Tuesday, 30 September 2008

This Town Needs 3barfire Review (Guns)

This is already on my blog but you know what? I'm going to put the 3barfire version up too...


Monday, 29 September 2008

Rolo Tomassi @ The Junction, York. 28th September 2008

It’s a Sunday night in the beautiful city of York all is silent in this historic place, until you head out of town through the city walls past the Railway Museum and to a pub where you will find the un-holy roar of Rolo Tomassi to destroy the ambiance.

I’ve seen them before on the same bill as This Town Needs Guns & I Was A Cub Scout (R.I.P.) and they blew me away and I became an instant fan of the raw yet tight brutal energy they had on stage. I danced the best I could and just stood with my jaw dropping for the rest of it. I just wasn’t ready for such an onslaught after the delightful TTNG and before the sweet IWACS, I got very excited and rushed to the merch stand only top be greeted by Eva the singer who had rushed from the stage and started selling stuff. The self titled EP on Holy Roar, which I’ve talked about before on here then got a lot of spins from me over the coming year. Now Rolo Tomassi are back with their debut album Hysterics, I will review this soon no doubt, but for tonight it’s their time…

When they hit the stage fresh faced and full of beans, they take over with some beastly noise. The band are tight and make each twist and turn with a flowing precision. People try to mosh, headbang or dance but its all so disjointed you have to jump at the chance when a piece takes you. There is no sleeping on the job with Rolo Tomassi. They lull you in with a false sense of calm with a passage of ambient keyboards and noise, before ripping the heart out of your body and jumping on it with a brutal joy and passion.

They played as nice mixture of new and old material; the EP tracks make people move so much as they are the more well known, Film Noir and Curby are a pure surge of energy right to your brain, the crowed go mad for that and something very strange happens for Curby, but more on that in a bit…

The new tunes from Hysterics are just brilliant I’m not to familiar with the names as yet, because the album only came out on Monday. The twists and turns are sublime, they really keep you on your toes, just when you think you have a groove they swipe it away from you and flip off on another tangent. Jazzy interludes serge into hardcore sugar rushes, with walls of guitar and stop start drumming, a spooky almost Transylvanian darkness features at times before Eva & James either scream like banshees with curdling blood drenched howls or sweet ghostly tones.

Now for the Curby madness: the room is fairly sparse, it is a Sunday night after all. There is plenty of room for the hardcore moshers to manuva and they really get into it at times. But for the final track some of them get together, lay on the floor, get on their knees and start a human pyramid. It starts small with three on the bottom then two and one as you would in a pyramid. But then Rolo break it down and say we can do better, and my god they do. I think there was five or six on the bottom and by the time it was built the pyramid reached the ceiling. I can safely say I have never seen a human pyramid at a gig. Amazing scenes!

Rolo Tomassi brings the tunes York brings the freaks…

Download some tasters from Hysterics


Sunday, 28 September 2008

Rolo Tomassi – Abraxas / Scabs (Free album tracks)

I’m going to see these lot later on today so I thought to myself, why not put up a couple of their tracks from the recent album Hysterics, I got them from Rolo’s promo people so they are all above board and up for your listening pleasure.

Abraxas is a deranged and beautiful in your face number that takes you on twists and terns at each possible moment. Eva growls and screams like a banshee before some jazz infused grooves come out of the brutality and snap back into more hardcore guitars and disjointed electronics. Scabs, continues this theme and is full of ideas and energy. I can see my self bouncing around to this one, its full of beans.

I wont write to much on theme here as I intend to review the album and a live show, this is just the beginning of the Rolo Tomassi scribblings on this blog for now…

Rolo Tomassi album tracks to give to you for free:



Saturday, 27 September 2008

Adebisi Shank – This Is The Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank

I reviewed this for the wonderful 3barfire check it out here then read my un-edited less polished version bellow...
Dubliners Adebisi Shank bring the noise with their debut ‘This Is the Album…’, which they recorded in J. Robbins legendary Magpie Cage studio in Baltimore. If your a fan of getting your face shredded with some technical metal instrumentals that manage to keep the fun in a musical style that can so often go into pure indulgent wank, then Adebisi Shank are for you.

