Lee Negin – “Dervish Dharma Dancing” single (Passing Phase Records 2015, Download)
Lee Negin: Press
Lee Negin – “Frack Art, Let’s Dance” single (Passing Phase Records 2015, Download)
Lee Negin – “Surfing Samsara” (Passing Phase Records 2015, Download)
Lee Negin – “The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V” (Passing Phase Records 2014, CD)
Now based in Seoul, South Korea, Lee Negin was part of the 1980s Detroit techno scene. His latest album, The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V, is a sci-fi musical radio play of sorts, or what Negin calls a “Technopera”.
The story opens with the “Alien Dudes” bidding, “Welcome space cats and kittens, and people of the planet Earth. You are about to embark on a journey that takes place on the stage between your ears”. And from there it’s all fun, freaky and well-crafted studio pastiche electronic mayhem and songs that are like a space crazed blend of 80s New Wave, Neue Neutsche Welle, Kraftwerk and The Residents. Or maybe The War Of The Worlds broadcast meets Carl Stalling on the Planet Gong. Or possibly a Spike Jones collaboration with Hawkwind.
The songs are catchy and danceable but never stay still for long. Negin loads on the effects, creating a surrealistic cinema parade of music, sounds and voice samples, with equal focus on entertainment and disorientation. One moment we’re in what feels like an old World’s Fair World Of Tomorrow exhibit, the next a Berlin School space excursion, and then a beat driven space-rave dance floor assault, with a relentless morphing and meteor showering of voices and effects.
Following the accompanying Transmission Logue, which is formatted like a script, the story is told by aliens, though it seems to be a humorous commentary on consumer culture, the have/have not divide, and the general silliness we humans are capable of. In the end the aliens bid us a less than optimistic farewell, warning against wasting our lives in childish schemes, admonishing us for self-inflicted pain, to stop judging, and, perhaps most important, to not take ourselves so seriously. For pure fun and tongue in cheek creative coolness The Cheeze Chronicles is the best electronic album I’ve heard all year.
For more information visit the Lee Negin web site at: http://leenegin.com
Visit the Passing Phase Records web site at: http://passingphasemusic.com
CDs and downloads of several Lee Negin albums are available at CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/artist/leenegin
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz
In Italian-- see link
New Review of Technopera, "The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V" (in German). Check it out! New Review (in deutsch)! Hör zu!
Lee Negin - The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V (CD, Passing Phase, Progressive/experimental)
Looking for something truly different and unique? Well look no further...because few folks out there have a sound, image, and style as unique as Lee Negin. If there's a reason why this guy isn't already hugely famous, it's probably because his music is just too intelligent and unusual for most listeners. Negin describes his music as "...a blend of Techno - funk - psychedelic - jazz - world - rock - ambient - electronica - experimental - social satire - irony - mysticism - prog - surrealism - dadaism - industrial - pop - metal - Musique concrete - Western Classical - impressionism, etc." This is quite possibly the longest and most complex descriptive term we've come across yet to describe an artist's music and yet...it fits. This is complex stuff for certain that swerves all over the map...and even off the map at times. In the 1980s Negin was an instrumental player in the indie/techno/new wave movement in the Detroit area and received a good bit of attention for his work. He is now based in Korea where maintains the ranking of the #1 electronica/experimental artist in Korea on Reverb Nation. This album features some absolutely wild sounds and ideas...and you never know what will come next. After reading the press release and listening to the album we got curious about Negin's videos so we did a search on You Tube and viewed a few. Wow. WoooooooOOOOOOOW... If you dig trippy psychedelic sounds and visuals you will love this guy's video work. It is nothing short of incredible. Negin has been compared to a variety of well known artists and yet...he doesn't really sound like anyone else. Fifteen tracks of pure audio creativity. This guy is a genius. Top pick.
Today's pheatured guest is a Phile Alum whose new album “The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V” is now available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile... Lee Negin.
Me: Lee! Welcome back to the Phile. It's been awhile, I don't remember the last time you were here, do you?
Lee: Thank you for having me back. The last time I was here is now! Actually, it’s somewhat of a blur.
