Monday, 31 May 2010


Mixing live in the attic… Playing some dubstep, grime, garage, uk funky, house, techno, skweee, hip-hop, electronica, beats, bass new and old.

Bank holiday boogie.

Lock in:

Live Videos by Ustream

Listen again here:

First part of the set got lost in the technicals.


Instra:mental – Let’s Talk [Naked Lunch]
Kowton – Hunger [Idle Hands]
Actress – Machine and Voice [Non Plus+]
Kyle Hall – Luv 4 KMFH [Wild Oats]
Julio Bashmore – World Peace [Dirtybird]
Instra:mental – Leave It All Behind [Apple Pips]
Sylvester – Rock The Box (Dub) [Cool Tempo]
Acidwolf – Blue Morning Drive [030303]
Der Zyklus – Formenverwandler [International Deejay Gigolo’s]
Kraftwerk – Expo 2000 (Underground Resistance Mix) [EMI]
Mount Kimbie – Surged (FaltyDL Remix) [Hotflush]
A Made Up Sound – Sun Touch [A Made Up Sound]
DVA – Natty [Hyperdub]
Doc Daneeka – Deadly Rhythm [PNT]
Ikonika – Idiot (Altered Natives Remix) [Hyperdub]
T.Williams – Flooring [Local Action]
A Made Up Sound – Alarm [A Made Up Sound]
Hanuman – Bola (Atki2 Remix) [Idle Hands]
T.Williams – Anthem [Local Action]
Altered Natives – Raaaatid Einstien [Fresh Minute Music]
DVA – Ganja [Hyperdub]
DJ Rush – Cruising [Dance Mania]
R1 Ryders – Rubberband VIP [R1 Records]
MJ Cole – Thekla Riddim [Prolific]
Lil Silva – A Million [Night Slugs]
Perempay & Dee - Buss It [White]
DJ NG ft. Katy B – Tell Me (Club Mix) [Data]
Emvee – Glitch Dub [Wireblock]
MJ Cole ft. Serocee – AO (MJs Open Your Gob Dubb) [Prolific]
Bok Bok ft. Bubbz – Citizens Dub [Blunted Robots]
Marcus Price & Carli – Var E Naaaken (Bok Bok Remix) [Palms Out Sound]
Girl Unit – IRL [Night Slugs]
Addison Groove – Dumb Shit [Swamp 81]
Ramadanman – Glut [Hemlock]
Rossi B & Luca – E10 Riddim [Planet Mu]
Africa Hitech – Blen [Warp]
Brackles – Lizard [Apple Pips]
Untold – Flexible [BRAiNMATH]
Blawan – Fram [Hessel Audio]
Shortstuff & Mickey Pearce – Tripped Up [Ramp]
Egyptrixx – Hexagon Ya [Aaahh! Real Monsters]
Terror Danjah – Acid [Hyperdub]
Swindle – Air Miles [Planet Mu]
James Blake – CMYK [R&S]
Guido – Mad Sax [Punch Drunk]
Otis Reading – (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay [Atlantic]


Friday, 28 May 2010

LV ft. Josh Idehen – ‘38 EP’ [Keysound]

LV have a sound all their own, the three man production team make a subtle digital dub music that has its roots firmly in the dub tradition all while pushing forward into territories unknown. Having released slow burning gems on Hyperdub, Hemlock and 2nd Drops to name but a few they hook up with Dusk & Blackdown’s Keysound recordings for a concept record inspired by the #38 bus route out of Clapton. Vocalist Josh Idehen takes on the persona of five separate passengers, spitting street poetry from their points of view. Sitting somewhere between the urban dread and decay of Kode9 and Spaceape’s beat-less ‘Sine Of The Dub’ or a less post apocalyptic version of ‘London Zoo’ by The Bug, LV carve a more human, free flowing niche that echoes Gil Scott-Heron as much as it does London’s bass continuum.

With its infectious dub bounce and flow ‘Lost’ is a highlight right from the off. The opening lines “It’s obvious you don’t get on with this metropolis” roll of Josh’s tongue with ease, taking cues from grime but with an altogether looser flow. You’re soon hooked and ready to explore the city’s characters on the #38. The track plays off the tension between people trying to get on with the city and how it sometimes seems to be working against you. The dark brooding nature of ‘Early Mob’ with its nocturnal beats, sounds like something taken from Thomas Bangalter’s soundtrack to French revenge flick Irréversible, only more dub-wise. With lyrics about rolling with your crew and feeling like you own the place, a nonchalant swagger and pent up aggression. It’s a raw, menacing ride. The beat on ‘Your Coat’ comes off like a hybrid of digital dub and deep house, with flowing melodies and rolling four to the floor kicks. Josh lets loose here, unleashing an unhinged flow. Its infectious, those beats shimmy against the bass tones to create a bumpin’ number. The flip is more laid back, ‘Walk It’ rolls with a subtle head nodding dub vibe and free flowing rhyming over the lounge lizard Rhodes chords and conga rhythms. ‘Face Of God’, with its live sounding dub bass plucks and R&B finger clicks punctuating the bittersweet soul of the airy pads and heartbeat percussion ends the EP with a blissful vibe, musically at least. The vocals deal with religious beliefs and free associations to do with life, death and judgement.

