Only two weeks into their existence, San Francisco-based psych-electronic trio Lemonade coalesced remarkably fast and performed their first show in 2005. The group- comprised of childhood friends Callan Clendenin (vocals), Alex Pasternak (percussion) and Ben Steidel on bass-did not have grand expectations for the project outside of exploring their shared vision of a place that they have never been: a fantasy landscape that is at once gritty and pristine, tropical and foreboding.
Inspired initially by their interest in drone music, dancehall, and Pasternak's training in Arab and Latin music, they allowed spontaneity, improvisation and intuition to be their fulcrum, allowing them to experience the energy of music-making without having to adapt to the expectations of a rock band. They have since incorporated influences from the spectrum of electronic music, taking cues from the burgeoning UK grime and dubstep scenes, as well as acid house, minimal techno, and the early 'ardkore anthems of Suburban Bass and XL Recordings. While rooted in DIY/hardcore pathos, Lemonade has come to embrace elements of rave culture historically unpopular in the punk community.
Though they've created their own niche in San Francisco's underground-where they are as likely to play an all-night rave, DIY warehouse, or a world music night-they are also a part of an entire community of punk-rooted outsider dance music in the Bay Area, from kindred spirits Tussle to longtime friends C.L.A.W.S., Oro11 of Bersa Discos, and Kid606, progenitor of San Francisco's weird dance aesthetic. Lemonade's sweaty, frenzied live performances have become the talk of the town, always lugging their own soundsystem wherever they go to ensure high fidelity and chest-rattling bass. The result often stuns audiences with their deep, explosive beats, blissed-out samples, and a relentless danceable pulse. They have shared the stage with touring acts as diverse as Diplo, Black Moth Super Rainbow, El Guincho, Maga Bo, White Williams, Modeselektor, Crystal Castles, Les Georges Leningrad, and Holy Fuck.
The group's self-titled debut-recorded by Chris Coady (TV On The Radio, Blonde Redhead) for True Panther Sounds-is full of the big beats and heavy psychedelic noises that are central to Lemonade's sound, while touching on elements of North African rai, dub, breakbeat, and samba. The music continues to be defined by the fantasy of where they are going rather than where they have been, a journey to a mysterious, ecstatic place that is the origin of their desire.
Ben Steidel- bass
Callan Clendenin- vocals
Alex Pasternak- drums/percussion
Self Titled debut out on True Panther sounds Oct. 21.
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Life gave them Lemonade, so Delorean took it to a beach to drink. On San Francisco new-ravers Lemona...Life gave them Lemonade, so Delorean took it to a beach to drink. On San Francisco new-ravers Lemonade's globe-trotting self-titled debut LP, produced by Chris Coady (who has contributed to records by TV on the Radio and Blonde Redhead), "Big Weekend" rides disco-punk basslines and similarly Rapture-ous percussion through a psych-tinged miasma of wobbly synths and overlapping vocals. The remix by Spanish electro-house outfit Delorean, whose Teenagers remix is one of my 2008 favorites, is at once mellower and more blissed-out.
Lemonade singer Callan Clendenin winds up sounding like an American Muscles as he speak-sings about meeting girls on beaches-- the appropriate setting for this remix, anyway. The mood is more tropical and subdued than the hectic urban dancefloor bazaar of the original, with sustained synth chords stretching out languidly in the background. The title of Muscles' quite good 2007 debut, Guns Babes Lemonade, even suggests some directions that Lemonade could try next. Humble suggestion: Babes first. No matter how much good gun-related criminal charges have done for T.I. musically.