Me: How have you been?
Lee: Trying to surf the ceaseless waves… at times getting pulled under, and at times able to ‘hang ten’ and enjoy the ride. I hope you’ve been well, old friend.
Me: I am. Are you still living in Seoul? How long have you been living there now?
Lee: Yes, I’ve been in South Korea for eight years now, seven of them in Seoul.
Me: You are a professor at a University, right? Remind us what you teach.
Lee: Yes, I am. I teach nothing of consequence.
Me: Okay... Don't you miss America?
Lee: Yes, I am Miss America! I didn’t fare well in the swimsuit competition (my bikini wax missed a few stray clumps), but my patriotic baton-twirling routine in the talent show, with live AK-47s while rapping about our God-given right to bare arms was a real crowd pleaser! I received a sitting ovation (standing ovations have been banned due to the health hazards of so many ‘weight-challenged’ people straining themselves and cellulite tsunami precautions), with many people firing their weapons in the air in appreciation, chanting “USA, USA, USA.” With my scholarship money I plan to attend Thelma Lou’s Cosmetology and Liposculpture Academy in Texas... the M.I.T. of beauty schools to major in Nail Art and minor in Bible Studies. Of course, I want to be a positive role model for American youth, like Miley and Justin Beaver.
Me: Good luck with that... haha. If I remember correctly you are from San Francisco originally. Am I correct?
Lee: S.F. was the last place I lived before leaving the USA (Marin County, to be exact). “Originally” I grew up in the mid-waste.
Me: Your specialty or the kind of music you make is techno, and your newest album "The Cheeze Chronicles, Volume V" has been labeled Technopera. Who called it that?
Lee: Actually, I wouldn’t say and never said that. I am a composer/musician. “Techno” is one type of music I create... and what that term has come to mean has little connection to what I create. My work includes electronica-techno-psychedelic-experimental-ambient-Western Classical-jazz-world-funk-musique concrète-rock-pop-‘acousto-electric,’ etc., often in the same track. I don’t want to be pigeonholed (sounds like avian bestiality).
Me: So, what does Technopera mean?
Lee: Technopera is the label I affixed to my new album. It is an opera in the sense that there is a libretto (a story), with characters, etc. Techno because I used synthesizers, samplers, processors and computers (technology) and some of the tracks hearken back to the music I made in the 1980s (techno... techno-funk, techno-pop) and have continued to make.
Me: Okay, so the new album is an opera... what is the story behind it, Lee?
Lee: It is one opera in an epic cycle of Technoperas... patterned after Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (‘The Ring Cycle’). “Volume V” is the latest installment, however the story arc does not follow or exist in linear time or a historical perspective.
Me: I am glad it's all about Cheeze. Explain to the readers who Cheeze is.
Lee: Cheeze is a recurring character in my work, since returning to recording and releasing music four years ago. Cheeze was a jazz trumpet player from the American Midwest who found himself playing in an American jazz club in Shanghai in the late 1930s. It was there that he met his consort, the Chinese singer Wei Lei. In his late teens, he was exposed to THC, and this significantly altered his view of reality. After a set one night, Cheeze and Wei Lei retired to an alley behind the club to have a bit of reefer and exchange bodily fluids, when a UFO appeared and abducted them. After the aliens performed several examinations, they inserted anal probes into the pair and turned them into avatars, sending them out into the galaxy to gather and transmit information with a focus on planet Earth.
Me: We never see him, so do you have an idea on what he looks like?
Lee: Actually, his likeness can be seen in some of my videos and on the new album cover. In particular, a teenaged Cheeze can be seen in the documentary videos “Cheeze Takes Off” youtu.be/GafYnLH9gTs?list=UUOG_a3UIDS0EDN-8buHQ48A and “Cheeze Turns On” youtu.be/tkDovC2XyLo.
Me: Oh, that's Cheeze. I have a screen shot of one of those videos here.
Lee: He will also appear in a new video I am releasing soon from a track from the new album called "Loan Me a Paradigm.."
