Click on the links below to read reviews of Band of Outsiders, Circa and Among Dreams!
USAUSA

Redefine Magazine (Band of Outsiders)
Smother (Band of Outsiders)
Erasing Clouds (Circa)
CD Reviews.com (Band of Outsiders)
CD Reviews.com (Circa)
Indie Spinzone (Band of Outsiders)
Indie Spinzone (Circa)

FRANCEVenezuela

32 Puertas (Band of Outsiders)

SWEDENSweden

Musiklandet (Band of Outsiders)

FRANCEFrance

Actu-Net (Circa)

UKUK

Tasty Fanzine (Circa)
Tasty Fanzine (Band of Outsiders)
Vanity Project (Band of Outsiders)
Tangents (Band of Outsiders)
Friends of the Heroes (Band of Outsiders)

THE NETHERLANDSThe Netherlands

Think Small (Circa)
Think Small (Band of Outsiders)

JAPANJapan

Smashing Mag (Band of Outsiders)

FinlandFinland

Indiepopmusic.tk (Band of Outsiders)

GermanyGermany

Alternative Nation (Band of Outsiders)
Pop Meets Guitar (Band of Outsiders)
Emoisdead.de (Band of Outsiders)
B-Side (Band of Outsiders)
Soundmag (Band of Outsiders)
Soundmag (Circa)

SPAINSpain

Nadadora (Band of Outsiders)
The Belle Music (Circa)
La Ganzua (Circa)
Satelite Pop (Circa)
The Pop Page (Circa)
The Pop Page (Band of Outsiders)
Pop Child (Circa)
Moonpalace (Circa)
ProPop (Circa)
SupernovaPop (Circa)
El Efecto Oregano (Circa)
El Efecto Oregano (Band of Outsiders)
Caleidoscopio (Circa)

GREECEGreece

Atraktos (Circa)
Avopolis (Circa)
Avopolis (Band of Outsiders)

ITALYItaly

MusicBoom (Circa)
Komakino (Band of Outsiders)
Komakino (Circa)
Indiepop.it (Band of Outsiders)
In Your Eyes (Band of Outsiders)

BRAZILBrazil

Junkmail (Circa)
Abacaxi Atômico (Band of Outsiders)

Brazil

Junk Yard

JunkMail -- Circa -- (BR)
Potion a poção musical independente que deu certo! Uma dupla californiana formada pela belissima Annie Maley (vocais, programação, teclado, percussão) e Michel Bedoya (backing vocal, guitarra, baixo, teclado, percussão), combinados ao som rock/pop/80's, e tons dançantes, é uma verdadeira miscigenação de sons. O segundo disco do Potion - Circa - tem um carisma único, sem surtos psicóticos, sem demagogias, e sim um belo trabalho contendo quatro faixas. Destaque para a faixa que leva o título do disco "Circa", tons dançantes, alegre, apaixonante, humor e sensibilidade musicial para os ouvidos! Enfim, o bom gosto ao pé do ouvido, vale a pena conferir!! [Luiz Sztutman]

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Abacaxi Atomico

Abacaxi Atômico -- Band of Outsiders -- (BR)

O Potion é um duo californiano formado em 2000 pela vocalista-programadora-tecladista-percussionista Annie Maley e o programador-guitarrista-baixista-tecladista-programador-percussionista Michel Bedoya. Sediada em San Francisco, a dupla faz um som interessante, diferente do convencional e do previsível.

Band Of Outsiders é o terceiro disco da banda e o som do álbum, em princípio, é difícil de definir e rotular. Às vezes causa estranheza aos ouvidos menos acostumados a novidades e sons menos convencionais. Mas na terceira ou quarta audição, já dá pra estabelecer alguns paracirc;metros e fazer algumas comparações. Isso porque o Potion faz uma mistura divertida e despretensiosa de estilos e ritmos, inseridos num clima nostálgico tipo anos 80, com teclados e efeitos infames e às vezes bregas mesmo, mas juntando-se tudo o resultado final é bastante agradável e positivo.

Nas faixas iniciais, "25th Century" e "Under Sedation", temos um clima dance, marcado pelos teclados de fundo e o vozeirão de Annie, são realmente músicas boas para dançar. "'Til the Morning" já é diferente, tem uma pitada latina e destoa, junto com a próxima faixa, "Samba Spatiale", uma viagem lisérgica ao ritmo de bossa nova - não por acaso, a mais fraca do disco. Mas logo em seguida "Band Of Outsiders" tem uma discreta guitarra segurando, pra fazer a turma se divertir sem maiores frescuras. E o que é melhor, Annie presente com um vocal meio que sufocado, forçando o clima retrô presente no disco em geral, mas especificamente nesta música.

A mistura de ritmos continua em "Watching the World Passing By", com uma pitada country (?) tendo um banjo como base. "Kissing the Chameleon" tem uma levada de guitarra que reforça o vocal - que talvez seja o maior diferencial do Potion, realmente sua marca registrada. "Rappaccini's Garden" é a típica música pra dançar, com uma tímida e agradável guitarra. Fechando o álbum, "Drifting Again" é melodiosa e interessante.

Band Of Outsiders é um disco pra se ouvir com atenção de uma banda que trabalha melhor que muita gente mais badalada por aí. Annie e Michael são criativos, sabem de música, são inventivos e conseguem misturar ritmos sem soarem pedantes e chatos. O álbum pode ter seus deslizes, mas é bem interessante e ao menos duas faixas são de balançar o esqueleto pra valer: "Under Sedation" e "Rappaccini's Garden" certamente têm potencial para agitar as pistas. Experimente o Potion.
[Cajabis Cannabis]

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Italy

In Your Eyes Ezine

In Your Eyes Ezine -- Band of Outsiders -- (IT)
Terzo disco per questo dinamico duo, Annie Maley voce e Michel Bedoys al resto. È un rock, con effetti e tastiera, che risulta gradevole all'ascolto, anche se la produzione non è certamente ottimale. La prima canzone è una buona introduzione su quello che sarà il disco, "Under sedation", è più ritmata, rock di nuova generazione.
"'Til the morning" comincia con un arpeggio country, per poi cadere in una dolce malinconia, sommessa e profonda, bel brano. Troviamo poi la "Samba spatiale", che altro non è che un ritmo samba rallentato in loop verso lo spazio infinito. La canzone che dà il titolo al disco è un rock spaziale che si avvicina addirittura alla prima elettronica inglese, senza però mai scordare il rock'n'roll del nuovo millennio.
In "Watching the world passing by" c'è un banjo a menare le danze. "Kissing the chamaleon" inizia con un pianissimo per poi dilatarsi nell'aria, dove entra una voce quasi marginale rispetto alla melodia. Il titolo più assurdo è sicuramente "Rapaccini's garden", altra canzone che rende idea di cosa fanno i Potion. Finale con "Drifting again", dove torna una certa malinconia che a volte si trova in questo lavoro, e sono i momenti migliori del cd.
La voce è valida e le musiche si forzano di essere originali, e nelle canzoni più lente ci riescono davvero. In uscita questa primavera.
[massi]

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MusicBoom

Music Boom -- Circa -- (IT)
Annie Maley e Michel Bedoya (mamma mia che cognome impegnativo, sembra riassumere in se tutti i romanzi di Gabriel Garcia Marquez!), in arte , hanno messo su proprio un bel dischetto, un Ep o un singoloÉnon si capisce bene, i pezzi sono 4. Sicuramente ascrivibili all'indie-rock, anzi all'indie-pop come preferiscono definirsi loro, non provengono dalla provincia americana come un sacco di produzioni del genere ma direttamente da un mastodontico posto come San Francisco. E si sente. non ha affatto le caratteristiche di un album da passare nelle college radio, ne l'appeal della indie-culture più in voga. Piuttosto risente dell'influenza di Ani Di Franco ma con un cantato più melodico, con un tappeto di drum-machines e samples che (in e in quasi electroclash all'americana) e l'attitudine leggera quanto briosa propria del pop. È un piacere ascoltarlo e l'originalitá no sembra mancare anche se non ci sono abbastanza pezzi per giudicare in modo più ampio l'intera poetica dei due Potion.
[Beatrice Finauro]

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Komakino

Komakino -- Band of Outsiders -- (IT)
Potion - Band of Outsiders - Annie Maley e Michel Diaz de Bedoya finalmente hanno un nuovo disco dopo l'ep di 4 tracce del 'o2, Circa (leggi la recensio su qlc komakino fa). La voce di seta di Maley fluttua melodiosamente sulla nostalgia descritta dalla Musica di Bedoya, sopra veloci ritmi di batteria elettronica (con allusioni lo-fi) e qualche melodia funk. Mentre le prime due tracce sono profondamente legate al sentimento techno-pop di Circa, altri pezzi come Til the Morning, Samba Spatiale e Drifting Garden toccano un'animo + intimo, con un'impronta Stereoloab_esca, e gli umori sono meno diy, anzi + eleganti e melanconici.

