Tuesday, 29 September 2009

FaltyDL – Bravery [Planet Mu]

The debut album and assorted 12”s from NYC’s Drew Lustman AKA FaltyDL have been some of the highlights of the year, but he’s not done yet there is another trick up his sleeve in the shape of the mini album Bravery. It’s made up of material produced since his album so you only get the freshest beats here, the guy is prolific not many artists manage two albums in a year, mini or not… Plus not only does he manage to keep the quality high but the vibe is totally different, you still get the stuttering lob sided garage meets hip-hop electronica but this time its darker and more organic. The dance floor energy is still there in fact the tempos are even more varied than before.

There is a deep dusk-like feel at work on the opening track ‘Made Me Feel So Right’ with a sweet passionate R&B hook sampled and twisted over dense bass drenched grooves, if Burial was brought up with Flying Lotus in New York you might get something like this, but then you don’t really need that when you have FaltyDL he easily stands out on his own. You get that NY feeling from a lot of FaltyDL’s music, I’ve not been or anything but everyone has some kind of image in their heads of NY and ‘Mother Beam’ defiantly gives me that vibe with its jazzy chords, hip-hop tempo and the fact a chopped up and screwed vocal says ‘Drew Lustman, Live In New York’ a few times.

The title track takes this vibe into the club in a spaced out disco meets hip-hop sort of way it really gets its bounce on. The filtered R&B vocals, which are all over this album, sound so familiar but they’ve been tweaked out of context so brilliantly that they take on a new life of their own. ‘Play Child’ has a similar feel again, an echo-chamber space disco sort of thing. All the time on Bravery you get the feeling things are progressing, the flow works so well.

Things up in tempo even more with ‘Tronman’ which has an almost dubstep speed going on, with rolling broken garage beats and beds of reverb drenched tones that build a lot of tension. Vocals fly at you from all direction and sound like a love letter to the music that influences him somehow. ‘Must Sustain’ gets a little more soulful with a slower groove, this stuff is so hypnotising and dense there is a real dub feel at work, samples and percussive hits get dragged out into mesmerising soundscapes.

Then when you think you’ve been dragged into the underbelly of NY ‘Pressure’ jumps out and makes you want to dance, with its deeply moving sub bass tones, super broken skitting garage breaks, p-funk synth bass and shimmering guitar funk licks that all switch up into some serious full body work out rhythms. Then to end things the acid tinged ‘Discant’, which comes on like a funk variation on old Trax records like Phuture or Mr Fingers via present day NY and Detroit techno and ends Bravery in a stylish flourish.

Love Is A Liability has been up there as one of the albums of the year for me and I really didn’t expect FaltyDL himself to come out and top that before the year was even out, he could of at the very least given someone else a go. But with Bravery that’s what he’s done. This is the sound of someone enjoying and exploring sound, while creating a record that will jump off in DJ sets and sound brilliant at home.


Sonic Router Interview & Mix:

1. Luke Vibert - Swet (Planet-Mu)
2. Floating Points KG Beat (Planet-Mu)
3. FaltyDL - Human Meadow [Boxcutter remix] (Planet-Mu)
4. FaltyDL - Pressure (dub)
5. Horsepower Productions - Pimp Flavors (Tempa)
6. FaltyDL - Bravery (dub)
7. FaltyDL - Lifer (dub)
8. FaltyDL - Safe (dub)
9. Boxcutter - Foxy (Planet-Mu)
9.5 Krome and Time teaser...
10. Clark - Farewell Mining Town (Warp)
11. Wagon Christ - Spot Light (Rising High Records)
12. Nautilis - Nautilus (Planet-Mu)
13. El-P - Toj (Definitive Jux)
14. Jonny Greenwood - HW/Hope of New Fields (Nonesuch)




Sunday, 27 September 2009

Exodus & Room 237 Presents: Jamie Vex'd / 2562 / Youngsta & SP:MC / Neil Landstrumm / Clark @ West Indian Centre, Leeds. 25th September 2009

It’s been a little while since I went to the West Indian Centre to soak up the sounds coming out of the almighty Iration Steppas Soundsystem, I mean everyone has been away for the summer ripping up Croatia and all sorts so I guess I can be forgiven… But this line-up has brought me out of the woodwork and walking into the main room to hear Digital Mystikz Anti War Dub just proves it was the right decision.

