ATIC Records wishes you a very ATIC Christmas! To get into the festive spirit we would like to offer you 25% off everything in the ATIC web store. That's 25% off Vinyl, CDs, MP3 downloads and T-shirts! Just type in aticxmas right at the very end of check out and 25% will be deducted from your order. Treat yourself or someone special to some great music this Christmas! HO HO HO!!
Niko features in part 3 of this three part series presented by Dubspot: Clive Chin - The Lost Archives of 17 North Parade which details the history and discovery of previously unknown and unreleased recordings by many of reggae’s greatest stars during the heyday of ska and early reggae. Watch the entire series at Dubspot . Stay tuned for the release of 'Kissing' by Lord Creator feat. Niko and the newly resored and mastered archive recordings from 17 North Parade.
Niko's stark love song "Over You" is set to be heard on the silver screens this summer. "Syrup" Directed by Aram Rapport and starring Amber Heard, Shiloh Fernandez and Kellan Lutz is based on the bast-selling book. Go see the film now at a theatre near you or on-demand. For more information check out the Syrup official webiste.
Aim and Niko played a belter of a set at Blackpool Alfresco 2013 to a sun-drenched crowd. Thanks to everyone there and especially Chinny and all at Cowbell Radio for such a fantastic day!
After releasing the 2-disc, 32-track Self-Titled debut, Death Of The Neighbourhood, and record label ATIC Records decided to slim things down by releasing DOTN Redux, a collection of remastered songs picked from DOTN’s earlier releases along with 4 new songs. The collection is a beautiful mix of ambient textures, indie hip-hop beats, and haunting vocals all presented in a wide-lens cinematic scope.
Stephen Jones, formerly of Babybird, the UK group known for their 1996 hit, You’re Gorgeous, finds himself exploring simple lyrical themes that, in his unique frail falsetto, take on a very dark and introspective quality, which, when paired with the lush atmospheric music, creates an incredibly interesting dichotomy. The album, then, seems to become focused on how the banality of the lyrics, and subsequently the singer himself, gets lost in the texture of the music. The whole album takes on a certain kind of sad nostalgia and regret, which is highlighted by the use of the Norman Rockwell painting as the cover.
The album is available as a Limited Edition Deluxe-Digipak CD or Mp3 download via ATIC Records.
Thank you Dear Song In My Head for this fantastic review!
Stephen Jones is certainly a prolific artist. Since 1995 he has released over 18 albums, and in the process has managed to shift in excess of 2 million records. In 2012 devoted fans were upset to hear that Jones had put an end to his most famous moniker Babybird following a frustratingly underrated final album 'The Pleasures Of Self Destruction'. Luckily for us Stephen still has plenty of other musical projects to busy himself with, in fact you get the impression that without music this man really wouldn't know what to do with himself.
'DOTN Redux' sees him resurrect his Death Of The Neighbourhood alias, and this time it's not just the name that has been reprised. The original 2008 Death Of The Neighbourhood album was a double disc 32 track monster that featured everything from sugar coated lullabies to genuinely disturbing helium-voiced hip hop with lyrics about cocaine and botox. An interesting album certainly, but perhaps a bit of a mess for some. Definitely not for the faint hearted, that's for sure. 'DOTN Redux' takes nine of that album's most gorgeously effective moments and places them in a completely new setting alongside four superb new tracks. This may be the slightly "nicer" side of DOTN, but you can still sense something disturbing at the heart of the music.
'God's Not Coming' opens the record, chunky beats stacked upon a beautiful piano melody, the kind that seems to come naturally to this lo-fi legend. There's the eerie voices and undiluted heartbreaking magic of 'Elvis Is Coming', the wonderful and brief 'Kill What You Love', and the tranquil, blissful sadness of 'Forgot To Take My Drugs'. In these new surroundings, the previously released tracks have a greater impact when placed alongside the likes of 'And The Children Sang A Song That Never Ended', with its introspective ambience and masterful, spacious arrangement. Elsewhere 'I Love My TV' seeks comfort in the television set when the real world is just too cruel to deal with, while the excellent 'Dumb Down' comes across like some sinister playground singalong while still giving you the same floating sensation the rest of the album does. It's creepy and unsettling yet it still has that dreamlike quality to it.
Beautifully bleak and hauntingly cinematic, 'The Big Yellow M' is tragic yet alluringly pretty, while 'Bruised Brain' is as sweet and delicate as a newborn, not unlike a baby bird in fact. By that point it becomes clear that this is not some sort of money making operation or another attempt at mainstream success, but music that is being made because its creator knows he has a gift. And to not share that gift with the rest of us would just be unfair.
If you don't own the first Death Of The Neighbourhood album, then this is your second chance to discover these brilliant songs. If you already own that record then 'DOTN Redux' provides the opportunity to hear some of that material in a new way, as well as the four stunning new compositions. Without the clutter, the songs have more room to breathe and seem to come together in a way that makes this a far more cohesive collection of songs. An all-new DOTN album is due for release later in 2013.
Thank you Mr Scott and God Is In the TV for the great review!
Once known as Babybird, the man behind the hit-single ‘You’re Gorgeous,’ Stephen Jones has reinvented himself as the main force behind Death of the Neighbourhood. Where once he opted for an instantaneous pop appeal, Stephen used his new moniker to present a more challenging, yet rewarding, sound. However, some found his sprawling 32-track, two-disc, eponymous debut album to be a bit much to take in. Coming to the rescue, his label, ATIC Records, called on signee Aim to offer the solution.