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Komakino

Komakino -- Circa -- (IT)
Potion - Circa (4tx ep - 'o2 self-prod.)
- Da San Francisco, CA,
- molto godibili, gusto retrŤ anni 6o, con al centro la voce di Annie Maley, voce setosa, bellezza distante, algida ma avvolgente, tra il melioso e il fascinoso. Il tutto da unirsi a dell'elettronica su scia new-wave, tastiere e chitarra suonata da Michel Diaz De Bedoya. Tra Blondie, The Cardigans, Stereolab (ma meno sofisticati sicuramente nel song-writing eclettico, dato che i Potion sono + di sangue diy). - Sarei curioso di ascoltarli con un batterista in carne ed ossa, anche se la drum-machine è ben curata da Michel. - La lingua francese su Lovelectronic si confa bene al Loro stile voyeur, e Cadence, a due voci, potrebbe essere un bell'hit indie dancefloor, da ballare con maglione a collo alto… schioccando le dita. // Questo ep fa seguiti all'album Among Dreams, ascoltate i pezzi su vitaminc o controllate il Loro sito.

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Indiepop.it

Indiepop.it -- Band of Outsiders -- (IT)
Per quanto qui si apprezzino parecchio gli anni 80 è sempre bello imbattersi in una band che prova ad estrarre qualcosa di personale dalla popelettronica. E' il caso dei Potion, duo di San Francisco straniato in una terra di nessuno fatta di grovigli new-wave, tastiere in perenne movimento e patterns irregolari, con un inspiegabile french touch e la forte cortina melodica eretta dalla voce di Annie Maley che arriva a destabilizzare il tessuto di beats e campioni anomali del suo socio e a restituire un suono tanto affascinante quanto misterioso. Se lo spessore delle composizioni potrà senz'altro migliorare, l'eclettismo della coppia e la capacità di sorprendere sempre e comunque nonostante i limitati mezzi tecnologici costituiscono un bagaglio di non poco conto, che si esprime tanto negli inestricabili intrecci di tastiere e drum machine della title-track quanto negli schemi finalmente identificabili della conclusiva “Cadence”, la cui ostentata facilità ricorda persino il brit-pop. Un album (Band Of Outsiders) è alle porte.

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Germany

Alternative Nation

Alternative Nation -- Band of Outsiders -- (DE)
Potion? Nie gehört. So wird es wohl den meisten gehen. Das ist keine Schande; und dies obwohl Band of outsiders nicht nur ein gutes Album, sondern sogar bereits das dritte dieser Band ist. Nur halt leider ein Album, das kein Mensch kennt und bei dem der Verkäufer in der großen Elektronikmarktkette nur traurig mit den Schultern zuckt und einen in Richtung Haushaltswaren verweist. Aber auch Amazon und Co. sind ratlos, also macht euch auf zum richtigen Plattenhändler (oder auf den Link zum Label klicken).

Potion erhalten ihren Indie-Charme aber nicht nur durch das Verborgene und den Albumtitel, sondern außerdem noch durch das hervorragende Songwriting, die sich sträubende Aufnahmetechnik und das wundervolle Spiel mit Konventionen. Geschminkt ist das Ganze auf die glitzernden Momente der Rockmusik, nur halt in schmutzig, langsam und in intelligent.

Oder anders: Potion machen ungestüme Musik, die ruhig ist. Musik, die ihre Wurzeln kennt und sich bei allem Melodiegefühl nicht für ihre schiefen Töne schämt. Sie gehen unter die Haut, aber das nicht nur mit Gefźhl, sondern auch mit Gesang. Sie schreiben Balladen, die traurig-schön und Rock-Songs die schön-traurig sind. Sie sind rebellisch, ohne nach vorne zu preschen; und besonnen, ohne zu langweilen. Ein Duo, das mehr Aufmerksamkeit und noch viel mehr Anerkennung verdient hätte. Denn nur solche Menschen können die Welt retten.

P.S.: Während ihr bei uns schon im Februar etwas über diese Platte lesen könnt, müsst ihr bei all den anderen Musikmagazinen auf die “Vergessenen Perlen” zum Jahresende warten. Immer vorausgesetzt, dass Qualität sich durchsetzt.
[Thorsten Thiel]

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Pop Meets Guitar

Pop Meets Guitar -- Band of Outsiders -- (DE)
Kürzlich erreichte uns eine nette Mail aus San Francisco. Sängerin Annie Maley und Michel Bedoya von Potion waren der Meinung, dass ihre Musik etwas für uns und euch sein könnte.
Wenige Tage später lag ihr Album “Band of Outsiders” auch schon im Briefkasten. Inzwischen ihr drittes übrigens...

Musikalisch bewegen sie sich irgendwo zwischen Stereolab und St. Etienne. Pop meets Elektronica, 60s meets The Smiths, dazu ein wenig französicher Chanson, spanische Gitarren und selbst das Banjo bleibt hier nicht aussen vor. Manchmal Uptempo und extrem tanzbar, dann wieder perfekt zum chillen. Kurz gesagt: bei Potion verschmelzen wohl sämtliche Stile dieser Welt.
Ähnlich wie Paula mixen sie Elektronik und echte Instrumente zu einer absolut höhrenswerten Mischung. Fest steht jedenfalls: bei Tracks wie “Under sedation” sollte auch in Europa was möglich sein! Und wer Stereolab mochte, wird “Til the morning” lieben!
[Stephan Hebrock]

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B-Side

B-Side -- Band of Outsiders -- (DE)
B-Side #16 (Summer 2005)
www.b-si.de
Watching The World Passing By

(das) Im Zeitalter von Globalisierung und Internet hat sich schon so manche Band ganz neue Vertriebswege erhofft. Wenn jeder Mensch auf der Welt auf die eigene Webseite zugreifen kann, wird sich doch verdammt noch mal jemand für die dort zum Download angebotene Musik interessieren. Nicht weniger als die völlige Demokratisierung der Musik wurde prophezeit. Der Gedanke, dass jeder Musiker seine Musik völlig eigenständig vermarktet ohne lästige Zugeständnisse gegenüber einer Plattenfirmen zu machen, ist allerdings nicht mehr als eine schöne Vision geblieben. Inzwischen werden die meisten begriffen haben, dass ein paar Downloads im Internet allein auch nicht zum großen Durchbruch verhelfen. Schließlich muss der musikinteressierte Weltbürger erst einmal den Weg dorthin finden. Potion scheint dies verstanden zu haben. Die Band aus San Fransisco vertraut nicht darauf, dass sich zufällig jemand auf ihre Seite verirrt, und bietet erst gar keine Downloads an. Annie und Michel nutzen das Internet vielmehr aktiv um selbst potentielle Abnehmer zu finden. Ungefähr 400 Promos haben sie von ihrem ersten regulärem Album “Band of Outsiders” an kleine Radiostationen und Magazine in alle Welt geschickt, stets begleitet von einem persönlichen, amerikanisch-enthusiastischem Brief, dessen Charme man sich nur schwer entziehen kann. Und das Konzept scheint aufzugehen - jedenfalls was das Feedback der angesprochenen Multiplikatoren angeht: Auf www.potionmusic.com finden sich eine ganze Reihe Radiosender, Fanzines und Magazine, die Potion in Spanien, Finnland oder Neuseeland die gewünschte Öffentlichkeit schenken. Und bereits in B-Side #15 meinten wir zur “Circa” EP: “Es ist die Musik, mit der man den weiten Weg von San Fran nach Mexiko auf sich nimmt, zwischendurch ein paar Bierchen zischt und dann kurz vor Grenze wieder umdreht, weil man den Pass vergessen hat.” Daran hat sich nichts grundlegend geändert. Auch Potion's aktuelle Songs passen so gut zu einem kühlen Bier wie der Grillabend zum lauen Sommerabend. Das Album groovt größtenteils entspannt wie einst Stereolab's “Lo Boob Oscillator” und Annie's ungewöhnlich tiefe Stimme lässt einen an Vieles aber nicht an den nächsten Tag denken. “Band Of Outsiders” ist Pop und dennoch irgendwie anders als all die anderen Alben, die uns den Sommer versößen. Da passt es ganz gut, dass auch Potion ein bisschen anders sind als der Rest. Annie klärt für uns ein paar grundsätzliche Fragen.

