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Artikel Tagged ‘Fork’

Fan Review of a Classic: FORK’s Pink Noise

by Rebecca, a die-hard FORK fan

When you are first confronted by FORK, generally your first reaction is ‘wtFORK?’. Then you start to think ‘this is actually quite good’. And then you fall in love. For me it took less than 3 songs. The song was “Jump”, a cheesy 80s pop song. I love the pop sounds and the driving bass line. It’s like an a cappella copy of the original – just that it doesn’t sound a cappella!

This is just one of the tracks on “Pink Noise live” which is the album of FORK’s first large scale theatrical show.

The album starts with “Ray of Light” which in its original form is a mediocre dance song. In the FORK version it is a thumping dance anthem with fantastic techno noises. “Only Girl in the World”, another dance song, is superbly sung by Mia. However the dance highlight of the album and one of FORK’s cleverest arrangements yet is the “Gaga” medley. On this track Jonte’s “Pokerface” morphs into “Bad Romance” which seamlessly transforms into “Radio Gaga”. At the end all three songs can be heard at the same time. It sounds fantastic.

There are also other 80s songs on the album: The ‘guitars’ as well as the drums and bass are the highlights of “You Came”. Although “You’re my Heart, You’re my Soul” was a huge hit in many European countries, I grew up in Britain which Modern Talking never reached, so I have no nostalgic feelings towards this song whatsoever. For me, despite Kasper’s flirtatious singing, it’s still nothing more than a bad 80s pop song! (Sorry).

“Toxic” and “Always on the Run” although very different songs, both have an infectious groove. FORK slow “Toxic” down and turn it into something completely different from the original with a funky groove and haunting sexy vocals – definitely an improvement in my view.

The album doesn’t just consist of upbeat songs. In their beautiful ballads “Hello” and “Kiss from a Rose”, FORK prove (as if it needed proving to anyone) that they are not hiding behind their technical gadgets and that FORK “unplugged” is just as spectacular. One of my favourite FORK songs is Anna’s stunning version of “Sleeping Sun”. I am guaranteed to get goose bumps every time I listen to her sing this song.

As with every album, there is always one song that you’re not so keen on. For me this song is “Fix You” which starts off very simply but seems to take forever to get going. The “guitar” solo and the harmonies later in the song are lovely but I still think it is weakest song choice on the album.

The second song by Coldplay on the album, “Viva la Vida”, is however an excellent choice. This version is beautiful and very close to the original. Recently FORK have used this song in a slightly more upbeat version as one of their encores. It’s a fantastic sing along and great way to end a great evening.

If you are a FORK virgin I urge you to take the plunge, get to know FORK and allow yourself to fall in love. Believe me, it’s a great feeling!

Editorial notes by Florian:

Looking for newer and the newest FORK stuff – or as they would say -  more of that “high-quality nonsense”? Here are the trailers for their second show “Electro Vocal Circus” (2012) and their anniversary show “X” (2014). “Pink Noise” and “Electro Vocal Circus” are available as good-oldfashioned CD albums via www.acappellazone.com, just click on the album titles and order yours.

ELECTRO VOCAL CIRCUS

 

X – THE ANNIVERSARY SHOW

If you like this kind of stuff, you certainly want to subscribe to the group’s YouTube channel right now. Or look for their tour plan on their website. Or like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, buy their music, make their concert tickets your friend’s most wonderful present ever, imitate Mia’s dance moves, marry their sound engineer…feel free, just let your hair down. Thanks for sharing all the high-quality sense and nonsense on Vocal Blog and Acappellazone, your feedback makes me happy!

Upcoming German/Swiss tour dates: Siegen Feb 19th // Wilhelmshaven Feb 21st // Hameln Feb 22nd // Lörrach Mar 01 // Lengnau Apr 10th/11th …stay tuned for more dates in the summer and fall via www.fork.fi!

What kind of a cappella singer are you?

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog founder

Every now and then you have the opportunity to sit down with two of the most important and pleasant things in life: A glass of Italian red wine and a truly remarkable, intelligent and outstandingly beautiful person. On May 29th, this rare event took place and I talked to Kasper Ramström, singer and beatboxer with Finnish cult vocal group FORK in a restaurant near Marburg, Germany.

Earlier, we had found ourselves immersed in an intense discussion with the rest of the band about a cappella stereotypes and typical vocal music personae. Besides some truly earth-shattering insights about the people who run the world of a cappella, the video below includes some super-exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from FORK’s show at Marburg’s “Nacht der Stimmen” (“Night of the Voices”) featuring our Finnish darlings as well Germany’s artistic a cappella pride Maybebop (opener: Peter & The Wolvettes).

In a few days (or when you read it “A few days ago”), there will be a more detailled blog post about “A Cappella Characters” posted on CASA’s website. I would love to have your comments and observations on a (stereo-)typical a cappella personalities, feel free to post them via the comment section, Facebook, Twitter or e-mail directly to florian@acappellazone.com.

