Monday, 30 June 2008

Portishead – Third

For some reason I had avoided this record until now, I couldn’t help but think that they were past it and all the hype was bollocks, so I stared clear and then forgot about them. I have seen Third popping up on midyear top album lists so decided to bite the bullet and have a listen. I wasn’t disappointed at all they still have that moody freaked out trip hopping sound. It might even be a little darker and organic sounding too. Her voice is still sublime and ghostly. You can defiantly see where the coffee table music for dinner parties tag comes from with Portishead but I don’t think this entirely does them justice.

Nylon Smile is a cool track with a subtle drum spooky guitar twang and backwards loops, with sweep vocal melodies over the top. The Rip is another stand out with its theremin and lowly almost flamenco sounding guitar. Her voice is really lonely sounding drenched in a nice bit of reverb while the track builds subtly with horns, some fat synth and jazz drums, it is a little to short for my liking though. Plastic is pretty disturbing with its mad sampled quick fire drum loops and spooky whirling sounds. We Carry On has an edge to it with the telephone sounds repeating over pounding tom toms and freaky synth bass loops, the discord of the guitars build the track. They seem to often stick to one mood, which is melancholy spook drama but they do it well so fair play to them. Deep Water is a bit of a folk ballad of the loneliest and most fragile moment so far on Third; it’s just a snippet of a song though. Machine Gun is another beast of the record with digital distorted banging, its not to in your face but it’s the most hard to listen to tune here, its either brilliant or annoying I’m yet to decide. Magic Doors has its moments with its spaffed out drums and piano.

Portishead still have it in them after a lengthy break from making music and I for one am pleasantly surprised by Third. There are no massive tunes that make you go wow but it is a really good listening experience for dark moody nights.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

FlyLo Live Sets

There have been some live mixes knocking about from the excellent FlyLo one from a place called The Do-Over from May 25th 2008 and another from way back on Radio One. He did a mix recently for Brainfeeder but I can’t seem to find that one just yet, I’m sure some time someone will have recorded it and put it online, fingers crossed anyway. Flying Lotus has his album Los Angeles out right now and its amazing I can’t stop spinning it. There are also 3 EP’s one of which is out now and highly limited, with new material and tracks from Los Angeles. Expect up front wonky aquatic instrumental hip-hop and bass music from these live sets.

Saturday, 28 June 2008


Pyramids conjure up some mad images, not the huge imposing mysterious Egyptian tombs, although that isn’t a bad description for what is currently freaking my ears out. Pyramids is the self titled debut album from this Hydra Head Records artist from god knows where. It doesn’t really sound like they are from this world, or if they are they only came to use our instruments. Metal and Post Rock are obvious touch stones for Pyramid they are combined into something damn new sounding, to my ears anyway. The badass scariness of Metal is mixed with the down right freaked out instrumentals of Post Rock. The drums are freakin’ ace they stomp away in the background as another layer in the fuzzed masses of sound. Each tune sounds like the un-dead rearing their head, from somewhere you didn’t know existed, and they ate all the drugs they could get their hands on while they were at it. Pyramids are dirty and down right wrong, this is shoegaze for freaks, freaks like me it would seem as its strangely addictive and alluring, while staying deeply disturbing. The soundtrack to pure evil, pure unadulterated, brilliant evil, evil has never sounded so intense and beautiful.

Friday, 27 June 2008


As I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for Burial’s DJ Kicks mix that is apparently shipping in a week from Boomkat, I thought I would have another listen to his self titled debut album as I hadn’t reviewed it on this blog before. My first Burial listen was from Untrue and I fell in love with it there and then and I must admit Burial’s S/T took me a little more time to get my head round. Now I have and its pretty much a classic, one day I’m sure it will be hailed as much, but maybe it’s a little early to tell right now it only came out in 2006. it made massive ripples though for an underground urban dance album. It topped many polls that year as album of the year and for some reason this still passed me by at the time.

This is darker than Untrue it doesn’t have that bright lyrical, vocal splashing the follow up has its darker and more straightforward dubstep in comparison. Burial has always been on the outskirts of dubstep dipping in to the style and many others all at once. His myspace describes him as 2-step, Hardcore and Garage, this might give us some clues of what treats we have in store for the mix album, but more on that when it pops through my letter box.

The album Burial does have a vocal track on it though from Hyperdub and Kode 9 collaborator Spaceape. He does his dub poetry brilliantly over the sparse dark skipping beats and crackles. The album Memories Of The Future by Kode 9 & The Spaceape is another dubstepping masterpiece that didn’t have the mass crossover appeal that Burial has.

Burial is full of a kind of sonic poetry about late night London with rain lashing down and pirate radio stations perforating the murky airwaves. Spewing out dark underground sounds to the lost souls of the city. You can’t really have a Burial review without mentioning a Night Bus I think it’s the law or something so there you go. You can hear snippets of influence from rave, hardcore, 2-step, garage and ambient works in Burial but he filters it through his own unique ear into something bigger than the sum of its parts, its breath taking some of it. Emotion seeps through it, which is something that is hard to come by sometimes in electronic music. I say electronic as Burial obviously is but it sounds pretty damn organic and warm too, the dubstep, 2-step whatever rhythms bring a swing that offsets the coldness. Every song is a cracker and pulls this album together perfectly.

Burial and his anonymous ways add a ace air of the unknown to all his music, it makes it an event to behold, you know when Burial drops something its going to make waves. I for one can’t wait to hear his DJ Kicks mix and I hope to god another full album appears in the near future too.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Field Live at Berghain, Berlin.

Berghain is hailed as one of the best clubs around and maybe even the capital of Techno in recent times. The minimal gods and goddesses descend upon this Berlin hangout like chic party monsters ready for the legendary Berlin nightclub scene to engulf them in sparse beats until the early hours and beyond. Of course I have never been to this place, I’m just guessing, I have made it sound fun though haven’t I…

I had been unsure on whether to get myself the Field album From Here We Go Sublime since last year. At first I wasn’t convinced at all, the loops just got annoying and it all seemed a little too simple, I guess you can say I just didn’t get it. This has changed and the reason why is this live set a seamless mix recorded from the soundesk of Berlins

Kompakt’s techno Swede plays 53 minuets of his own looped out mellow beats and soundscapes, at least I’m pretty sure its all The Field’s work I can’t find a track list anywhere. Its smooth yet beautiful, not the kind of techno to kick your ass all over the dance floor but the kind of stuff you can fall asleep to if the mood takes you. I’m sure in a club this set would make you move and want to dance with pretty girls with all your best minimal European house moves, and drinking strange cocktails. But lets face it we are stuck at home or on a bus with this mp3 to listen to, and it works just as well, well almost, I guess…

The Field Live at Berghain, Berlin. [Alt Lnk]

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Dubstep Allstars: Vol.06 Mixed By Appleblim

This is one hell of a mix and I have been listening to a lot of dubstep mixes recently, its had some tough opposition to go up against, from the likes of Kode 9 Vs. FlyLo and Martyn. This album is a up there with the best of them though and a perfect show case for the cutting edge of the dubstep sound right now. Appleblim is a sublime selector of the finest dubplates new and old, he makes this instalment of Tempa’s Dubstep Allstars shine.

I’m familiar with some of these tunes already and they fit so well in this mix. Artists such as 2562, Martyn and Ramadanman have all been mentioned on this blog before, on Vol.6 they continue to bring the sweet noise with them.

Preverelist catches my eyes and ears with his deep dubby sounds with a slow crunching echo to them. Appleblim even proves himself to be more than just an amazing record selector and mixer by colaberating on the Apple Pips release Circling with Preverelist. The two opening tracks then melt away into the soul tinged Get Up by Pinch that is now maybe a Dubstep classic with its 2-step rhythm and vocal funky house leanings.

The next two tunes are 2562’s Moog Dub and Martyn’s Suburbia these tracks are just pretty much perfect to my ears anyway. Both of them perfectly sum up this new tech driven dub sound. They also start to bring the mix into its element by upping the anti a little, each track builds and builds the flow of the mix its pretty special. 2562’s album seems to be selling well if the Boomkat top sellers chart is anything to go by and this Martyn track must be well hot too as I can’t find it on 12” at all.