Do you consider yourself as a Band of Outsiders?
Yes, I would say we are most definitely a “Band of Outsiders”, particularly in the realm of music. We find it very difficult to be categorized in the expected and acceptable niches put forth by the music business. Here in the United States, the industry is God and decides with dollars and market researchers what we all will like how we will dress, what we will listen to and what the fashionable attitude will be this year. It's very controlled and monitored to insure the largest profit for interested parties. We think that nothing creative or interesting can come from this and divorce ourselves from this system both in our music and in our lives. Why do run your own record label? Do you want to keep everything in your own hands or was there just no label interested? Everyone knows that if you send your CD to a record label in the United States, you can be sure that 99% of the time the disc goes straight to the garbage unopened. Labels are overwhelmed with interested bands and the best case scenario is that some intern working for free will take your disc home with them because they liked the packaging. These arenŐt good odds. Record labels come to you if they are interested. For this reason, we never pursued a record deal and why we founded Blue Orange Records. With Blue Orange we are trying to create the Ňrecord label of the futureÓ. Bands today can produce their own music, press their own discs, and build their own websites. What they need is a promotional engine to get their music into the ears of potential fans. This is what we do at Blue Orange Records. Our aim is to create a network of international communities that are interested in our kind of music - and weŐre growing. We are continuously looking for new opportunities to collaborate with other labels internationally, club nights, radio shows, and ezines that share our taste in music.ĘOur community has grown beyond the two of us to include the members of The Meek, and the recent addition of our East Coast manager, Marta, in New York City who will be helping us to establish relationships with labels in Germany.

How difficult is it to get your record out into the shops and make people buy it?
Distribution... It's not so hard to get a record shop to stock your album the first time. However, if it doesn't sell because you hadn't the means to promote it properly then they won't be so interested the second time around. We buy new music for basically two reasons: one, because a friend with good taste brings a band to our attention or two, because a DJ we like spins it, we see a good show, and we like what we hear. I think most people buy new music in this way and so to make people buy Potion, we use press, radio, live performance and word-of-mouth to get our music into new ears. It's not too difficult, it just takes time!

You promote the album by sending your records to radio stations and magazines all over the world. From where did you get the best feedback?
We sent out about 400 copies of our new disc to whom we hoped would be an interested public. We selected each location by reading articles, seeing if bands we liked were also listed or reviewed, and tuning in to online radio from all over the world. ĘOur best feedback has come from Germany, Spain, and the UK - usually from sources in big cities like Berlin, Barcelona, and Manchester.

How effective is this method considering that you may not buy the record in your local record shop?
This method is very effective for our purposes because, in a census-like manner, it allows us to learn where our fans might be and therefore seek out distribution and live performance opportunities where it would be most appreciated. We do sell records through online sales - it is becoming more acceptable world-wide although we realize it is more common in the USA. For this reason we hope to develop a distribution in local shops in Germany to coincide with our tour this fall.

You already wanted to tour Germany two or three years ago. Will you make it this year to Europe?
YES! YES! YES! We ARE coming to Germany this fall. Of course it would be easier to prepare a tour with the assistance of a local label and so we're working on making some connections to help us out. Either way, we'll manage to book a few dates just from the people weŐve met who work in radio or for zines and can help us organize shows. Basically, if you know of a venue, an art gallery, or a friend's party happening in Germany this September/October - we'd love to play it!!

What is the idea behind Potion? Make friends, make people happy?
As musicians are all ego-maniacs - so it's mostly to make ourselves happy! No, really it's to create music we enjoy, have fun, travel, see the world and share our ideas with like-minded souls. We're social creatures, we like to connect through music because it's a universal language and removes barriers that would otherwise impede communication. To answer your question: Yes. Potion allows us to make new friends, make people happy, and make ourselves happy in the process. Everybody wins!

What do you live on?
Precious little! We both work freelance jobs doing primarily graphic art, sound design and promotion.

What's the worst thing you've ever read about Potion?
We received a really weird review that some psycho-guy in New Zealand wrote where he writes using what he assumes is my voice indicating that I am a lonely heart wandering the beaches with a Labrador retriever. ĘI'm still not sure what he thinks of the music...

How is the San Francisco music scene? Can you recommend us any other local bands?
San Francisco is a BIG small town. The music scene follows suit. At any given night of the week in some dive bar weŐve run into everyone from Michael Stipe to Jonathan Richman to Lars Urlich. Although there are a lot of good musicians here that don't get the recognition they deserve. I would gladly recommend the music of The Meek. TheyŐre a great and talented San Francisco band. A good source for San Francisco music is KALX, a college radio that you can hear online. They try to spin a good selection of local music along with the rest.

Your favourite B-Side?
Michel's wants in on this one. He says his favourite B-Side is “Standing Here”, B-Side of The Stone Roses single “She Bangs the Drums”.
[Daniel Schulze]

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EmoIsDead

EmoIsDead.de -- Band of Outsiders -- (DE)
Potion is a dapperly dressed duo from San Francisco, Annie and Michel are the names.“Band of Outsiders” is the third album released on Blue Orange Records. Apparently weŐre dealing with two multi-instrumentalists, though guitars and especially synthetic sounds prevail. Extra eye-catching, better: ear-catching are the electronic drums. Sometimes it's heavily thumping in the likes of Radio4 and creating some potential disco smashers, but in most parts it's pretty decent and reserved. The songs themselves range from dense soundscapes, which are marvellously mellow, to songs with a very strong pop-appeal. You can see the bandwidth of this album, that is furthermore poaching in lots of different musical decades. So far so good, “Band of Outsiders” contains some very nice pop tunes.
[Christian Meiners]

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Soundmag

Soundmag -- Circa -- (DE)
Das kalifornische Duo Potion, bestehend aus SŠngerin Annie Maley und Mastermind Michel Bedoya, machte zuletzt durch seinen wundervollen Pop auch europaweit auf sich aufmerksam. Es dźrfte sich mittlerweile herumgesprochen haben, dass auf der anderen Seite des gro§en Teichs immer mehr Musiker dem amerikanischen Einheitsbrei die kalte Schulter zeigen und mit ihrer ăKulturrevolutionŇ auch mehr Leute erreichen, als noch vor ein paar Jahren. Die 4 Tracks auf dieser EP sind sehr eingŠngig und haben etwas vom French-Pop-Style, tolle Keyboard- und GitarrenklŠnge. Vor allem die zuckersź§e Stimme von Annie Maley verleiht den Songs extrem viel Gefźhl und ihren ganz eigenen Charakter. ăCircaŇ spiegelt die Sonne San Franciscos wider und ist ein echter Geheimtipp fźr Trendsetter.
[Toni]

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Soundmag

Soundmag -- Band of Outsiders -- (DE)
Es gehšrt schon eine Menge Mut dazu, das neue und immerhin schon dritte Album als ăBand Of OutsidersŇ zu betiteln. Aber auch darźber werden sich Potion, die mit regelmŠ§igem Desinteresse Bedachten, ihre Gedanken gemacht haben. Zugegeben, es ist ein nicht alltŠglicher Mix, den SŠngerin Annie Maley und ihr musikalischer Partner Michel Diaz de Bedoya Song fźr Song verarbeiten. Am ehesten kšnnte dieser mit Werken von Stereolab konform gehen. Vor allem das titelgebende ăBand Of OutsidersŇ rockt derweil aber so gewaltig, dass es etwas mehr als den Durchlauf auf einem Campussender verdient hŠtte. Fźr das amerikanische Duo wird es wohl auch in Zukunft nicht einfacher, eine grš§ere Fangemeinde um sich zu scharren, aber dafźr kšnnen sich Maley und Diaz de Bedoya damit brźsten, die Indieszene etwas bereichert zu haben.
[Toni]

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Spain

Nadadora

Nadadora -- Band of Outsiders -- (ES)
potion son de san francisco y 'band of outsiders', su tercera referencia, que nos ha llegado directamente del sello blue orange records, se edita en su pais en esta primavera. este dúo, el grupo lo forman annie maley y michel bedoya, juega con el pop en muchas de sus vertientes, para conseguir sonar diferentes en cada canción sin perder coherencia..

escuchar a potion es enfrentarte a un catálogo de estribillos y melodías absolutamente disfrutables y 'band of outsiders' parece una carta de presentación perfecta porque entre sus nueve temas te puedes encontrar desde el aire fronterizo de 'til the morning', mi canción favorita del disco, saltarina y vibrante (con frases sueltas cantadas en castellano), al space-rock stereolabiano pasando por el lounge o algún toque elegante que los acerca a saint etienne. y en un principio podría parecer que esta indefinición juega en su contra pero no es así en absoluto. el disco es variado, siempre alegre, pero homogéneo. existe un sonido característico, tal vez por la peculiar voz de anne, que quizás en alguna canción ('25th century') me parezca que suena demasiado rockera, demasiado presente para un concepto de música eminentemente pop. sin embargo, en otras, (la ya comentada 'til the morning', 'watching the world passing by', 'kissing the chameleon') encaja perfectamente y es cuando más disfruto de sus canciones, cuando más me convenzo de que potion podrőa y debería tener distribución en españa porque lo merece.

