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Minibus Pimps — Cloud To Ground (2014)

 Minibus Pimps — Cloud To Ground (March 03, 2014)

Portal icon Portal icon   Minibus Pimps — Cloud To Ground
•   Minibus Pimps is a new and unique collaboration between John Paul Jones and electronic music pioneer Helge Sten. Using electronics, samplers, processors, instruments and ipads, the duo will be creating instrumental improvsations that will at times be ferocious and at others intricate. Come and take a ride with us!
Helge Sten: Artist, Producer, Composer
Helge Sten born: 26.01.1971 (Røros, Norway)
Instruments: Magnetic tape machines, theremin, sampler, various homemade electronics, guitar
Birth name: John Baldwin
Also known as: John Paul Jones, JPJ, Jonesy
Born: 3 January 1946, Sidcup, Greater London, England
Instruments: Bass guitar, keyboards, harp, double bass, mandolin, mandola, mandocello, mandobass, guitar, recorder, koto, lap steel guitar, continuum, autoharp, ukulele, sitar, keytar, banjo, saxophone, flute, viola, cello, violin, Warr Guitar, vocals, bass pedals, harmonica
Notable instruments: Fender Jazz Bass, Hammond organ, Rhodes piano,
Alembic, Custom Manson bass guitars and mandolins
Location: UK, Norway
Album release: March 03, 2014
Record Label: SusannaSonata
Duration:     29:02
Tracklist:
01 Black Aurora Pt.1-4 (John Paul Jones & Helge Sten)     15:57
02 Cloud To Ground (John Paul Jones & Helge Sten)     4:14
03 Arc (John Paul Jones & Helge Sten)     4:30
04 Superbolt (John Paul Jones & Helge Sten)     4:21
2014 SusannaSonata
Notes:
•  Jones has stated that, as a session musician, he was completing two and three sessions a day, six and seven days a week. However, by 1968 he was quickly feeling burnt out due to the heavy workload: "I was arranging 50 or 60 things a month and it was starting to kill me."
Legacy:
•  John Paul Jones is widely considered to be a highly influential and important bassist, keyboardist, and arranger in the history of rock music. Many notable rock bassists have been influenced by John Paul Jones, including John Deacon of Queen, Geddy Lee of Rush, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gene Simmons of Kiss, and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana. Chris Dreja, the rhythm guitarist and bassist of The Yardbirds, has described him as "the best bass player in Europe". Music publications and magazines have ranked Jones among the best rock bassists of all time. He was named the best bassist on Creem Magazine's 1977 Reader Poll. In 2000, Guitar magazine ranked him third in the "Bassist of the Millennium" readers' poll.
•  In October 2010, John Paul Jones was awarded a "Gold Badge Award" by The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for his outstanding contribution to Britain's music and entertainment industry. On 10 November 2010, he was honoured with the "Outstanding Contribution Award" at the Marshall Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards.
Personal life:
•  John met his wife, Maureen, in 1965, and they have been together ever since. They have 3 daughters: Tamara, Jacinda and Kiera. According to The Sunday Times Rich List Jones' assets are worth £40 million as of 2009.
Mandolins:
•  Jones owns many mandolins made by Andy Manson, including a triple neck mandolin, octave mandolin, octave mandola, and mando cello. His main mandolin is a Manson F style mandolin.
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This album:
   The album comes as a LP (180 gr black vinyl)  and CD inserted, with cover art made by Are Mokkelbost. It is also available for download at Itunes and other download-outlets.
   Something wicked this way comes. Something dark, menacing, fathomless. Shadows within shadows. Electricity from other planets. This is the heavy weather sound of Minibus Pimps: a perfect storm of crystalline chimes, low end rumbles and slow-blowing galactic hurricanes.
   Minibus Pimps is a duo featuring John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin's legendary multi-instrumentalist), and prolific electronic musician, improviser and producer Helge Sten (Deathprod, Supersilent), which has existed since its first performance in 2011. This unique and unconventional UK/Norwegian collaboration is named after a track discovered on a compilation of Chinese experimental music (a street recording of people who work the crowd to fill taxis in Beijing).
