Why Climb The Highest Mountain
Empire State hail from REM's home town of Athens, Georgia, USA and comprise of brothers Jay and Tim Nakashi along with Lambchop's Alex McManus.
Jay & Tim have been playing and recording together since birth. They moved to Athens, Georgia 4 years ago and worked within several ensembles before striking out on their own. Alex joined Jay in restoring a 100-year old house. While working on the house they shared musical ideas and found an old piece of wood with the words "Empire State Chemical".
Soon the brothers and Alex were playing music together as Empire State. Each plays numerous instruments and enjoys experimenting with electronics as well as creating home-made instruments. They were introduced to Brian Causey (former guitarist of Man or Astroman?) who was starting the WARM record label in the US.
Empire State's first album will be released in the US by WARM later this year. Meanwhile, melodic plan to release new tracks and bits of the album over a series of EPs here in the UK, this being the first. The Empire State / melodic partnership came about when a tape fell into melodic's clutches after Alex had visited the UK while touring Europe with Lambchop.
Their music travels between lyric-driven pop experiments (Every Time I Think), sample-based electronic/acoustics (Why Climb the Highest Mountain & Polarity), and manic cinematic inventions (Same Sized Emperor & Drop Off).
All songs were recorded
in Empire State's basement recording facility and feature created-samples,
guitars, keyboards, cello, violin and autoharp as well as their home-made
instruments (the rotochimes, xylo-can, chinaman and horn boxes).
Jay Nackashi is an engineer who has designed and constructed musical and non-musical instruments (including the bass that Tim plays). After years of 4-tracking began to experiment with digital recordings. His home studio is the source of all Empire State's sounds.
Tim Nackashi co-founded Eo Studios, a graphic design company which creates music/art websites (including REM's) as well as Empire State's video and graphic design.
Alex McManus is a cook/carpenter, and has worked at a luthier's shop (an instrument making / woodworking shop). He also plays with: Lambchop, Vic Chesnutt, Olivia Tremor Control, Simon Joyner (Peel Sessions).
As with Pedro and Minotaur Shock, in it's own way this is another corner of understated musical genius. But we won't shout about it
|© melodic 2004|