MP3 of the Day
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Lemonade grabs beats and rhythms from around the world, mashes them up with vocal echoes and leftfie...Lemonade grabs beats and rhythms from around the world, mashes them up with vocal echoes and leftfield sounds (like asteroids falling from videogame galaxies), and creates a dance trance unparalleled in this city. The trio is experimental enough that it's impossible to categorize its sound, and yet the percussive momentum keeps fans moving forward as their heads spin 'round the globe. After years of building a following from the ground up, the group's self-titled debut will be available Oct 7th on True Panther Sounds (which is also releasing new music from another of my favorite local acts, Girls). You can sneak preview the Lemonade song "Sunchips" here. -- Jennifer Maerz
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While this is undoubtedly a suite of electronic music made for the club, Lemonade's debut album feel...While this is undoubtedly a suite of electronic music made for the club, Lemonade's debut album feels as though members Callan Clendenin, Alex Pasternak, and Ben Steidel have gone out of their way to make sure it won't get shelved as "just another dance record." Attention to detail is pretty remarkable hereâ€“the shades of grime, dancehall, dubstep, and acid house feel perfectly placed amid the synths and echoing vocals. Pasternak's training in Arab music adds another layer of musical depth, particularly on the hypnotic "Nasifon.
Song of The Night
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San Francisco's Lemonade is getting a lot of love lately for their psychedelic-leaning "laptop tropi...San Francisco's Lemonade is getting a lot of love lately for their psychedelic-leaning "laptop tropicalia electro punk" and energetic live show (they've played with the likes of Black Moth Super Rainbow, Diplo, Modeselektor, Crystal Castles, and others). If you're unfamiliar, this remix -- in which a 17-year-old kid from the UK called Mashepest turns the band's thumping "Real Slime" into a swirling, frenzied club jam -- is a good place to start.
Lemonade's self-titled debut is out on True Panther on October 7. Pre-order and get a free "remixtape" featuring this remix and others. And look for these kids at CMJ, their live show is apparently where it's at.
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Released three years after the trio began carving out a niche in San Francisco's music scene (and ri...Released three years after the trio began carving out a niche in San Francisco's music scene (and right when the group decamped to New York), Lemonade's debut is a manifesto on what's next in the mating ritual between dance music and rock. By infusing this genre hybrid with both global accents and psychedelic spirit, the guitar-free act offers up a body-rocking invite to free your mind and your ass all at once.
Lemonade by Ron Nachmann
While Lemonade takes a more feral approach to dance-rock jams than smoother forerunners like the Rapture, it executes rather economically, cramming a ton of flavor into the album's six tunes. As Lemonade rolls from the warped, samba-basked disco-house of "Big Weekend" into the chugging and industrial "Unreal," the band builds anticipation for its longer, more ritualized pieces. By the time you're hit with the Arabic melodies and noisy breakdowns of the techno-driven "Nasifon" or the buzzing bass lines of the dubstep-tinged "Sun Chips," it's clear that Lemonade is about propelling you through the "world music" section behind your forehead.
Rhythm is key to Lemonade, and drummer Alex Pasternak handles the band's multinational digital and acoustic beat arrangements with panache, while bassist Ben Steidel matches him with steady, percussive bottom tones. Together, they buoy the shamanistic impulses of singer Callan Clendenin, whose John Lydonâ€“cumâ€“Perry Farrell vocals support a repertoire of, um, high-minded lyrics: "Monotomic gold electrifies your mind, once you scrape the fluoride from your encrusted third eye." As psychotropically as those lyrics read, Clendenin moans them with a muezzin's grace over Lemonade's intercontinental tracks, creating the kind of irresistible fusion that should take these boys far.
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We've seen the music that San Francisco's Lemonade makes described as psych rock, disco and psych-di...We've seen the music that San Francisco's Lemonade makes described as psych rock, disco and psych-disco among a whole bunch of other descriptors that don't actually tell us what Lemonade sounds like. We've listened to "Blissout," from their self-titled debut out now on True Panther Sounds, like ten times in a row, and have decided that trying to describe what it sounds like in vague terms is pointless. Instead, we're going to tell you that at about 2:52, "Blissout" erupts into the most fun drum circle ever. For more Lemonade go here, and look out for their upcoming tour with El Guincho.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.