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★   BETH ORTON
★★★★ Kidsticks (May 27, 2016) ★★★★

BETH ORTON — Kidsticks  (May 27, 2016)              BETH ORTON — Kidsticks  (May 27, 2016)BETH ORTON — Kidsticks  (May 27, 2016)■*■   Radikální redesign a současně znobuobjevení původní Bětky. Nezaměnitelný hlas Beth tě obejme uvnitř deseti čistých, odvážných, hravých a kinetických písní v originálním rámu. Celkový dojem mohl být ještě impozantnější, ‘skvrny levharta však nikdy nezměníš’: pořád ty žalmem zbarvené a oduševnělé vokály, často zdvojené na stejné tónině, v písni Flesh and Blood už pečlivě propracované. V této písni je ukázkově znát práci hned šesti nástrojových režisérů. Jemné nuance a detaily jsou odměnou za opakovaný poslech. Šesté album dále zahrnuje invenční rytmické patterny, dynamické tsunami a v písní “1973” vliv Kraftwerk. I tak “Kidsticks” je skutečným přerodem: ne tolik návratem ke svým elektronickým kořenům, jako spíše pátračkou čerstvě objeveného území, na kterém stály dávno předtím nohy Petra Gabriela a Ruperta Hine–a. Radikální přerod zpěvačky směrem k progresu je tak zasněný jako nikdy předtím. Na výsledném soundu se výrazně podepsali producent, skladatel a režisér Andrew Hung, Shahzad Ismaily (Bass, Moog Bass) a Chris Taylor z Grizzly Bear (multiobsazení, nejvíce kytary a vokály). Tímto albem se Beth Orton dostává do světové extratřídy progresivně zaměřených písničkářek. Singer–songwriter turned critics’ and fans’ ears in the 1990s with her electronica–infused folk–rock. Birth name: Elizabeth Caroline Orton
Born: 14 December 1970, East Dereham, Norfolk, England
Location: Norwich ~ London, England, UK
Instruments: Vocals, acoustic guitar
Styles: Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Experimental
Album release: May 27, 2016
Record Label: ANTI–
Duration:     37:25    
Tracks:
01 Snow     4:13 
02 Moon     4:02 
03 Petals     3:58 
04 1973     2:54 
05 Wave     3:16 
06 Dawnstar     4:48 
07 Falling     4:22 
08 Corduroy Legs     3:02 
09 Flesh and Blood     5:43 
10 Kidsticks     1:17
λ→  All tracks written by Andrew Hung / Beth Orton.
Credits:
■   Jake Aron Additional Production, Bass Engineer, Drum Engineering
■   Thomas Bartlett Vocal Engineer
■   Guillermo E. Brown Drums
■   Tierney Gearon Photography
■   Trevor Hernandez Design
■   Andrew Hung Composer, Drum Programming, Mixing, Producer, Synthesizer Engineer
■   Bram Inscore Bass
■   Shahzad Ismaily Bass, Moog Bass
■   Alain Johannes Vocal Engineer
■   Oliver Krauss Vocal Engineer
■   George Lewis Jr. Guitar (Electric)
■   Mike Marsh Mastering
■   Dustin O’Halloran Piano, String Arrangements
■   Beth Orton Composer, Keyboards, Producer, Synthesizer, Vocals
■   “Lucky” Paul Taylor Drums, Percussion
■   Chris Taylor Additional Production, Bass, Bass Engineer, Guitar (Electric), Vocal Engineer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
■   Szela Thompson Vocals (Background)
■   David Wrench MixingDescription:
λ→  When musicians talk about getting back to their roots, it’s usually an excuse to pull out a battered old acoustic to create some bare bones music. In Beth Orton’s case, going back to her roots meant something very different.
λ→  Having relocated to California a couple of years ago, Beth began experimenting with a series of electronic loops that would eventually come together as her career–redefining new album; a record inspired both by the wide–open nature of Los Angeles and the spirit of Beth’s earliest recordings (electronic work with producers like William Orbit, Andrew Weatherall and Kieran Hebden as well as groove–based music with Red Snapper).
λ→  Co–produced by Beth and Andrew Hung (Fuck Buttons), Kidsticks reframes Beth’s unmistakable voice inside ten pure, audacious, playful and kinetic songs. A resolutely focused album, it represents a rare chance to hear an established artist get plugged in and completely rework the songwriting process with wide–eyed, open–minded glee.
λ→  Beth Orton has been one of the most unique and beguiling voices in music for the past two decades. Her debut LP — Trailer Park — pioneered a synthesis of electronic and acoustic songs to huge acclaim. The follow up — Central Reservation — brought international success and the Brit Award for best British female. Further albums like the Jim O’Rourke produced Comfort of Strangers and 2012’s Sugaring Season deepened the breadth of her craft (Sugaring Season was described by Pitchfork as “ten songs of sweet resilience delivered by a voice of seemingly effortless expression”). Kidsticks — Beth’s sixth album — takes a glance back to Beth’s past whilst staring confidently into a bright future.Press/Credits:
■   “The new record never feels like a retreat into the familiar; instead, it finds her marrying her gorgeously lived–in voice to a palette expansive enough to incorporate quietly throbbing pulses and whiz–bang futurism.” — NPR
■   “a singularly remarkable album that sets a true benchmark for 2016” — Under The Radar
■   ““Beth Orton ditches the acoustic guitar for this subtly crushing meditation on fast–disappearing years, stitched together from loops and one–fingered keyboard refrains with the help of Fuck Buttons’ Andrew Hung.” — Q Magazine
■   “This album of lean, compelling electronic pop, co–produced by F*** Button’s Andrew Hung, emphatically redresses the balance and yields her most invigorating songs in years.” — GQ (UK)
■λ→     Beth Orton’s seventh album. Kidsticks, is due out May 27th on Anti–, but you can currently hear the record over at NPR’s First Listen. This is the first record Beth has written on synthesizers instead of acoustic guitar. The album started with 10 days of Beth and co–producer Andrew Hung making loops in a garage in LA. Over the next 18 months, Beth built the tracks up from basic four–bar loops into beautiful multi–layered electronic songs augmented by live musicians, in her first official foray into production.
