Music photographer Dean Chalkley announces multi-media art project New Perspectives with the release of the video for Phono 48’s ‘So Pure’

Dean Chalkley

Released 18th February the single will be one element of the New Perspectives’ project augmented by a photo exhibition at the Museum Of Youth Culture, a short film and a one-off journal written by music journalist Andy Thomas

On 18th February Big A.C. Records will release ‘So Pure’, a special one-off single from the musical collective, Phono 48. Phono 48 is part of the New Perspectives multi-media project created by music photographer Dean Chalkley in association with clothing brand Sunspel, who have previously collaborated with Paul Weller.

Renowned for his photography of such music icons as the aforementioned Paul Weller, Amy Winehouse, The White Stripes, and Jay-Z, Dean Chalkley is also a curator and connector, working at the intersection of music, fashion and culture. Following a conversation with fellow avid music lover, Sunspel CEO Nicholas Brooke, about the craft of songwriting and the magic of the studio, they came up with the idea of creating an experimental space where a group of musicians come together freely as a real collective to see what happens.

Setting out to find musicians from diverse musical backgrounds, Chalkley enlisted singer-songwriter Nick Corbin to act as musical director. Formerly of New Street Adventure, Corbin is now carving his own path as a solo artist on Big A.C. Records, the East London label he founded in 2020 with his wife and DJ Sophie Heath.

Limiting themselves to just 48 hours to devise and record the song, touring London for a suitable studio Chalkley and Corbin visited acclaimed Sunday Best Records’ artists Kitty, Daisy and Lewis Durham’s custom-built analogue Durham Studios (a sign outside the studio reads ‘Phonographic Studios’ – this, and the time constraint, inform the group’s name).

This led to Kitty and Lewis being invited to participate in the creation and recording of the track, with Kitty playing drums and Lewis overseeing proceedings. Chalkley and Corbin then invited three more outstanding, yet musically diverse musicians, to complete the temporary group: acclaimed contemporary soul singer Laville; in-demand session and jazz/neo-soul players, bassist Solomon Douglas and keyboardist Amané Suganami (a founding member of jazz collective Maisha, signed to Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings), with soul devotee Corbin on guitar and backing vocals.

As producers, Kitty and Lewis anchored the session and gave the track a clear direction, ensuring everyone’s contributions were given the chance to shine and space to enhance the song. The experience was unlike any songwriting or session the musicians had previously encountered. The resultant track is a beautifully crafted, contemporary-sounding song, one which belies the fact it was created in just 48 hours by six musicians who had never worked together before.

Laville’s positive lyrics and smooth, laidback vocal are soundtracked by an infectious piece of music, with all the participants seamlessly blending together to create a hard-to-categorise track, which summons up the best of soul, funk, disco or jazz.

Watch the visualizer for Phono 48’s ‘So Pure’ - BELOW:

The magic of the two days in the studio with all the musicians – and the subsequent mixing and mastering by Kitty and Lewis – was captured by Chalkley in a vast series of documentary-style photos, in and outside the studio. In addition to the photos, inspired by Jean Luc Godard’s Sympathy For The Devil film – where the director shot the Rolling Stones as they made their famous record – with project Art Director Ciaran O’Shea (Discordo), Chalkley created a short experimental film with different abstract elements reflecting this brilliant creative journey.

Along with the single release, these two elements and a one-off journal written by music journalist Andy Thomas, complete the New Perspectives multi-faceted project. It will be launched with a photo exhibition at the Museum Of Youth Culture, 154-156 Shaftesbury Avenue, London on 17th February and run for two weeks, featuring Chalkley’s documenting of the two days as well as the short experimental film.

Phono 48’s ‘So Pure’ will be released on 12” vinyl via Big A.C. Records on 18th February. It comes packaged in a printed sleeve, with a 3mm spine and includes a double-sided print of images from the shoot. It is also available on digital download and across streaming platforms.

 

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