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 MORCHEEBA (Electronica)

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Number of posts : 172
Registration date : 31/05/2008

MesajSubiect: MORCHEEBA (Electronica)   Sam Mai 31, 2008 5:31 pm



Origin: London, England
Genre(s): Electronica, Alternative, Trip-hop, Downtempo, Chillout, Experimental
Years active: 1995-present

Website: http://www.morcheeba.co.uk

Members:
Paul Godfrey
Ross Godfrey

Former members:
Skye Edwards
Daisy Martey

Morcheeba are an English band that mixes influences from trip hop, rock, rhythm and blues and pop. Sometime in the mid-1990s, the Godfrey brothers (DJ Paul Godfrey and multi-instrumentalist Ross Godfrey) recruited Skye Edwards as vocalist during a chance meeting at a party in which both brothers were introduced to Skye. This led to formation of Morcheeba after the Godfrey brothers numerous attempts at gaining a record deal. Five albums later (2003), Edwards left the band due partly to her not having enough musical direction on the band thus causing a conflict of interest between the members. In 2005 they recorded another album, and recruited Daisy Martey (formerly of the band Noonday Underground) to replace Edwards on vocals. Edwards' voice had become an integral part of Morcheeba's sound, and the new lead singer faced criticism from both fans and music critics. Recently the Godfrey brothers have replaced Martey with another singer - Jody Sternberg - for their live performances.

MORCHEEBA were the pioneers of downtempo, the architects of trip-hop, the masterminds behind records that have now sold over five million copies. “We invented chillout with songs,” says Ross Godfrey. The sound soon became synonymous with spectacular sunsets and late night comedowns. Eventually, somehow inevitably, it ended up everywhere – soundtracking films and adverts, included on compilation albums, de rigeur at dinner parties and spawning the likes of Air, Zero 7 and Dido.

Morcheeba released their first album Who Can You Trust in 1996. Big Calm, released two years later, saw their profile soar worldwide as they defined a new blend of soul, hip-hop, country and electronica. Its follow up, Fragments Of Freedom (2000), took a more poppy approach, while Charango (2002) saw them collaborate with the likes of Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner and legendary rap artist Slick Rick. Parts Of The Process, a Greatest Hits album followed in 2003, as well as a live DVD – From Brixton To Beijing – that contained documentary footage of their groundbreaking tour of China.

After four albums, something had changed in the MORCHEEBA camp. Paul and Ross, burnt out on touring and the decadence that made it bearable, found it tough to even contemplate working together. Two years on sitting in their South London studio shortly after the completion of their new album, THE ANTIDOTE, Ross sums up the situation. “It was clear that the three members of MORCHEEBA were pulling in different directions, with their own interests and priorities making it increasingly difficult to work together. The glue of desperation and hunger that kept us together during the early years had come unstuck.

Ross’ answer was simple. He put MORCHEEBA on ice. “I travelled a lot, to South America, South East Asia and North Africa. I started a rock group called The Jukes, played shows and released a single. It was fun. I found it cathartic to play loud.”

Paul’s approach was somewhat more eccentric, arguably in keeping with his general demeanour. “After the last world tour,” he explains, a smile creeping across his face, “I returned home and built a log cabin at the bottom of my garden. I disappeared there for four months solid. I exercised obsessively. In the morning I’d take stimulating ‘Stacker’ pills, get stoned and work out for hours. For lunch I’d eat tinned fish and cereal bars, and in the evenings I took shamanic truffles on an empty stomach and tripped out listening to wild music.” It’s hard to tell whether he’s joking. “I lost four stone, but it’s not a regime I’d recommend…”

Paul also started his own project, Capricorn 2, a hip hop production team with long term studio collaborator Chris Harrison. Like Ross, who had set up his own label (27 Records), Paul also started releasing 12”s through his own Capritone imprint. “We proved to ourselves we could succeed individually,” he says, “and the new found independence reignited our relationships with sound.”

For most bands, parting with a singer might seem a setback, but for the Godfreys it was an opportunity to start again. “MORCHEEBA started out as the two of us”, Paul clarifies. “It was always mine and Ross’ baby, though it’s more like a moody teenager these days! So Skye leaving wasn’t as big a deal for us as it may seem to other people, but it meant we had to find the right voice to collaborate with again. We were approached by many singers, but none had the timeless, world class quality that Skye had.” Then a friend gave them an album by a band called Noonday Underground fronted by a young singer called Daisy Martey. “Daisy’s vocals changed everything,” Paul states emphatically.

“We were impressed with her Grace Slick psych-soul voice,” Ross continues, “and more importantly we were won over by her dynamic range.” Paul phoned Daisy and discovered she was no longer a part of Noonday Underground. They invited her to the studio, and within days it was clear the new picture was complete.

THE ANTIDOTE is the sound of a band challenging and reinventing themselves without losing touch with the history and sound that they innovated. It sees MORCHEEBA broaden their horizons beyond the downtempo sound with which they are associated and embraces a whole raft of different influences as diverse as Aphex Twin and Bonnie Prince Billy, cult leftfield guitar heroes like Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, and further back to the likes of Fairport Convention, David Axelrod and Jimi Hendrix. It’s a more upbeat record that raises the tempo to match the rougher, edgier vocals that Daisy brings to the mix. It’s still Morcheeba, no doubt about it but coloured now by a more brazen acknowledgement of the band’s personal listening tastes.
“We wanted to up the ante a bit, tempo wise and dynamically,” Ross continues. “We wanted to have a mix of that late 60s psychedelic sound, but with a modern consciousness.”