Me: Have you been planning this opera for a long time, Lee?
Lee: A few years. I actually wrote a 2-CD opera a couple of years ago, but lost interest (long story). Many of the tracks from the opera appeared on subsequent albums, like “The Lunar Collection”, “Technodelic Transmissions”, etc.
Me: Some of your stuff has lyrics... do you one up with the lyrics first or the music?
Lee: Always music first.
Me: Did you do everything on "The Cheeze Chronicles, Volume V" by yourself?
Lee: Yes, I wrote, played, produced and mixed it all. The only steps I farmed out this time were mastering and cover art. I was fortunate to obtain the services of Pete Maher, one of the leading mastering engineers in the world, based in London. Pete has mastered Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, U2, Patti Smith, etc. so this was quite a coup for me. The album’s sonics are great. Too bad most will miss that... listening with earbuds on MP3 players. Progress. The other aspect I had help with was the cover and disc art. I worked with a very cool young Korean artist here in Seoul, Juyong Lee. He did an outstanding job of realizing my concepts!
Me: Okay, V means five in Roman numerals, right? Was there a 1 through 4 Cheeze Chronicles? Why did you go straight to five?
Lee: Linear time has no relevance in the Cheeze universe.
Me: I watched some of your videos on YouTube and in the video for the song "(Let's Join) The Twit Parade" there's a group of woman marching.
Me: What army is this?
Lee: Primarily North Korean. Nothing like women in uniforms carrying weapons to get the juices flowing, eh!
Me: So, what is the twit parade?
Lee: A parade of twits! Mindless people marching lockstep in obeisance to the military-industrial masters. Also a play on the old hit parade shows and movie shorts.
Me: Another video for the song "Just Sayin'" has a warning before it plays... is that because it features the pope?
Lee: The warning is from YouTube. I chose to rate this video, as well as “Twit Parade” as containing adult content. Two of my videos were removed by YouTube in the past, and I wanted to prevent that from happening again.
Me: I take it you're not Catholic then? Haha.
Me: Lee, there's tons of videos you have done on YouTube. How many have you made?
Lee: In the past four years I have released/been involved with over 30 videos. I have released two from the new album already, with a few more pending. I released two new videos... One is “Loan Me a Paradigm” and the other,“The Cheeze Spreadz.” Both can be seen at youtube.com/user/passingphasemusic.
Me: Why were the other ones pulled from YouTube? Nudity?
Lee: Funny. There is literally porn on YouTube and graphically violent, salacious and misogynist videos are the norm for some music genres, but the brain-police at YouTube (Google) deemed two of my videos unsuitable and removed them for briefly showing a woman’s breasts in one, or some vintage burlesque show dancing in the other. What bizarre, arbitrary morality. The videos can be seen on Vimeo and other sites. I’ll let your readers be the judge: “Virtual Realty” vimeo.com/54337298 “From Whence it Came” vimeo.com/55079362.
Me: You were once part of something called Detroit Techno... what was that and how is Detroit techno different from say, Orlando techno?
Lee: Back in the early 1980s, I was living near Detroit and releasing my first solo records. I was an early adopter of synthesizers... starting in the late 70s and was fortunate enough to have some very cool gear. Back then, synth gear was very expensive, which I used in my compositions and recordings... and I knew how to use modular gear requiring sounds to be made from scratch... no loops and no presets, which required knowledge of waveforms, filters, etc. Detroit was already a major center for rock and funk, and when synths were introduced into the mix, techno was born grossly oversimplified. I used to do a lot of work in a great recording studio near Detroit, and occasionally I did some session work, synthesizer programming, producing and playing with some local bands. Some broke out and got major label deals. One band I became friendly with was called Cybotron, which featured Juan Atkins, people call him the godfather of Detroit Techno and Richard Davis. Rick and I became great friends and mutual admirers, and used to talk a lot about making a band together, fusing rock and techno... Jimi Hendrix meets Kraftwerk was our basic premise. We (Rick and I) collaborated on some tracks. With his advance from Cybotron’s major-label record deal, he built an 8-track Tascam reel to reel studio in his basement and he invited me to join the band as the touring drummer, on synth drums... Simmons, which were the state-of-the-art then. However, the band was screwed by the label (Fantasy, who screwed everyone) and Juan and Rick fell-out over the direction of the band. Rick wanted to go more in the rock direction, adding a guitar player, etc. and I think Juan didn’t care for that idea. The band broke up before I joined, but my solo career continued. There was a highly influential Detroit radio DJ at the time called The Electrifyin’ Mojo... I seem to recall whose playlists crossed genres and introduced a generation of Detroit kids to European synth music (Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Krautrock, etc.). George Clinton and his crowd were around and about in Detroit at that time, too. Difference between Detroit Techno and Orlando Techno? Detroit: Rust belt, factories, assembly lines, industrial hub, metal, center of the automobile industry, blue-collar, steel, engines, motors, iron, smoke stacks, long cold-harsh winters, Motown, MC5, Iggy and The Stooges. Orlando: Disney, KC and the Sunshine Band, Beach Blanket Bingo.
