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Jonny Polonsky – Photo Credit: Peter Heck
Today we’re pleased to premiere the latest offering from Chicago-born and raised, LA-/NYC-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Jonny Polonsky. In fact, this is an exciting collaboration of sorts with New York no wave scene legend Jim Sclavunos, whose remix of Polonsky’s track ‘You Turn Me On’ is breathtaking and cinematic with production of the utmost caliber.
This remix is coolly captivating, featuring a pulsating beat that continually pushes forward while Polonsky whispers his vocals in a velvety tone. He’s enrobed in a mix of shining flecks of acoustic guitar strum, contemplative piano notes, and eventually flitting electronics for a full feast of sounds.
Jim Sclavunos has been a member of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds since 1994. Alongside Lydia Lunch, he was an integral part of New York’s No Wave scene in the 1970s as a member of legends Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, plus Beirut Slump and 8 Eyed Spy, before joining Sonic Youth to write and record their first album Confusion Is Sex Also known for a stint in The Cramps, Sclavunos also leads his own group the Vanity Set.
Jonny Polonsky explains how he and Sclavunos came to work together: “Jim Sclavunos has been making music for many, many years, and is always involved in something cool—whether it’s with The Cramps, Lydia Lunch, Tav Falco, on and on…Jim is a diehard music lover and creator, my favorite kind of music maker. (Believe me, not everyone is like that. There are so many “just-add-water-makes-its-own-sauce” kinda folk. It’s just not my scene, maaaaaan). His work with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Grinderman just thrill me to my soul. I love that music so much. It can be like a healing balm on some raw, aching wound, or an icepick through the forehead, their music always delivers. Jim hosts a radio show in London, so he’s fairly accessible. I emailed him and asked him if he would do a remix of a song from my last record, Kingdom of Sleep. He liked the music, and voila. Three weeks later out came a bouncing baby remix, all dark and weird and fun and awesome. A Promethean promenade for a perfect pandemic summer playlist.”
With a rich history collaborating with the likes of Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) and Donovan, Chicago-raised Polonsky writes interstellar anthems for a new generation of mindfreaks. Songs of sex and death and love…hymns of despair and transcendence. A celebration of what it feels like to be human; from the exalted, grandest moments of euphoria and bliss, to the universal pain of loss and letting go. Beauty at every turn.
The original version of this song featured on his recently released album Kingdom of Sleep, which was mixed and mastered by Mike Tholen (Chris Connelly, Revolting Cocks).
“You Turn Me On wasn’t written with a specific person in mind. These are just the words and melodies that came up when I heard the music (I recorded all the music before I wrote a melody or words, which is very unusual for me). But then again, as Keith Richards said, when asked which person he wrote a particular love song for, “they’re about all of ‘em,” says Jonny Polonsky.
Jonny Polonsky has released six full-length records in 23 years. Early DIY demos led to support from music luminaries like Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, Tin Machine), Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), Zander Schloss (Joe Strummer, Circle Jerks), John Zorn, and Frank Black, who produced his first demo recording, leading iconic record producer Rick Rubin to sign Polonsky to American Recordings. From his 1996 debut album Hi My Name is Jonny, such names such as The New York Times, MTV, Lollapalooza and Audioslave peppered the period until 2005. In 2006, Polonsky formed the short-lived Big Nose with Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), and collaborated with Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle) for Puscifer, with whom Polonsky wrote, recorded and toured in 2007-2010.
As of August 7, ‘You Turn Me On (Jim Sclavunos Remix)’ will be available everywhere digitally. The Kingdom of Sleep LP is out now on CD, clear vinyl with gatefold sleeve and digitally HERE
Also enjoy Polonsky’s latest video for ‘Sign in the Window’, directed by photography legend Paul Elledge (Rolling Stone, Forbes) and edited by Neal Ostrovsky.