pero de todas formas, ahora que parecen intentar convencernos de que internet es uno de los males endémicos que están haciendo que la música desaparezca poco a poco, nos encontramos con discos como estos, que actualmente no tienen distribución en nuestro país pero que, gracias a su web www.potionmusic.com, nos permite descubrir e incluso comprar su cd y disfrutarlos. y que sigan llorando los magnates por sus perdidas.
[manolo Domínguez]

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The Belle Music

The Belle Music -- Circa -- (ES)
Potion en un curioso dúo formado por Annie Maley (voz) y Michel Bedoya (instrumentación y samples) proveniente de San Francisco, y digo curioso por su arriesgada y a la vez diversa propuesta. Potion se mueven entre el tecno-pop de corte retro, el lounge y la música bailable de los setenta siempre acompañadas por la voz de Annie, que tiene en su voz una amalgama de gestos desde el descaro de PJ Harvey, la suavidad de Beth Gibbons o la soltura de Tracey Horn (Everything But The Girl).

Circa está formado por cuatro temas siempre bailables destacando sobretodo lovelectronic, una reflexión sobre las noches de fiesta con un ritmo que se te mete en la cabeza y no se te despega en varias horas. Potion posiblemente estén este verano en nuestro país, así que escucha su trabajo y estate atento a las fechas de sus conciertos, pues su directo puede ser realmente recomendable.
[aLe]

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La Ganzua

La Ganzua -- Circa -- (ES)
Este cd nos llega desde San Francisco... USA. Annie y Michel son unos de esos duos pop que hacen del "make it yourself" un estilo, mitad opción personal mitad destino. El se encarga de las bases para sostener el afrancesado tono de ella. El disco parece una bahía de sonidos azules. Comienza con un tema muy pegadizo. Pero como pasa tantas veces en el techno pop hay un minuto final repleto de ruiditos que aportan poco. Da la sensación de que se les da mejor vivir bajo el sol del Pop que sobre la arena del Techno. Preparan gira por la Península.
[M. Blanco]

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SatelitePop

Satelite Pop -- Circa -- (ES)
A medias entre el electro-pop de SAINT ETIENNE y el cool-pop de PIZZICATO FIVE, se forma en San Francisco (California, Estados Unidos) el proyecto POTION, compuesto por el adorable dúo que forman Annie y Michel. Ellos han elegido el pop electrónico, pero sin ser tan melancólico como ocurre con los estribillos de las canciones de VITESSE o de TREMBLING BLUE STARS. Este EP desprende pop con mayúsculas por todas partes. Se trata de cuatro canciones sencillas pero endiabladamente bellas, con bases electrónicas pero que rápidamente te transporta al Japón de PIZZICATO FIVE (más en el tercer tema: “Lovelectronic”) o a la Inglaterra mediática y euro-danzante de Bob Stanley y de Sarah Cracknell, esto es, SAINT ETIENNE (más en el cuarto tema del EP: “Cadence”).

Las dos primeras canciones “Circa” y “Waves” son quizá más relajadas en lo que se refiere a las bases r’tmicas y remiten más a temas de pop sencillo, aunque nunca facilón, algo que merece ser destacado. Luego viene “Lovelectronic”, con esos “…parapapapa…” en la letra que son tan recurrentes a veces en el pop. Con este tercer tema se pasa a la parte bailable del EP, que tiene su culminación en el último tema “Cadence”, el más SAINT ETIENNE (seguro que Sarah es una fan confesa de este dúo tan peculiar).

POTION son adorables desde el principio hasta el final, y este EP sólo es el adelanto de su segundo álbum, que también se titula “Circa”, de reciente publicación en los Estados Unidos. Yes! She never meant to call, she did anyway…
[Nacho Muro]

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The Pop-Page

The Pop Page -- Circa -- (ES)
Cuando recibies desde el otro lado del Atlántico un single, acompañado de una hoja de promoción, de una pegatina y unas palabras manuscritas de los músicos, uno, que no es de piedra, sonrie y recobra por un momento la fe en el espiritú de la música independiente. Pues justamente eso fue lo que nos sucedió con , el dúo de San Francisco compuesto por Annie Maley y Michel Bedoya, que firman una de las mejores tarjetas de presentación al definirse a s’ mismos como tan "cool" como Steve McQueen y tan clásicos como The Avengers. ÁAhí es nada!

Después de "Among dreams" (2000), "Circa" es el anticipo de lo que será su próximo larga duración y una pequeña colección de temas atemporales, con un toque retro definitivamente disfrutable y encantador. Los ingredientes de esta pócima no son otros que unas bases electrónicas que invitan al baile, unas guitarras - con un ligero sabor a - que se superponen inteligentemente, unos fantásticosteclados, y la voz de Annie, grave y cálida. Y como muestra, 'Circa' - el tema -, el mejor de los cuatros, todo himno irresistible que te atrapa desde la primera escucha. Esperamos poder deleitarnos en directo en su próxima gira por Europa. Un brindis a las ganas de vivir y a la felicidad.
[PoPeR]

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The Pop-Page

The Pop Page -- Band of Outsiders -- (ES)
Según mi diccionario de inglés-español (es un Vox, confiemos en él) potion significa “trago, sorbo”, sinónimo también de “Band of Outsiders”, tercer álbum de un dúo de San Francisco formado por Annie Maley y Michel Bedoya, dos personajes de gusto ecléctico, devoción por el pop melódico, expansivo y bailable e impregnados por una jovialidad vital digno de encomio. Como decía, el disco de los californianos hace honor a su nombre, Potion, ya que pese a estar montado sobre unas líneas maestras (decantación por aquellos oldies que animaban a los radioespectadores de los 60 y 70, por las bandas sonoras de aquella época, el coqueteo de los salones de guateque y el desenfreno de las pistas de baile, o el divertido sonido post-punk de finales de los 70 y principios de los 80) es, por encima de todo, una fantástica colección de temas producidos con esmero en los detalles y excelentemente acabados. De esta forma, la voz de Annie Maley (mezcla de Patti Smith, Deborah Harry y Natalie Merchant) nos conduce por una autopista sonora impecablemente asfaltada en un itinerario con paradas en el disco-pop expansivo ('25th century') el space-rock con tintes a lo “Rings around the world” ('Under sedation') la hibridaci—n entre la launge music y los sonidos de frontera ('Til the morning') la invasi—n alien’gena de Serge Gainsbourg en el Planeta Brazil ('Samba spatiale') la coronación de Patti Smith “como reina de la pista” ('Band of Outsiders') el soul de los 70 tropicalizado ('Watching the world passing by') Blondie cantando una canción de peli de Bond y homenajeando a Octavio Paz ('Kissing the chameleon' y 'Rappaccini's garden') y un tributo final a 10.000 Maniacs ('Drifting again'). ¡Viaje con nosotros!
[Vladimir]

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PopChild

PopChild -- Circa -- (ES)
Tras la cálida voz de Annie Maley se esconde el candor de Potion, dúo pasado por la espiral del túnel del tiempo, tele transportándose desde los inicios de las cantautoras en Francia hasta la figura de la eclipsante Nico, junto a la Velvet Underground.

En eso reside la magia de este e.p, adelanto, en su momento, de , en eso y en la mezcla de sonidos a través del telescopio que hacen de los sesenta, los sesenta y el sonido actual. Directrices que toman tanto Annie como Michel Diaz de Bedoya, su compañero.

Pueden venirnos también a la cabeza, reminiscencias de la bossa brasileña de esos años o imaginarnos estar en la barra de un guateque lounge a bordo de un yate tomando un dry martini. Porque el sonido de Potion es eso, elegancia elevada al cuadrado.

Y de ahí ese que a medida que avanza se nos vuelve más envolvente y más certero, y que nos demuestra que la huella del pasado alarga su brazo, pero que siempre existe la posibilidad de la comunión a través de un puente imaginario entre lo bueno de entonces y lo prometedor de ahora.
[Sandra]

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Moonpalace Fanzine

Moonpalace -- Circa -- (ES)
Circa, bajo éste nombre se presentan en nuestro pais los norteamericanos Potion, dúo procedente de San Francisco que con éste Ep se disponen a conquistar nuestros corazoncitos para después desembarcar y acabar de arrebatárnolos en directo.

