Galactic - Carnivale Electricos - out on Anti- Records
Galactic - Carnivale Electricos
(CD/LP/Digital) ANTI-, 2012-02-21
Two years ago we left Galactic with Ya-Ka-May, their heaviest album to date, followed by a long, successful tour. The band did cameos in HBO show TREME and composed a few tracks for PS3 video game Infamous 2 (located in New Orleans, naturellement). Stanton Moore released a record with his trio and another mighty one with Garage à Trois, among other things. Ben Ellman helped Trombone Shorty launch his career with Orleans Avenue, producing his two first records on Verve. So with everyone so busy, a new album this quickly was the last thing we expected. We were wrong. Galactic is now 18 years-old, and it's a strong and creative teenager who can't help partying all night away while Western world - at least its financial and capitalistic side - teeters on the brink. Here comes the brand-new album Carnivale Electricos, to be released on Mardi Gras 2012...
Galactic - Carnivale Electricos
(CD/LP/Digital) ANTI-, 2012-02-21
...The best ideas are always the simplest. That's why they're so difficult to realize - like doing a carnival album, which sounded so obvious and maybe too obvious. This new release is almost a concept album, and there's a kind of narrative construction with a beginning and an end, plus a determination to immerse listeners in the NOLA Mardi Gras experience. You feel it at the very first listening.
While Ya-Ka-May was more powerful than ever, very provocative and an exclusively Big Easy affair, blending old and new (traditions and new currents), mixing genders and genres up in a big bowl (I almost wrote 'super bowl'), Carnivale Electricos offers another kind of baroque crossover featuring local talents. At least two ingredients are added to the Galactic recipe: zydeco and samba. There are plenty of vibrant carnival traditions worldwide, but few can equal the frenzied Brazilian extravaganza. Think gaudy colors. Think giant feathered costumes. Think heavy percussions and erotic trance – and you'll see why the New Orleans carnival fits so well with Rio's. Unsurprisingly, you can find Brazil in New Orleans without actually flying there. And that's what Galactic does, asking Brazilian-but-NOLA-based drum troup Casa Samba to join the jam for a new version of Carlinhos Brown's Magalenhu. The other Brazilian artist is Paulisto Myseis Marques, and the rest of the crew is strictly New-Orleanian with the usual suspects and new partners in crime (see below for guest details). Carnivale Electricos features some of the finest Galactic instrumentals, such as the beautiful Karate and the irresistible Attack, where the band finds a perfect balance between smooth grooves, stamina and power. I especially love the final track, with its fine rhodes intro and outro. It sounds like a "retour au calme" after the bacchanals. The party is over, Mardi Gras makes way for Ash Wednesday, the sun is rising. But now it's time for silence and rest.
Hey Na Na feat. David Shaw (of the Revivalists) and Maggie Koerner by Galacticfunk
01. Ha Di Ka feat. Big Chief Juan Pardo and the Golden Comanche 3:28
02. Hey Na Na feat. David Shaw from The Revivalists and Maggie Koerner 3:33
03. Magalenha feat. Casa Samba 3:26
04. Voyage Ton Flag 3:04
05. Out in the Street feat. Cyril and Ivan Neville 3:28
06. JuLou 1:23
07. Move Fast feat. Mystikal and Mannie Fresh 3:09
08. Karate feat. KIPP Renaissance High School Marching Band 3:34
09. Guero Bounce 0:57
10. Carnival Time feat. Al “Carnival Time” Johnson 3:18
11. Attack 3:28
12. O Côco da Galinha feat. Moyseis Marques 2:43
13. Ash Wednesday Sunrise 3:38
Go download Paris DJs present present Galactic - New Orleans Funk, Swamp Jazz & Hippie Hop mix
Go download Paris DJs Soundsystem presents Stanton Moore mix
Galactic : official | discogs | djouls | facebook | myspace | parisdjs | twitter | wikipedia | youtube
ANTI- : official | blog | facebook | myspace | twitter | youtube
Galactic Press Release
It's incredible that GALACTIC has never made a carnival album yet, but now it’s here.
To make CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS, the members of GALACTIC (Ben Ellman, harps and horns; Robert Mercurio, bass; Stanton Moore, drums and percussion; Jeff Raines, guitar; Rich Vogel, keyboards) draw on the skills, stamina, and funk they deploy in the all-night party of their annual Lundi Gras show that goes till sunrise and leads sleeplessly into Mardi Gras day.
GALACTIC was formed eighteen years ago in New Orleans, and they cut their teeth playing the biggest party in America: Mardi Gras, when the town shuts down entirely to celebrate. CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS is beyond a party record. It’s a carnival record that evokes the electric atmosphere of a whole city – make that, whole cities – vibrating together all on the same day, from New Orleans all down the hemisphere to the mighty megacarnivals of Brazil. Armed with a slew of carnival-ready guests—including Cyril and Ivan Neville, Mystikal, Mannie Fresh, Moyseis Marques, Casa Samba, the KIPP Renaissance High School Marching Band, and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson (who remakes his all-time hit)—GALACTIC whisks the listener around the neighborhoods to feel the Mardi Gras moment in all its variety of flavors.
CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS begins on a spiritual note, the way Mardi Gras does in the black community of New Orleans. On that morning, the most exciting experience you can have is to be present when the small groups of black men called Mardi Gras Indians perform their sacred street theater. Nobody embodies the spiritual side of Mardi Gras better than the Indians, whose tambourines and chants provide the fundament of New Orleans carnival music. These “gangs,” as they call them, organize around and protect the figure of their chief. The album’s keynote singer, BIG CHIEF JUAN PARDO, is, says Robert Mercurio, “one of the younger Chiefs out there, and he’s become one of the best voices of the new Chiefs. Pardo grew up listening to the singing of the older generation of Big Chiefs, points out Ben Ellman, and “he’s got a little Monk [Boudreaux], a little Bo Dollis, he’s neither uptown nor downtown.”
