Producer, composer, and sound designer Cha Blasco presents his debut full-length album, Urania. A wide diversity of influences, relentless vision, and exceptional production converge to make Urania one of the most singular, compelling releases of the year.
A musical journey of remarkable breadth and imagination, Urania comprises everything from avant garde electronic music to free jazz to prog metal to synth soundscapes. Despite its diversity, the songs are unified by cohesive rhythmic, emotional, and atmospheric concepts.
Dynamic arrangements which frequently diverge into unpredictable territory weave the album into a poignant narrative, the story of a romantic bond slowly deteriorating across twelve musical meditations. Songs such as ‘Talking to the River’ invoke Peter Gabriel’s influence, while ‘Broken Toys’ imagines a heavier, more industrial take on St. Vincent. ‘Desire/Deserve’ could be heard as a heavily textured exploration of late-era King Crimson.
Producers Adrian Benavides and Michael Day’s approach was heavily influenced by David Bowie and Prince, giants whose untimely deaths colored the album’s tracking and production process.
Despite this range of influences, the strongest impression Urania leaves on the listener is that it doesn’t really sound like anything that has come before it. With post-modern pop at its core and a diverse range of musics at its fringes, the album’s uncanny explorations of vast musical landscapes and exceptionally realized vision make it an enigmatic, aggressively unique, vital musical statement.
In additon to Blasco’s bandmates, Johan Roos Högberg & Linnea Sigurdson, the album features session musicians Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, Mr. Mister), Jamal Moore (Usher, CeeLo Green), Biggi Vinkeloe (Barre Phillips, Peeter Uuskyla), Eoghan McCloskey (Vex, The Invincible Czars), and Colorado Chamber Orchestra member Michael Weaver. Thomas Blomster (Markus Reuter’s Todmorden 513) contributes additional arrangements and performances as well. Benavides and Day also contribute guitar, bass, live drumming, synth, sound design, and arrangements throughout the album.
Adrian Benavides has worked on studio and live productions for artists such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Daughtry, Childish Gambino, Crobot, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), and Goo Goo Dolls. Michael Day has produced albums for Vex, The Stan Laurels, Calico King, and The Matt Butler Quartet.
released September 20, 2016
Produced by Adrian Benavides, Mike Day & Cha Blasco
Engineered by Adrian Benavides, Mike Day, Scott "Gusty" Christensen & Cha Blasco
Recorded in Olofstorp & Umeå, Sweden; Austin, Texas; & Denver, Colorado.
Mixed by Adrian Benavides & Mike Day at Bilderberg Music in Austin, Texas
Mastered by Mike Day & Adrian Benavides at Ace Media Productions in Austin, Texas
All songs written by Cha Blasco & Johan Roos Högberg
except Chained & Broken Toys - Written by Blasco, Roos Högberg & Linnea Sigurdson; Oberon & Titania - Written by Blasco
Cha Blasco - Programming, Electronic Drums, Synthesizers, Keyboards & Arrangements
Johan Roos Högberg - Vocals
Linnea Sigurdson - Vocals
Adrian Benavides - Guitar, Bass, Synth, Sound Design, Programming & Arrangements
Thomas Blomster - Marimba (2) & Woodwind/Brass Arrangements (7,10)
Mike Day - Guitar (6, 10) & Drums (1, 3, 4, 7, 8)
Pat Mastelotto - Drums (6, 10)
Jamal Moore - Drums (2, 11)
Eoghan McCloskey - Additional Drums (8)
Michael Weaver - Saxophones & Clarinets (7, 10)
Biggi Vinkeloe - Saxophone (8)
Scott "Gusty" Christensen - Additional Engineering (2, 7, 10)
Cover Design & Art Direction by Ritxi Ostáriz
Photography by AnnaCarin Isaksson