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Courtesy of Underground Music Collective
Being human in this day and age is a matter of increasing complexity. Often, navigating the tools at our disposal — and the ways they are presented to us — seems to come at a price.
That’s the concept behind Hot4Robot‘s new, self-titled concept album. The indie rock outfit — comprised of singer-songwriter Alex Radus; guitarist, composer, and mad scientist Dave Cahill; bassist Evan Straley, and drummer Andy Janowiak — will officially release the seven-track debut record to the world this Tuesday, May 18. With it, they hope to begin thoughtful conversations on the ways humanity loses (and finds) itself through war, pharmaceuticals, the media, and the nuances of 21st Century technology.
Read the full article over at Underground Music Collective
Question: What do you get when you mix a “sullen, sultry crooner” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and “refined songwriter” (WDVR) with a “surreal” guitarist and composer of “post-apocalyptic, dystopian landscapes” (Elucidator)?
Answer: Hot4Robot, whose debut, self-titled album drops May 18, 2021.
Webcast series, contemplating performing and visual arts, (and occasional feel-good story) during uncertain times – presented over live-stream on YouTube, and Facebook.
For release the week of May 10th
Indie rock band Hot4Robot releases its debut, self-titled album on May 18, 2021 with a series of locally produced web and podcast listening parties. Hot4Robot is the latest collaboration of celebrated local solo artists Alex Radus and Dave Cahill. However, without the pandemic, it may have been a few more years before Hot4Robot’s concept rock album saw the light of day.
Listening Parties (list to be updated)
Radus and Cahill are musical opposites. Radus is a “sullen, sultry crooner” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and “refined songwriter” (WDVR), while Cahill is a “surreal” guitarist and composer of “post-apocalyptic, dystopian landscapes” (Elucidator). They have shared the stage with diverse national artists: Richie Havens, Regina Spektor, Sharon Van Etten, Tim Reynolds and Dean Ween, and have performed at numerous festivals and famed clubs such as MusikFest, The New York Antifolk Festival, World Cafe Live, Club Passim, and John & Peters.
Their unlikely collaboration defines Hot4Robot’s sound. Blending a colorful palette of influences (Dire Straits, Radiohead, Bowie, Muse, the Pixies), Hot4Robot creates rich, textured soundscapes in service to melody and lyric-driven compositions.
This clash of opposites also shaped Hot4Robot’s story. Begun in 2014, Hot4Robot was a multi-year labor of love. This is due to the meticulous crafting of its songs and recordings, but also to Radus’ and Cahill’s busy schedules for their solo projects. “Like everyone else, the pandemic slowed down our hectic lives and allowed us to focus on this project,” says Radus. “Hot4Robot might have been a few more years in the making otherwise.”
As a concept rock album, Hot4Robot has only become more relevant with the passage of time. A dark, whimsical and at times humorous exploration of mankind’s use of tech to transcend itself, Hot4Robot merges thoughtful commentary with energetic and emotive indie rock delivery. Think a musical version of Netflix’s Black Mirror.
The web and podcast listening parties will feature music and videos from the new album, interviews with Radus and Cahill on the making of Hot4Robot, contests and giveaways and more.
The pandemic has shown that music still connects us, even when we are physically apart–and that a little extra time may be all you need to realize a dream deferred. Connect with Hot4Robot at their upcoming album release listening parties as they share their pandemic project with the world.
Enclosed is the soundtrack to the (dystopian??) future. Our future. A musical odyssey. A red pill.
An ambitious, enlightening, experimental production, four years in the making. A musical work that will not only have you dancing but questioning your reality, too.Are you ready to travel to the unknown? An unknown that graces your ears with a cohesive mix of pop, hard rock, gypsy jazz, new wave & much more.
If so, here’s your chance!
I have listened to his work of art several times. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Give it a shot. It’s free for goodness sake! And if you like it as much as I do, buy a digital/physical album! Buy it with the knowledge you’re supporting local musicians that put everything they had into this other worldly creation. Don’t forget to comment on this post to tell me what you thought! Cheers!
Written by Dustin Schoof / Courtesy of DustinSchoof.com
True artists take risks, even in the face of uncertainty.
After spending years fronting power rock trio The Almighty Terribles, singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Cahill tunes in to a much different frequency on his new concept album, Cahill vs. Kalma (due out Oct. 31).
The result is a fascinating, sci-fi sonic collision between Cahill (who provides the “human” perspective of the narrative, along with vocals and guitar) and fellow multi-instrumentalist Brian “Kalma” Herman (the “robotic” voice in the equation); The Matrix meets Her, scored by Gary Numan. More digital than dirge, Cahill vs. Kalma finds its balance in a fusion of acoustic guitars and electronic beats.
The album — a three-year undertaking — also features guest instrumentation from Alex Radus, Andy Janowiak and Dallas Vietty.
