Rock Beats Paper, the follow-up album to EarthRise SoundSystem’s acclaimed 2010 release The Yoga Sessions, is an 11-song dance-hall flavored extravaganza loaded with uplifting music and positive messages.
This album offers much musical variety. Vocal soulstress C.C. White graces the opening track ‘Let’s Get Together,’ Davi Vieira’s percussion and Portuguese rap are intertwined with chanting from MC Yogi on ‘Shiva’s Dancehall,’ and deliciously sensual vocals are provided by both Marti Nikko, whose voice feels woven into the hypnotic groove itself on ‘Massage My Mind,’ and Renata Youngblood, on ‘Always.’
NY-based MC Srikala lays it down on ‘In Love’ and ‘Let’s Get Together,’ Sheela Bringi delivers ethereal, angelic vocals on ‘Bhavani’ (and also contributes flutes and harmonium), Ramin Sakurai of Supreme Beings of Leisure adds his Fender Rhodes to ‘You Lovin’ Me,’ and Go-Ray (of Go-Ray & Duke) contributes sitar on the album closer, ‘Caravan Dream.’
EarthRise SoundSystem has an impressive roster of talented friends; additional contributors include Karsh Kale vocalist Vishal Vaid, hammered dulcimer musician Max ZT, Verve recording artist Lucy Woodward, reggae singer Shahar Mintz from Meta and the Cornerstones, cellist Dave Eggar, and more.
Rock Beats Paper is a dynamic album with appeal for fans both familiar and new.—Joe Kara, LA Yoga Magazine
‘Let’s Get Together,’ the first single from EarthRise SoundSystem’s forthcoming album, Rock Beats Paper, features Srikala, C.C. White and Duke Mushroom on vocals. Shot in Venice, CA, in July 2013, the first track from their second full-length record is an upbeat and inspiring summer jam.
Remixes Are Songs Too is an around-the-world musical adventure led by the duo known as EarthRise SoundSystem. Its visionaries, yoga teacher and DJ Derek Beres and producer and multi-instrumentalist David ‘Duke Mushroom’ Schommer, have created uplifting, danceable remixes of songs by yoga music artists such as MC Yogi and Sharon Gannon, and a range of world music artists including Bombay Dub Orchestra, creating a melting pot of sounds from India, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Jamaica, and beyond. Tracks include three ‘bhakti hip-hop’ remixes featuring freestyle verses by Srikala, Luminadhi, and MC Yogi rapping about devotion to God.
With its playful mix of dance-worthy songs and chill-out tracks, this album will light up vinyasa, slow flow, and Hatha yoga classes—and ecstatic dance events and yoga raves, too.—Shannon Sexton
I’ve dropped Nina Simone’s ‘Come Ye’ for years as the closing song in my DJ sets. The original—just Nina and her drummer—is one of the most beautiful examples of this woman’s sheer power and courage, as an artist and activist. I dreamed of making it more dancefloor friendly, something that could be dropped early in the set, or midway as a seductive change to the movement environment. The lyrics—stepping up to be courageous in your life and society, always aiming for the betterment of the world—offer such a powerful message that I wanted this lesser-known Nina track to circulate.
I came to Duke with the idea in late 2008. He had just returned from one of his many trips to Ethiopia and was hardcore into Ethio-jazz. He went to work quickly; this was actually the second song we recorded together, following our Deva Premal remix. We invited Brandon Terzic to cut guitar and Sylvain Leroux to play his fula flute. Duke played everything else—the clap is a real handclap he recorded on his phone at a Stevie Wonder concert. His kick drum and bass line tastefully brought the song right into the pocket that I had always hoped for. Duke has a gift for making sonic sense of my metaphorical ramblings, and I’m thankful for having found him to do so.
The result, we hope, is something that pays proper honor to Nina Simone’s legacy and work. We are releasing it as a free download in conjunction with our second album, Remixes Are Songs Too, which you can purchase on iTunes and Amazon. Enjoy the journey.—Derek Beres
PLEASE NOTE: When you enter your email, you will be emailed from Soundcloud (please check your Junk filter). That will take you to a page with the above image on it, with a button that says ‘Start Download’ below it. Any issues, please email d [at] derekberes [dot] com.
