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Bedouin Soundclash Head to NOLA for 'Edges of the Night' Video: Premiere

Bedouin Soundclash
Brandon Artis Photography

Bedouin Soundclash

New Orleans exerted some influence in bringing Bedouin Soundclash out of hiatus, a relationship that's celebrated in the exuberant video for "Edges of the Night," premiering below from the Canadian group's latest album MASS (Easy Star Records/Mr. Bongo).

"Back in 2010 we kind of knew it was time to take a break," singer-guitarist Jay Malinowski, who formed Bedouin Soundclash during 2001 with bassist Eon Sinclair, tells Billboard. After four studio albums, Malinowski says he and Sinclair, "weren't as inspired. Both of us love the band and love what it is, and we didn't want to ruin it. So we decided to take a break and let it go, and hopefully it comes back. But we didn't want to say we'd broken up or were on hiatus or anything like that."

The seeds for return were actually planted early, when Sinclair went to New Orleans' Preservation Hall and met director Ben Jaffe in 2012. "He said, 'If you guys ever want to make a record, we'd love to have you do it here,'" Malinowski recalls. Four years later the guitarist wrote a song called "Clockwork," a brassy, big band-style jam that he felt was "a Bedouin track," and Sinclair suggested taking Jaffe up on his offer to record in New Orleans. The duo enlisted old friend King Britt to produce, working primarily at Marigny Studios with some vocals recorded later in Vancouver.

"'Edges of the Night' was one we recorded live off the floor from Preservation Hall itself," Malinowski says. "We did it in, like, four hours. It was crazy. A lot of musicians the night before were saying, 'You got to start praying, man. There's ghosts in Preservation Hall, and if they don't want you recording, crazy things will get messed up.' So everyone was a little nervous." There was, in fact, a glitch on the first night of recording that was fixed the next day -- "King was like, 'That's New Orleans magic'," Malinowski says.

The song's video, which features the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and other guests, captures the buoyant spirit of the session. "That track, I feel like you can hear the sweat in the room," Malinowski says. "It was, like, August in New Orleans. We had 25 or 30 people crowded into Preservation Hall, and it felt like 80. Eon was engineering. I love watching near the end of (the video) 'cause you can see we're so happy to be done."

Nevertheless, Malinowski says recording MASS -- which came out last October -- was a great experience. "It was unlike any other," he acknowledges. "I'm more used to things being very closed-down in the studio, everything very measured and mapped out. When we went down there there'd be 20 people in the studio at any time. It was way more community-oriented and way freer, more of the notion of jazz. It was an amazing learning experience."

Recording MASS put Bedouin Soundclash back on the road as well, including its first Canadian tour in a decade earlier this year. And Malinowski reports, he and Sinclair feel rejuvenated enough that another lengthy hiatus seems unlikely at this point. "The Canadian tour really inspired us; We realized how much we love being on stage, playing music," he says. "So we're in touch, trying to get some stuff out. We're on a roll now, so we'll see how it goes."

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