Made In China
The experimental, political, genre busting classic from Kyshera. Includes schizophrenic Riffing, electronics, conspiracy theories & a thousand time changes. Good luck...
'Made in China' is the 2nd album by UK Alternative Rock band KYSHERA. It was released on October 1st 2012 through Konic Records. The album was recorded between iChooseMusic Studios at the now demolished ITV Wales compound outside Cardiff & the home of the albums producer & KYSHERA singer James Kennedy. All of the tracks on the album overlap each other leaving not a seconds worth of silence throughout the entire album & the album also features backwards masking & hidden messages. The album is acclaimed for it's complex, progressive sound, its eclectic mix of instrumentation including electronics, musique concrete and world instruments as well as it's political, controversial lyrics. Kennedy has said that the album was 'composed' in a style similar to how an orchestral composer would write music, albeit using a Computer instead of paper.
'Made in China' has an interesting history in that there are 2 different versions of it, released 10 years apart. Kennedy had originally attracted interest from the music Press, record labels & management prior to the formation of KYSHERA when he self released the 1st version of the album in 2002 - entitled 'Kennedy - Made In China'. The BBC's Radio 1 played opening track 'Terrorists' in full and the album stayed at the top of their then New Music Chart for 6 weeks where James was referred to as a "Warped Genius". Local & national music magazines featured reviews & spreads on Kennedy and calls from Sony, Warner Bros and several indie labels soon started coming in. The reaction to Kennedy's bedroom project caught him off guard. At that stage he had been the only person involved in the making of the original 'Made in China', playing all of the instruments & singing for the 1st time, with no plan as to what he would do with it once it was finished, however major labels & music press were now asking to see Kennedy perform the opus with 'his band'. This (and the threat of being sued by the management of classical Violinist Nigel Kennedy over the use of the name 'Kennedy') led to the formation of Kyshera. Due to the complex nature of the albums music, finding local musicians who were able to perform & also committed enough for the regular showcases in London, proved difficult & it was 2 years before a steady lineup was performing the material live. Unfortunately this was to be too late as during that time the music industry had hit its historic crash & almost all of the previously interested parties in Kennedy were now gone and labels were certainly not signing up challenging releases like Kennedys 'Made in China' anymore.
Despite this (and the ensuing years of constant line up changes), KYSHERA continued to gig relentlessly and build up their fan base but Kennedy refers to these years as the 'wilderness years' - a time when the old style music industry had imploded but the new digital industry model hadn't yet fully formed, leaving new emerging bands like KYSHERA in a kind of 'no mans land'. The initial reaction to 'Made in China' led Kennedy to hold back the album with the aim of re-releasing it once a more favourable climate had emerged in the industry even though Kennedy had since released the KYSHERA album 'Paradigm' in 2010 & his experimental electronic solo album '9.i.P.' in 2012 during that time. As the ten year mark approached since Kennedy's original demo of the album, he felt that the time was right to undertake the huge project of completely re-recording the entire album and releasing it properly at long last. Unfortunately the albums poor fortune didn't end there.
KYSHERA struck a licensing deal for the album with the then popular Rock & Metal music label 'Rising Records' who would undertake all distribution & promotional aspects of the release. Unknown to everyone at the time was the fact that the label head, Mark Daghorn was currently planning his escape to Barbados and taking with him hundreds of thousands of pounds of his rosters money, including that of KYSHERA's. Kennedy then had to enter in to a year long legal battle with Daghorn in order to be able to release 'Made in China' independently, a case which Kennedy eventually won. Daghorn briefly spent time afterwards in prison in Barbados, not for fraud but for shooting someone.
Eventually, after the long process of re-making the album and the subsequent complications in being able to release it, this long term passionate project of Kennedy was finally released to the standard he had always wanted and met with rave reviews from the music press such as Classic Rock magazine reviewing the album as a 'magnificent cacophony' and 'simply glorious'. The cover art features photography by long time friend of the band, Stefan Hinc and the CD version of the album includes hidden codes and cryptic messages in the lyric pages. Lyrically, the album is very overt in its political leanings covering themes such as religion ('Sugar'), inequality ('Terrorists', 'Messiah Mask'), consumerism & society ('Shelf Life', 'Superstar'), man made disease conspiracy ('Germ'), prejudice ('Burning Witches'), social engineering ('Made in China', 'Sex & Drugs & Rock'n'Roll') and protest ('Mannequins, Ants'). Musically, the album is a very ambitious Alternative Rock affair bordering on the progressive & even experimental in many places. Most songs feature multiple changes of time signature, key, tempo & instrumentation often in rapid succession and the album includes influences from Musique Concrete, noise music, electronic, prog rock, metal, Indie & even Pop genres.
Kennedy lost a lot of weight during the making of the album and the band released the whole recording process on video which can be seen at : www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc5DaMonKzY
The official launch show for the album was at the intimate Full Moon in Cardiff & a subsequent UK Tour saw dates in Dundee, London, Oxford, Hull, Sheffield, Southampton and other cities.
Videos from the album include Germ, Mannequins and Shelf Life, which shows Kennedy allegedly setting fire to several thousand pounds.
You can hear Kennedy playing the entire album & talking through each track & the making of the album on YouTube at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFPIposQ4gs
TRACKLISTING (CLICK EACH TRACK FOR INFO)
1. Terrorists - 5:12
2. The Game - 1:49
3. Sex & Drugs & Rock'n'Roll - 3:34
4. Sugar - 5:14
5. Germ - 5:05
6. Shelf Life - 4:05
7. Mannequins - 4:19
8. Superstar - 4:08
9. Messiah Mask - 7:25
10. Made In China - 4:03
11. Burning Witches - 6:01
12. Ants - 9:03