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Beck brings Smokey Hormel into the studio today for an accoustic set from his new album Sea Change, released today. Beck explains they had ambitions to do something orchestral and larger than life with the 1998 album Mutations, but the album was recorded in two weeks and there simply wasn't enough time. They made up for this, however, on Sea Change, which soothes the weary soul with plenty of dramatic orchestra, acoustic guitar and melancholy vocals. Beck says he worked closely with his dad on the string section of the album, whose got the inside on the best string players in town. &quotThe; orchestra is such an under used organism.. they use it on a lot of pop tunes and you hear it on the radio all the time, but it's like padding, it's stuffing for the furniture..we wanted to let it breathe.."

No doubt Beck is the leader of tastefully blended folk, hip hop, blues and other such musical genres, getting his start in New York City-s East Village underground -anti-folk- scene (which was really a deconstruction of the folk that reigned in that area during the 60-s and 70-s). He turned down several offers from major record labels for lack of artistic freedom, but finally settled on DGC, which allowed him to release work under other record labels as well. A month before the 1994 release of Mellow Gold on DGC, Beck put out Stereopathetic Soul Manure under the Flipside label, and another album, One Foot in the Grave under K Records. The next record under DGC would be the 1996 release Odelay, recorded with the Dust Brothers adding samples and rhythm where needed. Odelay went gold and hit number 16 on the Billboard chart. Mutations was the follow up to Odelay and released in 1998 under DGC. A year later Midnight Vultures was released.

Beck recently toured solo (with featured guest stars) and is currently rehearsing for a tour with the Flaming Lips, both opening and backing him. Rather than pulling together individuals to tour with, Beck wanted to tour with a band that already existed and that he loved. The Flaming Lips were at the top of his list and have had a great impact on him which may influence future recordings. &quotWe;'re playing a lot of the older songs.. theyre helping reinvent them.. I feel like some of the songs Id like to re-record with them cause its so unique, what theyre doing." Beck claims to have been working on new material for an album early in the summer, even between the busy schedule of tours and interviews. &quotThere;'s a whole backlog of material, I'm probably just going to start unloading it, putting it up for sale half price" he jokes. Collaborations with Cornelius, Dust Brothers and Nigel Godrich may end up on new album as well.

Written by Eric Hasenfang ( ( (





Nic Harcourt


Ariana Morgenstern