Keysound often explore the culture of London via its bass led excursions, Dusk & Blackdown’s own Margins Music took us on a ride through the fringes of the city and this EP feels like it follows on from that. LV and Josh Idehen bring the #38 bus route to life echoing the city’s atmosphere and people. Painting a sonic picture with words and sound even if you’re not familiar with the places it’s like a street bass novella. LV’s productions are creepers, getting under your skin with their subtle vibes, but this EP might be their most realised, instant and engaging yet all while keeping that depth and musical vision.

LV ft. Josh Idehen ‘38’ EP Promomix

Originally written for Sonic Router.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Pursuit Grooves – Fox Trot Mannerisms [Tectonic]

Tectonic are one of the staples in the dubstep scene a label that has been doing it since day one showcasing some of the deepest and darkest sounds from the raw and rolling to techno inspired gems, a diverse spectrum for sure but until now they hadn’t really released anything that wasn’t dubstep, even the slower dub techno numbers by 2562 or the trippy soul of Flying Lotus fit the loose genre tag dubstep has become be it in tempo or vibe. Well Pursuit Grooves changes that: Vanese Smith The Brooklyn producer/MC/vocalist makes a soulful broken house hybrid that oozes with a hypnotic charm that could fit anywhere between the loose touchstones of Kyle Hall’s Detroit techno or the UK hip-hop hybrid of Floating Points. Fox Trot Mannerisms…

We open with ‘Pressure’, a looping piano number that rolls to a bumpy pulse and ebbs from jazzy and sublime to raw and punchy the whole time. She jumps from rapping to singing with ease, ridding the wonked-out beat with a woozy atmospheric flow. The buzzing bassline of ‘Start Something’ growls and bubbles against some bumpin’ beats before switching groove, like a spaced out jazz variant on grime. Much like Kyle Halls recent Hyperdub release, the track ‘Mr Softee’ feels like dubstep despite not really being it at all. It’s the clattering drums, big base, dubbed out vibe and warm fuzzy synths that do it.

A highlight has to be the deeply hypnotic ‘Shabaps’, which has this airy, hyper-soul feel to it. Drum machines drop cowbells and claves into spaced out vocal samples, before melting into an addictive groove and luscious synth pads. It makes me melt… ‘Whisper’ is pure gold too taking that woozy future soul into a shimmering melancholic avenue of sound, that breaks out of creepy film samples and brain clattering drum frequencies. The sound of hip-hop and house beamed into deep space. The vibe continues with ‘Tweezers’, which has a mellow jacking feel to it. Chopped up samples twisting and looping into hypnotic shapes. The closer, ‘Cosey’ which just keeps those drum grooves rolling and the spaced out synths shimmering like Detroit techno lost in time.

A hypnotic set of tracks that ooze soul and raw energy brought on by the samples and drums, they loop with an intensity and power that offsets the spaced out charm of her synths and vocals brilliantly. Pursuit Grooves brings something really different and pretty addictive to Tectonic with Fox Trot Mannerisms, recommended.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Moments in Space

Sometimes I don’t have time to talk about everything I want to, often videos and random links don’t get shared on Sonic Minefield, as I like to keep this space for words. This made me set up xpldr on tumblr: a news feed of sorts for this site where I could quickly put up links and share them via a RSS feed on Sonic Minefield and Twitter. Sometimes to remind myself to write about them later and others to just spread them around a bit more to anyone watching, so here are some of my recent favourite posts…

Listen: DJ Roc – The Crack Album (Via. Nasty Sonix)

Hype: ‘A resurrected DJ mix/album by DJ Roc, originally called ‘Juke City: The Crack Capital’ I believe, from a long gone internet archive/stream, pieced together lovingly by Drilla’. Juke’s raw energy is doing it for me right now.

Watch: JME & Tempa T – CD Is Dead

JME always brings it differently; his simple wordplay creeps up on you until you find yourself shouting ‘serious’ at passers by from your car. Tempz keeps it minimal too on this grime beat that seems to take inspiration from electro when it was electro (raw drum machines and synth bass) not lame chart fodder and blog house. Not quite as catchy as ‘Over Me’ but solid none the less.

