Numero Group: By The Numbers


How It’s Made: Documenting The Universal Togetherness Band
January 4, 2016, 12:54 pm
Filed under: Universal Togetherness Band

Kudos to our friend and filmmaker Simon Brubaker on this insightful little feature detailing how the Universal Togetherness Band went from musical guests aboard The Chicago Party to the stars of their own dreamality show within the Numero Group universe. This is essentially an instruction manual for how to make a Numero Group release—Yes, it’s just this easy! Watch, repeat, repost, and retweet. And if this is the first time you’re hearing about the Universal Togetherness Band, then get on down to our website, where you can sample much of their tremendous output.

Bonus Track: Jon Kirby and Andre Gibson on WBEZ’s The Morning Shift with Tony Sarabia, January 2015.



Newish singles for your DJ night no one attends

We’ve heard you loud and clear: You need more reproduction singles for your DJ gig at the local sandwich shop on Wednesday evenings 8-midnight.

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Let’s start your set with a hard slice of Florida funk from Perk Badger. “Do Your Stuff” was recently used in a Nike Air Jordan campaign, so Becky Backpack and Tony Trainspot won’t be leaning over the decks during at least one song.

Grip it here.

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Looking for that perfect segue between the Doobie Brothers and Jamaroquai? We got you covered. The hit that never was, Universal Togetherness Band’s “My Sentiments,” finally comes to 45 with an exclusive unreleased flip. Dig that sax.

Get sweaty.

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Finally, after half a decade on the shelf, we put Trevor Dandy’s “Is There any Love” back in print as a two sided single. Cue burn the A side to your heart’s content, then flip it over and start again. 400 plays guaranteed! Let the chin scratchers pontificate about where they heard it first. Yelawolf? Ghostface? Cudi? Common? 

Get in there.



Ned Doheny and UTB in the Era of the Edit
May 15, 2015, 11:36 am
Filed under: Ned Doheny, Universal Togetherness Band

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Our Google alerts get transmitted directly to our spinal column. So the other night when word of these Ned Dohney edits (or NEDITS) came in, we were on it. We hope all the NEDITS that follow are similarly Simpsons themed. You’re on notice, Tomaspink!

On a related note—A few months back, we posted the stems for the Universal Togetherness Band’s “Once In A Lifetime” on Blend.io, an interface that producers and DJs use to share and compare remixes and edits. Out of the 191 people who uploaded the project, The Contrarian Priors seem to have made the most of their remix, composing new parts and processing old parts, even creating this flashy graphic for the occasion.



The Universal Togetherness Band Perform “Pull Up”
March 18, 2015, 1:37 pm
Filed under: Chicago Party, Universal Togetherness Band

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The Universal Togetherness Band’s modern renaissance would have been impossible were it not for one crucial event—the group’s appearance on Episode 21 of The Chicago Party. These small steps onto the CopHerBox II’s illuminated dance floor translated into giant leaps for band-kind. For it was this very performance that ignited our own obsession with the undocumented quintet. For Universal Togetherness Band freaks/aficionados, there is one track that is not available on their self-titled LP, nor does it appear on either side of their infectious 45. That song is “Pull Up,” which Pitchfork described as “nearly tone def.” As if that’s a bad thing! It was this very loose-clutch quality that led us to believe that the Universal Togetherness Band might have been on to something special back in 1982. So if you want in on some of this action, you’re gonna have to pick up our tribute to 1982’s official place to be… Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party.



Lyrics To Go – Universal Togetherness Band
March 12, 2015, 1:21 pm
Filed under: Universal Togetherness Band

We’ve all experienced the stunted excitement of having a great song stuck in your head that you don’t quite know the lyrics to. While discussing this sensation with Andre Gibson of the Universal Togetherness Band, the singer-songwriter confessed that most of his compositions already had lyric sheets, type-written on company letterhead during the time of conception. We are happy to share with you some of the lyrical genius of the Universal Togetherness Band.

