Axel Krygier: a new kid on the Crammed block

Axel Krygier: a new kid on the Crammed block

The multi-talented artist is a central figure in the alternative music scene in Argentina, where he's considered as a modern-day Renaissance man:
Axel Krygier has ran the gamut from playing in rock bands, writing scores for acclaimed playwrights, and being a forerunner of the digital cumbia scene… After two acclaimed albums in his own country, "Pesebre" — out on Crammed in September — will be his first international release.

"Axel Krygier's unique sound —a mash-up of jazz, rock, electronica, cumbia, Argentinian folklore and experimental music — makes it easy to succumb to such tempting descriptions as "Atahualpa Yupanqui meets Thelonious Monk, performed by Frank Zappa and remixed by Diplo", but the brush that this composer paints with is even broader than that" (Global Rhythm, US)

ALLÀ at Pitchfork Music Festival

ALLÀ at Pitchfork Music Festival

They've been quiet since their rocking covers mini-album "Digs" last year, but Mexican-American sound voyagers Allà return in impressive style in July with an appearance at the Pitchfork Music Festival in their native Chicago. The band, whose debut album "Es Tiempo" dropped on Crammed in 2008, play on Sunday July 18, alongside acts including Pavement, Big Boi, Major Lazer and Lightning Bolt. 

More info on the Pitchfork festival here
New MEGAFAUN Mini-Album on the way

New MEGAFAUN Mini-Album on the way

After such an exciting year (including the release of their acclaimed Gather, Form and Fly album, several tours in the US, two very successful first forays into Europe, and a participation in psych-soul supergroup Gayngs), Megafaun have come good again with a new mini-album! Entitled "Heretofore", this beautiful six-track offering will be released in September (by Crammed in Europe and Hometapes in the US).

"Heretofore" serves as an appetiser for the next full album by the North Carolina trio, which will be recorded later this year... not that this mini-album should be taken in any way lightly - in an interview with  Independent Weekly, Megafaun described the material as "the best hooks and lyrics that we've done ... but it also has the most far-reaching stuff we've ever put on a record".

A single from "Heretofore" will be released in advance of the band's summer festival tour, details of which you'll find here. Watch this space for more info soon!

Gather foam and Fly

Gather foam and Fly

The photo says it all !
In dramatic news that has sent tremors through the world of follically-enhanced American guitar music, Phil Cook from Megafaun has shaven his beard off.

In a band statement Megafaun have issued a rallying cry to fans, sales reps and PRs across the world left bemused and shaken by the band's unprecedented stylistic shift: "We can no longer be defined as "beard-folk", the statement reads. "From here on out, we will go by "folk-rock".

Pictoral evidence has emerged, which you can study for yourself above. However we call upon eye witnesses to confirm this by attending one of Megafaun's forthcoming summer shows in Europe (by which time, of course, he may have grown it back again)
Staff Benda Bilili triumph at the Cannes Film Festival !

Staff Benda Bilili triumph at the Cannes Film Festival !

The full-length film about the band is set to become a worldwide sensation
"Benda Bilili", the film about the story of Staff Benda Bilili, was welcomed with a standing ovation on the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival. The internet is buzing with tweets and posts...

"An extraordinary film ... it will do what Ry Cooder & Wim Wenders did for the
Buena Vista Club and make them (Staff Benda Bilili) world famous...", says BBC Radio 

"a remarkable documentary and an amazing music film" (The Telegraph

"Jarringly powerful documentary on a rags-to-riches Congolese street band... disturbing and inspirational" (The Hollywood Reporter

Staff Benda Bilili appeared live from Cannes on major French TV talk show Le Grand Journal (Canal+), and glowing reviews have started appearing all over (see for example the full page  in Libération)

Devoted to the band's extraordinary story, this is the film on which French directors Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye (aka Belle Kinoise) have been working on for the past 5 years, ever since they encountered the band in Kinshasa.

The film shows the band's journey from the sidewalks of Kinshasa to the stages of large European concert halls and festivals, and features performances of many songs from Staff's popular "Très Très Fort" album, which came out last year on Crammed (and has just won Staff Benda Bilili the Songlines Award for "Best Group of 2010").

Staff Benda Bilili attended the premiere (on the opening night of the prestigious Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight) at Cannes), and performed a show at the Quinzaine party after the screening. The band will be staying in Cannes for several days, and worldwide media are already conducting dozens of interviews with them.

See some photos from the post-screening gig:

Staff Benda Bilili will be performing over 50 dates around Europe this summer.

Watch this space for more news !

Konono invited by CocoRosie for Paris show

Konono invited by CocoRosie for Paris show

May 22 at Casino de Paris
Konono No 1 have been invited by CocoRosie to take part in their show at Casino de Paris on May 22!

The wildest and most talked about Congolese band are now on the last leg of their European tour, after ecstatically-received appearances in Brussels, London, Manchester, Bristol, Cologne and at Matt Groening's ATP,

Do not miss them in Amsterdam (16/5), Pau (18/5), St Nazaire (20/5), Art Rock Festival in St Brieuc (where the show will be filmed by Les Inrockuptibles for ARTE Live Web, 21/5), Paris (with CocoRosie on 22/5, and on the next day at the Barbes l'Africaine festival), Cadiz (27/5) and Madrid (29/5).

US/Canada tour to follow, July 9 to 23

Konono's smashing new album "Assume Crash Position" is now out everywhere  (except in the US, where it'll come out on June 8).