Watch: Redlight ft. Roses Gabor - Stupid [Digital Soundboy]

Rough and slinky, the fine line UK funky walks when it’s at its best is pulled off in style here with an official video and forthcoming release on d’n’b lable Digital Soundboy. Big gnarly bass and R&B vocals keep the dance floor moving.

Watch: Golau Glau - ‘Held’

One of my favourite unsigned Silver Pop act has been moved by the current election enough to make some tracks, ‘Held’ sees them place footage from old party political broadcasts to their music. More from them on Sonic Minefield always.

Watch: Rude Kid – Jack Daniels

Massive grime instrumental gets an official video. The first I’d ever seen and the heads could only offer up Skepta’s DTI as another example from grime’s closet too.

Mix: Geiom for Soul Motive

GeiomixbySoul Motive

From Wolf Eyes to Sticky in minuets via Hizatron and more, I don’t need to say much here its Geiom…

Watch: Trim – Monkey

One of my favourite MCs drops a massive track complete with hood video. I love it when Trim goes in on a dirty swaggering beat, ‘Hands on my goolies’.

Listen: Slackk – Eski House Mix founder keeps it raw with some Eski House renditions for Lower End Spasam. Taking inspiration from early grime legends like Wiley, Ruff Squad, Jammer and god knows who else to create a UK Funky variant that vibes off all that energy.

Watch: Ill Blue’s ‘Youtube Master Piece’…

Huge sounding track that will hopefully find its way out eventually. The rolling drums are too much, and that bass is just stupid.

Watch: Sun Araw – Deep Cover

DEEP COVER - SUN ARAW from CatCakes on Vimeo.

Super dubbed out and psychedelic rock jam from Not Not Fun’s Sun Araw. Heavy Deeds was a big album for me last year and this new track keeps that trend going.

Listen: oOoOO


Slow motion syrup drenched lo-fi indie leaning electronica from the mysterious oOoOO, who I picked up from uber hip blog xxjfgs: who re-ignited my love for indie-geddon blogs no end, oh and they put up a killed mix by Darkstar late last year.

Watch: Dot Rotten – The Rotten Club News Report (Woo Riddim)

Dot Rotten has been one of my favourite MCs along with Trim, Durrty Goodz, D Double E and P Money for some time, Wiley too just for releasing his old instrumentals… The Woo Riddim has caught MCs attention, D Double E has killed it and so has Dot, I still can’t decide who’s is on top. Dot’s seems so personal and full of drama, plus he’s made an official video so he’s got to be the one for now, you also download it as part of Logan Sama’s Still Keepin It Grimy Mixtape. Hopefully D Double E will drop his sometime…

That’s it for now…

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Illum Sphere – Go Killum/Technopolis/Titan [3024]

The eighth release on Martyn’s 3024 label comes from Manchester beat maker Illum Sphere who has been responsible for some killer off-centre hip-hop instrumentals for the likes off Fat City and the Hoya:Hoya club night, which has been joining the dots between the fringes of dubstep and hip-hop in fine style with the likes Martyn rubbing shoulders with Flying Lotus, Dam-Funk and Ikonika to name but a few that have passed through it’s doors. It’s his second outing on 3024 after remixing Martyn’s beat-less surge ‘Brilliant Orange’ from what was essentially a segway on his fantastic album Great Lengths, but in Illum’s hands it was flipped and extended into a full, pulsing, emotional slab of atmospheric beat work and this platter carries on in that vain.

The crackle fest that is ‘Go Killum’ gets things off to a good start, fitting somewhere between Flying Lotus, Actress and Kyle Hall, bumpin’ with a skeletal warm soundsystem funk. The sound of being lost, driving around a city at night. Light trails fly past, your apprehensive but feel at home in your motor, heaters on stereo turned up.

The low-slung magic of ‘Technopolis’ isn’t to dissimilar to the Flying Lotus workout ‘Disco Balls’ from Hyperdub’s ‘5’ compilation: Off-kilter slow and punchy house grooves and a funky as hell synth bass groove that has that warm tweaked-out buzz. This is an altogether more spaced out affair though, putting emphasis on the crackle, atmospheric pads and jazz-house subtleties. The drums get the head nodding as layers of sub bass squirm in all directions… The energetic synth surges of ‘Titan’ pick up the pace and bring a dose of euphoria to the platter. Digital crickets chirp like sprites in a computer game night scene as you hurtle past, windows down, hair blowing, bass rumbling into the distance.

A slab of hi-tech soul from 3024, Illume Sphere keeps it warm and loose. The sound of the city on a muggy night when everything seems to be buckling under the heat, a heavy atmosphere that only lifts every time a breeze blows past elusively or you hit 50 mph in a 30 zone.

