Saturday, 31 May 2008

Daft Punk Making New Tunes!

Acording to Busy P the Ed Banger headhoncho and ex-manager of the duo, "are in a studio in Paris at the moment" freaking ace news! However don’t be jumping up and down like a mad disco freak just yet as Pedro also says, "They are slow, you know. They are taking their time, and they have a right (to take their time)." I have heard on the grape-vine know as internet land that Daft Punk don’t have a record label right now either so maybe we could see some kind of mental Daft Punk style release in a Radiohead/Nine Inch Nails fashion? Who knows, we can only wait and see what they come up with next, I for one can’t wait. Daft Punk always bring something new to the table with every album.

In the mean time why don’t you treat your self to a classic Daft Punk mix they did for Radio One back in 1997. I didn’t even know that there was any Daft Punk DJ mixes out there so I was very pleased to find this beauty. Track list and link to follow, enjoy :)


Daft Punk Classic Essential Mix, first broadcast Saturday 2nd March 1997. Chosen by Annie Nightingale on BBC Radio One.


Tracklist:


Daft Punk - Essential Info - Daft Trax
Paul Johnson - Summer Heat - Peacefrog
Armand van Helden - Funk Phenomena - Henry Street
CZR - Chicago Southside - 1HR
Oliver Cheatham - Get Down Saturday Night - Dance 6
Remix Delux #1 - Dees Knots (remix) - Delux
Parris Mitchell - Ghetto Shout Out - Dance Mania
Daft Punk - Teachers - Daft Trax/Virgin
Martin Luther King - I Have A Dream - 20th Century
The Godson EP - Drum Patterns and Memories - KDJ
Jammin Gerald - Get The Ho 94 - Dance Mania
DJ Attack - Da Way U Work - UC
Thomas Bangalter - Spinal Scratch - Roule
Tha West Siders - Waxscratch Trax - Dance Mania
Fantom - Faithful - Source
I Cube - Disco Cubizm - Versatile
Daft Punk - Rock N Roll - Daft Trax/Virgin
Cajmere - Only 4 U - Cajual
Trankilou - Champagne - Kif SA
? - And Da Beat Goes On - Dance 6
DJ Funk and Gerald - Hold Up - Universal Funk
Ween - Freedom Of 76 - Flying Nun
Zdar and Boombass - Foxy Lady - Cassius
Gusto - Discos Revenge - Bumble Beats
Deeon - Deeon Doez Disco - Dance Mania
Sweet - Somebody Is Watching - White
Da Mongoloids - Spark Da Meth - Strickly Rhythm
Roller Rink 2000 - Stining - Kumba
Roy Davies Jr - Gabrielle - Large
Robert J Hairston - Preacher Man
Daft Punk - Around The World - Daft Trax
Kenny Dixon Jr - U Can Dance If U Want 2 - KDJ


Daft Punk Classic Essential Mix

diskJokke – Staying In

Now I’m a fan of dance music and I love it when there is a really good dance album that is a whole package that you can listen to all the way through. diskJokke has pulled this off with style; with Staying In, its just so damn addictive and ace. I would describe the sound as maybe 8-bit-trance-electro-beat or something. Apparently diskJokke is a classically trained Violinist and this shines through on some of the compositions here. The beats are all full of fun and the bass is phat and a little old school rave in places. The Guardian give the quote, "Emotional club tracks with the kind of sadness that seeing a melting polar ice cap evokes." And I have to agree with that statement I think, it sums up the sound quite nicely. There isn’t a track as mental, cheesy and ace as Popcorn on Staying In but maybe that is a good thing and some of it isn’t far off that kind of sound. This is playful techno with a little bit of a sad heart too its completely adorable and danceable to boot. His remix work is also top notch; I really like his rework of Lykke Li’s Everybody But Me. Bubbling synths and drum machines combine with a beautiful euphoric sadness and joyful ping all at once its quite special indeed. Each track is solid on Staying In I’m not even going to pick a stand out, they all work together really well and flow in and out of each other with ease. Ok so the album may not be perfect it is a little samey and doesn’t really go to far in the way of different moods, but the mood it does take is damn enjoyable. diskJokke has made one of the best dance albums this year for me so far.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Born Ruffians – Red Yellow & Blue

I have been looking forward for what seems like an age to hear this album and their singing to Warp made me want to hear it even more. Warp are so consistent with their releases it had to be great right? Plus the tune Hummingbird has been on heavy rotation since about the middle of last year on my mp3 player and computer. What a great track that is I never expected it to get on telly adverts and Skins almost a year after I heard it. Red Yellow & Blue is a pretty nice album full of poppy, jingly indie pop tracks. It’s not quite up to Grizzly Bear standards for Warp though, which is a shame. I think it will shift a fair few units though. Born Ruffian are a joyful romp in twee heaven for the summer time indie crowd. Just pure pop hooks and tunes nothing to in your face. Hummingbird is still the stand out track for me by far, with nothing quite being as catchy as that little number. I Need A Life comes quite close and is indeed a great track, with a ace hook and maybe the only other track that really lodges it’s self in your head, ‘Oh but we go out at night’ is an ace chanted chorus. Much of the album is a bit to much like a soundtrack to those annoying soft focus twee mobile phone adverts though which I think is putting me off a little bit. This kind of music seems to be all over the shop at the moment The Dodos being another artists in a similar vain. Baddnkadonkey reminds me of a Mighty Boosh song with its ‘put it in your pocket’ line and the rhythm it’s sung in. This makes me giggle each time I hear it but it just shows how catchy Born Ruffian and The Mighty Boosh are really. Born Ruffian are a little to shrill for me at times to enjoy over repeat listens, but if I wack it on sparsely it is a real treat. They remind me of Volcano! But a lot tamer and with less ideas, so maybe volcano without a capital V and ! Just the pop moments stripped back to normal song structures and short songs.

Born Ruffian are good and a nice refreshing change to other so hot right now hipsters like Vampire Weekend that really boor me senseless. They are at the good end of that kind of loose scene or sound. I think it’s a nice addition to the Warp roster as its pretty interesting and a solid album, if not mind blowing. But we can all wait and be blown away by Flying Lotus can’t we, well I will anyway. If your after indie pop your can’t go far wrong that with Born Ruffians Red Yellow & Blue.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Ratatat – LP3

Ratatat’s music remind me of the theme tune to Monkey you know Monkey Magic… with the Magical Man Monkey going on mad adventures in a Chinese style, but also crossed with a kind of sci-fi-dub cowboy theme to it as well. Ratatat are an electro guitar instrumental group from Brookline and with their third album the imaginatively named LP3 they bring some tasty beats. The sound is pretty retro and verging on the hip-hop at times, I believe they do a lot of remixes for a broad spectrum of artists in that genre and more. In-fact they even get people to remix them too, a while host of artists are going to be remixing tracks off LP3 such as, Animal Collective, YACHT and Zongamin being my choice picks.

LP3 has a distinct air of long lost TV themes to mad 80s sci-fi programs, maybe some of which that never saw the light of day apart from in the minds of Ratatat. They are all very enjoyable though, as you can pretend to be a space cowboy or magical monkey man while you have it playing and that surly cannot be a bad thing. I am however finding it hard to pick a track that really stands out as a absolute beast. This could either mean the whole album is solid and ace or that its all a bit weak, I’m as yet undecided. Over all LP3 is a lot of fun so well done Ratatat there. Something about their hip-hop leanings remind me of the Neptune’s productions, well a New York Hipster version of it anyway. Check out the very enjoyable video for single Mirando bellow and make your own mind up.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Notwist – The Devil, Me + You

I only found out about The Notwist recently after searching for something to fill the void left by the lack of any more Postal Service material. This is their first album in six years and the follow up to the critically acclaimed Neon Golden. I haven’t heard that one just yet so I can’t compare the two, but this does however put me in the position of judging The Devil. Me + You on its own merits.

