Apollo 440


Apollo 440

Infobox musical artist
Name = Apollo 440


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Origin = Liverpool, England
Genre = Electronica
Electro rock
Big Beat
Techno
House
Dance
Years_active = 1990 – Present
Label = Sony BMG/Stealth Sonic/550 Music/Epic
Associated_acts =
URL = http://www.apollo440.com/
Current_members = Trevor Gray
Howard Gray
Noko
Ewan Macfarlane
Cliff Hewitt
Rej Ap Gwynned
Ashley Krajewski
Past_members = Ian Hoxley
Paul Kodish

Apollo 440 (alternately known as Apollo Four Forty or @440) are an English musical band formed in 1990 in Liverpool by brothers Trevor and Howard Gray with fellow Liverpudlians Noko and James Gardner, although Gardner left after the recording of the first album. All members sing and add a profusion of samples, electronics, and computer-based sounds. The name comes from the Greek god Apollo and the frequency of concert pitch — the A note at 440 Hz, often denoted as "A440", and the Sequential Circuits sampler/sequencer, the Studio 440.

After relocating to the Camden area of London, Apollo 440 recorded their debut album, "Millennium Fever", and released it in 1994 on their own Stealth Sonic Recordings label (distributed by Epic Records). They have successfully invaded both the pop charts and the dancefloor with their combination of rock, techno, and ambient. They also changed the writing of their name from Apollo 440 to Apollo Four Forty in 1996, though switched back for their latest album.

The band had been most known for its remixes until the release of "Liquid Cool" in the UK. However, it was not until the success of the singles "Krupa" and "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Dub" that their own musical efforts were brought to international attention — particularly the latter contributed greatly to pushing Apollo 440 into the spotlight.

Currently, the band resides in Islington, London, having once again moved its headquarters (affectionately labelled Apollo Control).

In 2007, the band played a tribute gig to the late singer Billy MacKenzie and decided to go on after that. They plan for several more gigs and an album that should be out in 2008.

2008 will see the release of Apollo 440's fifth album and live dates in Europe. Since forming in 1990 they have written, recorded and produced their own 4 albums, collaborated with and produced other artists, remixed as Apollo 440 and as ambient cinematic alter-ego Stealth Sonic Orchestra, and created commissioned pieces for film, tv, ads and multimedia including movie themes "Lost In Space" and "Charlie's Angels".

During their eleven years at Sony, 1993-2004, they notched up 11 Top 40 UK Singles with three Top 10s, and had a formidable global chart presence.From their inception Apollo 440 have always played live with a number of different line-ups, in the early days featuring guest vocals by legendary MC Stevie Hyper-D. In 1994 the basic trio of founding members Noko (Guitar & Vocals), Howard Gray (Vibe Contoller) and Trevor Gray (Keyboards) were, for the first time joined by Cliff Hewitt on electronic and acoustic drums.

Between 1997 and 2000 they toured extensively round the world as an eight piece live band featuring Noko (Guitar), Howard Gray ( FOH Vibe Controller), Trevor Gray (Keyboards), Mary Byker (Vocals), Harry K (DJ & Vocals), Paul Kodish (Drums), Cliff Hewitt (D-Drums) and Rheinnalt (Rej) Ap Gwynned (Bass). To date Apollo's Remixes number around 60 - from U2 in the early '90s to Puff Daddy/Jimmy Page and Ennio Morricone a decade later. Apollo's version of Puretone's Addicted To Bass was made the lead track and became a huge hit in 2002. Amongst their Stealth Sonic Orchestra Remixes are a series of Manic Street Preachers singles.

Collaborators have included Jeff Beck, Jean Michel Jarre, Billy Mackenzie, Ian McCulloch and Hotei (of Kill Bill soundtrack fame). Over 50 different Apollo tracks have featured repeatedly on movies, trailers, tv, games and ads worldwide, the latter including globally branded cars, beers, soft drinks, phones, audio and software. They have also written two entire soundtracks for Sony PlayStation and provided the themes for ITV World Cup '98 and Formula 1 2000 coverage as well as Liverpool F.C's Official 2006 FA Cup song.

The 2008 live line-up features founding members Noko (Guitar), Howard Gray (FOH Vibe Controller) and Trevor Gray (Keyboards), as well as long-time collaborator vocalist Ewan MacFarlane who sings on each track on the new album. Original @440 drummer Cliff Hewitt is once again the main man behind the kit with Rheinnalt (Rej) Ap Gwynned on bass guitar. Ashley Krajewski features on Keyboards/MPC Samples having been the studio engineer at Apollo Control since 2003.

Discography

Albums

* "Millennium Fever" (1994) #117 UK
* "Electro Glide in Blue" (1997) #62 UK
* "Gettin' High on Your Own Supply" (1999) #20 UK
* "Dude Descending a Staircase" (2003)

ingles

* "Lolita" (1991)
* "Destiny" (1991)
* "Blackout" (1992)
* "Rumble E.P." (1993)
* "Astral America" (1994) #36 UK
* "Liquid Cool" (1994) #35 UK
* "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" (1995) #35 UK
* "Krupa" (1996) #23 UK
* "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Dub" (1997) #7 UK
* "Raw Power" (1997) #32 UK
* "Carrera Rapida" (1997)
* "Rendez-Vous 98" (with Jean Michel Jarre; 1998) #12 UK
* "Lost in Space" (1998) #4 UK
* "Stop The Rock" (1999) #10 UK
* "Heart Go Boom" (1999) #57 UK
* Promo only: "Cold Rock The Mic / Crazee Horse" (2000)
* "Charlie's Angels 2000" (2000) #29 UK
* "Say What?" (with 28 Days; 2001) #23 Australia
* "Dude Descending A Staircase" (feat. The Beatnuts; 2003) #58 UK

Soundtracks

Apollo 440's music is often found featured in various soundtracks of all sorts: movies (notably the reworked theme to the movie Lost in Space), games, and shows. The list of soundtracks they have contributed to is long - accordingly, this list only includes soundtracks which are "exclusively" done by Apollo 440.

