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Piano Magic Closure

Piano Magic — Closure (January 20th 2017)

                 Piano Magic — Closure (January 20th 2017)  Piano Magic — Closure (January 20th 2017)≡   Piano Magic is a musical collective formed in the summer of 1996 by Glen Johnson, Dominic Chennell, and Dick Rance in London, England.
Location: London, England
Album release: January 20th 2017
Record Label: Second Language Music
Duration:     42:38
01 Closure     10:41
02 Landline     4:15
03 Exile     4:05
04 Let Me Introduce You    4:00
05 Living for Other People     5:39
06 You Never Stop Loving (the One That You Loved)     3:29
07 Atttention to Life     4:43
08 I left You Twice, Not Once     5:46
≡   Glen Johnson
≡   Jerome Tcherneyan
≡   Alasdair Steer
≡   Franck Alba
≡   Paul Tornbohm
Companies, etc.:
≡   Recorded at — Soup Studio
≡   Recorded at — Oceanic Studio
≡   Mastered at — 3345 Mastering
≡   Backing Vocals — Josh Hight
≡   Bass Guitar — Alasdair Steer
≡   Cello — Audrey Riley
≡   Cover — Martin Andersen
≡   Design, Layout — Jeff Teader
≡   Drums, Percussion — Jerome Tcherneyan
≡   Engineer — David Holmes, Giles Barrett
≡   Guitar, Programmed By — Franck Alba
≡   Guitar, Programmed By, Melodica, Vocals — Glen Johnson
≡   Keyboards — Paul Tornbohm
≡   Mastered By — Noel Summerville
≡   Mixed By — Asa Bennett, Glen Johnson
≡   Photography — Nieves Mingueza
≡   Recorded By — Asa Bennett, Franck Alba, Glen Johnson, Jerome Tcherneyan, Jim Moginie
≡   Trumpet — Oliver Cherer
≡   Vocals — Peter Milton Walsh (tracks: B3)
≡   Words By — Glen Johnson, Peter Milton Walsh (tracks: B3)
♠    Dedicated to our fathers.♣   Piano Magic’s final album, ‘Closure,’ will be formally released by Second Language Music on January 20th 2017 worldwide on CD, 180gm vinyl and digital download formats.
♣   However, those pre~ordering the CD and/or vinyl exclusively from the Second Language website before November 31st 2016 will not only receive a bonus limited edition 24 page A5 fanzine featuring extensive interviews with the band plus the album guests but will also receive their order in December 2016.*
♣   Recorded in London between April and August of this year, ‘Closure,’ features guest appearances from Peter Milton Walsh of The Apartments, Audrey Riley (go~to cellist for The Go~Betweens, Nick Cave, Virginia Astley and many more), Josh Hight (Irons) and Oliver Cherer (Dollboy). For this final album, the nucleus of Piano Magic was Glen Johnson, Jerome Tcherneyan, Franck Alba, Alasdair Steer and Paul Tornbohm.
♣   From its conception as a bedroom~studio hobby in Summer 1996, Piano Magic’s trajectory has never been textbook ~ random at best. Originally, a self~confessed revolving door operation ~ musicians arriving, contributing and leaving as they pleased ~ they harvested a catalogue of varied singles, EPs and two albums by 1998. This convey~belt membership also resulted in a plethora of sonic stylings, from smallbeat Kraftwerkian Meccano Pop on debut album, ‘Popular Mechanics’ (1997) to the breathless, ethereal, multi~layered melancholy of ‘Low Birth Weight’ (1998). Only in 1999 did Piano Magic resemble anything like a conventional format group. •   Smooth~talked into playing a Dutch festival which actually turned out quite well, they decided to play anywhere they were wanted and began to build something of a cult following, particularly on the European Continent. They spectacularly showcased the post~modernist baroque sound of ‘Artists’ Rifles’ (1999) at the Benicassim and BAM music festivals. Ironically, the band have never infiltrated the hearts of the British music press ~ out of time, unfashionable and kinda weird looking, its best not to stay home much. Tours of Germany, Holland, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain peppered the next few years. The band signed to 4AD Records in 2000 and delivered their most critically contentious work, ‘Writers Without Homes’ and the soundtrack to Spanish director, Bigas Lunas’ ‘Son De Mar’ movie. Though oft~maligned, ‘Writers Without Homes’ was a particularly monumental milestone for the band, as it featured the first vocal recording for 33 years of lost 60’s/70’s folk heroine, Vashti Bunyan. •   Post~’Writers, Piano Magic have become closer to a more “conventional group format.” Drafting in French musicians, Jerome Tcherneyan and Franck Alba alongside English bassist, Alasdair Steer, Piano Magic recorded ‘The Troubled Sleep Of Piano Magic,’ for Spanish independent, Green Ufos. This album perfectly encapsulated the live sound of the group ~ delicate vocals, glistening guitars, insistent drums, anthemic synth washes. A new record, Saint Marie EP followed in June 2004 and featured collaborations with, again, Vashti Bunyan as well as Alan Sparhawk from Low and Ben Ayres from Cornershop. Piano Magic’s 2005 album, ‘Disaffected,’ stretched fingers into an even more melodic, near~on “pop” sound, magically without dispensing with their notorious depth of emotion. It features guest vocal contributions from John Grant of The Czars and Angle David~Guillou of Klima (the latter, now with her own debut solo album out on the Peacefrog label). In the 2 interim years between the release of Disaffected and follow~up, the Guy Fixsen~produced, ‘Part Monster’ (2007), the band continued to be prolific and not only in concert (the band added Turkey, Poland, Italy, Greece and Portugal to their gig list). Johnson released a debut album of experimental electronic under the name, Textile Ranch and along with keyboardist, Cedric Pin, as Future Conditional, put out an album of electropop on LTM, ‘We Don’t Just Disappear.’
