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Bowers & Wilkins Sound System at WOMAD 2015

Following the success of last year's live outing for B&W Society of Sound, this summer we upgraded to a bigger tent this year as part of WOMAD Charlton Park.

- Hannah Peel live on the B&W Sound System stage, 25 July 2015. Photography: York Tillyer.

B&W Sound System brought an unparalleled festival sound experience. Each day the space celebrated the art of listening with talks, acoustic sessions, experiments in electronica; late into the night the tent throbbed with DJ sets.

The B&W stage line up, tailor-made for its 135,000 Watt speaker stack, brought absolute clarity to an audience that is passionate about sound.

It was a joy to the ears of everyone who took part: "I would describe the Bowers & Wilkins sound as a happy face, a funking bass with a loving race" (Jazzie B)

See more photos and read the story of the weekend in this Adobe Slate story by York Tillyer.

- John Metcalfe live on the B&W Sound System stage, 24 July 2015. Photography: York Tillyer.

Published 13th Aug 2015, 11:07am »

Totó Remix Competition Conclusion Announced

We've had some outstanding remixes delivered and are giving you an extension to midnight 17 August BST for any final deliveries.

We will then announce the winner on September 10th 2015

Thanks for all your submissions
Real World Records

More information

Published 4th Aug 2015, 5:07pm »

Totó La Momposina featured on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday

Rachel Martin talks with Felix Contreras about the story behind Tambolero. Listen here:

Read the Felix Contreras review of Tambolero:

Published 3rd Aug 2015, 2:10pm »

Totó Triumphs at WOMAD

In spite of a damp afternoon in an English field, crowds of festival-goers bounced their multi-coloured umbrellas in the air as Totó and her remarkable band transported the audience to sunny Colombia. The reviews have been unanimously outstanding.

"Totó... remains in magnificent voice at 74, and a commander of crowds, even those cowering under heavy sheets of English rain." **** The Independent

"She's in glorious, gutsy voice, backed by musicians and dancers including her children and grandchildren." **** The Guardian

"The joyous, dancing figure of Toto La Momposina was barely visible through the forest of umbrellas." Evening Standard

Read more about the remarkable story behind Tambolero

Published 30th Jul 2015, 2:14pm »

Society of Sound: July

In advance of her live performance on the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System stage at WOMAD on Saturday 25 July, the Society of Sound release for this month comes from Hannah Peel.

Hannah Peel first came to recognition in 2010 with her mesmerizing, hand-punched, 'music box' EP Rebox (featuring covers of 80's bands Cocteau Twins, Soft Cell, New Order). Having released her critically lauded solo debut album The Broken Wave a year later, Hannah then formed The Magnetic North, a highly acclaimed collaborative project with Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good The Bad and The Queen, Gorillaz) and Erland Cooper (Erland & The Carnival). The band's Orkney: Symphony Of The Magnetic North album was a big success in France where the Le Monde newspaper named it as their Number 2 Record Of The Year. Her solo career has continued with the increasingly electronic three track Nailhouse in 2013 and the stunning analogue beauty of Fabricstate EP a year later.

In addition to her increasingly high profile career as a solo artist and producer, the Northern Irish born singer has also composed for TV, film, theatre and dance, winning a 2013 RTS award for the theme to the Channel 4 show Dates, as well as two British arrow awards for her Marie Curie Daffodil advertisement. Hannah Peel's music has featured on hit TV shows (American Horror Story, Bones, Reign, Ringer and the 2012 movie, Anna Karenina) and advertisements for Dior, Charlotte Tilbury and ITV.

Society of Sound showcases Hannah Peel with a special edition release bringing together the songs from 2014's Fabricstate EP and a preview of the brand new unheard Rebox 2 EP.

Rebox 2 features four new music box covers (Queen originally by Perfume Genius, Pale Green Ghosts by John Grant, Palace by Wild Beasts and Heaven, How Long by East India Youth) and three new instrumental pieces.

More information on this Hannah Peel release

Read Hannah Peel's blog on working with the hand-punched Music Box here

Published 20th Jul 2015, 1:39pm »

'Tambolero' released today

It's been quite a journey to get here, but we're delighted to say that Tambolero, the new album by Totó La Momposina, is released today as a beautifully packaged 28-page hard back CD book with extended sleeve notes and rare archive photos.

Tambolero is a reimagining of Totó's album La Candela Viva - a hugely important record both in Totó's career but also in the history of Colombian music - but it only exists as the result of a strange quirk of fate and an unexpected discovery…

The deeper everyone went into the project the more profound it became and Tambolero is a real celebration of Totó's career, which will soon reach a landmark 60 years; six decades dedicated to preserving, researching and developing an ancestral tradition, the identity of a people, passed down through the generations. The album is also a tribute to Totó's long-standing musical collaborator, the legendary drummer Batata, the master of the tambores, no longer with us but whose presence permeates the album

Read more about the remarkable story behind Tambolero

Published 29th Jun 2015, 4:53pm »

Joi Sound System Out Now

Released on Real World Records is a brand new 2CD retrospective Best of from the Asian Underground pioneers Joi, entitled Joi Sound System.