I have already mentioned Postal Service but The Notwist aren’t to similar in sound to them, they are closer to Death Cab For Cutie or I Was A Cub Scout. They perfectly combine mellow indie pop with electronics. For me The Notwist are everything I wanted the new Death Cab album to be but failed at. I’m a sucker for indie with an electronic twist and The Notwist pull this off beautifully. Maybe one of the best examples I have heard in a very long time. Apparently they use to be a bit of a metal band but I will believe that when I hear it, I’m very sure its pure fact though.

The Devil, Me + You is full of sweet and tender songs, the German twang to Markus Acher’s voice reminds me of Kraftwerk but with a load of emotion instead of robotics. There are orcestral moments and big fat electro beats, along with accoustic sturrming. These fit together so beautifuly and in harmoney with one another, which can be hard to achive. There isn’t a bad track on The Devil, Me + You, a doubt any of them will blow you away either though. I will quite happly put this on to relax to either late at night or durring a lazy afternoon, its just perfect for these moments. It trumps Death Cab For Cutie’s Narrow Stairs by quite some way, as the lyrics don’t stray into the 6th form poetry relm and the music The Notwist make is a hell of a lot more inventive yet still as assesable.

My favourite tunes are the single Where In The World with its orcestral sweeps and electro beats. The tune I keep going back to is the fantastic Alphabet, which is an intence number full of building noise skatting drums like something you might have heard on Radiohead’s Kid A and the most beautiful vocal mellodies. Gravity is another highlight just for its sweet sound and straightforward good song writing. I really like the tune On Planet Off for its other worldly bass and ticks.

The Notwist have made a cracker with The Devil, Me + You it is worthy of a listen and a little place in your heart. It wont blow you away but it probibly wont disapoint either. When the mellow mood takes you grab this and let in envelop you in its rich elctronic indie warmth.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

_

You read right the artist is _ and the album is also _. This is another excellent Rack & Ruin Records release (RRR041) to be exact. _ is a very modest Japanese artist who makes a kind of ambient noise that sounds like a soundtrack to a as yet unmade film, maybe by Gus Van Sant about someone bumbling along with beautiful arty shots and not much dialog. Even the tracks are un-named on _ by _ its so aloof yet so beautiful and almost thrown together. _ takes you on a journey through the means of sound and sound alone. A wurr feeds through this album and adds a slightly disconcerting atmosphere through out the 33 tracks. There are chaotic passages of strummed and skeletal instruments, distant hums and field recordings all mixed together to make tapestries of sound. I was even surprised to hear a little grunge riffing on the guitar, ace stuff. To quote _, "You hear this album and will feel boring. Contact me, if the other thing is felt. The 32nd music played the folk song of the place where I live in". The 32nd track is the only named one, it goes by the name of Asadoya Yunta, who is maybe someone who helped out? Maybe. _ English might not be to good and the modest and vague description doesn’t do this release justice at all, _ is damn lovable for it though. I am on tender hooks waiting and listening where _ will take me next, its almost like reading a book and watching the story un-fold in front of you. In-fact it would be a perfect soundtrack to the book The Coma by Alex Garland, in which you aren’t sure if the protagonist is awake or not as we shift from descriptions of reality to complete chaos and day dream worlds. If The Coma were to be made into a film I would quite happily listen to a _ soundtrack for it. _ is part disturbing, part noise, part beautiful and warm _ by _ is wholly absorbing. Check out _’s myspace here and the Rack & Ruin Artist page here. The go and download it for free from them it’s well worth it.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Modern Classics: #3. Street Sounds – Electro 1

The Street Sounds Electro series is a modern classic that has had huge effect on all sorts of music since its release in 1983, the year I was born. The tunes on Electro 1 may not be the best in the whole series but until I can get my hands on the Street Sounds Electro: The Ultimate Boxed Set, which has all twenty two volumes on two mp3 CD’s and one DVD featuring videos from the time, I will just have to stick with my trusty old 12” of Electro 1. I got this for a bargain price of about £1 in a record bin in some long lost shop, but records in this series can be so hard to track down and to get them all would be an absolute mission.

As it says on the sleeve, ‘Electro is aural sex’ and, ‘As seen on TV’ it has all the trappings of a classic dance collection. This is also the specially mixed full length versions and runs like a DJ mix of electro classics now, but at the time it was rare to hear such amazing sounds all in one place. I believe some one who imported and exported records and obviously liked what they heard put the Street Sounds series together. Lets drop the needle on the record baby…

With a crackle and pop side one fades in with some packman action. Slaming beats, fat bass and a vocoder voice saying, ‘I’m the packman, I eat everything I can’. This is a classic tune very much in keeping with the whole Electro series. This mixes into the absolute classic and well known Newcleus, Jam On Revenge (The Wikki Wikki Song) that surly everyone has heard at some point in their lives? I will give you a clue wikki wikki wikki, and it’s not about Wikipedia either, Newcleus where way ahead of their time with this one. The popping electronic percussion is a pure joy to hear. The main riff is just amazing on Jam On Revenge; the melody is perfect in my opinion. We get a little slap bass, pitched vocals, and electro crunches. These are pioneers using machines to make some funky ass beats and tunes to get down to. The mixing on the Street Sounds collection is damn good to we get scratches and cut’n’paste blends; they let the tunes play through too, enjoyable and unobtrusive. The next track is also an undisputed classic, The West Street Mob, Break Dancin’ Electro Boogie. What a tune this is the cut’n’paste sample technique used to full effect on the massive break from Apache by Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band, well their interpretation of The Shadows classic, which has been used so much in hip-hop ever since maybe as much as James Brown has. Side one ends with the lesser known yet still marvellous C-Bank, Get Wet. Maybe this is where the Electro is aural sex slogan comes from? This track has an almost R&B soul style vocal on it, not unlike something Funkadelic would have done, well with a modern twist and almost 90s feel to it. 808 or 909 clicks and thumps punctuate the tune as they do with all the others, true machine funk. Lets flip the 12”…

Crackle, pop, rock and don’t stop. Side two kicks off in old school hip-hop electro style with K-9 Cop Featuring Pretty C with Dog Talk, there is a classic flow on this track that I have heard several times on different records. Side two isn’t as full of classics as the first yet it still holds up well. Each tune you listen to you hear its legacy on later tracks in dance music, either they have been lovingly sampled or replicated. The first track reminds me of The Doggy Bounce on Flight of the Concords. G-Force Featuring Ronnie G & Captain Cee is up next and brings the funk with Feel The Force, which sounds like the theme tune to look Around You and The Soulsonic Force all at once. Project Future with the couldn’t be more electro if you tried named tune Ray-Gun-Omics mixes seamlessly from the last. More vocoders and more ace synth melodies pads all round for this future loving number. Maybe even the best use of a vocoder on the 12” well certainly up there with Newcleus. The final track on the 12” is The Return Of Capt. Rock by non-other than Captain Rock him self, he is rapping it just for you. Spooky raps and future beats combine to make for an atmospheric party rocker. Whooshes, raps and scratches bring the tune to a crescendo. So with the odd mention of space Captain rock sends us off into Electro oblivion.

The Street Sounds Electro collection managed to gather records up and make a whole scene that sporned whole movements and has had a massive influence on not just dance music today of the electronic persuasion but also your indie and rock genres too. Kruatrock and Kraftwerk where an obvious influence on these electro pioneers featured here, yet they managed to take that and run with it into new and far-flung places, encompassing hip-hop and soul, through to dance music’s younger cousin that eventually became house and techno. The playful bravado of these songs makes them true party music to get down to and forget your self in, the forward thinking nature of the music draws you in and you become part of it all. Electro may have moved on but the blueprints still sound refreshing and ahead of their time. Thank you to Herbie for his mastermind mix of the whole collection too. A mesmerizing collection and this is just number one in the series. 1983 must have been a good year. Remember kids Home Taping Is Killing Music.

Whatchu Gonna Play Now?…

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer

The follow up to the massively acclaimed debut Apologies to the Queen Marry, At Mount Zoomer is a highly anticipated album this year in indie circles, well at least the ones reading Pitchfork and Drowned in Sound. Wolf Parade came out of the blue with their debut album and it grew to be a massive hit. It grew on me a lot in the coming years; I still play it on and off now, but now onto the follow up At Mount Zoomer.

