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18 December 2013

WTSH Shoegaze Spotlight feat. Black Hearted Brother on the Strangeways Radio blog.

WTSH Shoegaze Spotlight 
on the Strangeways Radio Blog

About this week's spotlight: 
Who: Black Hearted Brother
What: WTSH Shoegaze Spotlight feature
Where: Strangeways Radio blog
WTSH frequently contributes an article to the Strangeway's blog called Shoegaze Spotlight, which features one shoegaze/dream pop band & highlights how very awesome the band is and how you should be listening to them and buying their music and supporting them because they deserve it. That was a long sentence.

This week's focus:
Black Hearted Brother is a new project that features Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3), Mark Van Hoen (Locust, Seefeel) and Nick Holton (Holton's Opulent Oog). The three musicians have worked together on a variety of projects over the years; friendship, talent and experience brought them together again for the Black Hearted Brother project, and the trio recently released their debut LP, Stars Are Our Home, on Slumberland Records (USA) and Sonic Cathedral (UK & Europe).

Genre-wise, the double LP has been called everything from space-rock, to shoegaze, and even “post-everything”, which is a testament to the wide-ranging scope of the album. Exquisite textures and experimental sounds combine to create a vibrant psychedelic listening experience. Stars Are Our Home is a well-crafted, exciting and imaginative LP that is already experiencing critical acclaim. Considering how musically gifted each band member is in his own right, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Each of their past projects had an enormous impact on the independent musical landscape of the early 90’s up through to the present.

Guitarist/vocalist Neil Halstead was a founding member of Slowdive, a band often cited as one of the genre-defining acts of what would become known in the late 80s/early 90s as Shoegaze. Slowdive released 3 essential shoegaze albums via Creation Records (a crucial record label in the fledgling days of Shoegaze) before disbanding in 1995. Following Slowdive, Halstead formed Mojave 3 with ex-Slowdive members Rachel Goswell and Ian McCutcheon. Between 1995 and 2006 Mojave 3 released 5 LPs to critical acclaim. Mojave 3’s sound was distinctly different from Slowdive; this new musical direction found the band experimenting with a more acoustic, country-influenced sound, often referred to as British country/folk. Halstead also released 3 respected solo albums between the years 2002 and 2012. He has been described as "one of Britain's most respected songwriters" by Allmusic.

London-born electronic artist Mark Van Hoen is best known for his work with 3 particular musical projects: Seefeel, Locust and Autocreation (he has also released music under his own name). In 1982, at the age of 16, Van Hoen gave his first live performance using a vintage analog synthesizer and tape. Influenced by early electronic pioneers like Brian Eno and Kraftwerk, Van Hoen began releasing music under the name Locust in 1983, continuing his experimentation with vintage analogue synthesizers and tape recorders. As the Locust sound moved towards an increasingly more vocal oriented approach in the late 1990s, Van Hoen also began to release music under his own name. Between the years 1993-2013, Van Hoen released 14 LPs under both Locust and his own name. He also briefly joined Seefeel in 1991. Another quintessential band from the early shoegaze movement, Seefeel occupied the stylistically unique intersection of dream pop/shoegaze and ambient techno/IDM. Van Hoen is considered to be a talented innovator and pioneer of important musical genres as wide-ranging as experimental electronic, drone, ambient, glitch, IDM and noise…

via the Strangeways Radio blog

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