Saying that though the place was a little empty during Computer Controlled DJs set, which was really surprising as I’ve only ever been to the West Indian Centre when its been packed to the rafters. They played a well nice selection of all things good and bassy though from DMZ beasts to grime bangers, there was even a bit of funky in the form of Bok Bok’s recent outings in that sound, this didn’t bring on loads of dancing and movement as I expected though, I guess Leeds is more of a dubstep town right now as that always gets everyone moving be it lad or lass. The addition to the main room of a projector and a dude in the corner freaking about with pictures and film was pretty cool though.

Unfortunately Sigha whose productions I really love was in the second room at exactly the same time as Jamie Vex’d who I kind of wanted to see on the huge soundsystem so I only caught a few moments of his set but the bits I saw where well nice and its wet my appetite for more. I was also really surprised to see Jamie Vex’d playing so early but the place soon packed out and he built one hell of a set, he crossed so much gowned and so effortlessly. Everything from his own productions like the quality Twitch remix and other Planet Mu bits, all the way to Terror Danjah grime instrumentals such as Sidechain and the Swindle remix of Zumpi Hunter, or Grievous Angels well nice 2-step re-rub of Napath’s Sounclash VIP. I almost bust a gut when he dropped the Zomby dubplate Murcury’s Rainbow…

Which popped up on youtube a while back (see above) and maybe a Blackdown Rinse FM show but that’s about it and there is no word yet of a release, in fact it’s the most Zomby I’ve heard on a night out. I had reservations about some of the One Foot Ahead Of The Other EP on Ramp working on the dance floor but when its powered through Iration Steppas I guess you don’t have to worry about that, everything sounds so alive and HUGE. This was followed swiftly by Untold’s amazing Stop What You’re Doing, which I’ve been aching to hear out for ages now, and it really does sound different the no beats, pulse bass freakout really hits the spot for me the tension the lack of beats bring is just something else, then coupled with the Zomby dubplate which is of a similar vibe all be it more psychedelic just slayed it. Things get a bit more blurry as the bass rumbles and the red stripe flows but this is still the first set of the night from one of the big guns… plates from The Bug were a plenty, to the delight of my sister who loves to shout Bug lyrics at me, but only while not shouting the lyrics to Next Hype of course… which also popped up in the mix accapella style over some unknown bass heavy shakers. Skream, Piddy Py and Distance even got a look in, who insanly got mixed with a does of R&B in the form of Timberland yet it worked far to well and made me wonder why he hasn’t reached for sub bass himself… along with the smeared wonk of Tiago with his swirling Bable Fish a track that has been on my radar for a while but I never expected it to sound so fucking good out this loud, the bass pulse that kicks in half way through is something else. This really was a far-reaching set mixed quick and on point on laptop and controllers, I almost felt sorry for 2562 following it as a lot of BIG tracks had been played and I don’t mean obvious bangers just MASSIVE sounding twisting turning genre escaping monsters.

After a break for air entering the main room again to see 2562 playing to a spindly crowd was a real disappointment, its like we had entered a whole new club. He was playing his own brand of rolling dubbed out techno that really contrasted the sweeping flailing twitched out, smeared synth wonk and far reaching magpie set of Jamie Vex’d. When you got deep into it though and put the small crowed out of your mind the beats where so bumping and infectious that it was hard not to move, almost everything I heard sounded like 2562’s productions but I spotted some new Untold in there too. The room filled more over time but it was still a bit disheartening to see it like that when he’s one of the leading lights of the scene, making some of the coolest, skippyest rolling dubstep meets techno around. But then after Jamie Vex’d it was easy to see why people needed a break and even the big boys on Warp and Planet Mu didn’t pack out the crowds like I thought they would. Landstrumm played a mad set that sounded like an OCD kid who had learnt to make all of dance music’s past on toys, so you got electro addled grimey, dancehall, rave, techno hybrids of all styles and tempos at the drop of a hat. You never knew what was going to happen but he locked into things long enough to keep you moving and tease you before twisting into the unknown again. I also checked out quite a bit of Youngsta at this point who was rocking it with SP:MC, I’ve never felt so hypnotised by a dubstep DJ before it was none stop deeper than deep half stepping dubplates that would have sounded like chillout music anywhere but the bassy backroom of the West Indian Centre on the Sweat Potato Soundsystem… or you know others like it. A hell of a lot of it sounded like Kryptic Minds with the odd bit of Skream’s dark side thrown in, everything worked so well and really wet my appetite for DMZ next week in the same venue.

