South African born Philadelphia-based musician, Andrew Lipke, is set to release his next offering, Motherpearl & Dynamite on November 11, 2008, through Drexel University’s student-run label, MAD Dragon Records (Ryko/WEA). Motherpearl & Dynamite is the follow up to Lipke’s 2007 MAD Dragon Records debut, The Way Home… and marks a new chapter in Lipke’s artistic development. Motherpearl & Dynamite showcases Lipke’s melodic compositions and passionately honest lyrics with a powerhouse of emotions, from heart-on-his-sleeve ballads to full-throttle rockers.
As producer, arranger, engineer, and songwriter, Lipke’s many talents are highlighted on the nine tracks throughout Motherpearl & Dynamite. “Having the means to explore and experiment with my ideas and take chances was so liberating”, states Lipke. Lipke inventively explores two of life’s most existential, persistent and complicated affairs: love and death. Lipke says, “Death in some way or another is the driving force behind everything I create. Not fear of Death, but reverence and respect for it. I believe in many ways that it’s our knowledge of our eventual and inevitable demise that inspires us to attempt great things. And of course love can be portrayed as the opposite side of the coin – the potential for a thousand new beginnings – although I must admit I’m much more fascinated by the end of relationships than the beginning.” The album’s first track, the hauntingly sincere On My Way offers closure, ending a spiritual journey from The Way Home and boldly beginning a new path, pulling the listener in to experience the depth, dynamism and diversity of Motherpearl & Dynamite. Get It Over With is a part of a three-song suite portraying complexities and experiences of relationships through seductive melodies, a driving bass line, bittersweet guitars and perfectly understated strings. The second of the three-part suite, the beautifully arranged ballad, “Forgive and Forget”, captivates the listener with Lipke’s nostalgic yet sorrow-tinged vocals. The last part of the suite, Sweet Changin’ Heart, features rollicking piano and shimmering guitars, beneath Lipke’s signature soaring vocal delivery. Mindgames, a rock anthem of epic proportions, enthralls and mesmerizes with Lipke’s impressive range of musical abilities, providing lush string arrangements and a blistering fuzzed out guitar solo, while The Barker Song welcomes everyone into the “rat race” of life. Lipke states, “The Barker Song is a different sort of reaction to the inevitability of death; if the end is inevitable, we might as well have as much fun as possible while we’re here.” Flesh and Bone is a lushly orchestrated experience, “I wanted to try to recreate what I think underwater would feel like if it were music. I’ve always been drawn to and fascinated by the ocean and the mysteries it conjures. Everything starts and ends with water.” The album’s closing track, Only a Minute, is an intensely profound funeral march, gorgeously concluding the emotional journey of Motherpearl & Dynamite.
Motherpearl & Dynamite also showcases the talents of Lipke’s band The Prospects (Joe DiVita-bass, Krista Nielsen-cello, Dave Perrin-drums, & Joe Vasile-guitar). “I feel so blessed to be able to work with some of the finest musicians in Philadelphia,” states Lipke. “We’ve been playing together for about two years now and for the first time in my creative endeavors I feel like I’m enjoying the best of both worlds – bringing to fruition what began in my head as a clear and uncompromised vision but through an open and collaborative exchange of ideas.” The Prospects have all been active in the
Philadelphia music scene for many years and each one brings their individual influences, experiences and musical tastes to the arrangements and performances on Motherpearl & Dynamite
Andrew Lipke started playing the piano at age five in South Africa. After immigrating to America in 1987, he began writing songs on the guitar. After high school he moved to Philadelphia to earn a degree in Music Composition from the University of the Arts. During his college years Andrew formed the band Metagroove, later known as Revisor, and over the next five years garnered national acclaim for his gifts as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter with the group. Metagroove disbanded when Andrew opted to follow a burgeoning desire to create a more intimate vehicle for his music, resulting in the arranging and producing of his independent solo debut, Ghosts, in 2004. Since then Andrew has maintained a prominent place in the Philadelphia music community by producing recordings for several local artists, winning the prestigious Barrymore Award for excellence in theater with his project Franzschubert, and performing as arranger, co-writer and performer on many regional projects.
Lipke draws influence from great composers like Mozart, Bach and Wagner, to the influential bands Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, and to modern-day pioneers like Radiohead, Sigur Ros and the Shins. “There’s not a single genre or sub-genre of music I don’t find some value in. To me music is the best thing in the universe.” Andrew’s absolute love and devotion to music is not only heard but also felt through every beautiful and sincere creation in Motherpearl & Dynamite.
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