SCHED* SXSW 2011 has ended
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Rainbow Arabia

RAINBOW ARABIA Averse to any easy classification, Rainbow Arabia's continent-trekking, kaleidoscope pop is rooted in no particular time or place, employing modern technological processes to an array of musical cultures and eras. Close your eyes, spin a globe, extend your finger, let it fall where it may. Chances are unless your digit landed in a body of water, you will be pointing at a stretch of land informing the likeness of Rainbow Arabia. Inspired by the purchase of a Lebanese Casio that played microtonal scales and Eastern beats, Rainbow Arabia quickly recorded their propulsive first EP, The Basta, demonstrating much promise by synthesizing bossa nova and industrial post-punk with heavy Middle Eastern vibes. The EP was met with immediate praise and they released the "Omar K" seven-inch on Merok Records shortly after. Digging deeper for inspiration from the worldly found sounds of Sublime Frequencies compilations, the Los Angeles-based duo's follow-up EP, Kabukimono, expanded the color palette of their "fourth world" pop with dark, Arabic disco/dancehall jams sitting alongside sunnier moments with Caribbean and African flourishes. Rather than restricting themselves to the expanse and musical artifacts of this planet alone, Danny and Tiffany Preston recalibrate their focus aiming their sights upwards into outer space. Nearly a year in the making, Rainbow Arabia's forthcoming first full-length Boys And Diamonds (coming out on the illustrious electronic label Kompakt) is a stunning journey that not only marries East with West but also the past with the future. Immediately, you can hear some familiar elements found in their previous releases: Danny's asymmetrical tribal beats and lysergic pads, Tiffany's labyrinthine fretwork and tick-tock vocal swagger. But you'll also notice: the hooks are stickier and more confident, the rhythms are sturdier, and the production is lusher, even astral, giving the songs more space to breathe. Boys And Diamonds is unmistakably a pop album but also one that comfortably fits in with Kompakt's long-standing lineage of genre-refracting releases. You will be hard up find another record that cohesively brings to mind Siouxsie rubbing elbows with Shabba Ranks, Giorgio Moroder sipping daiquiris in Bali, Desmond Dekker envisioned through skittering footwork, Phil Collins sitting in with Congotronics, even early Madonna produced by Chris and Cosey. Unlikely as all of that sounds, Rainbow Arabia makes it sound easy.

My Artists Sessions

Saturday, March 19

11:00pm CDT