   The debut album Cloud To Ground contains seven tracks all recorded live at different venues, from London’s Café Oto to venues in Norway and Denmark. The secret of Minibus Pimps’ colossal sonic gas giants is their use of the Kyma computer system (created by Symbolic Sound). Instruments such as guitar, bass and violin are fed into the system and radically transformed by self-designed digital instruments and processors until their sources are barely recognisable.
   ‘I would say that the music contains composed and improvisational elements on an equal scale,’ says Helge Sten of the pieces on Cloud To Ground. With titles referencing what scientists call ‘remarkable luminous phenomena in nature’, the tracks are scintillating exercises in bending timbres and refracting sound signals. ‘Black Aurora’ is an electronic suite in four movements, pulsing and hovering like some collapsing dark star. The title track is a monstrous duet for icicles and cathedral organ, and the other pieces are masses of sound and noise explored in different densities.
   A prolific session musician in the 1960s, John played, arranged and recorded with artists including Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Françoise Hardy and many others until co-founding Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page in late 1967.    Following Led Zeppelin's unparalleled career he has collaborated, produced and arranged for a range of artists including Diamanda Galás, REM, Foo Fighters, Peter Gabriel, Merce Cunningham and many more. In 2009, he formed 'Them Crooked Vultures' with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme. He is currently writing an opera based on The Ghost Sonata by August Strindberg.
   Helge Sten has been making electronic music since the early 90s, both under the name Deathprod and, since 1997, as one of the improvising group Supersilent. One of Norway’s most innovative and uncompromising artists, his ‘audio virus’ has spread across the music of many collaborators including Motorpsycho, Susanna, Biosphere and more. Supersilent first teamed up with John Paul Jones at the Punkt festival in Kristiansand in 2010, a fruitful meeting that eventually spawned Minibus Pimps.
   Cloud To Ground is a giant step by two fearless sonic cosmonauts.
Label: http://www.susannasonata.com/
Website: http://www.minibuspimps.com/
JPJ website: http://www.johnpauljones.com/home.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnPaulJonesOfficial
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Minibus-Pimps/156033504469221
More links:
:: www.runegrammofon.com
:: www.supersilence.net
:: http://en.cyclopaedia.net/wiki/Helge-Sten
:: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helge_Sten
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REVIEW
By Paul Faithfull, March 7, 2014
   Cloud to Ground is very much an experimental piece of work, with synthesised sounds and unusual timbres very much the order of the day.  Opening track, ‘Black Aurora’ is fifteen minutes long, and takes up the entirety of side A (this is indeed available on sumptuous vinyl), beginning with a whisper, and featuring atmospheric instrumental parts juxtaposed with samples to create an immersive timbral experience.
   Whilst the track uses the traditional four movement classical form, it certainly eschews melody.   ‘Black Aurora’s’ sheer scale is mesmerising.  The third movement mixes stringed instruments, electronic radio effects and tape sounds that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Pink Floyd jam to draw the listener in and hold them in an almost trance like state.
   Title track ‘Cloud to Ground’ picks up where the first track left off, with ethereal sounds to begin with.  The listener is never really allowed to feel comfortable with this track (or indeed any on the rest of the album), as Sten and Jones play with the sounds to create a dense sound pallette.  Described as a ‘duet for icicles and cathedral orchestra’ by the PR notes, this track is an exercise in scale, with giant washes of reverb and echo providing an unrelenting barrage of noise.
   Cloud to Ground is certainly not an easy listen, and it would be almost too easy to dismiss this as an exercise in noisy contractual obligation a la Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, but the intricate timbral and textural shifts fashioned by the duo throughout the album make perfect sense.  Whilst you won’t be humming any of the tracks once the album has finished, the music will certainly stay with you for some time.  To compare this with any of John Paul Jones’ previous work would be almost ridiculous, as this is half a world away from jamming with Dave Grohl and playing bass for Seasick Steve.
   What is clear is that the collaboration between Jones and Sten allows both men to get something off their chests musically speaking and create a rich sonic tapestry.