Jus Wan reminds me of a break beat tech house mash up with of course a heavy does of dub. Its also another fine release from Apple Pips, this new imprint has got lots going for it right now. The filtered twinkle of the synths make this track a real treat and add that deep Basic Channel duby techno sound to the mix. Which is handy as the master of that kind of mash up is up next in the blender: 2562 and his sub bass monster Movern. This has an almost four to the floor kick to it and it really ups the tempo a notch, and veers into full on techno territory more so that any other tune so far. The bongos and bass keep it routed in the dubstep though with its funky swing.

TRG & Selector Dub U bring some nice clicky percussion into the proceedings and a stop start flavour to the beat loop that makes the building synth really come out and move you. Perverelist is next up and its his third track on Vol.06 so Appleblim obviously thinks highly of him. This time it’s a more upbeat and techier number as appose to the more dub influenced slow beginners. Ace tune too, the break down sounds like a heart beat that stops as the bass and synth take over again.

Now past the halfway stage, and Skream makes an appearance with an exclusive on a dubplate. The mix really picks up with this one, you can really hear the techno influence shining through in the beats and pace, well more the feeling than the tempo as dubstep is quite a bit quicker than techno. RSD has a old skool drum’n’bass feel to it like super sharp shooter by Zinc or something like that but updated for the techy dubstep crowd.

Mungo’s Hi-Fi and their track Babylon is kind of like the midsection breakdown tune. With its ace dubby intro of reggae sample giving way to an irresistible growling dirty baseline. The name and sound of this tune gives me images of long lost dub sound systems and open-air parties with BBQ’s and beers.

Komonazmuk brings the techno four to the floor dubstepping right back into it with two slices featuring him in a row. The first Bad Apple on his own and the second the excellently titled Cheeky Herbert with Gatekeeper. At first I though Komonazmuk was a Japanese name but then I read it again and it sounds like a pun in Yorkshire. Any way these two tracks are absolute bangers and propel this mix further to its peak. Dubstep some how manages to be fast yet sound slow all at once, because of its dub style that adds a spacyness to the 140 odd BPM tempos. Cheeky Herbert is maybe one of my favourite tracks its so dirty and has some wicked funky samlples.

TRG smack out a trio of tracks now two being remixes by two of the scenes bright lights the first being Ramadanman and the second being Martyn. First up is an original TRG joint though. Its more deep dub fueled stepping this time its pretty quick and sure to get the floor moving. Ramadanman pulls out a cracking mix of Put You Down that has a tight electro sounding drum that skips and pierces your ear as the bass messages you from deep down. Martyn’s mix of Broken Heart is just ace another contender for track of the compilation. A looped sample of warm sounding synth drops into a ravey motif that is just brilliant.

The final track is by Gelom Featuring Marita it’s the dubplate version of Reminissin’ it has a 2-step feel to it and a thumping four to the floor beat. Some nice vocals to end the mix on a high and with a smiley tone to boot. Then it’s all over leaving you gagging for more and a rewind.

Appleblims mix for Tempa’s Dubstep Allstars is a real treat for your ears. One of the very best DJ mix albums I have heard since Villalobos’s beast on the Fabric series. The flow is exceptional the tune selection spot on every tune leads perfectly to the next and makes the journey a real treat. I can’t wait to keep listing to this stuff, keep it up Appleblim.

I’m not sure how to follow that now so I’m off to go and watch Marth Marenghi’s Darkplace...

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


KeToLoCo is the ace club night from Leeds that started as a mad after party for BacktoBasics in some random basement. They soon outgrew that and have been doing nights all of the spot ever since in Leeds, London and even the last few years they have taken Ibiza by storm. I still haven’t got my ass to one of these nights as I’m rubbish, but one day I will and in the meantime they have posted a few mixes from their facebook group and they are rather wicked. There are a truck load more on there if you join too.

KeToLoCo Dot Com


Party Time:
ElectricSex & KeToLoCo @ EDEN, IbizaSaturday 28th June.

On with the mixes:
KeToLoCo 1st Birthday Mix for download:
@ Ketoloco 1st Birthday, BacktoBasics, Leeds 20/10/07
(right click link, save target as to download)

No track list.

bleep.. bleep.. glitch.. bleep............. boom!

Another mix:
::::: KeToLoCo PROMO MIX, June '08 :::::

Topical Storms - 78mins.
Mixed by Danny
(right click, save as to download)

1/ Culture Beat - Der Erdbeermund (1989)
2/ Assassin - Voodoo Doll (Balearic Mix)
3/ Roberto Procaccini - Minimarket
4/ Ondbraio - Piano Terra
5/ Homm & Popoviciu - Lagoon
6/ San Marco - Black Sheep (Funkwertstratt Remix)
7/ Roberto Procaccini - Minimood
8/ Joseph Cappriati - Farlocco
9/ Phunklarique - Reflections in Plexiglass
10/ Xhin - Grey Material
11/ Elan - Noose
12/ Format B - 2 Quite
13/ Lucia Aquilina - Magic M
14/ Roberto Procaccini - This Morning
15/ Rhythm Control - My House (Accapella)

Keep it LoCo...!!

Monday, 23 June 2008

Johnny Foreigner – Waited Up ‘Till It Was Light

What an album this is thirteen songs of pure Indie rock fight pop anthems. JoFo are one of my favourite new UK bands around and their debut album doesn’t disappoint. There sound is some where close to Los Camesinos! But less twee-core and more fight pop, which is a massive relief, in-fact they can now start a fight pop axis of evil with new label mates Dananananaykroyd at Best Before. They also remind me of a warmer friendlier organic sounding Bloc Party in places. There is a bit of Sonic Youth and Fugazi in JoFo too. Their EP Arcs Across The City was sublime and some rewordings of the songs feature on Waited Up ‘Till It Was Light. The production on the album polishes the already outstanding tunes into a joyful hit ridden beast. This doesn’t take away any of their raw power or DIY style either. I love the vocals, which are much easier to hear now compared to the demos. The play off of the male and female vocalists works brilliantly and adds a real youthful energy to the songs. Waited Up ‘Till It Was Light could well be this years Indie album of choice, maybe this years Silent Alarm.

It’s been a while since I first heard this record on the leak, and it excited me very much, now I have the CD in my very hands that love comes right back at you like a sugar rush. My love for JoFo almost waived but putting Waited Up ‘Till It Was Light on again soon dispels this mental train of thought. I will get onto the tunes in just one moment but first, what about that artwork? Well I really like it, freaky ghostly cartoons loom over the Birmingham landscape. The inlay is sweet with its postcard style pictures just like the front cover but with song lyrics printed on the back. Just perfect for JoFo fan boys and girls to look over anytime they please.

Every single one of the tunes is a stand out in my opinion, the whole album oozes with fight pop brilliance, just good old loud indie rock pop tunes full of melody and guitars. Our Bipolar Friends, Eyes Wide Terrified and Salt, Peppa and Spinderella are maybe my absolute favourites. The drum machine and synth throb sets Spinderella off brilliantly before it kicks of in style. The production by American hardcore/rock/hip-hop producer Machine is really good and lets the band shine through really well, and manages to dodge all those twangy twee sounds English indie pop is so in love with right now. The lyrics are full of humour about nights out and all sorts of city living pass times. They seem to have a love hate relationship with Birmingham and I think we can all relate to that with our hometowns.

Johnny Foreigner are an adorable band go and enjoy them at their shows, buy them a some gin and sweets, say hello, then dance and smile.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Karl Pilkington’s views on sound and music…

Karl Pilkington is a legend in his own lifetime. An actual comedy genius and no one has any idea how. He also has a head like a fucking orange, and is one of the UK’s most unique thinkers. I love him.

Down I Go – Tyrant

I’m seriously lacking in heavy music at the moment so I have been looking for some good stuff recently. Down I Go has come to the top of the pile along with Torche and to a lesser extent Johnny Truant. Down I Go have made a hardcore punk rock metal concept album about tyrannical leaders of past and present and it fucking shreds.

They jump from full on metal riffs to more maths based odd rhythms and deranged instrumentals. We get screams and singing I’m not to keen on his Londoner style accent when he sings normally but his snarl and growl are awesome. Its more inventive than a lot f0o heavy stuff I have heard recently and that draws me in for sure. Just like Rolo Tomassi change direction at break kneck speeds and dip their toes into so many genres while still keeping it heavy and interesting. Down I Go keep it a lot more traditional than Rolo Tomassi but they still have an experimental spirit to it that I enjoy, the track Idi Amin has a nice bit of jazzy influenced playing at the end that echoes that of Rolo’s.. As does the digital splatters of opener Tomas de Torquemada, the violin strings on this are sweet as hell too they add a cool punch to the track. The horn section in King Henry VIII is just brilliant and brings an epic edge to the track. Every track has something to offer really.