This leaked quite some time ago now and I decided to withhold judgment on it until I had listened to it quite a few times. This was for a few reasons, one being that Wolf Parade have never been immediate to my ears. Also maybe not many people care what I think.

At Mount Zoomer has the usual Wolf Parade sound of echo drenched vocals and lonely yet full of life instrumentation. There is a ye olde feel to most of these songs that I think comes from the feel of the vocals. The tunes aren’t as high octane and energetic as they were on Apologies to the Queen Marry. Wolf Parade have matured a little and smoothed at the edges, maybe even gone a little progressive rock well not quite but hay who knows, as yet I am undecided if this is good or bad. The album doesn’t hit me right between the eyes as a classic right away, but then as I said before the debut didn’t either and I have grown to love it very much.

The stand out tracks so far for me are the recently put up for download number Call it a Ritual, Language City, California Dreamer, Fine Young Cannibals, An Animal In Your Care and Kissing The Beehive, I don’t know if this means I’m a Spencer Krug or Dan Boeckner man and quite frankly who cares. The album is full of really good songs and non of them disappoint at all, the epic number Kissing The Beehive ends it all in grand style.

At Mount Zoomer will no doubt please many Wolf Parade fans it’s not a huge departure and no one really wanted a departure either. The front cover makes me chuckle for some reason it kind of looks bad but in a good way, it maybe sums up my feeling on this album I’m not sure. I’m a little under whelmed by it all, but then a slow burner can make you love it in years to come. It’s a beautiful piece of work to add to the brilliant back catalogue. Songs to make you feel like you’re in the wilderness all alone except for your very tired best mates who happen to be in an ace indie band from Canada, laid back and opening a beer wearily.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Eurovision ‘Song’ Contest

Well it turns out this musical monstrosity is on this very evening. They have even replaced Doctor Who in the schedule for it, the freaks. Eurovision is like Saturday night light entertainment hell, with the worst excuse for pop music known to mankind fighting it out to see who will take the crown of the biggest shit on the pile, brilliant. Eurovision could only be saved if two things happened:

Flight of the Concords became European citizens and decided to take the fourth most popular novelty folk act in New Zealand all the way to European glory. Featuring a full length Flight of the Concords special on their fight to the top. My vote would go for them coming 6th with All The Ladies Of The World. Expect a review of their ace album as soon as I get my hands on it.

Half of Daft Punk and an ace French talent joined forces to make a catchy sexy little number for their country.

Well number two has happened as Sebastien Tellier is entering Eurovision with the track Divine from his excellent album Sexuality from earlier this year. Sexuality is produced by half of Daft Punk AKA man in a robot suit, Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo. The track has caused a little controversy in France apparently as News 24 informs me, it is the first ever track to be sung entirely in English for a French entry. I think They have to at least do a little bit in French for it to be eligible, so expect a Eurovision exclusive mix, wow imagine that. Well that was either the controversy or the video has some teen thugs tearing up the Paris Suburbs in a violent and insane manner, no wait that was the Justice video for Stress.

Any way Sebastien Tellier probably has no hope in hell of winning with his shiny disco sex pop number. The top prize will no doubt go to some perineum with no talent and less hair. Viva La Eurovision!

Friday, 23 May 2008

Volcano! – Beautiful Seizure

This record came right out of the blue for me sometime in 2005/2006 I can’t remember when I first heard it. And now I have heard news that Volcano! Are putting the finishing touches on a new album it has got me excited and I think it’s about time to dig out Beautiful Seizure again. I say dig out it hasn’t been hidden to far in the back of my record collection since it was released all those years ago.

The album title Volcano! Beautiful Seizure sums up the sound completely for me. It’s like explosions and fragile sporadic freak-outs all at once. Volcano! Sound massive and overblown but in a truly wonderful way. Its playful, fun, cathartic and full of emotion all at once. The single Apple Or A Gun, is just perfect to my ears and the most accessible track on Beautiful Seizure, it was one of my favourite moments in music when it was released. Right when the 4x4 kick comes in near the end and the whole track explodes into dance floor frenzy is sublime. The whole album is full to the brim with ace tunes and twists to take you somewhere else. I haven’t really heard anything quite like it before, I almost wanted to put this in a modern classic’s article but thought it could be a bit early for that kind of behaviour.

Volcano! Combine mad rhythms, deranged guitars, skitters of electronic noise and glitches together with vocals that suit perfectly. This is a power pop masterpiece and a debut album well worth the praise it got back in 2005. I can only imagine what this amazing original band come up with next: I wait with baited breath…

Robots In Disguise @ Fibbers, York, 22nd May 2008

This band is my sister Farlie's (who also happens to be my number one rapper) favourite band, as she loves girls who shout stuff to electro music. So them hitting York again was a must, if not just to see her get all excited. There were two support bands and they were so embarrassing it was unreal. I won’t even say their names and that isn’t just because I can’t remember them. First group on sounded like a bad mixture of Oasis and chart trance, with epic long songs that didn’t go anywhere at all it was so dull. The only saving grace was the two girls in the band where pretty and one was dressed interestingly. The next band where massively embarrassing, they looked like Cyber Goths mixed with The Smiths. Their songs where cringe worthy slabs of boredom. So far so rubbish and it was a bit like being at a school disco everyone was so young and boring. The screeching of the young girls hurt my ears almost as much as the bands. I nearly went to get some earplugs from the bar, but settled for just having a piss instead.

Robots In Disguise still managed to rescue the night with their party time electro pop, which sounds kind of out of date yet still fun. Their older tracks like Turn It Up where the highlights. I find their toy box style dressing up quite adorable and this added to the school disco vibe of the evening. There was a sizable crowd at Fibbers to see them which was pretty surprising to me as I had seen an amazing bill the other week and the place was hardly half full. Robots In Disguise was even on a school night! They got the kids dancing and where pretty fun, but they didn’t blow my mind at all. Then I don’t think they are aimed at me for some reason. Bless Farlie for having the taste of a 14 year old girl. Tee Hee Hee, love you!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

On Stage With The Mae-Shi At Nasty Fest IX

I was up on stage as part of the invasion during the amazing single Run To Your Grave and I bumped into my mate from school who I haven’t seen for a very long time. He just happened to be recording this.

Modern Classics: #2. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless

What else can you say about Loveless that hasn’t been said before, that we will have to see, you can find out about all the myth making behind it else where, I think I will concentrate on the music. My Bloody Valentines classic album is getting a re-mastered, re-release soon and I’m not sure why to be honest. As it took them so long to make it perfect in the first place, why go back and do more to it. I haven’t heard the re-issue so I will stick to the good old copy that I have been playing for quite some time.

For me Loveless is the peak of the fuzzy shoegaze genre I’m yet to see it topped. The songs may all sound pretty damn similar but that doesn’t matter this album is perfect. The album sleeve artwork sums up the sound in visual form, with its pink washed out fuzzy picture of a guitar. Loveless is a soup of melancholy distorted layers of guitar and loops of sound. Deep at its heart are brilliant pop songs, which shine through to make this album stand out way above the rest. There is such depth and range in the sound here, My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields worked so hard to get the perfect sound on Loveless. I love the way the high-pitched tremolo guitar sounds cut through the fuzzy soup of dense noise. The lyrics are deep in the mix so they can be barely heard. The male and female vocals are so brilliantly together, and add to the emotion of the loveless theme. Each song is all at once some how vague and distant yet filled with emotion and sound.

The album as a whole is a beauty to behold I’m so in love with Loveless, but a few tunes really stand out for me. Loomer, Sometimes and Soon are perfect songs in every way. Loomer is an early track on the album and sets the mood brilliantly with drones and wonderful breathy singing, it has a woozy feel to it like its your under water. Sometimes is a tender grungy number with a melody so great at its heart that I find it so irresistible it almost moves me to tears. Soon is the albums closer and it is almost a dance floor banger. You can hear the indie-dance styling from the era all put through My Bloody Valentines sonic mashing machine. It’s a sunny one to finish the album off with.