Standout track “Don’t, Man” is an up-tempo ditty that swings with a futuristic sock-hop beat. The lead single, “Future Shock,” slows down the tempo ever without losing punch or depth.
There is a subtle, Frank Zappa-esque nuance to the way Cahill approaches the music, while the song titles alone provide a quick, and clear, glimpse into the dystopian, machine-versus-man theme laid out in his lyrics. “Did you ever think that this day would come? The machines control everyone, super-intellgent and waiving a hundred guns” he ponders in the hypnotic “Singularity.”
Yet, it’s within that clash of ideals and scoffing at mankind’s disturbingly addictive dependence on machines that Cahill and Herman create a harmonious, symbiotic sound. In turn, the two have a created a new music sub-genre: Borgstep.
Cahill vs. Kalma is the kind of album that deserves to be heard in full. It is an experience more than it is a collection of songs and random thoughts, or blips and bleeps, if you will. Sure, it may seem a bit odd, surreal, trippy, spacey or a combination of all four. Yet Cahill vs. Kalma consistently sparks with creativity.
When artificial intelligence eventually enslaves us all, Cahill vs. Kalma is the soundtrack the robots will be slamming to.
A crisp, January evening. Cold enough to freeze snot to my mustache. I was in the Elucidator offices pacing the floor. Rumor has it they just brought Dustin Schoof on staff and that could only mean one thing: Sayonara, Carter.
I know Schoof. He’s a legit journalist. He’s a nice guy. He turns in his assignments (like the interview with comedian Dave Attell on page 16) on time and without coffee stains and gum on them. There was clearly not room enough for BOTH of us on this magazine. Which meant only one…which meant a SECOND thing: Dustin was going to have to engage me in single combat and take my head in order to assume his proper place. It’s how I won the Column from Ryan Woodring. It’s tradition. Like hiding the Bugler behind a giant phallus every year. Or complaining about parking. It’s what we do.
I am no fighter. But I am of Scots-Irish decent which means if I get drunk enough, I can be convinced that I am much braver than I truly am. So, I opened a bottle of Yamazaki 12 and went to it. Schoof didn’t stand a chance.
The phone rang. It was my intended adversary.
“Schoof, I am preparing to kill you. Why are you calling me?”
“Um, Carter, I need your help. You see, there’s this Goat. And. He. Well, he’s kind of untrustworthy. I am in a bit of a bind, buddy. Wait. Why are you going to kill me?”
“Because you want to take my Listen column away from me.”
“I assure you, I want no such thing. I’m calling to give you your assignment.”
“Wait, I thought you were calling about a goat?”
“Never mind that now. I need you to go to Havana.”
“No. New Hope.”
“Is that in Jersey?”
“No. That’s Hope.”
“Why am I going there?”
“You are going to interview Tim Reynolds.”
Clearly this was a ruse. A ploy. A bit of flimflammery designed to get me out of Easton long enough for Schoof to have me bumped. Was The Goat just a code name for his hired assassin? Was Tim Reynolds part of the Plan? There was only one place I could go to find my answers. Havana.
If they wanted to back me into a corner, it was going to be one messy corner. And smart to choose New Hope. Keep the mess out of Easton. Very clever, Schoof.
Either way, this was another in a long line of great interviews set up by my Editor Dawn. Meeting the mastermind lead guitar player for Dave Matthews Band, would be a very nice feather in my cap, even if I was risking life and limb to get it. The Elucidator sent our intern Cassie along as a photographer. I assumed that they warned her of the danger. Despite her pixie-like appearance, I have heard she can kill a man with a swizzle stick. I think that’s what happened to our old intern, Merv.
Sitting on a couch in the lobby of Havana when a sudden wisp materializes like Nightcrawler.
DC: “You can’t be here. They’ll see you.”
CL: “Uh, hey Dave! Yeah. I was just thinking the same thing.”
DC: “Oh, this is my friend Tim. Let’s find somewhere we can talk.”
The three of us dodge past security and find a secluded corner of the room.
CL: “Ok, Dave, I need to know. Why are you here? How are YOU a part of this?”
DC: “About 10 years ago I forced my way onto the stage and opened for Tim. We’ve been friends ever since.”
CL: “You certainly run in some pretty serious circles, man. You hang with Alex Radus, Tim Reynolds, you are surrounded by some crazy talent.”
DC: “I like to make friends with people I look up to.”
CL: “But, honestly, Tim, people call you a genius, a wizard, how does that make you feel?”
TR: “How about just ‘asshole’?”
DC: “Or Trans-species Inter-sphinctorial Moon Muffin?”
TR: “Yeah, that’s good.”
CL: “Aside from the 30 dates you have booked through March 2016, what else are you up to?”
TR: “I’ve got an acoustic record in the works, I’m recording it when I’m not playing.”
CL: “How do you like touring?”