Cuatro temas energéticos y adictivos que emparentan a Potion por ejemplo con Blondie o con la exquisita Kelly Slusher en sus temas más optimistas, pop cercano a la new wave (esos teclados) con el que no podrás mantener quietos los pies ni un instante. Un trabajo sin altibajos, quizás "Lovelectronic" sea su tema más "inmediato", en el que unas melodías sin fecha de caducidad, podrían haber estado fechadas en los 80 y no notaríamos la diferencia, se acompañan de la voz de Annie, quizás su punto más fuerte, una voz que perfectamente podría acompañar a esas deliciosas melodías que Burt Bacharach puso en la voz de Dione Warwick, atemporal y deliciosa.

En definitiva, un trabajo en el que las guitarras y los teclados toman importancia a partes iguales creando un sonido - atmósfera que toma lo mejor de la new wave y nos presenta cuatro temas que al grito de "eh, tuÁ" te obligan a levantarte, a mover los pies, en definitiva, a bailar. Si alguien se vuelve a atrever a dejarme pinchar alguna vez, éste será uno de los discos que incluya en mi maleta.
[Juanra]

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ProPop

Propop.net -- Circa -- (ES)
Annie Maley puede presumir de tener una de esas voces con personalidad propia. Si a eso le a–ades una base de ritmos y samples, mel—dicas guitarras y teclados, adem‡s de una buena dosis de intenci—n para llevarte a la pista de baile, el resultado estar‡ muy cercano de la śltima propuesta de Potion, Circa, un EP de cuatro temas.

Potion llega desde San Francisco de la mano de Annie Maley y Michel Bedoya, pareja que debut— en 2000 en el sello Blue Orange Records con Among Dreams.

Circa presenta temas bailables, pero m‡s cercanos a las dŽcadas de los 60 y 70 que a los tiempos actuales. Lo suyo bien podr’a calificarse como un tecno pop retro, con ciertos gui–os lounge. Y todo envuelto con unas letras que reflexionan sobre el paso del tiempo ("Circa"), lo superficial y a veces frustrante de las noches de fiesta ("Lovelectronic" reza cosas como "El para’so est‡ hecho de mentiras. Tentada al percibir una alegr’a etŽrea, cautivada por una cara desconocida...un d’a de estos me encontrar‡s muerta por este Lovelectronic, as’ que bebe para olvidarlo") o la cotidianeidad de nuestros d’as (en la majestuosa "Cadence"), con una rutina que en ocasiones obliga a preguntarse si estamos vivos o muertos. Sinceramente aconsejado.
[Beatriz Fern‡ndez]

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SuperNovaPop

SuperNovaPop -- Circa -- (ES)Este EP de 4 canciones, de cuidada estructura, ha supuesto el regreso discográfico de, un dúo californiano de indie-pop que debutó en el 2000 con Among Dreams.

Productores, compositores e intérpretes de sus propios álbums, poseen una interesante variedad de registros que se inclinan claramente hacia el optimismo como seña de identidad. Circa comienza de forma inmejorable con la canción homónima, una composición que empieza de forma bucólica, con una melodía de las que dan ganas de escuchar en tardes otoñales, alrededor de un fuego y en buena compañía. Una manta emocional que deriva progresivamente en alegría de vivir, como si la llegada de la mañana fuera sorprendiendo poco a poco al oyente. Desde ese momento, las canciones Waves y Lovelectronic siguen un gradual cambio hacia ritmos más rápidos y entusiastas, finalizando con la jovial Cadence y su diáfano grito de guerra Wake Up convirtiendo la obra en una cálida muestra pop de guitarras luminosas.

Un disco sin pretensiones, sereno y agradable de escuchar, quizá demasiado fácil de olvidar y que puede servir como anticipa un álbum de larga duración que confirme las sugestivas vibraciones que desprende.
[JosŽ Eduardo Rubio]

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El Efecto Oregano
Fanzine (Spain)

EL Efecto Oregano -- Circa -- (ES)Desde San Francisco Potion acaba de lanzar su segundo disco titulado Circa, una excepcional continuación de su primer disco “Among Dreams” y que contiene cuatro bellas canciones con melodías bailables que combinan la nostalgia de los sonidos del ayer con el caleidoscopio musical del mañana.

Teclados y guitarras mel—dicas acompañan a las hipnóticas voces de este dúo de auténtico indie-pop que crean con su música mundos simbólicos e imaginarios.
Un grupo "cool" como Steve McQueen y con clase como The Avengers.
[Juan]

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El Efecto Oregano
Fanzine (Spain)

EL Efecto Oregano -- Band of Outsiders -- (ES)Desde San Francisco Potion regresa a la actualidad discográfica con Band of outsiders una colección de canciones indie-pop marcadas por la sugerente voz de Annie Maley que evoca a una tardía Siouxie o algunas experiencias del sonido shoegaze. Este nuevo trabajo mezcla estilos musicales (pop académico, samba, toques de softelectrónica, minimalismo, ...) para construir  un disco tranquilo y sofisticado que deja buen sabor de boca ..¡y promesas futuras de la gran canción que se acaba de resistir a unos inquietos Annie y Michel Díaz de Bedoya!.
[Juan]

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USA

Redefine Magazine

Redefine Magazine -- Band of Outsiders -- (USA)

The husband--wife tandem Potion is nothing if not dreamy. The band's sound, born of boundless optimism and low-budget inventiveness, blends sexy chic with gritty drive. Musically, Potion is hard to categorize and easy to listen to. Professionally, Potion is a part-time flight of fancy and an international sensation. Philosophically, the band is all things to all people--except those too stagnant or stodgy to jump on board.

The band is Michel Bedoya, a soft-spoken jack-of-all-trades with a modest French-Canadian accent, and wife and frontwoman Annie Maley, an engaging, energetic graphic designer and all-around artist. The band's final, unseen member, it seems, is the digital age itself: only in the new millennium could a group as small as Potion marry bargain-basement effects and wholly independent production with an international fanbase and global vision. Annie and Michel have recorded three albums together--Among Dreams, Circa, and Band of Outsiders--in their bedroom closet in San Francisco's dingy Western Addition. “We have very patient neighbors who are rarely home,” Annie intimates, “and my clothes absorb a lot of the sound.”

The albums, and a little persistence, have already led to a pair of European tours, including a recent whirlwind through Germany. More adventures are on the horizon.

Like their fanbase, Potion's music is meant to be universal. The pair insists their sole desire is to get everyone, themselves included, happy and moving. On stage, Michel focuses on mixing in pre-recorded riffs and effects with loops of his live instrumentation while Annie is usually found up front, shimmying her hips and seducing the mic.

In the spirit of getting the whole room involved, Annie and Michel founded the homespun Blue Orange records, which they see as a link between like-minded bands of various backgrounds. “Ideally,” Annie explains, “we'd like to have an international community of musicians that play danceable, indie, guitars--the whole package. [But it won't be] language-specific. It's an international grassroots effort.”

Michel says numerous alliances have sprung up through the years, but Blue Orange was born because--”It was only happening with distribution, [and] not with labels.” Inevitably, the band has run up against the language barrier, thin exposure, and far-flung logistics, but their solutions are uniquely modern and tirelessly creative.

Michel extols the idea of apartment-swapping with bands from Berlin, for one, and other foreign locales where Potion and Blue Orange have cohorts and patrons. As for the international scene, Annie laments that Potion seems to do best where she speaks the language worst.

In a typical balancing act between music and ”real” work, exposure is a constant obstacle--or, according to the duo, a never-ending invitation to new techniques and ideas. Annie likens the process to the music itself: ”Challenge is what creates the most amazing art; [it's] what makes you invent things that have never happened before.”

Club owners and DJs respond positively to Potion's highly personal approach. ”People have told me they think it's charming and wonderful that actual bands are writing to them,Ó gushes Annie. ŇThey usually get record labels sending new releases or promoting a tour, but no contact with the musicians themselves. That was a real point of intrigue.”

The group's down-to-earth publicity efforts naturally led to the split between profit and distribution: the mp3. As usual, they're not worried about it. In fact, Annie resents artists who can't cut the cord.

”Like your art is the only thing out there? I say, give the whole shit away! If people like your music, they will support you.”

The Blue Orange philosophy also sheds light on certain attitudes as particularly American--not all of which compare favorably. Michel says Potion gets its best radio play in Spain, where the government-supported Radio Tres played Potion to a national audience. ”We just sent it in,” he marvels.

For Potion, the simple desire to create and share music has morphed into a crash course on comparative politics. For instance, Michel points out, artists in his native Canada draw support from the Ministry Of Culture--a body whose structure and goals reflect socialist ideals.

