Illuminations was a short lived rock band based out of Gowanus, Brooklyn from the years 2007 - 2009. The group was led by songwriter/guitarist Zachary Cale, and founded with long time friends Ryan Johnson, Kris Benedict and Phil Glauberzon. Equally inspired by the plugged-in folk rock of albums like Highway 61 Revisited, Zuma and the power pop aesthetics of Big Star and Tom Petty, Illuminations embraced elements of country, folk, blues and punk to form their own brand of American rock music.
Plates of Cake is a Brooklyn based band led by songwriter/guitarist Jonathan Byerley. Having already released two outstanding albums of hazy folk songs under his own name, Byerley decided it was time to call in some old friends and cohorts from his home state of Colorado and strike up the band. With an emphasis on lyrical structure and clever melodies, Plates of Cake play a kind of surrealistic rock music favored by luminaries such as The Soft Boys and Guided By Voices. The songs that make up their self-titled LP run the gamut from hook-laden rockers to cool country charmers, all delivered like a band that's been playing together for years.
Zachary Cale is a songwriter originally hailing from the small town of Enon, Louisiana. His music ranges from lyrical folk balladry and American primitive inspired guitar instrumentals to experiments in popular song forms. He has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and in Europe, often performing alone with only an acoustic guitar, but has been known to perform with a revolving cast of musicians whom he calls The Rain Band. He has been likened to classic songwriters of the past such as Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, Alex Chilton, Ray Davies, and Leonard Cohen, musicians who in their unwavering hold on the muse transcend genre classification while maintaining that rare ability to tell stories of their own time.
Test House is the New York City-based duo of Peter Schuette (ex-Silk Flowers, ex-Psychobuildings) and James Elliott (ex-Bear In Heaven, ex-School of Seven Bells). The group blends elements of '80s electro, German cosmic music, classic House, dub, deep R&B, the film scores of Goblin and John Carpenter, Detroit Techno, and various strains of modern dance music for a unique take on synthetic pop. The resulting sound aims a skewed dancefloor tractor beam at your ass while disrupting normal brain function with blissed-out grooves and hypnotic melodies.
Originally hailing from the Boston area, Woodsy Pride is a trio of friends that have been playing music in some form or another for the past 10 years. After a long hiatus the three members including singer Bill Augustus, guitarist Uriah Theriault, and drummer John Studer reconvened in Redhook, Brooklyn. Since their reformation in 2008 Woodsy Pride have been quietly assembling a canon of songs steeped in the southern gothic tradition. Together they play a hybridized form of roots music that features solemn yet rambling lyrics over western-tinged guitar passages and driving rhythms. Their debut EP is a beautifully arranged batch of songs that walks the line between light and dark American song forms.
Psychobuildings is a psychedelic construction of danceable beats, lyrical splendor, and shimmering dance performance. The group originated with front-man Peter LaBier in 2010, a visual artist with the aim to create not just a band, but an artful experience for all the senses. LaBier joined forces with Peter Schuette (Silk Flowers) and Juan Pieczanski (Small Black) to blend dizzying layers of synth and percussion, creating the band’s upbeat-yet-dark electronic dance sound. Their albums have been released on All Hands Electric, Transparent, Wonder Sounds, and featured on Kitsuné Maison compilations.
Virginia Plain is the new pop project by Alfra Martini, Justin Miller, Christian Reinhardsen, and Robert Boston, a group that incorporates cabaret inspired vocals, cyber punk style synth-scapes and electronic percussion into a classic pop template. Conceived as an outlet for the music Martini began writing after her last project Prudence Teacup went on hiatus, Martini recruited members of the ambient improv group Fono Luxe as collaborators to expand on her newfound sound. Mining similar territory as OMD, The Eurythmics and late period Roxy Music, Virginia Plain creates mood music for slow dances and futuristic night clubs.
Traveling band, The Gang Violets, play eclectic music as they gypsy their way between Long Beach, CA and Brooklyn, NY. First conceived in 2005 and led by husband and wife duo, Jim Schwartz (of Innaway) and Darla Scarpella, the band is an organic collaboration of many friends residing on both coasts including: Miguel Mendez (Love as Laughter), Ethan Schmid (Inoculist, Heaven's Jail Band), Wes Buckley (CSC Funk Band), Matt "Sandwich" Miller, Luloo Flynn, Evan Mann, Phil Greyshock and Andy Leishman. With a versatile roster, their blend of psychedelic americana effortlessly shifts from sunshine-pop to space-rock. Though diverse, their sound is kept grounded by the brilliance of their songs and by the group's earnestness, which produces a music that is as catchy as it is moving.
