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D'Angelo's upcoming release
Old 30th March 2007
  #1
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D'Angelo's upcoming release

Hello Russell,

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us fans!

I'm curious about D'Angelo's new album (James River?) for it's mentioned as an upcoming release in your Discography and there's hardly any word on what to expect (and when to expect it). Could you tell me anything about this project and, more specifically, how you are contributing?

?uestlove mentioned a track on Okayplayer and in interviews named "Died A Thousand Deaths" which is said to be "a psychedelic-soul head trip (...) that comes across as an adventurous combination of Earth, Wind and Fire and The White Album" (c) HARP magazine. Could you tell me more about this song and how you rate it amongst D'Angelo's released work?

Is D'Angelo reinventing himself again for this album, as he did for Voodoo? And how does that translate to your input/output?

And finally, will we hear some of this in 2007?

I hope you are willing and able to talk about this. Again, thanks for all the insightful posts/replies.
Old 2nd April 2007
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by betelgeuse View Post
Hello Russell,
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us fans!
I'm curious about D'Angelo's new album (James River?) for it's mentioned as an upcoming release in your Discography and there's hardly any word on what to expect (and when to expect it). Could you tell me anything about this project and, more specifically, how you are contributing?
?uestlove mentioned a track on Okayplayer and in interviews named "Died A Thousand Deaths" which is said to be "a psychedelic-soul head trip (...) that comes across as an adventurous combination of Earth, Wind and Fire and The White Album" (c) HARP magazine. Could you tell me more about this song and how you rate it amongst D'Angelo's released work?
Is D'Angelo reinventing himself again for this album, as he did for Voodoo? And how does that translate to your input/output?And finally, will we hear some of this in 2007?
I hope you are willing and able to talk about this. Again, thanks for all the insightful posts/replies.
hello,

unfortunately, i can't go into too much detail about the new album. i can however, give you a litle background:

we have been working on it (on and off) since 2002. and i don't have any idea when the exact release date is but hopefully this year, the latest 2008. but it has been in progress (slow as that may be). we were in the studio last november doing some o/d's and rough mixes on about 5 new songs that we could play for the label. but besides that, D has not worked on the album for about 2 years or so. we do have plans to head in the studio in may to finish mixes on some live material from the voodoo tour and that's all i can say about the live stuff for now...sorryheh

i turned him onto hendrix just before we started voodoo (hence the album title) and he just went crazy. it was like a revelation for him. he realized (for the first time) that a lot of his heroes were greatly influenced by hendrix, including prince, sly, george clinton...everyone! and i got him hooked on the beatles as well. so it's opened up a few doors for him.
it will be a different album than voodoo, that much is definite. to me it's leaning more in a rock direction. like funkadelic meets the beatles or something. he hasn't given up his soul roots by any means, but he is growing and exploring a new genre. he's writing quite a bit of music on guitar rather than the keyboard this time as well.

it will have a different sonic quality as well. we'll have to see how it will turn out as the vision has not revealed itself fully yet. his songs are varied and he's gone through much experimentation. my contributions wil be (more than ever) in the old school production techniques and style. but this time it will come from a slightly more rock prespective...slightly. and heavier.

the song you're speaking of is actually called "1000 deaths". and i don't hear the earth, wind, fire influence. it's more like a heavy rock/funk vibe. it would be hard for me to rate as it's every bit of a good D'angelo song than any of his others but it's also different. there's some really nice guitar work from him on that song also.

all the best
Old 2nd April 2007
  #3
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

It has been a loooong time since Voodoo. Thanks for sharing the info you could about the new record. Can't wait!
Old 2nd April 2007
  #4
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Thread Starter
Thank you, Russell

Looking forward to hearing this!
Old 6th April 2007
  #5
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thanks for the inside info. hard to believe its been 7 years....
Old 10th April 2007
  #6
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Kidd Funkadelic's Avatar
 

Thanks again Russell Elevado, for taking the time to talk to us fans.

