Chilly Gonzales Returns with Ivory Tower
(September 14; Arts & Crafts)
“Never Stop (Rap mix)” Video Available Here
Free MP3 of “Never Stop (Rap Mix)” Available Here
“… highly entertaining.” – New York Times
Famed rapper / pianist / Grammy-nominated producer Chilly Gonzales is about to release Ivory Tower, an ambitious, intelligent and – typically of Chilly – clever album, produced by German producer Boys Noize. The album is a musical companion to a new feature film of the same name, written and produced by Gonzales, starring Tiga, Peaches and Gonzo himself. The film, which centers around two champion chess-playing brothers (Gonzales and Tiga) who share a love for the same girl (Peaches), confirms Gonzales as the musical genius and legendary all-round entertainer he’s always claimed to be.
Chilly spent most of the past year wooing audiences with his now infamous Piano Talk Shows, which included several sold-out shows in New York (and two @ SXSW 2010) featuring high-profile guest collaborators and instigators such as Andrew WK, Sia, A-Track, and Princess Superstar creating beauty and mayhem on stage. But the main attraction, as always, was Chilly G, aka “Gonzo”, who delivered his trademark wry, semi-autobiographical rap lyrics over original piano works, with additional storytelling in between songs.
When he’s not entertaining the troops onstage, Gonzales is also known to be a “Super Producer” of sorts, working with a wide array of artists. Best known for his production work with Feist (whose album The Reminder earned him a Grammy nomination), Peaches and Jamie Lidell, he has more recently worked with Marina & the Diamonds, thecocknbullkid and Tiga, not to mention older collaborations with Bjork and Daft Punk. All of which is to say that, despite all the jokes and shenanigans Gonzo is known for, his talent for sharp arrangements and his ear for pop hits are simply undeniable.
As for his own material, Gonzo has criss-crossed the musical world. His early releases tended toward lo-fi rap (The Entertainist; 2000) and dark, gritty cabaret (Gonzales Uber Alles, also 2000 and re-issued simultaneously with IVORY TOWER accompanied by 2 unreleased tracks from back in the day), or a combination of the two (Presidential Suite; 2002). In 2004 he took a step in a different direction with Solo Piano, an album consisting entirely of beautifully arranged original compositions of classical and jazz piano numbers that became his most well-known and best selling album to date. In 2008 he took a turn in yet another direction with Soft Power, a nod to 70s AM rock and the pop ballads he reveled in as a child (and which features the more distinct pop sensibility he is known for as a producer).
Ivory Tower is yet another U-turn, as Gonzales delves into pop with a smattering of “Piano Talk Show” style ballads and some stunning instrumental pieces that double as film score. Whether Gonzales is attempting euphoric disco sing-alongs like “Ivory Tower”, playing somber piano on songs like “Final Fantasy”, or shamelessly tearing apart his worst enemy (and himself), Chilly nails it every time.
Throughout it all, one thing remains certain: Chilly Gonzales is indeed the hardest working man in music today, and he’s doing it all for you. He lives to entertain you. It’s time to show him some gratitude.