They keep the noodles in check and let rip with some really bouncy riffing with melody a plenty. Its a really short album coming in at only 23 mins 15 seconds and 8 tracks. This is pretty refreshing as the noodley end of metal can often be dragged out indulgent wankery for a full on 70 minuets.

But have they done this as they don’t have that many ideas? I’m not too sure they seem to be full of energy I guess time will tell. Adebisi Shank to their merit: keep it short, lean and face shreddingly sweet.

They take the Mathcore / Tech Metal influences of Don Caballero with the dance influence of Battles and a hint of Baltimore’s Oxes. Adebisi Shank, have toured a hell of a lot, even reaching Japan with the math-tacular Lite.

None of the tracks really veer away from the in your face math drenched dance floor rippers and can be quite samey but who cares when its this short and so much fun. ‘You Me’ has a tight sound and the nearest they get to vocals are a vocoded noise that sounds like the cross between a guitar and a voice filtered through a robot saying ‘you’ and ‘me’. The track ‘Shunk’ also has this vocoder effect and a skull crushing build up that makes me want to let out some steam and throw myself around.

‘Minirockers’ is a non-disputed highlight of ‘This Is The Album…’ with some driving and pounding technical drumming that keeps building into crescendo after crescendo. Then there is the dirty release of power with all the scuzz-ridden guitars that lock onto the groove like a sugar rush. This is a booty shaker.

The final two tracks, ‘I Answer To “Doc”’ & ‘Snakehips’ also make you want to move as the latter’s title suggests. “Doc” is maybe the happiest sounding tune on the album with some excellent euphoric melody. The closer is brutal, in your face and has the most bouncing percussion that gives the tune a real energy, before ending the journey through shred and fading away, leaving you reaching for the rewind.

Remember, This Is The Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Trouble Books – United Colours of Trouble Books

Trouble Books have been self releasing albums, four of them in-fact, on their own label Bark and Hiss in their native Akron, Ohio but now the brand spanking new label My Inland Empire has come along to release this album in the UK and Europe.

You will have to get in quick for this one as there are only 100 records planned to be pressed, which will come with an accompanying CD-R and some drawings in a nice 8 page booklet.

Now on with the music Trouble Books have such a wonderful sound that reminds me of that fuzzy daydream feeling you get when you are just waking up. It’s like you are tired and still dreaming but the daylight is shining a bright and beautiful glow into your eyes.

They melt together fuzzy shoegaze pop sounds in a dreamy soundscape that echoes a lo-fi ambient found sounds project and an indie pop band. They are so DIY its adorable to quote their myspace, ’A band of happy accidents, inexperience, laziness, and a few pretty good ideas. We've made some recordings in our living room...’ and they did just that with United Colours Of… as it was all recorded on a half broken 8-track tape machine with overdubs made on a laptop. This home made sound comes across beautifully (I swear at one point I hear the pet cat have a little meow and a sleep, along with noises of pottering around the place) but this gives the album a really nice atmosphere of a natural, warm and organic place in which you want to live and love.

Keith and Linda sing together and intertwine beautifully over the hissing and fuzzed out found sound field recordings to make each song accessible and even poppy. They remind me of Bright Eyes at times like if he made Digital Ash in a Digital Urn a lot more laid back, organic and warm he may have touched on some of these ideas.

I say they are pop songs but they make short and fragmented pop songs like you have just dreamt the best part of a song you love and then it melts into the next through a passage of your mind into the next dream sequence.

I keep touching on how ambient this is; it reminds me of people like Gas and Jasper Leyland via the dreamy sections of bands like Grizzly Bear or some folksy people I can’t think of. The electronic squiggles and beds of sweet looped up drones back some delicate horn work and gently strum guitar sounds.