Down I Go will get the moshers in a frenzy, they shred hard on this album, I have no idea about anything else they have done or what others think of them but hell I think its wicked. They manage to be hardcore and metal but without the horrible cheese so many heavy bands fall into Down I Go rock hard and are educational with their stories of tyrannical leaders.

Stand out tracks: Tomas de Torquemada, Joseph Starlin, Nicholae Ceaucescu, King Leopold II, King Henry VIII, Augusto Pinochet, Ivan The Terrible.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

NHG - Black Plaque

This is a mysterious dark yet silly laptop metal band named after, ‘Nervous Hugh Grant’ yeah that’s right the actor dude with the floppy bumble. I say mysterious it’s Dananananaykroyd having a laugh in their tour bus last week. They posted it for free download on DiS not to long ago, and as they are one of may favourite new bands I thought I would stick it right up here for you too.

This is how it was introduced:
‘If you hate yourself or like stupid, digitally-treated, sloppy metal music played by dumb nerds, check it out!’

So I have done and it’s exactly what it says on the tin. A tech driven evil metal mash-up, with the right amount of fun, and riffs, but you expect nothing less from Dananananaykroyd right? Yep…

This is what the liner notes say:

NHG - Black Plaque
Recorded live in an hour by Ross McGowan at Chime 2008
and processed / mixed on a laptop in a van touring the UK as Dananananaykroyd

Calum Gunn - Computer
James Hamilton - Drums/Guitar
David Roy - Guitar/Drums

1. The Day John Bonham Woke Up
2. One Does Not Simply Baseball Into Mordor
3. Baldrick
4. Shoko Nakagawa, Mai Waifu
5. We Can Be NHG
6. ...And The Wolf Was Geri Halliwell's Intestine (Parts 1 & 2)
7. When Is This Dennis Pennis Tennis, Venice
8. Mister Sister's Leather Moustache
9. Our Initials Spell CJD, Which Is What Mad Cow Disease Is Called When Humans Get It By The Way
10. Bad Body


NHG – Black Plaque Download

Friday, 20 June 2008

Girl Talk – Feed The Animals

This is a soundtrack to a party if ever I heard one, a party full of anyone that happens to be passing, as it is so eclectic that anyone will find a little bit they can bump to at least. A pure pop/hip-hop/rock/indie/dance mash up from Girl Talk, the master of it along with Soulwax in-fact he is a kind of mix between Diplo’s hip-hop/Baltimore/dub/dance sound and Soulwax’s more populist approach to the mash up. Feed The Animals is Girl Talk’s latest album and is available from his website to download for what ever price you choose, just like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have done recently.

Where to start with this freaky mash-up then, well its kind of like a Jive Bunny and the Mix Masters for 2008. I think he released it with this method as it’s full to the brim with up front pop hits and if he waited a while to drop it then it would be pretty out of date in no time at all. Pop music is fickle so give it to the animals while it’s hot. There are up front hip=hop/rap stars such as: UGK, Ludacris, Timberland, T.I., Lil’ Wayne and Jay-Z, that is just in the first track too. Feed The Animals is very hip-hop heavy indeed. It’s used as the basis for all the tracks really. Pop moments are pleantyful too with the likes of Avril Lavigne and Britney Spears playing alongside more classic pop tunes from the likes of: Huey Lewis and the News, Procol Haum and Jackson 5. As you can see it’s a full on mix up of all sorts put through the blender and it’s a real treat as a party album.

My Favourite moments are the ones with the rocky moments and just down right classic tunes get dropped in the mix as they bring the most smiles. The up front hip-hop gubbins kind of passes my by as its all American heavy, as in what’s big over there rather than here so many of those tracks I haven’t heard. Go and listen to it for yourself, dig in I’m sure there is something for everyone here.

All the samples used are on this

Download the alum

Thursday, 19 June 2008


The story of the New York club scene and Larry Levan in particular, he was a pioneering DJ at the Paradise Garage. He helped the dance music and club culture as we know today. The film features contributions from many of the people who where part of the scene at the time, from crowd members to other pioneering DJ’s such as David Mancuso and Frankie Knuckles. There is footage from inside the legendary clubs like The Loft and Paradise Garage, which are just so brilliant to see. A story from the underground…

Maestro Official Site

Maestro on google videos

R.I.P Larry Levan.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Deerhunter, High Places & CHOPS Live @ Brudenell Social Club Leeds, 16th June 2008

Deerhunter are probably my favourite band in the whole land and have been ever since I got my hands on Cryptograms last year. So I was pretty damn excited about seeing them live for the first time…

… I wasn’t disappointed either but first the support acts. CHOPS, well god knows what they were like as my train didn’t get in on time to check them out, but they seemed pretty good at packing up their stuff.

High Places did a wonderful set of tropical sounding shoegaze that sounded a little like the lion king filmed underwater maybe it should be called ‘Aqua-Tropicana’? The drumming was all digital yet live and sexy just as it should be. The sweet female vocals sawed through the room and brought a woozy feel to the tropical beat styling of the tunes. A few of the tunes sounded like Aphex twin’s Donkey Rhubarb but more organic and sleepy. Hypnotic stuff from this brilliant new band. I completely forgot to pick up a CD they had for sale too, bummer.

Deerhunter did a brilliant set starting off with some tunes from the Florescent Grey EP, building from mellow moments to walls of pure fuzzy noise. The sound engulfed you in a fuzzy blanket, the loudest group I have seen in a little while. Bradford started proceedings with a bit of banter to telling us he was going to blow the fucking roof off so come to the front of the stage, he is a charismatic fellow. Deerhunter have so much good material the set was full of hits for a fan like me. They played a lot of Microcastle and the rest was from Florescent Grey and Cryptograms as far as I could tell anyway. The beats where tight as hell and the rhythm really propelled the tunes brilliantly throughout the entire set. They seemed to be enjoying it too, there was a bit of joking around and some riffing from Whitney on one of the guitars. It was interesting to see how they make all that beautiful noise from the albums right in front of your very eyes. The layers and layers of guitars where played awesomely I especially like the new stuff and the Eno style of playing in parts. Whitney made some excellent noise with her harmonica. I also loved her rock’n’roll leather trousers.

I can’t get enough of their tunes, each one was a killer, with hooks a plenty and just down right beauty all round. My favourite tracks of the night where Florescent Grey, Dr Glass, Like New, Wash Off (So that’s all of the EP then hey), Lake Somerset, Octet, Strange Lights, Hazel St, Never Stops, Activa, Calvary Scares, Saved By Old Times, Microcastle, Twilight At Carbon Lake and Nothing Ever Happened. I’m sure there was a lot more played my mind is as fuzzy as my ears right now though, oh and I have got the order extremely wrong too. The only songs I’m a little disappointed they didn’t play are Spring Hall Convert and Agrophobia but they more than made up for it with what they played. Easily one of the best live shows I have seen in a while.

Right at the end on the encore Bradford even passed me his guitar to play while he stuck it through some mad effects peddles and all that good stuff. I tried playing the Dr. Who theme on it but failed at that as it was so many effects it wasn’t very recognisable, ah well you got to give it a go haven’t you. I made quite a racket, as the bassist also gave his instrument away to an audience member beside me. Bradford said my playing was good at the end, which was nice of him, I bet he says that to all his audiences the flirt…

Deerhunter still my favourite band and you can bet I will try see them again. I can’t wait to get my hands on Microcastle too it sounds so good I can’t wait to spin the CD. Right now Bradford Cox has made as either part of Deerhunter or as his solo project Atlas Sounds two of the albums of the year, talented fella I take my hat off to him, if I had a hat, I don’t but you know…

Check out the ace new EP type thing from Atlas Sounds
here. It’s full of mellow sleepy sounds, its beautiful, and made on tour just before hitting the UK in Amsterdam, amongst other brilliant nuggets form the Deerhunter/Atlas Sound camp.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Mole – As High As The Sky

Spaced out techno with a funky as hell tech driven minimal tone that even veers towards the loopy disco and acid sound from time to time. The Mole is a Canadian artist on Wagon Repair Records, who have released Mathew Johnson and Monologue to name but a few. As High As The Sky is one hell of a good record.

