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Blonde Redhead

Forming in 1994, Blonde Redhead were thrown together following a chance meeting in New York between Japanese siren Kazu Makino and Milanese twin brothers, Amedeo and Simone Pace. Taking their name from a song by fellow New York no wave artists DNA, location was to prove key to the band’s initial experimentations. Forging a sound reflective of New York’s rich musical legacy, the early years of Blonde Redhead were very much haunted by the squalling underground scene that has forever pulsed throughout the city. While indebted to their geography, the release of their self-titled debut in 1994, swiftly followed by the self-produced La Mia Vita Violenta a year later on Steve Shelley’s Smells Like label, showed signs that Blonde Redhead were soon to escape the shadow of New York.

Indeed, a move west to esteemed Chicago imprint Touch And Go provided the band the opportunity to stretch their wings. The release of Fake Can Be Just As Good with Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto in 1997 and it’s sequel, In An Expression Of The Inexpressible, offered gradual refinements of their artful chaos, but it wasn’t until the band's swansong for Touch And Go, 2000's Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons, that a turning point was reached. The tumult and discord of their earlier records was pared back, emphasis instead placed on the windswept, minor-key melodies that have since come to be the defining trait of the band. Not long after signing to 4AD on a worldwide deal in 2004, Kazu suffered a near-fatal horse riding accident, which understandably was to colour, both visually and lyrically, their debut for the label, Misery Is A Butterfly. Four years later, they returned with their most commercially successful album to date, 23. Testament to the band’s ability to reinvent who they are without losing any of their emotional resonance, the record is a lucid reflection of Blonde Redhead’s will to connect with its audience in striking and affecting ways. Made with the intent to achieve more clarity than what preceded it, the band openly acknowledged that it wasn’t until they reached the mixing stage that they knew what shape the record was to take. They had little to worry about, as 23 was received to near universal praise.

2010 saw the release of eighth studio album Penny Sparkle, another sonic twist in their adventurous canon. Although enlisting long time associate Alan Moulder to mix the album, the band decided to journey between New York and Stockholm to work with production duo Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid in order to stretch themselves. Such stressful working conditions furnished an ardently tender record in keeping with the band’s best work, the album title itself a clue to their emotional headspace. Penny Sparkle, a name taken from a horse kept at the stables where Kazu had her riding accident in 2002, is where the past meets the present in unsteady elan. Where the future leads them is theirs to decide.

Latest News

7th February
Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino Issues Benefit Album, Works In Progress

Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino Issues Benefit Album, Works In Progress

Blonde Redhead

Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead has announced the release of Works In Progress, a 15-song benefit album to support Japan and it’s ongoing efforts to heal post-tsunami. Born in Kyoto, Japan, Kazu’s love for her home country is strong. She wanted to help her homeland and turned to her friends and colleagues to ask that they donate tracks for the album. The response was unbelievable, and Kazu has collected an amazingly cohesive group of songs. Kazu said “It is so ironic that an...

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12th July
Blonde Redhead Release Free Remix EP

Blonde Redhead Release Free Remix EP

Blonde Redhead

In promotion of their current tour, Blonde Redhead have today made available a collection of remixes of tracks taken from latest album, Penny Sparkle. Accumulated over the past nine months following the September release of that record, the seven remixes include efforts from an impressive cast of producers and artists. Included amongst them is the Bon Iver-affilated Gayngs version of 'Here Somtimes', Salem's typically blackened euphoric reworking of 'Penny Sparkle', Becoming Real's...

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Releases

Videos

4AD Session 005

Click to watch the session

Earlier this year, Blonde Redhead released Penny Sparkle, their third album for 4AD and eighth in total. Joined here by Henrik Von Sivers, who worked on the new album as one half of production duo Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid, the session sees the band offer striking interpretations of several standout tracks from the album.

The five songs were shot at Integrated Studios in Tribeca, New...