Press pack 2016 .pdf

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Intriguing Anglo-Colombian duo Bitch 'n' Monk have been described as "hardcore
Kate Bush meets rebellious Andean Jethro Tull", creating what they call 'feral
ethnopunk'. They first met in a yurt and began composing together within a few
hours. Their intense collaboration has produced compositions which fuse traditional
Colombian music with the eccentricity of the British DIY sound, rooted in the
creative spirit of jazz with the theatrical power of opera.
Their instrumentation is a unique combination of; virtuosic Mauricio Velasierra on
traditional flutes from the Andes, and pioneering soprano Heidi Heidelberg on
vocals and electric guitar, producing music which The Guardian called
"'ll spend a while trying to classify them but they know how to write
They have performed across Europe and UK, including the London Jazz Festival, La
Cigale (Paris) Sweden's Umea Jazz Festival and live on BBC Radio 3's Late Junction.
Their debut album 'We Are Peering Over' was released on Lotus Arts Box Records in
September to critical acclaim. "Exquisite. A kaleidescope of musical forms" - BBC
Radio 3.
Bitch 'n' Monk gratefully receive funding from PRS for Music Foundation

Heidi Heidelberg - Vocals/guitar/loops

Heidelberg’s vocals can be both
thrilling and intimate, moving
between operatic and rock,
looping chest-pumping screams
or angelic chorales, or simply
becoming one with the flute
timbres, She has performed with
jazz and experimental musicians
and composers, such as Jason
Yarde, Peter Ehwald, Jarvis
Cocker, Gary Crosby OBE and
Lina Lapelyte.

Mauricio Velasierra - Flutes/effects

Velasierra has created both his
own musical style as well as
making his own modified
traditional flutes. He has recorded
with Mercury Music Awardwinning Zoe Rahman and
collaborated with Mercury
Nominees Dave Okoumu and
Tom Herbert (The Invisible).
He has played with guitarist John
Williams, and opened for Van
Morrison and Angelique Kidjo.


The Guardian
“Special mention to the support
act, the intriguing Anglo-Colombian
duo Bitch ’n’ Monk. Mauricio
Velasierra plays assorted flutes, Heidi
Heidelberg plays guitar, sings and
beatboxes, while the two transform
their sound into junkyard electronica
through the ingenious use of looping
pedals. You’ll spend a while
pondering how to classify them –
prog folk? Operatic post-punk?
Gothic reggae?”

“…they know how to write

The Quietus
“The poison apple sound of jazz,
folk and classical is in bitter proximity
to West Country trip-hop miserablists
Portishead, especially on the
ragged, haunting 'The Eagle'. Like
Portishead's Beth Gibbons,
Heidelberg dishes out dark-hued
affairs of the heart with stinging,
deadpan poise, like on single 'Did
He?', but in this case leavens the
heartbreak with a west Africancharged middle eight that vibrates
with the sort of wacky, joie de vivre
tUnE-yArDs is prone to - and that ain't
a bad thing.

One bite of this mini album will
send you into a lovesick coma
and give you an electrifying kiss
of life all at once.”

The Arts Desk (album review)


“Work of uncompromising novelty dense but exhilarating collages…an
unmistakable sound-world of their
own, but in many ways, their own
genre. Andean punk opera?
Existentialist hip-hop?”
“…Their musical finesse enables
them to charm as well as batter an
audience. Although their literary heft
requires extensive narrative passages
in songs of five or six minutes,
Heidelberg’s quasi-operatic vocals
are entrancing, and her control of
volume and tone, especially at the
delicate end of her range, is
“…It’s angry, and in places bitter,
and musically the sound bristles as
much as it seduces…”
“the overriding impression is of

wonder, and a beautiful
commitment to experimentation
and novelty.”

