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Pitchfork announces: MEGAFAUN does LOMAX at DUKE

Pitchfork announces: MEGAFAUN does LOMAX at DUKE

Americana-folk warriors MEGAFAUN, have been chosen to curate, perform, and record songs/interpretations of Alan Lomax's classic recordings "Songs of the South" at Duke University this September.

Invited guests feature Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten and jazz big band Fight the Big Bull, more details are posted here on Pitchfork.

MEGAFAUN are currently supporting their new mini-album Heretofore.

They wrap up their European tour with three dates in the Netherlands and two in England: Concert details here !

Their appearance at Green Man (including a duet with Tallest Man On Earth, which can be seen here ) is rumoured to have been one of the highlights of the festival.

Congotronics Vinyl Box Set has arrived !

Congotronics Vinyl Box Set has arrived !

This strictly limited edition contains 7 vinyls (incl. the new Konono) and downloads of all Congotronics albums





We have decided to create this extravagant Congotronics package, containing vinyl versions of the albums by all the Congolese artists featured so far in the Congotronics series.

The box set includes 6 vinyl LPs, 1 vinyl 7", a re-usable Congotronics USB pen drive with videos & mp3s and a book. It is available exclusively from the Crammed store.

More details on the contents of the box:

- Konono No 1: "Congotronics" (1x vinyl LP)

- "Congotronics 2 /Buzz'n'Rumble From The Urb'n'Jungle" feat. five different Kinshasa bands: Sobanza Mimanisa, Kisanzi Kongo, Basokin, Masanka Sankayi and Kasai Allstars (1x vinyl LP)

- Kasai Allstars: "In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic" (1x vinyl LP)

- Staff Benda Bilili : "Très Très Fort" (1x vinyl LP)

- The brand-new Konono No 1: "Assume Crash Position" (2x vinyl LP)

- a Congotronics book with exclusive photos from Kinshasa, Congo.

- a customized, re-usable 2Gb USB pen drive containing 9 videos, and mp3s (in 320 kbps) of all 5 albums.

- a 7" with 2 exclusive tracks:
 "Coupe-Jarret" by Kasai Allstars + Akron/Family
 "Bana Mbende" by Kasai Allstars

Each vinyl LP (180 gr) comes in an original sleeve, and an inner sleeve of a different colour, reproducing the Congotronics fabric which will be on the box (with a design resembling that of the fabrics used for dresses & robes in the Congo, based on the Congotronics logo).

This is a strictly limited pressing, orders will be fulfilled on a first come, first served basis.

Pre-order + more details here

 Shantel rocks Montreux, delights Prince & Quincy Jones!

Shantel rocks Montreux, delights Prince & Quincy Jones!

Exciting news from our man on the spot at Shantel's recent show at the Montreux Jazz Festival
 
Here's an eyewitness account from Jean Trouillet (Essay Recordings):

"Shantel and his Bucovina Club Orkestar rocked the Jazz Café at the Montreux Jazz Festival with an unbelievable late night show. The public was hot and chanting “Shantel Shantel” well before the show, when the organizer alerted us to the guests on the VIP balcony. I couldn’t believe my eyes: Prince and Quincy Jones – they stayed from the first until the very last minute and had great fun. Quincy turned up backstage after the show to tell how much he enjoyed this show and even spoke Serbian to some of the band. Both Prince and Quincy Jones requested CDs to take along..."

Could we see the princely purple one and the king of European pop on stage, or even on record together? Who knows...

Shantel's summer adventures continue - see tour dates here!
Axel Krygier: a new kid on the Crammed block

Axel Krygier: a new kid on the Crammed block

The multi-talented artist is a central figure in the alternative music scene in Argentina, where he's considered as a modern-day Renaissance man:
Axel Krygier has ran the gamut from playing in rock bands, writing scores for acclaimed playwrights, and being a forerunner of the digital cumbia scene… After two acclaimed albums in his own country, "Pesebre" — out on Crammed in September — will be his first international release.

