“Come and listen to a jerk talk about how hard he works”. He may well be a self- confessed jerk, but Chilly Gonzales is nothing if not a serial over-achiever. Grammy-nominated as producer on the 1.5million selling Feist album ‘The Reminder’, Guinness World Record holder for longest solo concert with 27 hours of piano, mastermind behind the Locarno Film Festival prize-winning feature film ‘Ivory Tower’ and accompanying album, his recent efforts includethe single ‘Never Stop’, as chosen by Apple for their international iPad promo and the inter-planetary video hit ‘You Can Dance’ with its near one millionYou Tube views.
He is also a serial quitter of genre entrapment. And why not? Now the musical genius that is Gonzales brings us the symphonic spoken word, and by Christ, can Chazilly Gonzizzle drizzle. ‘The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales’ is the first-ever, all-orchestral rap album, the logical but dramatic next step after piano-rap classics ‘The Grudge’ and ‘Crying’ from Ivory Tower.
Chilly Gonzales has been flirting with rap and hip hop styles for some time – he warned us of rap with no beats in his 2000 album, ‘The Entertainist’. Since then, he created the all-piano, rap mixtape ‘Pianist Envy” (250,000 downloads). On The ‘Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales’, the arrangements by his film-composing brother Christophe Beck, take centre stage alongside Gonzo’s eccentric personality. Accompanied by Hollywood swells, timpani rolls, noble French horns, hypnotising bells and influenced by Prokofiev, Morricone and Phillip Glass with a hint of Quincy, this album is Gonzales’ professional confessional, revealing more of himself on these monologues than ever before.
Gonzales will explore the idea of what a modern master is in a number of performance permutations this summer – accompanied by a Chamber Orchestra, performing live with screenings of ‘Ivory Tower’, as well as the ‘Double Penetration’ show with two pianists and two drummers.
2010 will be remembered as the year that Chilly Gonzales finally made it in the UK, with ‘Ivory Tower’ receiving huge critical acclaim and best of year accolades, and fans including the likes of The Mighty Boosh, Chris Morris, Erol Alkan, Jarvis Cocker and James Ford. Add to this the heavy rotation over the airwaves (on Radio 1 from the likes of Pete Tong, Annie Mac and Rob Da Bank). His skills as a ‘Super Producer’ and live collaborator continue to attract artists from all ages and backgrounds, with collaborators as diverse as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marina & the Diamonds, Cocknbullkid, Tigaand Boys Noize, the latter having produced ‘Ivory Tower’ with Gonzales. If we go back just a little further, we can add Bjork and Daft Punk among many others to that list. This combined with Erol Alkan putting out the recent single ‘Never Stop’ on his own label as well as Gonzales’ history of ‘star making’, a long roster that includes million selling artists like Feist. It seems Gonzo’s appeal is far reaching and consistently relevant with his unique talents, ear for a sharp arrangement and hit pop songs still hugely in demand.
What self-portrait awaits in the Gonzales future? The beauty as he himself states, is to be found in the arrangements and more of those are forthcoming, if we can only sift through the ashes. ‘Til such time, eat those greens and enjoy ‘The UnspeakableKeep an eye on Chilly’s official site this week as he’ll be putting up a free remix of ‘Party In My Mind’ from Mighty Mouse to celebrate the launch of theGONZSHOP, a place to get sheet music, tour scrapbooks, rare vinyl and other goodies. Boys Noize is putting the finishing touches on another remix of ‘Party In My Mind’ which will also feature XV, so keep an ear out for that remix coming your way soon.
Chilly Gonzales continues his run as pianist in unlikely places with a featured piano solo on Drake’s newly leaked single ‘Marvin’s Room.’
After his Guinness World Record and the Locarno film festival prize-winning feature film (and accompany album) Ivory Tower, the single ‘Never Stop’ was chosed by Apple for their iPad ad. Now Apple has joined forces with Chilly once again for their campaign for the new iPad NOW campaign.
Digipack Tracklisting for ‘The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales’: 1. Supervillain Music 2. Self Portrait 3. Party in my Mind 4. Different Kind of Prostitute 5. Rap Race 6. Beans 7. Bongo Monologue 8. Who wants to hear this? 9. Shut Up and Play the Piano 10. Different kind of prostitute (instrumental) 11. Self Portrait (instrumental) 12. Beans (instrumental) 13. Who wants to hear this (instrumental)
Artist: Chilly Gonzales Title: The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales album Label: Gentle Threat/ Schmooze Release Date: 4th July 2011 Format: Digital / Limited Edition Digipak Cat Number: GENTLE016DIGI Website: www.chillygonzales.com