Bjork

Bjork

BandEDMAlternative

For more information please contact: Sheila Richman 212-707-3063 Sheila.Richman@atlanticrecords.com

Biography

Artist Notes:Volta (released May 8 in the USA)

Danceable and upbeat, with interludes that collage tracks with the sounds of ships mooring and setting sail, a foghorn’s call and response, sea birds, rain, and a train, Volta, the latest chapter in Björk's shape-shifting career, is another departure for the artist.

“It was really different from how I usually work,” Björk says of her self-produced sixth record. “With Homogenic, Vespertine, and Medulla, if there was a starting point, it was rhythms… but with this one, it was different because I knew more emotionally what I wanted. And because I'd done two or three projects in a row that were quite serious, maybe I just needed to get that out of my system or something. So all I wanted to do for this album was just to have fun and do something that was full-bodied and really up.”

It differs notably from its 2004 predecessor, Medúlla, which was constructed entirely of human voices. “I just wanted to get rhythmic again,” Björk said. “Medulla was my way of pulling out of that, refusing to be categorized as 'Oh what rhythm is she going to do next?'”

Interestingly, Volta’s beats came last. “I actually did the whole album, and it wasn't until the last two or three months where the only jigsaw that hadn't been solved was the rhythms,” she said. “We had done a lot of experiments with rhythms but I just threw them all away because it was like every time we did something really clever with drum programming beats, it was just too pretentious for this album, it just didn't stick. For me it was maybe a little bit nostalgic going back to 1992, where you had really simple 808 and 909 really lo-fi drum machines, not doing anything fancy but really basic… I had recorded all the brass, I'd recorded everything else, and everything was actually starting to mix ... And I said, what I need is an acoustic drummer, and who sort of has that almost pagan, trance-like wildness.”

She found this “wildness” embodied by two of underground noise and jazz’s most vaulted percussionists, Sonic Youth collaborator Chris Corsano (Cold Bleak Heat, Sunburned Hand of the Man, and now Björk's touring band) and Lightning Bolt’s Brian Chippendale. Björk’s work has always included unexpected collaborations— 1994’s Post included Tricky and Graham Massey of 808 State; in 2001, Vespertine integrated the work of San Francisco-based musique concrète specialists, Matmos and cult filmmaker Harmony Korine (Kids, Gummo, Julian Donkey Boy).

“If I had 500 years, I could collaborate with a lot of people,” Björk said. “But I think another side of me is really, really loyal and really precious about collaboration. I don't think you should even go into it unless you think it's the absolute right thing to do, and that you have equal things to give each other. There has to be sort of a creative justice there: It's some sort of law of nature, that it isn't abusive, one way or the other, and I think it's like friendships, you can feel it. I spend 90% of my music making alone, so those times when I do go out and collaborate, I treat it as a very very once in a lifetime precious thing, and you've got to let it go where it wants to go.”

For Volta, she didn’t stop with Corsano and Chippendale: The international cast also includes the African collective Konono N°1(who won a BBC World Music Award in 2006), Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté, Chinese pipa player Min Xiao-Fen, and a ten-piece 10-piece all female, all Icelandic brass section. Long term collaborator, musician Mark Bell of LFO fame who co-produces a track and adds various instruments, and then there are also voices, largely those of Björk and Antony (of Antony And The Johnsons).

Her pairing with hip-hop producer Timbaland (Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Gwen Stefani), who co-produced two tracks, is not as unlikely as it might seem. “[Timbaland] sampled my song "Joga" like 11 years ago, and said many times in the press that he really liked my song from 14 years ago called "Venus is a Boy,” she said. “We've met at parties and there has been this mutual admiration thing going on for years. And sort of talk of doing stuff, but it never happened. And after doing two or three serious projects in a row, I was just like, "Okay where's the fun?" And I called him a year ago, and said, "Let's do something."

Outside of Timbaland and a return to her early days, a trip on behalf of UNICEF to Indonesia in January 2005 after the tsunami hit was a major factor in Volta’s increased beat-count. “Just seeing a village of 300,000 people and 180,000 died, and people were still there digging people out and the smell of corpses and bone,” she said. “The tsunami kind of scraped houses away, you could still see the floor, and the people I was with found their mom's favorite dress kind of in the mud and it was just like, outrageous….'Earth Intruders' was the first beat he [Timbaland] put on, and it just all came up. That sort of fantasy that maybe a tsunami of people would

Discography

ALBUMS
1977 - Bjork
1993 - Debut
1995 - Post
1996 - Telegram
1997 - Homogenic
2000 - Selmasongs
2001 - Vesertine
2004 - Medulla
2005 - Drawing Restraint 9
2007 - Volta

SINGLES
1993 - 'Big Time Sensuality'
1994 - 'Violently Happy'
1995 - 'Army of Me'
1995 - 'Isobel'
1995 - 'It's Oh So Quiet'
1996 - 'Hyper-Ballad'
1996 - 'Possibly Maybe'
1997 - 'I Miss You'
1997 - 'Joga'
1997 - 'Bachelorette'
1998 - 'Hunter'
1998 - 'Alarm Call'
1999 - 'All is Full of Love'
2001 - 'Hidden Place'
2001 - 'Pagan Poetry'
2002 - 'Cocoon'
2002 - 'It's In Our Hands'
2004 - 'Oceania'
2004 - 'Who Is It'
2005 - 'Triumph of a Heart'
2007 - 'Earth Intruders'