Above & Beyond, one of the UK's biggest dance acts, today release their critically acclaimed Above & Beyond Acoustic album, the studio album behind one of the most unique and interesting projects to emerge from the dance music space in recent memory.
Collecting the trio's best loved songs and re-imagining them as rich orchestral acoustic arrangements, Above & Beyond Acoustic contains the studio recordings behind their already legendary acoustic shows at London's Porchester Hall and LA's Greek Theatre - described by Billboard as "one of the finest shows in dance music history". Upon its release today, the album went straight to number one on the iTunes US Dance Album Chart.
Partnering with VICE's Thump channel on the production and filming of the London shows, the Above & Beyond's Acoustic project was spearheaded by a full length documentary concert film. The film premiered online last Friday to a rapturous response from fans and the film also trended globally on Twitter during the premiere.
For their acoustic project, Above & Beyond are putting aside their CDJs and lighting rigs to showcase their deeply-rooted musicianship and classical training - inviting comparisons with London Grammar, Zero 7 and Portishead. Working with three singers, a string quartet, harpist, drummer and bassist, Above & Beyond Acoustic saw each of the three band members take a central part in both recording and performance - Tony McGuinness sings and plays guitar, mandolin and ukulele, Paavo Siljamäki plays the grand piano and cello, and Jono Grant plays the Rhodes piano, guitar and vibraphone.
Watch the album trailer here:
Above & Beyond is Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamäki, and their story is one of constant movement - from their early days as producers remixing Madonna and Radiohead, to their current global standing (DJ Magazine has called Above & Beyond "The biggest electronic DJing and production collective the UK has ever produced.") The trio have played to one million people on Barra Beach in Rio de Janeiro (New Year's Eve in 2007), soundtracked the launch of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo in the Mojave desert, and sold out the Hollywood Palladium faster than anyone in history. Every week their Group Therapy radio show reaches over 25 million people worldwide.
"The acoustic project is a reconnection with the musicians that we were before we met," said Above & Beyond's Tony McGuinness. "The songs have been on an interesting journey to get here because we tend to write in a fairly acoustic way anyway. We don't just stick a bit of vocal over a dance track - that's not how we work. We try to start with a song and it's usually only later down the line that we take certain elements from that song and progress them into a more dancefloor-friendly version."
Find out more at http://www.aboveandbeyond.nu