Following on from the August release of Ivory Tower, his first UK full length since Solo Piano 4 years ago, CHILLY GONZALES announces a London airing for his new Ivory Tower show, featuring 2 pianists and 2 drummers, with SOCALLED on second piano, MOCKY and VICTOR (Housse de Racket) on double drums.
Having spent the last year wooing British audiences with his now infamous Piano Talk Shows, where high profile fans from the music industry as well as satirical mavericks were in attendance and lining up to sing Gonzales’ praises. The likes of The Mighty Boosh and Chris Morris, to Erol Alkan, Jarvis Cocker and James Ford were all seen jossling for places at the shows, proving Gonzales’ credentials among highly respected and credible artists.
Ivory Tower, an ambitious, intelligent and typically of Chilly, fun album, is also companion to a feature film of the same name starring Tiga and Peaches as well as himself. The ambitious project confirms Gonzales as the musical genius and legendary all-round entertainer he’s always claimed to be.
As well as Gonzales live shows being in demand, his skills as a ‘Super Producer’ continue to attract artists from all ages and backgrounds. In the last year alone, he’s worked with artists as diverse as, Marina & the Diamonds, Thecocknbullkid, Tiga and 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’ long history of ‘star making’, a roster that includes million selling artists like Feist (whose album The Reminder earned him a Grammy nomination) and underground gone over ground hipsters such as Peaches and Jamie Lidell, it seems Chilly’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.
So on to Chilly Gonzales’ own musical output… It’s no wonder he’s better known for his collaborations than his solo work, partly because he’s so prolific and spreads himself so wide but also because of his refusal to be boxed or pigeon-holed into one genre. With every new album, he’s aped a different musical identity and genre, often pulling it off with more style and panache than those who’ve spent a life time trying. From the early days of the way-ahead-of-its-time ‘prankster hip-hop’ album Gonzales Uber Alles in 2000, to the critically acclaimed Solo Piano which consisted entirely of beautifully arranged classical and jazz piano numbers, and his most recent Soft Power in 2008 where Chilly turned his hand to 70s AM rock and pop ballads inspired by the music of his youth, it’s hard to keep up with Chilly.
Now he brings us Ivory Tower, a total musical U-turn once again as Gonzales delves into Euro pop with a smattering of his Piano Talk Show style ballads and some stunning instrumental pieces that double up as the film soundtrack. Not to mention writing, producing and starring in the film itself, which centres on two champion chess-playing brothers (Gonzales and Tiga) who share a love for the same girl (Peaches).
Whether Gonzales is attempting euphoric disco sing alongs like the title track ’Ivory Tower’, or playing sombre piano on ‘Final Fantasy’, or shamelessly tearing his worst enemy (and himself) apart with the tremendous and very honest ‘The Grudge’ “What I need are enemies… You are my grudge, and I won’t budge, this is my right, who are you to judge… You are my mountain and I will piss on your summit”, Chilly never does things by halves. He nails it every time.
This is no spoof or ironic take or sideways glance, and it’s not a joke. Chilly Gonzales is a perfectionist and the hardest working man in music today and he demands your attention. The man is restless and he does all this to entertain you. It’s time to show him some gratitude.
Never one to disappoint, Gonzales has chosen a magician as support – SIL3NC3, who practices the following rather scary techniques on the canvas that is your mind * Mind Intrusion * Mind Abuse * Mind Infringement * Mind Sabotage * Mind Meddling * Mind Intervention * Mind Interruption * Mind Disturbance * Mind Reading
A little further illumination from a review here –
It may seem strange in an era where magic appears to be all about showmanship, bravado and smart talk to conduct a supposed mindreading display without speaking but that’s exactly what S1L3NC3 does – and rather well. The sole performer communicates only through gesture, flipcards and occasional whispers to unsuspecting audience members but manages to captivate by doing excruciating things with nails, something other than smoking with a cigarette and appearing to make glass break with his eyes. There is also a consummate display of managing to guess, or at least appear to, what audience members have written on a piece of paper or how many coins have been removed from a jar.
The identity of the slightly skeletal man on stage is not specified with no name in the programme or on the show’s website which describes “sightings” of the trickster instead of performance dates and he leaves before the houselights go up at the end. However he has similarities in style of the mute Teller, from the famous Las Vegas duo with his partner Penn, by silently capturing the audience’s attention with excellent sleight of hand. But this obfuscation adds to the experience, together with a pumping soundtrack to accompany the magic, intermixed with snatches of muffled, overlapping voiceover. … Aficionados of magic may have seen a few of the set-pieces elsewhere in other forms but there is a freshness about the show and at times you are left scratching your head as to how the spectacle has been pulled off. … for any fans of individuals like Derren Brown, Pete Firman or Chris Cox he is certainly worth checking out as a worthy counterpoint. REMOTE GOAT