♣   After an uncharacteristically lengthy hiatus in which Johnson worked on his debut solo long~player (‘Details Not Recorded,’ 2009), Piano Magic released their 10th official album, ‘Ovations’ (2009) on the pioneering UK independent label, Make Mine Music. ‘Ovations,’ featuring special guest appearances from Brendan Perry and Peter Ulrich of Dead Can Dance, found Piano Magic at their most confident, melodic and unabashed, merging early 80’s coldwave electronics with Eastern European acoustic instrumentation.   To date, Piano Magic has harboured over 60 sonic orphans with nothing better to do, recorded 10 proper albums, a double CD retrospective and many, many singles. They’ve outlived several of the labels they’ve recorded for and show no signs of stopping. At this point in time, Piano Magic is Glen Johnson, Franck Alba, Jerome Tcherneyan, Alasdair Steer and Angèle David~Guillou.
B i o g r a p h y   by  Andy Kellman
♣   Due to a wide range of influences, restless/relentless creative energies, and a supporting cast that’s too numerous to list in full, random peeks into the catalog of the Glen Johnson~helmed Piano Magic — from super limited~edition singles on Spanish independents to full~length soundtracks — rarely result in the same thing twice. Started in the mid~‘90s by Johnson, Dominic Chennell, and Dick Rance with the intention to base their recordings around a small nucleus and whoever would like to contribute — using 4AD founder Ivo Watts~Russell’s This Mortal Coil as something of a template — the material released by Piano Magic has ranged from arty Baroque pop to childlike electronic knob twiddling and whatever points you can and can’t think of in between. The lone thread running through Piano Magic’s records, aside from Johnson’s presence, is a sense of wistfulness. Johnson has explained his desire to soundtrack memories, and with that, Piano Magic have found their niche. One early hope of Piano Magic was to avoid the live element. However, when their first single, 1996’s Wrong French, was awarded Single of the Week in Melody Maker, the initial trio felt obligated to play out in support of it. Along with Paul Tornbohm, the group played their first gig and opted not to play any of the material found on their records. They also made no attempt whatsoever to sound anything like their records, so odds were pretty good that a few curious concert~goers were perplexed after returning from the shops and hearing the studio incarnation of the outfit. “Signed” to Che, the label that released Wrong French, the group kicked out two more singles (with one issued on Wurlitzer Jukebox) prior to releasing their first full record, Popular Mechanics, in November of 1997. Including some of the additional personnel featured on the preceding singles, such as vocalists Rachael Leigh and Hazel Burfitt and instrumentalist Martin Cooper, the record threw together some previously released material along with a clutch of new songs. As uneven as the record is, its mysteriousness provokes replay after replay.
♣   The band left Che, having been frustrated with their lack of effort. Not surprisingly, the constant financial flux soon got the best of the label. In 1999, a crazy slew of singles and EPs for labels like Staalplaat, Darla, and Bad Jazz — including a split single with Matmos for Lissy’s — surrounded the release of the second album, Low Birth Weight (Rocket Girl). Thanks to just a little more focus and a higher level of quality from beginning to end, the record is often regarded by fans as their best work. In addition to most of the prior suspects, Caroline Potter, Alexander Perls, Matt Simpson, Jen Adam, Simon Rivers (Bitter Springs), David Sheppard (State River Widening), and Peter Astor (the Weather Prophets, the Wisdom of Harry) figured into the process of making it. The following year was one of Piano Magic’s least prolific, but it still spawned a remix EP for Germany’s Morr Music and the rather conceptual full~length Artists’ Rifles, which bases its subject matter in the first World War. It’s the group’s most consistent work in terms of sound. It features none of the electronics heard on prior releases, instead focusing on delicate interplay between drums, guitars, and the cello work of Adrienne Quartly. At some point prior to its recording, Miguel Marin was added to the group’s lineup apparently as a permanent member. In 2001, Piano Magic were commissioned to score Spanish director Bigas Luna’s Son de Mar. The director had heard Low Birth Weight in a record shop and was impressed enough to ask them to provide music for the film. Peaceful, lulling, breezy, and completely instrumental, the score demonstrates Piano Magic’s astonishing range. Released by 4AD, Son de Mar spawned a deal between the two, and the group began working on the proper follow~up to Low Birth Weight later in the year. To satiate fans and irritate hardcore vinyl collectors, Rocket Girl released Seasonally Affective, an exhaustive double~disc compilation of singles. Writers Without Homes was eventually completed and released in mid~2002. ♣   Piano Magic left 4AD soon after, releasing The Troubled Sleep of Piano Magic in 2003 on Spain’s Green UFOs label and Disaffected in 2005 on Darla.
Website: http://www.piano-magic.co.uk/
Label: http://www.secondlanguagemusic.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PianoMagic
≡±≡   Popular Mechanics, (i/Che, 1997)
≡±≡   A Trick of the Sea, (Darla, 1998)
≡±≡   Low Birth Weight, (Rocket Girl, 1999)
≡±≡   Artists’ Rifles, (Rocket Girl, 2000)
≡±≡   Son de Mar, (4AD, 2001)
≡±≡   Writers Without Homes, (4AD, 2002)
≡±≡   The Troubled Sleep of Piano Magic, (Green UFOs, 2003)
≡±≡   Disaffected (Darla, 2005)
≡±≡   Part Monster (Important, 2007)
≡±≡   Ovations (Make Mine Music, 2009)
≡±≡   Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet (Second Language, 2012)
≡±≡   Closure (Second Language, 2016)

Piano Magic Closure


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