Thursday, September 01, 2005

alcyone

Justin Kleinfeld ~ photo by DJ Dragonfly ~ Alex Newman and Suzanne Sterling bring a rich legacy of experience to Alcyone from their studio and stage work as producer and lead vocalist of internationally renowned, pioneering electronic dance act, Medicine Drum. Newman produced, co-wrote, and engineered Medicine Drum’s 2003 third album Original Face, which was given a rave review by Billboard: “A Major Thrill... one cool track after another.” Newman and Sterling have toured the USA extensively and performed internationally with Medicine Drum - as keyboardist and lead vocalist - including the recent Australian tour, shows in Japan, and as the opening act for popular electronic/live crossover band Sound Tribe Sector 9 on their 2003 US tour. Alcyone has become a popular choice with clubbers, festival-goers and all-night party people, playing peak-time performances at Earthdance, Harmony Festival, Burning Man’s “Sol System,” Solfest, Anon Salon’s Sea of Dreams, San Francisco Decompression and many more events.

Alex Newman has produced and co-written over half a dozen albums, and each year his composition, “Prayer for Peace” is played simultaneously by DJ’s worldwide in over 100 locations as the pinnacle of Earthdance, the world’s largest synchronized music and dance festival.

Suzanne Sterling is an esteemed songwriter and has received critical acclaim as a performer and a recording artist. In addition to Alcyone and Medicine Drum she is well known for her work with Bhakti, Skyclad, Kali’s Angels and her music has been commissioned for theatre, film and video.

Joining Alcyone in live performance, percussionist Jason “Drumfire” brings years of professional experience and an added sonic dimension. A virtuoso with Congas, Bongos, Timbales and Djembes, he has already made a strong impression on the electronic dance music world as percussionist with internationally-known live act Afro-Mystik. Although self described as a “Drum Animal” he plays with precise speed and grace - as well as power and groove.

With their debut full-length album, The Stars Are Real (released August 23 on System Recordings), San Francisco, California’s Alcyone unveil nine exceptional compositions with flourishes of ambient, dub, trance, breaks and deep house. Producer / keyboardist Alex Newman and vocalist/composer Suzanne Sterling draw upon their years of studio and stage experience to create a sound that is exciting, sophisticated, and highly infectious. Drawing on elements of classic electronic music in the vein of Orbital, The Orb and William Orbit, Alcyone has created an album that is equally suitable for home listening and the dance floor.

Newman and Sterling have toured the USA extensively and performed internationally with Medicine Drum - as keyboardist and lead vocalist - including the recent Australian tour, shows in Japan, and as the opening act for Sound Tribe Sector 9 on their 2003 US tour. Alcyone has become a popular choice with clubbers, festival-goers and all-night party people, playing peak-time TOTALLY LIVE performances at Earthdance, Harmony Festival, Burning Man’s “Sol System,” Solfest, Anon Salon’s Sea of Dreams, San Francisco Decompression and many more events.

Mostly though, San Francisco-based electronic dance act Alcyone is fast making a name for itself by producing one of the most amazing live shows in the genre. It is a performance where humans, instruments and computers interact to create a wild “livetronica” spectacle rarely ever seen at this time of such musical parody. For this reason, you won’t want to miss Alcyone at one of their very special live appearances throughout the summer of 2005 (See below for list).

With their recent performance at San Francisco’s Bambuddah lounge (located in the Phoenix Hotel), Alcyone grabbed the attention of the local dance community. Alcyone got the place rocking with a wild two and a half hour set packed with live deep house, dub, tech-house, trance and breaks. Technically, this act is on-the-mark. As well as playing 3 synthesizers (including and old vintage Moog which creates some crazy sounds), Alcyone producer Alex Newman also mixes the band live from onstage. This allows him to put effects on the percussion and vocals. “I use timed echoes and foot pedals to create swirling dub effects - so all in all it's a real live show not just someone checking their email on stage," says Newman.

Alcyone is also working with VJ Kosho, who projects onto a giant (14x10) screen during the show. Kosho does a lot of experimental live mixing and uses several different techniques - including audio-video synchronization, effects, and mixing in of footage he has filmed himself. He really mixes it up so the content is varied in nature and far from just repeated graphic patterns. This is all live from top to bottom!

Those who checkout an Alcyone live show will undoubtedly hear tracks from their much anticipated debut LP, The Stars Are Real (released August 23 on System Recordings.) Emerging from internationally acclaimed dance act Medicine Drum, producer / keyboardist Alex Newman and vocalist/composer Suzanne Sterling draw upon their years of studio and stage experience to create a sound that is exciting, sophisticated, and highly infectious. Are you ready to see something new?

For more information, check out AlcyoneMusic.net, or catch them at one of their upcoming molecular enhancements.

08.12.05 - 08.14.05 - Alex from Alcyone/Medicine Drum
DJ set at Shambhala Festival, BC (tentative!)
08.19.05 - Poolside @ Bambuddha Lounge, SF
09.03.05 - The "Retro UFO Convention" Joshua Tree, CA
09.23.05 - Poolside @ Bambuddha Lounge, SF.
10.19.05 - San Francisco Decompression (TBC)

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