The legacy of Loveless is far reaching and the re-issue will hopefully touch yet more people with its beauty. In even more exciting news My Bloody Valentine have reformed are touring and will hopefully release a third album this year. I have my fingers crossed so hard for this to happen, and if it does it could be the only album this year to top Atlas Sound and No Age. Long live Loveless the sonic masterpiece and sure-fire modern classic.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Radioactive Man – Growl

Radioactive Man has been on my radar for quite some time I have a nice selection of his 12” records they are full of excellent slabs of crunchy, break-beat, electro, rave, techno music with fat baselines and a bright, funky edge. This is the first album I have heard from him and it’s full of more of the same beastly dance floor numbers. Radioactive Man is the brainchild of half of the excellent Two Loan Swordsman. Not Andrew Weatherall the absolute legend but the other one Keith Tenniswood. I understand this album has been a long time coming because of his hard work with the aforementioned group and DJ commitments. I’m not at all disappointed though Growl is a really good album. The sound is aimed right at the dance floor but is also a pleasure for home listening there are even some vocal tracks with Dot Allison. I love her voice on electro and techno records she has also worked with Vitalic before to great effect. This is a grate record that reminds me of summer for some reason, maybe it’s the warm baselines and bouncy style. Growl is one of the more accessible bits of music I have heard from Radioactive Man, compared to the last slice I heard which was a massive rave style banger. We don’t quite reach those heights here in terms of intensity but the album is still spot on and very catchy indeed. The synth motifs should get you moving with ease, the crunchy beats really punch hard and make Growl infectious. Radioactive Man even manages to steer away from the 80s revival sound that far to many dance acts go for, Growl sounds pretty modern just like electro should. Go and check it out, its one of the best dance style records I have heard all year.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Final Fantasy & Cadence Weapon

These two did a radio station in Canada a while back and I found out about it yesterday and was very interested to hear it. I love both artists and couldn’t wait to hear Owen Pallett’s violin and loop-based music with Cadence Weapon rapping on the top. It works perfectly and each artist taes centre stage for three of their own numbers featuring the other in turn. We get hip-hop beats and ghostly violins that work so damn well together. The track list follows then check it out for your self in the link bellow.

Cadence Weapon – Grim Fandango (with Final Fantasy)
Cadence Weapon – Sharks (with Final Fantasy)
Cadence Weapon – Mini TV’s (with Final Fantasy)
Final Fantasy – Paris 1919 (with Cadence Weapon)
Final Fantasy – This is the dream of win & regine (with Cadence Weapon)
Final Fantasy – What do you think will happen next (with Cadence Weapon)

Final Fantasy & Cadence Weapon

Monday, 19 May 2008

Cadence Weapon – Afterparty Babies

Cadence Weapon is what hip-hop is about for me, party jams full of fun and dancy beats and great wordplay. The flow is impeccable to say the least. I have been kind of neglecting hip-hop recently because not much of it has grabbed me since MF Doom. Cadence Weapon is a joy to listen to and the range of influence on Afterparty Babies is so diverse and well executed. It’s full of old school sounding electro party beats and hip-house tunes. Hip-house has been neglected for a long time and been cast off as some kind of joke but here it is done so well. Often in hip-hop the influences are to backward looking and retro, on Afterparty Babies Cadence Weapon makes the old sounds come alive with a modern shine. This could fit well into Warp records IDM style hip-hop section with Flying Lotus and Prefuse 73 quite easily. Cadence Weapon is only twenty-one and an ace young talent. This record is one of the best this year easily and it may even pip Why? And their ace album Alopecia just because Cadence Weapons flow is far better and less nasal and annoying. They are two very different artist though so not really much need to compare them. Maybe Wiley will do something with his record out this year but I’m not sure he will match Cadence Weapon’s effort. For a start cadence Weapons beats and flow is already more fun and original than Wiley’s smash hit euro disco anthem Wearing My Rolex. Curtain tunes remind me of Daft Punk gone hip-hop, which is something I would like to hear.

The stand out tracks for me are: the opener Do I Miss My friends? Which has a humming almost house aping tune, like a hip-hop version of Steve ‘Silk’ Hurly or other old school house legends. The theme to this album is of being an accident of some loving hence the title afterparty babies this is so beautifully honest and executed with such humour. I love that he dedicates it to all of the accidents out there and tells you to keep making mistakes.

In Search Of The Youth Crew is a banger of a tune a proper high-energy party time hip-house number. The baseline reminds me of Homework era Daft Punk tunes like Revolution 909. Like a summary house anthem rooted firmly in the hip-hop. Kool Keith has done similar before and I love his stuff too. The hook The Youth Crews Back is well catchy.

True Story has the phatest base kick that blows cold air at you through the speakers. It has a Baltimore beat style to it with the slow kick and skiting snares.

Limited Edition OJ Slammer is an intense bleepy number with the achingly cool 8-bit style synths that seem to be all over the place right now. Some supream scratching is on this one by DJ Weez-L. This tune is great.

Juliann Wilding gives a shout out to tech-house which I like lots. The hook as always is catchy and makes you want to dance. The tunes and lyrics really follow through the concept of the album right down to the finest detail. You feel like you are at a house party.

Real Estate is a anthem, sorry I mean ANTHEM! Live this tune kills. I made a deal today we selling real estate…

Message Matter is another banger with good scratching and flow. For some reason it reminds me of Wooha by Busta Rhymes even though it isn’t very alike at all, maybe it’s the string loop that does it.

Your Hair’s Not Clothes! Makes me laugh especially the title. It is a booty base number. I love his sense of humour and the way he puts things down its so honest and dead pan its so refreshing in hip-hop when someone isn’t so cocky it hurts.

Tattoos (and what they really feel like) is also a great laugh about how tattoos are like to get, its like a conversation over the subject in a rap form. I really like the bit about drawing the outline. This track makes me smile and reminds me of talking to mates about why they got tattoos and why. Cadence Weapon is very much like a friend chatting to you at a house party.

The New Face Of Fashion is a bit of a deconstruction of hipsters and how they try to hard. Its great fun and the beats are aggressive and fun all at once in that loopy disco house style.

Getting Dumb is the tune I was thinking of when I said Cadence Weapon is better the Wiley as this tune is a party banger with a big synth baseline in an electro style. The hook is brilliant again, which is followed by some scratching and ace drum machine work with some fat tom tom sounds like I have heard on electro tunes. It’s the most aggressive tune too.

House Music is maybe the best track on Afterparty Babies its certainly one of my favourites. Live it kills completely and you loose your self in the party spirit. The drums are so phat and jacking. This is also a pretty aggressive number but also a massive joy that would rock a lot of floors. This is the Hip-House anthem of the year so far by a long way.

Unsuccessful Club Nights has some ace scratching and a great house style loop that brings this track alive. Its about rocking a party even if know one is there. Warning if Cadence Weapon is on the decks he might start off with some Sesame Street, just to let you know.

The last track We Move Away was so good live when I saw them recently. It’s about moving away from where you live and the chorus is irresistible. The four four kick and 808 hand claps are so good too. The line I wonder why we move away has such a dynamic energy with the backing track its just perfect.

This whole album is going to get some serious repeats. I was only going to write about some of the tracks but it turns out there isn’t a bad one at all in Afterparty Babies. Hip-hop album of the year so far and I don’t see it getting budged any time soon. It’s also one of the albums of the year regardless of genre full stop.

I’ll house you, I’ll house you, I’ll house you, your in my hut now! I’ll house you, I’ll house you, I’ll house you, your in my hut now! I’ll house you, I’ll house you, I’ll house you, your in my hut now! I’ll house you, I’ll house you, I’ll house you, your in my hut now! I’ll house you, I’ll house you, I’ll house you, your in my hut now! I’ll house you, I’ll house you, I’ll house you, your in my hut now!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Nasty Fest IX Review: That Was Exciting!

