Goose Get Put To The Test In “Can’t Stop Me Now”

Belgian band Goose got a bit more than they bargained for in the Megafore-directed video for their new single ‘Can’t Stop Me Now.’ “They made us climb, sweat, fall & fight and we liked it! For this video they have asked a lot from us. I remember they asked us over the phone: “do you mind being part of the video and do ‘some’ acting?” We, full of confidence, replied: “For sure!” On the day of the shoot the meaning of ‘some acting’ became clear: climbing mountains / falling of a cliff / swallowing dust & leaves while singing ‘Can’t Stop Me Now’. Megaforce are great visual artists and it was a real pleasure to work with them!”

Goose Get Put To The Test In “Can’t Stop Me Now”

Goose- “Can’t Stop Me Now” (YouTube)
From: Synrise (available now digitally on !K7)
http://www.goosemusic.com

Belgian band Goose got a bit more than they bargained for in the Megafore-directed video for their new single ‘Can’t Stop Me Now.’ “They made us climb, sweat, fall & fight and we liked it! For this video they have asked a lot from us. I remember they asked us over the phone: “do you mind being part of the video and do ‘some’ acting?” We, full of confidence, replied: “For sure!” On the day of the shoot the meaning of ‘some acting’ became clear: climbing mountains / falling of a cliff / swallowing dust & leaves while singing ‘Can’t Stop Me Now’. Megaforce are great visual artists and it was a real pleasure to work with them!”

GOOSE TOUR WITH SOULWAX 2010
Dec-16-10 SOULWAXMAS, Brixton Academy London UK
Dec-22-10 SOULWAXMAS Komplex Zurich CH
Dec-23-10 SOULWAXMAS La Vilette Parijs, FR

GOOSE TOUR 2011
Jan-13-11 EUROSONIC, groningen NL
Jan-20-11 Atlantico Rome, IT
Jan-21-11 Magazzini Milaan, IT
Jan-22-11 Pop Corn Venice, IT

*see bottom for notes on cover from the artist

The way Goose see it, there’s no point repeating yourself. They’d already done the noisy dance-music-with-rock-attitude thing on their 2006 debut, Bring It On. Upon its release, the barking synths, shouty vocals and red-line energy levels chimed with the Justice/Ed Banger scene. “Making the first album we wanted to get out of our hometown, travel, see the world and party for most of the week,” says guitarist Dave Martijn. “That’s what Bring It On reflects: an uptempo, happy, hands-in-the-air experience. The thing is, everyone is doing that now.” Goose certainly didn’t want to do it all again on the follow-up, Synrise. “I think people expected us to make an even harder record this time round, but we tried a few songs like that and it just didn’t do anything for us,” continues Martijn. “It was like buying the same car, but a better one,” adds frontman Mickael Karkousse. “And we wanted to try something different.” Very different, it turns out.

On Synrise the band look to ’70s space disco such as Automat and ’80s movie soundtracks, names such as Philip Glass, Giorgio Moroder and Vangelis. The end result is more than the sum of these parts: it’s an album of dance tunes with pop song structures. It opens with the title track, “Synrise,” a jet streaming soundscape of Moroder-like synth arpeggios that build and build to a guest appearance from Peaches, who hums the hook. The gravelly vocals and menacing digital bass on “Words” could be easily be a vintage Chemical Brothers track, while the spiralling atmospheres on “In Cars” combine that trance influence with some Klaxons-style vocals. Meanwhile, lead single “Can’t Stop Me Now” starts with a snarling riff, then silvery strings slide in and the track lifts off into effortlessly cool but unmistakably pop territory. It’s hugely varied, epic stuff, clubby, yet poppy, starting bright and ending dark. The cherry on top is the artwork, which is designed by Storm Thorgerson, the man responsible for Pink Floyd’s iconic Dark Side Of The Moon cover.