From then on tiredness set in and after a very brief brush with Clark and unfortunately missing Distance altogether we left into the night on a fucking long drive home to the county with the bass resonating loud in our ears.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Teengirl Fantasy

It may sound like some kind of dodgy 80’s softcore porn/teen drama, delete where applicable… but instead of that you get a big dose of achingly hip DFA-esq house music and its some of the best retro sounding slightly indie dance music I’ve heard for a while. These peeps will be remixing all your favourite hipster bands in no time or they should be to get their name about a bit along with the likes of Pictureplane and BDRMPPL who were probably the last noisy, lo-fi almost retro sounding dance groups I found that engaged me so much. Check out the two free EPs pukekos put up bellow they’re wicked.

Portofino ~ Teengirl Fantasy ~ blackmoth.org from Teengirl Fantasy on Vimeo.


Official (Creepy) Website:

There are lots of bits to read and download on No Pain In Pop here:

You can also download two EPs for free from the pukekos blog here:

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Please Please You Presents: Times New Viking / Banjo or Freakout / Missing Kids @ Basement Bar, York. 21st September 2009

Back to the Basement Bar for another quality line up brought to you by the Please Please You crew, this time we have Ohio noise/punk/lo-fi/indie band Times New Viking, one man shoegaze band Banjo or Freakout and Missing Kids who quite aptly I can’t find a thing about pre gig… Now I’ve seen TNV before on the Shred Yr Face tour in a big cavernous hall in Leeds and I really wasn’t impressed it was more of a sedate jangle than an all out invigorating noise fest like their recordings are, saying that I can’t listen to them on record either, to much compressed ear popping sounds. But in a smaller venue I’m hoping they win me over with enough fuzz we’ll see. Who I’m really looking forward to tonight is Banjo or Freakout who I’ve seen once before during a disasters HEALTH gig that ran so late I missed HEALTH as I had to get a train. Despite this Banjo or Freakout won me over with his shoegazy almost one man band set up, him playing keys and guitar with a guy from Gentle Friendly adding percussion in that so hip right now one drum floor tom way… so it’s brilliant to see them in town.

We ended up rolling in a little late so Missing Kids will have to remain a mystery for now unfortunately, but I heard reports that they were very good indeed. So Banjo or Freakout hit the stage with an actual drum kit and drummer this time as well as the floor tom, keys, samplers, loop peddles, guitar and bass all play by the multi-tasking-multi talented Mr Freakout. It was a quality set full of fuzzy shoegazing soundscapes carved out of loops and guitars fed through pedals. There was loads of drum machine work going on through samplers and pads as well as the live drummer. There was one track with super fast drum loops and proper fuzzy sounds on top that just killed it, if I knew the names of any of the songs of any of the bands tonight I would tell you... but dispite seeing both these bands live before I own none of their work. Banjo or Freakout played a hypnotising set and really impressed me, when the debut album drops I’m going to be all over it like a wet flannel.

As I’ve said above Times New Viking didn’t impress me on the Shred Yr Face tour at all but fuck me this was a whole new kettle of fish. They brimmed with energy and noise. The songs were fun and full of life, with a shambolic (in the best possible way) lo-fi, fuzzed out punk attitude. There were riffs and hooks a plenty that completely passed me by last time, it may well be the smaller basement room that held their sound tons better than the epic hall of the Irish Centre. When TNV’s songs hit a groove with the riffs and noise flying around they really killed it, some of the tracks were a bit lacking in groove for me to really get down to but the rapid fire quick succession way they fired through the tracks kept the energy levels high. I’ve no idea what the songs were about, as is their way with obscuring the vocals in fuzz and walls of noise, which they even did with most of the stage banter with the audience. Times new Viking really won me over tonight, I wasn’t ready for that.





Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Meet Me In Saint Louis were a hell of a band and their debut and only album Variation On Swing has become a bit of a cult classic in certain circles and its easy to see why. So to celebrate its 2nd birthday I’m happy to feature this news story from their label Big Scary Monsters.

‘Thursday 24th September is MMISL Day; the 2nd anniversary of Meet Me In St Louis' debut album release. Everyone is urged to dig out their copy of the 'Variations On Swing', crank it up loud and pay their respects to this much-missed band.