“I love any of that stuff where they take a lush, expensive sounding backdrop,” Paul interrupts excitedly, “and then just have rock ‘n’ roll bass and drums rattling away, like Scott Walker. It’s just such a cool sound, the trashy garage-ness of the bass and drums…”

“We were going to call the album Shroomers, the psychedelic Rumours,” Paul jokes. “Or maybe Truffle Rock…”

Working with Daisy for the first time, as well as experimental electronic musician Rob Mullinder proved to be an invigorating and inspiring experience. With Daisy in place, it was inevitable that the band’s signature sound would develop. The relationship between the three of them – lighthearted, flippant, familiar and easy-going – was clearly creatively beneficial. More importantly, as Daisy explains, “I come from a completely different background. I think the guys liked the fact that I’m not experienced.” Despite her work with Noonday Underground, Daisy had spent more time working in classical music than anything else.

“Ideas were all generated in one place,” says Ross. “Eight songs on Big Calm were written in one night and we wanted that intensity again. Now, for the first time in four or five years, we sat and wrote songs all day long.”

The ANTIDOTE marks a step away from the band’s previous studio work in that it is almost entirely recorded live. “When we first got together we did ‘Wonders Never Cease’,” Ross continues, “and Paul played live drums on it. It sounded great! So we were encouraged by the success of our own experimentation. Then a drummer friend of ours came in for a jam and he was just the walking, talking dusty breaks machine. Everything he did was just spot on it was just what we needed. And so we ended up making the whole album live.”

The experience provided Paul with the impetus to focus even more on his lyrics and the results revolve largely around two themes: finding freedom, often within oneself, and dealing with relationships. “It’s about people’s inability to communicate. And there’s some more aggressive stuff on there. I let myself go a bit more, rather than just writing what I thought people would like to hear over our ‘nice’ music.

There’s a sense of release in the almost complete abandonment of programmed drums, the embrace of live instrumentation and adventurous arrangements, the flourishes and frills that come with freedom. Presumably Echo heard in the new direction the sound of a band reenergised, reignited, and renewing their love for music. It’s hard to miss when it’s this successful. THE ANTIDOTE is an album packed with classic tunes. Tougher, for the most part, rougher and bigger than ever before, it combines everything that the Godfreys love about the magic they find in making music.

So what happens when the formerly gentle royalty of downtempo drop their inhibitions, change singer, immerse themselves in leftfield avant garde rock, experiment with mind expanding substances and work without a record label? They come up with THE ANTIDOTE.

“There’s one thing we’ve always done,” Ross summarises. “When you come home – you’ve been out at a party, or taken a few mushrooms, or smoked a couple of spliffs – you go through your record collection with nothing in mind, but you know you’ve got a record that’s going to suit your mood perfectly at that time.” He smiles at his brother. “That’s the record we’ve made.”

Later, the Godfrey brothers replaced Martey with another singer - Jody Sternberg - for their live performances, but their tour in support of Dive Deep was with French singer Manda on lead vocals. Their new studio album Dive Deep was released in February 2008 in Europe & the UK. This album, produced by Paul & Ross Godfrey, features several guest vocalists including Judie Tzuke, Thomas Dybdahl, Cool Calm Pete, and Manda.


Discography

Albums
* Who Can You Trust? (1996)
* Big Calm (1998) #18 UK
* La Boule Noire (1998) (live)
* Fragments of Freedom (2000) #6 UK
* Back to Mine (2001)
* Charango (2002) #7 UK
* Parts of the Process (The Very Best Of Morcheeba) (2003) #6 UK
* The Antidote (2005) #17 UK
* The Platinum Collection (2005)
* Get Mashed (by Kool DJ Klear) (2005)
* Dive Deep (2008) #59 UK

Singles:
* (1996)"Trigger Hippie" #40 UK
* (1996)"Never an Easy Way"
* (1996)"Tape Loop" #42 UK
* (1997)"The Music That We Hear" (Moog Island) #47 UK
* (1997)"Shoulder Holster" #53 UK
* (1998)"The Sea"
* (1998)"Blindfold" #56 UK
* (1998)"Let Me See" #46 UK
* (1998)"Part of the Process" #38 UK
* (1998)"Summertime"
* (2000)"Rome Wasn't Built in a Day" #2 NZ, #34 UK
* (2000)"Be Yourself" #41 NZ
* (2001)"World Looking In" #48 UK
* (2002)"Otherwise" #64 UK
* (2002)"Way Beyond"
* (2002)"Undress Me Now"
* (2003)"What's Your Name?"
* (2005)"Wonders Never Cease"
* (2005)"Lighten Up"
* (2005)"Everybody Loves a Loser"
* (2008)"Enjoy the Ride"
* (2008)"Gained the World"
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MesajSubiect: Re: MORCHEEBA (Electronica)   Joi Iun 18, 2009 5:19 pm

I like Morcheeba a lot. Skye years were great but after her departure i feel that the band is over. I cannot dig the last two albums, the trigger hippy feel had gone. Too much soul and mainstream. Crying or Very sad
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