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MP3 Torben Floor - Matinee

The next branch on rock''s family tree that started from the English getting it on with the Americans, including the Beatles and Bob Dylan, then David Bowie and Lou Reed, then Radiohead and Jeff Buckley.

10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, POP: British Pop

The musical quartet Torben Floor has finally put the finishing touches on their first studio-produced, long-playing debut album and titled it ''Matinee''.

Many have been waiting a long time for this - the first ''real'' Torben Floor album when you consider that ''live music in the apartment'', was more of a ''teaser'' debut, consisting primarily of home recordings the band produced themselves. So what took them so long?

"There are tons and tons of records being put out these days, and many of them have some interesting qualities, but the vast majority still end up sounding disposable to me," said Chris Ott, Torben Floor''s bassist. "The most important things, the art of crafting a song and the emotion in the performance are missing for the most part.

"So, we''ve spent the past few years just learning and refining our craft. Recording demos all over the place and then shelving them, playing live often to see what people respond to and just becoming a band. I think it''s too easy for artists just starting out today, with all of the home recording tools available, to put out your own CD before you really know how to make a record that you won''t be embarrassed about in a couple of years. And as our own harshest critic, I honestly believe that with ''Matinee'', we''ve finally made something I''ll be able to listen to in a few years without cringing," Ott states.

That being said, I guess you could say Torben Floor is a band that considers itself from the "old school". Songwriting, musicianship, and a great live performance are what they strive to deliver.

So ever since making a collective move into the greater Chicagoland area in 1995, the three original members (Doug Sale and the brothers Chris and Carey Ott) have been practicing what they preach by playing live often, building their songwriting catalog of quality original material up to about 100 songs to choose from, and spending a lot of time in various studios with respected producers such as Steve Albini (Nirvana, Bush, The Pixies, Page & Plant), Mark Rubel (Hum, The Poster Children) Jimmy Johnson (Cheap Trick), Ed Tinley, Brian Deck, and Peter Kohl. The band finally added the missing piece of the puzzle with guitarist/vocalist John Luckhaupt in the spring of 2000.

Since adding Luckhaupt, the band has been slowly but surely building recognition by playing shows throughout Chicagoland and neighboring Midwest venues, especially college towns like Madison, Champaign, and DeKalb. Torben Floor has also performed showcases at South by Southwest Music Festival, the Midwest Regional Music Festival in St. Louis, Chicago''s MOBFest, and the CMJ (College Music Journal Music Marathon) in New York, NY.

Torben Floor''s 1999 debut CD "live music in the apartment", was released on Waterdog Records, an independent label based in Chicago. As previously mentioned, it consists mainly of home recordings, with only two of the fifteen tracks recorded in a ''professional'' recording studio.

The reasoning behind releasing ''live music'' was to showcase the band''s focus on songwriting in the purest form possible. Often the recordings were made by Carey alone, immediately after the song was written. "That excitement of finishing a new song, the rawness of the feeling that went into it...that''s just something you cannot recapture after the band has been playing the songs together for months," said Carey. "We decided to do an experiment by putting this stuff out there, and see if the people who hear it agree with us."

To the band''s surprise, this experiment gathered rave reviews from the music press, with the Chicago Tribune saying "Credit Carey Ott for mining his influences rather than miming them", while Songwriter''s Monthly said "The band is song-centered and has a naked strength like you might find on a Brian Wilson lost studio tape. "Storms of Loss" has a quiet power that ensures this is a group to keep your eye on. Raw and well-crafted."

Torben Floor'' ''Matinee'' delivers above and beyond the potential hinted at on the home recordings of ''live music in the apartment''. It adds the band chemistry developed through years of performing live and high quality production to the songwriting reputation established by their primary singer/songwriter Carey Ott.

"I think this album is as close as we''ve come so far to being able to sum up what we''re about in approximately 40 minutes," said Chris Ott. "But, we''re still looking forward even more to making the next one."

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