During his career as the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls and subsequently as a solo artist, Arno Carstens has released 10 studio albums (5 as the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls, 1 as half of the Electronica project, Bhelltower and 4 as a solo artist).
He has had over 20 top ten singles, won 5 South African Music Awards and shared the stage with legends of the music world including U2, The Rolling Stones and REM.
He has toured extensively in SA, UK, Europe and USA, headlined every major South African festival and performed at some of the most legendary international music festivals including Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, V Festival, T in the Park and Hard Rock Calling.
2012 is a milestone year for Arno. Besides working with Springbok Nude Girls, and on the Arno Plus art exhibition with accompanying collaborative Blind Tiger sessions, Arno recorded his 4th solo album, which is the landmark 10th studio album of his 20-year music career.
Titled “Atari Gala”, the album was written in part in New York, London, Johannesburg and Cape Town and produced by Arno and Brendan Jury. The album was released on the 10th September 2012.
The title Atari Gala is a Japanese translation that implies a warning cry or celebration.
“I painted the Japanese word “Atari” on a recent artwork, to mimic a bird singing a message of warning, which got me thinking that it could be a great name for a piece of music. Because this is my 10th studio album, I wanted to emphasize a kind of celebration, not only of the 12 tracks on this particular album, but of the whole creative process that has brought me thus far. Every song is an event or a tale, a celebration or a warning cry, that stems from life’s experiences,” says Carstens.
The album flows like a concept piece, from the opening track “Two Dogs”, which is a retrospective look at life, through to “Switch off the Machine” a song about a dying man’s last confession of love to his wife. From there on out, the album takes a spiritual turn with the song “ Road to Enlightenment” followed by a hint at reincarnation with “Be My Immortal” and a look to new beginnings with “Goodbye Crazy”. The final three tracks, “I Breathe” “Only One Law” and “Sticking It In” all deal with a life in all its dark decadent glory, as if the soul didn’t learn from its previous existence.
“With this album I wanted to capture a full band sound and represent a version of the live band that I perform with and in that I think I have managed to capture the ‘sweet spot’ between my previous solo albums and the Springbok Nude Girls sound.”
The first single, ‘Two Dogs’ was released on the 25th June.
“I wrote ‘Two Dogs’ in Johannesburg last year. I was on tour with Springbok Nude Girls at the time; we had just gotten back to SA from London, recording and touring ‘Apes with Shades’. ‘Two Dogs’, and the whole album in fact, deals with the beauty and intricacies of life; triumphs of spirit and turbulence of everyday living.”
The music video for ‘Two Dogs’ was directed by Ryan Kruger and produced by Ryan Kruger and Darryn Bennett.
“Two people are chained to a table out of reach from each others touch, in a representation of purgatory and an endless last supper scenario. The only way they can explore each other and fulfill their desires both good and bad is through the meal laid out before them. We see the monotony, even though the meal is perfect, overcome them.” Says Kruger
The album art was designed by the internationally acclaimed & award winning executive creative director Rob McLennan (Network BBDO)
ARNO CARSTENS HAS RELEASED THE FOLLOWING ALBUMS, EP’s and DVD’s:
Springbok Nude Girls – It Became a Weapon (Epic, 1996)
Springbok Nude Girls – firstname.lastname@example.org (Epic, 1997)
Springbok Nude Girls – Omnisofa (Epic, 1998)
Springbok Nude Girls – OPTI MUM (Epic, 1998)
Springbok Nude Girls – Un-E.Z. (Epic, 1999)
Nude Girls – Nude Girls (Exclusive UK release)(Golden Fairy Records/SonyBMG, 2006)