‘DOTN Redux’ sees a number of the tracks from the two-disc debut album, selected by Aim, remastered by Brian Lucey (Sigur Ros, Black Keys), and rearranged alongside a number of new tracks to create this tight, 11-track, 35-minute selection. he album opens with the reissue, ‘God’s Not Coming,’ complete with it’s leftfield vocal style and crisp break-beat. This is joined by other re-released tracks, such as the psychedelic ‘Forgot To Take My Drugs,’ the simplistic tale of ‘I Love My TV,’ and the Arctic Monkeys-meets-bedroom hip-hop of ‘Dumb Down.’
These tracks are joined by a host of new songs, including the beautifully looped ‘And The Children Sang A Song That Never Ended,’ the quirky instrumental ‘Elvis Is Coming,’ the haunting ‘Kill What You Love,’ and D.O.T.N.’s sideways dig at a certain well-known corporation, ‘The Big Yellow M.’ The whole experience is completed by the rare, ‘Manhattan Floats Away,’ which brings the feel of a piece of sci-fi thriller mood music.
At times fragile, at at other hauntingly beautiful, this collection delivers laid-back breaks with a rich musical feel as piano lines, strings and keys all drift in and out of the mix. Death of the neighbourhood may be about as far away as ‘You’re Gorgeous’ as one could imagine, but with the high quality output on offer here, that is surely only a good thing!"
Thanks to Tom and everyone at www.popculturez.com for the great review!
It's been a strange and varied musical career for Stephen Jones (not to mention publishing a couple of novels) that's taken him from bedroom recordings to low-key releases as BabyBird that created enough of a buzz that he turned the project into a proper band, losing the gap, as Babybird and achieved top ten success with the ubiquitous 'You're Gorgeous'. Those early albums changed hands for a considerable amount of money at the time, but despite this initial post-Britpop success interest began to wane, meaning than many people will have missed out on such indie-pop gems as 'Out Of Sight' and 'Fireflies'. Since then he's retreated back to the underground, releasing home-recordings and working on film scores as well as the less commercially targeted Death Of The Neighbourhood project which began in 2008.
Released just in time for Christmas and opening with the unseasonably-titled 'God's Not Coming' it's apparent that it's in this lo-fi world he intends to remain, although it is a catchy little number. So while we may not be hearing from our lord and Saviour anytime soon, it's reassuring to know that one king will be back. 'Elvis Is Coming' is a mysterious piece of floating dreampop with disembodied voices like those that ghost hunters capture on EVP along with Elvis-style "hey hey heys". Beats tick, vocals come and go and the album has the feel of a swirling mist of sounds more than a collection of songs. That soundtrack work creeps in on short mood pieces like 'Kill What You Love' and 'Lost Youth III'. There are haunting numbers that could be early Flaming Lips tracks, 'Forgot To Take My Drugs' being a particularly ethereal example. 'Dumb Down' has a wonderful, twisted dreamlike quality and the sample-loaded 'The Big Yellow M' is just plain creepy.
In 'DOTN REDUX' Jones has shown all the reasons why the indie world fell for those limited edition early albums and why many stuck with him through his period in the limelight and back to his more experimental ways again. This is a very gentle album where the vocals are often childlike ('I Love My TV'), the beats are programmed and simplistic and the music is faint and sparkly. Despite having bugger all to do with this time of year, the Christmas Eve release date is fitting. Firstly because the music is warm and twinkly, becoming festive entirely by accident, and secondly because it's being released in the week of the year that traditionally records less sales than others due to bank holidays and stores not being open. But then Jones knows his fans and they'll know about this album and will surely buy it regardless, and that's something they won't live to regret because 'DOTN REDUX' is gorgeous.
Thanks to Kev at The Sound of Confusion for the brilliant review!
Here’s a weird one that will make for a disturbing Christmas.
Death Of The Neighbourhood is Stephen Jones, of Babybird fame. DOTN REDUX is a collection of songs harvested from DOTN 1 accompanied by four new tracks. With the Babybird moniker off his back, Jones has created something which is horribly unsettling yet subtly beautiful. The whole album is a phenomenal achievement but for us the stand out track is ‘And the Children Sang a Song That Never Ended.’ It’s understated and quaint, but at its core is a glint of magnificence. Jones has outdone himself.
By Sam Briggs
Thanks to Sam and everyone at Toast Magazine for the tasty review!
Great write up from the lovely folks at Reckless Times :
I have been listening to this album for the last week or so and have to say its a real grower. Emotional, dark, atmospheric are all words that have been used to describe the sound of Death of the Neighbourhood. All those words would be right.
Death of the Neighbourhood is Stephen Jones (ex-Babybird), a prolific and gifted songwriter who since 1995 has released thirteen albums. As a writer he’s penned three published novels and a recent auto-biography, ‘Amplified Silence‘. Stephen is constantly making music and has amassed a huge library of un-released Death of the Neighbourhood material, much of which will see the light of day via ATIC Records.
‘God’s Not Coming’ sets the scene perfectly with its combination of dark theme, fragile, sugar-coated vocals and over-driven drums and like the other songs culled from the debut Death of the Neighbourhood album (‘Forgot To Take My Drugs’, ‘I Love My TV’ ‘Dumb Down’ ‘Lost Youth Part II’ and ‘Bruised Brain’), and rarity ‘Manhattan Floats Away’, it is re-contextualized within DOTN REDUX, taking on striking new depth. New tracks ‘And the Children Sang a Song That Never Ended’, ‘Elvis Is Coming’, ’Kill What You Love’ and ‘The Big Yellow M’ are simple and melodic yet charged with such pure, intense emotion they make us want to cry! Too much? Just listen…
I can wholeheartedly recommend the album which is released on the 24th of December 2012 and available for the Atic Records website to order and for pre-order.