A while back, ?uestlove had posted this Okayplaye about the new D' album:


"Here's the deal: 11 songs are done. Most need lyrics. Most are in the 7-9 minute range. All are epic as ****. Most need a haircut. **** I love. But **** I know the marketplace ain't even ready for. If "Untitled" video is what got him over on the idiot side of things, he is gonna have to get his physical game back and come with some strong ass imagining to make up for the fact that there will be no radio friendly single--newbies I'm warning you now, if you want to "understand" this record--you must purchase and study the following: [Funkadelic's] Maggot Brain, America Eats Its Young, Cosmic Slop, Standing on the Verge of Getting It On, Let's Take it to the Stage, Tales of Kidd Funkadelic, [Sly & The Family Stone's] There's a Riot Going On, [Miles Davis'] On the Corner, [Shuggie Otis'] Inspiration Information, [Brian Wilson's] Smile, [the Beatles'] Abbey Road, Revolver, [Jimi Hendrix's] Electric Ladyland, [the Sex Pistol's] Nevermind the Bullocks Here's the Sex Pistols, [Prince's] Dirty Mind, [Tony Williams'] Ego and Emergency!. Study and absorb and research this **** now. Memorize it. Understand why the albums I mentioned were important in their historical context. Lower your expectations. This will throw you for a loop."

Is this still the case as far as influences go with this album? Would you say that these are probably the albums we should be studying now in order to "understand" D's new album.

Thanks again
Old 10th April 2007
  #7
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidd Funkadelic View Post
newbies I'm warning you now, if you want to "understand" this record--you must purchase and study the following: [I][Funkadelic's] Maggot Brain, America Eats Its Young, Cosmic Slop, Standing on the Verge of Getting It On, Let's Take it to the Stage, Tales of Kidd Funkadelic, [Sly & The Family Stone's] There's a Riot Going On, [Miles Davis'] On the Corner, [Shuggie Otis'] Inspiration Information, [Brian Wilson's] Smile, [the Beatles'] Abbey Road, Revolver, [Jimi Hendrix's] Electric Ladyland, [the Sex Pistol's] Nevermind the Bullocks Here's the Sex Pistols, [Prince's] Dirty Mind, [Tony Williams'] Ego and Emergency!.
Great list. Check out "Emergency" to see where fusion could have gone.
Old 11th April 2007
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidd Funkadelic View Post
Thanks again Russell Elevado, for taking the time to talk to us fans.
A while back, ?uestlove had posted this Okayplaye about the new D' album:
"Here's the deal: 11 songs are done. Most need lyrics. Most are in the 7-9 minute range. All are epic as ****. Most need a haircut. **** I love. But **** I know the marketplace ain't even ready for. If "Untitled" video is what got him over on the idiot side of things, he is gonna have to get his physical game back and come with some strong ass imagining to make up for the fact that there will be no radio friendly single--newbies I'm warning you now, if you want to "understand" this record--you must purchase and study the following: [Funkadelic's] Maggot Brain, America Eats Its Young, Cosmic Slop, Standing on the Verge of Getting It On, Let's Take it to the Stage, Tales of Kidd Funkadelic, [Sly & The Family Stone's] There's a Riot Going On, [Miles Davis'] On the Corner, [Shuggie Otis'] Inspiration Information, [Brian Wilson's] Smile, [the Beatles'] Abbey Road, Revolver, [Jimi Hendrix's] Electric Ladyland, [the Sex Pistol's] Nevermind the Bullocks Here's the Sex Pistols, [Prince's] Dirty Mind, [Tony Williams'] Ego and Emergency!. Study and absorb and research this **** now. Memorize it. Understand why the albums I mentioned were important in their historical context. Lower your expectations. This will throw you for a loop."

Is this still the case as far as influences go with this album? Would you say that these are probably the albums we should be studying now in order to "understand" D's new album.
Thanks again
hello,

yeah i read that post some time ago and (chuckling) to myself and i thought it was very good. it think he posted that years ago, no? well, not that it matters anyway 'cause all the songs are still the same. yeah, it's defintiely going to make (some) people's heads turn sideways ...at first

i would include 2 more on the list of required albums:
(hendrix) band of gypsys, (beatles) white album
he liked the frank zappa i turned him onto, but i think he's lost the discs...

later
Old 11th April 2007
  #9
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robot gigante's Avatar
Awesome. I can't wait for this one!

