After Dark 2: viaggio al centro della terra

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E’ inutile girarci attorno. Al momento il miglior electropop sulla piazza è quello che esce dalla cucina della Italians Do It Better (“It was born as a concept in 2006, and the first releases were the In The City 12’’, with the first real splash being the After Dark Compilation. What’s crazy about that comp is that it was just supposed to be me and Ida, we made 300 copies of the CD just for a little tour we were on, hand drawing the covers with different markers, with cut paper and glue sticks. It was just supposed to be a promo thing for the kids at our shows, kind of like a demo”). Johnny Jewel lo chef stellato che organizza, crea, comanda, controlla che tutto sia sempre perfetto. Per soddisfare i palati più sensibili alle affascinanti produzioni dell’etichetta.

Uno stato di febbrile eccitazione pervade l’opera di questo instancabile musicista, personalmente diviso tra Chromatics (“So I first met Adam Miller in 1999, at the first Glass Candy show ever in Portland. He was in this band from Seattle called The Vogue which was Hannah Billie who plays drums for the Gossip now, and Adam, and guys who ended up being in this band called Blood Brothers, which was this Emo band. They drove down to Portland, we played a show together, we met, they stayed the night at our house…”), Glass Candy (“We were one of the first bands to give away our songs for free. Everyone thought it was insane back then”), Desire, Symmetry, Mirage, remix, ristampe, mixtape, collaborazioni cinematografiche (Refn il riferimento). I like Mudhoney, but Portland, Seattle…it was like the dark ages in the 90s. Now electronic music is the new grunge so it’s equally retarded. The American perception of electronic music is really laughable. Now it’s high-brow all of a sudden. We were crucified for so many years for using electronics, especially live, after being like a punk band. It’s the home of rock ‘n’ roll or whatever but there’s so much baggage from what is live, what is a band…it’s really, really strong. It’s changing but they still want to see it…”. Un tocco magico che pervade e seduce con l’ennesima ultima novità che riguarda l’uscita (finalmente) della compilation ‘After Dark 2’, che presto verrà resa disponibile in triplo vinile dorato e glitterato. Una sintesi aggiornata del suono IDIB della durata di circa 78 minuti spalmati su una quindicina di imperdibili tracce smaltate di colori notturni.

Chromatics e Glass Candy la fanno da padrone – accoppiata che ritroveremo in Italia i primi di giugno per due date (leggi) – ‘House of Models’, ‘Johanna’, ‘Looking For Love’ per i primi, il fantastico ‘Warm in the Winter’, ‘Pain Relief Is Fun’, il nuovo ‘The Possessed’, ‘Soft Celebration’ e ‘The Price’ per i secondi. E poi Mirage con ‘Lucifer’ e quella ‘Ley’s Kiss’ che Jewel ci tiene a raccontare così: “Let’s Kiss was written the same week as ‘Under Your Spell’ in November 2008. After a bizarre & beautiful twist of fate, I walked into a remote bar in Montreal where I met the love of my life. The next morning… Ida & I had to leave. We flew to France for a handful of sweaty club shows. On the train out of Paris, I realized my whole world had been permanently turned upside down. The rain was crashing against the windows… & I decided I wanted to make a record that felt like that moment frozen in time… ‘For Ever Ever’. That’s when After Dark 2 was born.

Continuando troviamo un paio di pezzi dei Desire, trio che oltre al mastermind Jewel comprende Megan Louise e Nat Walker già membro dei Chromatics. Il break di ‘Under Your Spell’ e ancor prima del loro debutto ‘II’ (2009) ha conferito loro uno status di semiculto tra gli adoratori dei sapori, dei suoni di casa. ‘The Nightshift’ e ‘Tears From Heaven’ i pezzi che troverete nella compilazione. Uno invece per il side-project Symmetry (‘Heart of Darkness’). All’appello mancano quindi le ultime quattro proposte che riguardano Mike Simonetti (fondatore della Troubleman Unlimited Records e socio di Jewel nell’attuale avventura discografica) qui a regalarci la carpenteriana ‘The Magician’, i poco noti Twisted Wires con ‘Half Lives’ (ascolta) – “doing their seductive soulful, late night disco” – la misteriosa texana Farah (‘Into Eternity’) album di debutto della quale è in lavorazione da circa tre anni, e il duo Appaloosa (nella foto) con ‘Fill The Blanks’ e ‘Intimate’. Quest’ultimi a dividersi tra Parigi, Londra e Berlino, rispondono ai nomi di Anne-Laure Keib e Max Krefeld, conosciutisi proprio nel 2006 nella città tedesca. Subito l’interesse della Kitsunè e un tour USA a supporto di Cat Power, amica e vecchia compagna di stanza della Keib.

The last five years have been a blur of art & parties. This record represents the people we’ve connected with along the way… in Moscow, in Mexico, in Barcelona, in London, in Portland, in Montreal, in Melbourne, in Houston, in Berlin, in Beijing, in Los Angeles, in Dublin, in Athens… I am so excited to finally be sharing it with you.” (Johnny Jewel)