“It starts with the safeguard of the community valuing what it is for what it is,” he says. “The arts are important. If we poison them with business interests, we lose quality. In Canada there's a real reverence for the preservation of art in its pure form. In America, the arts are always filtered through private people, so we lost all that.”

Ironically, Annie and Michel's all-inclusive approach paints them as decidedly independent. Their desire for maximum exposure means parting company with those unable to keep up. To stay portable, cheap, and small enough to play live between DJ's, Annie says the drum kit is integral to the band's plans. “Some people want a live band to have live drums,” she acknowledges with a smile. “We will never...please these people!”

It's hard to tell if the group has driven out the delusion, or just learned to enjoy it. Band of Outsiders, their latest release, croons about the Planet X, Ňmy lizard love,Ó and the 25th century over humming bass and saucy rhythms. It's obvious Potion is comfortable in its own skin, which is essential. There's a big chunk of the world left to conquer.


[Jesse Zitrin]

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CD Reviews.com

CD Reviews.com -- Band of Outsiders -- (USA)
Band of Outsiders is Potion's 2005 release on Blue Orange records. It's at least as good as their previous release Circa (and that's saying something), but one thing remains true -- it's still too short! Admittedly it's more then twice as long as Circa, and about the same length as the even earlier Among Dreams, but I'm still left wanting more. Perhaps that's part of the charm -- each CD ends before you can get tired of the style. There is also a certain symbolic satisfaction to a 37-minute CD -- it's approximately the length of one side of a record. Ruminations on length aside, Potion continues to produce their signature style of strongly retro, vibrant, shimmy-pop.

The music alternately supports and in turn is supported by Annie Maley's exceptionally smooth voice. Part of that retro-feel stems from the inescapable comparison between Annie Maley and Chrissie Hines, but such a comparison can be misleading. It underemphasizes both the contribution of the music and of Annie Maley herself, and it overemphasizes a similarity that, though present, is only one factor amongst many.

The word “retro” also carries many of the same complications. While valid, it oversimplifies. Band of Outsiders may at times evoke the music of the late 70s and early 80s but there's more to it then just a recreation of an older style. The music is a true synthesis of elements, and contains many modern techniques along with the retro-elements. I'm amazed at how seamlessly the duo has managed to mesh the sampling and synthesizer work with that earlier aesthetic.

As lead vocalist, Annie is the most visible member of the duo, but I don't wish to do a disservice to the skills of Michel Diaz de Bedoya. Potion truly is a duo, and it is from the confluence of their respective skills that the music arises.

Without losing their distinctive character, Potion has begun to expand in new directions. On average, the tracks become more heavily layered with each subsequent release. On Band of Outsiders, some of those layers are acoustic rather than electronic. In this respect I particularly enjoyed track 3 “Til The Morning”. On other tracks, the trend is reversed. It is used to good effect, and I enjoy the variety. A prime example is the heavily post-processed track 4 “Samba Spatiale”. Unlike “Til The Morning”, “Samba Spatiale” is almost pure techno-lounge.

Most of the music on the CD lies somewhere in between these two opposites, including the toe-tapping title track “Band of Outsiders”. It enables them to experiment with different techniques without sacrificing their sound.

To put this CD in perspective I went back and listened to their last two albums. I was struck by how much their skills have been expanding. Though the tracks have become increasingly layered, the increased use of ornamentation was not made at the expense of the underlying music. Subservient to this underlying character, different musical traditions and styles have begun to make an appearance. Although the music has always been catchy, the increased sophistication makes for a more satisfying experience. The duo has also expanded their repertoire of instruments, and this too adds texture and depth to their music. I can't wait to hear what they do next.
[Peter Dolan]

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CD Reviews.com

CD Reviews.com -- Circa -- (USA)
THEY SAY THAT FOR EVERY PERSON LIVING, THERE ALSO EXISTS A DOPPELGANGER--A PERSON WHO LOOKS IDENTICAL. IT SHOULD COME AS NO SHOCK THEN, THAT THERE ALSO EXIST, AT LEAST FOR SOME, AN AUDIO-DOPPELGANGERS--A PERSON WHO'S VOICE IS IDENTICAL. ANNIE MALEY, THE LEAD SINGER OF POTION HAS A VOICE AND SINGING STYLE THAT ARE REMARKABLY SIMILAR TO CHRISSIE HYNDE'S FROM THE PRETENDERS. SUCH A STATEMENT SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS AN ATTEMPT TO PIGEONHOLE POTION'S STYLE. FAR FROM IT. DESPITE ANY SIMILARITIES, POTION HAS ITS OWN STYLE, AND IT'S A GOOD ONE--A REALLY GOOD ONE. THE HEAVILY LAYERED, NICELY OVERDUBBED, RICH SONIC LANDSCAPE IS FULL OF CATCHY RIFFS AND BUBBLY EFFECTS. I FOUND MY TOE TAPPING ALONG TO THE MUSIC. IT FEELS FRIENDLY AND FUN. EVERYTHING HANGS TOGETHER NICELY WITH ANNIE'S VOICE WHICH ADDS A POWERFUL DEPTH OF EMOTION TO THE MUSIC.

THE PROBLEM IS IN THE CD. “CIRCA” IS ONLY 4 TRACKS LONG, AND TOGETHER THOSE FOUR TRACKS ARE ONLY SIXTEEN MINUTES AND FORTY NINE SECONDS. IT'S A TASTY AND TANTALIZING SIXTEEN MINUTES, AND IT LEAVES YOU WANTING MORE, BUT THAT'S THE PROBLEMŃTHE CDS ALREADY ENDED. IT'S TOO SHORT.

AS OF 2004, POTION IS STILL TOGETHER AND PERFORMING, BUT THEY HAVEN'T RELEASED A NEW CD SINCE 2002. THAT'S A SHAME. EMINENTLY LISTENABLE, IT'S GREAT DANCE MUSIC OF THE “I'M OUT HAVING A GOOD TIME” VARIETY (“AS OPPOSED TO THE THE BEAT COMPELS ME TO MOVE AT 90 MPH VARIETY”). ONE CAN JUST POP “CIRCA” INTO THE CD PLAYER AS UPBEAT BACKGROUND MUSIC, OR CRANK UP THE VOLUME A BIT AND PLAY IT WHEN THE PARTY STARTS TO SLOW DOWN. IT WORKS BOTH WAYS. THE TWO PERSON GROUP, ANNIE MALEY AND MICHEL BEDOYA, HAVE A GOOD THING GOING HERE. THERE'S JUST TOO LITTLE OF IT. (THAT'S TWICE NOW I'VE SAID THE SAME THING… IF YOU'RE LISTENING ANNIE AND MICHELŃYOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.)

THIS IS NOT THEIR FIRST CD. THAT DISTINCTION BELONGS TO “AMONG DREAMS” WHICH WAS RELEASED IN 2000. I'VE LISTENED TO THAT ONE AS WELL. UNLIKE “CIRCA”, “AMONG DREAMS” IS FULL LENGTH. I ENJOYED IT, BUT I DIDN'T FEEL IT STOOD OUT LIKE “CIRCA”-- THE EVOLUTION OF THEIR STYLE IS APPARENT, AND IT MAKES ME GLAD THEY'RE STILL ACTIVE. I'M QUITE EXCITED TO HEAR WHERE THEY GO WITH THEIR NEXT CD.