PJ Glauberzon (aka Phil Glauberzon) is a songwriter with a penchant for baffling narratives and breezy song structures. He is both a talented multi-instrumentalist and clever songsmith. His musical tastes vary from upbeat skiffle tunes and vaudevillian pop to calypso music and bar room piano ballads. Conceptually, he is situated somewhere between Warren Zevon and Steely Dan, as he is fond of both irony and comedy in song, as well as musicianship and studio wizardry. Phil has been part of the AHE family since the beginning; he was a member of the band Illuminations, played organ and piano in the Prudence Teacup live band and has contributed to the Zachary Cale albums Walking Papers and Noise of Welcome.
Man Benu is a three piece band based out of Brooklyn and the greater New York area. Led by the guitar wizardry and songwriting talent of Bentley Anderson, Man Benu is an evolving sound of harmony and dissonance centered on interwoven guitar lines, lyrical song structures, and drone heavy tonality. Backed by drummer Taylor Davis and guitarist/lap steel player Brady Sansone (Heavy Winged), Man Benu began writing and performing their sprawling pastoral rock songs in late 2008. Referencing the epic sweep of god-like guitar bands such as Come and Sonic Youth, and the electricified folk arrangements of Fairport Convention and Six Organs of Admittance, Man Benu’s debut album The Kindling explores a world of grey dawns and heavy sunsets.
Rope was a rock band founded by Seaside Lounge Recording Studio co-owner Josh Clark from 2008 - 2011. During it's brief life span the group saw a few shifts in personnel, including such illustrious axe wielders as Patrick McCarthy (The Zig Zags), John Stendrini (Federale, Great War), and Zachary Cale (Illuminations). Sporting big amps and three guitars, and with a focus on two chord burners and shout along choruses Rope took it's cues from dusted and blazing 70's rock bands like Crazy Horse and Thin Lizzy, as well as a number of bands that Josh was producing at Seaside Lounge; namely rock veterans Antietam. The band released one single before disbanding: the Montagne 7" is a scorcher of a single showcasing tuneful melodies over monumental riffs.
Peter's House Music is an accumulation of music recorded by Peter Schuette at his home recording studio in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Previously a member of Silk Flowers and Psychobuildings, PHM has been Peter's outlet to explore some of his previously unaddressed influences. Mixing house beats, Depeche Mode-style FM keyboard sounds, piano, guitar, etc., Peter starts with elements of electronic dance music and writes compositions that bridge the gap between Roedelius' (of Cluster) slow and thoughtful Selbstportrait series, early 80s electro-dance and R&B, Dam Funk, and whoever else escaped from his subconscious at the time of recording.
Precinct was a short-lived, New York based group that made music and visual art. Band members have included Peter Labier (Psychobuildings), Nathan Gwynne (The Love Love's), Etienne Dugay (Real Estate, Predator Vision) and Zachary Cale. Sonically the band was quite adventurous, blending low fidelity garage styles with free form dub jams. With their use of blaring saxes, jagged guitars, sci fi synths and emotively delivered vocals Precinct shared a sound akin to bands like PIL, Swell Maps, and A Certain Ratio. After releasing the Compound EP on Black Maze Books, Precinct recorded their first full length album, Stranger, which was released in the fall of 2008 on All Hands Electric.
Prudence Teacup, aka Alfra Martini, writes lullabies for heroes and sinners. She has been called a “reluctant chanteuse” as she often avoids the stage, preferring the quiet hermitage of a cramped room. Her music weaves antique melodies within electronic soundscapes. There is a genuine playfulness in the way she arranges her songs. The music isn't labored over but rather laid out in a broad expressionistic style. Primitively plucked classical guitars ring out over layers of percussion and midi-instruments. Ghostly sounds envelope her voice, which she expertly layers with splendidly odd harmonies. Fall and redemption, venom and balm, myth and truth all collide in the hiss of her homespun recordings.