Body Language
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Body Language

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"Freeload: Body Language, “Huffy Ten Speed”"

One of our favorite former-blogs-now-labels in New York, Neon Gold, just put up this song from Brooklyn band Body Language that it claims is a live favorite. Having never seen this band live and with their next show not until April, we have no choice but to believe that. However, we can recommend its sunny, buzzing bass and bicycle-friendly theme as pretty favorable in an office setting as well. Gotta say though, the Huffy we had in 1984 straight up broke at the fork and almost funded our dentist’s retirement. Nothing really to sing about.

- The Fader


"Marina & the Diamonds - Obsessions"

The post- Cross dj-duo intelligentsia that secretly controls the Internet's remix traffic doesn't want you to know this, but there are ways of remixing a track without sacrificing the original's virtues to the twin evil overlords of danceability and bangerdom. Case in point: this pretty good remix of Marina & The Diamonds' "Obsessions" gets by fine without having Marina's vocals distorted beyond recognition, and the original's sultry, regretting instrumental replaced with droning, cheesy synths. Body Language manages to make the track laid-back without making it boring or slow. Actually, this almost sounds like The Dream could've done this, except there's no Autotuned "ooooooohs" filling out the track. [The Fader]

- Prefixmag


"TLC vs. Body Language: NYC Artist to Watch"

TLC had the chance to catch up with local band, Body Language, when they opened for Passion Pit at Bowery Ballroom a few weeks ago. The Brooklyn based group has been gaining speed in NYC with their infectious, eclectic mix of soul, pop, jazz and electro tunes and a bouncy live show equipped with accompanying graphics and visuals. Matt, Grant, Angelica and Ian talked to us about the recent release of their debut EP, Speaks, working on an album and the electro-soul scene in NYC. Be sure to catch them on a Brooklyn rooftop near you this summer as they are bound for big things this year.

> Is this your first time playing The Bowery?
Grant: Yes it is!

> Are you super excited? I bet you guys have seen a lot of shows here.
Grant: Actually We’ve only ever seen one show here. We went to see Plaid play here a really long time ago.

> You guys are based in Brooklyn now. Are you all from different places? How did you meet?
Matt: The farthest is Ian. He’s from Hong Kong originally. I’m from Oklahoma, Grant’s from Worcester, Mass and Angie’s from Perth Amboy, NJ.
Grant: But the three of us, apart from Ian, met in Hartford, CT when we went to the University of Hartford and we moved here a couple years after we graduated. Matt and I just did a lot of production together. That’s how our little trio formed.

> Did you get together because of similar tastes and interests or because you were musicians…?
Matt: I think we all had a similar end aesthetic in mind as to what we were going for – dance music, visceral music in general.
Grant: We started spinning a lot of dance music in the area and originally we were doing a lot more contemporary art music, IDM [intelligent dance music] and electronic music. Once we started spinning a lot of sets in town, we started to have a hankering for writing dance tracks, doing remixes of dance tunes. Eventually it formed into an actual project of original compositions.

> Why did you decide to move to Brooklyn?
Matt: NYC was the closest major metropolis and we thought about Chicago and some places in California, but really our network only extended this far so it would’ve been a stretch to move anywhere else. We knew a lot of people like Machinedrum and Theophilus London. If you want to make a serious start in music, you generally move to New York.
Grant: There were a lot of parties where there were other bands we knew that kind of drew us down here like the Cassette parties and Percussion Lab that were thrown in Brooklyn mostly that we got invited to. We found ourselves going out to shows in New York more than in Hartford so we thought “we’ve gotta get out of Hartford”, there’s no point in just driving down here so much.
Ian: Have you played any shows in Hartford since you moved down to New York?
Grant: One! We played at a weird diner.

> Did they have a homecoming party for you?
*All laugh*
Grant: Hardly! Nah, they hadn’t missed us yet. They were like “you’re back here already?”

> How long have you been in New York City?
Matt: Since March 15th, 2008.

> Impressive memory!
Matt: Well that was our first rent date so it stands out.

> So have you made friends with other bands locally?
Matt: There’s a whole crowd of people we know like Machinedrum and Theophilis London and MeLo-X and Jesse Boykins. It’s a bunch of people that we mainly have a rapport with. The main reason we moved down was that we wanted to be a part of a scene and around people doing the same sort of thing.

> You’ve got an EP out. Are you thinking about an album?
Matt: Our EP just came out and we’re working on an album right now. It should be done within a year and then we have to do everything that goes into post-production so who knows at this point when it will actually come out.
Angelica: Right now we’re just focusing on playing more shows and getting our name out and doing more remixes.

> What have you got lined up for the summer?
Grant: Lots of production actually. The majority of our shows have been in the last two months leading up to the EP release. We currently don’t have anything booked for the summer. We’re gonna do some rooftop shows and stuff like that. We’re gonna take a little vacation actually after this week cause we’ve been playing a show about every three days.

