Gonzales: Never Stop

Persistence, instincts, go the distance, prove my existence – Chilly Gonzales

Being a ‘man of his time’ is likely no easy feat for Gonzales – it must take a great deal of talent and planning to continually wow fans with release after release of incredible music. Nowhere but in the musical arena can artists reach soaring level of fame one day, then be brought back down to Earth the next. Some entertainers, such as Gonzales, have evaded the pitfalls of the industry by providing novel music and themes year after year. We decided to have a closer look at what it takes to stay relevant in the industry and have a guess as to what Gonzales has planned next. Continue reading

Gonzales: La Roux Contribu

Gonzales is certainly a sought-after Grammy-award winning composer, producer, collaborator, and guest musician. It is within this latter role that he performs on La Roux’s latest release, “Trouble in Paradise”. Gonzales plays on two tracks: “Kiss and Not Tell”, and “Paradise is You”. We’re generally used to Gonzales’ piano playing being pretty much front-and-centre, which makes these tracks an interesting listen. Guest musicians are expected to contribute their unique musical style to a piece, while still retaining the “core elements” of the main artists’ song. In both of the tracks, you can certainly hear Gonzales’ performance, but his playing reinforces the song, rather than overshadowing it. Continue reading

Octave Minds Think Alike

When we first heard that Chilly Gonzales and Boys Noize were “Working Together” again, we speculated on what the result would be: Touching electronic-infused piano melodies and harmonies. On July 18th. Chilly Gonzales and Boys Noise announced the first freely downloadable single (“In Silence”) from their forthcoming album “Octave Minds”, which will be released in Sept, 2014. “In Silence” sets the bar very high for the rest of the album, which is sure to be beyond what anyone was expecting. Continue reading

Watch out, Wolfgang!

When I witnessed Cameron Carpenter mastering his International Touring Organ and making this incredible machine come alive in Zurich last Sunday night, I instantly had Chilly Gonzales’ words in mind, when he called The BBC Symphony Orchestra he played with in London 2012 “the world’s most expensive synthesizer”. It was apparently another fulfilled longing to have one of those “synthesizers” all to himself. Carpenter’s digital organ might be even more expensive, the inner urge to create such an instrument, find sponsors and then actually use it, is the same. The obvious connection between the two musicians – apart from their dedication to key instruments – as Chilly Gonzales would put it: They are men of their (and our) time. They have a vision – the vision to take music to the next level. To keep the roots, but cut the weed. To not see music as something written in stone, but something versatile, adaptable and re-inventable as well as re-interpretative.So in an ideal world, these two should work together and as we sometimes like to daydream at SoloGonzales, we already have an idea how: with harpsichordist Christopher Lewis on board in a concert dedicated to “The Evolution of the Keys”. Continue reading

Musical Analysis Smackdown

…everywhere that I go, music nerds – Supervillain Music

Gonzales, in conjunction with WDR Einslive (1Live), has released two videos that musically dissect Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, and Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Coming Home”. The videos have been very popular, garnering over 50,000 views in a short timeframe. It appears that there’s a pent-up demand for additional depth in music reviews, which is something that Gonzales has been doing for years. Actively sharing musical and entertainment insights in ways that are accessible to everyone is part of the reason why Gonzales has such a loyal following. Continue reading

Working Together – Again

Ivory Tower was a great melding of Gonzales’ lush piano and Boys Noize’s driving rhythms, but rather than being a one-off project, it seems to have been just the beginning of a longer-term collaboration. Continue reading

Early Gonzales: Anthony Michelli on Chilly

Gonzales recently said that his early musical career was a “roller coaster” – presumably it travelled at a high rate of speed, was simultaneously thrilling and scary, with lots of ups and downs (and you had to be strapped in to survive the ride). We recently had a chance to sit down and discuss Gonzales’ early days in his band ‘Son’ with someone who was in the same coaster car – the original drummer from Son – Anthony Michelli. Anthony certainly corroborates the ‘roller-coaster’ metaphor, and reviews from a television appearance at the time indicated that ‘Son’ was “too crazed to even fit in the TV screen.” Continue reading