Come ye ye who would have peace
Hear me what I say now
I say come ye ye who would have peace
It’s time to learn how to prayI say come ye, ye who have no fear
What tomorrow brings child
Start praying for a better world
Or peace and all good thingsI say come ye, ye who still have hope
That we can still survive now
Let’s work together as we should
And fight to stay aliveI say come ye, ye who would have love
It’s time to take a stand
Don’t mind abuse it must be paid
For the love of your fellow manI say come ye, come ye
Who would have hope
Who would have hope
Who would have hope
Who would have hope
Three years after the release of their debut album, The Yoga Sessions (White Swan/Yoga Organix), EarthRise SoundSystem returns with a collection of remixes spanning the sounds of India, Morocco, Jamaica, Nigeria, Colombia, Egypt, Mali and Tunisia. Rolling off of the success of The Yoga Sessions—which was featured by ABC, the NY Times, Boston Globe and Yoga Journal, and reached #5 on the iTunes World charts—this Harlem and Los Angeles-based collaboration by Duke Mushroom and Derek Beres arrives in advance of their second full-length album, to be released this Spring.
Remixes Are Songs Too is based on the duo’s philosophy that a remix should be treated as an original piece of music; each song features entirely new orchestration and composition, with numerous live players featured throughout. ‘Remixes are often one-dimensional grooves that do not progress as songs,’ says Beres. ‘Ever since our first, we treat each as an original piece of music. Our goal is to make the listener feel as if we created the original song.’
‘Remixes have evolved into self-sustaining works of art—re-productions, if you will,’ says Mushroom. ‘Behind every great production, there has to be a great song first. The fun of this process for me has been revealing the song through a different lens, be it rhythmic or sonically.’
Africa is the highlight of Remixes Are Songs Too: Nigerian legend Femi Kuti’s political war cry, ‘Demo Crazy,’ is taken at half-speed with a live saxophone solo by Sylvain Leroux, who also adds fula flute on EarthRise’s 6/8 dance track, ‘Sun People,’ originally recorded by New York City DJ Nickodemus. Label mate The Spy From Cairo finds his Arabic dance banger, ‘Jennaty,’ taken into Balkan territory with a heavy Brazilian beat. Malian guitar great Vieux Farka Toure is treated with a Nyabinghi riddim on the spacious version of ‘Sarama.’ The duo spends to North Africa on the blazing dance version of Novalima’s ‘Se Me Van,’ which flips a Colombian song with Bedouin beats, and again on their percussive-fueled take on Bombay Dub Orchestra’s ‘Egypt By Air.’
A few originals emerge: ‘Labyrinths’ was featured as the theme song of the documentary film, DMT: The Spirit Molecule. The haunting track features Carol C, lead vocalist of New York City Latin electronica outfit Si*Se, as well as Yemen Blues on back-up vocals, Dave Eggar on cello and Rachel Golub on violin. Emcees Srikala and Nadhi Devi join in on ‘Metaphysical Fitness,’ EarthRise’s new take on one of their older tracks, ‘Rama.’
Sticking close to their yogic roots, MC Yogi’s anthem, ‘Be the Change,’ is cut like a vintage ‘60s reggae track, with a booming bass line and seduced riddim. Yogi returns to guest emcee alongside Srikala and Devi on the hip-hop devotional track, ‘Govinda Fly,’ sung by Jivamukti Yoga co-founder Sharon Gannon. A remix of Canadian producer Eccodek’s ‘Silent Song’ makes for a perfect yoga practice soundtrack, with its trip-hop, dubwise vibes.
For this duo, music is a political and social tool as much as one for dancing, and this new collection shows their wide-ranging sonic aesthetic. Beres recalls DJing an event for US soldiers and veterans at a New York City megaclub. ‘In the middle of the set, I dropped a few Middle Eastern tracks; everyone was dancing, having a great time. They had just returned from a war against the land and people that produced this music, and yet it moved them on a level perhaps they didn’t understand.’
‘I love and live to use music in breaking down barriers,’ says Mushroom on EarthRise’s cultural mashing. ‘Music is truly a universal language. If the urban-dwelling soldiers fighting in Iraq had been exposed to traditional Iraqi music, they would have found a common thread in the predominant and extremely funky use of the ‘Dance Hall’ beat. When we dance together, we stop fighting.’
Remixes Are Songs Too will be released on Jan 22, 2013.