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Goldfrapp


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Ethereal trip-hop, ectronica

Status:

Most recent release, Silver Eye (2017)

See also:

Goldfrapp's site

Wikipedia's entry on Goldfrapp

Comparisons:

Portishead, more Violet Indiana than Cocteau Twins

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Goldfrapp is the duo of singer Allison Goldfrapp (also a visual artist) and composer Will Gregory. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Goldfrapp is Portisheady torch songs. Anyone who love dark and dreamy trip-hop, á la Portishead, would be wise to purchase Felt Mountain by Goldfrapp. Goldfrapp is the collaboration between singer-keyboardist-songerwriter Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory. It is clearly in the post-Portishead vein of electronica influenced torch-songs. The music constructed by Gregory is a sonic tapestry of spy-movie soundtracks, '70s pop orchestrations, harpsichords and Goldfrapp's rich, velvety crooning, full of lush orchestration, and cheesy sci-fi effects, along with trip-hop beats and the occasional guitar squall. Goldfrapp's voice is rich and velvetly; it reminds me of the burnished singing of Judy Garland crossed with the brassiness of Shirley Bassey. Really good and haunting, a late night kinda records. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

I have to thank whoever recommended Goldfrapp a while back—they are GREAT! Thank you! (marlantigone@yahoo.com>)

Recommended first album:

Felt Mountain

Recordings:


Felt Mountain

Release info:

2000—Mute Corporation—9135-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Alison Goldfrapp—vocals, whistling, keyboards
Will Gregory—keyboards, string & brass arrangements

Guest artists:

Stuart Gordon—violin, viola, tremolo violins
Adrian Utley—bass guitar, synth & tremolo bass guitar
Nick Batt—bass synth, metal percussion
John Parish—drums, bass guitar, tremolo guitar
Andy Davis—baritone ukulele, melodica, koto
Rowan Oliver—percussion
Andy Bush—flugal horn, trumpet
Ben Waghorn—tenor saxophone
John Cornick—trombone
Clive Deamer—brushes
Steve MacAllister—French horn
Steve Claydon—synth
Tony Orrell—drums
Sonia Slany—violin
Jaquelline Norrie—violin
Bill Hawkes—viola
Nick Cooper—cello
Alexander Balanescu—violin
Nick Barr—viola
Nick Cooper—cello
Mary Scully—double bass
Flowers Band—brass band on "Oompah Radar"
Mute Male Voices—humming

Produced by:

Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp

Comments:

One of my favourite albums of the year. (Gordoja@aol.com)

The accompanying music has a very ethereal, Portishead-like quality to it, but without the depressing aspect. It instead evokes a pensive feel. Alison's vocals are superb—she has an immense strength but she can do the breathy style equally well. It is the sort of music that you would enjoy listening to in dark, smoky, hip cafes. It is very rare that I like every song on an album straight away, but this one I just went from song to song and wished that it wouldn't end. Listen out for "Utopia." I think that this album is an outstanding debut and I cannot wait to hear more from them. (nonnie@zikzak.net)

I notice that Goldfrapp, whose cd I also have, made several year's best lists, so I guess appallingly, hysterically bad lyrics don't count for much as long as it sounds pleasant and dreamy. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)

The songs are mostly slow to midtempo, with a dark undercurrent seething underneath. Goldfrapp's lyrics explore the vagaries of desire and longing with idiosyncratic imagery, mixing offbeat cinematic references with lounge-era terms of endearment; it mines similar territory that Julee Cruise and David Lynch mapped out with their Twin Peaks-era work. Two St. Etienne-like pieces appear in the middle of the album, idyllic pop songs with retro-Wurlitzers and moogs, and lovely wordless singing. Felt Mountain is perfect late night make-out music for the malcontent. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)


Black Cherry

Release info:

2003—Mute Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Alison Goldfrapp, Will Gregory

Guest artists:

Adrian Utley—guitar, bass
Andy Davis—guitar
Mark Linkous—synthesizer
Charlie Jones—bass
Rowen Oliver—drums, percussion
Damon Reece—drums
Nick Batt, Rowan Oliver—programming

Produced by:

Goldfrapp

Comments:

Goldfrapp's new cd is beautifully perverse. Electronic 80s pop, lush orchestration, alien female vocals, and George Battaille by way of Erica Jong lyrics. A musical evocation of the zipless fuck! (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

