FALL EQUINOX SEPTEMBER 22ND 2020
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“Efter nye raceoptøjer i USA blev musikken et refugie”
Dansk-amerikanske duo Gate to Venus har med deres nye EP skabt et musikalsk oprør mod den systemiske racisme, som begge sangere har oplevet på nært hold.
“Mordene på George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain og mange flere var egentlig ikke noget uhørt eller uventet - racismen har altid været en indgroet del af det amerikanske samfund. Med ét fik folk øjnene op for den her i Europa” siger Gabriel Gordon, den ene forsanger i bandet Gate to Venus. Han er opvokset i Californien med en hvid mor, en afroamerikansk far i et samfund, der altid havde fordomme om ham, pga. hans hudfarve.
“Der var selvfølgelig nogle positivt ladede fordomme om, at jeg f.eks måtte være god til at spille basket, men samtidig altid en formodning om, at jeg ville stjæle, når jeg gik ind i en butik eller at jeg var truende på anden vis”, fortæller Gabriel Gordon.
Cecilie Beck, den anden halvdel af duoen, er pæredansk, men har også ofte oplevet racismen på nært hold. Specielt da hun boede i New York og var i et forhold med en afroamerikansk mand. “Han blev ofte stoppet og kropsvisiteret af politiet, når han gik alene på gaden, men hvis han gik sammen med mig, lod de ham være”, siger Cecilie Beck.
Cecilie Beck og Gabriel Gordon boede begge i Berlin, da nyheden om George Floyds mord satte gang i protester verden over.
“Det fyldte enormt meget for os begge, og det blev hurtigt tydeligt for os, at vi blev nødt til at omsætte følelsen til musik. På mange måder taler vi egentlig til os selv i sangteksterne - for at minde os om, at vi skal komme ud af fjerene, og bekæmpe undertrykkelse og racisme, hvor end vi møder den. For selvom racismen er endnu mere udtalt i USA, så er den bestemt også en del af vores hverdag og hele vores samfundsstruktur her i Danmark, og i virkeligheden overalt i verden” fortæller bandet, som sidenhen er flyttet til Danmark.
Albummet Solanum er en kommentar på - og refleksion over - den indgroede struktur af racisme i det amerikanske samfund. Solanum er den latinske betegnelse for planter, der gror om natten. Sangene på EP’en handler om, hvordan nogle kræfter bliver forstærket i mørket - hvordan modgang kan få ting til at blomstre.
Den første sang på Solanum, “Night Blossoms” er en sang om håb og om at vedholde troen på sig selv i modgang. Det er en sang, der har i sinde at motivere folk til at gå imod strømmen og fokusere på alt det positive, der foregår omkring én, så det overskygger det negative. Lyrikken bruger metaforer fra havet, som symboliserer emotion eller følelser. Perkussionen lyder af og til som en form for sekundviser på et ur og symboliserer historien, der står stille, løber ud, går i cirkler og gentager sig. Beatet består af en funky R&B rytme og den rebelske guitar går imod denne strøm og giver sangen et rock-præg. En musikvideo udgives d. 22. september sammen med EP’en. Gordon tager mikrofonen som forsanger i “Night Blossoms”, og Beck’s luftfyldte høje toner underbygger en sensitivitet i kombinationen med Gordon’s rå vokal.
Beck leder sangen med sin vokal, og her bakker Gordon hende op. Denne sang handler om at være opmærksom på ikke at lade stå til. Hvis man står ansigt til ansigt med sig selv i spejlet af en sø, ser man sin egen refleksion. Hvis man kommer nærmere og nærmere, bliver man til sidst opløst af sig selv og konfronterer sin egen realitet. “The Mirror” handler om ikke at løbe fra sine problemer, men i stedet konfrontere dem. Outroen trækker på Gordon’s afroamerikanske samt Native American rødder med en rytmisk hymne, som en form for healende ritual. “The Mirror” er en singer-songwriter ballade.
“Turning Tides” låner citater fra frontfigurer i bekæmpelsen af racisme, såsom Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King Junior, Audre Lorde og Maya Angelou. Denne sang er en direkte kommentar på de konflikter, der har fundet sted i foråret og sommeren 2020 i forbindelse med racisme. Turning Tides er en protestsang, som med lyrikken “speak up” og “rise up” vil motivere lytteren til at deltage aktivt i debatten om ligestilling, og måske få lytteren til at reflektere over, om han/hun ubevidst deltager i visse undertrykkende mønstre i samfundet.
Gate to Venus består af danske Cecilie Beck og amerikanske Gabriel Gordon, og sangene på Solanum blev skrevet gennem foråret og sommeren 2020. De er i fuld færd med at indspille deres kommende album Third Eye View, som planlægges at udgives d. 21. december 2020. D. 20. marts 2020 udgav duoen deres første projekt, dobbelt LP’en Chrysalis Metropolis.
Skrevet af Mira Kellermann i samarbejde med Sound Vision Lab, Inc.