To aid this process, Big Scary Monsters have re-printed one of MMISL's old t-shirt designs and are selling it, along with their 2006 debut 5 track EP, 'And With The Right Kind Of Eyes….. Get them both from

Happy MMISL Day for Thursday!’


Sunday, 20 September 2009

Shortstuff – Progression/Relapse/’A’ [Formant]

Badman Shorstuff is back again with his second solo 12” after the fantastic offering on Ramp. This platter for the Texan label Formant follows on from their last release by Hyetal perfectly and takes his broken tech infused sound into deeper territory, maybe deeper than we have ever seen him go before.

We open up with ‘Progression’ with its sweet and soulful hot butter popcorn bleeps and the broken grooves that Shortstuff does so well, it sounds like he’s taking the garage swing and twisting it into new shapes. The dubbed out echo’s smooth out his 8-bit synths and create some pent up dance floor energy.

The second track ‘Relapse’ almost has a boom-bap hip-hop feel to the beat, which is coupled with some big bass pressure that really adds tension to the piece. The synth lines here really remind me of early Planet Mu or Warp releases, they have that twisted echo drenched smeared sound. The melancholy bleeps of ‘A’ usher the 12” to a close in a melodic fashion. The rolling breaks and sweet bass tones make for a hypnotic listen.

This is some seriously nice work from Shortstuff it shows a deep and subtle side to his music, he’s shown he can spark off an energy rush with high-octane neon synths and pure dance floor tension but this takes us down a different road altogether, its one for the eyes down crew.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Wedge & Shadz - Running Away/Guido Remix [If Symptoms Persist]

Wedge’s label If Symptoms Persist drops one almighty bad boy as its 001 ‘Running Away’ is a slick R&B, MC infused slab of bass music, Shadz on the mic running through and Wedge on the buttons. Now Wedge has been a Bristol stalwart for some time now and a member of the almighty HENCH crew, you know the guys: Jakes, Komanazmuk, Headhunter, Whiteboi, etc... Not to mention his Sub FM show that’s been going for years, you can tune into that every other Tuesday 10-12 online worldwide and it often features big boys from the Bristol scene like Gemmy, Appleblim, Jakes and that only scratches the surface. The dudes busy mind, he also produces and this is the debut release on his very own If Symptoms Persist label.

First off you just have to give props to Shadz, just looking at his myspace he’s got 23 dates lined up from now until December at least. Now you don’t get that amount of bookings if you’re not THE shit especially in a place like Bristol with a thriving scene. And on ‘Running Away’ he takes it and makes it his own. He spits soulful vocals and big bars over some spaced out beats there is just a perfect mix of R&B, dubstep and smooth grime here.

The purple warrior Guido drops a rare remix, in fact this has to be one of the first remixes I’ve seen that bears his name and easily the first that’s available on a release you can actually buy. He turns up the subtle soul of the original by adding skipping beats and his own distinctive brand of purple drenched future soul, this really gives the whole track a different vibe. When the verse kicks in and the vocals of Shadz play off deep dubby descending bass motifs it’s enough to give any dance floor a kicking.

If Symptoms Persist looks to be a label to watch with some heavy weight producers rolling through and this 12” with Wedge, Shadz and Guido is no exception, big tracks from Bristol taking in futuristic bass tones from grime, R&B and dubstep to create a really unique vision.







Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Chickenhawk – A. Or Not? [Brew Records]

The follow up EP to the blistering debut self-titled album is here and it’s going to beat the living shit out of you or chase you round like a demented zombie at the very least, just see the video for proof of that. On ‘A. Or Not?’ we get three rip roaring slices of all out hardcore punk rocking attitude with plenty of hooks and heavy riffs, you know just the way we like it.

Opening track ‘I Hate This, Do You like It’ opens with schizo hyper discordant math guitar melodies before getting deep down low and dirty with the heavy chords, the drums pound and the vocals growl. They really remind me of Torche at times on this EP there is that heavy catchy Meanderthal thing going on. There’s so much energy here you just can’t help but nod your head, this shits infectious. ‘Son of Cern’ is anther brutally catchy number with scuzzy almost grunge like riffs and a breakdown that really brings the beast out in me. The twisting jarring riffs and pummelling drums really work well with the passionate vocal delivery. The low slung dirty grooves of ‘NASA Vs. ESA’ bring a grinding fuzzed out grizzly almost spaced out sound in the verses before ripping into some wicked double tracked vocal hooks in the chorus.