SoJam 2013 – Greetings from the ElectroVocal Dressing Room

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog

my first trip to Helsinki was a kind of SoJam deja-vu: It was in Durham in November 2012, that I really came to know the amazing people that gave themselves the mysterious name FORK. And we had such a good time, being this tiny European minority. As the no.1 US a cappella festival will go ahead in only a couple of days (in its 11th edition), we thought it would be more than appropriate to send a video greeting to all those who are going to go to SoJam. As you know, FORK won’t join the party this time, which makes them very sad, but they are so terribly busy drinking all that champagne, optimizing their make up and working out to fit into these baroque or leather & lace dresses, that can be seen in their ElectroVocal Circus show in Helsinki.

I was lucky to be able to come to Helsinki to the this spectacular theatre pop & rock show at Aleksanteri Theatre in the center of the Finnish capital. And I’m delighted to present a little hello from our four heroes, dressed up to the nines, right before entering stage for their final EVC show.

By the way, if you happen to be in Helsinki right before Christmas, there is another week of ElectroVocal Circus shows and I can tell you: It’s worth the trip.

Florian Städtler is founder and editor-in-chief of Vocal Blog, co-founder of the vocal music online shop Acappellazone and Chairman of the Board of the European Voices Association (EVA). He loves the fact, that the most talented people in vocal music contribute as writers or advisors to Vocal Blog. Are you one of them? Then drop us a line at florian@acappellazone.com

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My X Favourite SoJamX Moments

by Florian Städtler, Vocal Blog

Christopher Diaz, Florian Städtler, TeKay, Aaron Sperber

There are few places where time flies the way as at this particular kind of superjampacked festival events like CASA’s festival flagship SoJam. The tenth (or Xth if you like) edition is over, everybody hugged everybody at least 2-3 times, the last men and women standing (well, more or less) crawled to a Downtown Raleigh Whiskey Bar (Aaron Sperber/The Exchange: “I hate Whiskey – but you must join us!”) and the married ones and other “soft-cxxxs” (idiom introduced by the Australian delegation) went home or to their hotel rooms.

It’s late at night, but I had countless wonderful and/or interesting conversations, which meant there was little time to drink, which means, that my beer consumption would make every German fellow countryman feel ashamed. Well, at least I can still remember that the local dark beer (Bad Penny Jenny…? So much for my remembering details) was very tasty. And two glasses of that “liquid US bread” plus a Raleigh Times Burger is the ideal doping for a late night Vocal Blog Post. Hello vocal music world,  here are my X Favourite SoJamX Moments, hope you’ll enjoy them.

I. Angus Barn – the “SoJamX Appreciation Dinner” took place at a VERY American restaurant. Filet Mignon and a piece of cheesecake that was the equivalent of three European families’ weekly nutritional needs. Spectacular interior design. Surprise guests that made me happy: Aaron Sperber and Christopher Diaz from the up-and-coming “The Exchange“.

II. Scott Hoying – The tallest of five front(wo)men of the States’ latest a cappella wunderkind, Pentatonix. We skyped briefly short after their glorious victory at NBC’s Sing-off and it was nice to meet him in person. Do I have to mention that it was at the “SoJam VIP Luncheon” consisting of massive amount of Southern-style barbecue that made me swear to not eat again before the end of this weekend?

III. Thomas “TeKay” King – Many answers to the unavoidable but continuously asked question “How did you get into this a cappella thing” are rather banal: “Sang in a choir…started it while being in college…actually hated a cappella, but had nothing better to do…” When someone answers that his vocal music career begun in the late 80′s, i.e. the “Dark Ages before Deke Sharon invented music”, you better listen. Especially, when this person picks you up from Raleigh-Durham Airport and drives you right to the next eating event.

FORK on the SoJamX red carpet.

IV. FORK – and I mean all the seven members including their manager Linda, their sound engineer Greg and their lighting wizard Tobias. Kasper and I had a wonderfully tasteless oatmeal at the local Starbucks. And maybe the greatest moment for my self-esteem: I did not order chicken wings or Nachos at 1:30 am at the Sheraton hotel bar. A wise decision as it took the barkeeper 35 minutes to “prepare” them and – according to the Finnish gourmets – they tasted almost excactly but not quite unlike the Starbucks oatmeal.

V: Dave Sperandio – the most wonderful festival founder of all. Although he seduced me with 2.5 tons of Mr. Bojangles fried chicken and wild rice at the staff room. I forgot all dietary resolutions and did my duty in intercultural food and beverage exercises.

VI. The Sunday morning bagels – my US friends will forgive me that I believed – at least until Sunday morning at SoJamX, that American people are completely able to produce real bread. The bagels at North Carolina State University proved me wrong and I apologise for my obvious bias and ignorance. The walnut and honey cream cheese was another calorial detail I don’t want to miss here.

