Mortal Prophets, led by the talented John Beckmann, are breaking new ground in the post-punk genre and venturing into uncharted no-wave territory with their haunting and heavy sound. Beckmann’s latest project has him exploring the realms of both the past and the future, deconstructing blues classics and breathing new life into them. After dismantling “Baby, please don’t go,” he has now turned his attention to the goth-influenced blues anthem “Born under a bad sign,” meticulously reconstructing it with shimmering and beeping effects that transport listeners into a starless space, where Beckmann laments his lot.
Critics have been captivated by Mortal Prophets’ unique approach. Punknews.org describes their music as a fusion of post-punk and art-punk, infused with acid trip poetry. Wonderland Magazine finds their latest release, “Dealey Plaza Blues,” to be hypnotic and bone-chilling, while Fame Magazine praises Beckmann’s baritone and the dreamlike atmosphere he creates in his rendition of “Born Under a Bad Sign.”
“Dealey Plaza Blues” is a masterful album that defies expectations and blurs the lines between tradition and innovation. Out of the ten tracks on the album, seven are covers, expertly reanimated by Beckmann and his collaborators Joe Filisko, Dylan Day, Tommy Bohlen, and Alexander Krispin. The remaining three tracks showcase Beckmann’s original compositions, seamlessly intertwining with the covers to create a transfixing and trance-inducing experience for the listener.
Beckmann’s diverse musical background and influences are evident throughout the album. From his formative years in New York City, immersed in the groundbreaking cultural scene of the early ’80s, to his affinity for avant-garde artists like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, his hunger for the new and groundbreaking has shaped his artistic vision. An encounter with Captain Beefheart alumnus Gary Lucas further propelled Mortal Prophets’ sound, culminating in the hypnotic and dub-infused title track, “Dealey Plaza Blues.”
This album is a testament to Beckmann’s talent and versatility as an artist. He fearlessly pushes the boundaries of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, creating a captivating and addictive sonic experience. Every track on “Dealey Plaza Blues” holds a spellbinding allure that keeps listeners under its enchantment. It’s safe to say that in 2023, no other record will leave as indelible a mark as this exceptional and unforgettable offering from Mortal Prophets.
A Permanent Shadow, the brainchild of CP Fletcher, is back with a mesmerizing standalone single titled “A Xmas Gift in May.” Originally known as “Black Lolita,” this track was initially meant to be a personal gesture and was not intended for release. However, after revisiting the original version sung by a guest vocalist, CP had a change of heart.
Inspired by a tumultuous and short-lived relationship, the song captures the rocky beginnings and intense emotions that accompanied it. CP describes the writing process as being in a state of euphoria and an overwhelming urge to be with someone who, in hindsight, wasn’t the right fit. The heartfelt piece explores themes of desire, longing, and uncertainty, which diverges from CP’s usual subject matter.
“A Xmas Gift in May” presents a unique blend of musical influences from iconic artists like Depeche Mode, David Bowie, and Iggy Pop, evoking the spirit of ’80s indie-pop. The track showcases a modern interpretation of ’60s pop, with a metronomic backbeat and contemporary production values. CP also praises a remix by long-time collaborator Valen Nieto, which infuses elements of ’80s Italo Disco.
The forthcoming EP, titled “No Leaf Clover,” will mark A Permanent Shadow’s third release, following the albums “Songs of Loss” (2019) and “Humdrum” (2022). CP Fletcher remains the constant driving force behind the project, while musicians like Valen Nieto and Albert Català have contributed to all of A Permanent Shadow’s releases. The band has also collaborated extensively with film director Dani Moreno, who has directed most of their visually captivating projects.
In addition to their upcoming EP, A Permanent Shadow has plans for another covers-only release and is currently working on demoing songs for their fourth album. However, “A Xmas Gift in May” and another standalone single will not be included on the upcoming album, as they diverge from its darker lyrical themes.
A Permanent Shadow defies categorization as a band, with CP Fletcher at the helm and a revolving lineup of musicians and producers. Inspired by the late David Bowie, CP transitioned from being a drummer in various unsuccessful bands to becoming the frontman of his own project. The band’s admiration for the legendary Lou Reed led them to incorporate a cover of “Sword of Damocles” into their debut album, “Songs of Loss.”
