Polica & S T A R G A Z E - Music For The Long Emergency

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Transgressive Records release Music For The Long Emergency, a full-length collaboration between Polica, an electronic pop band based in Minneapolis, and s t a r g a z e, a Berlin-based chamber orchestra interested in pop and electronics. The groups previously reinterpreted Steve Reich’s 1973 composition Music For Pieces Of Wood on their Transgressive release Bruise Blood: Reimagining Steve Reich's ‘Music for Pieces of Wood which came out last year. Having been first introduced via the Liquid Music project run by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, with the hope of a cross-genre collaboration, Polica and s t a r g a z e first met in person in February 2016 in the Berlin living room of the conductor and ‘leader’ of musical collective s t a r g a z e, André de Ridder. Joined by Polica, the Minneapolis-based electronic five-piece, led by vocalist Channy Leaneagh and producer Ryan Olson, the two bands talked and the s t a r g a z e musicians began to improvise — strings, brass, woodwind played over a handful of song sketches brought by Olson.

Olson recorded the Berlin improvisations and incorporated them into several tracks he sent to the s t a r g a z e collective a few weeks later. What followed over the next 18 months was a long-distance musical romance of sorts, sustained by emails, mp3 files, video conferencing, as well as occasional meet-ups in Berlin, Minneapolis, and Eau Claire. Both bands were adamant that whatever they created — be it a single piece of music or a whole collection of songs. The resultant album feels more than a simple collaboration, something more than a sum of its parts, a record with its own unique life force and distinctive voice.