Thing of the Day
New EXTRA LIFE, remixed by XIU XIU, and now available as a free download..
March 11th 2011
The release of new EXTRA LIFE EP, Ripped Heart, a release that we told you about here back in February, is getting closer. The physical piece of beauty landed here in the Organ bunker last week, indeed you might have caught the lead track on the Organ's Other Rock show on Resonance FM last weekend.
Slightly more poppy and a little bit more accessible, but still strange, heavily influenced by early music and classical composition, a sound that now veers into an impossible mix of UK 80s pop sounds and hardcore - ultimately dripping in that unique dangerous beauty that’s something all of their own. Extra Life really are a genuinely unique band. The single comes out, as we've previously reported, in the first week of April - and we can confirm that the EP is coming out on the UK on Loaf once more. The Brooklyn band, who we’ve been covering and playing lots around these Organic parts for a good few years now, are finally starting to come to the attention of the more mainstream alternative music media - good to see some more mainstream coverage at last, Extra Life deserve it all.
And the whole point of this Thing Of The Day feature is to tell you of that Xiu Xiu remix that features on the forthcoming single (alongside mixes from Laurel Halo, Liturgy, and Former Ghosts) is now available as a free and legal download. Trust Xiu Xiu to have come up with a remix that actually retains some of the complexity and originality of Extra Life while still adding a something of their own (most other remixers' previous attempts at Extra Life have squeezed that distinctiveness out).The Xiu Xiu remix can be downloaded free from here - rcrdlbl.com/artists/extra_life/track/ripped_heart_xiu_xiu_remix
the press release, is it lazy of us to just give you the press release?
Not really, it's a good one and we’ve written enough about Extra Life
in the past:
On April 5 2011, Brooklyn art rock audience-dividers Extra Life will release their new EP Ripped Heart on the newly launched Last Things Records (digital and limited edition 12” vinyl) in the US, and through LOAF Records (digital only) in Europe. Their third proper studio release, it includes four new exclusive tracks.
Since 2007 Extra Life have challenged and uplifted the underground music scene with their dark, epic, unclassifiable blend of goth, pop, prog, metal, classical and ancient folk aesthetics. The group was founded by singer Charlie Looker after his departure from influential New York noise-chamber group Zs and his brief stint with the Dirty Projectors. For Extra Life, Looker brought together a quintet of diverse talents from the Northeast avant rock scene: drummer Nick Podgurski, formerly of Yukon; violinist/guitarist/producer Caley Monahon-Ward of Snowblink; saxophonist/keyboardist Travis Laplante of Little Women; and bassist Tony Gedrich of Stats.
Extra Life’s 2008 debut Secular Works (Planaria/LOAF) was met with wide critical acclaim both at home and abroad. The band toured twice in the U.S. and then in Europe, performing at festivals including Primavera Sound (Barcelona), Villette Sonique (France), Moers (Germany) and Kilbi (Switzerland) alongside Sonic Youth, Sunn 0))) and Deerhunter. In 2010 Extra Life released their second full-length Made Flesh (LOAF), a concept album about weightlifting, spirituality and death. Earning many new devout fans and a few impassioned detractors, Extra Life toured both the U.S. and Europe again. This was immediately followed by the release of Splayed Flesh (Sockets), an EP of remixes including Justin Broadrick and Tyondai Braxton.
On Ripped Heart, Extra Life continue in their spirit of dramatic intensity and experimentalism, while also exploring their more accessible side. Amidst the gothic harmonies, lurching rhythms and noise there are infectious melodies, hypnotic repetition, and lush synth textures, making the compositions closer to pop songs than anything Extra Life has made yet. One can still feel the influence of classic crushing New York bands such as Swans and Unsane and composers such as Phillip Glass and Glenn Branca. The new EP however, touches more than ever on the synthetic pop beauty of later Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode.
