Telephone: +1(212) 228-0228
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M.A.K.U. Soundsystem is a powerhouse that's been built over years of rehearsals and gigs, criss-crossing America from the Lincoln Center Outdoors -in their adopted hometown of New York- to Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Canada and around the globe to the Roskilde Festival in Denmark and onto the Atlantic Music Expo in Cape Verde. Everywhere they've won over friends: a storming appearance at globalFEST saw the band awarded a touring fund, while new outlets have kept heaping praise. Afropop Worldwide praised the "frantic terrain" the band explores. NPR raved about the "driving and gritty energy...this raw-edged, punk-tinged band explodes with the propulsive force of traditional rhythms and urban restlessness."
M.A.K.U's music derives from their immigrant experience, which is an opportunity to create, to find a voice that speaks loud and proud, to connect past and future. A chance to make history. That sentiment is felt strongly on their fourth album, Mezcla (Glitterbeat). 'Mezcla" is in every way, a mix, an invitation to think and to dance. The band passionately elaborates, "The immigrant experience is complex. Though reasons and conditions for migrating vary greatly one thing we can certainly say is that it is a life-changing, identity-shaping experience. As a group of curious and creative people, our immigrant experience manifests itself through the playful exploration of our musical roots and cultural heritage, while making commentary on our day to day realities, inevitably reflecting our times. M.A.K.U has come together to practice communicating in multiple ways; musically, culturally, politically, and emotionally growing closer to develop a shared language. It's not always a tight groove, but the point of our mixing is not to become homogenous. "Mezcla" is about us coming together through and with our differences, to create a musical experience where we can all be truly present as unique and essential elements of that mix."
" What sets M.A.K.U. Soundsystem apart from the crowd is its unusual sound palette. Moog synthesizer lines snake through Afro-Caribbean rhythms and horn lines ripped straight from P Funk, resulting in a juggernaut of fun that must be great to see live.-Derek Rath, Afropop.org
"The group seeks to capture the mix of apprehension and optimism that drives the immigrant experience, and in mixing Latin American rhythms, call and response vocals, soulful horns, and jazzy organ swirls, they end up in a place that might just remind you of the late great Afropop pioneer Fela Kuti... though if you're old enough (like me) to remember New York in the 70s, the band's sound may recall earlier soul/funk/Latin bands like Mandrill" – John Schaefer, WNYC Weekly Roundup
"Playing tunes from their new album, Mezcla, (Glitter beat records), like "Agua" and "La Haitiana", M.A.K.U. demonstrated why they are one of the best Latin fusion bands in America today and certainly the most joyful. The eight members of the band– are precisely practiced and wonderfully wild."- M.A.K.U. Sound System: the United State of Dance, By Patrick O'Heffernan ( Review – August 2016)
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Dirty Martini is a blissful union of three of the Pacific Northwest's finest singer songwriters Lara Michell, Stephanie Schneiderman, and McKinley. They each had successful solo careers (one toured with David Crosby as his opening act, one won a spot on the Lillith Fair tour, and one was in Carmina Pirhana, a band that composed music for the Oregon Ballet) when they decided to do a Portland Valentine's Day show together. It was a songwriter in the round format and they each played their brutal, love will kick you in the ass and leave you bleeding songs. The embittered, mostly single audience loved them and when they booked their next show together, they haphazardly named themselves Dirty Martini since they'd been sideways on the salty drinks during their first gig. They went on a few road trips together and realized sleep deprivation, long hours in the car, loading gear, and playing was much more fun together than alone. When Gang of Four's bass player Dave Allen came along and met them, he suggested they get out of the songwriter-in-the-round format in his subtle, blue collar British way, "Why don't you stand up and be a proper band already?" After the 2005 release of their debut self-titled album Dirty Martini is now one of Portland, Oregon's most successful groups and their second album Tea and Revenge is loaded with gorgeous harmonies, big stick-in-your-head choruses and unshakeable images. Tapping deeper into their Americana roots, there is no doubt that multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Lara Michell, Stephanie Schneiderman and McKinley, along with drummer Ned Failing, intended to make an album that is easy to like. And yet this sophomore set is darker and much more personal than their highly successful eponymous debut; the depth of their lyrics and the surprising musical arrangements give Tea and Revenge more staying power than your average album. Producers John Askew (Tracker, FILMguerrero) and Dave Allen (Gang of Four) have brought a rich but rough-at-the-edges sound to Dirty Martini's songs and both contribute guitar and bass parts to the album. Dirty Martini points out that their musical influences for this album are three other strong women: Kristin Hersh, Aimee Mann and P J Harvey. Tea and Revenge was recorded at Portland's Type Foundry Studios in the Spring of 2006 by producers Dave Allen and John Askew. Allen and Askew shaped the sound of Tea and Revenge by deconstructing Dirty Martini's songs and rebuilding them in the studio working with guest musicians. Allen and Askew also played on the record and the result of their production is an incredible album that proves Dirty Martini's unique talents as singers and songwriters. The album was released nationally on September 26th 2006. www.pampelmoose.com