not on 4AD, but Dead Can Dance & Bulgarian Female Choir both released new albums (both with Lisa Gerrard)


Dead Can Dance have released Dionysus, their first record in six years. The album’s title and theme is based on Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and ecstasy, but they haven’t gone EDM. Dead Can Dance are still swirling in world rhythms and sounds, with Lisa Gerrard‘s otherworldly vocals (Brendan Perry‘s, too) tying it all together. You can stream the whole album, and watch the just-released video for “ACT II – The Mountain,” below.

The new DCD album, like their last one, is out on PIAS Recordings, not 4AD, the label they’re most associated with. 4AD released the first eight Dead Can Dance records, not to mention the three legendary albums by This Mortal Coil, the musical collective led by 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell. Those albums, which include contributions from DCD’s Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, as well as members of Cocteau Twins and Pixies, were just reissued, though there is a delay on the vinyl which now has a new release date of December 7th.

And these aren’t the only releases Lisa Gerrard appears on this year. One of Ivo Watts-Russell’s other projects at 4AD in the 80s was to reissue music by the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir (also known as The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices), and that choir is back, but first the backstory… Take it away Wikipedia:

Though the [Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir] became widely known when the trend-setting English alternative record label 4AD reissued a pair of anthology albums in 1986 and 1988 with the now famous title Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, their recordings date as far back as 1957. The first pressing of the Voix Bulgares album was the result of fifteen years of work by Swiss ethnomusicologist and producer Marcel Cellier and was originally released in 1975 on his small Discs Cellier label. Ivo Watts-Russell, the founder of the 4AD Records label, was introduced to the choir from a third or fourth generation audio cassette lent to him by Peter Murphy, singer from the band Bauhaus. He became thoroughly entranced by the music, and tracked down and licensed the recordings from Cellier. They were one of four choirs who appeared on the album Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Volume Two, which won Cellier a Grammy Award in 1989. The group has since performed extensively around the world to wide acclaim.

A recent press release adds these interesting bits:

Early on, the choir’s music found favor with famous admirers like Paul Simon, Sandy Denny, Frank Zappa, members of Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Grateful Dead. But it was in the 1980s when 4AD reissued the record that it got the attention of artists like Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) and Lisa Gerrard. The album won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Recording in 1990. Choir members have worked with or been sampled by artists as diverse as Kate Bush, U2 and Drake.

That press release comes from Prophecy Recordings who in May released a brand new album by the the long-running choir. Lisa Gerrard co-authored and sings on a bunch of the songs. The PR adds:

Lisa Gerrard explains “When I went to go see those women when I was a kid…I thought that’s it, that’s the top, you can’t go any further!” And now performing with them she enthuses “it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given (apart from receiving the holy spirit and having my daughter) this is it. This is it for me.” Gerrard’s contributions are co-written with Jules Maxwell, a musician with whom she has worked for several years.

The new album, titled BooCheeMish, is the choir’s first studio recording of new material in over two decades. You can stream that below as well.

Meanwhile the Prophecy label are hosting a two-day festival at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory tonight (11/2) and Saturday (11/3). Prophecy Fest, which is co-presented by Invisible Oranges, features Alcest, Novembers Doom, Xasthur, Kayo Dot, Volur, Eye of Nix, 1476, and Crowhurst. (So Hideous were supposed to play too but dropped off last minute.) The choir is not on the bill, but tickets are still available.

Peter Murphy and David J of Bauhaus just announced a big Bauhaus anniversary tour (where they’ll play a full album).

Pixies are playing full albums on tour too.

Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins just announced tour dates too, as part of Massive Attack.

Clan of Xymox are on tour right now.

Dead Can Dance tour dates are listed under the music, below…

Dead Can Dance — 2019 Tour DAtes
May 02: Le Liberte, Rennes, France
May 04 / 05: Hammersmith Apollo, London, UK
May 07 / 08: Cirque Royale, Brussels, Belgium
May 10 / 11: Grand Rex, Paris, France
May 13 / 14: Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands
May 16 / 17: Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany
May 20 / 21: Barts, Barcelona, Spain
May 23 / 24: Aula Magna, Lisbon, Portugal
May 26 / 27: Teatro Degli Arcimboldi, Milan, Italy
June 16: Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany
June 18 / 19: Ruhrcongress, Bochum, Germany
June 21 / 22: Torwar Hall, Warsaw, Poland
June 24: Kongresove Centrum Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
June 26: Papp Laszlo Budapest Sportarena, Budapest, Hungary
June 28: Sava Centar, Belgrade, Serbia
June 30: Roman Theatre Of Philippopolis, Plovdiv, Bulgaria