We’re glad to announce that Brighton, United Kingdom-based experimental/art rock band Cephos Powders have released their debut single last February, entitled “Clap Song.”
Cephos Powders is Ronan (vox, piano, percussion & synthesizer), Ed (guitar, percussion), Will (keyboard, cello), Ryan (bass), Ben (drums), and Ruben (saxophone). The band was born out of Campbell Road Studios in Brighton, their regular slot on Monday evenings as well as being the recording location for Cephos Powders’ first two singles.
Inspired by artists such as Nick Cave, Einstürzende Neubauten, DEVO, The Cure, Sonic Youth, Iceage, CAN, Placebo, Massive Attack, and Tom Waits, Cephos Powders combine elements of punk, kraut and post-rock in their music. They’ve already played a live show on March 14th, 2020, right before the beginning of lockdown; and they’re scheduled to play Ruinfest in Brighton on April 30th as well as at two summer festivals. Cephos Powders have been through countless iterations and replacement members. The pandemic happened, and they lost half of the band again; but now they’ve bounced back with new members and a tenacity to keep working hard.
Each song that Cephos Powders writes usually begins with a set of questions. “What happens when you start with this…?” “’How come this may not work?” etc. Cephos Powders’ new single, “Clap Song,” was inspired by Steve Reich’s “Clapping Music.” The challenge for this song was to sustain a drum beat throughout the entire track, without a drum kit at various stages. The band spent hours clapping and making mistakes, the irony being that the final version they came up with happened in three minutes; and the lyrics just happened in one of those bizarre “coming together” kind of moments.
Describing the creative process behind their new single, Ronan from Cephos Powders says:
“The song was inspired by Steve Reich’s Clapping Music. We were trying to have a consistent drum beat run throughout a song without entirely using a drum kit, hence, why we clap the beat at the beginning and the end.
Lyrically, I babbled some words to a melody and those were the final words ahaha. It has no special meaning other than, give it a go and see what happens.”
For first-time listeners, Ronan adds, “What I would say to new listeners is, we don’t limit ourselves to a particular style or framework. We get in the studio, do the work, and see what happens. Expect plenty of unusual twists and turns!”
“Clap Song” was recorded at Campbell Road Studios by Ree Melody, mixed by Bob Cooper Music Producer out of Chairworks, and mastered by Grant FM (Fader Mastering). The artwork is by Richard Marsden Typography, and the layout is by Cephos Powders’ own Ronan O.
“Clap Song” begins with the band members clapping together, each joining in with a variation of the first to create an intricate polyrhythmic texture. The drums, bass, and effects-laden, feedback-drenched guitars then enter, continuing the rhythmic theme of the track while bringing a loud and altogether different noise-rock sound that is complemented nicely by the shouted, punk-like vocals. The instrumental first chorus of “Clap Song” is driven by powerful electric guitar chords and a compelling synthesizer melody that is rich in overtones, while the vocals then join back in to build up perfectly the next chorus. As the chorus melody repeats, a range of swirling and buzzing synth tones add further to the track’s brilliantly complex sound, culminating with the return of the clapped rhythms amidst a slow-burning, distorted electric guitar drone.
“Clap Song” is quite an enjoyable listen throughout, showcasing Cephos Powders’ brilliant songwriting and superb musicianship. I would highly recommend this track to fans of experimental-, psychedelic-, and krautrock alike.
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