“Noise” has myriad connotations… a sound, a sonic disturbance, a fluctuation in a transmitted electrical signal, and so on, but for the moment, tune out the noise and tune in to NØISE. NØISE is the name of the musical endeavor that sees Shepard Fairey, known for creating iconic artwork, such as the Barack Obama “Hope” image, and the Obey Giant campaign, teaming with veteran musicians John Goff, Merritt Lear, and Joe Cassidy.
With hints of new wave, electronic music, and modern pop, NØISE, whose debut EP “Little Lions” will be released digitally on September 23rd, was born through a unique series of events. A special limited edition double vinyl, gatefold of the 8 remixes will also be available with new artwork by Fairey and artist Ravi Zupa.
The true genesis of the project can be traced back to when Fairey began DJ’ing, which is something he dove into 13 years ago. Starting with vinyl, then moving to Serato, he embraced the latter, being especially attracted to a possibility MP3s have that vinyl is missing – the ability to be edited, and remixed. Fairey remembers, “My first music production endeavors were simple re-edits of songs for improved mixing.” This is where John Goff came into the picture.
Goff, a longtime friend, and veteran musician with a history in electronic music, as well as post punk/rock, helped Fairey with re-edits, and arrangements. Fast-forward a number of years, and a plethora of production sessions, and Goff suggested the two start making music together.
In 2014, Fairey, who at the time was seeking a female vocalist for the musical project with Goff, attended a Russell Brand show, where he was introduced to renowned singer Merritt Lear through a mutual friend (documentary film director Ondi Timoner). The two began talking about music, and instantly hit it off. Lear remembers, “I loved Shepard’s art, and was curious about what kind of stuff he and John were creating. We sent each other samples the next day, and the collaboration was born.”
Not long into her time working with Fairey and Goff, Lear reached out to Joe Cassidy, a former bandmate of hers from both the new wave/electro-pop group Assassins and the symphonic melancholy of Butterfly Child, to see if he'd be interested in coming aboard. After checking out what they’d been working on, Cassidy, who’s spent nearly three decades in music, was in.
While some ascribe to the notion that too many cooks spoil the broth, this has not been the case with NØISE, who feel enlivened by each change a member makes to a song. Goff notes, “The way that Joe and Merritt took over, and tweaked the parts Shepard and I had built, really gave the music a completely unplanned, and delicious, result that Shepard and I had not ever seen from the outset.”
Cassidy counts Joe Strummer, and Lee “Scratch” Perry as inspirations while working on NØISE, “Not so much in terms of their music exactly, but more like, ‘What would these two think of these songs in 2016?’”
A select few had a first listen to NØISE in 2014, as the group made a limited run of vinyl for the single “Little Lions” b/w “Automatic” in conjunction with Fairey’s 50 Shades of Black art show. The EP they’ll be releasing on September 23rd uses the same source material, but with a few changes, and eight remixes by some of the biggest names in music, including The Crystal Method, Phil Hartnoll, DJ Z-Trip, Tim Armstrong, and Moby.
With Fairey, Goff, Lear, and Cassidy putting their creative minds together, you can rest assured that no matter how loud you play their EP, no one will complain about the NØISE.
Joe Cassidy's career as a singer, songwriter, producer, composer and front-man spans almost three decades. Signed to a major label at the age of 15, Cassidy moved from Belfast to Manchester, London, and Chicago—finally landing in Los Angeles in 2007. Cassidy's career is a study in duality: his projects have been picked up by hot indie labels Rough Trade and H.ark!—and major giants Arista/ BMG, Hit It!/ Tommy Boy, Dedicated/ BMG, RCA, and Universal. Cassidy has written scores for string quartets made up of members of the Liverpool Symphony and the Chicago Lyric Orchestra—and for films like "Bettie Page Uncensored", "Stan" and the upcoming "Hollywood". Cassidy also worked on the 2011 Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner "We Live In Public" and the 2011 Emmy winning documentary "Hold At All Costs".
His band Butterfly Child is known for its symphonic love songs; his band Assassins is known for its electro-pop dance tracks—both have devoted fan bases. And he uses his recording studio to produce labors of love with musician friends—as well as remixes for the likes of Ludacris, Kid Rock, and R.Kelly. Cassidy even had the honor of producing song writing legend Jimmy Webb with Glen Campbell in the room.
He has performed across the USA and Europe including Lollapalooza and has supported New Order, Muse and Duran Duran to name but a few.