‘A. Or Not?’ just adds to the brilliance of the debut album, Chickenhawk rock like fuckers there is no doubt about it. This is a shot in the arm with pure primal energy if it doesn’t bring out the animal instinct in you even a little bit then I don’t know what to say.


Monday, 14 September 2009

Talons’ – Songs For Babes [MIE]

Sea Gulls and piano usher in Songs For Babes the solo project of Mike Talon from the wonderful Trouble Books. This is a more straightforward song based project compared to the home made found sound lo-fi pop of Trouble Books, it also sounds a lot more personal in fact these tracks are all to do with specific moments in Talons’ life, it’s a musical looking glass into one mans life. Yet he manages to make these personal themes into stories the listener can relate to. He really has a skill for weaving stories his writing style has this wonderful low-key intimate literary feel to them where he brings the emotion and drama out of normal everyday situations. This is helped beautifully by the nature of his sound, which involves playing with found sounds and traditional instrumentation to create a mixture of ambient drones, twinkles of playful electronics and an almost traditional indie or almost folk like sound.

Every track on Songs For Babes is named after a girl but they rarely veer into the traps hip-hop does, in fact it doesn’t happen at all not one of these songs are about booty its just not that kind of album. ‘Natalie’ is short and sweet, I mean the song I don’t know the girl… just piano and the sea, before the melodic acoustic guitar of ‘Maddy’ with subtle accents of sound one of which being a siren, the vocals are so subtle and understated, which gives the words ‘I’ll wait for you’ a real melancholic feel. Tape hiss ushers in the next track, ‘Erin’ along with some kind of drum machine that shuffles along under building shimmering guitar, warm synth sounds and double tracked vocals to great effect.

The songs are so linear and story-like instead of the traditional verse/chorus structures it’s kind of refreshing, he writes what he needs to write then moves along and if that means some tracks only reach just over a minuet then so be it. The mellow ‘Angela’ sounds like an ode to a one night stand, like a lo-fi indie D’Angelo the words, ‘sleeping with my hand round your waste, and I don’t even no your last name, I bury my face in the back of your long hair…’ are sung with such beauty that it really echoes the moment that’s both so intimate and full of a nervous curiosity that you’ve ended up in bed with someone you don’t know the second name of.

Rain and footsteps pitter-patter behind gentle acoustic melodies on the instrumental, ‘Rachel’ with chimes and keys. The way he uses found sounds and field recordings is just brilliant it was always something I enjoyed with the Trouble Books stuff. ‘Mich’ is no exception as more rain and a motorbike open it up before subtle accordion, guitar and lyrics about really wanting to go and give someone special a lift because its raining, then the door slams and he’s gone… The epic centre piece ‘Juice’ clocking in at about five minuets about walking in the autumn with someone close, the lyrics ‘the birds are singing you said its natures ring tone’ standout while a beautiful looped and tweaked toy box twinkle accents the low-key guitar melodies that get stretched into wonderful tones that drone and shift into a gently moving bed of sound.

‘Sam’ is a mad track that starts with cymbals and small feedback loops while talking about watching castaway and not giving a shit, bored somewhere at work. Then going home and talking about paying bills before we get a smidgen of hope with the phrase ‘I hope she wins the lottery’ before all hell breaks loose in a toy box electro ride of wonder, like the gleeful end sequence to an old computer game. We are soon into a world of sadness again on ‘Taz’ about a girl brining up some children when they’ve been thrown out of their house, the finale of the track with subtle group vocals is kind of cool though despite the message. The folky plucks of ‘Cole’, which is a track about leaving a job but you’ve not told the people you work with yet and you’re at a party with them, is another subject you don’t hear much of but works surprisingly well. The subtle tones of ‘Lula’ with its busy crackle low in the mix and floaty free flowing melodies takes you into the final track, ‘Sommer’ with the playful opening of ‘maybe we could build a fort’ its probably the most jaunty of tracks and finishes things well.

The Bark and Hiss / MIE axis of sound has struck low-key gold again in this very personal album Songs For Babes, Talons’ has created a snapshot of his life full of mini stories and moments to share with us and it comes off really well without you ever feeling like your intruding. The lyrics are subtle and just try and find a bit of beauty and humour in everyday things instead of being over bearing, personal and emotional, which can be a worry when you get a solo very much acoustic indie record. Talons’ steers away from all that though and is all the better for it. This is an album you can really enjoy for its relaxing atmosphere and really open nature, you can relate to the small dramas that unfold with every listen or just sink into the mesmerising yet simple instrumentation, wonderful.





