April 27th, 2012 , by John Beeler
There are certain things that shouldn’t work together, but do. Spacesuits and gravity. Salt and caramel. Harold and Maude. Every once in awhile, musicians get the idea to join seemingly conflicting elements, and something compellingly new emerges. Enter Pepe Deluxé.
Pepe Deluxé teases fresh, infectious sounds out of obscured vintage technologies, including a 500,000 volt Tesla coil synthesizer, Edwardian telephone amplifier, and gargantuan Stalacpipe Organ built in the mid-50s inside a cave in Virginia.
Then there's the band’s brand new single, “Go Supersonic,” which floats layered vocals over an ecstatic garage rock beat.
Infusing sounds rooted in space pop and psychedelia, Pepe Deluxé released their fourth album, Queen of the Wave, in January. A cryptic and compelling pop opera, the album was inspired by the novel A Dweller On Two Planets, an esoteric book penned in the 19th Century exploring cosmic themes like reincarnation, sci-fi futurism, and Atlantis.
Jari Solo (aka James Spectrum) founded the band in the mid-90s and forms its backbone, collaborating with Swedish ex-pat Paul Malmström. The duo recorded Queen of the Wave with a cornucopia of vocalists, including opera singer Kirsi Thum and vocal group Club for Five.
February 17th, 2012 , by John Beeler
We have a rule around here about posting news items about reviews – it’s a bit gratuitous don’t you think? Too meta for meta? – but rules are made to be broken. And if there’s an example of rules being broken, that example is Pepe Deluxé’s genre-tesseracting fourth album Queen of the Wave. So let’s break some rules, shall we?
Vancouver music writer Alan Ranta, who writes for PopMatters, just penned what is less review, more
director’s fan’s commentary of Pepe’s new album. Pepe Deluxé shrouds itself in mystery, but Alan cuts through the fantasy and finds a reality that is just as amazing and weird.
How does one take six years to make an album? How does one make a record that sounds like samples, but doesn’t contain a single one? How does one coordinate an army of multi-national musicians? And what is up with Zailm and his 500,000 volt Tesla Coil anyway?
Consider Alan’s review your guide to the universe of Queen of the Wave – and oh what a universe it is. Sit down, grab a coffee (or Dr. Pepper), and proceed with your reading right…here.
Speaking of firsts, Pepe Deluxé is officially now the first AK band to have released an iPad app! You can download (for free!) here.
And as for the album, you can be listening to it in just a few minutes after you buy it from iTunes here.
February 1st, 2012 , by John Beeler
Perhaps, after yesterday’s rambunctious release of Queen Of The Wave, it’s time to step back, take a breather, and ask ourselves: “Just who is Pepe Deluxé?”
Unfortunately, the answer does not come easily. Listen, even briefly, to Queen Of The Wave and you hear what seems like an army of musicians and vocalists. The core of Pepe Deluxé, Jari Solo (aka James Spectrum) and Paul Malmström, adhere to a rule when collaborating, simple in inception but complex in execution: “always try to get better at what you do by working with those who know more than you do.” The result of such a manifesto is a massive multi-national ad-hoc organization, diverse in talent and origin but bound together by the pursuit of good, great music. How to keep track!
Thankfully, Pepe Deluxé has provided yet a third album companion to guide us, this time listing several of the major contributors to the record. View and download it by clicking here.
If you haven’t purchased the album, you can do so by clicking here.
January 31st, 2012 , by John Beeler
It is time. Queen of the Wave, the fourth record from Pepe Deluxé, has reached the digital shores of North America.
You may have questions. What is Queen of the Wave? Where are the airships going to? Who is Frederick S. Oliver? And who are the Earth Dwellers?
Listen to the album to hear your questions answered. A point of reference may also be a handy companion, which you can read on your electronic viewing device. Click here to download.
Jari and Paul, aka Pepe Deluxé, are donating all the profits from the sales of the album to John Nurminen Foundation to be used in the Clean Baltic Sea project. The aim of the project is to protect and achieve a visible improvement in the condition of the Baltic Sea, one of the most endangered and polluted seas in the world.
January 30th, 2012 , by John Beeler
Tomorrow we have the high honor of releasing Pepe Deluxé's Queen of the Wave. We'll be posting all kinds of juicy Pepe content this week, starting today with this first Album Companion.
Have you heard of the Great Stalacpipe Organ? Watch the video above – it's only the world's largest instrument. And it's on Queen of the Wave.
More information is always helpful. View it by clicking more, or download for your own records by clicking here.
January 17th, 2012 , by John Beeler
A few weeks ago, we released an astounding alchemy of a music video, replete with magic, mysticism, lazers, dancing, and Ms. Dominican Republic 2008.
Today, using the magic of the internet, you can take the song and its many iterations home by purchasing the second single from Pepe Deluxé’s forthcoming record, Queen Of The Wave. “A Night And A Day” is up on iTunes now, right here.
The song features an international cabal including lead vocals from Johanna Försti, a Finnish soul/funk singer who has sung for the President of Finland; backing vocals from Australian Boi Crompton, Gulf War vet who toured with Cat Stevens on his EU tour; Finnish film composer Ville Riippa plays transistor organ and percussion; and Pepe full-time member, the Swedish-born Manhattan-residing Paul Malmström handles much of the rest. The song also includes double speed guitars, a glockenspiel, and a modular synthesizer.
In addition to “Hesperus Garden,” another track from Queen Of The Wave, the single also includes remixes courtesy of A-R-K (aka Andy Spence from New Young Pony Club), K-X-P (producers of Annie), Mex Luthor (also know as Catskills artist Black Grass), Zumo, Echo Park, and Obi Blanche.
You can preorder Queen Of The Wave on iTunes here.
December 19th, 2011 , by John Beeler
Lazers, guitars, and magic have a long, proud history together, and this brand new video from Pepe Deluxé proves it indubitably, using historical footage pieced together by Pepe member Paul Malmström.
We'll be releasing the track and some remixes of it on January 17th, but you can also find it later on Pepe's fourth album, Queen of the Wave, due January 31st. In the meantime, do enjoy the show.
November 4th, 2011 , by John Beeler
Behold: a video recording of the first ever composition for The Great Stalacpipe Organ, the largest musical instrument in the world. Located deep in the caverns of Luray, Virginia, The Organ consists of hand-tuned ancient stalactites of varying sizes that are hit with solenoid-actuated rubber mallets. It took Pepe Deluxé over 6 years of research and planning so you could enjoy these two minutes of unique sounds in the comfort of your bright, dry, warm home.
October 31st, 2011 , by John Beeler
Like many people, you may have heard Pepe Deluxé. Perhaps you listened to any one of their first three albums. Or, you may have been in the Luray Caverns in Virginia while tuxedo-ed Paul Malmström of Pepe stepped up to the Stalacpipe Organ – the largest instrument in the world – to record. Or perhaps you heard their music via television, advertising, or movie. Regardless, we are honored to announce that we can provide to you yet another remarkable Pepe Deluxé experience, at a nominal fee.
If you’re of the few that have never heard Pepe Deluxé, you’re in for a surprise and/or treat. Think cinematic. Think epic. Think space opera going through that slightly creepy tunnel in Willy Wonka’s Candy Factory. Think a massive bubble machine overloading in the Smithsonian. Or better yet, stop thinking and start moving.
Beginning, perhaps, with “The Storm,” an MP3 offered free for stream and download for a limited time. More info on the band is here. Do stop by Pepe Deluxé and say hej.
Pepe Deluxé, “The Storm” by asthmatickitty