Oh, and it's there—in a bucolic home in Silver Lake—that Cassidy composes and records national commercials, spots which incorporate his lush pop sensibility and deep-seated sense of cool into ads for some of the country's most legendary brands.
"I usually work with people who have a very open mind about what they are looking to achieve with a song, an arrangement or the type of production necessary. Artists or clients who are not "boxed in" to a genre are the ones I usually find knocking at my door," Cassidy says. Perhaps Cassidy demonstrates success across genres and continents because of what Rolling Stone called "his mastery of the simple pop song." At the heart of every one of his compositions is a melody infused with deeply satisfying musical—and narrative—resolution. As was said of Cassidy's style, "If you've ever been drunk in a pub, staring at someone beautiful, just watching them move, in a blur, this was probably the music in your head."
Cassidy's new Butterfly Child album "Futures" was released by Dell'Orso/ SRD in November 2015. The A Shot In The Dark EP, featuring the title track remixed by Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys etc) is released on September 9th, 2016.
Shepard Fairey received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I. While there he created the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” sticker that transformed into the OBEY GIANT art campaign, with imagery that has changed the way people see art and the urban landscape. His work has evolved into an acclaimed body of art, which includes the 2008 "Hope" portrait of Barack Obama, found at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
Fairey’s 25-plus-year career started in 1989 with his sticker campaign. In addition to his guerrilla street art presence, the artist has executed more than 50 large-scale painted public murals around the world as of 2016. His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and many others.
A lifelong vinyl collector, in 2003 Fairey was inspired to begin DJ’ing after working on the art and marketing for the DJ culture documentary “Scratch.” Fairey befriended “Scratch” alumni DJ Z-Trip, finding a mentor in Z-Trip and inspiration in his innovative mixes blending varied and unexpected genres. Over the years Fairey has been a resident DJ at several prominent nightclubs including a six-year run with the "Dance Right" weekly at downtown LA's La Cita. Fairey has also DJ’ed at festivals including Coachella and All Tomorrow’s Parties. In 2014 Fairey co-founded NØISE, a music project which combined his creative passions of art and music.
Merritt Lear is a musician and filmmaker/editor based in Los Angeles.
Born in Chicago, she began learning violin at the age of three and started her first band, Hussy, while studying music at Yale University.
She became a founding member of the seminal synth band, Assassins, where she contributed guitar, vocals and songwriting. The band was signed to Arista Records by LA Reid. Described by Chicago Tribune as "a furious cocktail of rock and electronic elements spiked with impressive songwriting and coed vocals… first-rate", Assassins recorded with producer Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Siouxsie and the Banshees) and performed alongside such acts as New Order, Muse, Duran Duran, Interpol, VHS Or Beta, Travis, Elbow, and Zwan.
Lear has toured extensively worldwide, singing and playing violin and other stringed instruments in the bands of notable artists such as Jason Mraz and John Mellencamp. During her 2-year world tour with Mraz, notable shows included Madison Square Garden, Hollywood Bowl, the O2 Arena in London as well as live television performances on Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Ellen, The Today Show and VH1 Storytellers. They also had the honor of performing the inaugural broadcast for the launch of iTunes China, as well as playing the first major show in Myanmar since the fall of their 50 year military regime in 2012, to an audience of 100,000, broadcast by MTV.
She recently played her first solo show with The National and Young the Giant and her band is working on an EP.
As a filmmaker, Merritt has edited music videos for Robert Plant and Lana Del Ray as well as several feature documentaries which have won accolades at international film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca and SXSW.
John Goff has a long and varied history in Electronic Music and post punk/rock. In the late 80's John played with tribal/experimental group Crash Worship. After several record releases and tours with Crash Worship he began the post punk/art rock collective Physics - an experimental group born of German Minimalism and Branca’s guitar army. Physics toured and released various records through a host of labels (Gravity Records, Golden Standard Records otherwise known as GSL, etc.) Out of the ashes of Physics, John and his brother, Will, started the electronic band, Sonic Solutions Incorporated or SSI. SSI released three records and is currently working on their fourth. Concurrent with these endeavors, John started two record labels, The Way Out Sound, which featured an eclectic group of global experimental musicians (Muslimgauze, Merzbow, Heavy Vegetable, etc.), and Chlorophyll Records which featured releases by SSI, Point Loma (Nortec Collective), as well as John's solo music project, The Silver Wizard. As a producer and guest artist, he has worked with the likes of Neurosis, Chris and Cosey, Spacetime Continuum, HIA. He also runs a print publishing company, Serigraphic Systems, Inc. The company produces small editions of screen prints, working with various artists including Kofie, Shepard Fairey , Cleon Peterson, Remi Rough and many others. Goff is a music addict, but also an enigma, so he may be working on future NØISE, or may not be, or in-between, or both, or neither.