Well where to start with Nasty Fest IX, maybe the beginning? Yeah go on then. We decided to go a little later to save our energy for the mad bands at the end, plus my sister wanted to treat me to pizza, brilliant. Oh yeah this is a music blog bear with me. After much searching the Faversham was found and just in time for Slow Club.

Slow Club where alright I wasn’t blow away by them at all. They were a bit lacklustre in their performance, plus there was a lot of people around the edges talking, which didn’t help with the quite numbers. I would maybe listen to them at home or at a different gig. Slow club eased us in with some mellow twee-indie-pop and they really like The Mae-Shi so that’s a bonus, and later the girl joined them for a acoustic intro to Run To Your Grave, which was really nice and which pretty much descended into madness after she finished, but more on that later.

Lord Auch impressed me live as appose to their myspace tunes, which didn’t do them many favours. The drummer had a brilliant swing to the rhythm, and a dirty low-slung base that added to the rock’n’roll grove. They didn’t sound unlike 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster if they made music in the 50s and didn’t rock out as much. The vocals where both terrible and perfect for their sound in that it drew together all the elements well.

Unfortunatly Cutting Pink With Knives had cancelled, which was a shame as I was looking forward to seeing them.

A Place To Bury Strangers where on next in the main room so we headed over for some really loud and fuzzy rock. They are a bit like My Bloody Valentine but without the ace tunes. But their set was pretty enjoyable overall. They either played in complete darkness or with the strobe on for ages. They made some serious noise that kind of hurt your ears at points.

Dinosaur Pile-Up from the little I saw of them where pretty good. I couldn’t get very close because the smaller room was so packed for them. I’m sure they were really good from the crowed they pulled. The sound at the back was incredibly bad, so I gave in and went to the bar to get a drink and head to the front for Cadence Weapon in the main room.

Cadence Weapon really got the party started, I was so impressed with them. DJ Wheezel was amazing and the best DJ I have seen live since Cut Chemist. I was enjoying him so much I even started a Wheezel chant that people joined in with. Cadence Weapon brought back the acid house style IDM influenced party hip-hop with great style. They where the only group on the bill like this and it was so refreshing. His word play was magnificent and the flow was one of the best I have heard in recent times. There was a lot of hipsters throwing hip-hop shapes which was well funny, hell the Faversham is full to the brim with hipsters with perfect hair and dresses, bless them and their trendy ways. Any way back to Cadence Weapon their latest single House Music was one of the highlights of the evening for me. I was so impressed I had to go and get the album from Cadence Weapon himself so expect a review of that soon, we bonded a little bit over Acid House and the old Jungle Brothers lyrics he used to close his set. I’LL HOUSE YOU, I’LL HOUE YOU, I’LL HOUSE YOU, YOUR IN MY HUT NOW! I’LL HOUSE YOU, I’LL HOUE YOU, I’LL HOUSE YOU, YOUR IN MY HUT NOW! I’LL HOUSE YOU, I’LL HOUE YOU, I’LL HOUSE YOU, YOUR IN MY HUT NOW! I’LL HOUSE YOU, I’LL HOUE YOU, I’LL HOUSE YOU, YOUR IN MY HUT NOW!

Soiled Mattress & The Springs, as I predicted where a bit like a jazz/rock group playing seaside music, this was confirmed by the actual real beach balls flying about for their set. I was still on a high from the Cadence Weapon set so had a little boogie to them. Some of the tunes had a good grove to them and where enjoyable, other parts of tunes didn’t quite do it for me mind.

No Age: now I was so excited about seeing them I was like a giddy school child. They had some sound issues with the microphone during the first song, but that was still awesome. They played the tracks perfectly from their albums, completely spot on. The mentioned that the first person to start crowd surfing would get a free No Age T-shirt, this started a lot of mayhem. There were people in the air and a mosh-pit ensued. I got right into this madness and each song after the pit started was perfect for it too. No Age’s set seemed short and sweet but I was so involved it could have been quite long. I would love to see them again as apparently they have been better in previous shows recently. I can’t wait to find out how true that is.

We all decided to wait around for The Mae-Shi and chill out after the No Age craziness. We would need our energy for ‘the most fun band in all the land’ as I like to call them.

The Mae-Shi where on really good form and I’m pretty sure they remembered us from the York gig recently in which we went crazy for them. The crowd was a lot bigger as expected at Nasty Fest so they didn’t do as much in the audience. They still came in for some shouting and to throw the sheet over the top of everyone for Leech and Locus. They played a good load of old stuff, which was really good to hear. They seemed to be more rock and hardcore this time, I liked that. To chill out the crowd the Slow Club girl came on to play her cover version of Run to Your Grave acoustically, at least I’m pretty sure it was that girl. When she finished all hell broke loose as The Mae-Shi went into their version of the tune, which is kind of like their most well known and maybe their catchiest tune. My friend tapped me on the shoulder and said lets get on the stage, so we headed up there and others where encouraged to by the band. The stage filled with people and the band played the rest of the set with us up there singing along and having a laugh, it was brilliant. I just hope it didn’t spoil the enjoyment for others not willing to stage invade. As always The Mae-Shi where so sweet and friendly at the end of their set with high-fives and hand shakes. I love The Mae-Shi such a great live band, buy the albums see the shows you wont be disappointed.

Yeasayer where the last on the bill and it was so nice to have a band that weren’t crazy and you could just listen to and relax. Their African sounding psychedelic indie pop was so very nice. They didn’t blow me away but I enjoyed it ever so much. The tracks 2080 was stunning but the highlight by far was when Cadence Weapon joined the band for a free style on rising Sun, I think that’s what it was called, I haven’t got the album as yet. This was the end of the night for me, we decided to head home.

Overall Nasty Fest IX was brilliant I think you can guess which bands where the best for me. Cadence Weapon, No Age, The Mae-Shi really stood out big time. The Faversham is ok as a venue the sound was pretty good even with some technical hitches. It was full to the brim of posing hipsters mind, which usually brings the mood down a bit, but for the people at the front the passion wasn’t lost. I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t see all of the bands but at least I gave them so props on my preview the other day, at a festival you are never going to see everyone you want, all sorts get in the way of that. Great stuff, enjoyable night, even the cancellation of my train home and the freaking wait for a replacement bus couldn’t put much of a dampener on the night.


P.S. I have no idea what picture to use so why not have somthing cute, this is the internet after all.

P.P.S. DiS stuck up some photes of Nasty Fest IX go and chek them out here.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Jasper Leyland – Fieldstone

Fieldstone is the work of Jasper Leyland A.K.A. Jonathan Brewster from round my way in North Yorkshire. For some reason I hadn’t heard much of his stuff before until I got my hands on Fieldstone, which is his second album that was released in 2007, and very rare indeed. I don’t even have my own copy I’m listening to my sisters. When I get some cash I’m heading straight out to get his latest offering Wake which has had some mad props from places like Boomkat, who gave it their album of the week earlier in the year when it was released. He has always had ace taste in music and its so cool seeing him put it to good use.

The music is a rich yet minimal tapestry of sound drawing from recordings made in the field of allsorts of natural sources. Have a listen and play the guess where that sound came from game. I hear some water in places and maybe a crow. Acoustic guitar often features on Fieldstone too, in spares loops and melodies, lovingly processed through subtle digital equipment. Its all so ambient, minimal and like walking through a forest alone. I hear similarities in places to Leafcutter John in his solo work as appose to him in Polar Bear or even parts of Murcof. Full of dreamy sounds like your wrapped in a blanket snug in a tent, and micro glitches that ricochet from ear to ear, like a bug flashing by sound great. Fieldstone is nature lovingly crafted into beautiful soundscapes.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Rack & Ruin Records

Rack & Ruin is a new net-based label from Amsterdam that specialise in beautiful indiepop, electronica, ambient, experimental and all the hybrids of those you can think of. I first heard about them on an indie/music website in which the Rack & Ruin Records ‘Head Honcho’ frequents and I was impressed. There is quite a catalogue for a label that only just started on April 1st 2008 and I can assure you its no joke either. The music is free to download as well so you would be a fool to miss it. Rack & Ruin Records concentrate on new or unknown artists from any locality. And want to get the music out there for peoples loving ears to enjoy, the bands to get shows and even to get the people paid to make music, imagine that. So to help with this wonderful word of mouth mission go and check out Rack & Ruin Records on the worldwide medium that is the Internet.


