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Dan Patlansky: Perfection Kills

Issue #55

Patlansky was personally approved by Springsteen as the support act, seeing as Springsteen rarely has guest artists for his shows.
Dan Le Gresley

Perfection Kills

With his brand new studio album, 'Perfection Kills' dropping earlier this month, South African singer-songwriter and guitarist, Dan Patlansky chats to Daniel Le Gresley about the writing and recording process for the follow up to his 2016 release, the critically acclaimed and award-winning 'Introvertigo.'

Ever since his debut album, 'Standing at the Station,' followed by his 2004 major label (Blue Note, EMI produced) masterstroke 'True Blues,' Patlansky has immersed himself in the rich and rollicking world of blues rock music. In February 2005, and again in July 2006, Selwyn Miller, the New Orleans based manager of David Gates, Bread, Randy Crawford and Petula Clark (amongst others), took Patlansky to New Orleans to showcase his outstanding talent.

As Dan settled into his groove, what followed was a barrage of brilliantly executed eclectic and acoustic blues albums. 2006 brought with 'Real,' 'Move My Soul' in 2009, '20 Stones' in 2012, and the unplugged wonder of 2013’s acoustically anchored 'Wooden Thoughts' release.

With each new release, Patlansky’s albums brought with him a tighter and more engaging lyrical twist and even more exciting turns, all of which led beautifully to his much anticipated 2014 full- electric album released in May. In December 2014, 'Dear Silence Thieves' (produced by Theo Crous) was voted the #1 Blues Rock Album in the world released for 2014 by Blues Rock Review, alongside names such as Joe Bonamassa, Rival Sons, Devon Allman, The Black Keys, Philip Sayce, and many more.

Patlansky started 2014 off with a bang when he was chosen to open for Bruce Springsteen in front of 64,000 people at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg in February on his High Hopes tour. Patlansky was personally approved by Springsteen as the support act, seeing as Springsteen rarely has guest artists for his shows. A milestone, Patlansky played in front of the biggest audience of his career.

After 'Dear Silence Thieves' was voted the #1 Blues Rock Album in the world by Blues Rock Review in 2014, Patlansky received raving reviews in European and international press for the album. 'Dear Silence Thieves' was released in the UK on 27 April 2015, the same day he performed a launch showcase concert at The Borderline in London. Dan also visited Europe in May, June and July and played shows throughout the UK, Poland, the Netherlands and Germany.

In May 2016, Dan released the follow-up album to 'Dear Silence Thieves' with Theo Crous helming the production, entitled 'Introvertigo.' Patlansky used his personal life experiences as inspiration for the album to ultimately marry good songs with guitar playing, and the album has been received with critical acclaim both in SA and abroad.

Patlansky ended 2016 on a high note when 'Introvertigo' was voted as the #1 Blues Rock Album in 2016 by Blues Rock Review, becoming the first artist ever to place #1 on Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 Albums of the Year twice (Dear Silence Thieves 2014, 'Introvertigo' 2016). The album was also voted #8 of the Top 15 albums of 2016 by The Blues Magazine.

His 9th studio album, 'Perfection Kills,' is set for worldwide release on Friday 2nd February 2017. Dan started writing songs and recording the new album in 2016. Some of the songs were co-written and arranged with Theo Crous.

 “I got together with the band once I had basic ideas and messed about with them in a rehearsal space for a week,” reflects Dan. “I went back tweaked a few and then we were ready for the studio. The recording process was semi-live and took two weeks to complete. All the songs on 'Perfection Kills' were recorded and engineered by Jaco Naudé at Scherzo Productions in South-Africa, Mixed by Stefan Swart in South Africa and all tracks mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Mastering U.S.A.    

'Perfection Kills' is a concept that Dan wholeheartedly believes in. Says Dan, “In any art, form perfection doesn’t exist because there is no yardstick to measure it by. The pursuit of perfection ends up doing far more harm to the art than good. This was the mindset we adhered to when we went into the recording studio, “Why try to be perfect?”

Perfection Kills was recorded at Scherzo Productions, a recording studio in Dan’s hometown of Pretoria, South Africa. Dan chose Scherzo because he wanted to make a different sounding record and he felt it was the right studio for his vision.

Patlansky produced the album himself, something he hadn’t done in years. Says Dan, “I learnt so much working with Theo Crous who was the producer on my previous two albums 'Dear Silence Thieves' and 'Introvertigo.' I worked on pre-production and songwriting with Theo on a couple of the tracks for 'Perfection Kills' and applied what I learnt to the recording and production process of the album. 'Perfection Kills' is all about my vision of making a record that still makes the songwriting a priority as, in the past, the final product delivers a far more real and organic result.”

What sets the new album apart from its predecessors is the honesty and live sound of the songs. “To me, it feels like a band playing live in the studio which isn’t far from the truth. As mentioned the songs are still the priority and always will be, but on this album, they come across far closer to the way they will sound live. This is the album I’ve wanted to make for a few years now. So all I wanted to do was get the sound and production in my head across to the listeners in a raw and charmingly rough way.”

So, what songs from the new album is Dan most looking forward to playing on the road?

“The first single, "Dog Day", and the songs Johnny, Mayday and Too Far Gone are first that come to mind. I think all the songs will translate at a different level compared to previous songs on the live stage. I cannot wait to test drive the tunes.”

What plans does the adventurous South African blues-rock guitarist have in store in 2018?

“There’s going to be a big emphasis on a lot of touring around the new record which I can’t wait for. In March 2018 we return to the U.K/Europe for the Perfection Kills album launch tour.

To dovetail the release of the new album, Dan will embark on a UK tour in March 2018 with special guest Mollie Marriott. For tickets and more information please visit http://danpatlansky.com/shows

MARCH 2018

15- Manchester, Deaf Institute

16 - Newcastle, The Cluny

17 - Leek, Foxlowe Arts

18 - Bristol, The Tunnels        

20 - Sheffield, Greystones

21 - London, Borderline

‘PERFECTION KILLS’ – ALBUM TRACKLIST

  1. Johnny
  2. Never Long Enough
  3. Mayday
  4. Too Far Gone
  5. Judge A Man
  6. Junket Man
  7. iEyes
  8. Shake The Cage
  9. My Dear Boy
  10. Dog Day
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