Heralded by the Village Voice as “one of the best live dance acts on Earth,” THE CRYSTAL METHOD—Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland—have been known for two decades for their enduring dance floor anthems (“Now Is The Time,” “Keep Hope Alive”), airwave smashes (“Trip Like I Do”) and a willingness to collaborate with an array of talent–-including rock’s elite like Scott Weiland, Matisyahu, New Order’s Peter Hook, Emily Haines of Metric and Filter’s Richard Patrick. The duo has dominated the remix, film soundtrack, television, gaming and advertising worlds, most recently helping Victoria’s Secret drop jaws with music for a TV commercial campaign and collaborating with soundtrack heavyweight Danny Elfman for several contributions to Hollywood blockbuster Real Steel. Their platinum-status debut album Vegas (released in 1997) is one of the biggest-selling electronic albums of all time, landing them in the top five of best-selling electronic acts in America. They scored the film London and TV show “Almost Human,” as well as the themes for “Bones” and “Third Watch,” and were the first act to work with Nike for their running soundtrack series. THE CRYSTAL METHOD were featured in RE:GENERATION, a documentary film directed by Amir Bar Lev (My Kid Could Paint That, The Tillman Story) and produced in association with The Grammys that looks at the history, songwriting and studio process of different musical genres through the eyes of five of the most influential electronic producers/DJs in music today including Mark Ronson, DJ Premier, THE CRYSTAL METHOD, Pretty Lights and Skrillex. In the film, THE CRYSTAL METHOD team with Detroit Motown legends Martha Reeves of the Vandellas and The Funk Brothers to create the R&B horn sassy and down-bass “I’m Not Leaving.” Their Grammy-nominated album Divided By Night, was released in 2009 and their most recent album, the self-titled The Crystal Method, was released in Januaray and debuted at #1 on itunes Electronic Album Chart.
Moby has been making music since he was 9 years old. He grew up playing classical music but after college became a fixture in the late 80's new york house and hip-hop scenes. He released his first single, 'go' in 1991 (listed as one of rolling stones best records of all time), and has been making albums ever since. his own records have sold over 20,000,000 copies worldwide, and he's also produced and remixed scores of other artists.
Moby works closely with a variety of different charities, including the humane society, mercy for animals, and the institute for music and neurologic function, and in 2007 he launched 'mobygratis', which provides free music for independent film makers. He owns and runs Little Pine, an organic vegan restaurant in Silver Lake. 100% of Little Pine's proceeds go to animal welfare organizations.
Tim Armstrong is a Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter, artist, director, poet, record producer and independent label owner. During the 1980s he served in several hardcore and ska punk bands, most notably the band Operation Ivy. In 1991, he formed the seminal punk rock band Rancid, which is credited with the mainstream revival of punk rock in the mid-1990s, and is one the most commercially successful and respected punk bands of all time.
One of the most prominent players in the electronic music scene since its early days in the UK, Phil Hartnoll needs no introduction. As one half of the world renowned duo Orbital, Phil has helped to produce some of the most groundbreaking works in the history of electronic music. Additionally, he has established himself as a prominent solo DJ through his extensive playing over the past 10 years.
Phil’s passion for performing as an individual DJ as well as for playing live with Orbital has served to broaden his musical scope and reach, allowing him to share his wealth of talent through multiple channels. As a DJ, he draws much inspiration from music that other producers are making, and loves searching through tunes in order to find that perfect juicy track. Phil’s DJ sets are streamlined while still maintaining unpredictability and eclecticism. While he loves to mix it up, playing old tracks and new, the message it always the same – it’s party time.
Due to his parallel roles as a solo DJ and as half of Orbital, Phil’s DJ gigs must often coincide with live performances, and are therefore exclusive and esteemed. These performances are in high demand wherever he goes, as his reputation as a solo artist has grown to match that of his live Orbital performances. Phil’s DJ gigs this year include noteworthy locations such as Ministry of Sound London, Ibiza, Madrid, Valencia, and a few shows in Asia alongside the likes of Mark Knight, Basement Jaxx, Cristian Valera, and Marco Bailey. In the past, Phil has taken his DJ set all over the world frequenting seminal London clubs as The End, Turnmills and Fabric.
