Islands sprouted out of the kindred x-ray vision of Nick Diamonds and J'aime Tambeur, two rag-tag youths from the weird side of the tracks. Previously, they'd worked together in sludge-crust band The Unicorns. This time they'd be exploring a music best catalogued as other, in what seems a tribute to the timeless sound of great pop music. The album combines rhythms and sounds of cultures in the southern and eastern hemispheres, as well as a dash of rap. Return to the Sea was recorded in the sweaty month of July while Islands was still merely couple of lonely icebergs, not yet an archipelago. So local friends, including Richard Reed Parry, Regine Chassagne, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah Neufeld, Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug, and l'il Mikey Feurstack lent their valiant efforts to the recording process.
With the album finished, Nick and J'aime set out on a search for the most exciting musicians in existence to create Islands as you see them live today. On their travels, they encountered Patrice Agbokou, the Togo born bass player with the gift of "finger magic". Patrice's impressive resume, which included a short stint as Prince's bass player at age of 12, helped clinch the deal.
Next to join were the magnificent Chow brothers, "Alex-Chow" and Sebastian, known to many as the 1993 and 1994 "World Super-NES-Fest" champions. Between the two of them, they play every instrument ever created, but are known to be particularly deadly on "Mario Paint Music Maker", which they play quite competently in the band.
Islands wouldn't be complete without their resident heartbreaker Patrick Gregoire, breathing new life into the album via his sexy bass clarinet (often foolishly mistaken for a saxophone), sometimes used as a stick with which to shake girls off.
Most recently kidnapped from one of Montreal's most prestigious rabbinical colleges, where he specialized in Shochet, the slaughtering of kosher meat, Aaron "America" Harris has found a new role to his life, cuffed and shackled to his drumset.
The group also boasts the genetically musical and mustachioed James R. Guthrie, (grandson to Woody and nephew to Arlo), and two of LA's finest rappers Subtitle (Giovanni Marks) and Busdriver (Regan Farquhar).
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