Supernature

Release info:

2005—Mute Corporation—9296-2
Re-released in 2006 with a bonus disc

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Alison Goldfrapp—vocals, synths
Will Gregory—synths

Guest artists:

Charlie Jones—bass (1-3, 6, 7)
Adrian Utley—guitar (1, 9), bass (9)
Nick Batt—synth (1, 3, 4, 8, 11), additional programming
Daniel Miller—synth (3)
Dave Power—additional drums (3)
Evan Pearson—additional programming (3)
Lee Groves—additional mix programming (1-4, 7)
Nick Ingman—string orchestration and conducting
Gavyn Wright—string leader

Produced by:

Goldfrapp

Comments:

To all those wishing there were more Danielle Dax tunes out there in the universe...run, don't walk to your nearest CD sales emporium and pick up Goldfrapp's latest, Supernature.
     I realize I may be on crack, but to me this record sounds just like Danielle Dax. And I mean that as a very, very good thing. (I liked Goldfrapp before as well...but this is different, edgier, and I never thought of Dax when hearing Goldfrapp before this.) (meth@smoe.org)

I'm surprised that I love this album so much given that I lost interest in Felt Mountain pretty quickly and never got into Black Cherry at all. But Supernature is sleek and sexy, electronica with spacey effects (I think the group described it as erotic séance music). The first single and opening track, "Ooh La La," is infectiously catchy and often requires repeat listens, but the album is fantastic from start to finish. The DVD edition is worth the few extra dollars; their videos are stylized and strange. (JoAnn Whetsell)


We Are Glitter

Release info:

2006—Mute Corporation—9335-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of the album Supernature

Group members:

Alison Goldfrapp—vocals, synths
Will Gregory—synths

Guest artists:

The Shortwave Set—remix (1)
T.Raumschmiere—remix (2)
Benny Benassi and Alle Benassi—remix (3)
Mum—remix (4, 9)
The Flaming Lips—remix (5)
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke—remix (6)
Carl Craig—remix (7)
Ewan Pearson—remix (8)
François K. and Eric Kupper—remix (10)
DFA—remix (11)
Fillippo Moscatello—additional programming (8)
Eric Kupper—keyboards (10)
Robert Rives—drum programming (10)

Produced by:

Goldfrapp; additional production by The Shortwave Set, Mum, Alan Braxe & Fred Falke, Carl Craig, Ewan Pearson, François K. and Eric Kupper

Comments:

I'm generally not a fan of remix albums, but I love these Supernature remixes. The tracks are different enough from each other, and different enough from the originals, to keep things interesting. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Seventh Tree

Release info:

2008—Mute Records—CD STUMM 280/ MUTE 9381-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Alison Goldfrapp
Will Gregory

Guest artists:

Alex Lee—acoustic guitar (1, 8, 9); Nashville guitar (2); electric guitar, bass (5)
Andrew Murphy—acoustic guitar (1)
Kit Morgan—acoustic guitar (1)
Steve Evans—acoustic guitar (7)
Charlie Jones—bass (2, 3, 8, 10); twang bass (9)
Justin Meldal-Johnsen—bass (6, 7)
Tony Hoffer—bass (9)
Adrian Utley—fuzz bass, fuzz guitar (9)
Nick Batt—additional drum programming (4, 7)
Max Dingle—additional drum programming (8)
Damon Reece—drums (2, 3, 9); percussion (3)
Denny Weston, Jr.—drums (6, 7)
Chris Goulstone—drum samples (9); guitar (10)
Simon Rogers—Indian guitar (4)
Flood—keyboards (3, 7, 9); guitar (7)
Richard Evans—guitar (10)
Aidan Love—keyboards (8); additional programming (2, 8, 10)
Ruth Wall—harp samples (4, 7)
Alexander Balanescu, Ann Morfee, Boguslaw Kostecki, Cathy Thompson, Chris Clad, Chris Tombling, Debbie Widdup, Dermot Crehan, Everton Nelson, Jackie Shave, Jonathan Rees, Mark Berrow, Patrick Kiernan, Sonia Slany, Stephen Morris, Tom Pigott-Smith—violin (1, 2, 4-6, 8, 10)
Andy Parker, Chris Pitsilides, Jon Thorne, Katie Wilkinson, Peter Lale—viola (1, 2, 4-6, 8, 10)
Cathy Giles, Chris Worsey, David Daniels, Melissa Phelps, Paul Kegg, Robin Firman—cello (1, 2, 4-6, 8, 10)
Mary Scully, Paddy Lannigan—double bass (1, 2, 4-6, 8, 10)
Nick Ingman—string arrangements and conducting
Everton Nelson—string leader
Eliza Lumley, Jenny O'Grady (choir master), Rachel Weston, Sam Burkey, Samantha Shaw, Sarah Eyden, Tom Pearce, Yona Dunsford (The Metro Voices choir)—singing (3, 5, 9)