Me: Are you into any other kinds of genres?
Lee: Many. If you listen to my work, you can hear the answer. Some of my music I like to call Technodelic, as it fuses techno and psychedelic... music from the late-1960s and 1980s, two of my favorite periods for pop music. I am a trained classical musician, starting formal trumpet lessons at about age 7, and studying music theory, percussion and trumpet with members of the Cleveland Orchestra. My mother was a pianist and I grew up with a grand piano in my living room... great fun to bang on as a toddler. My first forays into prepared piano pieces. I have played jazz, went to Berklee College of Music 3 different times... when it was a jazz school... the first time when I was 15 years old. I studied drums there with Alan Dawson, rock of course... I started my first band at age 12, and by high school was playing on weekends in bars and clubs, blues, fusion, etc. I studied tabla drums in India with a music master from AIR (All India Radio). I lived in India three times. I have many influences: music, visual arts, architecture, philosophy, traditional Japanese/Chinese arts... I lived in Japan for fifteen years and have traveled around mainland China two times, as well as hanging out in Hong Kong, Singapore and my almost daily Buddhist vegetarian lunches in San Francisco’s Chinatown when I lived there... drama, literature, martial arts, tea ceremony, flower arranging, Taoism, Zen, etc. And, of course, to paraphrase Shakespeare, the art that is above all others: Nature. I have been in about 45 countries and been an expatriate for over two decades… so, my influences and creations have many elements and my work has a wide-range of instrumentation from many cultures.
Me: I know you play keyboards, Lee, as a lot of your music is done with keyboards, but do you play any other instruments? I believe you play guitar, and drums?
Lee: I play percussion, brass instruments, keyboards, guitars, bass guitars, synthesizers and whatever I can get my hands on.
Me: You have your own home studio... do you rent it out, or are you always in there?
Lee: It’s my man cave. Basically, I live in it... literally.
Me: Apart from the latest album since you were here last you had a few other releases... how many and what were they?
Lee: Hard to say, since we don’t remember the last time we chatted! Since returning to making music four years ago, I have released eight full albums, some EPs, several singles, as well as appearing on some international compilations and the afore mentioned videos. Last week I re-released an old album, “Balance” in honor of its 20th anniversary... original release 1994. I remastered it for the occasion. For a complete discography go to leenegin.com.
Me: I am sorry you weren't on the Phile with these, Lee, did you miss being here?
Lee: Of course. I thought thou had forsaken me!
Me: No way, just lost touch. So, are you working on anything now?
Lee: I am working on a new album, possibly to be released in December or early next year. I have several projects-ideas in the planning stage, rolling around between my ears, and I am now researching the gear I’ll need to embark on a solo tour next year in Europe... quite an undertaking.
Me: Yeah, that would be. Alright, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. This is new for you I think... This is good. what's the one thing you've done that you'd like to erase?
