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Devendra Banhart «» Mala (2013)

 Devendra Banhart «» Mala (2013)

Devendra Banhart — Mala
¶  "I think five percent of all songs can be love songs, and
another five percent can be miscellaneous or political,
but the rest should just be about medieval feminists." D.B.
Born: May 30, 1981, Houston, Texas United States
Genres: Freak folk, Psych folk, Folk rock, New Weird America, Latin, lo-fi
Occupations: Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments: Guitar, vocals, piano
Location: New York
Album release: March 12, 2013
Record Label: Nonesuch
Duration:     40:43
01. Golden Girls      (1:36)
02. Daniel      (3:06)
03. Für Hildegard Von Bingen      (2:36)
04. Never Seen Such Good Things     (3:13)
05. Mi Negrita      (3:24)
06. Your Fine Petting Duck      (5:46)
07. The Ballad Of Keenan Milton      (2:17)
08. A Gain      (1:35)
09. Won't You Come Over      (3:37)
10. Cristobal Risquez      (2:28)
11. Hatchet Wound      (3:10)
12. Mala      (1:08)
13. Won't You Come Home      (3:32)
14. Taurobolium      (3:16)
Rodrigo Amarante  Guitar (Electric), Percussion
Aram Goldberg  Management
Devendra Banhart  Artwork, Composer, Design, Drum Machine, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Layout, Mixing, Percussion, Primary Artist, Producer, Synthesizer, Vocals, Wurlitzer
Greg Calbi  Mastering
Noah Georgeson  Bass, Composer, Drum Machine, Drums, Engineer, Glass, Guitar, Mixing, Percussion, Producer, Programming, String Arrangements, Switchblade, Synthesizer
Greg Rogo Ve  Drums
Todd Dahl Hoff  Bass
Bram Inscore  Cello
Samur Khouja  Engineer
Ana Kras  Design, Layout, Vocals
Bernardo Risquez  Vocals
Gregory Rogove  Drums, Xylophone
Josiah Steinbrick  Bass, Clapping, Dulcimer, Percussion, Soloist, Synthesizer, Synthesizer Saxophone
Website: http://www.devendrabanhart.com/ / FB: http://www.facebook.com/#!/devendra.banhart.10?group_id=0
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/devendrabanhart
Review by Fred Thomas  (Rating: ***½)
At a certain point, the path got stranger for Devendra Banhart. Appearing out of nowhere in the early 2000s with a string of almost accidentally perfect albums, Banhart's haunted voice and familiar impressions of the ghosts of folksingers past pushed him to the forefront of what would be dubbed freak folk. Along with Joanna Newsom and the then-acoustic trip-outs of Animal Collective, Little Wings, Jana Hunter, and a host of other weirdos, Banhart produced effortlessly sublime songs, connected to a sense of earthy wonder and romanticism. Without losing his mojo completely, Banhart's albums became increasingly meandering and protracted as he went on, with efforts like 2007's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon rambling tiresomely and 2009's What Will We Be feeling both manic and boringly predictable at once. With Mala, Banhart doesn't quite return to the lo-fi brilliance of his beginnings or continue the overwrought leanings of his most previous work, but somehow finds a way to refreshingly split the difference. Since 2005's Cripple Crow, Banhart has dabbled in different genres over the course of a single album, often with mixed results. Mala is no different. Beginning with the dark song fragments "Golden Girls" and "Daniel," he quickly shifts the mood from these eerie Vincent Gallo-esque moments of heartbreak to the icy muted electronics and