Jazz Standard (feature)
Bitch ‘n’ Monk; perplexing Music
Journalists everywhere.
We Are Peering Over is a collection of
nine unclassifiable rhapsodies. In a
pairing that’s half Colombian and
half British, the influences poured into
Bitch ‘n’ Monk‘s new album
provide a meeting point for crunchy
electric guitar riffs and gymnastic flute
The human brain likes to categorise
things; it’s in our nature. But with
Bitch ‘n’ Monk we’re met with a
conundrum; hippy afro punk? Ven
sound art? Or perhaps simply post
progressive? Trying to describe their
sound is an acrobatic mind game.
Good to know that Guardian Music,
BBC, The Arts Desk and The Quietus
have all had a stab at it.

Jazz Standard (album preview)
“Every now and then, an act who
dances on the perimeters of
experimental music has the charm to
lure in new, wider audiences. That’s
especially the case for Bitch ‘n’
“…Heidi’s soaring, sometimes
predatory vocals combined with her
alluring beatboxing come together
to mark a singer that isn’t afraid to
express herself on this record.
Alongside Mauricio, a Columbian
flautist with a penchant for
memorable melodies”

“…one of the most diverse and
exciting acts to come out of the
UK’s experimental scene in
recent years.”

All About Jazz (album review)


“Bitch 'n' Monk is clearly willing and
able to take a few risks. It's a strategy
that succeeds”
“Velasierra adapts his flute playing to
suit the varying moods and attitudes
of the songs with skill.
Heidelberg is a fine vocalist:
aggressive one moment, tender the
next — attitude in spades, a Slits for
the new jazz age.”

“…Bitch 'n' Monk establishes its
credentials: emotionally raw,
heart-on-its-sleeve, music from a
duo full of ideas and the talent
to see them fulfilled—inspired
and inspiring.”

Bristol Post
“Starting with tunes, words – plus a
flute and guitar – the Bitch’n’Monk
duo somehow manage to go off
somewhere completely unexpected
at the slightest provocation. Heidi
Heidelberg’s remarkable voice and
Mauricio Velasierra’s pedalprocessed Colombian flutes are
equally versatile instruments, wellmatched to Heidi’s jazz-punk guitar,
but it’s their imagination that rules.”

NPO (Dutch National Radio) - Vrije Geluiden
“It's very different, a bizarre
combination of traditional Columbian
music with a typical British girl with a
Fender and a loop station. Sounded a
bit like folk music and like Kate Bush
and like the folky stuff by Sinead O
Connor. And I heard this live at the
Jazzdag at North Sea Round town
there are 'show cases' and this was
the English submission.
And I was
totally blown off my socks. If you have
the chance to see them live, really do

“Bitch’n’Monk c’est la rencontre
en territoire sonore trouble et
troublant de la voix de soprano de la
guitariste britannique Heidi
Heidelberg, et des flutes
décomplexées du colombien
Mauricio Velasierra ; c’est étrange,
expérimental, et vraiment cool !”

La Tundra Magazine (album review)
“Bitch’n’ Monk habla con un
lenguaje propio. Integrado por
Mauricio Velasierra (Colombia) y
Heidi Heidelberg (Reino Unido) su
sonido se caracteriza por una flauta
que descubre nuevas sonoridades e
invita a que otros instrumentos
tradicionales como la quena o la
zampoña adquieran también
dimensiones diferentes.
Imagínense a una musa deslizándose
entre la experimentación y la
amplitud de formas, así suena este
dúo que no deja de sorprender en
cada presentación. Luego de
incontables horas trabajando juntos
entre París y Londres, decidieron que
era hora de encapsular
su producción en un nuevo álbum.
Tanto su música como sus videos
tienen una enorme producción que
habla del talento de ambos músicos y
de su obsesión por la sonoridad que
persiguen. “

La Tundra Magazine (feature)

"Bitch 'n' Monk es un dúo de sonidos
casi impredecibles que despierta a
una nueva dimensión donde lo
etéreo convive con lo experimental,
el jazz y lo folk. Recomendado por
artistas de la talla de Yoko Ono o Ray
Davies resulta imposible no sucumbir
ante su energía desbordante.”

Latinos in London Magazine
"This daring new duo - Bitch 'n' Monk has been hitting London with a new
kind of sensuality and musicality, that
has been missing from London's
music scene since the 70s. Their
sound is both raw and intensely
modern, with an inspiring and
courageous originality rarely seen
these days.”

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