BADGE ÉPOQUE ENSEMBLE SELF-TITLED DEBUT OUT TODAY VIA TELEPHONE EXPLOSION
TOUR DATES WITH U.S. GIRLS CONTINUES JUNE 8
"instrumentals that push you and pull you, that chip away at the walls we put up, that urge your primal soul to dance like no one could film you for their social feeds" Dominionated
"The jazzy, progressive instrumental sextet are experts in groove, building each one as a vessel for adventurous melodies that snake from restless funk to wild explosions of dramatic psych" NOW Magazine
“It blends flute, congas, bass, drums, guitar and clavinet, whisking listeners away on a psychedelic odyssey.” - Exclaim!
“Twig’s writing is sure to appeal to anyone who likes late-’60s prog from the Canterbury scene” - Vancouver Sun
“...trippy groovefest...that takes more twists and turns than a bag of pretzels” - Tinnitist
"Will throw you back into a time when pop orchestration was king" Laurie Brown’s Pondercast
Photo Credit : Colin Medley // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
With Badge Époque Ensemble’s self-titled debut release officially on the shelves today, the group of creative improvisers lead by Maximilian ‘Twig’ Turnbull (formerly Slim Twig), are celebrating with the new video for “Undressed In Solitude”. Featuring guest vocalist James Baley, the track defies the contemporary fixations of automated music to convincingly combine sensual and cerebral textures. The song “explores the notion of personhood as a daily application,” Turnbull told Exclaim! earlier. “What remains if misplaced or misapplied? How are we altered in sleep? Where is the singer if he is silent for most of a song? If an identity is misplaced, the only respite may be a rhythm to follow.”
Badge employs an eclectic cast of characters from the Toronto underground music scene, whose combined experience would take pages to spell out. It includes stints accompanying songwriters Andy Shauf and Marker Starling, outfitting heavies Blood Ceremony and Biblical, and respective careers spent gigging Django-jazz and the classical canon. Badge’s distinctive sound arises from the diversity of these musical exploits, creating a palpable chemistry well captured on the live-tracked songs that form the group’s self-titled debut.
Part of this crucial chemistry can be attributed to the fact that four of the six players in the Ensemble have been at the core of the live U.S. Girls band, a group that has scorched stages internationally over the past year and was hailed by Paste Magazine as the best live band of 2018.
Since 2015, when Turnbull released his final record as Slim Twig for DFA, he has largely concentrated his efforts as a producer and writer on the U.S. Girls project, making contributions to the theatrical rock outfit Darlene Shrugg, and the psychedelic jazz-funk collective The Cosmic Range. Badge’s set of songs is yet another 180-degree turn for an increasingly collective-minded bandleader who is singularly disdainful of any genre orthodoxy.
The record is a collection of densely packed grooves, arranged by committee. The blocky beats and bit- crushed landscapes of the record at large make for tactile productions (courtesy of a collaboration among producers Steve Chahley, Tony Price, and Twig) that can’t be comfortably ascribed to any one particular era of music making. If a crate of library, tropicalia, prog, and electric jazz records were flattened into a single 12” and then fed into a sampler, we might approximate the process. Instrumental hip hop by reverse osmosis, a musical perspective where Madlib’s jazz excursions carry as much weight as his sample-laced productions.
Although the group has largely maintained an aura of obscurity, with little online presence to date, their reputation as a live group is burgeoning. They were selected to tour across Canada to support the iconic Bill Callahan at the end of 2018, and Badge will make select appearances following the release of their debut album this spring. Fans of progressive, instrumental music would do well to take note.
Badge Époque Ensemble is:
Jay Anderson - Drums & Percussion
Chris Bezant - Guitar, Electric Sitar
Alia O’Brien - Flute
Ed Squires - Congas, Percussion
Giosue Rosati - Bass
Maximillian “Twig” Turnbull - Clavinet, Rhodes
June 8 - Toronto, ON - Opera House*
June 14 - Guelph, ON - E Bar
July 13 - Toronto, ON - Baby G (Album Release)
* w/ U.S. Girls
BADGE ÉPOQUE ENSEMBLE TRACKLIST
01 Milk Spilt On Eternity
02 You Can Build A Palace, Or You Can Please People
03 Enormous Profit
04 Same Thought On Repeat
05 Undressed In Solitude
06 A Cloud I Dreamt