Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Magnet, aka Even Johansen, lives his simple life on a little farm on an island outside Bergen. There he has his studio and there he makes his records, doing almost everything himself.
“Tonto” is the third single taken off Battles‘ debut album Mirrored (Warp Records). This epic 7’43” song comes with a stunning video that you can watch above. The video is the fruit of a collaboration between Battles and celebrated lights artists UVA (United Visual Artists).
Regina Spektor was born in Moscow, Russia, and started studying classical piano from the age of six, practising on a Petrof piano given to her mother by her grandfather. She was also exposed to the music of rock and roll bands such as The Beatles, Queen, and The Moody Blues by her father, who obtained such recordings in Eastern Europe and traded cassettes with friends in the Soviet Union. When she was only nine, her family left the Soviet Union, during the period of Perestroika when Jewish citizens were permitted to emigrate. Travelling first to Austria and then Italy and the US, the Spektors settled in the Bronx, where Regina gained a firm grounding in classical music and then gradually became interested in pop, rock, and punk as well.
Regina Spektor self-released her first two albums 11:11 (2001) and Songs (2002) and sold after performances in downtown NYC. In 2004, she signed a contract with Sire Records to publish and distribute her third album Soviet Kitsch, originally self-released in 2003. Met with critical acclaim, this album helped cement Spektor’s transition from underground to mainstream success.
More info and music on MySpace. Buy all of Regina Spektor’s releasese on
L’Altra was formed in 1999 in Chicago with original members Lindsay Anderson, Joseph Desler Costa, Ken Dyber, and Eben English. Marc Hellner was also a regular contributor. The band released one self-titled EP and two full-length albums (Music of a Sinking Occasion and In The Afternoon) with Aesthetics Records before English and Dyber left the band.
Having decided to go on as a duo, Lindsay Anderson and Joseph Desler Costa released their third studio album Different Days in 2005 on Hefty Records. With Joshua Eustis (better known as one half of Telefon Tel Aviv) on production duties, Different Days showcases L’Altra’s lush, romantic sound and perfectly balances electronic beats, conventional instruments and Anderson and Costa’s wistful vocals. What better illustration than the album’s gorgeous opening track “Sleepless Night”?
Based in Germany, the band Ms John Soda has already released three albums. Their last full length, Notes And The Like, was released a few months ago on hip Berlin hip label Morr Music (also home to Lali Puna). Their brand of electronic music with a twist doesn’t really lend itself to clear-cut definitions but that makes it all the more interesting.
“A nod on hold” is a good example of the kind of sound structure you can expect, with loops and different kinds of bleeps and bloops. At the same time, you’ll find lots of guitars and strings, especially on the new album. For example, “Scan the ways” is very guitar-oriented, while a track like “A million times” follows the melancholic, yet hopeful, sound of a small string ensemble. In general, the band manages to totally blend instruments and programming and the result is always incredibly smooth.
If you enjoy Notes And The Like, you should definitely give Ms John Soda’s previous releases a listen and you’ll get a couple more hours of listening pleasure. No P. or D. (2002) and While talking (2003) are definitely worth checking out.