Dessktop – Selsey Bill EP (RRR012)
Dessktop was the first artist to grab my attention on the home page’s player, find his myspace page
here. Selsey Bill EP is full of ambient tracks made from, what sounds like snippets of sound and synthesisers. San Rafael, is a bell tingling little number with beautiful synth pads. This fades into a vocal loop and the next song. There is a sound like its made on an electronic squeezebox, you know like the ones in folk bands, which is interesting. Aerial Tramway Support Pillar is a screechy lo-fi number like an electrical cable shooting its power through your brain, but nicer. Canton of Pointe-noire, has a wonderful low and scraping noise at the beginning and leads to loops of piano notes and the deep noise of a slow tram over head, hypnotic stuff. This follows on nicely in theme from the last track. Synth strings come in, which are accompanied by spoken word parts that work so well. This track reminds me of a slowed down ambient Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk. Croatian World Club Championship brings Selsey Bill EP to an end with a bright and cheerful tinkle from an almost honky-tonk piano loop, high humming pads and then finally fades into a squeaky wheel ending. Dessktop impressed me and the tune that drew me into listen to this EP, How To Kill Woman and Children wasn’t even on it. That has a clattering noise loop that fades in and out with a twitchy and gruff electronic percussion section. Good stuff, that fits in-between the noise, ambient and electronic genres all snug and warm.

These are on my list to listen to next:

Tropical Australian Stinger Research Unit – Ex Stinger (RRR009)
The Macadamia Brothers - Tomatoey Plates EP (RRR013)

Bring it on I say expect to hear more about Rack & Ruin Records in the near future. I have only scratch the surface there is much more music to enjoy here. You can go and check it out now: go on; it’s just over there on the left follow the signs marked beautiful D.I.Y. indie noise pop-tronica.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Pictureplane

Pictureplane’s sound is some where between 8-bit dance like Crystal Castles and Baltimore cut and paste hip-hop beats like Spank Rock. I got tipped off on Pictureplane on Pitchfork in an article about HEALTH and had to check them out. On the myspace they have friends like the aforementioned HEALTH and Drop The Lime who I also love. Pictureplane are from a Denver art scene that comes out of a place called Rhinoceropolis, which from what I can gather is something like LA’s The Smell, an all ages D.I.Y. art space. They seem like kindred spirits, just a quick look on their myspace suggests so as The Mae-Shi are playing there in the near future.

Pictureplane is a one-man band that is pretty much just beats, keyboard and vocals. He makes one hell of a sound though. We get Baltimore booty bass and beats with cut up elements similar to Crystal Castles vocal stuff. There is also a guitar element to some songs as well that add some interesting noise to the proceedings. The vocals are often cut up and pitched up and down for melody effect or echo drenched. The tunes manage to sound both scuzzy, dirty and sun drenched all at once. This is my tip of the day to counter balance my cut copy review earlier. Pictureplane has some tunes up for download in his myspace go and check them out for your self
here. I will do some searching and see what else is coming from Rhinoceropolis soon, it looks promising.

Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours

In Ghost Colours has had some good press since it dropped, I have herd their fabric mix and some remixes quite a while ago but to be honest I can’t remember much about their sound at all. After listening to In Ghost Colours I can see why I didn’t remember very much, Cut Copy are quite unremarkable to my ears. It’s all very nice and everything, but it all sounds like Milo and 80’s revival dance acts of recent times all over again. This time they add some vocals and a slight hint of floaty shoegaze styling so the proceedings. I struggle to find a song that jumps out at me, its all so samey and in one mood. Its inoffensive to the ears and I can see it being played throughout the summer on a sun drenched beach bar far away, it might even make an impact in the pop charts. Maybe I’m being grumpy and this is actually brilliant, only time will tell, as I’m not convinced just yet. Wait for the end of year lists and see if it’s remembered. To leave the review on a more positive note I really love the artwork. Writing this was mostly an opportunity to post that picture in all its niceness.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Nasty Fest IX Preview: Lets Get Excited!

This is happening at the weekend in Leeds and it is set to be pretty special. I don’t know many of the bands lower down on the bill so I thought I would investigate the worldwide interweb for clues the following is what I found starting from the very bottom of the bill, oh and all findings are pretty much based on first listens on myspace which is far from ideal:

Wonderswan:

They are a local band from Leeds; they make some kind of sludgy grunge rock, quite enjoyable.

hay! Panda:
Thank you to the nice anonymous commenter to this post for a link has now been found yay! hay! Panda are a dirty little punk disco outfit from Halifax. Ramshackle noisy and fun, they live somewhere between Gang of Four, Deerhoof and LCD Soundsystem.

Paul Marshall:

Acoustic based singer songwriter type from Leeds. All very nice and everything: some beautiful melodies on the guitar overall a nice warm up.

Lord Auch:

They seem to be the first southerners on the bill. Apparently they sound like no trampled path as indicated on their myspace, yet they sound like rock-a-billy and many other things. I might go for something to eat for this lot. I hope I’m proved wrong.

Spodni Pradlo:

A band from Bradford that play really refreshing mellow indie pop with a range of influences from Animal Collective to Charlie Brooker. Twee-Core and not afraid to show it. Good Stuff.

Cutting Pink With Knives:
I’m vaguely familiar with this band and have heard good things about them. I have been meaning to pick up their album populuxxe from Holy Roar for some time. They make a electro punk kind of noise pop hardcore which sounds pretty fun. The first refreshingly unhinged band.

Dinosaur Pile-Up:

Really quite catchy melodramatic pop songs verging on the indie/roc/grunge theme. I really like the tunes on the myspace, I’m looking forward to seeing what they do for their set.

Pulled Apart By Horses:

Dirty, scuzzy, powerful rock racket. They pretty much sound like what being pulled apart by horses would be like in rock form. I like that about them.

Napoleon IIIrd:

Make some experimental electro style pop music. I first came across this group on a compilation on Dance To The Radio records in of Forward, Russia fame. The tunes on myspace sound even more promising than they did on that compilation.

Slow Club:

Sweet Jesus this lot are twee a girl boy duo on vocals and acoustic guitar, that make a sweet sweet sweet twee indie folk sweet pop sweetness that I will either find so annoying it hurts or just sunny fun and beautiful. I’m hoping for the latter of course.

Soiled Mattress & The Springs:

Deranged New Yorkers with many ace friends on their myspace page including No Age and BARR they are also touring with Abe Vigoda, No Age and Liars so this looks very promising indeed. They sound like a jazzy quirky instrumental seaside organ band in the best possible way. This might well be an ace way to follow the twee to extreme Slow Club in a fun way.

A Place To Bury Strangers:

I have heard their name but not their music. The myspace starts with some ace digital drum beats and fuzzy and cool guitar noise riffs. All the way from Brooklyn to bring the noise this could be brilliant. A digital hardcore psychedelic scuzz rock band.

Cadence Weapon:

Are a IDM/Hip-Hop/House group on Big Dada records. They are gona get the party going really well they are even rocking Fabric out the night before and I freaking love that place so much. Hi energy electro beats and a great flow is going to get us jumping. The album looks like it needs to be bought.

No Age:
Well if you have read this blog before you will know I love No Age with a passion. I am so excited that I am going to actually see them live. The records for me are a perfect lo-fi art punk-shoegaze hybrid that I haven’t been so excited about in a long time. This is going to be outstanding.

The Mae-Shi:

Again if you read this blog often, which I doubt you do unless you’re my mum. You will know that The Mae-Shi are officially the most fun band in the world ever, more brilliant Smell action all in a row at Nasty Fest IX. I can’t wait to be apart of their performance again its such a joy.