Longtime friends Nick Sykes (Nico) and Steven Grenville (Touch) have known each other since the mid 90's whilst working together at No U Turn studios in Acton, West London.
As a dj, Touch plays drum & bass. As a producer, Nico is known for drum and bass.
Touch has collaborated with plenty of drum and bass artists. Everyone knows Touch.
Nico has collaborated with many dj's to create some of the scenes defining sounds.
The now known genre names Techstep & Neurofunk were first used by Nico at No U Turn as descriptions for the styles of drum and bass that were being produced at the studios.
Nico grew up in Barnes, London SW13. Touch grew up in Stonebridge, London NW10.
At an average age of 42, the duo have experienced the drum and bass journey from the outset.
Nico & Touch like to experiment with music creation and are willing to try out different approaches when exploring drum and bass.
Nico: "If we actually needed more equipment for a session we'd just go some place where they have that."
Touch: "The last few tracks we did in my laptop at a kitchen table."
For over 20 years Touch has played on various pirate radio stations & clubs around London and abroad.
From the mid 80's Nico spent 4 years working as a trainee engineer at the Marquee and Powerplant recording studios. Nico assisted Sade, Fine Young Cannibals, Terrence Trent D'arby, Saxon, Divine, Matt Bianco, Status Quo, The Bhundu Boys, Colin Hay, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Winwood, Sly & Robbie, D-Mob, Nick Lowe and many more.
Since 1991, Nico has written, produced and recorded music with many dj/artists, often releasing on his own labels No U Turn, Nu Black & Saigon. Massive encouragement to anyone wanting to make music, play music or get into the world of music more, was Nico's ethic during this these times, the 90's.
Nico: "Once total recall on an affordable laptop arrived, in my case around 2000, I lost all interest in being 'stuck' in a studio. Suddenly, free to create anywhere but the studio felt new, exciting and really different. For me though total recall came with a downside. It became harder to finish anything. The technology giveth and it taketh away."
Both Nico & Touch have enjoyed their music being played on radio stations worldwide where dubs and official releases the two have produced feature in dj mixes.
Optical, Ed Rush, Ryme Tyme, Fierce, Bailey, Fresh, Paul Roast, Break, Mikal, D Bridge, Nicky Blackmarket, Trace, Dom & Roland, Swift, Andy C, Die, Krust, Boymerang, Grooverider & Goldie are just a few of the people that Nico & Touch have worked with or had their music played by.
The chance to remix the Automatic track was an opportunity for the duo to produce at a different tempo to their usual range.
Nico & Touch are published by NKS/Westbury Music
Nico & Touch are distributed by SRD
firstname.lastname@example.org to reach Nico & Touch
SSI or Sonic Solutions Inc is brothers John and Will Goff. Started 11 years ago, the duo have produced 3 full length ambient albums and are currently gearing up for their 4th. The music is slow moving with little or no regards for formal composition. The songs or tracks do not resolve and the repetitive structure of formalized music is disregarded; all of the compositions are improvised with no rehearsals – the music can be focused on or put on as background music; enough changes happen to engage the listener but the sounds and ideas are subdued.
All of the album titles reference the Iraq war and are titled in Latin; what goes around comes around. We are doomed to repeat our forefather’s mistakes…. The 4th record, “Resurrectionem ex mortuis” or “Back from the Dead”, will be coming out in the fall.
DJ Z-Trip is a musical pioneer and revolutionary, seamlessly blending genres to electrify dance floors around the globe. He's also a producer and in game video character for Activision's DJ hero, alongside Daft Punk, Tiesto, Grandmaster Flash and Deadmau5.
As a DJ, artist and producer he continues to push boundaries; producing original work for Public Enemy, LL Cool J and remixes for Bob Marley, Talib Kweli, Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Kasabian, DJ Shadow, Missy Elliot, and many others. His sold out shows have included: Coachella, Electric Daisy, Big Day Out, and Bonnarroo. He also has an exclusive mixer line with Rane, The Sixty-Two Z Mixer.
All of Ravi Zupa’s images are drawn and painted by his hand. He considers books the best way to experience art and has spent decades studying art from cultures and movements that span history and originate from nearly all geographical regions. Being entirely self-taught, he looks for inspiration in works by German Renaissance print makers, Flemish primitives, abstract expressionists, Japanese woodblock artists, Mughal paintings, religious iconography from Europe, Asia and Pre-Columbian Latin America, and revolutionary propaganda the world over. With a distaste for ironic art or the thoughtless appropriation of culture, he integrates seemingly unrelated images in search of something universal.