The band — Mickael Karkousse (vocals/synth), Dave Martijn (guitar/synth), Tom Coghe (bass/synth) and Bert Libeert (drums) — starting working on Synrise in early 2009. It was recorded in the oldest studio in Belgium, Jet Studios in Brussels. Artists who’ve worked there previously include The Rolling Stones and Edith Piaf. One of the main attractions was a room designed to function as a natural echo chamber. “This time we really wanted to record as much as we could live,” says Karkousse. “That’s why we needed a big live room with a good sound. Live drums, live synths. We did it all really old school.” The pair are keen to emphasise that nothing has been cut’n’pasted from one part of a song to another, as is standard practice on dance tracks these days. Martijn explains why: “When an old analogue synth is building up a sound, if you cut into that, it sounds really unnatural. Everything in dance music these days is so cut up with Ableton, with effects on everything and loads of plug-ins. We wanted to get away from all that.”

Doing it the old fashioned way was all about being honest. “I don’t think fans care how an album is made,” says Karkousse. “But it was about being honest with ourselves. It was a challenge to ourselves to record the album as live as possible. Like how Depeche Mode would have done it on Speak & Spell.” To keep themselves on the straight and narrow they listened to a cassette of Depeche Mode’s 1981 debut in the car on the way to the studio. Although the retro approach was difficult, it proved fruitful. “It was definitely harder doing it this way, but it took us to a higher level, both in terms of understanding our instruments and making music in general,” says Martijn. Karkousse adds: “Sometimes it’s hard to be honest. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing.” But sometimes you just have to be truthful with yourself or there’s no point.

As it happens, early ’90s trance is enjoying a renaissance among UK DJs such as Joe & Will Ask, but that’s not where Goose were coming from on a track such as “In Cars.” Bring It On was all about fun, which is why it was written predominantly in major keys. This time they wanted to make an album with more emotional depth, hence in was written entirely in minor keys, as most trance is. “The reason we did that was because minor keys have a lot of feeling,” explains Karkousse. “But the album isn’t written in a sad minor, it’s a minor with hope. There’s a little party minor in it that gives it that trance feel.”

Meanwhile, the soundtrack vibe was an echo from the band’s youth. “When I was growing up, artists like Moroder, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Goblin or even Philip Glass provided the soundtrack to the life of a six-year-old kid through movie scores,” says Karkousse. “It’s only now that we’ve realized who those artists are. As we discovered more of their work we got more into them. So the next step to us was to take these memories and turn them into an album. That’s why the album opens with “Synrise,” which was the first track that reflected that direction. It sets the tone of what is to come. In some ways the album is like a soundtrack for a movie that doesn’t exist.”

The band’s final thought is this: “Synrise feels like a new start to us. We’re proud that we’ve written an album with a specific vision that’s coherent. It has one story and works as a whole. Writing an album is the hardest thing because of all the possible options and directions. Sometimes you want to leave it all behind and go into an other direction, but you can’t do it, because you have made a commitment.”

Now that commitment is about to pay off.

*Notes on the album’s cover from artist Storm Thorgerson

Repeat rhythm repeat rhythm insistent rhythm repeat pattern repeat
is the basis of much music from venezuela to hong kong
i hear all sorts of musicians talk about the groove, about being ‘in the
groove’
as if riding a wave – being solidly enmeshed in the rhythms, the repeat
repeat of beat,
a special state, a special place occupied every now and then by those
playing,
often aimed for but not always achieved,
but when ‘in the groove’ the music is enhanced
the sound is ‘blessed’ and listeners enjoy it more, are moved and ‘enter’
into it, as it were.

so was/is the case for Goose

Thus we designed an image to simply and elegantly illustrate this
idea of being ‘in the groove’…
we first imagined a curved groove as a real event, like a very long gutter
built into the countryside, followed by a straight one, feeling more
goose like
which then needed to be ‘vinylised’ to indicate the record and to echo
the groove in vinyl.
Which is what we did -we cannibalised an existing trench in the fens
with vinyl just as you see, like a piece of land art then added a vinyl
pyramid to be the needle as it were which plays the record
hovering in the sky like a craft, the whole design intended to be
geometric as well as sculptural.

its a groove, we think… hope you do too.

For More Information, Check Out:

http://www.goosemusic.com
http://www.twitter.com/wearegoose
http://www.k7.com

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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