Lee: A bit of a twist... I didn’t do it, more like it was done to me, but I’d like to erase my socialization or enculturation. The brainwashing that made me lose my childlike consciousness, equipoise and bliss, and start to label things and see myself as separate and apart from the universe, subject to death. Losing the natural state of being here in the moment, with no fear or neurosis. Why we choose to perpetuate the madness is an interesting question. For more on this, check out my new CD, “The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V”.
Me: Lee, go ahead and mention your websites and please come back soon. I hope there won't be as big as a gap next time. Oh, I forgot to say congrats... your music is number one experimental/electronic music in Korea, or something like that, am I right?
Lee: Considering I’m the only experimental/electronic musician in Korea, well…You are referring to reverbnation.com/leenegin, passingphasemusic.com, facebook.com/LeeNegin1, cdbaby.com/Artist/LeeNegin, youtube.com/user/passingphasemusic, twitter.com/umeboshiroshi. My material is available at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, etc. It’s also available at the streaming sites, but I make almost nothing from streaming... appallingly low amount. Better than illegal downloading, but only a bit.
Me: Man, that sucks, Lee.
Lee: I’d feel better if some people would buy a CD or two. Being number 1 does not pay for my tofu.
Me: I take it you are number one in South Korea...
Lee: Actually my music is in heavy rotation on Kim Jong Un’s iPod and he makes all of his comrades listen to my work daily to keep them in line. Dennis Rodman told me about this.
Me: Haha. Lee, thanks again, and take care.
Lee: My pleasure, sir. Stay in touch!
There you go, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Lee Negin. The Phil will be back tomorrow with original Mousekeeter and author Lonnie Burr. So, spread the word, no the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
Excerpts (for full review, go to link http://www.indieguild.net/featured/uk-album-reviews/album-review-the-cheeze-chronicles-vol-v/
Lee Negin’s new “Technodelic” craziness, “The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V” (published on 20th June 2014), the first Technopera in two acts in the history of electronic music, will surely keep you awake! But what is even more surprising, beyond Negin’s mastery, his sheer brilliance and the sound quality, is that the world he creates, while appearing “absurd” and “bizarre”, is far less incoherent than the “real” world most of us inhabit.
Lee Negin, American by birth and currently residing in Seoul, (is) one of the craziest and most brilliant characters of the contemporary musical scene, as well as one of the precursors of post-punk and the so-called “Detroit Techno” of the 80’s.
…the sounds, arranged and amalgamated in layers and spaced out across eight different channels, at a quality level that rises tens of kilometres above the average standards that we are used to, at times seem to be infinite. It is an avant-garde concept that of Negin’s, which follows faithfully in the footsteps of the teachings of the visionary producer of the Beatles, George Martin, but takes a decisive step forward from a conceptual and technical point of view. Helping him in this achievement is the prestigious sound engineer Pete Maher (noteworthy for his previous work with U2, Patti Smith, Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails) who did the final mastering for an album which was otherwise totally self-produced in Negin’s Seoul studio in the DIY tradition of which he is one of the pioneers.
“Lee Negins new ‘Technodelic” craziness, “The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V” will surely keep you awake! Once you think you have it figured out, the music takes you in a completely different direction. What is more surprising—beyond Negin’s mastery, sound quality and his sheer brilliance—is that the world he creates, while appearing ‘absurd’ and ‘bizarre’--is much less absurd than the ‘real’ world most of us apparently inhabit. If Negin’s aim was to point out the absurdities of our society and contemporary life, then he hit the nail fully on the head.” – Gianmaria Consiglio (Esteemed Italian Music Journalist)
"Man, it's a sonic journey of epic proportions. In the world of opera, the Cheeze is mighty indeed. Negin doesn't so much hit the funk button, as kick it all the way to Neptune. I'm loving it." - Simon Humphrey (UK Producer/Engineer: The Clash, Culture Club, David Byrne, Hans Zimmer, Jeff Beck, etc.)