JUDGING FROM THEIR WEBSITE, THEY HAVE STRONG INTERNATIONAL APPEAL AND HAVE BEEN TOURING ALL OVER EUROPE. I'M NOT SURPRISED. THE FIRST TIME I HEARD THEM, I MISTOOK THEM FOR PRACTITIONERS OF “THE AVANT FRENCH POP STYLE” THAT'S BEEN MAKING ITS WAY INTO THE SOUTHWEST ROCK MOVEMENT *#192 LA COLLABORATION WITH GIANT SAND AND CALEXICO. I WAS A BIT TAKEN ABACK TO LEARN THEY ARE BASED IN SAN FRANCISCO. PERHAPS IT WAS THE FRENCH IN THE BACKGROUND OF THE FIRST TRACK THAT FOOLED ME. IN ANY EVENT, NO MATTER THE LABEL, THEY'RE FUN, AND SINCE YOU CAN PLAY BEFORE YOU PAY, IT'S A NO-RISK VENTURE. ENJOY.
[Peter Dolan]

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Erasing Clouds

Erasing Clouds-- Circa -- (USA)
On their 4-song EP, Circa, San Francisco duo Potion come at you with a wave of pure style. The title track swirls together a Stereolab-ish bounce, crisp acoustic guitar and Anne Maley's sultry pop vocals, plus whispering French voices in the background. All of the songs have a fresh, upbeat sound, somewhat retro in tone but full of life. Yet Potion aren't all about flair and sonic fashion; their songs have memorable melodies and heartfelt lyrics that tackle love and loneliness. Their style will catch your attention first, but underneath it lies solid songwriting and genuine emotion.
[dave heaton]

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Smother.net

Smother.net-- Band of Outsiders -- (USA)
Modern Rock, Emo, Lo-Fi, Art Rock, Folk, Indie, Math Rock, Alternative, Synth Pop
Editor's Pick
Potion - Band of Outsiders
Quirky pop-rock greets the ear immediately as “Band of Outsiders” begins. You can hear some Depeche Mode influence somewhat along with a nod in the direction of the more alternative rockers The B52's. But Potion knows how to draw their own line in the sand as they continue with political commentary surrounded by catchy hooks and noodled vocal trips that not everyone will instantly like. Always up-tempo, Potion loves to rock the Casbah with all the hefty mighty guitar-centric kids set aside for a moment. Yeah, there are plenty of bleeps and electronica's for all the electro fans but this isn't a rehashing of what already happened during Reagan's tenure and that's what makes it so darn special.
[J-sin]

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Indie Spinzone

Indie Spinzone-- Circa -- (USA)
The press sheet says Potion "blend fire, passion, humor and sensitivity with a smoky sultry flavor". Hmmmmm, I would say this has more sensuality than sensitivity and more smoke than fire. The vocals of Annie Maley also remind me a bit of Siouxsie Sue and there is a hint of the Banshees in the music, but it might be the command of her voice making me think that. I like this but I must say for the record she has one of those voices that will make or break you on this, because it is so powerful and up front. The music is good, not quite entirely clubby, but certainly it belongs there even though it is on the moodier electronic side. I think it best for you to visit their site at www.potionmusic.com and listen to a clip yourself. If you like her voice, then I believe you'll really like their brand of sensual but smoky dance electronica.
[John]

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Indie Spinzone

Indie Spinzone-- Band of Outsiders -- (USA)
This is the latest release from this band who's lead singer Annie Maley sounds like she's ready for a career making records with Andrew Eldritch or the Banshees. It's that sort of dark, hot and saucy momma type of voice like Siouxsie Sue. But while it is on full display on the opener 25th Century it is more tamed and relaxed and shows more creativity on here than on their last release. Musically this is also more adventurous, with tracks like the Latin influenced Till The Morning or the aptly titled Samba Spatiale . While they can still get down and grunge like X on the self titled track , they follow that with Watching The World Passing By which reminds me of a kind of upbeat folk pop that was popular in the 70's. Yes, there is quite a bit more maturity on this disc and it gets displayed in a number of creative and enjoyable ways. My previous caveat about them being the type of band where you either love of hate them due to the strong nature of her voice is not an issue here. They have made a strong step forward with this album which is recorded very well, displays a variety of styles and depth, and marks it as a release seriously worth your attentions.
[John]

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United Kingdom

Tasty Fanzine

Tasty -- Circa -- (UK)
Beautiful lounge pop from the US. Potion, who count among their number the wonderfully named Michael Diaz de Bedoya, have here, four tracks of summery joy. Shame it's the middle of bastard winter, because the title track makes me want to go and order a 99 from the ice cream van, whilst 'Waves' has something of the Ladytron about it (yep, them again), but with that added jazz/lounge, languid vocal that Annie Maley seems to have to a tee. Beautiful stuff.
[sam metcalf]

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Tasty Fanzine

Tasty -- Band of Outsiders -- (UK)
Ahh..wonderful synth pop music. I used to hate you, now I love you. Mainly because of bands like Potion. Potion make romping, bruising, sophisticated, fuck-you pop music, and in Annie Maley they have a true star just waiting to be found and made into an international queen of the free world.

“ Band of Outsiders” never really lets up. From “25th Century” -- an ode to Buck Rogers it seems -- onwards, Potion's sound is that of a modern pop band running wild through the history of music. They even make the banjo sound sexy. Beat that George Formby!

And even where things do let up a little, the quality never dims. Take “Til The Morning”, which, oddly, sounds a little like The Smiths around the time of “The Queen Is Dead”Ébut with a drum machine.

And I think that's the beauty of Potion. While they are essential a synth pop band -- they have enough about them to realise that a love of Bis and Depeche Mode will not an album make. All hail them, then for taking in even a bit of Latino -- oh yes! -- and following it up with something that wouldn't sound out of place on an Orb album.

Ecelctic is a phrase that is too often used, but there's no better one for Potion. They might scramble your eggs sometimes, but on the whole I think that's a good thing, don't you?

[sam metcalf]

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Vanity Project -- Band of Outsiders -- (UK)
“25th Century” is first and sees guitars buzz, beats leave ankles bit, synths sweep in and then we're into the vocals which are quite Heather Small by comparison. “Under Sedation” could come courtesy a 60s girl group, the Wedding Present or even T'Pau, perhaps all -- Republica without the lipgloss and 50 quid haircuts. There's effective sample usage on “Samba Spatiale”, particularly slinky and Avalanches-like in their atmospherics while “Band Of Outsiders” is spirited New Order fizz. It is an album which reveals itself slowly, but rewarding en route.
[Skif]

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tangents

Tangents -- Band of Outsiders -- (UK)
Title track from a really rather fine collection of electro-guitar Pop from this San Francisco duo of Annie Maley and Michel Bedoya. Full of upbeat urgency and fired through with an almost manic eyed fever, this is the sound of watching action thrillers on the TV with the neighbours' stereos blasting Yummy Fur and early Stereolab records loudly through the walls. Elsewhere the album merges bossa-pop and what sounds like a penchant for mid '80s groups like Miaow. Certainly worth checking out.
[Alistair ]

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Friends of the Heroes

Friends of the Heroes -- Band of Outsiders -- (UK)
I've listened to this CD a few times now, but still am not sure how to describe it. I know I like it. It was in my CD player for a week and that's always a good sign! Potion are Annie Maley and Michel Bedoya and play happy music on guitars and keyboards. They come from San Francisco but sound a little bit Spanish, to me at least. They have a pretty and funky website - also a good sign, I like it when bands have good websites - and Band of Outsiders is their third release. It's good too. The music is cheery and energetic and perfect for the beginning of summer. It makes me feel like dancing and has singing along even when I don't know the words. I especially liked '25th Century' which is about a journey into space and 'Band of Outsiders' which I originally misheard as 'Better than Cider'! The closing song 'Drifting Again' is dreamy and melodic -- a very nice end to this album.
[Grainne Lynch]

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Greece

Avopolis

Avopolis -- Circa -- (GR)
--------Text in Greek, please click on Logo to visit the site and read the article!

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Avopolis

Avopolis -- Band of Outsiders -- (GR)
--------Text in Greek, please click on Logo to visit the site and read the article!

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Atraktos

Atraktos -- Circa -- (GR)
--------Text in Greek, please click on Logo to visit the site and read the article!

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The Netherlands

Think Small

Think Small -- Circa -- (NL)
Ik zou natuurlijk kunnen zeggen: een beetje dromerige indie waar je goed op kunt dansen. Ik kan natuurlijk ook gewoon zeggen: Stereolab. Dat is een stuk korter en omschrijft de muziek van Potion minstens zo goed. Is Potion dan slecht? Nee, dat zeg ik toch niet. Ik vind Stereolab ook leuk, zeker de vroege Stereolab en daar lijkt dit erg op en dus vind ik Potion ook erg leuk.
[Martijn Grooten]

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Think Small

Think Small -- Band of Outsiders -- (NL)
Zoeken op Stereolab levert op deze site zo'n 25 recensies op waarin de naam genoemd wordt. Dat betekent dat ik nogal van Stereolab houd, wat inderdaad klopt, maar ook dat ik voor dergelijke vooravondelectropop nooit een betere omschrijving heb gevonden dan Ôklinkt als Stereolab'. Potion klinkt dus ook zo. En natuurlijk ook weer niet helemaal. Zo klinkt er in Potion her en der wat latin door -- dat zal dan wel vanwege hun Californische afkomst zijn. En belangrijker: Potion is een duo. Daarmee klinkt de muziek minder vol, maar dat wordt dan weer gecompenseerd door wat meer intimiteit. Potion zou wŽl prima een huiskamerconcert kunnen geven. En zo is ook haar nieuwste, derde cd Band of Outsiders goed beluisterbaar, met negen prettige nummers, waarvan eentje ( Til The Morning ) te mooi is om ook door jou onbeluisterd te blijven.
[Martijn Grooten]

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Japan

Smashing Mag

Smashing Mag -- Band of Outsiders -- (JP)
Ethereal Nostalgia Pop For Now

A little recycling amidst newly forged gems can always be counted on in the continual unfurling of music from all corners of the world. That's exactly what San Francisco's duo of Potion continues to do so happily and infectiously, beautifully building upon their previous 2 releases on Blue Orange Records in their third release 'Band Of Outsiders.'