Band: Gate to Venus - band/duo, Cecilie Beck (DK), Gabriel Gordon (USA)
Udgivelse: EP: Solanum
Udgivelsesdato: 22. september 2020
Sangsekvens: “Night Blossoms”, “The Mirror”, “Turning Tides”
Genre: pop/rock/singersongwriter/ experimental folk
Credits: Cecilie Beck (producer, piano, vokal, beats, sangskriver), Gabriel Gordon (producer, bas, guitar, vokal, beats, sangskriver)
Pladeselskab: selvudgivet på eget pladeselskab Sound Vision Lab, Inc.
Instagram og Facebook: @gate2venus
Cover photo: Morten Beck Risom
Design: Cecilie Beck
Press release ENGLISH
“After the renewed racial tension in the USA, music became our solace”
With their new EP, the Danish-American duo “Gate to Venus” has created a musical rebellion against the systemic racism that both singers have experienced themselves.
"The assassinations of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and countless others were not really unheard of - racism has always been an ingrained part of American society, but all of the sudden people just became aware of it more here in Europe," said Gabriel Gordon, of the band Gate to Venus. He grew up in California with a white mother, a black father, and a community that always had prejudices about him because of his skin color.
"Of course, there were also some positive prejudices that I was good at playing basketball (I wasn’t) and playing music but at the same time always a presumption that I would steal in stores or was threatening in some other way," says Gabriel Gordon.
Cecilie Beck, the other half of the duo, is Danish, but has also experienced racism up close. Especially when she lived in New York and was in a relationship with an African-American man. "He was often stopped and searched by the police when he walked alone on the street, but if he walked with me, they left him alone," says Cecilie Beck.
Cecilie Beck and Gabriel Gordon both lived in Berlin when the news of George Floyd's assassination sparked protests around the world. “It quickly became clear to us that we needed to transform the pain this caused into music. Songwriting was our way of processing the repeated grief. And in many ways, we are actually speaking to ourselves in the lyrics - to remind ourselves that we need to wake up, and fight oppression and racism whenever and wherever we encounter it. Because even though racism is even more pronounced in the USA, it is certainly also a part of our everyday life and our entire social structure here in Denmark, and in every other part of the world ”, states the band. They are now based in Denmark.
The EP Solanum is a commentary on - and reflection on - the ingrained structure of racism in American society. Solanum is the Latin term for plants that grow at night. The songs on the EP are about how some forces are amplified in the dark - how challenges and hardship can make one flourish.
The first song on Solanum, "Night Blossoms" is a song about hope and about maintaining faith in oneself in adversity. The percussion sometimes sounds like a kind of second hand on a clock and symbolizes history stagnating, cycling back and repeating itself. It is a song that aims to motivate people to push against the herd mentality. It also encourages the listener to focus on the positive things that are going on around one’s self. Clarity can dispel the negative. The lyrics use metaphors from the sea, which symbolize emotion and feelings. The beat consists of a funky R&B rhythm and the rebellious guitar counteracts this current and gives the song a rock feel. A music video for this song will be released on September 22nd along with the EP. Gordon takes the microphone as lead singer in "Night Blossoms", and Beck's airy high notes substantiate a sensitivity in combination with Gordon's raw rock vocals.
Beck leads the song with her vocals, and this time Gordon backs her up. This song is about awareness. If you stand face to face with yourself in the mirror of a lake, you see your own reflection. If you get closer and closer, you will eventually be dissolved by yourself and confront your own reality. "The Mirror" is about not running from our problems, but instead, confronting them. The outro draws on Gordon’s African-American as well as Native American roots with a rhythmic choral anthem, as a form of healing ritual. “The Mirror” is a singer/songwriter ballad.
“Turning Tides” borrows quotes from leaders in the fight against racism, such as Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King Junior, Audre Lorde and Maya Angelou. This song is a direct commentary on the social upheaval that took place in the spring and summer of 2020 and still continues. Turning Tides is a protest song which, with the lyrics “speak up” and “rise up”, will motivate the listener to participate actively in the debate on racial equality. Perhaps it will make the listener reflect on whether s/he unconsciously participates in certain oppressive patterns in society.
Gate to Venus consists of Cecilie Beck (Denmark) & Gabriel Gordon (USA), and the songs on Solanum were written throughout the summer of 2020. They are in the process of recording their 2nd LP - Third Eye View, which is scheduled to be released on December 21, 2020.
On March 20, 2020, the duo released their first project, the double LP Chrysalis Metropolis.
Written by Mira Kellermann and Sound Vision Lab, Inc.
