Band: Crystal Castles
Album: Crystal Castles
Release Date: Out now
Check out the new Crystal Castles CD or LP! Available in stores now and see them in concert at terminal 5 in NYC on aug 21st!!
Notes / Reviews
Crystal Castles, also known as Crystal Castles II, is the second studio album by electronic music group Crystal Castles.
The album was produced by Ethan Kath in various places including a church in Iceland, a self-built cabin in northern Ontario, a garage behind an abandoned convenience store in Detroit, and one song recorded in the London studio of Paul “Phones” Epworth.http
Crystal Castles has been met with mostly positive reviews from critics. According to aggregator site Metacritic, the album currently holds a 80% rating.http The most positive review came from Daniel Brockman of The Boston Phoenix, who praised the band for “having put aside the gimmicky Atari-melting antics of yore” and creating “a dense-yet-airy thicket of pure pop transcendence”. MusicOMH also gave an extremely positive review, describing the album as “bold, dramatic, more than a little screwed-up and stunningly exciting statement”.
The album is a longlisted nominee for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize.. The Globe and Mail, June 17, 2010.
*Ethan Kath sings “Not in Love”, which is a cover of a song by 1980s new wave band Platinum Blonde.http
*”Year of Silence” samples the vocal track from the Sigur RÃ³s song entitled “InnÃ mÃ©r syngur vitleysingur”.http
*Both “Violent Dreams” and “Vietnam” contain samples of the song “I See You Again” by Stina Nordenstam.http
*The CD sleeve notes state that the album cover is a photo of X Tecumseh Clark taken by his father, avant-garde composer and poet Todd Tamanend Clark.http
Crystal Castles is an experimental electronic music band from Ontario, consisting of producer Ethan Kath and vocalist Alice Glass. Crystal Castles are known for their chaotic live shows and their lo-fi home productions. The duo have released many vinyl EPs between 2006â€“2007 and also two eponymous albums, in 2008 and 2010 respectively. The band’s debut album was included in the “Top 50 Greatest Albums of the Decade” by NME Magazine, at number 39.
Crystal Castles were named after the lines “The fate of the world is safe in Crystal Castles” and “Crystal Castles, the source of all power”, both lines referring to fictional character She-Ra’s fortress in the sky. The band was formed in December 2003 as a solo project started by Ethan Kath. Ethan later discovered Alice Glass singing in her noise-punk band, and thought he had found the “missing ingredient” to his music. In 2004 Ethan gave Alice 60 instrumental tracks. In April 2005 Alice Glass recorded vocals over five of these new instrumentals. The microphone test for this recording session was secretly recorded by the studio’s engineer and was later released as the band’s first single, “Alice Practice”, a limited edition 7″ vinyl on London’s Merok Records, released in June 2006 and sold out immediately. Glass was not aware the microphone test recording existed until Merok Records asked to release it.
Many limited edition 7″ vinyl singles followed in 2007 on various tiny labels including 2 on London’s Trouble Records. All singles sold out immediately. Finally, in 2008, Lies Records collected most of the singles and released them on a CD for the first time, along with many previously unreleased tracks and 3 songs recorded just for the collection. This eponymous debut album, Crystal Castles, was also released as a double album on 12″ vinyl. The band’s eponymous debut album was included in the “Top 50 Greatest Albums of the Decade” by NME Magazine, at number 39.
The band’s second album, also titled Crystal Castles but known as “Crystal Castles II”, was released on 24 May 2010. In April 2010 an early mix of the album leaked and without any record label promotion the leak reached #1 on various electronic music charts worldwide.
The album was produced by Ethan Kath in various places including a church in Iceland, a self built cabin in northern Ontario, an abandoned convenience store garage in Detroit Michigan, and 2 songs recorded in the London studio of Paul “Phones” Epworth.http
Crystal Castles have been described as “the kind of music that you just want to follow like a cult, or hate, with every fibre of your being.”
To listen to Crystal Castles, according to the BBC, “is to be cast adrift in a vortex of deafening pain without a safety net. You get the feeling you could do anything in the world, but that ‘anything’ would ultimately mean nothing. Crystal Castles marks a nuanced emotional territory that dance music never covered before.”
Crystal Castles musical style has been described as “ferocious, asphyxiating sheets of warped two-dimensional Gameboy glitches and bruising drum bombast that pierces your skull with their sheer shrill force, burrowing deep into the brain like a fever”.
Crystal Castles have headlined numerous tours in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Australia. The band have never toured their home country of Canada. They have played many festivals including Ireland’s 2009 Oxegen Festival, All Points West Festival 2009 in New Jersey, Coachella Valley and Music Festival 2009 in Indio, California, as well as the Heineken Open’er Festival 2009 in Gdynia, Poland and the Reading and Leeds Festivals in England, August 2007, 2008 and 2009 and also headlined a Vice Magazine’s tour across the UK in November 2007.
In May 2008, Crystal Castles headlined the NME New Noise tour across the UK.
Crystal Castles performed at the Glastonbury Festival in June 2008, where the on-stage antics of Glass which included her climbing the stage rigging and constantly stage-diving, led to the organisers curtailing their set. Crystal Castles toured with Nine Inch Nails in 3 dates in August 2008.
Crystal Castles also played various European summer festivals including England’s Reading and Leeds Festivals. They were expected to return to the UK in September 2008 for a headlining tour but had to cancel due to recording commitments. The band also played Connect 2008 and in October they played at the Iceland Airwaves festival