zombie disco posturing of "Fur Hildegard Von Bingen." Standout track "Your Fine Petting Duck" rides a cookie-cutter '50s doo wop chord progression, with boy/girl back-and-forth lyrics setting a scene where a deadbeat boyfriend lists the reasons he was so awful for the girl trying to get back together with him. Elsewhere, Banhart experiments playfully with tropicalia, chilled-out beats, instrumental interludes, and disjointed electronics. "Won't You Come Over" borrows a synth riff from reggae-poppers Althea & Donna's classic "Uptown Top Ranking," the no-fidelity underwater power pop of "Hatchet Wound" sounds like Ariel Pink stopped by to co-produce (he didn't), and "Won't You Come Home" sprawls out with all the gorgeous airiness of Talk Talk. Instead of the overreaching, overly long confusion of previous efforts, Mala streamlines Banhart's multifaceted muse, and the songs all fit together, if in a somewhat roundabout manner. Apart from the increased cohesion, the quality of the songwriting is far higher, reminding us of the astonishing promise and tossed-off ease of Banhart's early material, and suggesting that his detours into less exciting sounds were just part of a journey that might be much longer and more rewarding than expected. (http://www.allmusic.com)
Devendra Obi Banhart is a Venezuelan American singer-songwriter and visual artist. Banhart was born in Houston, Texas and was raised by his mother in Venezuela, until he moved to California as a teenager. He began to study at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1998, but dropped out to perform music in Europe, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Banhart released his debut album in 2002, continuing to record his material on the Young God and XL labels, as well as other work on compilations and collaborations.
"Devendra Banhart presents his Nonesuch debut, Mala. The singer/songwriter co-produced the record with his longtime bandmate, guitarist Noah Georgeson. Banhart's eighth studio album, Mala was recorded in his then-home in Los Angeles. He and Georgeson played most of the instruments themselves, using borrowed equipment and a vintage Tascam recorder they d found in a pawn shop. "A lot of early hip-hop had been made on [the Tascam], " says Banhart. "And knowing my songs are not hip-hop whatsoever, we thought it would be interesting to see how these kinds of songs would sound on equipment that was used to record our favorite rap. Let's see how this technology would work for us. " It was a new approach for the pair. "In the past we were more like, let s use the oldest equipment we could find. "  Banhart also notes how his voice has developed over the years: "I don t really take care of my voice, but, just like with playing guitar, you get more familiar with it, and you get better at it. I ve always said that I m very good at not knowing how to play the guitar but, really, it s just that I m very comfortable with the utter uncertainty of my approach. "  Banhart's previous release, 2009 s What Will We Be, received critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone calling it "the best he's ever made. " The Los Angeles Times said the record  "found him making comfortable, laid-back folk that didn't sound like a compromise more like an artist growing into his own."
Nouvel album pour Devendra Banhart qui visiblement cherche de nouvelles directions, a découvrir.