TR: “Well, you have to work. It’s good to travel, and to play music. There are all kinds of things you can complain about. But, that’s just life. I get to make mistakes all over this flat earth of
CL: “What are you listening to now, and you do you find new music?”
TR: “Random discovery. I just found this band called Rival Sons. But mostly I’m listening to Guantanamo Bay Torture Music. Also, Shostakovich, and Bartok string quartets.”
CL: “So, what are your influences?”
TR: “Well, every decade there’s like five of them. I listen to all kinds of stuff from the 70’s, the 90s, Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Industrial Metal, Aphex Twin. I’m really into Indian music. ”
CL: “I read about how you taught yourself to play sitar, how did that happen?”
TR: “I was in a room and there was a sitar with one string and I played around with it. Randomly, a friend of mine had one and gave it to me and I taught myself to play. But, I was poor then so I had to sell it to buy something else. Probably another guitar.”
CL: “How do you continue to stretch, to grow as an artist?”
TR: “Music is food. You absorb it. I like to write parts that I can’t play so I have to work it out.”
DC: “Melody is just mathematics. It’s a balance of the science and the soulful.”
TR: “A lot of guitarists can play a lot of stuff. I want to FEEL something.”
CL: “So, what’s next?”
TR: “I just want to do what I’m trying to do now. Just make up music on acoustic (guitar). Maybe five years from now something else will happen.”
With that, Dave Cahill blew a cloud of vapor in my face and they vanished. Except for a pair of glasses and a single fingerless glove.
I looked at Cassie. “Did you get any of that?”
She tapped her camera and grinned.
A bit later, Dave Cahill took the stage and unleashed his Mad Scientist / Gypsy Punk / Guitar Robot Porn on the world. New Hope was stupefied. Soon after, Tim Reynolds stepped up and played the night away with virtuosity and humility. A man and a guitar creating more than the sum of the whole. I had a Dewars, neat. There was no Goat…yet.
Written by Dustin Schoof / DustinSchoof.com
Dave Cahill first opened for renowned guitarist Tim Reynolds in November 2006.
Nearly a decade later, Cahill tonight will find himself in a similar, though familiar, situation. The Frenchtown-based guitarist will open for Reynolds at Havana Restaurant & Bar in New Hope, Bucks County.
“I remember I was so nervous the first time I opened for him,” Cahill recalled Tuesday during a phone interview. “Even after 10 years of opening for him, I still leave my jaw on the floor.”
What started as an opening set has turned into a friendship and camaraderie between the two musicians. Cahill said Reynolds — best known for his collaborations with the Dave Matthews Band — is his favorite guitarist and praised the latter for being a “normal dude who is really, really good at guitar.”
“He’s very inspiring,” Cahill said of Reynolds. “I’ve learned (by watching him) that, at the end of the day, if you’re not playing music from the heart, then why are you playing it in the first place?”
In 2009, Cahill traveled to Ohio to attend a guitar workshop being taught by Reynolds at the Fur Peace Reach performance venue and instructional center. (Fur Peace Ranch is owned by Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen.) There he met other Reynolds fans, most of whom he had only interacted with years earlier through an online message board. “All of the board members who never met each other went,” Cahill said. “It was a magical experience … It was like band camp for acoustic guitar nerds.”
Cahill returned to Fur Peace Ranch in 2011. “It was really neat to experience that and asking him (Reynolds) questions and hearing his thoughts,” Cahill said.
Cahill is also scheduled to open for Reynolds at Havana on Feb 11. That show will feature Cahill performing as part of the group Hot 4 Robot. Hot 4 Robot is rounded out by singer-guitarist Alex Radus, Evan Straley and Andy Janowiak.
The two Havana performances are part of what his shaping up to be a busy year for Cahill. Cahill, formerly of local favorites The Almighty Terribles, is one of four area acts slated to perform Jan. 23 during the “Easton Rocks!” fundraiser concert at the State Theatre in Easton. That concert will feature Cahill sitting in with the Alex Radus Trio, as well as sets by singer-songwriter Carter Lansing, acoustic rock duo Blue Jean and the band Roi and the Secret People.
Cahill is also busy working on his next solo album. The record is a concept album collaboration with musician Kalma. Cahill said the album’s storyline centers around a husband/soldier, who loses body parts during an overseas mission. The soldier decides to have his limbs replaced by robotic appendages — just as a singularity event occurs and humanity and artificial intelligence find themselves at odds.
Cahill recently released the single “Future Shock.”
“I’m playing the acoustic, natural humanist part of the story. He (Kalma) is the digital robot (voice),” Cahill said. “It’s really amazing and hopefully people will like it … without (Kalma), it never would have sounded the way it does.”
Guitarist Dave Cahill performs 8 tonight with Tim Reynolds at Havana Restaurant & Bar in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Tickets cost $35. Information: havananewhope.com