The album has been compiled and sequenced by Joi founding member Farook Shamsher.

From 1999 to 2007 Joi - brothers Farook and Haroon Shamsher - recorded three gloriously inventive albums for Real World Records. Joi Sound System contains music culled from these three albums; One and One is One, We Are Three and Without Zero as well as three bonus tracks.

"I want young Asian people to feel, really feel, how beautiful the music is. I want the music to bring up fond childhood memories. To encourage forgiveness. Music can do all this. Music is freedom and understanding. It's peace and love. It's Joi." Farook Shamsher.

Joi Sound System is available as a 2CD package and download.

Read more about the Joi Sound System release

Published 22nd Jun 2015, 10:56am »

Society of Sound: June

The June release on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound is an exclusive premiere of the third album by the band Day One, entitled 'Intellectual Property'

Day One consists of vocalist and lyricist Phelim Byrne, and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Hardwidge, who began collaborating in the mid '90s, blending the storytelling traditions of folk and hip hop along with a slew of musical influences.

Originally the band were signed to Massive Attack's label Melankolic and released their debut LP 'Ordinary Man' in 2000 to international acclaim.

The follow-up 'Probably Art' was released in 2007 but as Matthew Hardwidge says work on what was to become 'Intellectual Property' started almost as soon as that album was released: "Phelim and I started the writing process for this, our third record, back in 2007. It begins, as in most cases, when we work separately. I will create soundscapes and arrangements of musical ideas, shaping them into demos for Phelim to work with.

Phelim will compile lots of lyrics and stories, and once every couple of months we come together to demo two or three tracks and make them into cool sounding songs."

As with each of their previous albums 'Intellectual Property' was co-produced by Mario Caldato Jr. The LA based producer has worked with a wide range of artists over the years but is perhaps best known for his work with Beastie Boys and Beck.

Read more about the 'Intellectual Property' album and download the album

Listen to tracks from Matthew Hardwidge's exclusive playlist for Bowers & Wilkins here

Published 18th Jun 2015, 12:01pm »

Totó La Momposina Remix Competition

Totó La Momposina's music has been sampled in many well known dance and hip hop tracks over the years.

Two of the biggest hits using her music came in the shape of Michel Cleis' dance-floor smash 'La Mezcla' and Timbaland's global hit 'Indian Flute'. Both of which sampled Totós track 'Curura'.

Now, it's your turn!

In advance of the release of Totó's new album 'Tambolero' we are running a remix competition that allows you download the stems to Totó's classic track 'Curura' so you can do your own remix.

The winner will win a pair of Bowers & Wilkins headphones. Competition closes 17 July.

For full details and T&Cs here

The rest, is up to you! Good luck

Published 11th Jun 2015, 1:50pm »

Society of Sound: May

Available this week on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound is the new album from John Metcalfe.

The release via Bowers & Wilkins is a chance for Society of Sound members to get an exclusive preview of the album before its full commercial release on Real World Records next month.

John Metcalfe is a composer, producer, classical violist, guitarist, pioneering A&R man and arranger to a host of A-list pop stars. As well as working with Peter Gabriel, Morrissey, Coldplay, Blur, Bat for Lashes and The Pretenders, John has had a varied musical career including setting up the Factory Classical label, stints in the band Durutti Column, his own string quartet The Duke Quartet and much more. His ear for timbre and his instinct for musical drama make him a good collaborator - empathetic but never unassuming.

The album that John Metcalfe has made for Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound unites the disparate strands of his musical life to date and demonstrates his confidence on a bigger stage, both literally and metaphorically. "This is me on my own, and there's nothing between the audience and me. It's my efforts, it's my emotions, it's my sensibilities on display".

There are repeated string motifs that evoke the work of Steve Reich. His clean, single-note guitar lines, which he says are directly influenced by Durutti Column's Vini Reilly, are a prominent feature of the album. There are moments of affecting solo piano. There are elements of drum and bass, and of chamber music. Metcalfe's tunes mutate effortlessly: from introspective fragmentation to a calm landscape of sonorous noises; from rhythmic strings to expansive anthems.

Via Bowers & Wilkins the album is available in two versions; the full album at 24 bit/44.1 kHz and also a special exclusive edition called The Vinyl Experience. This provides listeners with a high-resolution 96kHz recording of the actual vinyl LP.

'Kites and Echoes' the album now available on Bowers & Wilkins will also be available as a full commercial release on 8 June, via Real World Records, under a different title - 'Kites and Echoes'

Published 22nd May 2015, 10:02am »

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