kc Posted September 6, 2005 Report Share Posted September 6, 2005 (edited) PJC presents, A Northern Chorus and Vancouver's Woodhands, Thursday, Sept 8th, 10pm, $7.00 http://www.sonicunyon.com/anorthernchorus/ http://www.woodhands.com/ http://www.pepperjackcafe.com WOODHANDS: (Vancouver, BC) â€“ Canadian electronic act woodhands will be touring Canada starting August 6th, 2005 in support of their recently released self-titled album. The woodhands debut has been receiving strong praise across North America, with reviewers comparing the music from the likes of Stevie Wonder and Boards of Canada to Pink Floyd. As Steve Lalla of the Montreal Hour wrote for his Spin of the Week review of the album, â€œRemember the dope keyboards on Stevie Wonder's Very Superstitious? If the 1970s had happened in the 23rd century, this is what it would sound like.'' Keyboardist, producer, and programmer Dan Werb is the heartbeat of woodhands, crafting songs out of warm analog synth melodies and boombastic hip-hop breaks. Formed in 2003 in Montreal, the woodhands project â€“ originally intended as an ambient electronica act â€“ couldnâ€™t stay on message. â€œI just couldnâ€™t keep rock and funk out of the record,â€ Werb explains. â€œI just try to do what good DJs do â€“ mixing and matching, not caring about what genre youâ€™re playing, until you get that track that crackles and you donâ€™t know what to call it but itâ€™s breaking your heart.â€ After their groundbreaking show at the 2004 New Forms Festival in Vancouver, Werb took the project to Paris and Berlin, where he further explored the Euro-style grooves that influence the woodhands sound. â€œKraftwerk, New Order, Gary Numan, Front 242 â€“ theyâ€™re all masters at combining that alienated computer sound with raw emotion. I wanted to immerse myself in that scene and see what I could discover. What Iâ€™ve realized so far is that you can make great, gritty pop songs that also make people want to dance.â€ Now back in Canada, Werb, vocalist Roselle Healy and bassist Pat Placzek (of Vancouverâ€™s The Screaming Eagles) are getting set to play shows, from Uclueletâ€™s Soundwave Festival to Halifaxâ€™s The Khyber Club, with pit stops at Pop Montreal and this yearâ€™s New Forms Festival (alongside The Junior Boys). â€œIâ€™ll be honest â€“ playing live electronica is fucking hard when you donâ€™t have a computer,â€ says Werb. â€œBut I think thatâ€™s what people dig about our live show â€“ itâ€™s a psychedelic dance party thatâ€™s built on blood and sweat.â€ The woodhands debut is now available across the country through Scratch Distribution. The album has been serviced to college radio stations nationwide. For more information, please contact Sarah Tesla of Tesla Media at 604-377-2306 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. the woodhands debut: the reviews ''The debut album from Montreal-via-Vancouver producer, programmer and keyboardist Dan Werb (of the Red Pony Club and Jazz For Robots collectives), woodhands deftly combines the flinty, abstract minimalism you'd expect of artists with no capital letters in their names with a wonky organic psychedelia reminiscent of Chocolate Weasel or even Pink Floyd. Fat, phasing, acid-porn synthesizers melt effortlessly with twisted samples about sales, marketing, truth and aging on my fave cut, Honest Broker. Obviously a pianist of great skill, Werb's biggest talent lies in his ability to mould synth sounds into bubbling stabs of pure funk. Remember the dope keyboards on Stevie Wonder's Very Superstitious? If the 1970s had happened in the 23rd century, this is what it would sound like.'' --The Montreal Hour (Spin of the Week, February 25th) â€˜â€˜...The easiest reference to be drawn here is to Boards of Canada, whose warm analogue tones and shapeshifting rhythms seem to have informed Werbâ€™s musical approach. But where that Scottish duo relies largely on samples for its base materials, the Vancouverite builds his tracks all by his lonesome, as evidenced by â€œPianoâ€ and â€œWoodhands Theme Songâ€, both of which are predicated on solo runs up and down the ivories. The best and most richly arranged song here is probably â€œHonest Brokerâ€, a kind of all-in-one album summation that distills the producerâ€™s brainiac lounge aesthetic into nine spellbinding minutes. If the Suicide Girls made porn movies, this would be their soundtrack.â€™â€™ --Vancouverâ€™s The Georgia straight â€˜â€œWoodhands is about tearing things down and starting over again, a notion that gives each number a layered richness. Werb somehow manages to peel back these layers in mid-composition, and each time the results reveal depths of sonic invention.â€™â€™ --Amplifier Magazine (US) â€˜Vancouver producer Dan Werb creates an adventurous aural excursion, armed with funky beats and an arsenal of keyboards. His able playing keeps songs moving in new and interesting directions...an idiosyncratic album that steers clear of trendy electronica traps, while staying grounded with solid grooves.â€™â€™ --The Montreal Gazette â€˜â€˜...On this debut recording Werb mixes together piano, minimal vocals and an old school synth sound reminiscent of AIRâ€™s early Kraftwerk worship. He has created some very pleasing compositions. His high-tech low-tech approach is what makes this recording work so well. Woodhands is never too slick with ambient rumbles, pops and crackles as important to the whole as any other instrument or sample. There is no question this is excellent electronica but it is so much more, this is a great pop record.â€™â€™ --Halifaxâ€™s The Coast â€œVan-based producer Dan Werb favours old-school Euro-style grooves in this act that splits its time between Van./T.O./Mtl. Songs such as â€œHonest Brokerâ€ are Warp-esque, while â€œBreaking Upâ€ is an Air-like pop song. A varied diverse 10 track set worthy of a spin.â€ â€“The Province *To see woodhands on CBC ZeD, go to www.cbc.ca/zed and type in woodhands in the search bar. Edited September 6, 2005 by Guest Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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