“Saturday Night” Pt.1

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There are some pretty trite songs in the marketplace about partying. But the scene Andre depicts here rank among the best of the night-specific party anthems. These are step-by-step instructions for invoking a festive atmosphere. And we’re not here to tell you how to do your job, but if you happen to DJ, on a Saturday night, why wouldn’t you want Andre Gibson coaching your crowd at 120 beats per minute? Buy this 7-inch. On the flip? See below…

“More Than Enough” Pt. 1MoreThanEnough

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The music video for “More Than Enough” is a pretty literal enactment of these tender lyrics. We’re not going to over analyze these metered rhymes, because obviously “Your love is more than enough for me/Your love is everything I need” is simple, succinct, and arguably perfect.

“Taken By Love”

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The astro-sexuality of “Taken By Love” recalls George Duke’s funky monolog “Space Lady” set to an aggressive punk-funk beat. The conversational narrative between Andre and the female protagonist as they take a midnight flight along the Milky Way reaches a real crescendo with the  repeated plea: “Baby won’t you take me riding/over in your love mobile?”

“I Want You”

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A strong contender for greatest Numero Group wedding song, “I Want You” is so mellow and elegant, it was the perfect way to conclude our compilation. On a purely musical note, pay special attention to Andre’s gymnastic runs up the vibraphone, an instrument he studied during his time at Chicago Vocational School in the early ’70s.

Bonus Track: “Real Thrill” 

In actuality, “Real Thrill” was the song that started this entire quest. The words I was able to pick out all carried positive connotations (happiness, laughter, dreams). When you put them all together, “Real Thrill” is a beautifully abstract manifest on taking positivity and making more positivity, through music.

“Real Thrill” 

Verse I:
The thrill is real we feel
We’ll pass it on to you,
You know this world,
Can stand some happiness.
And when we pass you the thrill
You’ll ride it like a star___,
Takes you flying to a place where, moments are___
Filled with laughter, rainbow colors,
Takes your breath away.
Golden voices ask you,
Would you like to stay__.
Yes I would, I truly would,
This got to be a dream__.
But your heart will surely tell you
What it means.
And we hope you find what we did,
So you can rejoice__
Then your thrill will be real,
You can, Pass it on___,
To another, who would like to,
Feel a Real Thrill,
Who can spread the message, back into the world

Chorus:
Come and check how it feels
It’s The Real Thrill__.
Come and check how it feels,
It’s the Real Thrill___.
Come and check how it feels, ’cause it’s,
Com’in Thru__.

Refrain:
Look out, yoo-hoo,
It’s the Real Thrill
Com’in Thru.
Repeat 4’xs

Repeat chorus: 3’xs

Modulate (Piano solo)

Chorus: Vamp out

©1980 Andre Gibson

Purchase Universal Togetherness Band here: 



The Chicago Party Screening Was Incredible
March 5, 2015, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Chicago Party, Eccentric Soul 45s, Universal Togetherness Band

ChiPartyScreening-0557Tuesday night was not our biggest release party, but it was quite possibly our best. Nestled into the elegant Chopin Theatre, we witnessed 90 action-packed minutes of nightlife delight amongst friends, fans, and a few of the alchemists who made it all possible. There was a certain Mystery Science Theater 3000 element to the evening, as audience members toggled between on-screen action and real-time commentary/karaoke courtesy of Willie Woods, Donnell Pitman, Andre Gibson, and Jesus Wayne.

 

ChiPartyScreening-0637Afterwards, Woods spoke briefly about The Chicago Party, its purpose and importance. Andre Gibson, whose entire Universal Togetherness Band archive was exhumed while reviewing Chicago Party footage, testified. There were lots of hugs.

 

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ChiPartyScreening-0626Woods, Wayne, Pitman, and Gibson with their respective pieces of the Chicago Party pie.

 

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Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party is available now. Get home safely, Donnell!



Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party Is Here
March 3, 2015, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Chicago Party, Universal Togetherness Band | Tags:

CHIPARTYLP001We are excited, pleased, and proud to announce that Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party is available on-line, off-line, digitally, physically, and visually as of today, March 3rd, 2015. Surely you’ve noticed the mighty mess of 15-second clips on our Instagram page, the flattering articles, or youtube advertorials? And I’m guessing you’ve already streamed the album, in its entirety, for free over at our Soundcloud page? If you happen to live in the Chicagoland area, it goes without saying that we’ll be seeing you tonight for the celebratory screening of Ultra-High Frequencies at the Chopin Theatre at 7:30 pm. Host, CopHerBox II owner, and Chicago Party creator Willie Woods will be on hand, as will performers Donnell Pitman, Andre Gibson (Universal Togetherness Band), and Jesus Wayne. The moral of the story is, Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party is here. Don’t touch that dial!



