VHS or Beta
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VHS or Beta

Bayonne, New Jersey, United States

Bayonne, New Jersey, United States
Band Rock Alternative

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From the few tracks we’ve heard so far, VHS or Beta are set to return with what could be an explosive new dance record. “Breaking Bones” serves as the lead-off track from Diamonds & Death, out September 27 on Krian Music Group/Chromosome. This marks the first album the duo has produced since relocating from Louisville to Brooklyn, where they have become regular DJ’s. For anyone who loves really solid, synth-pop anthems for the dance floor, we think this album could be one of the best of the year. - TheSkyReport.com


Cameo Gallery says…

VHS or Beta are no strangers to the Brooklyn dance music scene. For more than a decade, these guys have been cranking out their own branded catalogue of smooth disco and rock-dance jams, during which time included a national tour as support for Duran Duran. And now, Cameo Gallery is thrilled to host VHS or Beta as they return to the stage on the brink of their new album release Diamonds & Death. Check out the first single from the new record "I Found a Reason" which RCRD LBL describes as some of their best new stuff, "nod-inducing house piano, the bounce of disco bass and clear, catchy synth melodies." It's a no-gimmicks solid dance track that would go over as a hit at any NYC DJ's disco set. Save this one for the late nights! - FlavorPill.com


Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, VHS or BETA is now based in Brooklyn. The band's intricate sound, which combines elements of rock, house and disco, and their name, inspired to obsolete video tape formats, are a welcome addition to the NYC electronic scene. Here's some band history directly from Wikipedia: "Their self-released debut EP Le Funk found some success on the charts, but the band became better known in the wake of the 2004 album Night on Fire. After two and half years of touring, VHS or Beta recorded 2007's Bring on the Comets in Asheville, NC, marking a slight change in direction towards a more straightforward pop sound, achieved without sacrificing their trademark dance sensibility. [...] The band's third album "Diamond and Death" is scheduled for September 2011 release."
VHS or BETA have two upcoming shows in NYC: Cameo Gallery in W'burg on 08.05 and The Studio at Webster Hall on 08.25. - The DeliMagazine.com


VHS or Beta’s upcoming album, Diamonds & Death, is a journey full of thrilling moments and unexpected turns. The album’s electronic foundation is a byproduct of the many nights VHS OR BETA DJs have manned the decks and remixes they have done in the last few years. The self-produced album travels spectacular heights to gut-wrenching plunges and is an emotional rollercoaster. The songs unfold and mutate in unpredictable ways that will transfix dance floors and bedrooms alike. Diamonds & Death will be released September 27 on Krian Music Group/Chromosome Records.

The anthemic “Breaking Bones” opens Diamonds & Death with a skittering beat, keyboards stabs and a transfixing vocal melody that submerges you into the album and explodes into a guitar-fueled chorus. “Breaking Bones” MP3 on RollingStone.com or HERE.

Title track “Diamonds & Death” transforms from a minimal synth track into a dance floor behemoth. “I Found a Reason” is a pulsating summer anthem with a soaring refrain built on a foundation of rubbery bass, swooning synth and housey piano chords. The album’s quixotic nature juxtaposes dance floor stompers like “Watch Out” with experimental and throbbing psychedelic tracks like “Jellybean”. Diamonds & Death is an unpredictable journey full of breathtaking epic song-scapes.

The two main creative engines behind VHS OR BETA’s decade-long career, Craig Pfunder and Mark Palgy, relocated to Brooklyn from Louisville over the last two years. Lucky fans in NY will have several changes to see the band play live this summer – stay tuned for more tour dates coming this fall! - AltSounds.com


VHS Or Beta has an older era built right into its name. On "I Found A Reason," off the group's upcoming fourth album Diamonds & Death, dance music made after the early '90s seizes to exist and it feels great. Here, it's all chunky, nod-inducing house piano, the bounce of disco bass and clear, catchy synth melodies. The lyrics also seem like an organic spirit from the past. You hear "loving you was dangerous" and have to nod approvingly like you've been there before. Diamonds & Death comes September 27 on Krian Music Group/Chromosome. - rcrdlbl.com


On September 27, VHS Or Beta returns with Diamonds And Death (Krian/Chromosome). It’s the fourth album from the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Kentucky duo of Craig Pfunder and Mark Palgy, who self-produced the LP. Download album track “I Found A Reason” below, and look for VHS Or Beta to hit the road soon in support of Diamonds And Death. - MagnetMagazine.com


VHS or Beta make a triumphant return to the indie dance scene, bringing their trusty synth pads and a glistening house piano we’ve hardly heard since the days of Shep Pettibone. Check out their previous releases Night On Fire and Bring On The Comets after you grab the free mp3 of new track I Found A Reason below.

