January 26, 2011

Winter Warming With Remington Super 60

Loungey. Or, maybe loungarific. If you have to come up with one word to describe the new Remington Super 60 EP, that would be it. The band's previous reelases, especially Go System Go!, were a bit more poppy. More poppy in the way that Sergio Mendes is more poppy than say Les Baxter or Esquivel. Go System Go's title track, and "The Impractical Guide To The Opposite Sex" conjure up images the likes of which are usually conjured by classic songs like "Music To Watch Girls By" and "Bond Street" (though "The Impractical Guide To The Opposite Sex" has an opening few bars that sound like they were pulled right off of Style Council album). But RS60 isn't just retro regurgitation, there's a contemporary vibe to their sound that is akin to Stereolab or St. Etienne without being derivative.

But I digress, because this little review is about the band's latest release, the five song EP Winter. It clocks in at a speedy eight and a half minutes, but what an eight and a half minutes. It's dreamy, and frosty around the edges. It is Winter after all. Each track has it's own unique hook like the tinkling xylophone of "Sweet Winter", or the melancholy whistling of "The Lonely Cowboy". Still, there's a consistency throughout that makes this a completely uniform package. This is pop influenced lounge music, or maybe lounge influence pop music, but either way it's delicious.

I traded some e-mail with Christoffer Schou RS60's musical mastermind, and he kindly answered some questions.

Mr. Suave: Tell us a little bit about yourself and about Remington Super 60 and Nice System -- and how they all fit together.

Christoffer: Well I am a 35 year old (but in my mind much younger) Norwegian guy who has given my heart and soul to music! I make a living making music for various commercials (all sounding similar to Remington super 60) my ad work can be seen here.

I started Remington Super 60 back in 1999 originally with my friend Benedicte and then later Magnus. We have released 4 albums (counting the Nice System one) Eps, 7"s, and appeared on numerous compilation albums. All of our releases are spread across various indie-labels around the world.

I originally started rs60 as a "Casio pop" project, I have collected small Casio keyboards for many years. When we recorded the Nice System album we used more acoustic instruments so I had a plan to have rs60 as a Casio band and Nice System as an acoustic band. But now I think Nice System sounds a lot like rs60, so I will probably call all of my releases Remington Super 60 in the future.

Benedicte is BTW no longer in the group. My girlfriend Elisabeth is doing the singing now! Magnus is still there and also my other friend Anders appear from time to time.

A nice Thai chap has leaked almost all our releases online, they are pretty hard to find so I don't mind people downloading them :)

Mr. Suave: What/who are your main influences, both stylistically and specific artists?

Christoffer: When I first started composing music and producing (1998) the Japanese artist Cornelius had a huge inspiration regarding my sound, when it comes to my melodies my biggest inspiration is Burt Bacharach. I heard a song by him early 90s on the radio and many memories started appearing (it turns out my parents were listening a lot to him when I was very young) I have never fallen so much in love with music as I did when I truly discovered him.

Other than that I do DJ from time to time playing mostly old rnb, garage rock, early ska, latin soul, Georgie fame etc..

Mr. Suave: What are you currently listening to, and what would you recommend to us?

If i were to recommend one artist it would be a project called Safariari. It's my friend Jon Kristian’s project (whom I run cafe2001 [a record company] with. All his albums can be found on Spotify. And I would advise people to start with his first album Zeebra Knights which is my all time favorite Norwegian release!

I originally released that album on my own label with the name Save New York. We released it the day before 9/11 so we had to withdraw it and sell it to another label.

And back to my current favs!
Laurel Aitken - Bachelor life
Incredible Staggers - Do the ripper
King Khan and his Shrines - Torture
Betty O'Brien - She'll be gone
Beach Boys - Tears in the morning
Beatles - Julia

Mr. Suave: Who is an artist you like that people might be shocked to learn about?

I think I am pretty true to my taste and style so not many shocking artists there. Although for some reason I have a weak spot for 70s disco. I don't listen to it at home, but whenever I hear Bee Gees, Tavares or similar on the radio I do smile and nod my head with the beat!

Mr. Suave: What's next for Remington Super 60?

I have a children's project entitled "Robo and Friends" that's "under construction" and also have plans to release a couple of more free EPs on my own label Cafe2001 [a record company]. We get a lot of downloads so it’s a nice way to spread the music. Although I am also looking for various labels to collaborate with.