Photo by Mark Wilson
Boston-based jazz-dub-world music collective Club d’Elf have announced they’ll release their third full-length album, You Never Know, on April 1. The double album spans 10-tracks and showcases the collective in full improvisational flight.
Mike Rivard, head of Club d’Elf and its sole constant member over the group’s 24-year run, brought the collective to the studio after a near-death experience while traveling in the South American Jungle.
“A lot of people find out about having a pulmonary embolism by dying,” Rivard said in a press release. “After the trauma in the jungle as I slipped further and further into the darkness, one of the scariest parts was how things I loved lost all meaning, the pleasure just drained away. It was this sense of sliding into an alternate universe of shadow.”
After the weight upon his shoulders from his experience with recovery lifted, Rivard (bass and sintir) gathered Dean Johnston (drums), DJ Mister Rourke (turntables), Paul Schultheis and John Medeski (vintage analog keyboards), Brahim Fribgane (oud, vocals and percussion) and guitarists David Fiuczynski, Duke Levine, and Kevin Barry to record the album to analog tape.
“Trance music provides a portal into the eternal, the timeless realm,” Rivard continued to say in the release. “Whether it’s Fela Kuti, James Brown, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light or gnawa, the key element is repetition. What makes conveying the true essence of trance music challenging in this age of short attention spans and eyes glued to devices is that it happens over time, when the brain settles into a slower frequency. Learning to do that as a musician, for me at least, has meant confronting issues such as ‘Who am I? What is my place in the universe? And what is eternal?’”
Half of You Never Know features originals inspired by Rivard’s experience, and half covers tracks by the influences which have shaped the band’s musical universe: Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Joe Zawinul, Nass El Ghiwane, as well as Sufi folk songs and gnawa.
Along with the album announcement Club d’Elf shared “Dervish Dance,” the first single off the LP, with an accompanying video. They also have shared they plan to perform seven album release shows throughout the North East.
Preorder You Never Know here.
Find tickets to Club d’Elfs tour here.
Listen to “Dervish Dance” below:
Club d’Elf Tour Dates
April 1 – Woodstock, NY – Levon Helm Studios
April 2 – New York, NY – Drom
April 8 – Portland, ME – Bayside Bowl
April 9 – Providence, RI – Columbus Theater
April 10 – Portsmouth, NH – The Music Hall
April 14 – Northampton, MA – Bombyx
April 15 – Pembroke, MA – Soundcheck Studios