Details of all dates here
Cibelle and Lonely Drifter Karen celebrate the release of their respective albums

Cibelle and Lonely Drifter Karen celebrate the release of their respective albums

Cibelle Launch Party in London & shows in Spain and Portugal. Lonely Drifter Karen on tour in Central Europe, Munich & Amsterdam

Come celebrate the release of Lonely Drifter Karen's marvelous album Fall of Spring* and of Cibelle's trippiest opus to date, Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel **:

Tuesday 11 May: Lonely Drifter Karen at l'Européen, Paris (F)

Thursday 13 May: a Crammed Night at the Nuits Botanique festival in Brussels (B),
with both Cibelle and Lonely Drifter Karen performing in the Museum Room @ Botanique

Saturday 15 May: Cibelle at The Great Escape in Brighton (UK), 
and Lonely Drifter Karen in Vienna (Austria) 

18 + 19 May: Cibelle in Madrid and Barcelona (ES),
and Lonely Drifter Karen in Warsaw and Wroclaw (PL)

20 May: Cibelle Launch Party in London, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

21 to 23 May: Lonely Drifter Karen in Slovakia and Austria 

24 May: Lonely Drifter Karen in Munich (DE)

26+27 May: Cibelle in Lisbon and Porto (PT) with Grizzly Bear

28 May: Lonely Drifter Karen at Paradiso in Amsterdam (NL)  

Click here for more details on the dates

"Couching romantic tales in a menagerie of musical idioms. Impeccably arranged, grounded in nagging melodies and rendered genuinely moving by Tanja Frinta's beautiful croon" (Q, UK / 4 stars)
"La délicieuse Lonely Drifter Karen fête le printemps avec un disque plus pop et électrique, tendrement psychédélique, qui donne envie de se rouler dans un champ de fraises forever" (Les Inrockuptibles,F)

"The divine Miss C... A rich and romantic, velvet-swathed world with a soundtrack that encompasses exotica, '60s surf instrumentals, Cambodian garage rock, Bond movie themes, retro space-pop... "  (Time Out, UK)

"Cibelle n’est plus. La chanteuse brésilienne a pété un câble, largué les amarres qui la retenaient à la réalité d’ici et maintenant. Elle est devenue Sonja Khalecallon (en hommage à Frida Kahlo et Sophie Calle), hôtesse du dernier cabaret d’hôtel (le Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel) de la terre, perdu dans une jungle post-apocalyptique. Un peu comme Régine, mais plus sexy. Coproduit par Damian Taylor, le Géo Trouvetout de Björk (dont Cibelle est un peu l’avatar tropical), Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel est un voyage haletant et inédit dans un espace-temps déréglé, déboussolé." (Les Inrockuptibles, F)

Lonely Drifter Karen video: "A Roof Somewhere" (live on a roof)

Cibelle video: "Man From Mars"

Shantel's irresistible party machine @ Bataclan, Paris, 21 May

Shantel's irresistible party machine @ Bataclan, Paris, 21 May

Shantel's "Authentic" EP, Tour and Video

The irresistible party machine is back in full force!

After a mad year (with a highly successful album and dozens of delirious shows) and a short rest, the irresistible party machine known as Shantel is back in full force: the digital-only Authentic EP includes remixes by Yamaha Electrico and by the highly-rated Schlachthof Bronx, as well as two new versions recorded by Shantel in collaboration with Turkish artist Nil and Serbian underground sound system Dream Team.

The Authentic Tour will take Shantel and his band through over 40 cities between May and August, including appearances at major festivals such as Roskilde (DK), Couleur Café (B), Montreux Jazz (CH), Francofolies (F), and a headlining show at the Bataclan in Paris on May 21. Watch the Authentic Video to get an impression of what it's like to attend a Shantel show...
Absolutely inauthentic, my sound is egocentric,
this sounds to you eclectic, 'cause you stay on the ground!

Balkan Beat Box Euro Tour, animation video and remixes

Balkan Beat Box Euro Tour, animation video and remixes

BBB are playing 13 shows in Europe to present "Blue Eyed Black Boy".

Balkan Beat Box - "War Again" from Crammed Discs on Vimeo.

Kicking off in Paris (13/4), London (14/4), Lille (15/4), Brussels (16/4); and moving on to Caen, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam,  Munich. Cologne, Nancy, Bertignolles and Vienna. See more details in the "live" section of the site.

Come join the party!

The animation video for "War Again", the first single off the album,was directed by Paul Griswold, and is being aired on various TV channels including MTV Germany.

Several remixes are filtering through, by the likes RJD2, Radioclit, Brazilian Girls and more to be announced

Limited vinyl editions of the Cibelle & Lonely Drifter Karen albums

Limited vinyl editions of the Cibelle & Lonely Drifter Karen albums

Pre-order now and get a free download of the entire album
Pre-order the limited-edition VINYL version of "Fall of Spring" by Lonely Drifter Karen,
and immediately get a free download of the entire album (including the digital-only bonus track "Seasonal Things" feat. Dana Janssen from Akron/Family) !

Pre-order the limited-edition VINYL version of "Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel" by Cibelle,
and immediately get a free download of the entire album (plus some surprise goodie) !

The Lonely Drifter Karen album is a single vinyl LP including a poster,  the Cibelle album is a double-LP in a gatefold sleeve, including a poster.

To order the Lonely Drifter Karen album on vinyl, CLICK HERE   
To order the Cibelle album on vinyl: CLICK HERE

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