Contrary to that title, Potion, which consists of Annie Moley (vocals, programming, keys, percussion) and Michel Diaz de Bedoya (backing vocals, guitars, bass, keys, programming, percussion), are clear insiders within the burgeoning scene of San Francisco. Bringing their fresh tonic revelations that combine both the confections of the breezy, summer of love days and the unashamedly electronic pop toppings from the early -to-mid 80's, Potion's 9-scoop sonic sundae both refreshes like a sunny day at your favorite amusement park.

Replete with numerous hints of mixings of such flavorings from classic B-52's, Dire Straits, Velvet Underground days amongst others, 'Band Of Outsiders' shines in its own concoction of love potion number 9. Opening with the steady, floating, fuzz-filled "25th Century," Potion briskly set the pace for the consumption of their sundae as the looping, octave-raising keys coat alongside Annie's soothing vocals, duly giving some whipped cream and other delights to this first scoop as the following jaunting "Under Sedation" covers the kaleidoscope of emotions felt within a liberating road trip with the sun out, top down and the rushing wind breathing life into you. The hypnotic organic French lull of "Samba Spatiale" provides a thoroughly relaxing 4th scoop breather into the racing fuzz-swirl title track. The pure elation of "Watching the World Passing By" makes you swear you're at an old-time ice cream parlor birthday party as "Kissing The Chameleon" brings on the food coma certain to follow such a satisfying feed. "Rappacini's Garden" gives some needed edge to it all as the swaying "Drifting again" dreamily closes out this 37-minute affair that basks in its resounding, refreshing qualities. Whipped cream's sonic brother found.
[Michael Lara]

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Finland

Indiepopmusic.tk

Indiepopmusic.tk -- Band of Outsiders -- (FI)
Minulla on pitkŠŠn ollut kŠsitys, ettŠ San Fransisco on maailman mahtavin kaupunki. En tiedŠ, ovatko Golden Gate, hipit ja kukkulat jŠttŠneet jŠlkiŠŠn Band of Outsiders levyyn, jonka Potion niminen yhtye kyseisestŠ kaupungista on lŠhettŠnyt. Aikamoinen musikaalinen keitos levy ainakin on, jonkinlainen kiinalainen nuudelikeitto, sanoisin. Kaksi ensimmŠistŠ biisiŠ on tŠynnŠ sampleja ja kiekulaulua, josta en erityisemmin pidŠ. Kolmannella, Til the Morning, biisillŠ vilautellaan kuitenkin mukavaa, perinteisempŠŠ kitarapopkaavaa, joka toimii hienosti kappaleella Watching the World Passing By. Kappaleessa on hieman kabaree-mainen tunnelma, ripaus DexysiŠ ja hyppysellinen Tom Waitsia. Maltillisempi Kissin the Chameleon on hieno, ja melodia jŠŠ soimaan pŠŠhŠn. Vaikutteet yhtye hakee sieltŠ tŠŠltŠ, uutta ja vanhaa. Potionsin konerummuista ja samplehelvetistŠ en opi pitŠmŠŠn, klassisemmista biiseistŠ toisinaan paljonkin. Duon naispuolinen vokalisti omaa omaperŠisen ŠŠnen, mutta paikoittain ŠrsyttŠvŠn sellaisen. Kokeile itse: www.potionmusic.com
[J-helmikuu]

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France

Actu-Net

Actu-Net -- Circa -- (FR)
Dans notre ère en mal d'analogie musicale, qu'il fait bon d'entendre les compositions sobres et mélodieuses du 4 titres intitulé É Basé á San Francisco et très influencé par les vibrations de L.A. ville mythique pour tout mélomane qui se respecte, le duo de , et , s'atèle á toutes les tâches, de la composition á la production, pour un peu de bonheur pop nostalgique, dans une atmosphère qui pourrait s'assimiler á , sans le lourd attirail d'instruments en masse. Hors du temps, entre melodies mielleuses á la guitare et sons synthétiques éthérés, flotte dans un espace spatio-temporel insaisissable, entre feu- et une aventure musicale á venir. On attend l'album!
électro-synthétique
[Val]

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Sweden

Musiklandet

Musiklandet -- Band of Outsiders -- (SE)
Dansa, dansa, dansa!
Det hŠr Šr musiken man vill hšra utomhus sent en festivalnatt sŚ man kan dansa sig skšnt utmattad och sen lyckligt somna i sitt sunkiga tŠlt. Det Šr indiepop blandat med electronica. Melodišs musik med skšna beats, synthslingor och trummaskiner. Takten framkallar dans. Att sitta stilla Šr inte ett alternativ.

SŚngaren Annie Maleys ršst passar underbart bra till musiken. Det Šr ingen typisk tjejršst och inte direkt "fin", snarare skšn och mšrk. I pressutskicket stŚr det att "Potion vŠcker nostalgi fšr ett stŠlle och en tid som du inte visste att du saknade och som du kanske aldrig har upplevt". Jag lŠngtar till nŚgot diffust stŠlle som pŚminner om tokdanserna pŚ mellanstadiediscot blandat med framtiden.

TyvŠrr Šr skivan lite ojŠmn och allt Šr inte bra. En del lŚtar Šr rent av trŚkiga och mycket lŚter likadant. I sina bŠsta stunder Šr dock Potion en underbar och ofarlig partydrog som fŚr dig att dansa lyckligt.
[Sofia Lundgren]

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Venezuela

32 Puertas

32 Puertas -- Band of Outsiders
Sin muchas pretensiones y con mucha insistencia se ha colado en nuestro “playlist” este “Band of Outsiders” de un interesante dúo proveniente de la ciudad de San Francisco (USA) que se hace llamar Potion. Integrado por Annie Maley (Voz, programación, teclados y percusión) y Michel Diaz de Bedoya (coros, guitarras, bajo, teclados, programación y percusion), Potion hace su aporte a esa tendencia revisionista que estamos viviendo ultimamente de crear música con marcadas influencias ochentosas, proponiendo un trabajo fresco, desenfadado y que logra su cometido dejando una marca personal al adicionar en la coctelera una serie de elementos de corte retro-futurista de gran brillo y genial ejecución.

“25Th century” es el track que abre este disco y lo hace con una gran carga de energía, contenida en insistentes riff de sintetizadores analógicos que pudieran haber salido de un disco de Add N to (X) y una melodía que recorre un trayecto ida y vuelta entre Yazoo y Saint Etienne. “Under Sedation” se acerca un poco mas a Stereolab, una comparación que hemos leído con frecuencia en internet al hacer referencia a Potion. Sigue “Til The Morning” que trae las guitarras al frente y Annie se atreve a decir algunas palabras en español, redondeando un sonido que nos trae gratas reminiscencias del “Apartment Life” de Ivy.

“Samba Spatiale” se enmarca en un sugestivo lounge que indica que Annie y Michel se deben haber tropezado en algún momento con los discos de Suba o de Bebel Gilberto. “Band of Outsiders” refuerza la impresión ochentosa con un riff que recuerda un poco al Talking Heads de “Life During Wartime” con un poco mas de disco y un poco de menos de rock. “Watchin' the world passing by” tiene un ritmo y un arreglo que acá en Venezuela asociamos inmediatamente con la gozadera de Los Amigos Invisibles, pero que igual puede apuntar a lo que hacía Blondie en sus años dorados, con un factor de novedad, que en este caso es provisto por la inclusión de un banjo interpretado por Patrick Maley.

“Kissing the Cameleon” es uno de mis tracks preferidos, presentando un sólido ritmo de batería electrónica que gira sobre profundos tom toms, los bordes de la melodía son delineados con un colorido trabajo en las guitarras de Michel y ocasionales retorcijones análogicos que puntean los espacios que quedan alrededor de la delicada voz de Annie.

“Rappaccini's Garden” y “Drifting Again” completan con acierto este corto pero exquisito trabajo, nuevamente con referencias que en nuestra memoria sonora apuntan a Ivy, Saint Etienne o Everything But The Girl.

“Band of Outsiders” resulta una excelente carta de presentación para esta agrupación que merece un poco más de atención, algo que no dudamos conseguirán en este 2005.
[Gabriel Pérez ]

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