VII. Pentatonix – as one of the three groups of the “SoJamX professional showcase”, Pentatonix exceeded the hyped-up expectations. It is one of those incomprehensible wonders of the media and music industry, that one of the freshest and most innovative vocal groups that America has ever produced is the result of  mainstream reality TV show by NBC. From the a cappella gourmet’s standpoint, Pentatonix is kind of a Rotary Sushi Bar 2.0 of A Cappella.

VIII. Benjamin “Professor” Stevens – the CASA’s educational mastermind’s lecture on “Essential Listening” is cult. And according to US guitarist Mick Goodrick’s bon mot  that “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture”, this treat of a speech is a lecture through music and a masterpiece of subtle rhetoric. We have to bring the “Professor” to Europe somehow. Delicious, better than any 5.000 USD bottle of wine in the Angus Barn’s wine cellar.

IX. My SoJamX Souvenir Shirt – one reason to come to SoJam for the second time is that nowhere would one find a higher percentage of all US a cappella activists and professionals than at in North Carolina’s capital. And also I had to stop people from hugging and harmony by my ridiculous fan behavior, I’m now a proud owner of a unique piece of SoJamX merch, a festival t-shirt covered with the signatures of all those who have gained a total of 1.57 tons of additional weight due to the Southern festival diet, lack of exercise and hectoliters, sorry, gallons of beer, wine, champagne and (OMG – the day after…) gin & tonics.

X. The Monday After  (yet to come) – tomorrow, I will eat healthy, work hard in my mobile office, do a proper Raleigh Vocal Jog and….will forget about all these stupid self-imposed rules as soon as someone offers me a “proper” steak, a “Tower Burger” or some other Southern delicacy. Thank you SoJamX, for giving me four wonderful days and taking care of an a cappella tourist (Yes, I had no actual job this time, only felt strange very briefly). And for a good reason for a proper workout when I’m back in good old Freiburg.

Florian Städtler is founder and editior-in-chief of Vocal Blog, co-founder of Acappellazone and Chairman of the European Voices Association. He rarely drinks gin tonics, but makes exceptions for special occasions like late night business meetings with Scandinavian business partners.

LACF 2012 Video Greetings

recorded by Vocal Blog on Tour aka Florian Städtler on Sat, Jan 14th at Kings Place, London

Three times is a tradition, they say. So after Aarhus Vocal Festival 2011 and SoJam 2011, Vocal Blog video greetings from international vocal music events are now becoming a tradition. I haven’t counted the nationalities, groups etc. But I think this series of virtual hellos gives you a pretty nice impression of the artists and audience attending London A Cappella Festival 2012. Have fun watching the videos and thanks for sharing. For those of you on Twitter: I added the Twitter names of the interviewees; the official festival hashtag is #LACF2012).

 

 

JEREMY SADLER (UK) – @thejesmeister

JONTE RAMSTEN & KASPER RAMSTRÖM (FIN)  – @forkacappella

ALEX GODFREE (UK) @voicefestival

THE BROWN DERBIES (USA) @brownderbies

TINE FRIS (DEN) – @tinefris

JEEVES MURPHY (USA) – @euphonismdc

OLIVER GRIFFITHS (UK) – @swinglesingers & AARON JENSEN (CAN) – @cadencetweet

HANS CASSA (NED) – @hanscassa

ANNA ASUNTA & MIA HAFREN (FIN) – @forkacappella

WILLY ETESON (UK) – @willyeteson

LORENZO SUBRIZI (ITA)

THE IKON ARTS SUPERGIRLS (UK) – @ikonarts & @londonacappella

MURRAY (NZL)

ROSS LYNDE (CAN) – @cadencetweet , AMANDA ALDAG & CHARLIE FRIDAY (USA) – @euphonismdc

DOLLY MAY (UK)

CARL BERGER (CAN) – @cadencetweet

DYLAN BELL (CAN) – @freeplay

CLAUDIA APPEL (NED)

BILL HARE (USA)

CHRISTINA KRULL (GER)

COSTA PERISTIANIS (UK) – @costaIKON

 

Florian Städtler is founder Vocal Blog and Chairman of the European Voices Association. He can’t believe how quickly this blog has developed a following of wonderful, intelligent and nicely-smelling people. Thanks for sharing the greatest ideas and the latest aca-gossip with a growing number of vocal music enthusiasts. If you can’t get enough of this stuff and/or want to get in touch with almost 1000 a cappella buddies like Vocal Blog on Facebook. If you want to make us of Vocal Blog as a filter and aggregator of a cappella news, links, tipps and hilarious tweets, follow Vocal Blog on Twitter.

If you want to sell and/or buy stuff online, go to Acappellazone or write to florian@acappellazone.com. If you think there is a video of high quality of exceptional artistry, let us know so that we can post it on the Acappellazone YouTube channel.

If you like face-to-face communication (like 4-hour candle light dinners or after party allnighters), I agree: This is the best way to communicate. So let’s stay in touch via social media and meet in person when Vocal Blog goes on tour: See you in Stockholm!