"Axel Krygier's unique sound —a mash-up of jazz, rock, electronica, cumbia, Argentinian folklore and experimental music — makes it easy to succumb to such tempting descriptions as "Atahualpa Yupanqui meets Thelonious Monk, performed by Frank Zappa and remixed by Diplo", but the brush that this composer paints with is even broader than that" (Global Rhythm, US)

ALLÀ at Pitchfork Music Festival

ALLÀ at Pitchfork Music Festival


They've been quiet since their rocking covers mini-album "Digs" last year, but Mexican-American sound voyagers Allà return in impressive style in July with an appearance at the Pitchfork Music Festival in their native Chicago. The band, whose debut album "Es Tiempo" dropped on Crammed in 2008, play on Sunday July 18, alongside acts including Pavement, Big Boi, Major Lazer and Lightning Bolt. 

More info on the Pitchfork festival here
New MEGAFAUN Mini-Album on the way

New MEGAFAUN Mini-Album on the way


After such an exciting year (including the release of their acclaimed Gather, Form and Fly album, several tours in the US, two very successful first forays into Europe, and a participation in psych-soul supergroup Gayngs), Megafaun have come good again with a new mini-album! Entitled "Heretofore", this beautiful six-track offering will be released in September (by Crammed in Europe and Hometapes in the US).

"Heretofore" serves as an appetiser for the next full album by the North Carolina trio, which will be recorded later this year... not that this mini-album should be taken in any way lightly - in an interview with  Independent Weekly, Megafaun described the material as "the best hooks and lyrics that we've done ... but it also has the most far-reaching stuff we've ever put on a record".

A single from "Heretofore" will be released in advance of the band's summer festival tour, details of which you'll find here. Watch this space for more info soon!


Gather foam and Fly

Gather foam and Fly

The photo says it all !
In dramatic news that has sent tremors through the world of follically-enhanced American guitar music, Phil Cook from Megafaun has shaven his beard off.

In a band statement Megafaun have issued a rallying cry to fans, sales reps and PRs across the world left bemused and shaken by the band's unprecedented stylistic shift: "We can no longer be defined as "beard-folk", the statement reads. "From here on out, we will go by "folk-rock".

Pictoral evidence has emerged, which you can study for yourself above. However we call upon eye witnesses to confirm this by attending one of Megafaun's forthcoming summer shows in Europe (by which time, of course, he may have grown it back again)
Staff Benda Bilili triumph at the Cannes Film Festival !

Staff Benda Bilili triumph at the Cannes Film Festival !

The full-length film about the band is set to become a worldwide sensation
"Benda Bilili", the film about the story of Staff Benda Bilili, was welcomed with a standing ovation on the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival. The internet is buzing with tweets and posts...

"An extraordinary film ... it will do what Ry Cooder & Wim Wenders did for the
Buena Vista Club and make them (Staff Benda Bilili) world famous...", says BBC Radio 

"a remarkable documentary and an amazing music film" (The Telegraph

"Jarringly powerful documentary on a rags-to-riches Congolese street band... disturbing and inspirational" (The Hollywood Reporter

Staff Benda Bilili appeared live from Cannes on major French TV talk show Le Grand Journal (Canal+), and glowing reviews have started appearing all over (see for example the full page  in Libération)

Devoted to the band's extraordinary story, this is the film on which French directors Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye (aka Belle Kinoise) have been working on for the past 5 years, ever since they encountered the band in Kinshasa.

The film shows the band's journey from the sidewalks of Kinshasa to the stages of large European concert halls and festivals, and features performances of many songs from Staff's popular "Très Très Fort" album, which came out last year on Crammed (and has just won Staff Benda Bilili the Songlines Award for "Best Group of 2010").

Staff Benda Bilili attended the premiere (on the opening night of the prestigious Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight) at Cannes), and performed a show at the Quinzaine party after the screening. The band will be staying in Cannes for several days, and worldwide media are already conducting dozens of interviews with them.

