Moritat
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Moritat

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Rock Art Rock

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Headlining the show, Moritat has a sound that borrows from a slew of genres to create something that is entirely their own. Ostensibly, it is keyboard-led Indie rock, but that's the tip of the musical iceberg. The lead singer's voice comes across like a siren, luring the listener in. Their intricate songs could sound sterile, but the band uses live loops and switches instruments to keep it fresh and organic. There is a little Helium, a little Four Tet, and a ton of rock n' roll with a harmonized chorus thrown in more good measure. Even a dance beat sneaks through, causing involuntary hip shaking. For those that are bored with the high-school Indie rock that dominates the Chicago scene, it's time to graduate to Moritat. - The Examiner


Meet a Chicago power trio playing DJ-on-the-dancefloor goodies. Well.

Greeted by a cascading guitar that beckons fireworks, a retro indie beat kicks in and is pretty much embedded into the fabric of Moritat's project. The female vocals mixed with the video game soundtrack effect/Casio keyboard over an indie rock rhythm section makes the DIY approach even stronger. Refreshing!

Moritat is a power trio from Chicago comprised of vocalist and keyboardist Venus Laurel, bassist Konstantin Jace and drummer Corey McCafferty. Her vocals remind me a little of Riki Michele, former background vocalist with Adam Again, yet the feel of the quirky actress Zoey Daschaenel with its playfulness. This is fun DJ-on-the-dance floor-ish indie pop, as in they could have easily been the opening band touring with Daniel Amos back in the 80's. - The Cannyshark


Since time immemorial Rappers have been releasing mix tapes to keep their hungry fans satiated. Now it appears that Chicago indie rockers Moritat have taken Trap-a-Holics' example to heart; they recently dropped off free CD copies of their new Don Popsicle Mix Tape at a bevy of local record stores and cafes. They tell Gossip Wolf that the mix is "basically a pre-empting" of an upcoming full-length they're working on with Brian Deck at Engine Studios. Sweet! Moritat will give away a second mix tape Fri 12/9 when they open for Brooklyn noise punks Pterodactyl at the Empty Bottle. - Chicago Reader


What: Chicago natives Moritat channel public access vets like Wanye’s World and Dr. Steve Brule in the music video for their new single, “Cats”. Filmed in what looks to be an attic, the band plays out a bizarrely hilarious talk show in which bassist Konstantin Jace is the host (God, please tell us that’s a wig).

Moritat’s debut LP, Chill Blanzin, is due out on June 26th.

Directed by: Curious Three Film Production Concern
- Consequence of Sound


Chicago indie-poppers Moritat recently released a brand new video for the track, “Cats,” from their new album, Clill Blanzin, which is due out June 26. The video offers a cheap feel as it’s set-up as one of those weird cable public access shows one might stumble on at four in the morning. But once Moritat rip into the opening melody of “Cats,” some trippy VHS-looking effects take over that really fit’s the song’s loose synths and wild guitars. Honestly though, the best part may be the acting of the show’s “guests” who seemingly freak out at the lush sonic attack “Cats” provides. - Loudlooppress




Moritat "Cats"

The trio known as Moritat is fairly new to the Chicago scene, but from what I have heard from their new album Clill Blanzin they are going to make a big impact. The will be released on June 26th and you can catch Venus Laurel, Konstantin Jace and Corey McCafferty at The Whistler on June 25th. - The Deli


In November this Wolf reported on local indie-pop trio Moritat and their strategy of blanketing local record stores and venues with a series of free mix tapes, each of which included a few slices of the album they were working on with Brian Deck. On June 26 that self-released album, Clill Blanzin, hits the streets. Take a listen to the lead track, "Cats," at the group's Bandcamp page, and you'll see why Gossip Wolf thinks this record is gonna be full of serious earworms. Moritat plays at the Old Town Art Fair on Sat 6/9, and celebrates Clill Blanzin's release at the Whistler on Mon 6/25 with openers Northpilot. - Chicago Reader


This Chicago-based guitar-free power trio plants wet woozy kisses all over their disarmingly gentle debut. Though when it chooses to (indie) rock it most certainly does, the record prominently showcases an incidentally psychedelic type of harmonic pop, wandering rather wondrously into chiptuned dizziness (“Automatic Lover”), Mysterion-tinged vamping (“Wheelin”) and digi-dubwise interludes. - Front Row Rock


In what functions as the chorus of
"Shopping," vocalist/keyboardist/one-
third-of-the-Moritat Venus Laurel proudly
declares, "I'm as loose as a goose!" and
that's a pretty accurate summation of
Moritat's approach. With its eclectic mix of
electronic sounds, a penchant for watery
pop that caresses easily with free-associa-
tion jazz, and subdued coed vocals,
Moritat is constructing expansive, inclu-
sive music within the space of its elastic
architecture – often within the space a sin-
gle song ("Wheelin'"). If you're looking for
a singular, cohesive sonic statement,
you've come to the wrong place. Instead,
relish Moritat's experimental, free-form
aesthetic as it fusses with a varied palette
of sounds and structures. Contrast "Auto-
matic Lover," a Caribbean-tinged instru-
mental that artfully balances cool and
kitschy, with "I Forgot To Kiss Her," a deli-
cate blend of jangly guitars and lightly
thumping tribal percussion, and you're
just scratching the surface.
Patrick Conlan - Illinois Entertainer


A great new song and video from Chicago rock outfit Moritat. No obnoxious hype or melodramatic backstory here. Just a straight tune and strange video. There’s some nice interplay between the guitars and drums, and structure of the track is downright progressive.

