Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory teamed up in the late 90s and through their mutual passion for heartbreaking melody, electronic experimentation and their intuitive appreciation of cinematic soundscapes, formed the wonderfully exotic and eclectic Goldfrapp.
Having established a strong alliance with Mute, Alison Goldfrapp and Will
Gregory focussed their considerable individual talents upon forging an utterly distinctive and passionate vision of 21st Century popular music. A dark, shimmering sound in which past, present and future musics intertwine with their own obsessions, fears and desires. A surreal wide-screen tango overflowing with mad love, loneliness and tech-noir future shock premonition. Utterly sincere, timeless music, simultaneously ravishingly beautiful, haunting and sinister.
Goldfrapp and Gregory's dreams and aspirations for their music were realised with the inexorable creation of their c debut album - Felt Mountain. Goldfrapp's first single, 'Lovely Head', released in May 2000, gave notice that a major new musical force had emerged. "In an ideal world this would have Fellini doing the video. Deliriously good," was the NME's excited assessment. On the strength of 'Lovely Head' alone, Goldfrapp's status as one of the most exciting discoveries of 2000 was assured. However, nobody could have really foreseen the level of adulation, from both critics and music devotees alike, that would greet Felt Mountain.
Released in October 2000, Felt Mountain garnered a fevered critical response. "Sublime, decadent, twisted, elegant. Perfection." asserted NME. "Stunning. Some of the dreamiest soundscapes this side of Morricone," announced Muzik. "Stirring and magnificent," praised Q. "Felt Mountain is dark, twisted, nasty and extremely satisfying. Get some," urged Later. "Warmly recommended," noted Mojo. "This is more than a brilliant LP, it's the sound of a bench being marked. We are not worthy," opined Time Out.
Felt Mountain was acclaimed as one of the best albums of 2000 in a diverse
cross section of magazines and newspapers including Q, Muzik, NME, The Sunday Telegraph, Time Out, Uncut, Record Collector and Gay Times. The general consensus was clear and unequivocal - Felt Mountain was the most assured and enchanting debut album of recent years.
Two further single releases were taken from Felt Mountain, 'Utopia' and
'Human', released in November 2000 and March 2001 respectively, which combined with television appearances on The Priory and Later with Jools Holland and a succession of national and international tours as a fully fledged five-piece band, brought the exhilarating Goldfrapp experience to an ever widening audience.
Of their two sell out shows at the Union Chapel, London, in May 2001, The
Independent on Sunday described Alison Goldfrapp as "one of the most
fascinating and mercurial female figures to emerge from British pop since Kate Bush... Goldfrapp is a Hendrix of the microphone. Where most vocalists view the mic merely as an amplification medium, Alison Goldfrapp uses it as an instrument... There can't be many singers who could make a song about eugenics ('Utopia') feel like an idyllic lullaby. And if Alison Goldfrapp sang you to sleep, your dreams would really be quite something."
The Goldfrapp phenomenon has not just been confined to the UK. They played to packed houses throughout Europe and have been rewarded with top 40 status in Germany. In North America the band enchanted sold-out audiences in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Montreal with the media reaction equally impassioned, Time Out New York hailing Felt Mountain as; "One of the most accomplished albums we've ever heard" and Rolling Stone simply stating "Awesome".
"It's been a wonderful shock," admits Will Gregory, when asked about the highly favourable international response to Felt Mountain. "It was made on our own in a rented bungalow, but it seems like people we've played it to in different countries have found something that they thought was relevant to their own culture or their own music".
"We had both got to the stage in our lives, careers, whatever, where the only agenda was to do something that we felt that we wanted to hear," stresses Alison Goldfrapp. "We really believe that good music is for anybody, anywhere. It transcends language, trends, fashions or anything. I think good music should be timeless. We deliberately avoided samples and loops for those reasons, If music is good, it survives. The reaction, everywhere we've been, in Europe, Canada and America, has been brilliant. You go to these places you've never been, you don't know what to expect, but in Montreal the audience were screaming with delight and singing along throughout the gig. It was quite surreal."
The thrilling Goldfrapp saga is only just beginning. If you have not visited Felt Mountain yet, aural satisfaction is guaranteed.… Expand
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