The furthest they get into a more abrasive sound is when they whip out some distortion and they come out sounding like a home made lost passage of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. The percussion is subtle and fleeting and used as more of an ambient flourish or as accenting rather than a steady pulse.

The only thing I can say is wrong with this album is that it’s short, coming in at about 30mins or so, this does however make me want to rewind it and start again. Trouble Books are addictive.

(Release 1st November)





Pre-Order the album now: http://mie.bigcartel.com/

Get in quick there are only 100...

Sunday, 21 September 2008

This Town Needs Guns, Jonquil, ABC Club @ The City Screen Basement Bar, York. 19th September 2008

What a line up for a Friday night in York, the Club Defcon crew aka Simon has set up a beauty. The Basement Bar is sold out tonight and I’m glad as these bands deserve to be heard.

ABC Club are some young’uns from the Leeds / Halifax area who are managed by ¡Forward, Russia! guitar wielder Whiskas who happened to be around supporting the talent on show. ABC Club make a kind of jagged post punk with a hint of shoegaze in the vocals and some punchy drums that make you want to move. They have plenty of tracks to download on their myspace so check them out.

The Oxford invasion is coming (They tried to take over Clifford’s Tower but didn’t have the funds to get inside, York is safe… for now) and Jonquil take the stage, I say stage its more like a marked out section of the floor, with everything and the kitchen sink to make noises with, and what a noise they make too. There are keyboards, electric double bass, guitars, melodica, drums, accordion, flute, trumpet; god knows what else all crammed into the Basement Bar. This is the first time I have seen or even heard anything from Jonquil and I was moved. They are accomplished musicians that’s for sure, they swapped instruments and played their hearts out. Jonquils fragile yet sweeping beauty filled the room with a joyous buzz. The vocal harmonies were excellent. The highlights for me were Magdalen Bridge, which they co-wrote with Youthmovies, its such a beautiful track. The finale was brilliant as they whiped out the Accordian for a bit of a hoe down with a majestic build. Jonquil rocked it…

The headliners This Town Needs Guns, also part of the Oxford invasion tonight, hit the stage with a stripped back, back to basics setup especialy compared to Jonquils bring it all make beautiful noise multi-instrumental indie pop gems. Tonight they are selling their debut album Animals, which I have been lucky enough to have on promo to review. It didn’t stop me from buying a CD copy though, and they looked greatful and delighted when I did so. TTNG played a lot of new matterial and it was a real treat to here in the flesh. They also mixed it up a bit with some of their earlyer works from the fantastic Cats x3 split. Chinchilla opened the set and from then on I was mesmerized. Tim’s guitar stylings are incredible, wether he was plucking away on the new songs or hammering around for the old ones he did it with such complex melody and skill. Chris and Jamie locked together to keep the groove tight, with a pounding jazzy edge and rock sensibilitys. Stuarts vocals where as sweet and effecting as always. Other set highlights were my faveourite from Animals, Lemur, which I think just sounds so cool. Panda and Rabbit where also excelent. The final track they played and one that without fail gets people moving is 26 is Dancier that 4. It was a brilliant, energetic ending that induced sporadic dancing, shouting and smiles all round. This Town Needs Guns brought it to York tonight.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Dean Angel – Crusader of Fruits Island EP (Rack & Ruin)

Really racking up the quality releases R&R drop rrr079 on us and this time it’s a dreamy indie collage in the style of Panda Bear by Dean Angel and remember R&R is free.

EP opener West Coast Takeover Chant is a mellow and spooky arrangement of sounds and, well… chants. It sounds a little like a slice of music that was to moving and to scary to put in the Lion King. His voice is a soaring reverb drenched delight that adds the ghostly atmosphere to each tune.

Hola Jote has a beautiful fragile sounding broken guitar loop, it sounds like its made on a bashed up tin instrument. It’s a lo-fi gem that could be in a scene from a western.