Russell, who are some of the musicians that he is working with on this album? (If you're allowed to say who they are)
Old 11th April 2007
  #10
Gear interested
 
Kidd Funkadelic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Elevado View Post
hello,

yeah i read that post some time ago and (chuckling) to myself and i thought it was very good. it think he posted that years ago, no? well, not that it matters anyway 'cause all the songs are still the same. yeah, it's defintiely going to make (some) people's heads turn sideways ...at first

i would include 2 more on the list of required albums:
(hendrix) band of gypsys, (beatles) white album
he liked the frank zappa i turned him onto, but i think he's lost the discs...

later
hey....

thanks again Russell, for taking the time to answer us (fans) questions.

yes, ?uest made that post i believe back in 04' to be exact. both (hendrix's) band of gypsys and (beatles') white album are two of my all time favorite albums and are classics. it's good to hear that these two albums are among the required as well. and even some of frank zappa's material too?! i can't wait to hear this album!

thanks again for taking the time to answer some of my questions.
Old 12th April 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
How do you follow an epic like Voodoo?

It's seems like one of the scariest things imaginable. You have this incredible groundbreaking album with no "hit" single and around 2,000,000 albums sold purley because 2,000,000 recognized how brilliant it was.

Is anyone scared of a flop? This new album, from it's description, sounds like every labels nightmare. Are they giving you guys a hard time about the creative direction?

How do you get them off your nuts long enough to spend 7 years on an album?

I just can't see any label putting up with this reckless abandon and willful creativity... What is the secret?
Old 12th April 2007
  #12
Gear interested
 

Hi Russell

Wanted to add my thanks for taking time out and sharing your experience and expertise here. I'm a big fan of your work so its great to get to hear this stuff 'first hand' from you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Elevado View Post
we do have plans to head in the studio in may to finish mixes on some live material from the voodoo tour and that's all i can say about the live stuff for now...sorryheh

I was surprised to read this as that material is several years old now and goes back even further in terms of when those tracks were actually written. Given your comments about how the new material is different to anything that he's done before is there it a challenge for both yourself and D to revisit this material and get back into that headspace.

Also just one more quick thing...

I appreciate you can't go into much detail - but are you able to say how much new material there is. Is D working on perfecting an album's worth of tracks or has he built up a whole bunch of new stuff over the last few years?

I read an interview with Alan Leeds a year or two back where he mentioned that D had enough tracks for several albums - but that doesn't seem to fly with what Quest has said over on Okayplayer.

Regardless - its great that things are in progress. D has been badly missed.

Thanks again for your time and keep up the great work!!
Old 18th April 2007
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul David View Post
How do you follow an epic like Voodoo?
It's seems like one of the scariest things imaginable. You have this incredible groundbreaking album with no "hit" single and around 2,000,000 albums sold purley because 2,000,000 recognized how brilliant it was.
Is anyone scared of a flop? This new album, from it's description, sounds like every labels nightmare. Are they giving you guys a hard time about the creative direction?
How do you get them off your nuts long enough to spend 7 years on an album?
I just can't see any label putting up with this reckless abandon and willful creativity... What is the secret?
hello paul,

yes it is scary but thankfully i dont have to worry about trying to sell the album once my part is done! i can't really speak for them but i'm sure everyone at the label is concerned if it will flop or not, but i think the possiblities of a success outweighs that. the thing with D'angelo is that there is no one else that can do what he's doing. he paved the way for the neo soul movement and now he will be forging a new path. i've been working with D since 1994 and there's never been an A&R person giving any direction. D does what he wants in the studio and never compromises on anything. i'm not sure what the secret is. but i do know that there is a lot of faith in d'angelo's talents and his music.

cheers
Old 18th April 2007
  #14
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