Big Black Delta/ Sego 5/6 At Ufo Factory

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Big Black Delta/ Sego 5/6 At Ufo Factory
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Party Store Productions says
First the facts. Big Black Delta is Jonathan Bates. And Jonathan Bates is Big Black Delta. (Although you might occasionally find him elsewhere, like playing guitar with the likes of Brandon Flowers, Brian Wilson, Brit Daniel, and Dhani Harrison during the appropriately named George Harrison celebration, George Fest.) Trágame Tierra is his second album as a solo artist under the moniker. Pinning down a narrative through line? That's a bit harder.

Bates regularly nudges any conversation about his work into a discussion of his Trágame Tierra guests, praising their talent and personalities in equal parts. Norwegian singer/songwriter's Susanne Sundfør show-stopping voice—and her shock when he told her she nailed the complex vocals of Steer the Canyon in one take. Kimbra's youthful musicality and poise. Dhani Harrison's background vocals on Well My Heart. And 1980s pop poster-girl Debbie Gibson, whose wiliness to sing on a relatively unknown musician's album taught him more than he had anticipated.

Bate's is offering a larger than life version of himself, strutting through the crackling electronics like a latter-day David Bowie. But now there's more. More icy Scandinavian-leaning beats ("Overlord"). More near-country acoustic warmth ("Well My Heart," which also features a vocal assist from Dhani Harrison). More live instrumentation (see: the clarinet-driven refrain of "Strange Cakes," brought to you by Jaga Jazzist's Lars Horntveth). And more odd and often exciting choices that split the difference between 1980s cartoon, underground rave, and voyage to the moon. (Start with "Kid Icarus," but realize this statement could apply to the album as a whole). But most of all, it's a multi-layered collection of songs that points back to its creator, caring. Maybe more than anyone.

Bates moans at that summation.

"You can't say that!" he interjects. "When you consider all the people in the world, you just can't say I care the most."

Okay, so maybe that's overreach. But this we do know: Big Black Delta is Jonathan Bates. And Bates is feeling it. A lot. Maybe more, maybe less than the guy next to him. But we can't say for certain—and that's okay.

WSG SEGO http://www.segoband.com/
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By: Party Store Productions

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