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  • Yannis & The Yaw Premieres New Song “Walk Through Fire” featuring Tony Allen on BBC Radio 1

  • British rock band Foals member Yannis Philippakis launched his new solo project called Yannis & The Yaw.

    He premiered a new song “Walk Through Fire” featuring the late Nigerian-French drummer Tony Allen on BBC Radio 1's New Music Show with Jack Saunders.
    The song is the first single off of his upcoming EP “Lagos Paris London”, which is set to be released on August 30, 2024 via Transgressive Records.
    It was written by Ludovic Bruni, Tony Allen, Vincent Taeger, Vincent Taurelle, and Yannis Philippakis. Produced by Vincent Taurelle and Yannis Philippakis.

    Yannis Philippakis told Jack Saunders about the song, “It's a new thing for me. Obviously it's a different project. It's products from like I wrote it basically with an amazing drummer called Tony Allen, who sadly passed away a few years back. It's a really exciting piece of music and it's the first taste of what's to come.”
  • He continued, “When I was in the studio doing this, like I went in, I didn't really know what to expect. And I went there for the purposes of writing with the drummer Tony Allen and we were put together. In a slightly unusual circumstance, we didn't know each other. And everything just came about really freely and really quickly. And I mean, this track was done in basically half a day almost we did the majority of the EP. We did the majority in a couple of days. So everything about this was about like free expression, not laboring over and not like agonizing over it. And hopefully you can hear that in the tunes.”

    The EP comprises a 4-track. Yannis Philippakis recorded the EP with Tony Allen (drums), Vincent Taeger (percussion), Vincent Taurelle (keyboard) and Ludovic Bruni (bass) in 2017. But Tony Allen died in 2020 at age 79.

    “There was an imperative to finish it in a way that I had never felt with another record,” Yannis Philippakis said of the EP. “There was a deep duty to do it, to finish it as well as possible, and to pay respect to him by getting it out there. Going through some of the drum takes was a moving experience because those recordings were some of the last pieces of music he ever worked on. There's an eternal quality to these drum tracks, and you feel a continuity of his life and energy through them. He wanted people to hear this, and it's good to be able to do it for him – but of course it's slightly bittersweet.”
    He added, “[Tony's] records had lived for so long in my head that having him in the room with me was like an illusionist's trick.”

  • Yannis Philippakis shared on social media, “Tony and I met in 2017 on a cold January morning in Paris.
    I'd just finished a long tour with Foals and arrived slightly crumpled at the '70s studio he'd made his base in recent years. It was early, Tony was sat wrapped in a scarf and woolly hat, blowing smoke trying to shake off the January damp, maybe slightly annoyed at the start time that'd been agreed.
    I couldn't really tell whether he knew who I was or how much he knew my music. But TIGER TIGRE, Taurelle and Ludo (the other collaborators on the 'YAW' project) helped me set up and I nervily started playing the opening notes of the Walk Through Fire riff to figure out my pedal chain as I'd only brought my Travis Bean with me on the Eurostar. Before Id really got comfortable he was in the booth playing like only he can, quieter than expected but with energy and groove.
    His records had lived for so long in my head that having him in the room with me was like an illusionist's trick, like he'd morphed from over there in the speakers to here in the very room beside me. He'd soundtracked nights back from the pub, lazy park afternoons, end-of-tour house parties and hungover mornings with coffee. Now though he was sat at his kit right there playing to the riffs and loops I was offering up. It was a beautiful joyful trip.
    We worked fast & recorded the first three tracks of the EP in two days fuelled by tonnes of tiny bitter coffees, a thousand smokes, some madeleines and lots of whiskey. I think you can hear it in all the EP, it shares a freedom and a fire.
    Tony and I had barely talked before we'd started to play but within hours we felt entwined. Thats the power of playing music and the connection it can bring.
    We came together through different generations, different cultures, instruments and genres to make this small treasure together. Two musicians at opposite ends of their journeys meeting somewhere in the abstract middle, somewhere in this terrible gyre to summon some energy to make some music. To make a mark.
    This is the first taste of that. Can't wait to share the rest. Let his drums play forever.”
  • source : BBC Radio 1
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