 © Photo credit: Sebastian Mlynarski
By Stephen Thompson; March 03, 201310:30 PM
For a guy who gets tagged with a lot of limiting descriptors — "freak folk," "hippie" and so forth — Devendra Banhart doesn't like to let his music sit in any spot for long. His catalog, which now includes seven official albums, has taken him through warmly intimate ballads, raw and unselfconsciously strange home recordings, songs in several languages (Banhart spent much of his childhood in Venezuela), a lot of smoothly strummy folk-pop and the occasional low-key anthem about free-spiritedness.
The very model of inconsistency, Banhart can be cloying one minute and induce sniffling gasps the next; it's hard to believe that "Long Haired Child" (from Cripple Crow) and "At the Hop" (from Niño Rojo) were written by the same guy, much less released only a year apart. But on his new album Mala, out March 12, Banhart veers away from such extremes, while still retaining his capacity to defy expectations.
Here, that can mean using song titles as fake-outs: "Never Seen Such Good Things" sets up as a sweetly ambling song of wonder, until he follows its title with the words "go so wrong" — which is saying nothing of the line, "If we ever make sweet love again / I'm sure that it will be quite disgusting." Then, in "Your Fine Petting Duck," Banhart takes self-deprecation to the brink of self-abuse; there are "Baby, I'm no good" songs, and then there's defending your ex's no-good lover by offering reminders, point by point, of all the ways in which you were worse.
Still, lovelier sentiments peek through. Banhart's arsenal contains a remarkable capacity to convey yearning — see: "At the Hop," above — and it shines through in slow, brooding pleas like "Won't You Come Home." The singer still takes a lot of tonal detours on Mala, but that's the sound of creative freedom for a songwriter who's never been afraid to follow his whims to epiphanies, dead ends and many points in between. (Fortaken: http://www.npr.org)
Andy Gill  Friday 08 March 2013
Devendra Banhart's last few albums left little impression, and despite moving to Warners' artists colony Nonesuch, his latest seems unlikely to arrest that trajectory.
It's not bad, just unnecessary. It shifts desultorily from style to style, with songs barely hanging around long enough to state their case.
Sometimes, that's a relief: the tribute to Hildegard von Bingen is facile. “Golden Girls” has a nice blend of strings and metallic percussion, but elsewhere things stumble from indie-folk to rudimentary electropop and oddball 1950s pop with a lack of volition.
Fortaken: http://www.independent.co.uk
Interview with DB by Ryan Dombal, March 5, 2013:
Year/ Album/UK Album Chart/US Billboard 200/US Billboard Heatseekers
2002 The Charles C. Leary - - -
2002 Oh Me Oh My - - -
2004 Rejoicing in the Hands - - -
2004 Niño Rojo - - -
2005 Cripple Crow   #69 - #13
2007 Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon - #115   #3
2009 What Will We Be - #139   #4
2013 Mala  - - -
Singles and EPs:
The Black Babies (2003)
Sight To Behold/Be Kind (2004)
Little Yellow Spider (2004)
At The Hop (2004)
I Feel Just Like A Child (2005)
Heard Somebody Say (2005)
Xiu Xiu/Devendra Banhart split 7-inch (2005)
White Reggae Troll (2006)
Carmensita (2007)
Lover (2007)
Baby (2009)
Foolin' (2010)
Aria classical (used on The Charles C. Leary and Oh Me Oh My)
Gibson LG-3 (natural, with Martin Marquis light-gauged strings)
Gibson Country & Western
Gibson ES-355 Lucille (actually Michael Gira's, used during joint tour with the Angels of Light)
Gibson ES-125 (sunburst)
Gibson Les Paul Custom (cherryburst)
Fender Stratocaster (sunburst, used with Megapuss)
Visual art and other media:
Drawings by Banhart were featured in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and in the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels.
Banhart's drawings have also been featured in the Art Basel Contemporary Art Fair in Miami, FL, the Mazzoli Gallery in Modena, Italy, Spain's ARCOmadrid. and the Andrew Roth Gallery in New York.
Banhart's drawings were previously featured in MOCA's exhibit: "The Artist's Museum" which showcases the works of influential Los Angeles based artists from the last 30 years. As part of the exhibit Banhart collaborated with artist Doug Aitken and musicians Beck and Caetano Veloso for a musical and visual performance piece.
Devendra was a participant in Yoko Ono's second Water Piece project.
Banhart read Joan Miró's poem "A Star Caresses the Breasts of a Negress" for England's prestigious Tate Museum's recorded guided tour.
Banhart's music is often associated with the New Weird America genre, along with Vetiver and Joanna Newsom. The New York Times has called his songs "free associative work" and SPIN magazine has written that "Banhart's albums offer ashram-appropriate guitar strums, trippy-hippie tone poetry." Various publications have described his style as psych folk, avant-folk, freak folk, Lo-Fi, hipster folk revival, and alternative folk.
Some reviewers, including AllMusic, The Times, and Mojo, have pointed out similarities between Banhart's songs and production with that of the early 1970s band Tyrannosaurus Rex (an early version of Mark Bolan's T. Rex). In a May 2004 interview with Arthur magazine, Banhart stated that he was unaware of the music of Tyrannosaurus Rex until after he began writing and recording songs. Devendra Banhart instead prefers to credit Vashti Bunyan, Caetano Veloso, Simon Diaz and Arthur Russell  among his main influences.

Devendra Banhart «» Mala (2013)




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