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On tour in Sep/Oct. 2013! La Musique Numerique (French for Digital Music) is the second full-length record from Los Angeles/ London electro soul duo AM & Shawn Lee. Drawing heavily on late 70's French library, 80's Italo Disco and Sleng Teng dancehall riddims, La Musique Numerique pays homage to the beginnings of the digital realm often employing recording equipment from the era (Simmons drums, period drum machines and first generation digital effects). Themes of the album address new love (Good Blood), addiction (Automatic) and worldwide economic bitterness (Two Times, Suffer Like Me) and faintly calls to mind The Clash, early Scritti Politti, Grace Jones, Tom Tom Club, and Sly & Robbie. Of course all of this is laced with AM & Shawn Lee’s funky, fun and psychedelic charisma.
"There is a definite charm to those early 80's digital effects, a certain crustiness...AM and myself were riding a magic carpet made by Casio circa 1981", says Lee. Made in between touring their debut album (Celestial Electric released on ESL Music), La Musique Numerique has a more focused sound...a more singular vision." The album is both fun and quirky and just happened to be where we both were at the time", says AM. "There was no discussion of direction. We seemed to be symmetrical in what we were both responding to musically."
AM & Shawn Lee's debut album Celestial Electric finds L.A.-based indie-pop auteur AM and London-based groovemaster/experimentalist Lee pooling their talents to create a unique brand of electro-soul that achieves seamless pop perfection, while mining a startlingly broad array of stylistic influences. The resulting blend of heartfelt, warmly melodic songcraft and vivid, inventive soundscapes underlines the artists' abiding love for all manner of vintage genres, encompassing pop, soul, funk, jazz, Brazilian tropicalia, Turkish psychedelia, and soundtracks and library music from the '60s, '70s and '80s.
Celestial Electric's sleek, boundary-pushing approach is reflected on such uplifting tunes as the insightful generational anthem "Dark Into Light," the bittersweetly soulful "City Boy" and the hauntingly intimate "Can't Figure It Out," which merge irresistible melodicism with deeply distinctive grooves. Elsewhere, "The Signal" demonstrates the duo's penchant for exotic, eclectic arrangements, suggesting an '80s Bollywood synth-pop dance party, while the swaggeringly funky instrumental "Callahan" (named in honor of Clint Eastwood's '70s cop anti-hero Dirty Harry) conjures up a bracingly atmospheric vibe a la Lalo Schifrin, while adding a dollop of futuristic electronic melody. The twosome's irresistible pop sensibility also drives their effervescent reading of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' 1974 hit "Jackie Blue".
AM & Shawn Lee documented their recording process in Los Angeles and London through photos, emails, and behind the scenes studio videos. Andy Votel, U.K. DJ and tastemaker mixologist of Finders Keepers/B-Music fame, provided the album's cover design and liner notes.