Yeasayer:

Now the headliners of the night and the culmination of this evenings proceedings from the bands. I think after The Mae-Shi, Yeasyayer will be a nice mellow and joyful show. I’m not very familiar with their stuff but the album has been highly prised and the single song I have heard 2080 is really nice. So high hopes from this lot, even if The Mae-Shi are going to be my highlight along with No Age.

So that’s all the bands it looks to be a great day and it doesn’t stop there either the DJ’s then start to kick off DiS DJ’s surely can’t play bad tunes? Bad Sneakers, Sex Beat and Art Goes Pop will bring the party to a close in style I’m sure. So bring it on Nasty Fest IX here we come.

Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

The sound of one man: alone in the woods in a cold wilderness somewhere in America. Bon Iver comes from the French Bon Hiver, which apparently means good winter. For Emma, Forever Ago defiantly sounds like a good winter well spent. Justin Vernon is the man behind Bon Iver and he first released For Emma, Forever Ago by him self D.I.Y. style late last year. It has come to my attention this year mind with its actual label release on 4AD. The story goes a little something like this; Vernon and his previouse band DeYarmond Edison split for reasons I don’t know, then he decided to go and live in solitued in a hunting cabbin in Wesconsin, where the majorite of the Bon Iver album was recorded over four months in the cold. Hence the good winter referances in the projects name. According to Pitchfork Justin Vernon tought himself how to hunt and live for himself out there. Aparently swaping kills for instrument repairs. His cabbin must have been pretty good to have enough recording equipment for this beauty though. Now lets have less of the indie folk myth that is the making of Bon Iver and move onto the music.

For Emma, Forever Ago is beautiful: the skeletal backbone to all he songs are breathtaking and make this album so lonely in parts. But that is counter balanced by the layers and layers of vocals intertwining, building and making dense melodies. Vernon’s voice is so beautiful, a falsetto to die for that soars over the plucky little guitar parts and minimally made loops. It’s all so home made and reflects the image of one-man left in the wilderness, mid-winter with only his thoughts and creativity. Bon Iver is touching and heartbreaking, with a tenderness that grabs you and draws you in. One of the only criticisms I have is that on occasions I wish the vocals where more sparse, I think this depends on my mood though. It’s all so personal and low-key. The lo-fi loops and simple acoustic guitar arrangements are brought to life with multi-tracked vocals, which somehow make it all sound less lonely even if you can still tell its on man in a cabin alone. I love the fact you can hear him at the end of recordings moving to turn equipment off.

There is a cosiness to all these tracks like Vernon had come in from the cold, stoked up the fire and spilt his thoughts out over long nights. Flume is a lovely acoustic indie folk ballad and a prefect opener. Maybe my favourite track is Lump Sum with its limited kick drum percussion and almost holey vocals. Skinny Love is a cracker and leads on to the heartbreakingly beautiful The Wolves (Act I and II), which descends into, drum clatters and emotion. There isn’t a bad song out of the nine Blindsided is so nice and the closer re-Stacks is just brilliant.

This is going to be one of those albums to stick on late into the night I think, on your own and in a reflective mood. Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago is a low-key masterpiece that should make for a good summer let alone winter.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Wildildlife – Six

This is an album from last year that I have just come across on the Crucial Blast label. It sounds like a long hazy day spent lost in the woods, well if the woods where a bit mental and psychedelic. Wildildlife make a kind of psych-folk-rock haze like a tame version of Comets On Fire or a heavy version of well… Folk music. I guess it even has some post rock leanings too. The artwork is beautiful I love the picture of the skull on the cover especially. The first track is by far the stand out and most accessible, Things Will Grow is almost a pop number compared to the rest of the album. It starts with stomping drums and some ace hooks follow. Magic Jordan, which I don’t think is a tribute to Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, is the best epic tune on Six coming in at 18 mins it’s a hefty piece of work. Wildildlife may take a few listens to get into but its worth it if you’re in a hazy sun burnt fuzz and scuzz kind of mood. Six played loud is a beauty, I wonder why its called Six mind, as it has seven tracks, maybe its something in the songs, I can’t work out many of the echo drenched lyrics though. Wildildlife sound like they are making music in the bottom of a basement in the woods after escaping from an evil desert. Not perfect and not to everyone’s taste but I kind of like it.

Jimi The Exploder Presents: Lo-Fi-Tronic

I did this mix about a month ago and have decided to share it with you as it has some grate tunes on it. Here is a track-by-track description of the mix-tape style compilation that you can download at the bottom of the post. Its 1 hour 19 mins 45 sec’s of pure joy for your ears, perfect for the summer time on your mp3 player or burned onto a CD. Also go and check out all the artists I have found links for you to do just that, its all for the love of music.

Final Fantasy & Ed Droste - Possibly Maybe
This is a cover version of the Bjork song by the ace Final Fantasy and a member of Grizzly Bear, it’s a beautiful violin and beat combo that brings the mix-tape in with style and atmosphere. You can find the tune on
Stereogum on a Bjork tribute album for free.

Youthmovies – Cannulae
This is one of my favourite songs on Youthmovies debut album Good Nature. It’s a beautiful post-rock, indie ballad, deep house textured math tune. The thumping beat reminds me of old school house which brings me to…

Jungle Wonz - Bird In A Gilded Cage
This gem by Marshall Jefferson has a wonderful synth base line that reminds me of Voodoo Ray, yet pre-dates that by some time. It’s a deep jungle sampling tune that reminds me why I love house music so much.

Aphex Twin – Bbydhyonchord
I always mean to put this tune on mix-tapes yet forget, so I rectified that this time. It’s also a good bridge from the old school house, with its tribal style electro drums and sad moldy, to the noise section of the mix.

Fuck Buttons - Sweet love For Planet Earth
This is my favourite track from the album Street Horrrsing, it stands out a mile with its epic fuzz and growl. The tinkling melody draws you in even further to this hypnotic beast.

Rolo Tomassi - C Is For Drowning Under Waves Of Listless Apathy (Ornie Remix)
Rolo Tomassi are one of my favourite new bands, their so young and so talented. This is a remix that is on the end of their EP. It’s a scary schizophrenic almost funky bit of noise that has to be heard to be believed. For some reason this reminds me of G-Funk hip-hop.

Matmos - Rainbow Flag
This is the start of my lo-fi dance floor section. Matmos just use keyboards right into a computer and make some good stuff. This tune was found on Pitchfork as a free download and has stuck in my head since. I don’t really know too much about them to comment further.

Oh Astro - Journey To The Centre
I believe this was another Pitchfork find, and again I don’t know much about them. But this tune is a beautiful loop ridden stomper of a lo-fi-tronic persuasion, brilliant for driving round to in the sunshine.

The Mae-Shi - Kingdom Come
Officially declared the most fun band in all the land on this very blog, see my live review for amazing scenes and details. This is from their album “HLLLYH” and it is the disco centre piece in this amazing party record filled with spazzed out punk and lo-fi electronics, more of this stuff later in the mix too.

Cluster – Caramel
I stumbled upon this tune on a mix by Klaxons and fell in love with it. It sounds like a really old electro number with irresistible synths and melodies. Wonderful stuff.

Seventeen Evergreen - Ensoniq (Bi Polar Men Refix)
This is an almost dub-step slanted electro break-beat tune. I have been spinning it quite a lot since I found it in the middle of last year some time. This brings my lo-fi-tronic dance floor section to an end.

Forward,Russia! - We Are Grey Matter
Now we start to bring songs to the dance floor with actual words and passion. We Are Grey Matter is a tune from Forward Russia’s new album Life Processes. I love the fat drum beat in a 4x4 tempo and the way it builds into a mathed out rock tune.

!!! - Heart Of Hearts
Well !!! are a party band that make excellent dance music out of a bit mad band. Heart Of Hearts is my stand out track from last years amazing Myth Takes album. It reminds me of 90s dance done by an indie band, but in a good way.

Why? - These Few Presidents
I start to bring things to a close by slowing the pace a down with some Why? This is a brilliant tune from their recent album Alopecia. The lyric ‘Yours is a funeral I would fly to from anywhere’ gets me every time. It’s a catchy slice of hip-hop infused geeky indie pop.

