Yesterday marked the official release date of the much anticipated Beatenberg album, The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg. Without a doubt the biggest band to explode onto the scene in 2014, Beatenberg is showing that it is possible to make music on one’s own terms, whilst simultaneously achieving great success. They are creating and defining a “new South African sound” that pays homage to our country’s musical heritage whilst also breaking new ground with their unmistakably global pop sensibility.
Having initially got South Africans asking, “Who is Chelsea Blakemore”, Beatenberg broke a number of records with their collaboration with DJ Clock, Pluto (Remember You), spending the most weeks as the most played song in the country. Beatenberg then followed this up with their current single, Rafael, which became the most played song in the country after only 4 weeks.
Recorded between June 2013 and March 2014, The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg was recorded at the idyllic Sunset Studios in Stellenbosch, with a few parts recorded at singer Matthew Field’s home studio.
“Sunset was the most peaceful and beautiful studio. We worked really hard on the details of our recording process, to find the perfect sounds, and to break conventions by using strange techniques and unusual instruments.” Says drummer Robin Brink
Produced by the band themselves, Beatenberg cleverly and creatively crafted their strong, clear vision for the album, before having the album mixed at The River Studios in London.
“It was a learning curve for us: getting to grips with the workload, but also learning to trust ourselves at every stage of the process. We made a lot of decisions based on the ‘feeling’ of the sounds, which means that we have a rich variety of textures that stay true to the personality of each song.” Says bassist Ross Dorkin
An eclectic album, The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg was written over 3 years by Matthew. Some songs, like “Echoes”, were written 3 years ago, with the closing track “The Price of the Hanging Gardens” having been written at the end stages of the recording process. Filled with a variety of moods and ideas, going from intellectual musings, to themes of love, to more light-hearted thoughts, Matthew was influenced by a wide range of things for the album.
“It was influenced by my life, day to day experience, the mundane, the sublime, books, proper nouns, frustration, over-confidence, insecurity, elation, pride, beauty, guilt, sadness, embarrassment, ‘love’ requited and otherwise” says Matthew
Beatenberg are embarking on national tour to promote the album throughout August and September. Tickets are available through Webtickets: http://goo.gl/Glc0HS
The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg includes the singles, Chelsea Blakemore, Pluto (Remember You) and Rafael and is available in all good music stores as well as on iTunes – http://goo.gl/eispL4
“We feel really proud of this album!“ says Matthew in closing
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