* "Rapid Racer" (1997), format: PlayStation CD ("Audio CD plus game data track"). The soundtrack was also available as an extra CD, as part of the limited edition double CD single release of "Carrera Rapida"
* "" (2004), format: PlayStation 2 DVD
* "" (2004), PlayStation 2 DVD features instrumental version of the song "Hustler Groove".
* "Gran Turismo 4" (2005), the PS2 video game, featured two exclusive tracks. They were "Hold The Brakes" and "Start The Car".
* "FIFA 2000" (1999), featured "Stop The Rock"
* "S.W.A.T. (2003), featured "Time is Running Out"
* " Spider Man " (2000), featured a remix of "Spiderman Theme."
* "Spider-man" featured "Altamont Super-Highway Revisited" in one of the trailers.
* "Chasing Liberty" "Stop The Rock"
* "Gone in 60 Seconds" (2000), featured "Stop The Rock"
* "Disaster Movie", featured "Stop the Rock" in the teaser trailer
* "The Sopranos", season 4, and the end of chapter 9 ('Whoever Did This') sounds "The Man with the Harmonica"

Vocalists

Apollo Four Forty have a history of working together with various vocalists to achieve their musical goals. Whilst their debut album, "Millennium Fever", was sung almost exclusively by Noko, the Liverpudlian has since withdrawn from his vocalist status in the band to make way for various guest appearances, including, but not limited to:
*Billy MacKenzie on "Pain In Any Language" (Album: "Electro Glide in Blue"), coincidentially the last song Billy recorded.
*Ewan MacFarlane on "Electro Glide in Blue" (Album: "Electro Glide In Blue") and numerous tracks on the "Dude Descending a Staircase" album
*Xan on "Something's Got to Give" (Album: "Dude Descending a Staircase")
*Jalal Nuriddin on "Children of the Future" (Album: "Dude Descending a Staircase")
*The Beatnuts on "Dude Descending a Staircase" (Album: "Dude Descending a Staircase")
*Elizabeth Gray on "Christiane" (Album: "Dude Descending a Staircase") and "Stealth Mass" (Album: "Electro Glide in Blue")
*Mary Mary (Ian Hoxley) on "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Dub", "Raw Power" (Album: "Electro Glide in Blue") and "Stop The Rock" (Album: "Gettin' High On Your Own Supply").

Tributes

Jean Baudrillard

The album "Millennium Fever" is a tribute to the French postmodernist Jean Baudrillard. Since the release of that album, other references to Jean Baudrillard's works have popped up.
*The track "Astral America", references Baudrillard's "America" essay, where the term originates.
*The track "The Perfect Crime", references Baudrillard's book of the same name.
*The lyrics of "Stealth Requiem" reference the Baudrillardian concept of hyperreality. At one point a female voice says "Ravishing hyperrealism ... Mind blowing", and later quotes directly from "America" (1988): "The exhilaration of obscenity; the obscenity of obviousness; the obviousness of power; the power of simulation."

Marcel Duchamp

The album "Dude Descending a Staircase" has a cover as tribute to Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 by Marcel Duchamp.

Alcor

The song "Liquid Cool" (released as a b-side in 1993, as a single in 1994, and featured on the "Millennium Fever" album) is a tribute to Alcor, a company focused to pursue research into and the organization of cryonization. The topic is also referenced in the title-song "Millennium Fever", which includes the "I've been dreaming of freezing my mind in California" where Alcor was based until 1994.Contact details for Alcor subsequently appeared on the sleeve of the single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" (a cover of the Blue Öyster Cult song).

Omega Point

The song "Omega Point" references the concept of the same name, and features a quote from Barrow and Tipler's "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle" (p676): "At the instant the Omega Point is reached, life will have gained control of all matter and forces not only in a single universe, but in all universes whose existence is logically possible; life will have spread into all spatial regions in all universes which could logically exist, and will have stored an infinite amount of information, including all bits of knowledge which it is logically possible to know."

Covers, remixes, reprises, samples etc.

* "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Dub" uses a sample from a popular hit of hard rock band Van Halen, "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love" and the sample "Let's go back to the rock and see it at four-forty" from the movie 'The Andromeda Strain' adapted from the book by Michael Crichton
* Apollo 440 covered "I Feel You" for the Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses.
* "Liquid Cool" seems to include a Blondie sample (from the song "Fade Away and Radiate" from Parallel Lines).
* They covered the "Theme From Spider Man" for the first Spider-Man video game on the Sony PlayStation.
* Apollo 440 also covered the Blue Öyster Cult song (Don't Fear) The Reaper. The song was on their Millennium Fever album.

External links

* [http://www.apollo440.com/ Official site]
* [http://apollo440.soundslogic.com The Stealthography]
* [http://www.apollo440.fan.pl coldrockin' Apollo 440 site]
* [http://www.davesmithinstruments.com/other/museum.html Sequential Circuits Instruments museum]


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