artists will face are the Algorithms of the streaming services.  If your art doesn’t fit into a pure genre, you’re less likely to be on the main playlists and listeners won’t receive as diverse an experience as they might from listening to a human DJ.  

IF: We first discovered your music through Soundcloud, a place where we typically search for new artists to connect with. Recently you took your music down from there. What was the intention behind this?

JW: Not sure…… it might come back soon…….. maybe I had a funny 5 minutes………

IF: The lyrics for ‘’Be Careful’’ are oh so strange. How much of this is literal vs sarcastic and or fantasy. Especially when considering the video, which seems to portray a domestic dispute of sorts – Is this song truly a warning, or perhaps the idea of fear from fully surrendering to another person for life?

JW: The lyric writing was a 50/50 split with Scott on this song, he had one idea and I had another which is probably why you’ve said that!  He took it in the more sarcastic way but at the time I was getting out of a relationship where things had got heavy very quickly so I was very much literal.  For me it truly is a warning, be more scared of the people that want to tie you down and trap you – those people have their own insecurities and you don’t need to be burdened with them……. 

IF: The video for this is particularly striking, as are all of your videos. Does the video better explain the lyrics or add further to its ambiguity?

JW: The video represents a few things to me, repetitious behaviour, the repetitious dance.  Standing unified yet violent and destructive within that unity, being trapped. Also it’s quite funny…..

IF: In the song “What It Is To Believe” you sing “We play a strangers game.” In the video, you murder a man in a restroom who appears to be a stranger, perhaps a man you had just met at the bar that night. It’s strange because know one seems to be aware of your actions. What is this song about?

JW: The girl (me) is blissfully unaware that her actions were bad and it represents the power of belief.  The same for the bystanders who believed maybe she was just dressed up in Halloween, like something like that could never have happened.  We aren’t condemning belief or religions, just describing how powerful belief can be.  ‘Armed with words, stones and flames, we took to the streets in a strangers name. Oh what it is to believe’

IF: What can we look forward to from you both as far as any releases or new material in the near future?

JW: Our new song ‘Vulnerable’  is out Feb 4th on Supernatural Recordings.  We have made a lyric video for it. Huw Stephens at Radio 1 premiered it on Monday and has picked it as his track of the week so we are very excited about that.  We have our first headline show in London in March where you can buy tickets for it here: Tickets

IF: What is the best thing coming out of the UK right now that we’ve most likely never heard?

JW: Have you heard a band called SWEAT? They are great. Also our friends, Strong Asian Mothers.

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