> Listening to your sound, I hear influences like Stereolab, Hot Chip and obviously you fit into the Passion Pit scene. What do you think sets you apart?
Matt: I think our musical background is really different. We took a pretty different path from all the artists you mentioned, except for maybe Stereolab since I don’t know a whole lot about them. Grant and I started out when we were 22 not too long ago, we were big into jazz and didn’t listen to anything else. Before that I was only listening to IDM, so we were really into very esoteric things and we took this parabolic path to where we are now. Our influences are all over the place which creates a really different end result.

> How does your live show differ from what you sound like on record?
Angelica: Drums!
Grant: I think we take it up a notch as far as the energy goes. The drums sonically fill in a lot.
Angelica: singing together…
Grant: Yeah all the harmonies. We add a lot of parts to songs that don’t really appear on the album, extend a few parts here and there.

> Have you been noticing some of the same people coming out to your shows?
Angelica: Yeah, most of our friends that support us have come to a lot of our recent shows.

> The trend has been over the past 8 years or so that if a band from NYC is really good, they’ll get really popular in the UK first.
Grant: We’ve actually already been asked to come out there and I think it’ll happen eventually in good time.

> What are your goals for the next 6 months to a year?
Matt: We definitely want to get our album out and start playing more places in New York and expand.
Grant: We’re going grassroots right now but we want to sort of build a demand outside of New York eventually. We’re establishing ourselves at this point.. Eventually the hope is that people can just recognize us and the word can spread out from one location. I think we have a good little home here.

- Tastes Like Caramel


"Body Language: "Huffy Ten Speed""

I was hitchhiking on the information highway yesterday and came across what Paste Magazine referred to as their Top 10 Buzziest Acts of SXSW 2009. Of their favorite acts, I was most excited to see that Fanfarlo cracked the list in a continuing effort to build more and more hypeworthy momentum - we'll have more coverage from the British six-piece's SXSW set at our party very soon! Until then, the leading band on Paste's list was none other than Passion Pit who definitely have everyone's ears eager to hear where they'll venture in a post-"Sleepyhead" world.

Part of this world will (no doubt) contain the independent pop meets dance crossbreed of NYC-bred Body Language. I stumbled across this act the week before SXSW and have been spinning their tunes ever since, enjoying it more and more each listen. It just so happens that a few of the Body Language band members are entrapped in a solid bromance with Passion Pit; they did a nice remix of "Sleepyhead" and have contributed to some songs on their upcoming debut LP. They're a darker/heavier sound with glitchy synths and forceful beats to boot - not to mention they've crafted a chorus as catchy as it is locomotive. Plus it's a tune almost any (once) youthful American can relate to, who didn't like zipping around the neighborhood on their Huffy ten speed? - I Guess I'm Floating


"iJamming! Downloads special: Dark Night of the Soul, Deastro, Body Language"

And if I don’t get to it now, I probably never will… Of many tracks I streamed last week at the invitation of umpteen online publicists, I was especially taken by Body Language’s “Huffy Ten Speed,” from their CD EP Speaks, which you can download for free here. Where Deastro is artful and Jourgenson often confrontational, “Huffy Ten Speed” is playful playful playful. I may have misheard the chorus line – almost the only line – but I believe it goes, “Get on, get on, why don’t you text me….” Which ties in very nicely with the news story I heard on NPR this Monday morning, after taking Campbell to his school bus at 7:15 am, about the new generation “hooking up” for via texting rather than “dating” for relationships the old-fashioned way. Body Language are also playing New York City this Wednesday night, at Public Assembly. It sounds a world away. - iJamming


Discography

Moodgadget Records - Speaks EP 2009; Latenight Operation (Body Language Remix) - Late Night Operation EP Normrex records EP, 2009; Obsessions (Body Language Remix) - Neongold Records; Sleepyhead (Landau Wake Up Remix) - Frenchkiss Records 2008, appeared on RCRDLBL.com

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Bio

As both students and teachers of IDM-era electronic music, Landau (also Landau Orchestra) producers, Matthew Young and Grant Wheeler, developed a complex vernacular prior to uttering their first words as Body Language. Inspired by their weekly residency at a popular local dive, the duo quickly embraced the sounds of Chicago house, Detroit, and indie electro and created remixes and mashups just for the event. These remixes inevitably fueled their own output of visceral music. Simultaneously, the innocent soul stylings of Angelica Bess were added to the mix, and it ignited a project as instinctual as their own body language.

Coaxed to Brooklyn by fellow party-throwers CassetteNYC and Percussionlab, Body Language quickly found a welcome soapbox from which they could yell loud and clear. Armed with synths, vocoder, glockenspiel, percussion and three graceful voices, Body Language found themselves burning holes in many DIY venue dancefloors the summer they arrived. These high-energy sets quickly sparked invitations to bills with the likes of Passion Pit, School of Seven Bells, Theophilus London, We Have Band, Ninjasonik and Jimmy Edgar.

With their live performance receiving attention equal to the recorded productions, their debut EP, Speaks, mostly dictates their instincts as a trio rather than as an in-the-box electronic production. Whether touching on the nostalgia of a childhood Huffy bicycle or inviting partygoers to make dancefloor sandwiches, Body Language is reminding New York of an unspoken connection between good innocent fun and the outings that you may never tell your parents about.