■λ→     The album was mixed by David Wrench (the man responsible for recent hits by Hot Chip and Caribou) and features work from a cast of guest musicians assembled by Beth including Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr and Dustin O’Halloran from Winged Victory for the Sullen.Also:
Tim Jonze, Thursday 26 May 2016 21.50 BST;  Score: ****
Radical reinvention is as dreamy as ever.
■   Back in the 1990s, Beth Orton gained a rep as the comedown queen: her folksy music boasted an electronic edge and her involvement with Heavenly’s dance crew — she collaborated with the Chemical Brothers — ensured that her music could serve as a gentle passage back to reality. Since that heyday she has pursued more traditional singer–songwriter territory, but Kidsticks is a real reinvention: not so much a return to her electronic roots as a bold exploration of fresh territory. A collaboration with Fuck Buttons’ Andrew Hung, this sixth solo album embraces inventive rhythm patterns, tsunamis of synth and, on 1973, the metronomic influence of Kraftwerk. Dawnstar is particularly dreamy, a giant cloud of a song to lose yourself in. Such a radical redesign should be imposing, yet Orton’s vocals — plaintive and soulful as ever — still take centre stage. ■   https://www.theguardian.com/AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek;  Score: ***½
■   When Beth Orton released Sugaring Season in 2012, she had moved as far as possible from her “folktronica” origins. She’d taken guitar lessons from Bert Jansch, written more formally conventional songs, and used an organic all–star studio band that included Brian Blade, Eyvind Kang, and Rob Burger, with string arrangements by Nico Muhly. Four years on, she’s completely re–embraced technology. Kidsticks doesn’t reflect the synthesis of folk and electronica she explored with Andrew Weatherall and William Orbit, though. After relocating to Southern California, she’s enlisted Andrew Hung of Fuck Buttons and prolific mixing engineer David Wrench (Hot Chip, Caribou, FKA twigs) in delivering her most radical — and musically playful — album. This set leaves her acoustic guitar, when present at all, in the background, replaced by layer upon layer of loops, beats, and synths that frame her voice in (mostly) well–crafted, memorable songs. “Snow”’s polyrhythmic series of loops recalls Talking Heads circa Remain in Light. Her vocals are delivered with stacked harmonies in call and response atop a whomping bassline, skittering handclaps, and ambient washes. The wonky synths and miniature breakdowns in “1973” wed early Daft Punk to late–‘70s Kraftwerk as her voice rises dreamily to the top. First single “Moon” features jazz drummer Guillermo Brown and bassist Bram Inscore. They create a propulsive double–time rhythm track that would fill any dancefloor. The melody is pure Orton, but Hung piles on a truckload of extra beats and the cut moves in two directions at once: its lyric is tender and emotional, its sound is hyperkinetic club hedonism. “Petals” and “Dawnstar” contain Orton’s distinctive, lived–in voice and simply gorgeous melodies. The former contains a synth drop bass and squalling psychedelic electric guitars in buckets of reverb, while the latter is a spacious 21st century take on Frippertronics loops with a thrumming bass drum, fragmented silvery synths, and string effects. They surround her finest — and easily most expressive — vocal on the album. This doesn’t all work, however. The wispy spoken word and birdsong effects on “Corduroy Legs” become monotonous after 30 seconds, and the title track closer is an instrumental sketch that falls flat after the romantic, sensual, synthetic pop–soul that is “Flesh and Blood.” These are small complaints on a record as exploratory and bracing as this. Kidsticks isn’t the sound of Orton closing her circle but opening it wide. In her restlessness and self–discovery, she looks outward and comes away fresh and renewed as a result.
Awards:
Billboard Albums:
■   *   1999   Heatseekers      #2
■   *   1999   The Billboard 200      #110
Billboard Singles:
■   *   1999   Central Reservation    Dance Music/Club Play Singles      #43
■   *   1999   Stolen Car    Modern Rock Tracks      #32
Billboard Albums:
■   2002 Daybreaker The Billboard 200     #40
■   2002 Daybreaker Top Internet Albums     #40
Billboard Albums:
■   2006 Comfort Of Strangers European Top 100 Albums 
■   2006 Comfort Of Strangers The Billboard 200     #92
■   2006 Comfort Of Strangers Top Internet Albums     #92
■   2012 Sugaring Season The Billboard 200     #90
■   2012 Sugaring Season Top Independent Albums     #18
■   2012 Sugaring Season Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums     #23
■   2012 Sugaring Season Top Rock Albums     #34
Discography:
   Superpinkymandy (1993)
■   Trailer Park (1996)
■   Central Reservation (1999)
■   Daybreaker (2002)
■   Comfort of Strangers (2006)
■   Sugaring Season (2012)
■   Kidsticks (2016)
Filmography:
■   Southlander
■   Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man
■   Charmed 9 February 2003 ‘Sand Francisco Dreamin’ (Season 5, Episode 14)
Website: http://www.bethortonofficial.com/
Label: http://www.anti.com/artists/beth-orton/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beth_orton
Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/artist/6cLEWhEKQl6nAvgr60M7zC
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/BethOrton/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BethOrtonOfficial
Tumblr: http://bethortonofficial.tumblr.com/■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ→■*λ

★   BETH ORTON
★★★★ Kidsticks (May 27, 2016) ★★★★

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