"Lee Negin, the soundscape master, dazzles once again, with more mind-bending sounds and hard beats shaped into his latest “Technopera” (Techno Opera). "The Chronicles of Cheeze: Volume V” is like ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ on an acid trip. There are various, nicely crafted dance numbers but in many places, this adventure sounds a little like a trippy radio play. Chill to a kaleidoscope of sounds and literally, when you want to go somewhere else, like a fine wine, you get more and more from repeated tasting. At times, the album reminds me of The Orb, KLF, Talking Heads and Future Sound of London, all rolled into one but Negin started his noted career before everyone mentioned. Leave your concept of time at the front door. There is never a dull moment, and the pace is nice and steady with a few techno numbers laced with prime sound cuts. You might just forget that an alien is talking to you." - Paul 'DeJay' Readman (Music World Radio (UK) Host)
"Eclectic and prophetic, your first listening of Lee Negin’s latest orchestral offering, the pschoelectric, technodelic opera, “The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V” may well leave you a little breathless, perhaps even somewhat disorientated. Be strong. You will recover in time to succumb to an even more powerful and irresistible desire to delve still deeper into the oscillating musical mosaic that this master of cross-genre, cross-cultural, cross-galaxy ceremonies has conjured up for discerning listeners from the planet Earth. Part of an epic cycle of Technoperas that are loosely patterned after Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen”, “The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V” finds its operative roots in some of the concept albums of the seventies (Frank Zappa’s “Studio Tan” in particular comes to mind) and its artistic expression in the masterly creative use of cutting-edge, electronic technology. With artistic playfulness that belies far deeper concerns, Lee uses the "Chronicles of Cheeze" to peel the lid off the can of worms that this bloated, egocentric, consumer-driven society has created, and at the same time gives a sidelong poke at the current trend of pre-moulded, loop-and-sequence singles that has infiltrated and sadly debased the modern-day, electronic, musical scene.
Lee Negin quotes Krishnamurti on the album sleeve as saying, “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society”. Well, after listening to “The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V” it would be difficult for anybody not to agree that this album is a mighty powerful medicine!" - Tony "The Toe' Lawson, (Master, concierge and major-domo of IndieGuild, net)
“The Smeagol has landed!” – Commander Beam-O
“Help spread the bovine ‘Gospel of Cheeze’s TM. ‘”– Father Ben Dover
Electronica/Techno Savant Lee Negin releases new “Technopera,” The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V on June 20, 2014 (Passing Phase Records)
Continuing his epic cycle of Technoperas--patterned after Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (‘The Ring Cycle’) -- Lee Negin launches his electric and eclectic new album, The Cheeze Chronicles: Volume V (Passing Phase Records) with an official release on June 20th, 2014. The material is a blend of Techo-funk-psychedelic-jazz-world-rock-ambient-electronica-experimenatal-social satire-irony-mysticism-prog-surrealism-dadaism-industrial-pop-metal-Musique concrete-Western Classical-impressionism, etc., Negin’s usual musical milieu.
"Hearing this artist's expertly produced work is to experience a vision aimed beyond the realm of pop. ...Negin never offers the same sound twice, employing singers as ensemble instruments and working with sounds in a way that reminds us at times of Brian Eno, Aphex Twin and Wendy Carlos." - Music Connection Magazine
Album sonics are impeccable. Recorded and mixed in Negin’s state-of-the-art studio in Seoul, the album was mastered by one of the preeminent mastering engineers in the world, Pete Maher in London. Pete has worked with U2, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Patti Smith, The Rolling Stones, etc.
The album will be released as a limited edition CD, with cover art by a brilliant young Korean illustrator-cartoonist, Juyong Lee. It will also be released digitally and available at CD Baby, Amazon (Internationally) iTunes, etc.