See some photos from the post-screening gig: http://www.quinzaine-realisateurs.com/le-staff-benda-bilili-enflamme-la-croisette-l5.html

Staff Benda Bilili will be performing over 50 dates around Europe this summer.

Watch this space for more news !

Konono invited by CocoRosie for Paris show

Konono invited by CocoRosie for Paris show

May 22 at Casino de Paris
Konono No 1 have been invited by CocoRosie to take part in their show at Casino de Paris on May 22!

The wildest and most talked about Congolese band are now on the last leg of their European tour, after ecstatically-received appearances in Brussels, London, Manchester, Bristol, Cologne and at Matt Groening's ATP,

Do not miss them in Amsterdam (16/5), Pau (18/5), St Nazaire (20/5), Art Rock Festival in St Brieuc (where the show will be filmed by Les Inrockuptibles for ARTE Live Web, 21/5), Paris (with CocoRosie on 22/5, and on the next day at the Barbes l'Africaine festival), Cadiz (27/5) and Madrid (29/5).

US/Canada tour to follow, July 9 to 23

Konono's smashing new album "Assume Crash Position" is now out everywhere  (except in the US, where it'll come out on June 8).

Details of all dates here
Cibelle and Lonely Drifter Karen celebrate the release of their respective albums

Cibelle and Lonely Drifter Karen celebrate the release of their respective albums

Cibelle Launch Party in London & shows in Spain and Portugal. Lonely Drifter Karen on tour in Central Europe, Munich & Amsterdam




Come celebrate the release of Lonely Drifter Karen's marvelous album Fall of Spring* and of Cibelle's trippiest opus to date, Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel **:

Tuesday 11 May: Lonely Drifter Karen at l'Européen, Paris (F)

Thursday 13 May: a Crammed Night at the Nuits Botanique festival in Brussels (B),
with both Cibelle and Lonely Drifter Karen performing in the Museum Room @ Botanique

Saturday 15 May: Cibelle at The Great Escape in Brighton (UK), 
and Lonely Drifter Karen in Vienna (Austria) 

18 + 19 May: Cibelle in Madrid and Barcelona (ES),
and Lonely Drifter Karen in Warsaw and Wroclaw (PL)

20 May: Cibelle Launch Party in London, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

21 to 23 May: Lonely Drifter Karen in Slovakia and Austria 

24 May: Lonely Drifter Karen in Munich (DE)

26+27 May: Cibelle in Lisbon and Porto (PT) with Grizzly Bear

28 May: Lonely Drifter Karen at Paradiso in Amsterdam (NL)  

Click here for more details on the dates

*
"Couching romantic tales in a menagerie of musical idioms. Impeccably arranged, grounded in nagging melodies and rendered genuinely moving by Tanja Frinta's beautiful croon" (Q, UK / 4 stars)
 
"La délicieuse Lonely Drifter Karen fête le printemps avec un disque plus pop et électrique, tendrement psychédélique, qui donne envie de se rouler dans un champ de fraises forever" (Les Inrockuptibles,F)

** 
"The divine Miss C... A rich and romantic, velvet-swathed world with a soundtrack that encompasses exotica, '60s surf instrumentals, Cambodian garage rock, Bond movie themes, retro space-pop... "  (Time Out, UK)

"Cibelle n’est plus. La chanteuse brésilienne a pété un câble, largué les amarres qui la retenaient à la réalité d’ici et maintenant. Elle est devenue Sonja Khalecallon (en hommage à Frida Kahlo et Sophie Calle), hôtesse du dernier cabaret d’hôtel (le Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel) de la terre, perdu dans une jungle post-apocalyptique. Un peu comme Régine, mais plus sexy. Coproduit par Damian Taylor, le Géo Trouvetout de Björk (dont Cibelle est un peu l’avatar tropical), Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel est un voyage haletant et inédit dans un espace-temps déréglé, déboussolé." (Les Inrockuptibles, F)

Lonely Drifter Karen video: "A Roof Somewhere" (live on a roof)

Cibelle video: "Man From Mars"

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