On “Karate,” says Ellman, the band was aiming to “capture the power” of one of the fundamental musical experiences of Mardi Gras: “a marching band passing by you.” The 40-piece KIPP Renaissance High School Marching Band’s director arranged up GALACTIC’s demo, then the band rehearsed it until they had it all memorized. The kids poured their hearts into a solid performance, and, says Mercurio, “I think they were surprised” to hear how good they sounded on the playback.
Musical energy is everywhere at carnival time. “You hear the marching bands go by,” says Mercurio, moving us through a Mardi Gras day, “and then you hear a lot of hiphop.” There hasn’t been a Mardi Gras for twenty years that hasn’t had a banging track by beatmaker / rapper MANNIE FRESH sounding wherever you go. “You can’t talk about New Orleans hiphop without talking about MANNIE FRESH,” says Ellman. His beats have powered literally tens of millions of records, and he and GALACTIC have been talking for years about doing something together. On “Move Fast,” he’s together with multiplatinum gravel-voiced rapper MYSTIKAL, who is, says Ellman, “somebody we’ve wanted to collaborate with forever. It was a coup for us.”
Out in the streets of New Orleans, you might well hear a funky kind of samba, reaching southward toward the other end of the hemispheric carnival zone. There has for the last twenty-five years been a smoking Brazilian drum troupe in town: CASA SAMBA, formed at Mardi Gras in 1986. They’re old friends of GALACTIC’s from their early days at Frenchmen Street’s Café Brasil, and the two groups joined forces for a new version of Carlinhos Brown’s “Magalenha,” previously a hit for Sérgio Mendes.
But the Brazilian influence on CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS goes beyond one song. “When we started this album, we all immersed ourselves in Brazilian music and let it get into our souls,” says Mercurio. The group contributed three Brazilian-flavored instrumentals, including “JuLou,” which riffs on an old Brazilian tune, though the name refers to the brass-funk Krewe of Julu, the “walking krewe” that Galactic members participate in on Mardi Gras morning. After creating the hard-driving track that became “O Côco da Galinha,” they decided it would be right for MOYSÉIS MÁRQUEZ, from the São Paulo underground samba scene, who collaborated with them and composed the lyric.
If you were GALACTIC and you were making a carnival album, wouldn’t you want to play “Carnival Time,” the irrepressibly happy 1960 perennial from the legendary Cosimo Matassa studio? Nobody in New Orleans doesn’t know this song. The remake features a new performance in the unmistakable voice of the original singer, AL “CARNIVAL TIME” JOHNSON, who’s still active around town more than fifty years after he first gained Mardi Gras immortality.
The closing instrumental, ,“Ash Wednesday Sunrise,” evokes the edginess of the
post-party feeling. The group writes, “There is the tension you feel on that morning -- one of being worn out from all of the festivities and one of elation that you made it through another year.”
But, as New Orleanians know, there’s always another carnival to look forward to, and GALACTIC will be there, playing till dawn and then going to breakfast before parading.
ANTI- Press Release :
Call it Mardi Gras, or call it Carnivale. Galactic captures the modern vibrancy of this annual bacchanal – and blazes a trail to its future – on Carnivale Electricos, the group’s most ambitious release to date, set for release on Mardi Gras Day, Feb 21, via Anti- Records. Over the course of thirteen tracks, Galactic explores the connections between the Mardi Gras in their native New Orleans and the mighty megacarnivals of Brazil, whisking listeners between neighborhoods and cultures on a parade of genres from blistering rock, hip hop and r&b, to samba, zydeco, jazz and of course, funk.
NOLA guests on the record span several generations and styles from Neville brothers Cyril and Ivan, to rappers Mannie Fresh and Mystikal (making one of his first recordings since being released from prison); from Big Chief Juan Pardo, one of the youngest Mardi Gras Indians, to theKIPP Renaissance High School Band, one of the city’s most riotous marching bands.
Brazilian influences on the album are similarly diverse including a cover of the Sergio Mendes Carnivale classic “Magalenha” and Galactic’s new composition, “Guero Bounce,” which pairs Brazilian rhythms with a New Orleans Bounce beat. “Julou,” named for the band’s own off-the-grid Mardi Gras parade, is inspired by another popular Carnivale melody, while “ O Côco da Galinha” features rising Rio samba star Moyseis Marques.
Galactic will tour the US extensively this winter and spring, headlining some of its largest venues to date, including a stop at NYC’s Terminal 5 on Feb 25 for a show that will feature special guests Steel Pulse. Corey Glover (Living Colour) and Corey Henry (Rebirth Brass Band) will join the group as special guest vocalists, while openers on the tour will include Orgone and the Soul Rebels. See below for complete dates.
Following the breakout critical success of their previous two albums From The Corner To The Block (2007), and Ya-Ka-May (2010), Carnivale Electricos represents an unparalleled cross-section of contemporary carnival music that required Galactic to draw on all the skills, stamina, and funk they deploy at their annual all-night Lundi Gras concerts, which like the band itself have become a NOLA institution. In the nearly two decades since the band began, they’ve performed or recorded with everyone from BB King and Jeff Beck to Jurassic 5 and The Roots, playing every major US festival along the way including Coachella, Austin City Limits, Outside Lands, Bonnaroo, and of course JazzFest.
Ben Ellman: harps and horns
Robert Mercurio: bass
Stanton Moore: drums and percussion
Jeff Raines: guitar
Rich Vogel: keyboards
For complete guest list and cameos on Carnivale Electricos, jump here.