The thing that makes it stand out from other techno releases I have heard in a while is the drums, they are all pretty much live sounding and organic. They have a rolling disco feel to them; they have a crunch. I can hear a bit of Homework era Daft Punk in a few tunes. Some may even say they are some Jacking beats, a Chicago flavour can be heard in some places. This kind of sound has been lost in minimal and tech driven stuff for a while, and its done really well here.

The sound pallet is pretty diverse and it really keeps you hooked. It all sounds a bit like a DJ set and a great party all at once, each track bringing something new to the night and slaying the floor. The stand out tracks are: Still In My Corner, which is a brilliant slow burner with fat electro bass and bongo loops, kind of like really slow minimal techno by the likes of Mathew Dear. Alice, You Need Him with its tweaty high pitched synth loop that pings through your mind and is very infectious. The midsection of Hey Girl (I Fell So Good) & Baby, You’re The One (Edit) remind me of Daft Punk Homework era a lot with their filtered funk disco loops. Like The Way is a treat with its looped vocals and techy deep flow. The pads and ghostly spoken loop give off a sad and mellow atmosphere that reaches its peak as the song slows its pace and mellows to its end. Smiling Not Running has a addictive bass line with some acidic tweaks thrown in for good measure. Knock Twice has another ace baseline but this time a lopped funk number which is accentuated by its twangy funk guitar line. The closer When It Tastes So Good You Deserve It is a wicked spacy tune with a slow digital bass that fades in and out while floaty jazz pings proliferate around you. This culminates in a very mad and strange ending which made me smile…

The whole album is a joy to listen to from beginning to end, it’s not to banging and it isn’t to dark either. As High As The Sky has just a hint of mellowness and a whole heap of warmth. Its like your floating in space but in your favourite cosy blanket. Pure dance floor joy executed with precision and style.

Hear samples and buy it

Monday, 16 June 2008


It isn’t to often an truly good remix album comes along I think the last one’s I can think of that are worth mentioning are Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm Remixed and Soulwax remixing there own album into it’s very own Night Version. Nine Inch Nails have also been doing this kind of thing for a while too, but I haven’t heard those ones.

Any way on with HEALTH//DISCO quite a few of the mixes have been around on the net for quite a while and the Crystal Castle version of Crimewave was even on their album, there it worked perfectly but on //DISCO it sounds pretty weak compared to the rest. Its blog house heavy on this //DISCO rework the Acid Girls mixes are probably the stand out tracks with their massive bass and hard funk edge. The sounds HEALTH make are just incredible and primal they make for perfect base material to squeeze into more traditionally structured dance music.

Even though I’m a huge dance music fan HEALTH//DISCO can’t touch the original HEALTH album by quite some way. I have heard this version being hailed as better in quite a few, well-respected places. It isn’t to say HEALTH//DISCO is bad at all its not, its just not as genre defiantly beastly and banging. I think HEALTH lose a little of their energy and ideas when they aren’t as free roaming and are restricted into a dance music tried and tested structure.

HEALTH//DISCO is a nice addition to have as the remixes are solid and flow, as an album should do. Their isn’t any skimping and filler just massive beats and repeated cut up style looped freak outs, ready to make you move. These tracks mixed into DJ sets might well have a massive impact and say me more towards loving this //DISCO more than HEALTH but I will have to wait and see.

The highlights for me so far are the two excellent Acid Girls mixes (which you can download bellow). They are acidic and huge sounding with loads of aggression and a truckload of funk. The vocals are made into more of a feature and bring a bit of melody forward into the mix.

Pictureplane remix is a cool one and I have talked about him and the Denver Rhinoceropolis art scene before on this blog a few times. He adds his own stamp to the proceedings with some cut-up style loops and dreamy synths.

The Thrust Lab mix of Problem Is, is a moody electro version and it is a brilliant departure in sound to the HEALTH original. The drums are often not as in your face in these mixes, which for me is the best bit about HEALTH the beastly drums.

CFCF’s mix of Triceratops is a beauty I have heard quiet a few of his mixes before and for quite some time I thought it was a Crystal Castles mokier of some kind or a colaberation. This was maybe because CFCF mixes kept popping up on blogs next to them all the time. Anyway, he makes this into a retro synth number with computer game cop show melodies and a kind of mellow sadness too.

C.L.A.W.S. add a nice subtle techno bump to Lost Time it doesn’t do much else apart from bump along with some funk and tweaks, but a good dance floor tool non the less.

Pink Skull’s version of Heaven is a bit of banger I am familiar with their stuff as they do a brilliant mix, that veer from deep techno to spaced out prog rock through the odd slice of electro and back again. They are a bit like a better version of Quite Village in my eyes anyway; I might post about them more another time.

Curses! Is part of the Drop The Lime/Trouble & Bass NYC posse that make a hell of a racket that is a mix of Jacking Chicargo house beats, hardcore or breakcore and techno all at once. Fat bass and jacking beats, is what they are all about. This mix isn’t the best but its pretty cool.

You can discover the bonus tracks for your self as a little surprise they feature the likes of Toxic Avenger and another Smell group Captain Ahab.

I think the only problem I have with HEALTH//DISCO is that the remixers of choice I am pretty familiar with and I prefer their other stuff more in some cases. It just isn’t as original sounding as the original HEALTH album. I’m being picky though as //DISCO is a solid slice of dance music. It’s a savvy web 2.0, yuck that’s a horrible phrase, record that utilises the word of mouth of blogs and other sites to hype it around the globe. It’s a blog house beast of an album and you don’t get more blog house than your thank you section looking like a who’s who of influential and brilliant blogs and music sites do you...

HEALTH//LIVE are a eight limbed beast and one of the most powerful, energetic and mesmerising happenings I have ever witnessed. A must see in my opinion.

HEALTH the album makes so much more sense after seeing them live and is a pretty much seamless slice of primal noise and a free roaming masterpiece.

HEALTH//DISCO should make you move, it takes the source material into new territories and with a huge slice of fun. All the ‘HITS’ remixed re-packaged and there for you ready to bounce to. They deserve all the support they can get and I can’t wait to see what else they have up their sleeves. The HEALTH motto YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER x 1000000 is a good one for a dance floor compilation as that’s what dance is all about. Added bonus points there.

RCRDLBL has the following:
HEALTH – Triceratops (Acid Girls 2Steps2Freedom Mix)
HEALTH – Triceratops (Acid Girls’ ‘Before Dancefloorasaurases Ruled The Earth Mix)
HEALTH – The Problem Is (Thrust Lab Mix)

Myspace has the following:
HEALTH – (Picturplane Remix)
HEALTH – (Nosaj Thing Remix)


Sunday, 15 June 2008

The Dubstep-Techno hybrid: DubTek, Tech-Step, Dub-No, Who knows?

Along with the Wonky revolution in dubstep that is being championed by the likes of Fly Lo, Rustie and Samiyam there seems to be another side bubbeling away that take influence from techno, tech house and minimal. I’m going to call it Tech-Step maybe, any way the purveyors of this sound seem to be people like 2562, Ramadanman, Martyn and maybe the main figure head Appleblim. Of course Kode 9 has his feet in pretty much all camps at once with his supurb Hyperdub label. But I will no doubt do a post dedicated to him some other time.

On with the Tech-Step AKA DubTek! I guess I first became aware of this sound when hearing Ricardo Villalobos dropping dubstep in his minimal mixes and that opening my eyes to the possibilities; Ramadanman’s Blimey was dropped recently as the opening track in one of his sets. Also the Villalobos mix of Shackletons Blood On Your Hands is phenomenal and well worth its wait in the dubstep/minimal hall of fame, if that existed. In the mean time this sound has been bubbling under and brewing some brilliant sounds. Villalobos has been making more tunes that slide nicely between the two genres since as well.

Appleblim’s Dubstep Allstars Vol.6 may well be the definitive document of Tech-Step-Dub-No to date, I will talk about that one another time though, as I haven’t heard it very much yet, to do it justice. I have however heard an amazing mix he did on Sub FM, which I will put a link up to at the end of the post. It opened my ears fully to this dubstep movement and got me pretty excited. He effortlessly mixed between minimal sounds and dubstep tunes you often couldn’t decide what was which it was brilliant. Appleblim owns Apple Pips and co-owns Skull Disco too with Shackleton.