Saturday, 12 September 2009

Lost From Atlas – EP

Young as yet unsigned York three-piece Lost From Atlas are quite easily my favourite local band. They play a tight post-rock instrumental indie rock hybrid in the vain of American Football, Owls or Cap’n Jazz you know those Kinsella bands with the technical melodic tappy guitar style that sounds so distinctive, you know the stuff it often twists and turns from section to section changing time signatures or at least the perception of time signatures by flipping the groove and switching up or breaking down, I guess you could call it math-rock. It’s quite hard to pin down and that’s what I like about, there is a free flowing energy to it all that gets quite addictive. Now I’m not sure these bands I’ve mentioned above are the main influence I’ve not asked… but it they may well be in debt, well not in debt but you know inspired by some of the new school adopters of this sound, you know the likes of This Town Needs Guns and Meet Me In St. Louis from the Big Scary Monster rosters or the more post-rock crowd like Tera Melos, 65daysofstatic or even more well known types like Foals or Battles. Which is music that has been a source of enjoyment for me for some time now so when I accidentally stumble upon Lost From Atlas doing their thing so well in my local venues then it’s defiantly something I want to support.

The demo EP was recorded in a home studio in a live and sexy way just drums, bass and guitar. Just five tracks long it’s a taster of things to come and captures the bands performance well. Just like in the live sets there is no let up, tracks melt into each other in one continues energetic, twisting piece of work. They are all very competent musicians and the music can be pretty technical at times but they don’t veer into guitar wank outs, you can tell this music comes out of wanting to make an interesting physical experience rather than cranking out the wank for the sake of it. The stripped back grooves, melodic shimmering guitars and tight bass are all they need to create some quality songs.

The CD or download opener ‘Interlude 1’ is a cracker plus after hearing it live it has to be one of my favourites just for the guitar technique I like to call ‘The Ball Scratcher’ where the volume nob is opened and closed while plucking to create a kind of gated lfo type effect... if I’ve got my synth speak correct, I can’t think of another way of saying it apart from that’s ‘The Ball Scratcher’ as it really does look like he’s playing and well you get the idea... The demo also features a live version of ‘Smalltown Gypsy Massacre’ which has some really nice harmonics that ring out in a melodic fashion before they throw some rock shapes with some stop start bursts of riffs and a tapped out disco section. Maybe the highlight of the demo for me though is ‘Tom Robinson Must Die!’ a remix of this also appears on the CD with housey piano’s and a peak time indie remix feel, it’s a pretty good effort really but the original is the one for me. A catchy melodic opening with a nice bouncy, breezy feel kicks it off before some scratchy riffs pick up the pace a little. The spaced out mid section is a treat too with fast tappy parts and tight locked grooves, things really build when the riffs get rocking again though and before you know it a full on chorus of gang vocals take the track higher and its over.

Lost From Atlas are currently unsigned, playing many gigs and recording their debut album in a home studio. But for now you can download their debut EP either from their myspace or bellow.

Lost From Atlas – EP


Thursday, 10 September 2009

Pausal – Pausal EP [Highpoint Lowlife]

Is the summer over? Well if it is this new EP from ambient outfit Pausal will usher in the autumn with ease, as the beautiful crisp leaves on the front cover suggest this is music full of hushed autumnal tones. These manifest themselves in drones and collages of sound that sooth and mesmerise. Pausal is made up of Alex who’s solo project Alpine. I’ve featured before and Simon, two good friends from rural Hampshire with a passion for recording. The duo have shared bills with the likes of Stars Of The Lid and Grouper to name but a few and this is the re-mastered re-release of their 2007 EP with added material.

The hum of twilight ushers in the opening track ‘Heroes=Dogs’, distant recordings of wildlife play under ebbing drones. The music sounds orchestral, the way everything flows so subtly as one drone picks up where the other left and layers immerge are just wonderful Pausal know how to hypnotise. If you’ve enjoyed the wonderful GAS albums then this could well be for you. The melancholic violins of ‘Song From A Cloth Pocket’ resonate with a shimmering beauty, its ambiance at its most laid back. There is something slightly Selected Ambient Works about this track. You can almost feel the atmosphere you get just after the sun has set and the full darkness is yet to come in this music, the sound of life slowing down and resting after a long day. There is a very natural feel to Pausal everything is so organic it sounds like its so embedded in the world around us, like they’ve tapped into it and brought it out in song. The two additional tracks end the EP the first being ‘Place (Revisited)’ which has apparently been tweaked a little and a new track taken from the same recording sessions as the original 2007 material ‘Sami Submerged’. The former is full of subtle orchestral swells and beautiful drawn out reverb-drenched drones that ring with a vibrant shimmering colour. The closer is so atmospheric the way it starts just suggests a space, a hazy space in which these orchestral drones edge slowly closer.