Oheeoh uses atmospheric percussion and that spooky voice of his to make a mesmerising and almost religious track. The thumping boom of the kick is offset by a ticking kind of hi-hat sound; these don’t sound like drums though its some kind of found sound shenanigans.

Caterpillar is one of the highlights for me a truly excellent piece of music. The dreamy loop reminds me of some kind of freaked and tweaked house tune for some reason. Its quite uplifting yet the vocals give it a dark and soaring edge. This builds with some static noise and the loop really starts to hypnotise you like something The Field would do, well The Field mixed with Animal Collective.

Hair Soup closes the EP in lo-fi style with a crunchy a alluring bedding for Dean’s voice. His style is quite different to anything I have heard before, its brooding and melancholic with a kind of baritone feel to it yet he can make it soar. The way he uses it against the hypnotic backing track is a thing of wonder.

Dean Angel’s Crusader of Fruits Island EP is another thing of wonder and delight from Rack & Ruin, they keep on pushing original and compelling artists for the love of it. Download it now and check the back catalogue because if this is the first R&R you have heard you have a treat in store.


Thursday, 18 September 2008

RSD – Over It / Forward Youth 12” (Tectonic)

On the 3rd of November Tectonic drop another plate to shake the dance floor, this time it’s the man the legend RSD. The last release I heard of his was the fantastic Punch Drunk 12” with two slabs of reggae infused dubstep with a huge infectious bassline. This Tectonic release is a techier affair.

‘Over It’ starts off slow and dreamy before the bass weight kicks in and a skipping electro drum section. This opens the way for a dirty dub jungle style minimal bassline. This is some of the most techy stuff I have heard from RSD, I haven’t heard that much though to be honest. ‘Over It’ is a heavy weight tune that rolls on and on and will move the floor in a big way, without the need for a huge hyper drop. Its pure vibes and dance floor material all the way.

Flip the plastic and you get ‘Forward Youth’ with yet more huge vibes this time in the form of a heavy jungelist percussion section and massive bass that just gets bigger and bigger when the drums kick back in. RSD makes some of the punchiest drums I have heard, they are so crisp and punch you right in the chest with the low end. Again this is hard on the techno end of things but with that dubbed out reggae infused thing RSD does so well. Both sides are big tracks you can’t really go wrong.

Another Bristol bomb from the dubstep scene, RSD brings the vibes Tectonic drop the wax.


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Mimas – Cats On Fire (Video)

Some more Big Scary Monster news for you, do they ever stop, with the wicked music?


Fresh from their tour of the UK, the lovely Danes, Mimas, have just unveiled their video for 'Cats On Fire', featuring sock puppet sex, violence and bank robberies!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGLVDbYx_jo - The song is taken from 'The Worries', which is released on October 6th via Big Scary Monsters Records. The album can currently be pre-ordered for a low-price of just £7 from www.bsmrocks.com

You have to love the video, I’m not a hardcore sock sex fan or anything but this gives me a tingle I didn’t know existed.

Monday, 15 September 2008

This Town Needs Guns – Animals

‘Animals’ is the debut album from Oxford’s gleaming super sharpshooters, This Town Needs Guns. The album is coming out on the top-notch Big Scary Monsters, where they have previously released a split EP with another excellent band Cats and Cats and Cats, which featured the songs, ’26 is dancier than 4’ and the brilliantly titled, ‘It’s not true Rufus, don’t listen to the hat’. This is their debut solo outing and what a cracker it is too.

By the looks of Animals This Town Needs Guns have been going to the zoo a lot, as each title is named after a creature. But more about zoo’s later maybe… TTNG are a very talented bunch that make stripped back polished indie gems. Their amazing and agile instrument skills and a beautiful shimmering clean sound bring the song writing right to the forefront. The vocals are sweet and add an emotional kick to the tracks. I can’t stress enough how good these guys are on their instruments; the guitar licks are so intricate and catchy. The bass section is tight and Jazzy, while the drums skip and dance around the tracks.

