Morcheeba releases new album with a slew of singers and tours the U.S.

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:: Morcheeba :: The Gothic Theatre :: April 4 ::

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By Tiffany Childs

Morcheeba’s music may be mellow, but the two brothers behind the music, Paul and Ross Godfrey, seem to like stirring things up a bit with the release of every new album.

Dive Deep, the duo’s sixth release, is no different. Featuring a different singer on almost every track, the album still maintains the deeply emotional sound layered over hip-hop beats and psychedelic noises that is a trademark for Morcheeba, but manages to step further along the weirdly creative path they embarked on over a decade ago.
In a recent interview with The Marquee, Ross Godfrey said that their choice to use a variety of singers rather than just one, as had been their standard in the past, came from their desire to let go a little bit. “In all the albums before, we were sort of control freaks,” he said. “This time we wanted to approach the album sort of like directors directing a film. We were more open-minded to what each person contributed to the songs they sang. It’s sort of like we’re telling the same story from different perspectives so that you get more than just a monochromatic view of the music.”

What is interesting about the singers is that Morcheeba used MySpace to find most of the talent. “We did lots and lots of research. Lots,” Ross said laughingly. “We just listened to what kind of stuff they were into and what kind of stuff they were already doing to determine if they would be a good fit.

And when we were in the studio the music just came very naturally. When that happens it’s obvious you’re doing the right thing,” he said.

The singers range from well-known acts like Judie Tzuke, whom Ross said he has loved since childhood, to newer and lesser-known people such as Thomas Dybdahl of Norway, whom Ross declared to be “the most wonderfully talented person I’ve ever met in my life.” And perhaps in an interesting twist, one of the chosen singers, Manda, a French singer, even had on her page that it was “her dream to sing with Morcheeba.”

As to whether any of these talented individuals will take the place of the previous two singers for Morcheeba, it seems to be doubtful. “We are always looking for new and different people. We get bored very quickly and like to experiment with sounds,” Ross said.

As for the music itself, Ross said the album sounds like “Nick Drake produced by the Wu-Tang Clan’s The RZA.” An interesting description, no doubt. With Ross’s influences including Jimi Hendrix, because he had “the inspiration to do far-out, weird stuff,” and the Beastie Boys, because they “are free musically,” it’s no wonder Morcheeba’s sound is so diverse.

“We love old music and traditional forms of songwriting, but we don’t live in the past; we really embrace modern ways of making music,” said Ross. “Blues has been my main influence since I was a little kid, but I also loved the way that a band like Fairport Convention would mix that with more English stuff and put it all to a reasonably funky beat. For us to continue pushing music in that direction is a great thing to do.”

As a band, Morcheeba’s music seems to be classified far away from blues — it has often been described as “trip-hop”, a term the Godfreys aren’t necessarily comfortable with. When asked if there was a better term to describe the music, Ross replied, “That’s not my job.” But he went on to clarify his thoughts, “Music is a big wide field where you can go anywhere and do anything you want. All of the types of music fit together because they all start from the same root. So no matter what you call it, it’s music. It all just depends on your terminology and how you view things.”

As everyone knows in the music world, whenever there is a new CD released there is usually a tour to accompany and promote said CD. Morcheeba is no exception, hitting the States in late March. Ross mentioned he was pretty excited to tour here in particular. “The U.S. is the best place to be, it’s just made for rock and roll bands to tour. The crowds are enthusiastic, everyone speaks the same language and you can get a cheeseburger anywhere on the road. It certainly isn’t like touring in Russia.”

:: Morcheeba ::
:: The Gothic Theatre :: April 4 ::

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