Pausal have created a beautifully subtle EP that is just perfect to mull over in the early evening with the lights low, you can play it loud or immerse yourself in it with headphones late into the night either way the music takes you away with it and is immensely relaxing. The group are currently recording their debut LP, which is pencilled in for release in the winter and I for one look forward to how they progress.

Pausal – Pausal EP [Highpoint Lowlife] MP3 & FLAC £3



Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo/Wet Look [Hotflush]

The debut release for newcomer Joy Orbison on the superb Hotflush label has caused quite a stir. Much has been said about Hyph Mngo already, there’s a buzz around it and rightly so it’s an epic hands in the air end of the night euphoric anthem but I really can’t be bothered to go into the whole Wob Vs. Hyph argument here about the state of dubstep today. So lets talk music…

Hyph Mngo is a bright shining track that takes simple elements and shapes them into a track grater than the sum of its parts. An organ riff, cut up female diva vocal snippets and skipping bass heavy drums combine to make a simple and effective dance floor anthem. An epic intro gives way to all these elements that just build and build in a dance floor glow. It’s hard not to raise a smile it has that end of night euphoric I’ve had to much MDMA, shit eating grin sort of vibe to it. In the right hands at the right moment this track will create some joyous dance floor moments.

Wet Look takes things on a darker deper tip fusing garage-esq bumping beats and sweeping, glowing synth pads that get filtered and tweaked into energetic shapes. The mantra ‘I’m falling…’ echos out, repeats and eventually resolves itself in ‘I’m falling and I can’t hold back’, which gives this roller a slightly lonesome melancholy feel that really works with the colourful synth shapes. Hyph might be getting the headlines but Wet Look stands its ground with ease and makes sure that if the hype means that Mngo gets rinsed the 12” will have endless playback value. There is no doubt, plenty to come from Joy Orbison he’s certainly got the skills his beats are a breath of fresh air.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Copy Haho / Lost From Atlas / The Spills @ Basement Bar, York. 3rd September 2009

The Basement Bar in York tonight has a nice line-up not only do we get two fine young bands from our region but the Big Scary Monster signed Copy Haho from Scotland too. Their EP Bred For Skills & Magic has to be up their for my proverbial best all out indie EP of the year award, if it existed anyway… Local lads Lost From Atlas supporting with their mathematical instrumental stylings, but more on them later I’ve got a review of their demo going up on this very blog soon. Before all that though the night opens with a band I’ve not seen before, Wakefield’s indie rockers The Spills.

I settle in with a pint to melodic sounds of The Spills, their sound is somewhere between an indie rock jangle and more a more rocky sound. The track ‘Oh My Days’ was a belter as was the final two of their set, the names of which escape me.

Lost From Atlas brought many fans with them and played a wicked set of tappy indie/post/rock instrumentals with that addictive clean sound that I kind of like to call gleamo. I’ll talk more about this lot at a later date as the demo is very good indeed and it deserves its own post. But they looked like they were enjoying themselves and it was a tight performance with plenty of locked grooves, chops and changes plus many hypnotic moments dispersed with some rock out sessions, I say rock out sessions you wont be getting a circle pit going here and not only because The Basement Bar hasn’t got the room for it. The more I see them the more I enjoy it.

Now for the main event on this quite night in York, Copy Haho as I’ve mentioned before have made one of my favourite all out indie rock ep’s of the year and these Scots easily lived up to that hype in the flesh. On record they have more of a jangle but here there was a raw edge to it all, with plenty of fuzz and noise. This may well have been the room’s fault, it was a bit of a mission to pick the vocals out some of the time but this didn’t detract from the performance for me there was to much energy in the sound to keep my head nodding. There were plenty of highlights including the fantastic ‘Puling Push Ups’, ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Cutting Out The Bad’. Copy Haho came across as a right laugh as well as proper nice guys it was a pleasure to hear them, thoroughly enjoyable.