Their sound echoes beautifully influences as far and wide as Don Caballero’s math infused technicality and Owls sweet emotion drenched indie pop along with other bands from that mathy Chicago indie scene like Cap’n’Jazz. I can even here a bit of sparkly jazz of the likes of Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters era productions or African township music, only in sprit mind.

‘Chinchilla’ sets the tone perfectly with the sweet and complex melodies; Tim on guitar must have at least six hands to make this kind of sound. He taps on and off with masses of skill and agility while plucking one off or strumming another, I don’t know the proper guitar playing terms. ‘Lemur’ has the coolest intro and the catchy chorus of, ‘you know from the get go, its over’ that I keep finding myself singing. That is one of the best tracks as is the single, ‘Panda’ a beautiful song that keeps growing on me with every listen. The pounding jazz drumming propels it forward as the saccharine vocals sweep over the top of the building guitar lines.

‘Rabbit’ and ‘Zebra’ finish the album off with some beautiful orchestral manoeuvres that melt to the rest of the instruments wonderfully. The final track is a twinkling music box serenade that leaves you wanting more… They make music that is so accessible and has a kind of straight up indie structure, yet the instrumentation is of the highest and most complex technicality that it makes it truly stand out.

This Town Needs Guns debut Animals is a gem of a record that grows subtly and works its way into your mind with each listen until each song just brings a smile to your face. Animals is very assured and mature for such a young band, and I’m glad they went to the zoo for inspiration as the songs both sound as complex as nature its self yet warm and fuzzy like only animals can be.



Buy it:


This Town Needs Guns – Panda

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Worriedaboutsatan – Arrivals (new version)

The wonderful Worriedaboutsatan have been in the studio again working on a new album, which is going well I hear. They decided to give me their new version of Arrivals to have a listen to. I have heard a previous version on a Demo I got sent and that was a sweet little number check out my review here

This new version is a beautifully textured epic and soothing listen, much like the demo I heard but a better more finished mix. To quote the band them selves, ‘Listen out at 3minutes 30seconds (ish), there's some crushing guitar work played by Gav using his magic bow’ and it is indeed some epic magical sounds that send a spooky little shiver down my spine, especially when the bass kicks in again with the magic bow sounds. The new album, which they hope to have finished for November, will also be called Arrivals, which makes this the title track. You can hear it for your self on the myspace player.

In other Worriedaboutsatan news: they have remixed the excellent Maybeshewill’s Takotsubo. This can also be heard on their myspace. It’s a texture driven minimal influenced beast that they do so well.

More Please!

Quote and tour dates plus news stolen from
myspace (right at the time of post anyway check it yourself for up to date info):

‘More finished tracks to follow. don't forget the release date and album party - November 1st at the holy trinity church in Leeds, tickets now available! £7 + p&p’

5 Oct 2008
The Cockpit (w/ Pivot) WAS onstage at 8.30pm Leeds

10 Oct 2008
The Shakespeare (Electronic Music Festival w/ Rothko and many more) WAS
onstage 10pm Sheffield

1 Nov 2008
Holy Trinity Church (w/ The British Expeditionary Force & Her Name Is Calla) WAS
onstage 9.30pm Leeds - tickets now available!

1 Nov 2008

3 Dec 2008
Brudenell Social Club(w/ Dälek, Zach Hill, and Broken Bone) WAS onstage 8.30pm Leeds

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Large Hadron Collider (Double Vox Bass Tube Mix) by Jimi The Exploder Feat. MC. Prof. Brian Cox (ex D:Ream)

Track list:

