KATE SIMKO & TEVO HOWARD – POLYRHYTHMIC LP
LAST NIGHT ON EARTH
OCTOBER 9TH 2015
“The two Chicago producers have merged their distinct identities into something very special indeed. Kate is known for her tech house cuts for labels like Leftroom and Get Physical. Tevo meanwhile has gained a rep for a highly melodic, analogue and bittersweet take on the Chicago house tradition. The whole thing has an analogue flavour, and sounds alive, somehow vintage and fresh at once’ –DJ Mag review of ‘Bring It’ single
Building upon their first EP release on Tevo Howard Recordings, Kate Simko and Tevo Howard have rejoined forces, debuting their full-length album ‘PolyRhythmic’ on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth imprint. Native Chicagoans, Tevo and Kate grew up on house music, and their collaboration pays homage to their home city while exploring new creative territory. The duo’s LP leaves few musical stones unturned, traversing through their melodic, classic, and genre-bending sound.
‘My first impression meeting Kate Simko was, for me, indicative of my confidence to pursue work with her. I saw her DJ at a bar in Chicago called ‘Danny's Tavern’ in 2005. I remember that every time I walked in when she DJ'd, the whole bar would bump great songs without one person sitting’ – Tevo Howard.
Whether performing live internationally, earning a masters degree in Composition for Screen, or being named one of Chicago’s top 10 DJ’s by XLR8R magazine, Kate Simko continues to explore and combine her passions for music. Getting her start as a DJ in the early 2000’s on Chicago’s WNUR FM, Kate went on to release her first album with Andres Bucci in 2002 on Traum Records. Since then she’s released a number of EP’s and albums on respected labels including Ghostly, Get Physical, Hello?Repeat, and No. 19, and has established herself as a standout audio-visual live act. Combining classical instruments with electronic music, her acclaimed London Electronic Orchestra project transforms the melodies of synthesizers into lush orchestral moments, meshing these two disparate genres.
‘One big driving force behind making more music (together) was getting booked to play live at Berlin’s Panorama Bar in 2012. It was really exciting to perform at such a legendary venue, and the night was packed! The PolyRhythmic live set is a lot of fun because we can really play live, improvising with the drum machines and keyboards live. – Kate Simko
Kate and Tevo share an equal love for music production, which is reflected in their inventive hardware setup. The album was written on Roland drum machines, a 303 emulator, and vintage Korg and Roland synths. Tevo is a seasoned DJ in his own right, getting started as a kid in the late 80's, then later establishing the seminal Beautiful Granville Records releasing a range of soulful sounds straight from the heart Chicago. Aside from his own imprint, he’s released his pioneering sounds through a host of other notable labels. From Permanent Vacation, from his well-known collaboration with Tracey Thorn ‘Without You’ on Rebirth, to his album ‘Pandora’s Box’ on Rush Hour, Tevo Howard has an inarguably impressive collection of productions.
‘After we made our first EP we had a lot more ideas in motion. We started the album around 2011 before Tevo moved to Berlin, and we'd meet up regularly in the studio. We took our time and worked on the album in Chicago, Berlin, London, and then added the final vocals in New York last summer. We took time to experiment and try for a cohesive collection of tracks. – Kate Simko.
‘PolyRhythmic’ displays Kate and Tevo’s commitment to artistry in dance music. Twelve thoughtfully constructed tracks capture their versatility as musicians. 'No Regrets’ is highlighted by iconic chilling vocals by Baz from Pirupa, whose keep-it-real lyrics sit on top of a track inspired by Prescription Records. ‘Polyphonica’ features locals near Tevo’s studio on Granville in Chicago, and is the musical compliment to the album’s theme PolyRhythmic. ‘Tomorrow And Other Days’ modern electro synths and ‘Fall’s classic acid sound show that Kate and Tevo remain ever focused on the future yet driven by their rich musical pasts.
Tevo’s classic Roland-303 baselines shine through on many of the productions, most identifiably in ‘Bring it’. Originally called ‘Detroit’ due to Kate’s Motor City-influenced chords, the vocal version was rehashed in New York last summer with a vocalist Amunet Shah. Shah, a house music lover herself, created raw NYC-style vocals. This standout production fuses together elements from Detroit, New York and Chicago house music. A testament to their origins, ‘Beat Behavior’ embodies a classic Chicago beat; the distorted snares accompanied with a melodic vocal hook bridge the gap between old school and modern. Although eclectic and dynamic, Kate and Tevo’s sound of ‘PolyRhythmic’ is tied together by their old school house influence.
Keeping their signature classic sound yet bringing a modern international influence, Kate Simko and Tevo Howard’s ‘PolyRhythmic’ LP is a masterfully crafted production from two of the current days’ most dedicated purveyors of house music. A natural alliance, ‘PolyRhythmic’ is an organic process by two artists who are eminently inspired by a varying array of styles. Combining their mutual passions, Kate and Tevo have created an authentic and soul-filled LP of the highest quality.
Kate Simko & Tevo Howard – “PolyRhythmic LP”
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Published: 24th September 2015