Recorded in Azusa, California over the spring and summer of 2010, Translator captures the instrumentation of Johanna Chase and her Los Angeles built band (Johanna Chase on acoustic/electric guitars and vocals, Robert DeLong on drums and percussion, Matthew Lee on Bass, and Matt Knapil on horns) and a great cast of studio guests. Joined by renowned folk singer/songwriter Joey Ryan (Milk Carton Kids, Joey Ryan) on "Na Na Na" and "Flashlight", legendary African soukous guitarist and vocalist Huit Kilos (Papa Wemba, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Ricardo Lemvo, King Kester, Dindo Yogo, Ngouma Lokito, and Langa Langa Stars) on "Just Wait", "Joyful and Brave", "Maxing Out the Boards", "Grace Killer", and "Chasing Layers", and co-produced, engineered and mixed by upcoming electro-folk-glitch artist Robert DeLong, Translator is Chase's most innovative studio record to date. Other friends that appeared on the record are Poet John Paul (http://youtu.be/DjXGNY9TqX0), Shawn Morones on lap steel (Cigarettes Barbies, Brother), Jaime Rosas on accordion, Samuel Pullen on violin (Center for the Working Poor), Don Chase on oboe, Adam Edwards on trombone (Paulie Pesh, Z the Band, Red River and Kristi Joe) and long time collaborator and bandmate Matt Knapil on flute, clarinet and saxophones (Kristi Joe, Z the Band, Paulie Pesh, The Wild Reeds, Branches, Nicole Vaugn, Robert Jon and the Wreck, Red River and many more).
Lyrically, Translator is Johanna Chase's most powerful work to date. Touching on a range of subjects from the political to the personal, Chase continues to tell her listeners her own story while asking them theirs. Most songs were written during Chase's final years of undergraduate education and reflect the relationships and lessons she experienced while attending school outside of L.A.
After 10 months of studio sessions with childhood bandmate, drummer and engineer, Robert DeLong, Chase's album was mastered by Patrick Mundy at the Mundy Sound Lab in Orange County, CA and was released independently online and in print. The album was funded by Chase's fans and Johanna herself executively produced the project.
"Translator delivers (Johanna's) own unique quality that has a sound that crosses hints of southern blues and bluegrass, but she is far more complicated than a simple genre tag or any band comparison."
-All Indie Magazine