MGMT - Time To Pretend
Now for the anthems to really hammer the mix home, with the closes I get to an indie sing along. This song reminds me of Flaming Lips and with good reason as their producer helped them out with it. Its also a brilliant indie pop tune for the summer time. Makes me think of the closing segment of this years Skins series too, and I have a soft spot for that show.

The Mae-Shi - Run To Your Grave
I had to finish with The Mae-Shi because I just love them so much. Run To The Grave is just a perfect song in my opinion I can’t get enough of it and it could well be one of the songs of the year. If it got more play it would get well into the sub-conscious of the music buying public. Run, Run, Run To Your Grave!

That’s the end of the mix-tape, I did it all on
Audacity with the slightest of editing together, I just wanted the tunes to flow and speak for them selves. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Go and buy the music of these amazing artists if you find something you love.

Monday, 12 May 2008

I Was A Cub Scout - Close To Me (Cure Cover)

I Was A Cub Scout have done a cover version of the Cure tune Close To Me and it's a cracker. A proper summer tune. It can be downloaded from Good Weather For Airstrikes. They have also anounced a bigger band line up that includes mebers of two other ace bands Rolo Tomassi and Youthmovies, at least for live shows anyway. Check out the tune for yourself. This tune also proves that goths can come out in the sunshine.

Abe Vigoda

This is yet another band from LA’s The Smell. Abe Vigoda’s third album Skeleton will be dropping next month on No Age’s Post Present Medium label, and you got to be interested in what No Age love. I can’t stop playing the song Dead City/ Waste Wilderness which was given away free on ace site rcrdlbl. The tune is a jumbled, fuzzed out, energetic indie pop song that takes inspiration from African music in places and Skate punk in others. Brilliant stuff again from The Smell, the album Skeleton could well be worth a punt, if it has more of this on it.

Abe Vigoda - Dead City/ Waste Wilderness

Johnny Foreigner – Demo

Today I have got a bit excited about the prospect of JoFo’s album Waited Up ‘Till It Was Light being released on the 2nd June, I’m pretty sure its released then anyway. The more I hear this band the more endeared I become by them and their music. This prompted me to track down their 15-track demo, to fuel my excitement. The recordings are lo-fi as expected from a demo, but the songs are all damn excellent and shine through by miles. As roomer has it many of the tunes on the demo made it to the album proper in a better mixed state obviously. They sound like an excited guitar power pop band here, I can’t actually pick a favourite demo track they are all really cool. JoFo are a wonderful live band and great fun to see, go and buy their t-shirts, EP, new album Waited Up ‘Till It Was Light (which is an adorable title), maybe even buy them a drink as in their tour diaries they always seem skint. Just love the JoFo, go on go and do it right now.

Johnny Foreigner - Demo
P.S. A track by track description of the album has just been stuck up on DiS if your wern't already excited enough as it is. Find it here.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Jon Gomm – Hypertension

I first became aware of Jon Gomm at a free acoustic festival at Peasholm Park in Scarborough where he played in the middle of the lake where the mini battle ships fight all through the summer, he was in a pagoda in the fading light it was beautiful. Jon Gomm is an acoustic guitarist and songwriter of great talent and creativity. I’m reviewing his debut album hypertension as I’m still waiting for his second effort, which seems to be on its way for a while. I have my fingers crossed for a release this year.

Hypertension is full of amazing acoustic guitar performances that use so many techniques I haven’t seen anyone else pull off as well, or even at all in some cases. All the music on this CD is done live and I have seen this first hand in the flesh several times, and been in awe on each occasion. Gomm mics up his guitar so that you can hear tiny little scratches and hits to the body. This adds rhythm and strange almost synthesizer sounds at times. Gomm is all over his guitar smacking it up and hammering the fret board with all his fingers. The songs aren’t let down one little bit by all the guitar virtuoso stylings. They only add to the beauty of these songs.

Hypertension starts off with a cover of Wait In Vain by Bob Marley or Annie Lenoux who ever you know of better. This is a great example of how he interprets songs and adds strange and wonderful techniques to bring the songs alive. There is also a wonderful cover version of High & Dry by Radiohead here too, that I’m very fond of. The original material is brilliant and is full of brooding echo-drenched vocals full of emotion and depth. Stupid Blues and Hey Child stand out particularly. Check out his videos to see him in action. Then see him live and ask him nicely how the new record is coming on. Ace stuff.

Nasty Fest IX @ Faversham, Leeds, 17th May 2008

I realy want to go to this. Cutting Pinck With Knives, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Napoleon IIIrd, Cadence Weapon, No Age, The Mae-Shi and Yeasayer are just the bands I know of and would love to see. Find out more about it here.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Richard Herring @ The Shed, Hovingham, North Yorkshire 10th May 2008

Richard Herring the averaged sized* comedian came to The Shed to give us a comedy treat. Well this isn’t really music but I don’t really care and will carry on anyway. Richard Herring was on vocals with a laughter backing track performed live by us the audience, his rhythmic timing was spot on. That’s about as close as it got to music, so I will stop the analogy right there. The Shed delivered another top night out as usual, Herring came on with no support and warmed up the crowd with his show Oh Fuck, I’m 40! This was a midlife crisis in action in front of your very eyes for just £12 what a bargain. The self proclaimed Kidult wore a tight fit t-shirt and some badass baggy jeans, and even got out his skateboard at one point. The moral of the story was to keep hold of your youth while you can and for goodness sake don’t try and get head through the means of an ironic t-shirt. There was many a nob gag, and in fact one of the jokes was about gagging on a nob until some one died. Of course it was done with a lot of style and humour, even the crude stuff was executed in a lovable way. Herring has a friendly demeanour of a teenager that doesn’t want to grow up. Some of the routines where pure gold, especially the one that was repeated and repeated until everyone was laughing about two lonely people meeting for a one night stand and the argument about Herrings cock size, masterful. This style isn’t dissimilar to Stuart Lee’s his cohort on Lee & Herring all that time ago, he used to be on TV you know. That’s where the similarities end mind. Herring made humour out of what he knew best, accidentally being a teenager trapped in a middle aged comedians body, with a massive cock. It was a very enjoyable night indeed. Oh yeah find him on myspace because he is cool yeah, like the kids.

*Referring to his cock, as he does through much of the show.
P.S. He told everyone not to say he had a avrage sized nob. Ah well.

Hercules And Love Affair

This DFA release is a super sleek slice of disco from the darker side of the dance floor. It has a truly disco heart and isn’t afraid to show it, and to great effect. There is also an old school house feel to some tracks; you can hear the influence of such great artists as Jamie Principle and Inner City. Hercules And Love Affair also manage to sound quite modern all at once, not at all out of place on the DFA roster. The vocal contributions from Antony of Antony and the Johnson’s are wonderful. And fit perfectly on one of the stand out songs in particular, the chart smash Blind and You Belong has excellent vocals from Nomi. This album could be seen as pure disco revivalism but I think its good enough to be more than that, even if it isn’t perfect, the album is really good in the first half and then tails off somewhat. Hercules Theme is a nice bit of horn lead disco and one of the best instrumental numbers. I’m a big fan of all things DFA and this isn’t my favourite album by a long shot from them but it is a wonderful and fun loving disco record worth at least some of the hype it has got earlier in the year.

The Mae-Shi - Leech & Locust (Live)

Save your thoughts

Spend your crowns

Save your treasure

Waste away

The Most Indie Week Ever?

HEALTH where truly amazing last Sunday night. The Mae-Shi and JoFo where amazing on Wednesday, and I was part of a stage invasion where I ended up playing base with them. I even won tickets to go and will have a Promo of JoFo's album signed on its way soon, thank you DiS. No Age - Nouns came out this week and is one of the best albums this year so far, and may not be topped. Then if all that wasn't enough already a quote of mine appeared in the weekly mailout for Drowned in Sound the best indie website in the UK in my opinion. Well they can't be to bad if they print my quote:

"scientists seem unwilling to take pics of this monkeys balls. I am saddened by this fact.”
James Balf
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