Kontex – Falling to Weightlessness [Immerse]
TRG & Dub U – Losing Marbles [Hot Flush]
Appleblim and Peverelist – Circling [Skull Disco]
Grievous Angel – Lady Dub [Devotional Dubz]
TRG – Generation (Breakage Remix) [Naked Lunch]
Martyn & Marcus Intalex – After Seven [Revolver]
Shackleton – Shortwave (Pole Remix) [Scape]
Martyn – Storm Watch [Revolver]
Untold – Walking Through Walls [Hemlock]
Starkey – Angel [Creative Space]
Matty G – The 808 Bass [Argon]
Cluekid – Monkey Style [Subbalicious]
TRG – Post Rave Blues Part 1 [Tube]
Shackleton – You Bring Me Down (Peverelist Remix) [Scape]
Mala – Bury Da Bwoy [DMZ]
Peverelist – Die Brucke [Punch Drunk]
Made Up Sound – Density [Sub Solo]
Kontex – Plumes [Immerse]
Komonazmuk – Bad Apple [Hench]
Shackleton – El Din (Part One) [Mordant Music]
Digital Mystikz – Misty Winter [Soul Jazz]


Monday, 8 September 2008

Octogen - Gindofask (My 3barfire review)

Anothe review for 3barfire by me...

check out the links above, then if you like read the DVD extra's bellow:

Octogen – Gindofask – Out on Soma now

Marco Bernardi is Octogen and Gindofask is the second album under this pseudonym on Soma records, which is the legendary Techno label from Scotland that deals in anything from minimal to full on balls to the wall techno via some techy business. Bernardi, a Glasgow native that dabbles in the deep and soulful future funk techno hybrid that originated in Detroit all those years ago, is bringing some melody and feeling into his dance floor productions.

His debut 2five0nine was well received and Gindofask aims to progress its themes further. He’s worked with other artists such as Percy X in which jackin’ ghetto style electro was the name of the game, Bernardi’s Octogen is a lot more subtle than that though, we get deep…

Octogen manages to both sound retro and futuristic all at once in fine Detroit techno fashion, its like watching an old episode of sci-fi hit Buck Rogers and the robot dude (Twiki?) that loves to say, ‘biddi-biddi-biddi’ all the time; Well you know what? He has learnt how to dance. So put on your tinfoil hat, tie up those moon boots and press play, its robo funk all the way.

The juxtaposition of metallic beats and other machine sounds with the idea that such cold devices can convey emotion and deep soulful feelings is an effective one. Tracks such as, ‘Square Bells’ with their reverberating warmth and melancholic tones play off the clunking blip funk of the drums and bassline, to make your head, heart and body all work as one in some kind of hypnotic dance floor state of bliss.

You’re not really meant to listen to Track three, ‘Sphyxomite’ as the voice warns us at the beginning, we just don’t have the clearance. For all you cheeky lot who decide to ignore this advice, you are in for a detached female vocal track that reminds me of Kraftwerk’s Hall of Mirrors.

The techno two parter, ‘The Emperors Apprentice PT1 & 2’ is a deep and mystical bunch of tracks with bubbling synth lines and half time drum patterns in PT1 and four to the floor kicks in PT2 it bookends the one two punch that is, ‘James’ & ‘Saturn Sun’ in style. The deep ‘Saturn Sun’ is a wonderful slice of pure techno soul music with warmth and emotion (Think Mad Mike & Speed J floating in a bath/space).

The tune, ‘James’ really speaks to me, but that might just be because that’s my name. It’s the closest Octogen gets to the bouncing ghetto electro that he made with Percy X. The 808 drums set the tempo with a slight breakbeat feel as a growling yet subtle bass hums one off in the background.

Octogen’s Gindofask is a top quality release for Soma, with much depth, atmosphere and some good dance floor credentials. The flow of the tracks make this an album to listen to as a whole instead of a collection of singles with some filler, the mistake that so many albums tend to fall into.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Dusk & Blackdown – Margins Music (Keysound Recordings)

Another excellent dubstep album for this year we have already had treats from 2562, Flying Lotus at very different ends of the spectrum and from different countries. Margins Music is pure London all the way through to it’s core, in much the way Burial is, but then Dusk & Blackdown sound very different indeed from all of those artists I have just mentioned. So what do they sound like?