The band’s new album is streamable on Bandcamp. - The Needle Drop


If you were to sum up Moritat in a 30-second soundbyte, they might seem like any other ordinary indie pop band with a not-so-hidden desire for retro. And while sweet pop music inspired by the sounds of the ’60s and ’70s might commonly be associated with acts of such ilk, Moritat certainly belie this stereotype. Their debut Clill Blanzin shows the range of this trio, which goes far beyond the boilerplate three-minute pop music created with the aid of dirty guitars, analogue synthesizers, and a nerdy demeanor. This is an ambitious record that is challenging with songs that are complex. And the proficiency with which the band executes their circuitous vision goes to show how immense the talent is behind this bunch of seemingly ordinary musicians.

For just a trio, the range of this total novitiate is impressive, to say the least. Moritat not only embraces the spirit of retro-inspired pop music, they actually play their music like a prog rock band from the years past. This is best exemplified by the seven and a half minute long “Automatic Lover,” which starts off like a late ’70s post-punk song with just the drums, bass guitar, and minimal synthesizer sound of the era. But almost halfway into it, the synthesizer morphs into a rather spacey manifestation, and becomes an almost hallucinogenic track from the prog rock’s salad days. The song then throws another punch, completely changing the tempo in the last three minutes, which consists of what could be described one long synth solo. It seems fit for a soundtrack to a cheesy ‘70s science fiction flick.

The band takes a less eccentric approach on tracks like “Cats” and “Noise,” which in their combination of upbeatness, geniality, and slight weirdness finds its kinship with the likes of Stereolab. On the six minute “I Forgot To Kiss Her,” the trio goes in the opposite direction as the lofty “Automatic Lover,” with its utter simplicity and hushed softness as it channels the modesty of its indie roots. In contrast, “Snowpusher” is so laden with big synths that it sounds like a bastard child – a very interesting one – spawn from the union between an experimental classic rock band and a new wave act.

Moritat’s lineup of keyboard, drums, and bass hardly uses any guitars or other instruments. But the depth and breadth of sounds on Clill Blanzin is pretty amazing and makes it anything but a one-dimensional synth-based record. In fact, it is an extremely organic album, considering the dominance of the synthesizers. This disc is unpredictable, but never shocking. There are brilliant albums, and then there is a brilliant album like Clill Blanzin, which is absolutely unique from everything else that is around it: an album like this one definitely doesn’t happen too often. - The Daily Vault


Chicago’s Moritat pushes the envelope while making music to chill by.

One listen to “Automatic Lover” by Moritat showcases that there’s plenty of great stuff to be done with chilled-out electronic-pop fusion. This is a song which morphs numerous times during its seven minutes, constantly shifting to keep listeners on our toes. The great thing about Clill Blanzin, which has only been out for a little over a week, is that Chicago’s Moritat, a power-trio which clearly doesn’t like to repeat itself, knows how far to push an audience before pulling back and shifting musical directions.

As a band, Moritat consistently experiments with its sonic palate, making lazy comparisons seem pointless. “Cats,” the single off the new album, provides the most radio-worthy track on the entire LP, but even that song is a genre-bending experiment in how much depth and creativity casual listeners will put up with to find a hidden gem. Here’s hoping, as I have long believed, that listeners are far more open to new things than most industry folks give credit for. Moritat isn’t always the easiest band to love from the first pressing of the play button, but the fact that they can put out hard-driving pop-rock and grooving experimental electronic-based fusions on the same album deserves wider notice. - Hear, Hear!


Moritat is a Chicago three piece that just put out a great new album titled Clill Blanzin. It's unusual to see a band that as unheard of as Moritat be highly capable of blending so many different rock genres, combining harmonies, piano, guitar and triggers to an unusual effect. Watch the music video for "Cats," a single from Clill Blanzin that is a good example of what makes Moritat a band to keep an eye out for.

- Baeble Music


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Moritat is the hard-grooving, avant-rock trio from Chicago behind the 2012 studio LP Clill Blanzin, which the Chicago Reader hailed as "full of serious earworms". The group is composed of vocalist and keyboardist Venus Laurel, bassist/guitarist Konstantin Jace, and drummer Corey McCafferty. Their first EP, One Minute Fade, was released in the summer of 2010.

Venus met Konstantin and Corey in Chicago, and their subsequent contributions to her solo piano project quickly blossomed into a full musical collaboration. Since 2007, they have lived together in a heavily-fortified two-flat in Albany Park. Their danceable, driving sound blends ethereal pop hooks, world-music influences, and the sometimes heavy, textured palette of Chicago's post-rock scene.

Legendary indie-folk producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine) made a natural fit for the group's first full-length album, produced in Deck's Engine Studios. Deck's ear for off-beat recontextualizations of traditional sounds and beats was matched only by his zeal for pinching the band members' food during recording sessions. The result of the collaboration is Moritat's Clill Blanzin, a pre-emptive greatest hits album from the future.

As the band follows up on the release of Clill Blanzin with a tour, a remix project, and music videos, their thoughts are already on the next studio effort, a beat-oriented EP which will expand on the danciest sounds from Clill.