Albert Català, a classically trained pianist, assists CP in refining demos, while renowned producer Valentí Nieto adds the finishing touches in the studio. With contributions from these talented musicians, A Permanent Shadow has crafted a distinct sound across their albums and EPs, showcasing their versatility and creative prowess.
As fans eagerly await the new single, A Permanent Shadow continues to evolve and captivate listeners with their alternative sound. Keep an eye out for more exciting releases from this up-and-coming musical collective.
Australian producer-singer-songwriter, Joel Sammut, recently unveiled his latest mesmerizing collaboration with Dakota Blue on June 9th. The powerful track, “What Happened To The Weekend,” immerses listeners in a grunge-alt-rock soundscape, drawing inspiration from the disorienting experience of reentering post-pandemic reality. Dakota Blue eloquently describes the song as a reflection of the shock of time passing too quickly while trying to make sense of it all. The poignant lyrics, written on New Year’s Day, encapsulate the feeling of being a stranger in a world that has evolved rapidly. “It all sort of feels like a strange dream you’re trying to wake from,” Dakota muses.
The collaboration between Joel Sammut and Dakota Blue resulted in a unique sonic blend, likened to the lovechild of Rowland S. Howard and Joy Division. Working remotely, the two artists infused their individual styles, with Dakota providing vocals, synths, and guitars, and Joel elevating the beats and drops to new heights. The track went through several iterations, each time adding layers of percussion and dark vibes. Interestingly, they forged their connection through Instagram, bonding over their shared identity as DIY bedroom producers.
Joel Sammut, originally from Sydney and currently based in Byron Bay, is known for creating nostalgic yet invigorating music. His genre-defying sound effortlessly weaves together elements of pop, rock, and electronic genres, resulting in a fresh and timeless sonic experience. Joel’s earlier releases, such as “Bleeding Man” and “Home Ghost,” delve into themes of heartache and the introspective musings brought on by the pandemic. As a collaborative artist and producer, Joel continuously evolves his sound, drawing inspiration from experimental artists like Tame Impala, David Bowie, and Cocorosie.
“What Happened To The Weekend” serves as a testament to Joel Sammut’s artistic growth and his ability to craft emotionally-charged compositions. This captivating collaboration with Dakota Blue is only the beginning, as the two musicians are already working on subsequent singles that promise to captivate audiences with their ethereal vibes and innovative soundscapes. Keep an ear out for more from this talented duo as they navigate the ever-evolving music industry with their distinct creative vision.
Carsten Schnell, a classically trained composer, first caught the critics’ attention with his debut album “Adjust” in 1992. His unconventional sound sculptures established him as one of the pioneering artists at BSC Music, earning him comparisons to the likes of Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis. Throughout his career, Schnell continuously pushed the boundaries of electronic music, expanding his approach on albums like “Acoustic Delusion” and “U!” However, he eventually took a step back from the industry, focusing on minor compositions for theater and entertainment.
Despite his hiatus, Schnell’s passion for the blues remained strong. Over time, he conceived the idea of merging electronic sounds with blues themes, leading to his comeback in 2021 with the single “Why do you lie to me?” This release combined electronic elements with the soulful essence of “Slow Blues,” reminiscent of legendary artists such as BB King and Gary BB Coleman.
Building on the success of his subsequent singles, Carsten Schnell now presents “I Have Been Waiting.” This track pays homage to the early Chicago Blues, with its instrumentation solely consisting of guitars, piano, bass, drums, and vocals. Although the arrangements are lavish and the style of play is captivating, the song appeals not only to devoted blues fans but also to those immersed in the realm of rock music.
As Schnell continues to explore the intersection of electronic and blues genres, his unique artistic signature shines through. His ability to seamlessly blend diverse influences and create captivating compositions sets him apart in the music industry. With “I Have Been Waiting,” Carsten Schnell invites listeners on a captivating journey through the roots of the Chicago Blues, leaving them eagerly anticipating what he has in store for the future.