Produced by:

Goldfrapp, Flood

Comments:

Although it is frequently downtempo and frequently acoustic, it is not exclusively either and has more variety than the original reports made it sound. Which is a definite strength. Just within the first three songs, the sound moves from a kind of Vashti Bunyanesque pastoral British folk sound (with bird calls that sound deliciously lifted from Kate's Aerial), to moody downtempo electronic into buoyant '60s pop. But everything still coheres. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

I have listened to Goldfrapp's Seventh Tree the last couple of weeks and it's a brilliant album. Very ectoish I'd say. I liked Felt Mountain a lot but did occasionally find it a bit too icy, and Supernature and Black Cherry didn't really appeal to me though I did my best to like them. After all I do appreciate Goldfrapp's experimental approach, but these albums were just too much party-triphop for my acquired taste. However, Seventh Tree is so warm, slow, and shimmering in a de luxe kind of way and I love Alison's singing on it. I haven't really noticed before but she sounds a bit like Kate Bush without imitating her style. I also love the fact that the songs blend beautifully and that they seem simple yet fully orchestrated. I am particularly fond of "Eat Yourself" and "Cologne Cerrone Houdini" but I don't need to skip any tunes here. (christina_skov@hotmail.com)

I was unsure of how I would take to the new album. I liked parts of Felt Mountain, but the album didn't really stay with me. I came back to Goldfrapp with Supernature which I absolutely love, and I even love the We Are Glitter remixes. Seventh Tree is more laidback, but not as moody as Felt Mountain, or not as 'something' as Felt Mountain, whatever that 'something' is. It's not entirely removed from Supernature either, but more relaxed. Hard to describe, but I can safely say it's brilliant and will appeal to lots of ecto folks. The special edition version (worth getting) is packaged in a box with picture postcards, poster, lyric booklet, and a DVD with a short film and the "A&E" video. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Goldfrapp leaves behind their more dance-oriented material to produce an album that at times sounds like an intelligible Cocteau Twins, or even a bit like Wendy Rule. Overall a solid album. (jjhanson@att.net)

Parts of this are beautiful, even if I've neglected it a bit in the past few months. (lotterose @ gmail . com)

I much prefer the sleazy glitter pop of their previous two albums, but other than the saggy ballads, this is a good album. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Oh my. I've never really listened to Goldfrapp, but I thought this looked interesting. I was hooked from the unusual, kinda-creepy opener "Clowns", and found the whole album to be fantastic. Great vocals, lyrics, melodies. A wonderful album. I think many of you here already know that, though. (lasherboy@gmail.com)


Head First

Release info:

2010—Mute Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Will Gregory
Alison Goldfrapp

Guest artists:

Alex Lee—guitar (1, 3, 5)
Charlie Jones—bass (1, 3, 4, 8)
Chris Goulston—guitar (3)
Davide Rossi—violin (1, 4)
Ged Lynch—drums (1, 3, 8)
Tim Goldsworthy—drum recording and arrangement (7); additional programming (1, 3, 6)
Greg Freeman—drum recording (1, 3, 8)
Nick Batt—additional programming (1, 3, 8)

Produced by:

Goldfrapp; Pascal Gabriel (additional production on 1, 2, 4, 5, 8); Richard X (additional production on 3)

Comments:

The new Goldfrapp album is like Kate Bush fronting a Laura Branigan backup band. Catchy, pretty and insipid all at once... (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

A bright collection of fun, electro-pop songs. I swear I read a review that called it a "sugar confection" somewhere, which seemed exactly right. (JoAnn Whetsell)


The Singles

Release info:

2012

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

Greatest hits collections (which this album basically is) can be hit or miss. The individual songs might not sound good together, or the listener might get bored listening to snippets of various albums. Goldfrapp succeeds here in making a compilation that's as listenable as their albums, collecting 12 singles, all good songs, plus two solid new tracks. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Tales of Us

Release info:

2013—Mute—9573-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Alison Goldfrapp
Will Gregory

Guest artists:

Steve Evans—acoustic guitar (3, 9, 10); additional programming (3, 6, 7, 10); acoustic guitar (8)
Aidan Love—additional programming (7)
Charlie Jones—double bass (1); bass guitar (5)
Alex Lee—bass guitar (2); acoustic guitar (3, 9, 10); electric, acoustic and Nashville guitar (5)
Martyn Barker—drums (3, 5, 9, 10); Indian guitar (5)
John Parish—drums (3, 7)
John Parricelli—guitar (4)
Ian Burdge—cello (4)
John Metcalfe—viola (4)
Louisa Fuller—violin (4)
Paul Cowgill—Horse Fx (6)
Ross Hughes—acoustic guitar, cavaquinho (7)
Chris Laurence—double bass (8)
Everton Nelson, Steve Morris, Emlyn Singleton, Warren Zielinski, Rita Manning, Richard George, Ian Humphries, Patrick Kiernan, Ann Morfee, Debbie Widdup, Kathy Shave, Dave Williams, Rusty Pomeroy, Boguslaw Kosteki, Tom Pigott-Smith, Mark Berrow—violins
Peter Lale, Bill Hawkes, Bruce White, Andy Parker, Nick Barr, Morgan Goff—violas
Ian Burdge, Sophie Harris, Nick Cooper, Penny Driver, Chris Allan—cello
Chris Laurence, Richard Pryce, Stacey Watton—basses

Produced by:

Will Gregory & Alison Goldfrapp

Comments:

quiet and gorgeous. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Goldfrapp turns away from electronic pop and makes an album that is haunting, mysterious and thoroughly lovely. (JoAnn Whetsell)

A definite highlight for me. In fact, I am pretty sure the new Goldfrapp will end up on top of my list this year. (christina_skov@hotmail.com)

This seems inspired by the Cocteau Twins' album Treasure. All the track titles are (mostly female) names, like A HREF="guide.cgi?artists/cocteau.twins#treasure">Treasure. And the music seems very dreamy and ethereal. (dbucak@netaxs.com)

Hands-down one of the best Goldfrapp albums ever. It's more dreamy than Felt Mountain and has an almost hypnotic feel to it. (raschee@gmail.com)

Nearly all tracks are dreamy, downtempo, and drumless but never dull nor deadening. The lyrics of each song tell a different, often dark story. A mesmerising listen. (mixplusik@gmail.com)

I can see why people find this boring and dull, but I just love the dreamy atmosphere. (Marion)

The clear winner for least favourite album of 2013 was a real surprise to me, but I've listened to it twenty times or more and still can't remember a note of it. Step forward Goldfrapp's Tales of Us, an album I found so boring it gave me cramps. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)


Silver Eye

Release info:

2017—Mute—69669

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Alison Goldfrapp
Will Gregory

Guest artists:

Nick Batt—additional drums programming (1, 8)
John Congleton—additional drums programming (8, 10)
Charlie Jones—bass guitar (5, 8)
Sebastian Sternberg—live drum loops (1-3, 9)
Robert Brian—drums (8)
Leo Abrahams—guitar (5, 7)
Andy Savours—additional programming (B3)

Produced by:

Goldfrapp; additional production by The Haxan Cloak (1, 3-6, 9, 10); John Congleton (1-4, 9, 10); Leo Abrahams (7); Andy Savours (B3)

Comments:

This album was touted as going back to glam rock, and it is, but only in part. There are also lovely, moody tracks that are reminiscent of their last two albums. The album itself is a marriage of these different sides of the band. Spin called it "dystopian disco," which seems apt. It's synthpop, but more heavy and brooding than upbeat and fun. (That's not to say it's not enjoyable to listen to; it is.) I'm not sure why it took me a while to get into, but I'm glad I hung in there. This is really a great addition to their collection. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Goldfrapp's music appears on the Cafe del Mar Volume 8 compilation. Goldfrapp released a live DVD, Wonderful Electric, in 2004.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-10-11 23:00:40.
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