Martyn has been making some noise and stiring some genre spanning all of his own. He is a Dutch producer and DJ who owns 3024 Records and releases on Apple Pips as well. Martyn’s sound is techey and stepy hence the name I guess, he is similar in some ways to 2562, yet not as deep and dubby. He is a jack of all genres; he has shown this by not only playing awesome tech infused dubstep sets but by also warming up fabric with a four to the floor techno set. Examples of these brilliant mixes bellow.

2562 has made an amazing album called Ariel that I reviewed right here on this very blog not long ago. So I wont go into to much detail right now, but its techno style dub beats echo great sounds from Detroit to London.

Explore the sounds bellow and enjoy your Tech-Step (Well that name seems to be taken, so any takers on DubTek?) journey as much as I have done and will continue to do…

Appleblim’s Sub FM mix

Track list:

01. Ghislain Poirier - They Wanna Know [Tax Records]
02. Keith Worthy - Deep for Days [Sistrum Recordings]
03. Radio Slave - K-Maze [REKIDS]
04. Intrusion - Intrusion (CV313 Reduction) [echospace [detroit]]
05. Ricardo Villalobos - Electonic Water (San Proper's 'It Ate My Quarter' Mix) [Perlon]
06. Shed - Warped Mind [Ostgut Tonträger]
07. CH-Signal Laboratories (8003 Lucerne) - Hypnotica Scale [Sandwell District]
08. Peverelist - Clunk Click Every Trip [Unreleased]
09. Footsie - Pissed [White]
10. Geiom feat. Marita - Reminissin (Kode9 Remix) [Forthcoming Berkane Sol]
11. Jus Wan - Action Potential [Unreleased]
12. Martyn - General 73 [Unreleased]
13. Pangaea - You & I [Unreleased]
14. Spherix - Look Back [Unreleased]
15. Headhunter - Physics Impulse [Unreleased]
16. Burial - Pirates [Hyperdub]
17. Jus Wan - Affletic [Unreleased]
18. DLX - ??? (Breakage Remix) [Unreleased]
19. Unknown - Untitled [Unreleased]
20. Digital Mystikz - Misty Winter [Soul Jazz]
21. Ramadanman - Bidding War [Unreleased]
22. Sharmaji - Qalandar [Unreleased]
23. Martyn - Vancouver [Forthcoming 3024]
24. Appleblim & Geiom - Shreds [Unreleased]
25. Joe - Grimelight [Unreleased]
26. DJ Madd - In The Lounge [Unreleased]
27. Ramadanman - Untitled [Unreleased]
28. Instra:mental - Futurist [Unreleased]
29. Komonazmuk - Light [Terminal DUsk]
30. Unknown - At Dub [Unreleased]
31. Peverelist - Gather [Unreleased]
32. Burial - Exit Wounds [Hyperdub]
33. Distance - Fallen [Boka]
34. Cyrus - Banshi [Unreleased]
35. Gemmy - Back 2 Da Future [Unreleased]
36. Joker - 80s [Forthcoming Kapsize]
37. RSD - Prophecy [White]
38. Joker - Snake Eater [Unreleased]
39. Mala - Da Wrath (Souljahz VIP Mix) [DMZ]
40. Unknown - Murderah [Unreleased]

Martyn’s Rinse FM mix

Track list:
1. martyn - natural selection (3024)
2. slaughter mob - no snare (?)
3. skream - trapped in a dark bubble (?)
4. martyn - suburbia (applepips)
5. geiom - reminissin' kode9 remix (berkane sol)
6. trg - broken heart martyns dcm mix (hessle audio)
7. horsepower productions - hand of death (tempa)
8. benny - jahroel (?)
9. pantha du prince - florac juswan remix (tube)
10. martyn - vancouver (3024)
11. shut up and dance - epileptic martyns no strobe mix (suadrecs)

Martyn’s Fabric techno mix

Track list:

01. Omar-S - Untitled (FXHE)
02. Recloose - Soul Clap 2000 (Planet E)
03. Tikiman - Spend Some Time (Burial Mix)
04. Ripperton - On Falling (92 edit) (?)
05. Robert Owens - Bring Down the Talls (Trax)
06. Sonja Moonear - 99 Erikas (Karat)
07. Westpark Unit - Blaxrotation Suite mix (Farside records)
08. The Timewriter - Never Stop (Plastic City)
09. Roy Davis Jr. - My Soul is Electric (Large)
10. Ripperton - Tainted Words (Connaisseur)
11. Marc Schneider - Sniper Heat (Wasnotwas)
12. Theo Parrish – Can’t Take It
13. Agnes - Hi Murda (Perspectiv)
14. Ame - Basic Track (Innervisions)
15. Andomat 3000 & Jan - Entr'acte Music (Cadenza)
16. Andy Stott - Fear of Heights (Modern Love)
17. Common Factor - Get Down 3 (Playhouse)
18. DJ Minx - A Walk in the Park (Villalobos and Cassy remix) (Minus)
19. Frivolous - Sooo Savvy (Scape)
20. Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - Mederico (Oslo)
21. Jobim's Causin - Comerte (Cargo Edition)
22. Loco Dice - A Chico a Rhytmico (Cadenza)
23. Atjazz - For Real (Version mix) (Innervisions)
24. Cobblestone Jazz - India in Me (Wagon Repair)
25. Dennis Ferrer - Son of Raw (Loco Dice remix) (Objektivity)
26. Junior Boys - Like a Child (Carl Craig mix)
27. Kenneth Graham - Love Dialed In (Visage Recordings)
28. John Shananigans - Charles on the Dancefloor (Cynosure)
29. Ricardo Villalobos - Fizheuer Zieheuer pt 2 (Playhouse)
30. Maurizio - Domina edit (M)
31. Deadbeat - Abu Graib Reconfiguration (Scape)
32. Mike Shannon - Ghost Writer Blues (Cynosure)
33. Mark August - Old Joy (Connaisseur)
34. Sid le Rock - Naked (DJ Koze mix) (Cereal/Killer)
35. Matthew Dear - But for You (Ghostly)
36. St. Germain - Rose Rouge (Rhadoo edit)
37. October - Homo Sapiens (Caravan)
38. Pole - Duesseldorf (Mike Huckaby’s SYNTH remix) (scape)
39. Substance & Vainqueur - Surface (Scion Versions)
40. Beat Pharmacy & Tikiman - Hot Spot Splash (Deep Space Media)

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Pluxus – Solid State

Kompakt are known for releasing minimal and electronic music of the highest order and with this release they haven’t stopped this trend. Pluxus are a full band that makes sublime electro tunes that move the mind as much as the toes. The songs may even tug your heartstrings; the warmth is enough to make you feel it that’s for sure. Solid State is full of almost poppy tracks that could be the darker side of Hot Chip if they had an English man singing about wrestlers and boys from his school on top. They don’t however have much of a vocal input at all; in fact voice is only really used as a layering device to add more lush sounds to the mix.

I’m pretty sure this is a re-release rather than a new album, but I wasn’t aware of it the first time around and it doesn’t sound like it has aged at all, you can’t pin an era down to it. Pluxus could be onto a winner with Solid State it might be this years From Here We Go Sublime by The Field. There aren’t many similarities in the sound to the two albums, apart from the mellow and melancholy edge the songs have, they are executed in very different ways though. The Field uses loops to seduce and Pluxus use warm synth sounds and glitchy beats.

Solid State is a joy to listen to day or night, summer sun or winter darkness, if you want to chill or if you want to party it strangely works for both, for me anyway, I’m a bit strange…

So with the glitches of Aphex the swing of Fly Lo and the accessibility of Hot Chip; Pluxus should be massive, I have a feeling this is going to be a slow burner though. It has already been around for a few years at least and hasn’t been massive or a crossover indie-electro hipster chic record. Kompakt picking it up and giving it a higher profile should help quite a lot in getting it to peoples ears, and I’m very sure it will find a place in their hearts as it has done mine. Check out the track Kinoton from the album bellow…

Stand out tracks: Transient, Perm, Kinoton, Contax, Corrose, Sansui.


Pluxus - Kinoton

Friday, 13 June 2008

High Places

As they are supporting Deerhunter on their current tour and I’m going to the Leeds gig woo hoo! I thought I would check them out, its pretty cool too. High Places make a tropical space indie mishmash that is very enjoyable indeed. I have only heard the tunes that are available for download in their myspace but it is a brilliant little taster. I believe they have an album out that can be downloaded from e-music.

