Sunday, April 07, 2013

Sights and Sounds: Coachella & Stagecoach festivals, Record Store Day, Rick Springfield

Since I have been busy prepping for my coverage of both Coachella and Stagecoach festivals out in Indio, I have not had much time to posting much this past week. Yesterday I had a chance to listen (and re-listen) to music from many of the fine acts I hope to catch at Coachella including New Order and Phoenix. I thought I'd quickly post a few things here before I get back to my listening...

Record Store Day always lands on the Saturday I'm at Coachella and this year is no different. As we get closer to April 20, I'll make sure to post as much news as I can on the special event. Here is the latest news release highlighting some of the day's special releases. 

Astralwerks Records will celebrate its own 20th anniversary in connection with the day. Founded in 1993 in New York City, Astralwerks Records began as an independent boutique label releasing visionary records that helped ignite two explosive waves of musical creativity: first with Electronica in the '90s, and more recently with EDM in the new millennium. Over the last 20 years, the label has become one of America's pre-eminent homes for unique and forward-thinking artists, nurturing a roster of genre-bending musicians and bands.

To celebrate this 20-year anniversary, Astralwerks is proud to announce the release of a strictly limited edition box set entitled Astralwerks: Music in 20/20, produced exclusively for Record Store Day on April 20, 2013. The box set spans 20 artists, over 20 years, and includes 20 tracks pressed onto retro-groovy vinyl flexi discs. Included are exclusives or rarely heard bonus tracks from Air,Diamond RingsHot ChipKings Of ConvenienceKraftwerk and The Kooks. Astralwerks General Manager Glenn Mendlingerobserves “Astralwerks is proud to celebrate this important milestone for the label and to document our history in artist development and ground-breaking music.  It is incredible to be a driving force in electronic music and DJ culture for 20 years starting with The Future Sound Of London, The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, leading into such iconic legends as Kraftwerk and Pet Shop Boys and landing where we are today with David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia.”  He adds, "This anniversary box set is really only a snapshot, when compared to the entire canon of extraordinary artists we have worked with. The tracks included are a mix of staff and fan favorites, commercial highlights and unsung rarities."

In the Summer of 1993 Astralwerks released its first album - Tales Of Ephidrina by Amorphous Androgynous - a pseudonym of the legendary Future Sound of London, and catalyst for the sub-genre known at the time as 'ambient techno'. A landmark series of compilations called Excursions in Ambience followed, as did Big Beat, Breaks and the early progenitors of tech-house, subsequently spawning classics by some of the most groundbreaking electronic artists of the era - Future Sound Of LondonPhotekSpacetime Continuum, and µ-Ziq, to name just a few. As the new millennium dawned, the label added luminaries such as The Beta BandBeth OrtondovesHot ChipKings of ConveniencePhoenix and Placebo to its roster, as well as releasing Tour De France, the first new album in 12 years from legendary electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, as well as re-issuing their fabled catalogue.

This box set celebrates many important milestones for the label: Fatboy Slim's You've Come A Long Way Baby was the first DJ album to go platinum in the USA. The Chemical Brothers' "Block Rockin' Beats" was the first track by an electronic artist to win a Grammy® and crack the Alternative Top 40 Chart.  Astralwerks continued to break new ground by establishing David Guetta as a major mainstream artist in America selling over 11 million singles from the smash album Nothing But The Beat.   The label continues to break uncharted territory as evidenced by its partnership with Swedish House Mafia who became the first-ever DJ artists to sell out Madison Square Garden (in an incredible 10 minutes).

So here we are, 20 years on, and Astralwerks has successfully launched the U.S. careers of many new artists - including Gold FieldsDiamond RingsEmpire of the SunNERVOEric Prydz, and Swedish House Mafia. As a label, it continues to look to the future, not only within the resurgence of electronic dance music but amidst a continually morphing array of musical genres and artists who continue to break new ground.

Astralwerks: Music in 20/20 Tracklisting:

1: Future Sound of London - The Far Out Son Of Lung And The Ramblings Of A Madman (Original 12" Version)
2: The Chemical Brothers - Block Rockin' Beats
3:  The Beta Band - Dry The Rain
4: Fatboy Slim - Praise You
5: Cassius - Cassius 1999
6: Doves - The Cedar Room [Promo-only version previously unreleased in the US]*
7: Kings of Convenience - Winning A Battle, Losing The War (J-Walk Remix) [Previously unreleased in the US]*
8: Basement Jaxx - Where's Your Head At
9:  Royksopp - Poor Leno
10: Sia - Breathe Me (Four Tet Remix)
11: Hot Chip - My Shit's On Fire Right Now [First ever commercial release]*
12: The Kooks - Put Your Back to My Face [Previously unreleased in the US]*
13:  Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream
14: David Guetta - Sexy Bitch (feat. Akon)
15: Air - Indian Summer [Previously unreleased in the US]*
16: Kraftwerk - Die Roboter [German language version of "The Robots." Previously unreleased in the US]*
17:  Eric Prydz - Allein
18: Swedish House Mafia - Don't You Worry Child (feat. John Martin)
19: Diamond Rings - Put Me On (Diamond Dance) [Previously unreleased]
20: Gold Fields - Dark Again

*Exclusive tracks

About Record Store Day: Record Store Day is managed by the Department of Record Stores and is organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and celebrates the culture of independent record stores by playing host to in-store events/performances, signings and special product releases on a global

Rick Springfield is returning (briefly) to General Hospital in connection with the show's 50th anniversary. Check out writer George A. Paul's post on his Music Minded blog to learn more.

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