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  • Nero to Release "Welcome Reality" on Dec. 13

    Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:57:24

    Nero to Release "Welcome Reality" on Dec. 13 - The DJ duo will tour, too

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    Nero, AKA North West London producers, remixers du jour, DJs and artists Dan Stephens and Joe Ray, now one of the biggest names in both dubstep and drum and bass, will unleash their debut album Welcome Reality on the US Dec. 13.

    The epic, cinematic, widescreen quality to Nero's grimy symphonies come from their love of movie soundtracks: Joe, a trained classical guitarist, loves the stabbing strings and eerie atmospheres of Bernard Herrmann's scores, as well as the baroque works of his favorite composers. He believes Nero offer a shorter, more compact and intense version of that classical sound in dance form. Stadium rock, electro-funk, jazz and classical music, movie soundtracks, rave, the beats of drum 'n' bass and the distorted subsonic basslines and production methods of dubstep... then factor in the freaktronic '90s releases of the Warp label (Aphex Twin, Squarepusher) and you've got the recipe for a superb album. Welcome Reality is that album.

    A distillation of 30 years of dance, from disco to dubstep, with some rock thrown in. Fourteen tracks, and one hour, of melodic dance mayhem, it was recorded in the same South London studio used by Shy FX, Caspa and Nero's MTA label bosses Chase & Status, featuring music written and self- produced using equipment both new and vintage, with some of the iconic 80s synths - a Roland Jupiter 8 and Yamaha CS80 - that the likes of Madonna, Prince and Duran Duran used. The lyrics were also penned with some help from their regular singer Alana Watson who also performs live with Nero. "We've known her since we were 16," explains Dan. "She's always been part of the Nero gang, and she's been on all the singles. Alana helps give us a ‘band' feel, a bit like Massive Attack." The only outside assistance came from a guitarist friend called Bush, and a certain 80s megastar called Daryl Hall, who provided a cameo on the track "Reaching Out."

    "We wanted to make a dance album that takes you on a journey," said Dan. "With segues and a sense of flow from beginning to end." "It's the sort of album we'd have loved as kids," adds Joe, who admits that the benchmarks for Welcome Reality as a coherent, near-conceptual piece of work were Radiohead's OK Computer, Daft Punk's Discovery and Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. "We wanted it to sound memorable but not dated," says Dan. "Some albums are very ‘now' but won't be relevant in a year. We want ours to last."

    Mission accomplished. In fact, fully expect Welcome Reality to rip the roof off a club and/or do damage to whatever the future version of your bedroom stereo will be in, at the very least, the year 2808.

    Nero will be playing select DJ dates this December. They return for live dates this Spring. The visual led performance includes a custom built booth consisting of ghetto blasters, retro TVs, old amps and an arcade machine centre piece. Additional DJ dates are also announced and all dates are below.

    Tour dates:

    12/15/11 Boston MA Royale NightClub (DJ set)
    12/16/11 Hartford CT Webster Theater (DJ set)
    12/17/11 Atlantic City, NJ Showboat Hotel & Casino - House of Blues (DJ set)
    12/20/11 Victoria BC 9one9 (DJ set)
    12/21/11 Edmonton AB Edmonton Events Centre (DJ set)
    12/22/11 Los Angeles, CA Music Box (DJ set)
    12/23/11 Los Angeles, CA Music Box (DJ set)
    12/27/11 San Diego, CA House of Blues (DJ set)
    12/29/11 San Francisco, CA Ruby Skye (DJ set)
    12/30/11 Vancouver, BD Vogue Theater (DJ set)
    12/31/11 New York, NY Webster Hall (DJ set)
    12/31/11 Seattle, WA Showbox Sodo (DJ set)

    Are you going to go Nero?

    —Amy Sciarretto
    11.17.11



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    Tags: Nero, Dan Stephens, Joe Ray, Bernard Herrmann, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Shy FX, Caspa, Madonna, Prince, Duran Duran, Alana Watson, Massive Attack, Daryl Hall, Radiohead, Daft Punk, Marvin Gaye

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