New Music Tip
Words: Monica Mazzoli





Continuing with our collaboration with the leading Italian music publication Kalporz a short summer break, the Monolith Cocktail will be cosying up and sharing reviews, interviews and other bits from our respective sites each month. Keep an eye out for future ‘synergy’ between our two great houses as we exchange posts.

This month Monica Mazzoli scouts out the Melbourne indie-funk-soul oddities Karate Boogaloo.



It’s “retromania” times: we know that. There are those who, however, in referring back to the past manage not to expire in the most pedantic revival. This is the case of the Melbourne funk-soul scene, which revolves around bands like Surprise Chef, Karate Boogaloo, Pro-Teens and a small totally DIY record label – the College Of Knowledge Records – founded by Lachlan Stuckey and Jethro Curtin (guitarist and keyboardist of Surprise Chef respectively).

The sound is obviously analogue, of course, of tape recordings, but the approach to making music is out of the box: the already mentioned Surprise Chef and Karate Boogaloo – the two bands that are the soul of the label – collaborate, exchange musicians, record tracks in the home studio (even the artwork of the records), do everything by themselves. They have a mentality open to any sound contamination and unconventional writing. In other words, Carn The Boogers – the first Karate Boogaloo album released in May 2020 – comes after two mixtapes (KB’S Mixtape No.1 and KB’S Mixtape No.2) in which the band had fun reinterpreting songs that have been sampled in classic hip hop and pop (to be listened to absolutely “Tour de France”).

On the new album the songs are all autographed, but the wanderer spirit of the groove continues: in the new tracks – all instrumental (as usual) – the band dances like a juggler on rhythm, without ever falling, always on the piece. The five minutes of ‘Space Language’ are perhaps the apotheosis of this musical trip. A funk-soul with surfing in the heart.


NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY
Words: Monica Mazzoli





Continuing in 2020 with our collaboration with the leading Italian music publication Kalporz, the Monolith Cocktail will be cosying up and sharing reviews, interviews and other bits from our respective sites each month. Keep an eye out for future ‘synergy’ between our two great houses as we exchange posts.

The first Kalporz post of the year is taken from the site’s [Scoutcloud] column; searching out and discovering new bands.

Here’s a little reminder of the Kalporz background:

Kalporz writes about music, with his own musical vision, since 2000.

Kalporz is a careful observer of news, trends, emerging scenes, but without chasing the dominant taste: he is in search of “beautiful things”. He hopes to publish articles well written and carefully, in an original way, without filters and, of course, independently.

The editorial project is under the Creative Commons regime (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IT) and in 2018 it was voted as the best Italian music site by the Meeting of Independent Labels (MEI) and Musicletter (https://www.musicletter.it/index.php/2018/08/27/kalporz-e-reverendo-lys-vincono-la-targa-mei-musicletter-2018-premio-speciale-a-umbria-jazz-come-miglior-festival-musicale-italiano/).

The Kalporz family is composed of the founder Luca Vecchi, the editors Paolo Bardelli,Monica MazzoliPiero MerolaEnrico StradiMatteo MannocciGianluigi Marsibilio, and about twenty other collaborators, as well as three photographers.

The collaborators are from all parts of Italy, even if the main base of Kalporz is between Reggio Emilia, a town near the “famous” Canossa, the Adriatic Sea and Florence.





Brainstory music has rhythm and heart. In a word: a groove.

Kevin Martin, Tony Martin and Eric Hagstrom – the three souls of the band – form a trio all soul, jazz and psychedelic. After two mini albums – Brainstory Presents: A Natural Phantasm (2015) and Brainstory (2017) – comes the band from Rialto’s (California) longplayer debut. Buck (2019), the band’s first release by Big Crown Records, the Californian line-up lays bare as never before, putting down its musical spirituality, naked and pure. “Buck naked”, on the other hand, means “naked as a worm” in English. The songs of Buck are all stripped of artificial frills; they are “pop”, directed to the point, to the soul of the melody and rhythm: Soul in spirit.


Monica Mazzoli


Kalporz interviews Wilson Hernandez of Tennis Club
Words: Monica Mazzoli




Continuing our content swap with the leading Italian culture/music site Kalporz, the Monolith Cocktail is excited to be hosting Monica Mazzoli‘s recent interview with Wilson Hernandez of the burgeoning Missouri, USA band Tennis Club.





Elefant Records, an independent record label based in Spain, has given a most extensively considered production to guitar and electro pop music over the years.

In 2019 Elefant has already released the second – wonderful – album by the French band Le SuperHomard (entitled Meadow Lane Park) and the Attic Lights comeback album (Love in the Time of Shark Attacks).

Pink, the new mini-LP by Tennis Club was released on May 31th and will probably be on the same wavelength as the two great records I just mentioned. The band, which hails from Missouri (USA), features Wilson Hernandez (vocals, guitar), Tehya Deardorff (instead of Justin Akin – bass) and Sean O’Dell (drums). They have already released an essential nine-track cassette of great surf garage pop songs.

For the occasion of the recent album launch we had a chat with the Club’s guitarist/vocalist Hernandez – the interview was actually conducted just before the official release of Pink.



Q: In 2017 you released your first Cassette, a record that sounds like The Beach Boys, if they’d made a lo-fi album: surf-garage pop songs (and killer chorus) with a noisy, shoegazy attitude. Now your new mini Album, Pink, is going to be released soon on 31st May. The two tracks that are already available – ‘Pink Sweater! Pink Shoes!’ and ‘Mexico City (Rich Girls)’ – show a new approach: I mean, it seems to me that you’re going in new directions, the first single is the “old” Tennis Club sound; the second single is more jangle pop with the singing in Spanish.

A: Yes, we were going for a more pop sound on this album; our first album was very distorted and noisy and this record focused on a softer sound, sweeter lyrics and more focus on vocal harmonies like on the early Beatles albums.

Elefant Records, a Spanish record label, decided to release your new mini LP. How did it happen? From Missouri to Spain…

I started listening to a lot of Spanish music, my mother is from El Salvador so I speak it decently and I started looking into Spanish labels when I found Elefant and saw that they had such a great appreciation for indie pop that I thought we would fit in well. So I sent an early version of Pink to Luis at Elefant and thankfully he liked it!

We usually say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But the cover, the packaging of Pink is so amazing, in a “twee pop way”, it reminded me of Jamboree by Beat Happening.

Yes, I agree! The album art is very twee and I think it fits the aesthetic of the album very well. It was made by friend Ela Hosp who has this very simple but one of a kind unique style: you can check out more of her art on Instagram @elahosp.




%d bloggers like this: