Jazz, Junk & Recycling: Dr Junkenstein from Addictive TV
Dr Junkenstein is the fun, new electro-jazz single from the UK's irrepressible ethno-sampling adventurers Addictive TV, who travel the globe searching for unusual and brilliant sounds for their Orchestra of Samples project. Inspired by the percussive sounds of re-cycled junk and the idea of creating jazz by 'stitching together' disparate parts, Dr Junkenstein was given life!
When you spend a lot of time travelling in search of distinctive musical sounds, you can come across some pretty unusual instruments in unexpected places, such as Brazil, home to eco-group Patubatê (pronounced Patoo-bat-ay) who make instruments from a wide range of rejected objects found in skips and junkyards, including pots, pans, telephone booths and even an old car exhaust pipe! Closer to home, this year Addictive TV recorded a session with Saul Eisenberg, founder of the UK's Junk Orchestra and former Stomp and Blue Man member, who similarly rock 'n' recycles re-invented instruments from the scrapyards of London, from empty gas cylinders turned into drums to the playing of spokes on a spinning bike wheel to create a funky 'washboard' type sound! Both artists now feature on Dr Junkenstein.
The track takes its name from both Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in which a strange assortment of old body parts are brought together create a new life, but also nods to funk band Parliament's 1970's track "Dr Funkenstein".
Producer Francoise Lamy explains: "Dr Junkenstein is the latest in a whole series of tracks we've created by sampling hundreds of musicians we recorded improvising around the world in the last decade for Orchestra of Samples. The project has always been about bringing different instruments together, but that doesn't always just mean traditional or rare localised instruments, it also means newly invented ones and that encompasses the whole world of musically recycled junk."
The bulk of percussion though on Dr Junkenstein is a classic drum kit played by Russian drummer Sergey Balalaev, which was a fortuitous meeting of musicians while Addictive TV were in St. Petersburg in 2014 performing Orchestra of Samples at the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art; a recording session that hadn't been sampled until now! There's also is a great piano riff on the track created from sampling recordings with Jack Hues - the multi-instrumentalist and lead singer of 1980's pop sensation Wang Chung, who still perform today!
But the pivotal instrument on Dr Junkenstein is the sonorous saxophone as performed by Petr Kroutil and recorded in 2018 when Addictive TV were asked to play at the Soundtrack Festival in the Czech Republic, as Addictive TV's frontman Graham Daniels explains,
"The festival had introduced us to both the headliner, film composer Eric Serra - who scored The Fifth Element and Bond film GoldenEye, and also to Petr Kroutil who was hosting a talk we were doing. It turned out Petr's also a leading saxophonist and clarinettist in the Czech Republic, and one of the most distinctive jazz musicians there! An opportunity we simply couldn't miss, so arranged to record Petr on saxophone in my hotel room and this later became the lead instrument on Dr Junkenstein!"
Now in its eleventh year, artists Addictive TV's project Orchestra of Samples continues to shine a light on instruments from around the world in a fascinating and innovative manner.
Addictive TV are known for their pioneering use of audio-video sampling and since the late 90s have performed in over 50 countries, from WOMAD in the UK to SXSW in Texas. Hollywood studios Paramount, Universal and 20th Century Fox have all used their AV remixing talents to create alternative trailers for films including Iron Man and Fast & Furious. They were twice voted #1 VJ in the world by DJ Mag alongside their Top 100 DJ poll and have had work exhibited at New York's Museum of Moving Image and Shanghai's Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2021, they were commissioned by the UK's Journeys Festival to create 'Sounds of Sanctuary', a short film collaborating with refugee musicians from Syria, Iran and Zimbabwe, who've now settled in the UK and Europe.
Dr Junkenstein releases on October 22 as a digital single.
For more information, please visit: www.orchestraofsamples.com/releases/dr-junkenstein
30 second teaser video for Dr Junkenstein: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Aclim3rAs
Official video released on Oct. 22
Musicians on Dr Junkenstein:
SAXOPHONE - Petr Kroutil (Czech Republic)
PIANO - Jack Hues (UK)
CAR EXHAUST – Fred Magalhães (Patubatê, Brazil)
BICYCLE WHEEL - Saul Eisenberg (Junk Orchestra, UK)
DRUMS – Sergey Balalaev (Russia)
Project producers: Francoise Lamy & Graham Daniels
Composition: Graham Daniels & Stephen Hollands
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