Address inquiries to: Lee Negin at email@example.com
"Lee Negin brilliantly defines a musical realm that is his alone. He effortlessly forges through the uncharted waters of musical Zen and cleverly orchestrates sound into a vibrant, visceral experience. Mr. Negin is a savvy magician welding a maestro's baton, a mystical boatman guiding the listener on an epic journey through undiscovered sonic terrain." - Lee Crisman, Pluto Radio
Lee Negin is a recording artist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, synthesist, videographer, producer and recording engineer. In the 1980’s, he was a pioneer in the international Indie/techno/new wave movement and the “Detroit Techno” scene and his recordings and videos receive airplay (including by the late John Peel on the BBC) and distribution around the world. He is listed as an influential artist in "The International Discography of the New Wave" (edited by B. George and Martha Defoe (Omnibus Press). He has several critically acclaimed videos on YouTube and other video networks. He is ranked as the #1 Electronica/Experimental artist in Korea (where he currently resides) on Reverbnation—a ranking he has maintained for 3+ years. .http://www.reverbnation.com/leenegin
Negin returned to recording in 2010 after a long hiatus (with the 1994 album release, “Balance”) when one of his songs, the techno classic "Nothing Goes Right" from the 1980's appeared on a compilation released on a German label, Genetic Music. Since then, he has released 8 full albums, a few EPs, several singles and 28+ videos. His work has also been included in several international compilations.
Electro/Pop/Experimental/ Ambient.On the electro scene since the late 70’s producer kraftwerk/ talkheads style electro pop and experimental future sound of London/ orb style sounds and was around long before some of these artists, in fact he no doubt influenced them in some way. Now with the internet has been inundated with enquires about his work although pre internet he had releases on Passing Phase Records, which Nothing Goes Right was originally a b side on Wired for Sound release in 1981, which was played throughout the world and played by John Peel on Radio 1.From this year he will be releasing an album in the style of Nothing Goes Right and also an album with his ambient/ experimental work which will include Tranquil Abiding.
After listening to "The Dance" from the CD Hungry Ghosts (during a lengthy interview with Lee on November 5, 2010), the DJ Sheena Metal remarked:
"Sometimes people who have had near-death experiences say that they are taken to a place where their entire life flashes before their eyes, and in 'The Dance,' that's what I felt. I feel like I'm lying down, maybe I've been abducted by aliens, and everything I've ever thought about or felt is flashing before my eyes."
"Let me be honest here. When we found out that Lee Negin signed up with SonicTribe we were blown away and a bit nervous. Lee is one hell of a musician that has been in the electronic scene for a long time. He is one of those musicians that have a real knack for consistently putting the right pieces together to create damn original music. So, it is no surprise to find Lee once again blowing up. From multiple press releases, serge of over 50,000 friends on Myspace, his latest video Piercing the Veil getting rave reviews on YouTube, several songs charting on the international scene and BuzzTV doing a feature on his work, Lee Negin is hitting what seems to be yet another apex in his music career."
- Chris Constantino
Founder, SonicTribe Network
01 January, 2011
Lee Negin is set to release 2 full-length albums in 2011, Hungry Ghosts due out in February and Wu Wei set for release at a later date. Lee first came onto the scene back in 1980 with Two Sides, a 6-song EP earning him a listing in the International Discography of the New Wave. A 2nd release, Wired for Sound / Nothing Goes Right, shortly followed, gaining airplay from BBC Radio’s influential Jon Peel. In 1994 he released Balance and thereafter remained relatively quiet on the music front, until 2010 which saw the release of tracks such as Tranquil Abiding, Nothing Goes Right and Mind...the Gap. (more...see link)
This is a cool rejection from NME in the UK about reviewing my CD "Hungry Ghosts." Glowing praise!
"Whilst admirable to produce left field / off the wall music , this is a bit too far off the wall for us
Emily (Reviews Ed)"
Lee Negin : – ‘Hungry Ghosts’ mp3 Passing Phase 7th Feb
You could say ‘Off-the-wall’ but it’s more like ‘Off-the-richter’ with weirdness and a bohemian approach set deep in its roots. If you can fathom what it’s all about, then you probably missed what actually just happened. It’s halfway between an instant quip by Edmund Blackadder and a short speech from Marvin on why 42 is the answer to meaning of life and everything (HHGTTG), and it makes for pure entertainment and a mastermind chair for the convenience. Listen… no I mean it, because if you need to ask, you could be abducted by aliens…
After listening to my new CD, "Hungry Ghosts," Paul Readman (aka, Paul ED), DJ on Music World Radio 1 from Oxford, UK wrote this:
"Mixture of ambient and electro pop. Very much a mind-bending trip of sounds. Outstanding album which I never expected, great on loud systems."