While Looker’s lyrics still address the eternal themes of love, sex, death and power, on Ripped Heart they leave behind the macroscopic heights of philosophy and occult spirituality and focus more on emotive personal storytelling. The songs are rooted firmly on the plane of human desire. Still with a touch of humor, here Extra Life more than ever speak directly to the heart.
Ripped Heart’s vast sound was captured by modern metal luminary and longtime Extra Life producer Colin Marston (Krallice, Gorguts). In contrast to indie music’s current trend of sonic murkiness and vagary, the EP’s shimmering orchestration cuts through with a decidedly hi-fi aesthetic.
The limited edition 12” of Ripped Heart will be the premier release by Last Things Records, a new vinyl-only label founded by Charlie Looker. Along with purchase of the vinyl, Last Things will offer a free download of four remixes including up-and-coming techno shaman Laurel Halo, as well as kindred spirits Xiu Xiu, Liturgy, and Former Ghosts (featuring Sam Mickens).
With the release of Ripped Heart, Extra Life will begin performing in a new trio incarnation, having parted ways with bassist Gedrich and saxophonist Laplante. In the spirit of refined focus, and in accord with the EP’s more electronic sound, Charlie Looker’s cold analog synth will provide the band’s trademark pummeling low-end. Caley Monahon-Ward, while still wielding his classic piercing violin, will also realize the new material with his own swirling, effects-drenched guitar work. Nick Podgurski’s brutally precise drum assaults continue to propel the band. In this new trio incarnation, Extra Life will embark on a two-week tour of Europe in April 2011, sharing bills with Deerhoof. In July, the band will do a month-long U.S. tour alongside Portland’s Parenthetical Girls.
"Ripped Heart" track listing:
1. Strong Brother, Weak Brother
2. Run Cold
3. Ripped Heart
4. Elegy (cartoon piano)
Bonus Remix Track List (vinyl only):
5. Elegy (Liturgy remix)
6. Ripped Heart (Xiu Xiu remix)
7. Run Cold (Former Ghosts remix)
8. Strong Brother, Weak Brother (Laurel Halo remix)
Extra Life Live
03.11.2011Seaven Teares (feat. Charlie Looker) @ Roulette New York, NY
w/ Lee Ranaldo/Sarah Lipstate
03.13.2011 Extra Life @ Death By Audio Brooklyn, NY
w/ Zs Black Crown Ceremony, and Noveller
04.01.2011 Extra Life @ Death By Audio *Ripped Heart EP release party*
w/ Hume, Sam Mickens Ecstatic Showband and Revue
Charlie Looker playing in Tyondai Braxton's orchestral pieces:
03.04.2011 @ Walker Arts Minneapolis, MN
03.07.2011 @ Alice Tully Hall / Lincoln Center New York, NY
European Tour Dates
04.18.2011 Ceske Budejovice (CZ) Ostinato Festival @ Velbloud
04.19.2011 Leipzig (DE) Conne Island ^
04.20.2011 Belfort (FR) Impetus Festival *
04.21.2011 Metz (FR) Les Trinitaires *
04.22.2011 Delemont (CH) SAS
04.23.2011 Lausanne (CH) Impetus Festival *
04.24.2011 Schorndorf (DE) Manufaktur *
04.25.2011 Bielefeld (DE) AJZ %
04.26.2011 Brussels (BE) Magasin 4 $
04.27.2011 Orleans (FR) L’Atelier
04.28.2011 Paris (FR) Point Ephemere #
04.29.2011 Cherbourg (FR) Festival La Terra Trema
04.30.2011 Nantes (FR) Les Ateliers de Bitche
05.01.2011 Lyon (FR) Africantape Festival
^ = w/ Sons of Noel and Adrian
* = w/ Deerhoof
% = w/ Liturgy
$ = w/ OvO
# = w/ Rien
US Dates w/ Parenthetical Girls Coming Soon!
For more information, visit:
And for previous Organ coverage visit
THING OF THE DAY – Feb 11th 2011 - organthing080.html
And a whole lot of Organ Extra Life reviews here.