High Places are from Brooklyn, New York and there seems to be a bit of a tropical sounding indie scene emerging right now, which all sounds a bit like your actually inside The Lion King imagine that…

I’m talking about artists such as El Guincho and Abe Vigoda who bring a bit of a tropical worldly sound to both spacey indie music and punk respectively. Not to mention the more mainstream indie darlings Vampire Weekend and Born Ruffians who have a smidgen of Africa to them in places.

High Places are just a two-piece band featuring Mary Pearson and Robert Barber, Mary being on vocals on the tunes I have heard anyway. She has a sweet mellow voice that sits beautifully on the spaced out other worldly percussion and loops, in an echo bed of sweet, sweet joy. The songs are adorable and I can’t wait to see how they are performed live, oh wait a second there is a video bellow.

Check out their myspace
here for some songs to download for free and other info.

Check out their blog
here to read some lyrics and see some pictures amongst other things.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Bullion – The Beach Boys Vs. J Dilla – Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee

The legacy of The Beach Boys and J Dilla are far-reaching and completely different, I don’t think they have crossed paths until now; Bullion a young hip-hoping beat mashing bootlegging dubsteping fella from London has changed all that. I guess this is in the same kind of vain as Danger Mouse’s Beetles, Jay-Z mash-up The Grey Album. Yet this project seems way more appealing to me. God knows how I missed this for so long I’m slow on the up-take with this, so cheers to fellow DiS massive on the hook up, you know who you are.

Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee came out last year and not long after the death of the legend that is
J Dilla. He has been a huge influence on hip-hop and dubstep I keep hearing his name dropped by rising stars such as Flying Lotus and even stars like Kanye West. Dilla’s beats are just brilliant, I’m very fond of: Slum Village, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Pharcyde and I have just acquired his solo project Dounuts, which I’m very excited about. This just scratches the surface of his work and legacy.

The Beach Boys are massively well known and their album Pet Sounds is a true classic. Californian surf-pop at its finest with hooks to die for and harmonies that make you smile. Songs for beaches and sunshine, it has been talked about so much and hailed as huge so often I don’t have much to add.

A modern hip-hop re-conceptualisation by Bullion really brings these two wonderful set of artists together and creates something wonderful. You can tell that this is done for the fun of it and because of the love of the music involved. It makes me want to go and buy Pet Sounds and loads of J Dilla, let alone look into Bullions work as he has started to release original material now too.

*Presses play*

Songs In The Key Of Dee is brilliant sunshine hip-hop infused music; the beats are massive and funky as hell. The Beach Boys snippets add a ghostly atmosphere and some beautiful melodies. The snippets are used sparsely at times to add rhythm or freaked about with to make cool loops.

Lets Go Away For A while being a massive highlight with its horn stabs and rolling drums. The bit that says, ‘Now with no drums’ just before they drop out is sublime. Each track works perfectly in the context of the album it works together so good as a whole. In places it reminds me of Avalanches as they use similar soulful pop samples.

Here Today is a cracker stop start sections and the vocal sample really brings it alive. Along with the bass line and those irresistible J Dilla beats. Its also a wonderful transition into Caroline, No. it flows like one big mega mix DJ mash-up and of course it is.

God Only Knows is a classic Beach Boys tune and it is done justice here too, with samples from other versions of it thrown in for good measure. I love the vocal harmonies and hook in this tune always have done. Bullion makes it into a dance floor hip-hop beast. I love the way it flips and cuts from one version of the vocals to another by a girl group. Then we smash into You Still Believe In Dee, which is a nice tribute to J Dilla in the title, and indeed we do.

I Know There’s An Answer reminds me of some wonky dubstep from the likes of Flying Lotus or the beats of The Pharcyde. Lopsided brilliance. Its also another brilliant mix into another classic tune from The Beach Boys, which is... Wouldn’t It Be Nice that has been cut up almost out of recognition into a looped out funky slice of hip-hop.

Don’t Talk (Close Your Eyes) is a deep piano based beauty that has a big beat that I just can’t get enough of: What a sample that is, irresistible. This fades out and ends the session…

Well if it wasn’t for the bonus tracks, Long Promised, Time For Us All To Love and Young Heart Ache that is. These tunes are just as good as the rest of it, with their funky loops and skitting drums. Some soulful breakdowns here too along with the odd pitch shifting build up. Young Heartache is the standout from these extras; with more crisp lop sided drums and a ace atmosphere added by the ghostly vocal howls. Then its over, what shall we play now…

Bullion has made a really fun and addictive slice of hip-hop tomfoolery that sparkles with love for The Beach Boys and J Dilla. Both sets of artists deserve some love as does Bullion, so go and check out his myspace and his other original material as that sounds really good too. He seems quite low key and I haven’t heard about him very much so spread the love of this talented fella. Enjoy.

Bullion – The Beach Boys Vs. J Dilla – Pet Sounds: Songs In The Key Of Dee

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

2562 – Aerial

Dubstep is making my ears prick up this year, well I guess Burial gave me a love for it with Untrue at the end of last year, but its coming on leaps and bounds recently. Dubstep is starting to encompass many styles of other genres of music, more so than ever before. This excites me, as I love to mix up the genres when I spin dance music. 2562’s Aerial is a full album of tech-house influenced dubstep with a smidgen of breakbeat in there to for good measure. I have been a long-term convert to breakbeat and tech-house as its what I learnt to DJ with. So hearing this style having a legacy in the dubstep arena makes me smile. I can hear echoes of Adam Freeland’s more dubby numbers here and stuff from techno label Basic Channel too. Some people might not even say its dubstep, but I like that, music that jumps genres and does it well is well worth a listen.

Aerial is superb the bass is so big it really throbs and goes through you. The beats are punchy and the dub elements come draw it all together brilliantly. This is dubstep that has come out of London and gone on holiday to main land Europe in which it gathered a wider pallet of sounds to draw from. The tunes lack a little emotion and are kind of cold but there is plenty of deep emotional stuff from the likes of Pinch and Burial out there. I mention Pinch as he stuck out 2562’s first 12” and is also releasing this album on his Tectonic label. So Aerial is ten tracks of dubstep filtered through Berlin, London, Holland, Detroit and Kingston it’s a worldwide affair this.

The stand out tunes are: well all of them really but I will just choose a few, or maybe all of them...

Redux is a swooshy dub influenced Basic Channel infused tech-step beauty. It’s a slow and brooding number and the synth parts really bring it alive, as does the massive bass. Wonderful stuff.

Morvern has some punchy drums and a faster pace, I love that 2562 brings new sounds to each track and a whole new thing can be heard in front of you. I would spin this one with some techno for sure. Its moody yet quite perky to.

Moog Dub is a beast and maybe my favourite track on here. When the synth cord progression comes in like some proto dub rave line and the bass kicks in this tune is pure magical dance floor perfection.

Channel Two is a skitting 2-step kind of effort. I think this was on one of the two highly acclaimed 12” that Pinch released. You can see why it caused a stir on the dubstep scene its phat.

Techno Dread sounds like its name the wobbly relentless bass and high tempo make it sound like Techno has something to worry about as this is on its way. Again the Basic Channel dub synth lines are here and work a treat.

Basin Dub is a mellow track after the last one. The mellow sounds are cut through with some big sounds mind with a punchy kick and bass.

Greyscale has a heartbeat style kick drum at its core The techno sounds are reinterpreted through dub ears, the 808 click echoes through you as synths sweep around.

Enforcers is a energetic little number with breakbeat drums and a throbbing bass line that is well and truly meant for a dance floor. This might be the closes tune to a breakbeat record on Aerial.

Kameleon is an irresistible 2-step breakbeat digital bongo work out. Really bright and the bongo line will really move the floor. It adds a nice slab of funk to this album. A great track, and maybe one of my favourites for sure.

The Times brings Aerial to a close with sparse drums and a mellower mood to the last track. A real dubby number with echo injected drums and deep bass. Slow dark and dirty, to draw everything to its end.

