‘Post-punk electronic balladeers’ Cult With No Name, comprise the East London duo of Erik Stein and Jon Boux. Having been the first international signing to LA label Trakwerx in 2007 (founded by Jackson Del Rey of Californian punk legends Savage Republic), CWNN’s first two studio albums – ‘Paper Wraps Rock’ and ‘Careful What You Wish For’ – have been met with considerable critical acclaim.
Leading UK music journalist Mick Mercer proclaimed the band his discovery of 2007 (with both albums sitting in his subsequent annual top ten lists), Blaine L. Reininger of genre-transcending legends Tuxedomoon collaborated on their second album, Don Letts spun tracks on BBC6, and Brett Anderson (Suede) asked CWNN to open for him at the launch of his album ‘Slow Attack’.
Having provided the music for two blacker than black comedies at the Edinburgh Festival (‘Moz and the Meal’ and ‘Bored Stiff’), it’s fitting that Cult With No Name then turned their attention to cinema for their first DVD release, ‘Lightwerx: The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari’. Cult With No Name’s compulsive and compelling soundtrack extends their ability to instantly create evocative moods over 51 breathtaking minutes, on a journey that takes in mystical ambience, nerve-shredding distortion, popular and unpopular song, electronica, and vast, futurist soundscapes.
In the fall of 2010, CWNN returned with their 4th studio album, ‘Adrenalin’. From the haunting piano-led croon of ‘This time (or any other)’, to the grandiose choral washes of ‘Make a list!’, to the thundering faux-discaux of ‘The All Dead Burlesque Show’, ‘Adrenalin’ is simply a breathtakingly original song cycle. Building on their considerable achievements to date, and deftly hinting at everyone from Scott Walker to Sparks to Tuxedomoon (sometimes across a single song), CWNN have presented an album that’s as much of interest for its lyrical wordplay as its musical dexterity.
'Above as Below', Cult With No Name's fifth album, was released in January 2012. For the first time, it saw the band collaborate with a number of outside artists. Kelli Ali (ex-Sneaker Pimps) contributed extensively, including co-writing the song 'Shake Hands with the Devil'. Other contributors included Bruce Geduldig and Luc van Lieshout of Tuxedomoon, ex-Stranglers and Peter Gabriel guitarist John Ellis and Meg Maryatt of 17 Pygmies. The cover art and packaging for the album was designed by David Bowie and Damien Hirst collaborator Jonathan Barnbrook and manufactured using a letterpress. Dance music icon Mark Moore (S'Express) described the album as possessing 'such warmth, such style, such bliss'.
2012 also saw CWNN contribute the opening track to a remix album from the legendary German band S.Y.P.H., which features ex-Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas and Rambo Amadeus, amongst others. In early 2013, Kelli Ali released her fifth solo album 'Band of Angels', which saw the band co-write and perform on two songs including the epic 'Eternity'. The band's sixth album, 'Another Landing', was released in April 2014 on the band's own CWNN Music label. The album again saw the band collaborate with Tuxedomoon members Blaine L. Reininger, Bruce Geduldig and Luc van Lieshout, Kelli Ali and John Ellis, as well as Japanese electronica artist Coppe'.
CWNN's music has been compared to Roxy Music, Tuxedomoon, the Pet Shop Boys, Colin Newman, The Nits, David Sylvian, early Elton John and Scott Walker, amongst others. They have supported the likes of ex-ZTT artist Anne Pigalle, Lene Lovich, Anne Clark and Client. The band were nominated for the UK's Exposure Music Awards in 2011.
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