Friday, 4 September 2009

Vladislav Delay – Tummaa [Leaf]

Sasu Ripatti the man behind Vladislav Delay and many other projects only came to my attention recently while listening to the fantastic Vertical Accent by the Moritz Von Oswald Trio, which has to be one of the most compelling albums to reach my ears this year. Well… he plays percussion on that album and to my delight I was contacted by Leaf telling me he does more than just that and in fact had a new album out entitled Tummaa, so I jumped at the chance to listen. Much like Vertical Accent this is an ambient infusion of electronics with a live jazz feel to it, but unlike said album this is less techno driven. Here he builds beautiful glitchy soundscapes out of acoustic sounds that are shaped into new electronically tinted compositions that sound so organic and alive.

Vladislav Delay isn’t alone on this album, the group that made Tummaa include Argentinean musician Lucio Capence on clarinet and sax, plus Scottish composer Craig Armstrong on piano and Rhodes. The tracks here are often very rhythmical, which makes sense considering Ripatti is a jazz percussionist and apparently recorded the drum parts first before the others joined him to complete the piece. Apparently Tummaa means dark or darkness, which does indeed suit the albums atmosphere and as he explains, “I worked on the album during ‘kaamos’ time of the year in Finland. Kaamos time really gets dark from December to February where you only have few hours of light per day. I really liked that and the whole winter enormously”.

The album opens with the moody and almost industrial at times ‘Melankolia’, which could well sound track an old film where a detective creeps around in the darkness looking for clues at a grizzly murder scene. Glitchy percussion and electronics flail around as a piano gets tweaked into view. You can really hear the jazz influences everything has a warm live feel of a band rather than a cold studio composition. There is a real dynamic range to this music the hushed sections sooth and the tracks really build into subtle crescendos that you sometimes don’t even realise are happening until your deep inside them.

The dubby melodic almost lounge lizard keys that open ‘Kuula (Kitos)’ that get stretched into reverb drenched shapes are truly mesmerising, but this track really kicks off in the mid section with other worldly synths that have this disturbing industrial vibe, yet underneath you get this beautiful light melody that keeps creeping in and out.

The liquid gloops of ‘Mustelmia’ made up of bouncy percussion and down right dirty low sax blows is a joy to listen to. You hear instruments sometimes and you wonder how the hell they got them to sound like they do, Tummaa is full of those moments everything sounds so familiar yet all at once so alien.

The almost mechanical pulse of ‘Toive’ has a nice dubby crunch to it under all the mellow droning melodies, this one is a slow burner that just builds subtly and gets under your skin. The bass really stands out on this one too, a groove starts to form its like a fucked up dancehall track by the end. The dub elements of Vladislav Delay’s music work so well with the organic jazz instrumentation and found sound electronica. The percussion is almost coincidental at times, like he’s recreating everyday movements and activity rather than full on rhythms.

Tummaa is a wonderful, subtle piece of work. The dark nocturnal atmospheres make for an engaging listen. If you’re a fan of jazz, electronica and maybe even dub and techno of an ambient nature then there is plenty here to keep you coming back for more. Vladislav Delay has created something really interesting here, which is both dark and almost jarring at times. Some of the soundscapes really do creep on you and almost make you feel like your in some kind of beautiful yet twisted film.




Download: Vladislav Delay – Melankolia (Edit)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Indigo – Fading / Hatti Vatti Ft. Sara Brylewska – Different Music [Mindset]

Mindset are here with platter number five this time featuring Indigo with a slab of rolling and loved up future garage on one side and a deep and bassy cut by Hatti Vatti featuring the vocal talents of Sara Brylewska.

Fading is a dubbed out almost techno-like dubstep meets garage cut with sublime pads and some percussion to die for, those bongo accents roll out and get you shaking. The bass has some weight to it that’s for sure, it grooves along with the kick in almost soca like fashion. The garage vibes come in the form an injection of cut up female vocals and it really tops off this track in style.

Different Music drops on a different tip, it’s a heads down mellow and spaced out vocal cut they come off sounding like a cross between Nina Simone and Appleblim. The deep techy vibes roll on by as the vocals take you into a different headspace.

Both tracks here are a welcome addition to any deep and techy dubstep heads record bag. Mindset are bringing the quality yet again, it’s a 12” that oozes with late night energy its sure to hypnotise in the dance.




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