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Ancient Astronauts Ancient Astronauts

‘The Past and The Future: Worlds Collide’

Already having remixed and collaborated with Fort Knox Five, Ladybug Mecca of Digable Planets, Zion I, Imani and Bootie Brown of The Pharcyde, Issa Bagayogo, Vieux Farka Toure, Kid Loco, Zion Train, and Tippa Irie the Ancient Astronauts [Tom Strauch and Ingo Möll from the Switchstance Recordings label in Germany] have linked up with a variety of new sonic collaborators for their kaleidoscopic sophomore album 'Into Bass and Time'!

'Into Bass and Time' sees the Astronauts take their vintage-meets-future block party aesthetic and blast off to new frontiers. The Astronauts are not alone in their journey however, as they bring along a solid crew of MCs, vocalists, and turntablists for the intergalactic ride.

Entropik adds lush strings while DJ Brace cuts it up with vinyl acrobatics. Akua Naru and Phat Old Mamas lend a haunting feminine vocal edge while MC's Azeem, Raashan Ahmad, and Monsoon drop sonic bombs on the m-i-c. From hard driving hip-hop, to funky breakbeat, to righteous dancehall reggae, to late night smokers' trip-hop, 'Into Bass and Time' is a sonic rocket ship ride!

Exclusive Magazine recently sat down with Ancient Astronauts and discussed the exciting new CD, where the name of the band originated, their music in general, and, of course, ... Penguins!

Taking it from the top and you've been labeled as "one of the 10 Must-Hear Bands" of 2011 ... hmmm, ok, well, so please convince me just why I "must-hear" you in 2011! "Because we present a variety of different musical genres combined through our own composition and beats. We try to present much more than just one direction. It´s music from the heart with a meaning. It´s not the typical music that people might expect from Germany. A kind of world music with strong beats."

Your new album, 'Into Bass and Time' features an outstanding collision of beats and genres. So, growing up, what artists/albums were being played in your household that still influence you today? "Linton Kwesi Johnson – 'Bass Culture,' A Tribe Called Quest – 'Low End Theory,' Public Enemy – 'Fear Of A Black Planet,' Tom Waits – 'Rain Dogs,' Leonard Cohen – 'Songs Of Leonard Cohen,' Jimi Hendrix – 'Electric Ladyland,' Curtis Mayfield – 'Superfly,' Fela Kuti – 'Sorrow, Tears & Blood,' and James Brown – 'Ain´t It Funky'."

Indeed, where did that album title originate - and what other title thoughts were circling the drain at the time, if that one hadn't worked out? "That title came to our mind one year ago while we were on US tour. We were at SXSW in Austin and returned to Washington DC where we had a brainstorming for a good album title. And all of a sudden it came to our mind. This was the first idea we had and we stuck to it."

With Ancient Astronauts being born in Germany (I was just there in Cologne) is the music scene hotter there for you than anywhere else? "Hmm, we definately have a good music scene in Cologne with great Hip Hop, Reggae, Funk and even Techno, but you cannot compare it to other countries. There is just a big love for original music and we love to celebrate it all night long in the clubs."

"Here in the US it is different cause everything closes so early. But we very much love the live music scene over here in the US which is really awesome and a big part of your culture. And that is admirable. But all together we just love to travel the world and meet new scenes and music cultures. Everywhere on this planet it can happen that we play to a crowd that does not understand what we do or intend with our music, so we highly appreciate real music lovers that are hungry for new music."

The music of AA is a mix of old-school and modern - but, for you personally, which genre is your favorite to work with: Old-School beats or the more modern of created beats? "We favor the genre of timeless beats and music."

And, for the record, just where did the bands name originate? "It originated in our heads when more than 10 years ago we were looking for a band name that combines our love for oldschool music and modern sounds. Our motto is to travel the cosmos of music, from the past to the present to the future. That´s what our band name is about."

Please sum your music up in just five (5) words - NOT using: hip-hop, funky, break beats, dancehall, sonic, reggae or even trip-hop! Just using out of the box descriptive words for the vibe! "Dope, conscious, organic, heavy-hitting music!"

Are you currently working on your follow-up album, perhaps? "Of course, after the album is always before the next album. We are constantly working on new music and beats and think forward in terms of usage, etc."

Please reveal, as we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, a lesser-known, or even thus far completely unknown thing about AA that has never been talked out, or revealed before?! "Kabanjak was once singing in the Diamond High School choir in Anchorage/Alaska when he was 17 and Dogu walked through our hometown Moers wearing a big Public Enemy clock around his neck (for only 1 day) when he was 16."

Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine love penguins ... do you, perhaps? "Yeah totally, penguins are super cute and funny. Did you ever see them sleep while still standing? That is hillarious. Big up the penguins!!!"

Interview: Russell A. Trunk

So, if you would like to win a SIGNED copy of the bands latest CD, 'Into Bass and Time,' just answer this easy question: Switchstance Recordings label is based where [EXACTLY) in Germany?!

Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these wonderful signed items! Just send us an e:mail here before May 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: ANCIENT ASTRONAUTS SIGNED CDs to:

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