Philippe Zdar To Produce The Rapture Album

The Rapture band members

The Rapture band members

Back in June, the Rapture announced that co-frontman Mattie Safer had left the group, and the storied New York dance-punk quartet was now a trio. In the blog post announcing Safer’s departure, keyboardist Gabe Andruzzi said that the group had “been on a creative tear.” Pedestrian.TV reports that to harness that creative tear, they’ve roped in a pretty august producer: Philippe Zdar, one half of the French dance duo Cassius.

Zdar’s production credits include Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and Cut Copy’s Bright Like Neon Love, and he has worked with Daft Punk, Air, and Bloc Party, among others.

Zdar told Pedestrian that he’s doing work on the new Rapture album: “They came to me and said, ‘We loved the Phoenix album, and we want to do some new music. Will you be able to help us?'”

The album still seems to be very much in the planning stages, and they might still use other producers besides Zdar. But Zdar likes what he’s hearing so far: “I think it’s a very good direction. All the songs are stronger– well, the seven or eight they sent me. There’s still a lot of what I loved about the first album on these new tracks, and also a lot of new futuristic stuff, so it’s really interesting.”

The Rapture have plenty of experience working with respected producers. The DFA helmed Echoes, the band’s debut (and Pitchfork’s #57 album of the decade). And Paul Epworth, Ewan Pearson, and Danger Mouse all contributed production to their 2006 follow-up Pieces of the People We Love.

Meanwhile, the Rapture continue to run their label Throne of Blood. The latest Throne of Blood single, John Selway’s “Shake the Snow”, is out today.

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First Listen: Warpaint, ‘Warpaint’


The band will release their forthcoming new album ‘Warpaint’ on January 20, 2014. The album is streaming one week prior to release ‘Biggy’ and ‘Love Is To Die’, both of which have been revealed prior to the release of the album, feature on the record.

Warpaint’ is the follow-up to the US band’s 2010 album ‘The Fool’, and was self-produced along with producer Flood (PJ Harvey, Sigur Ros), and mixed by Flood and Nigel Godrich (Radiohead).Meanwhile, Warpaint will play an album release gig at London’s Electrowerkz on January 22 before their full UK tour kicks off the next day at Brighton Dome.Warpaint is a smoky, spidery and delicate album, yet it’s also muscular, tight and intensely emotive. It teases out the band’s post-punk and dream-pop sensibilities with understated guitars and shadowy electronics, yet it also plays with hip-hop rhythms, as on the cutely-titled Hi, and jarring, calculated key-changes, as on lead single Love Is To Die.

Warpaint – Love Is To Die (Official Audio)

Warpaint – Biggy (Official Audio)

The band’s centrepiece is Australian-born drummer Stella Mozgawa, whose talents are often placed atop the mix, distancing her from the rest of the band, most notably on Intro and Feeling Alright. When she is placed at the very bottom, it’s to support some subtler, acoustic work, like Teese and Drive.

The album boasts plenty of notables. There’s master-producer/mixer Mark Ellis aka Flood, best known for his work with PJ Harvey and New Order, and co-mixer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Atoms For Peace, Ultraísta). There’s also Warpaint guitarist Jenny Lee Lindberg‘s filmmaker husband Chris Cunningham, known for his IDM video art, who contributed a forthcoming documentary detailing the album’s genesis, complete with a remix of the album as its soundtrack.

Warpaint’s self-titled full-length is a deserving canvas for these more-than-capable hands. It’s a nuanced record about love, mortality, sleep, confusion and certainty, showcasing a maturing band, but one that is yet to reach the height of its powers.

Warpaint’s self-titled sophomore album is slated for release this Friday, 17th January.

Founding Alt-J Bassist Gwil Sainsbury Leaves Band

Gwil Sainsbury Live In Melbourne, 2013 / Photo: Aleksandar Kostadinoski

Gwil Sainsbury Live In Melbourne, 2013 / Photo: Aleksandar Kostadinoski

Mercury Prize winners say they support Gwil Sainsbury’s ‘personal decision’

British indie rock export Alt-J have officially announced the departure of bass player and founding member Gwil Sainsbury, breaking the news to their fans via their official Twitter account and insisting that the decision is “purely a personal” one, that comes with the full support of the band.

“With regret,” the band begins, “Gwil is leaving alt-J. This is purely a personal decision and as our best friend we support him completely.” The Mercury Prize-winning band had a busy 2013, with Songkick naming them one of 2013′s hardest-working acts behind Local Natives and rapper Kendrick Lamar, though the band had in fact travelled the furthest, covering 251,443km in 2013.

The band formed in 2007 in Leeds, while the members — Swainsbury, Joe Newman, Gus Unger-Hamilton, and Thom Green — were in university, and had a top ten album in Australia with their highly-acclaimed 2012 debut, An Awesome Wave, which broke the Top 100 in the US Billboard 200.