Andre Gibson After Universal Togetherness Band
February 20, 2015, 3:52 pm
Filed under: Universal Togetherness Band

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When the Universal Togetherness Band finally called it quits in 1984, Andre Gibson continued to compose and record music in his home studio. Chicago’s indigenous dance music, Steppers, was taking root and Gibson got in on the ground level. Although the Universal Togetherness Band never released a sliver of vinyl over the course of their life span, Gibson has flourished in the age of CD Baby. We are not just saying this; Andre Gibson’s new music is awesome. Here are a few highlights.

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To Be Continued (2011) The first drop of contemporary Andre Gibson music I heard was “Calling Steppers To The Floor,” en route to Bloomington, Indiana for a holiday party. The punch of the drums, the twinkle of the keys, and the posse of multiple personality vocals make this a gripping opener, but the album never loses momentum. If Teddy Riley was reincarnated as Dam-Funk and had Ariel Pink aid in recording a demo, it might sound like To Be Continued.

Search as I may through the Adobe Creative Suite manual, I can not figure out how the Chiat Records design team was able to to render this cover image with the cursor arrow on screen (check the hat).  Moving along…

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Let’s Getaway (2013) There may be no harder Andre Gibson track than “I Love It,” which has also been released as a single. Ingredients: A groove you could park an 18-wheeler in, an 8-bit tambourine (trampled and sampled), the perfect electric piano patch, a hook, natural and artificial percussion.

Nowhere is the improved fidelity of Let’s Getaway more evident than on “Una Pachanga.” The synth-bass pops out of the mix like spring-loaded snakes in a peanut brittle can, while the vocoder mocks you for trying to sing along.

The musical concepts expressed on Universal Togetherness Band is some of the most innovative material we’ve had the occasion to discover, and we would be disappointed if a musician like Andre Gibson ever truly called it quits. There’s already a new album underway for 2015, so stay tuned for more modern transmissions from UTB frontman Andre Gibson.

The the progressive dance music of the Universal Togetherness Band is available at numerogroup.com

The new sounds of Andre Gibson are available at CDBaby.com



Remix The Universal Togetherness Band
February 3, 2015, 1:43 pm
Filed under: Universal Togetherness Band

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When we unearthed the recorded catalog of the Universal Togetherness Band, we were presented with a unique opportunity: master from the original quarter-inch mixes or use the multi-track tapes to give the eccentric song book the post-production attention it deserved. Seeing as the original stereo mixes were rendered by committee, with students and instructors crowded around a single console, we decided we would let a panel of focussed professionals take a pass. Sean Marquand and Eber Pinheiro’s buddy flick mixing adventure is the stuff of legend, so we figured it would be fun to extend this opportunity to producers and engineers everywhere. Over at Blend.io, you can download the stems for “Once In A Lifetime,” and arrange them any which way you like. Isolate the vocals and lay down a new bed of synthetic instrumentation. Double stitch the drums patterns, beef up the bass, eliminate the bass—go nuts. If we see something interesting, we’ll share it. This is not a contest, per se, just a cool opportunity to fall deeper in love with the Universal Togetherness Band. Enjoy!



Andre Gibson (UTB) “Raindrops” (Video)
January 28, 2015, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized, Universal Togetherness Band

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The disintegration of the Universal Togetherness Band did not slow Andre Gibson’s songwriting bender, which persists to this day. Staff mathematicians have estimated Gibson’s repertoire to include hundreds, if not thousands, of unique titles. While discussing some of Andre Gibson’s modern-day CDBaby releases, a colleague confessed, “Plus, I really like his videos.” We’d known there was a trove of new music and new photos on Gibson’s Reverb Nation page, but failed to notice the video tab, where the stormy steppers number “Raindrops” had been lying in wait. We will dedicate several more blog entries to Andre Gibson’s music (new and old), but thought you should know about “Raindrops” sooner than later.

Albums, singles, and MP3s by Universal Togetherness Band are available here.