A new album entitled Diamonds and Death is set for release on September 27th. It’s been too long! The Summer/Fall release season is getting better by the day, with The Rapture also gearing up for their new album. Now we just need The Faint to get back into the studio, and Goldfrapp to pop out their next incarnation! - HardCandyMusic.com


Discography

Diamonds and Death - (Krian Music Group/Chromosome Records 2011)
Bring on the Comets - (Astralwerks, 2007)
Night on Fire - (Astralwerks, 2004)

EPs and Singles

"All Summer in a Day" - (Chromosome Records, 2010)
"Feel It When You Know" - (Chromosome Records, 2009)
"Burn It All Down" - (Astralwerks, 2007)
"Can't Believe a Single Word" - (Astralwerks, 2007)
"You Got Me" - (Astralwerks, 2006)
"The Melting Moon" - (Astralwerks, 2005)
"Night on Fire" - (Astralwerks, 2004)
"Solid Gold" - (Astralwerks, 2003)
On and On EP - (1998, ON!)
Le Funk EP - (2002, ON!)

Photos

Bio

They say location is everything, so it should come as no surprise to learn that the aesthetic shift audible on Diamonds & Death, the fourth album by VHS or Beta, was accompanied by a change of zip code. Two years ago, founding band member Mark Palgy relocated from Louisville, KY to Brooklyn, NY. Six months later, his creative foil, Craig Pfunder, followed. From the backroom disco of their favorite Bushwick watering hole, to DFA Records' Plantain Studio in the West Village, new surroundings exerted a powerful influence on the predominantly electronic grooves of their first full-length since 2007's Bring on the Comets.

"The pace in New York is a lot faster, and I love that," says Mark. "You absorb the energy of the people around you here by osmosis." "Now we're in a place where we're learning a lot from other people," adds Craig. "It's a totally different dynamic, and it's been great for us to be in the thick of it."

The other key influence on VHS or Beta's revitalized sound is their work as DJs and remix producers. Since 2008, the duo has put its distinctive stamp on cuts for artists like My Morning Jacket, Tegan and Sara, and Hussle Club, garnering significant attention for their remix of The Juan MacLean's 2008 barnstormer "Happy House." The pair soon realized their musical roles had evolved far beyond the traditional tags like "bassist" and "singer/guitarist" they accepted when VHS or Beta first formed as a five-piece in 1997; in particular, Mark discovered a natural talent for arranging and drum programming. "We started really enjoying those jobs, so it felt like a natural step that we would begin writing in that vein, too," says Craig. "There wasn't a conscious decision to depart from guitar for this record, but sonically, the sounds that were really exciting us were a lot of synthesizers." Although they recorded primarily in their home studio, using whatever sounds were at hand ("we're not vintage purists," insists Mark), they availed themselves of the DFA posse's cadre of analog synthesizers and peculiar plug-ins while recording the drums and mixing at Plantain Studios.

The album juxtaposes more straightforward dance floor tracks like the jittery "Watch Out" with experimental fare such as "Jellybean," a trippy excursion pitched somewhere between Pink Floyd and the dark side of Italo-disco, and partially inspired by the records they heard spun in the backroom of Tandem, a favorite bar in their new neighborhood. Indeed, themes of duality permeate the record. While the grooves of Diamonds & Death are among the band's most optimistic and propulsive to date, it is no accident that they are often paired with dark lyrics, as on the crisp, percolating single "Breaking Bones." "That's something I always loved about the Smiths," explains Craig of this artistic choice. "You had this supremely uplifting pop music, with this somber message, being told in a very interesting way, by a beautiful voice." Even the making of the record was punctuated by contrasts; as excited as the guys were by their move to New York, Craig initially found himself bested by writer's block while working on lyrics.

A few songs began life in Louisvillemost notably "I Found A Reason," an uplifting, piano-driven number with echoes of Inner City's 1988 classic "Good Life" and big group vocals a la Chicbut the majority of the album was written and recorded after Craig and Mark had settled into Brooklyn. Yet even as the pair crafted tunes suitable for club play, they retained their trademark pop sensibilities. Selections like the title tune and "All Summer in a Day" are still anchored by concise melodic hookseven if they aren't necessarily found in the most obvious placesand fleshed out with dynamic, unpredictable arrangements. "We pushed our boundaries further with this one," admits Craig. "Whereas the last record was all about three minute pop songs, this time we thought, 'Let's make them six minutes.' Keep that pop feel, but pick something in the middle and stretch it out longer than we might have done in the past."

The duo admits that before starting work on this album, they shied away from the natural inclination to explore some of these electronic timbres and different songwriting styles, for fear they'd be unable to replicate the music live. But no more. "With this record, we said, 'Screw that! Let's go in there and write whatever puts a smile on our face, and feels right and good,'" concludes Craig. "Diamonds and Death is the direct result of that."