Band: Gate to Venus - Cecilie Beck (DK), Gabriel Gordon (USA)
Release: EP Solanum
Release Date: September 22, 2020
Song sequence: "Night Blossoms", "The Mirror", "Turning Tides"
Genre: pop / rock / singer-songwriter / experimental folk
Credits: Cecilie Beck (producer, piano, vocals, beats, songwriter), Gabriel Gordon
Instagram and facebook: @gate2venus
SPRING EQUINOX MARCH 20 2020
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Cecilie Beck (DK): Songwriting, vocals, piano (Recording engineer for Steinway piano: Erik Penny)
Gabriel Gordon (US): Songwriting, guitar, bass, vocals
Robert Philipp aka Kaiser Base (DE): Bass, drums & additional drum programming, keys, strings, guitar
Recorded, Produced, Mixed, Mastered: Kaiser Base Studios in Berlin & Boa Vista Studio in Portugal
Publishing: All Songs © 2020 by Cecilie Beck/Gabriel Gordon/Robert Philipp
Sound Vision Lab (ASCAP/KODA), Eerie Grace Music (ASCAP), Robert Philipp (GEMA)
Label: Sound Vision Lab.
Album Release Concert - Friday March 13 - Orania Hotel, Oranienstraße 40, 10999 Berlin. Featuring David (Fingers) Haynes (beats) & Edward Maclean (bass).
Facebook, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Twitter & Instagram: @gate2venus, Youtube: Gate to Venus
Chrysalis Metropolis is the debut album from Gate to Venus. It will be released digitally on the Spring Equinox March 20, 2020. It is a double LP where “Chrysalis” represents nature and transformation,
while “Metropolis” represents cities. The songs were written and recorded in a church in the North of Denmark, in the streets and on trains throughout Europe as well as in Berlin and the South of Portugal.
Gate to Venus emanates from the confluence between Cecilie Beck’s background in the European tradition of music, Scandinavian gospel, British pop/rock and Gabriel Gordon’s American roots in blues, soul, funk, gospel and rock. Their collective influences range from Björk, Joni Mitchell, Prince, Bowie, Hendrix, Eurythmics, Jeff Buckley and the Beatles. One of the unique aspects of the band derives from the fact that both Beck and Gordon are primarily self taught musicians and share a love of song - they began song writing at an early age and both grew up in small towns (Denmark and California respectively). The dichotomy between Central California and the middle of Denmark creates a shared vision from across the planet that can be heard in the music.
Beck is a classically trained visual artist (Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Parsons School of Design in New York City) and has lived in various countries around the world. Her music background comes from the European tradition of John Lennon, David Bowie, Björk, Brian Eno, The Knife etc, who are all part of the Art School scene. They often channel their vision via Alter Egos, where they can become whatever they want.
Gordon started working in New York City at Jimi Hendrix’ Electric Lady studios and subsequently began touring and recording with bands like Soup Dragons, Natalie Merchant and Andrew Roachford and eventually shared stages with the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Al Green and Meshell N’Degeocello. Gordon’s father is also a musician and was born in the hill country of Mississippi and passed on the blues tradition to his son as a way to freedom and a road to a better life with more self-esteem in addition to the pressing need for a cry for justice and the end of racism.
Both Beck and Gordon are solo recording artists with multiple releases. They met in Berlin in the summer of 2019 and began collaborating immediately with producer Robert Philipp.
The song "Gate to Venus" was co-written while Gordon was on the ground in Germany and Beck was flying over the Arctic Ocean on the way to New York. They sent each other voice memos and lyrics and completed the song within an hour. 2 weeks later they debuted the song on stage on their first tour. The same week they went to Kaiser Base Studios in Berlin and recorded the track with producer Robert Philipp. The video was filmed between Berlin, Northern Germany and the west coast of Denmark.
"Here is music that transports you and speaks to the soul by way of the music’s atmosphere, comprised of the lyrics’ fantastic imagery and highly original guitar voicings supported by a steady beat and some magnificent production."
Mick Grøndahl (Jeff Buckley)
“Save It for the City” was written while walking the streets of Frankfurt and actualized in the studio in Berlin a few days later. The haunting opening passage of music immediately brings the listener into Gate to Venus’ world and conveys the revitalization one senses when visiting a new city. The video was filmed in Paris as well as in southern Portugal where parts of the album were written and recorded.
The band’s name Gate to Venus was inspired by conversations about the Sumerian Civilization and strange phenomena around Mount Shasta in Northern California. At the Pergamon museum in Berlin, there is a reconstruction of the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon called Ishtar Gate. Ishtar was the Mesopotamian goddess of Love like the later version we know as Venus. Gate to Venus aspires to connect to love through beauty (music) and when singing “one day there’ll be no space between us” the band claims that we can all achieve connection with our inner power; our own beauty and self love with the goal of becoming one with humanity and nature.
"Very Mazzy Star meets Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra. Some of the coolest shit (...) You guys got a vibe! Keep writing!"
- Chris Dowd (Fishbone, Jeff Buckley, The Dowd Jones)
“It’s epic like a movie that doesn’t need a picture”
- Quote,Young Belail
Gate to Venus is available
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Gate to Venus 4:43
Talking Trees 5:44
On and On 3:54
Walk Free 4:10
Golden Black 3:29
Cube of Light 3:39
Save it for the City 3:53
Night Train to Paris 3:53
Never Ever 3:17
Brand New Shoes 3:10
2020 Vision 4:21
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