2562 doesn’t have the same heart as people like Burial and Flying Lotus who have a more organic sound but if you love techno, tech-house and dubstep this album is a real treat. Its addictive I can’t stop putting it on, each track has something to offer. He makes me want to dig out my Detroit techno, Minimal, 2-step and breakbeat records and see what storm I can stir up. 2562’s Aerial is brilliant.
P.S. Last night it hit me that this album sounds alot like Phil Kerian's Pill Hearin' mockier and specificly the track 146 Ways from 2002, which is a techno/electro crossover with some heavey dub elements. The tempo would even fit to dubsteps.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Jasper Leyland – Wake (Carbon Series Volume 5)

Jasper Leyland’s latest album Wake is in my position, well has been for about a week now, thank you Jono for the hand delivery now that’s what I call good service. Wake is ambient bliss from beginning to end. In a week where I have been listening to the Deerhunter leak and Flying Lotus lots Jasper Leyland’s album has probably had the most spins. It’s addictive and just brilliantly relaxing.

The artwork is cool too, it comes in a see through case that that you can eject the CD out of, and the CD is gold and black which is damn cool. An acetate sheet has the artwork on it, which is truly lo-fi and organic just like the music. I showed it to my mum and she said to me, ‘It’s like it’s not even there’ well she was half right the CD was actually in the stereo at the time, but she had a point the artwork is all see through and barley there. This reflects the music in some ways, so I think I have just managed to make her sound cleverer than she came off in the original comment. This leads me nicely to the sounds.

Wake is seven tracks of sublime noise the equivalent to laying in a field surrounded by natures quite still and minute sounds. The music reflects the beautiful countryside around my way where Jasper also lives, I don’t know how much inspiration he takes from this area but it brings images of the little oasis’s of calm that can be found in rural North Yorkshire. Like the aquatic number The Low Falls, which reminds me of little waterways and pools hidden in the valleys of the moors. Scrapes and plucks of stings can be heard over field recordings of air and well allsorts. I love to play this on headphones and play the spot the sound game, as its full of wonderful recordings of found sounds. Squeaky wheels, scraped stuff, white noise of the air and reverberations of random spaces and areas all feature at some point.

Charcoal Weir has a sombre repeated guitar note that resonates around you as little glitches of crackling noise and hits of xylophone sounding instruments play. Bird sounds and general nature sounds along with maybe a distant car sound are wonderful moments. A warm synth pad takes over about half way through and makes you feel like your laying inside the song like its an open field.

Gallanach, Rest has the sound of what I imagine to be a small chickpea rolling round a plastic cup on a bed of forest wind. Another warm sounding synth drone builds up the layers. Some of these tracks remind me of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient works if they were deconstructed and beat-less: A palimpsest of sound, an ambient bliss.

Harrow Fare Jasper has a love of glitchy, rattly sounds from what I can gather as this track has some beauties too. Layers of what almost sounds like organ build with the rattle, as it gets more frantic. Then it all breaks down to a calmer existence again. Beautiful synth sounds breath there way into an adorable guitar riff, I say riff it’s the closes we get and it has echoes of Bon Iver in it to. This tune is going to get placed next to some that in a mix no doubt. This is one of my favourite tracks on Wake.

Avocet Verse has more plucky little guitar and string parts that sound pretty melancholy and relaxing. There are reversed loops and what sounds like someone generally pottering about in the background too. I wonder what their doing?

Taken is up on his web page for free download and its brilliant another standout track. Plinky plonks of synth mix with guitar plucks and gentle breaths. Bird song is in the back ground along with some scraping white noise. All these tunes could be in well-shot cut scenes to films that Gus Van Sant makes.

Durée is the closer to the album with little whistles and atmospheric fuzz subtlety layering into more subtle scrapes and sound. It’s a minimal ambient masterpiece and a lesion on how less can be more.

I’m very proud of Jono for making this album its beautiful and it’s ace that it got some mad props from Boomkat the main go to record store online for all things experimental in the field of electronics and beyond. This could well be the ambient album of the year for me so far, its more addictive than Hammock and the only other one that comes close is S’No Beats the DJ mix by Pualy P but that doesn’t count I suppose. You can find Wake
here its on 12x50 Recordings and check out more from his myspace too. His artist website is here.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Lil’ Wayne – Tha Carter III

I have been struggling to find good hip-hop this year, which made me sad so I decided to plunge head long into the massively hyped Lil’ Wayne album Tha Carter III to see if mainstream rap wasn’t all bad. I was surprised to find it is all right, bonus. So Lil Wayne A.K.A. Weezy, A.K.A Weezy F Baby, A.K.A. Birdman Junior, A.K.A. Lil’ Weezy, A.K.A. The Pussy Monster, which just makes me laugh, is a self-proclaimed biggest rap start ever in the entire world, and he hails from New Orleans. His ego is freakin’ massive, so big in-fact that I keep thinking he is a cartoon in places. This is what you want from your mainstream rap stars though extreme confidence based on their own hype and bullshit, brilliant. I first heard about Lil’ Wayne when I heard he was trying to get a beef going with Clipse, probably because he had a record coming out and wanted some attention. Lil’ Wayne sounds like a kids name and man he reminds me of an attention seeking kid, its not really a bad thing though, in-fact he is pretty fun in places. So Weezy has been prolific for a massive dope headed cough medicine drinking freak, he has a truck load of mix tapes, albums and is on pretty much all pop, r&b singles ever. I read an interview with him in the Guardian recently, which is a mad place to hear about Lil’ Wayne but who cares, he came across as eccentric or maybe like a wacky zany office worker type who loves to keep reminding you how crazy he is. The Pussy Monster also loves the sizzurp, which is a combination of cough syrup and sprit, its big in the southern rap circuit I think with people like DJ Screw making it into a whole style of hip-hop down in Houston, by slowing down records so much as you are so screwed on sizzurp and weed that you can’t be doing with the fast beats. Anyway I digress what I’m saying is, he was all over the place, his thought jumping all over the place and this is reflected in his records too. So on with the show…

Tha Carter III is a hit’n’miss rap record but I expected no less from such a deranged artist. But when he is on form he is damn good. I like it when he goes for the more dark and minimal beats and his lazy flow has room to wonder all over it like a woozy ooze. This works especial well on Dr. Carter, which reminds me of Del Tha Funky Homosapian from Deltron 3030 in some ways in its beats and horn progression. Phone Home smacks of Lil’ Wayne showing us how wacky he is and ripping of Outkast in the process, or playing tribute to their ATLeans album with spacey beats. He often name checks Outkast and André 3000 specifically so I aren’t surprised he pays homage here. The album just seems to be a general mash-up of tracks there doesn’t seem to be a cohesive flow to it that I can pin point. The slow jamz are pretty hit’n’miss to, but Tie My Hands comes off well, as its not to cheesy it echoes Outkast again mind. Weezy isn’t to original even I can see that with my limited rap knowledge. Another highlight is A Milli, which is just the right side of annoying, just, with a phat electro beat and a repeated vocal loop as a bed. This has been done miles better by Clips on Keys from Hell Hath No Furry, with its keys open doors loop. A Milli is still enjoyable though, that’s Lil’ Wayne over all for me enjoyable and defiantly at the good end of the mainstream rap spectrum. Shoot Me Down sounds a little like he is trying to be Outkast again with some cowboy style bass and a bit of atmosphere going on, oh yeah and the guitar stuff too, it’s a good track on here mind. La La is a good track featuring David Banner who I have a little fondness for after DJ Shadow showcased him on his latest album. It’s a sparse number with 808 sounding drum machine and not much else. You Aint Got Nothin’ sounds like a Tim Westwood endorsed club banger to me with digital synths and freaky vocal manipulation. Which brings me onto the real duff tunes on Tha Carter III, these are the ones that annoy the shit out of me and are well worth skipping Lolliepop is super cheese with a shit pitched up and down, auto tuned vocal treatment that is maybe meant to convey his spazzed out syrup state of mind but just comes across as annoying and a little like Cher. His flow is really weak on Let The Beat Build that one is truly embarrassing. The Jay-Z collaboration is pretty whack in my opinion the beats are all right but its just lazy and generic like they don’t really care what they are doing as they are two rap stars who are massive and the tune will get hyped what ever they put down.