I would liken this work to a film like Avatar, which has been roundly praised for its glorious and rich three-dimensional landscapes, raising the bar for 3D film making.  The Minibus Pimps manage to create a three dimensional landscape comprised solely with sound, and it only remains to be seen what comes next! (http://musosguide.com/)
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   Helge Sten aka Deathprod of Supersilent; A visionary revolutionist that will be in history books in the future.
Discography:
•  susanna "sonata mix dwarf cosmos" rune grammofon 2007
•  arve henriksen "strjon" rune grammofon 2007
•  deathprod "6-track" rune grammofon 2006
•  v/a "until human voices wake us and we drown" 2006
•  v/a "runeology" bomba records 2005
•  v/a "nor noise"  (dvd) [ohm] 2004
•  murcof "ultimatum" leaf 2004
•  murcof "utopía" leaf 2004
•  v/a "runeology 2" rune grammofon 2004
•  deathprod "deathprod" rune grammofon 2004
•  deathprod "morals and dogma" rune grammofon 2004
•  sidsel endresen / christian wallumrød / helge sten "merriwinkle" jazzland 2004
•  v/a "money will ruin everything" rune grammofon 2003
•  number seven deli "falkner street" bmg 2003
•  motorpsycho "it's a love cult" stickman / columbia 2002
•  v/a "nordic" irma 2002
•  food "veggie" rune grammofon 2002
•  motorpsycho "phanerothyme" stickman / columbia 2001
•  v/a "runeology" rune grammofon 2001
•  nils petter molvær "recoloured" emarcy / universal 2001
•  cloroform "scrawl" cloroform 2001
•  motorpsycho, the source, deathprod "roadwork vol 2: the motorsourcemassacre" stickman 2000
•  motorpsycho "let them eat cake" stickman / columbia 2000
•  v/a "love comes shining over mountains" rune grammofon 1999
•  lasse marhaug, john hegre, helge sten "the comfort of object" [ohm] 1999
•  biosphere / deathprod / nordheim "electric / transformed" rune grammofon 1998
•  biosphere / deathprod "nordheim transformed" rune grammofon 1998
•  origami arktika "faqul" komkol / [ohm] 1998
•  the white birch "people now human beings" dbut 1998
•  jaga jazzist "magazine ep" dbut 1998
•  motorpsycho "trust us" stickman / columbia 1998
•  the body lovers "number one of three" young god 1998
•  v/a "the oslo agreement" homebase communi cations
•  v/a "det norske hus" dbut 1997
•  motorpsycho "angels & daemons at play" stickman / columbia 1997
•  v/a "fra svartlamo:n with love" progress records 1997
•  deathprod "imaginary songs from tristan da cunha" dbut 1996
•  motorpsycho "blissard" stickman / columbia 1996
•  motorpsycho "the nerve tatto ep" stickman / comubia 1996
•  the jörg marger trio "a shortcut to the stars / la luna" subtopia 1995
•  v/a "a sampler from voices of wonder" voices of wonder 1995
•  deathprod "treetop drive parts 1—3, towboat" metal art disco 1994
•  origami arktika / deathprod "the symbasic structure for the concrete / challenge 3logy pt 3 — lat att grinda" dbut / komkol 1994
•  motorpsycho "wearing yr smell ep" emi / stickman 1994
•  motorpsycho "timothy's monster" emi / stickman 1994
•  v/a "flaming youth — a norwegian tribute to kiss" rec 1994
•  motorpsycho "mountain ep" voices of wonder 1993
•  motorpsycho "demon box" voices of wonder 1993
•  v/a "ur rauten" dbut 1992
•  v/a "serious statements and silly symphonies" dbut 1991
Discography John Paul Jones:
Led Zeppelin not.
Solo albums:
•  Scream for Help (1985) — film soundtrack
•  The Sporting Life (1994) with Diamanda Galás
•  Zooma (1999)
•  The Thunderthief (2001)
With Them Crooked Vultures:
•  Them Crooked Vultures (2009)
With Seasick Steve:
•  You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks (2011)
•  Hubcap Music (2013)
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Minibus Pimps — Cloud To Ground (2014)

 

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