Margins Music is a diverse melting pot of sounds that you could hear in and around London but especially the edges hence the name Margins Music. This album is like taking a drive round different neighbour hoods as the sun sets and night life comes into full effect. The backdrop being bass and beats with a sprinkling of London’s found sounds such as Desi, Grime, Dubstep, Eastern, Techno, and lots in-between. The liner notes by dubstep scribe and Dusk’s other half, Blackdown describes Margins Music as a travel through the city to great effect and a lot better than I could ever do, as I live up North.

Darker Than East that features the Roll Deep Entourage sounds like a mosaic of found sounds and interviews about the place they grew up in on a bed of screwed up bass and electronica. This sets the tone for the album well as this theme runs throughout in other gems like This is London.

The first distinct section / trip through LDN is on a Punjabi / Desi / British-Asian vibe. The track Con/Fusion (Out soon on 12”) featuring the sublime vocals of Farrah who pops up on two other numbers as well, is one of my favourite the use of traditional drums and an irresistible techy synth hook with a mellow laid back tone juxtaposed with Farrah looped vocal is beautiful. Lata VIP continues the flow of Desi influence on an instrumental tip into the excellent Kuri Pataka (The Firecracker Girl) that features Teji & Farrah. This is another standout and will be on the same 12” as Con/Fusion. Kuri Pataka has a catchy vocal hook that draws you in before looping it and bringing the hype with a drum roll and big Asian strings. Rolling Raj Deep sounds like a freaky hybrid of Bollywood dance instrumentals and badass dirty underground sounds. The bass is huge as always with Dusk & Blackdown that goes without saying…

The next part of London the album ventures into is the ends of the Grime warriors, (Keysound Radio) sets the tone with some field recordings of a pirate radio show before Durrty Goodz spits bars over Concrete Streets. He is one of my favourite Grime MC’s for sure, and he brings it to this track the hook, ‘I from these streets, from these streets, everyone will tell you I run these streets’ buries into your brain as does the bass and hooks. Trim’s The Bits is up next in the Grime section, this is the same version that was on Soulfood Vol.3 Trim’s excellent mixtape earlier this year, I have already chatted about that before so I won’t go into detail. Dis/East brings a eastern vibe to the grime section with tingeling shimmers of string sounds and bells of some kind laid on top of deep bass and some electro style skitting drum patterns. That flows into the Aformentioned This is London…

Then the rain comes down for the final trip into some more ends. The foundsounds AKA keysounds hence the name on Margins Music are sublime you really get the feel of the place they were recorded and it adds some beautiful atmosphere to the record, not unlike Burial does with his deep pirate crackle and fuzzed out loops of drizzle but as I said before they are pretty different in sound. Iqbal’s Groove with that mighty fine vocal tones of Farrah comes on like an Arabic / Asian dub hybrid of massive proportions. The driving bass really keeps things moving. The Drumz of Nagano pound like a Japanese electro bass freak out and then melt into the Detroit techno influenced Focus. Focus came out recently on 12” and I can’t get enough of it, I put it in my first ever dubstep mix and blended it with a Derrick May remix of Night of the Jaguar as the strings and skipping beats fit together so well. This draws Margins Music to a close in euphoric style like darting lights in the midnight traffic of the London metropolis.

Check it out right away you won’t be disappointed…

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Volcano! - Paperwork (My 3barfire review)

I wrote this review for the excelent 3barfire check it out and here is the link to the artical...

I will put my un-edited raw version up here as a kind of DVD extra for the blog massive...

Chicago’s Volcano! Exploded onto the scene a few years ago with a monumental album called Beautiful Seizure, it was one of the most out there albums I had heard from a band in quite some time. It had deranged off the wall glitch ridden explosions of molten guitars with sporadic electronic sparks that shoot skywards, which was offset by the pure blissed out calm of meandering melodies and passion fuelled vocals. Some times it sounded like chaos, with the beats flailing in and out of time, then it would all just lock into place.