Tha Carter III is a scattered album that varies widely in quality and a little less so in style, there are only really four types of song here, the sparse beat tracks, the atmospheric numbers, the r&b sex pest slow jamz and the generic mainstream rap club bangers. Saying Lil’ Wayne is the greatest rapper ever is pretty funny but hell I wouldn’t argue with his he would probably talk shit at you for days on end then collapse on you stinking of cowpol six plus if you confronted him. The hype loving rap community with love this for a while until the next thing comes along and why not Tha Carter III is enjoyable but I doubt it will be massive. Hell us music lovers all like to get excited by the hype thing, only time will tell if this sticks around. For a rapper that pride them selves on word play I struggle to find a quote that sticks out as brilliant, which is a real shame, I maybe need to live with it more. Lil’ Wayne is an interesting character which makes a nice change for a mainstream artist. Its out today I think so check it out, you might find something you like, I surprised myself and found bits I liked.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Balearic Skirmish

Today I’m feeling a little lazy, well you know it’s a Sunday and I’m chillin’. So what better way to relax than some Balearic beats from Pualy P and his cool blog Balearic Skirmish? He is a record collecting wonder freak with an ear for some brilliant tunes and it shines through on his mixing too. A Few of his mixes are up already: an ace chill out ambient one called Crazy Sleep, which is pure bliss, filled with sounds of the sea and all that good stuff. He then steps it up a little bit with a cosmic disco mix full of spaced out sounds and chugging groves this is called Cosmic Skirmish, sublime, sunshine groves. To top it all off he also sticks up tunes from his collection often rare and often brilliant. Pualy P is no stranger to the decks he has played over many years in many clubs the most recent I know of is the bar in the Scala London at KeToLoCo, I haven’t been there yet unfortunately but the mixes he recorded from the nights are sweet, maybe he should stick them up on his blog too.

Pualy P send me this mix I’m about to link you to quite some time ago and it’s so good, I still play it often. I haven’t got a track list right now, but I have asked him for one if he can remember what he played. I know for sure there is some Aphex Twin, Burial, Eno and KLF the rest escapes my mind right now. It’s an ambient DJ mix called S’No Beats and yep you guessed it, there isn’t a single beat, just blissed out melancholy sounds for your ears to get soothed by on dark long nights, it was a winter recording as well, which you can guess from the name. Anyway I’m going to shut up now. Grab it…

Pualy P – S’No Beats

P.S. The photo is his too its of Es Vedra in Ibiza, one magical rock not to far from the mythical Atlantis.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Dananananaykroyd – Sissy Hits

Sissy Hits has been a long time coming Dananananaykroyd had some trouble getting it released because a record labels ran out of money and that sort of gubbins. Sissy Hits is well worth the wait though, it’s six tracks of pure fight pop, hardcore, punk, indie, rock action with balls of steel and a massive heart. I’m so glad it got a release on Holy Roar as its one of my favourite labels as they spit out Rolo Tomassi stuff along with others. In the pipeline is an album, which is being recorded in August this year and not my predicted 3006, they are also in talks with someone to be their label, which is ace news. Anyway for now lets talk about Sissy Hits…

Dananananaykroyd bring a sound to the table that I haven’t heard so well done in quite some time. The songs twist and turn yet in an entirely accessible way it’s the song structures that are really inventive and off the wall on Sissy Hits. It rocks hard yet also has its feet in the indie camp too, with an eye for hardcore to boot, a mishmash that works a treat. And wait for it they have two drummers yep that’s right two; I love bands with two drummers. I can’t even think of a band they sound like, although Dananananaykroyd use the traditional rock band set up well with added drum kit, they sound pretty unique. Live they are meant to be something else, as in brilliant not something else as in a hobo in leggings that would just be strange.

The Greater Than Symbol And The Hash kicks Sissy Hits off with big beats, guitar pings and claps. The sound is really punchy and everything is damn well recorded for a little band with no cash. The first section breaks out into a mad session of rocking feedback and a tempo change that will get people moving at shows for sure. Fight Pop is an ace description, and as we get drenched in feedback not unlike some kind of Sonic Youth tune and drop back into some chugging riffs you can hear where the tag came from.

One After One has a chirpy guitar riff at the beginning that gets me smiling. Dananananaykroyd drop some dirty sounds in there before popping back into chirpy mode again, and building with percussion. The vocals go from your regular indie/rock style to gruff shriek. The line, ‘We are the party’ brings us to the end of that one, and they certainly are.

Cleaning Each Other has some rumbling beats from pretty much all the drums and a swinging guitar line that plays off it. This tune has a pretty intense rock build up filled with repeated riffs until you just want it to drop.

British Knights skits along with bouncing bass lines and driving riffs, with some speedy sung moments. To be honest I’m not really sure what these songs are about just yet, I’m just in love with the sound of it all.

1993 is a cracking tune with thumping 4x4 beats at the beginning with a hot as hell guitar motif. This stuff will get you moving for sure. The lyric, ‘We will turn your hissy fits into sissy hits’ shines through, as does the screaming of, ‘1993’. This one’s a growler, yet slows to a beautiful number at the end.

Infinity Milk (Outro Version) leaves the listener gagging for more with its teasing 50 odd seconds of perfect Fight Pop that starts just as you are ready to kick off and really go for it and screams at you too, the cheeky swine’s.

Dananananaykroyd’s Sissy Hits is a triumph and I’m so glad it has reached my ears finally; I was so surprised to see it on my doormat yesterday morning. Holy Roar has another ace release under their belts. What an EP this is, from one of the most exciting new bands around right now. Don’t just take my word for it either. Go and check out the myspace here, and some random types shouting about its greatness here, oh and the 10/10 review of Sissy Hits from DiS here. Then go to the shows, buy the T-Shirts and the EP, you will soon be gagging for them to get in the studio to record an album. Viva La Fight Pop revolution!

Friday, 6 June 2008


Rhinoceropolis is an all ages’ art space in Denver that seems to be making some brilliant sounds right now. A young scene is brewing in Denver and I can hear it all the way over in the UK so it must be pretty loud. I found out about Rhinoceropolis from treading about HEALTH who hail from the LA all ages art space The Smell. These two scenes feel like kindred spirits to me. I first stumbled upon Pictureplane who I wrote about here and from that I got some interest from a Denver local Brent (cheers dude) who sent me some tips for other ace groups popping up in the area. He wasn’t wrong hell there is some serious sounds developing. This is what I discovered, from the young scene. It looks pretty exciting and a lot of the groups are just starting out and finding their feet, which is brilliant news. Anyway here are a bunch of experimental artists:

Married in Berdichew
She makes a beautiful and emotional racket out of looped vocals, feedback and assorted instruments, its truly moving, brooding and intense. The songs on the myspace are brilliant and I’m informed that live she is chilling.

Calder Lakes

Feature Brittany from Married in Berdichew and Eva from a LA noise band called Kevin Shields, named after the My Bloody Valentine legend no doubt. Again this is dark, brooding noise with a filthy undercurrent. There is a breath taking, other worldly atmosphere to it. Not to mention some beastly feedback noise to blow out the old cobwebs.

Kevin Sheilds

Just to demonstrate the Denver/LA axis of sound Kevin Sheilds the band not to be confused with the My Bloody Valentine geezer are from LA and I see are playing at The Smell soon. They make a massive kind of noise, its all abrasive and quite in your face; I like the primal energy of it all. This is what I wanted Fuck Buttons to be I think.


This is a group that make a kind of funky electro noise that is just well ace. It has a dance route to it and experimental tendencies. You can even download a tour CD of theirs direct from the myspace page. There is a fun edge to all of the tunes and they even remind me of an electro version of HEALTH in some ways. I will be keeping my beady eye on this lot.


This is a project of Ryan from BRDMPPL, it’s a kind of IDM, electro based dance thing you can download tracks from the myspace too. Its similar to his other group and why the hell not hey, as that is brilliant.


Is just 17 and hell he should well keep this up, he makes a kind of deconstructed pop music that is almost ambient and has a beautiful electro sound that is warm and glitchy. Some tunes are available for download on the myspace page.

I may as well give Pictureplane another mention in this post as they are ace and started me off on the whole Rhinoceropolis/Denver quest for freaked out noise. A mix of electro, shoegaze and just all out fun beats, check it out.

Vampire Pussy

Make a kind of noise again out of what sounds like guitar fuck-up-ary if that’s a word. They seem pretty new as they only have 61 friends so far but I enjoyed it.

And finally the place its self, now I have never been as I’m stuck out here in the UK but it all looks pretty exciting to me. They are putting on a lot of mad gigs and amazing artists. Long live the Rhinoceropolis and good luck to all of the talent coming out of it.

I’m sure there are tons more groups coming out of Denver and the Rhinoceropolis these where just the ones I have come across from my far away place. Check it out.
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