Paul ED's Review of Hungry Ghosts
This is an experience, not an album.From his previous works ambient and pop, i thought i knew what to expect from an album when it was released. There is big difference between listening to separate tunes and an album. This is what a whole album sounds like. For you sound system or headphones and like a head trip, be prepared for a psychedelic one. Your going to hear something different each time you hear the music. Full of sounds, shapes, layers of sound that represents the ring of saturn. From the opening, The Sound of no Sound, which resembles an earthquake erupting. One hell of a kicking bassline, which pierces your speakers like a railroad spike. Then kicks into the 80s pop, The Saga of Cheeze which sounds like a rambling Korean trader. That is the opening first 7 minutes, it never lets up. The whole album is a floating trip of sounds and vocals that takes you to another place. This will remind of the orb early days, which was a mixture of experimental sounds, pop and vocals. If you miss the whole album ambient experience, taking you on a trip, don't despare, its here. If you like The Orb, Talking Heads, Future Sound of London, then this is for you.
It's poetry set to the soundscape of 1980s science fiction. Spaceships whiz by Frank Zappa and P-Funk, who are standing not far away. A pair of turntables spin with the B-52s dancing atop them. Smoke and acid storm around until you see monsters and angels floating out of the mouths of gurus. Lee Negin is trying to tell us something with this music, and with the help of a careful listen to the masses of abstract and changing noises, along with the slightly more cohesive vocals and samples, you just may get the message.
From the instruments of India to the atmosphere of Antarctica, Hungry Ghosts will give you sounds that are all over the map. It's electronic, but it's not something you're going to dance to unless you are doing some kooky performance art. Still, it's a stimulating listen. So take some time to ponder intellectual relativity and the space aliens living in your inner ear.
Lee Negin is a spiritual person. He left America over 20 years ago. Climbing mountains and living in places like Japan and Poland, Lee is now a professor in Seoul Korea.
He is also in the tops of music charts around the world for his digital orchestrations.
Lee sees something we don’t. A music label asked to re-release some of Lee’s music from when he first made a mark on the electronic music scene, and now...in a time
where mental health is on everyone’s minds, the legacy of Lee’s thought-provoking sounds and the provocative artwork of Red Hawk SODA serve as high-art templates for concentration and focus. Created to evoke concentration. His new record HUNGRY GHOSTS is coming out this February. Considered ultra-art, or future art, the digital journeys of Lee’s music have been recognized the world over. He is listed in The International Discography of the New Wave.
I really like Lee Negin's "Hungry Ghosts,' a lot of effort has gone into the tracks and they are all well produced and mixed. The music kind of sends you to a bizarre Electronica world that keeps you listening throughout. "The Saga of Cheeze" is a very long track but is constantly changing throughout, and "Pas de Deux" is a very strange but cool one. "Hungry Ghosts" is quite creepy and hypnotic with a twist of emotion and passion. The ambience of the tracks is of very high quality , although it delves into the unknown, somewhat. Maybe people won't be ready for this kind of music yet, only time will tell. The release date is February 7th 2011 on Passing Phase Records, so keep your eyes and your ears open for this one." -Amy Baker, Pumpkin Magazine, 2011
From LA Talk Radio DJ, Sheena Metal (during an interview with Lee on January 14, 2011) (link)
"Lee Negin is an amazing musician. He is fabulously talented."
After listening to "The Saga of Cheeze:"
"I loved it. It reminded me of...I'm riding into space on an alien spaceship, sitting in the bar with a bunch of hipster cats from the 1940's...and old jazz greats are sitting in with the great alien band."
After listening to "Hungry Ghosts:"
"Lee...it's another artistic masterpiece. What can I say...I've been spiritually rewired forever."
On Lee Negin's Music:
"That's what I love about your music. It mixes the future with the past in a very cool, avant-garde way."
Very lengthy piece, with videos and links. Please go to site.
2 Hour radio Interview, on January 31, 2011. Go to link to hear podcast.