Paperwork is a slightly subtler affair than that, by subtle I mean they still let the bull loose in the china shop but this time they put corks on its horns. They still keep their free jazz noise rock mentalities but they slot them selves into a more straight forward power pop template, and at times they even start off sounding like a regular indie pop band before totally dismantling this notion in front of your very ears.

Paperwork is a wonderful piece of music that bustles with ideas and energy. The electronics are used to make a bit of a groove instead of the sporadic accenting of the first record. By making the beats more bumping Volcano! Have learnt how to dance and have channelled the melodrama into joy. One of the first things I have noticed is that the album is so much fun. Just check out the insane groove on ‘Sweet Tooth’ for proof.

The first single ‘Africa Just Wants To Have Fun’ starts with some electronic squiggles before a jazz beat kicks in and some energetic guitar melodies, which are joined by vocals that are as with a lot of Volcano! Tunes half obscured and not easy to hear; yet this doesn’t detract from the listening experience one little bit. It’s about how the lyrics are delivered much of the time.

Picking out a stand out is pretty hard as Paperwork is so consistent but if I had to choose one it would be ‘Palimpsests’ this means layers and Paperwork has many. The song opens with some solitary tapping of a snare rim and then a huge bass sound under lays the incredibly catchy vocals about getting up and having to go to work. This builds and builds in layers of sound to a crescendo. ‘Slow Jam’ is another top-notch song with tongue in cheek vocals about hot lovin’ with some very funky grooves and off kilter electronic noises.

The theme of the album seem to be the mundane day-to-day life of working in an office and having to fit into certain structures and finding ways of dealing with that then putting your own stamp on life. This is something many of us can relate to and Volcano! Make these subjects a joyous romp rather than a Monday morning drudge. It’s maybe to early to tell just yet but Volcano! May have topped Beautiful Seizure with Paperwork it’s more focused and fusses their obviously huge well of ideas into better songs than ever before.
nice ;)

Monday, 1 September 2008

Dub War Podcast 05 - Ramadanman Download

I will let the Dub War crew spiel one off for you…

Ramadanman's superb Hessle Audio label has shown a hunger for variety and experimentation which have quickly placed it among the most forward-thinking sources for fresh dubstep material. This contribution to the Dub War Podcast series showcases the sort of minimalism and rhythmic inventiveness that have given Ramadanman a voice in defining the shape of dubstep as it continues to push forward into unexplored territory. Techno, house and ambient are merely tips of the iceberg hinting at what lies beneath. Freshness!

The podcast is available through iTunes. Click the link above to go directly to the podcast homepage on iTunes. Be sure to subscribe to get automatic updates when new episodes are available! Those using RSS readers can subscribe here: http://www.dubwarnyc.com/podcast/dubwar_podcast.rss


01. Dub-U - 1 Way Running [Unreleased]

02. Mount Kimbie - William [Unreleased]

03. Burial - In McDonalds [Hyperdub]

04. Reform - Bonfire [Unreleased]

05. Ramadanman - Dayrider [Unreleased]

06. Peverelist - Esperanto [Unreleased]

07. Untold - Discipline [Unreleased]

08. Headhunter - Grounded [Unreleased]

09. Pangaea - Router [Hessle Audio]

10. Naphta - Jungle Republic (Ramadanman Refix) [Unreleased]

11. Pangaea - You & I [Hessle Audio]

12. Burial - Shell of Light (Excerpt) [Hyperdub]

13. Scuba - Tense [Unreleased]

14. F - Untitled [Unreleased]

15. Kontext - Plumes (Ramadanman Refix) [Unreleased]

16. Ramadanman - Blimey (Edit) [Hessle Audio]

This mix has been around for a while now but hell it is a big one! For the people without iTunes like me (I hate that program it sucks) grab the mp3 here:

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