Electronic art-funk band Chandeliers, residents at the Shape Shoppe loft/recording studio in Chicago, will release their debut LP, The Thrush, October 14th on the newly formed imprint Obey Your Brain (run by members of Man Man/ Icy Demons). Some say Chandeliers represent a phenomenon of unclassifiable modern music. Comprised of multi-instumentalists from Chicago’s blossoming young avant-rock scene, they have created a unique, and live, electronic sound.
Chandeliers played their first show in 2004 at the University of Chicago. They had been rehearsing for a few months as a completely free-spirited band, using mostly vintage synths and live drums to create new timbres and grooves. They showed up to the show with no guitars and played four songs. The following weekend they played at the now-defunct loft space BuddY, where the members of Mahjongg were living. A connection was made that night and soon the band was opening for their new friends at the Empty Bottle.
For the next two years the Chandeliers crafted their approaches and techniques to creating electronic sounds that could meld with traditional rock setups. Their impressive and entertaining live show began to attract attention and saw the band sharing the stage with like-minded acts like Jamie Lidell, Cluster, Bobby Conn, and a trip to SXSW to open for Icy Demons and Man Man.
They noticed other bands and friends in projects like theirs that incorporated mainly electronic instruments, no laptops, and performed as a group of musicians, not a novelty act. They became friends with these people too, and a new scene and sound began to form in Chicago. Adopting the collective spirit of krautrock bands like Can and Faust, the Chandeliers function as a unified whole, with no dominant members. This approach gives the band a more intuitive and unpredictable approach to composing.
Being highly involved in the recording process, the band befriended Blue Hawaii aka Griffin Rodriguez, engineer at loft space / studio, The Shape Shoppe, who has recently worked with Beirut and Man Man. After recording a few songs there, they moved into the space to rehearse and begin working on new material. Around the same time they befriended Mahjongg’s engineer Benjamin Balcom at his new studio Elephant and began recording their debut record. An album with the flow of a mix-tape, The Thrush is at home bangin’ in your trunk or hypnotizing on your headphones An obvious reference is Kraftwerk, but with influences ranging from Eastern melodies, to the sonically dirty rhythmic propulsion of Konono no.1, and the crunked-out psychedelic hip-hop of J-Dilla, Chandeliers always keep the listener on their toes.
The Thrush drops on October 14th on Obey Your Brain, and includes artwork designed by the band. In the fall, the band heads out on an east coast tour with Baltimore’s Thrust Lab, bringing their live show, a non-stop dance-party, often augmented with video projections made by the band.
“Mesmerizing minimalist synth tweakers” – Time Out Chicago
“Casually synthesizing several of underground-Chicago’s recent obsessions, Chandeliers channel an uncannily danceable brand of improvisational electronic music, veering, in the span of a few minutes, from dub abstraction to tightly wound Kraut-funk to blearily gorgeous electro.” – Boston Phoenix, 50 States, Best New Band: Illinois
“The Thrush is so thumpingly immediate, you would never guess at any kind of committee decision making. The opening 20 seconds of ‘Mr Electric’
flick between Ed Banger directness and a Kraftwerk-like neon lyricism.
The remix of ‘Body Double’ closes the album in a furious hustle of Afrobeat drumming and rich Italo disco keyboards. In between, the synths mesh into arpeggios that seem as influenced by the post-punk end of the disco spectrum as Giorgio Moroder” – The Wire
“Smooth, squeaky-clean swirls of synth bounce atop glassy percussion
that sounds like gamelan from a can. It’s pleasing to the ear, like Kraftwerk or Eno” – Chicago Reader
The Thrush (Obey Your Brain)
Street Date: Oct. 14, 2008
1. Mr. Electric
3. Mango Tree
4. The Thrush
5. Big League
6. Gold Rush
10. Body Double (UK Mix)
Label page: www.obeyyourbrain.com/chandeliers.php
Press Materials: www.thechandeliers.com/press