Originally written for Sonic Router.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Mandelbrot – Effect/Delay [Highpoint Lowlife]

Highpoint Lowlife makes a slight departure with this one, unleashing some noisy guitar drenched splattergedon and forgoing the electronica for a moment with an album from Keung Mandelbrot. He’s gone for the one take fly by the seat of your pants approach utilising the ‘10 fingers, 6 strings, 18 pedals, and no overdubs’ method to record the four tracks, which veer from the sublime and dreamy to the raw and abrasive sometimes all at once.

Opening track ‘Effect/Delay’ filters in with a riff that quickly descends into noisy loops and burnt out psychedelics. Layers of sound rush in all directions, dissident but with an otherworldly beauty and purpose: Like a noisier extended guitar solo that got out of hand from the Pixies track ‘Vamos’ and accidentally came loose from its hyper-punk ties as Santiago got more and more adventurous, attaching a rocket to his guitar which then drifted off into orbit, and they’ve just let it go… to have a life of its own floating up there never to return to the lucrative business of rocking stadiums as a reformed cult band’s favourite solo.

The extraterrestrial vibes continue on ‘Hope/Delay’ – Blissful loops and twinkling soundscapes surge into a dissident wall of noise before melting out of the intensity into an altogether more sinister, melancholy plateau, which again gives way to surges of blistering sound. Post-rock progressions and noise drenched passages sit side by side in an ever-evolving cycle of sound. The otherworldly charm only broken by the uneasy atmosphere of ‘Nervous/Delay’, which really does live up to its name: nagging tonal glitches buzz and tweak into different shapes. It’s the sonic opposite to the dreamy moments on Effect/Delay and maybe too much for some but the mood quickly switches as the smouldering ‘Twilight/Delay’ creeps into action: the frazzled guitar sounds like a burnt out mess of wires. Firing on empty cylinders before burning out into bursts of noise, from exhausted struggle to final exhilarating push. It’s something to behold, a slow moving cathartic release executed in style.

Effect/Delay is an experimental noise record that still manages to sound accessible, for every abrasive face splattering section there is another of melodic bliss. It never feels self-indulgent either. Mandelbrot keeps it dynamic with ever shifting moods and subtle progressions, holding your interest the whole time playing with your emotions with a visceral sonic pallet. A mesmerising set piece showing versatility and vision but overall an engaging ride.

Buy: Mandelbrot – Effect/Delay [Highpoint Lowlife]

Monday, 10 May 2010

Quack Quack – Slow As An Eyeball [Cuckundoo Records]

Summer is fast approaching and whether the sun shines or you want to try and tease it out from behind the clouds, as you have to do sometimes in the UK… The soundtrack could well be made by Quack Quack a three piece from Leeds that consists of members from local bands: Bilge Pump and Two Minuet Noodles and Chops. Together they make an interesting sound that fits somewhere between breezy sun drenched indie pop, tropical party music and African township funk with a pinch of jazz, all done in an instrumental fun time party post-rock kind of way. All by utilising bass, keys and drums they keep it stripped back and to the point, keeping it freewheeling but never to cluttered. They remind me of another favourite Leeds band The Dragon Rapide, who are long gone now but had a similar breezy way of doing things all be it through different means. This is Quack Quack’s debut album: Slow As An Eyeball…

After an eerier opening with the slow and spaced out beach jam ‘Perpetual Spinach’ one of the first highlights has to be ‘D Motherfucker D’, which you can grab free bellow. Looping organ riffs, sounding like reverberating tappy guitar hooks swirl in all direction and play off the funk created by the drums and bass. This joyous, yet laid-back approach continues on ‘Three’, which has a playful edge to it. They also keep the rhythms varied and jazzy, to keep the flow interesting and make you want to move, this works brilliantly on ‘Phonehenge’, oh yeah the track titles bring a smile to your face too. The skipping twilight funk jam ‘Big Sounds’, keeps things bouncing with an infectious bassline and rolling drums before sliding into nocturnal space-jazz and back again.

When the organ is really unleashed like on ‘Bird Parliament’ or ‘Toc H’ Quack Quack can come across as a cleaner, lighter sounding Sun Araw without the hazy weight of the world heaviness, they really bringing out a 70s-esq-psyche/prog element to great effect. They even branch out into a Rhubarb and Custard on a sunny day outing soundtrack on ‘Cakes Are Easy. The almost-title track ‘As Slow As An Eyeball’ really ups the pace, as quick fire drum patterns play off swirling keyboard melodies. You also get a surprise appearance from some mad sax and drums by Seb Rochford and Pete Wareham from Polar Bear/Acoustic Ladyland, they bring an extra bag of energy to the track it makes for an outstanding highlight. ‘Jack Of None’ finishes the album off in fine style too, keeping that momentum going with yet more sax and guitars bringing a heavy party atmosphere, like Acoustic Ladyland from another dimension populated mainly by psychedelic beach parties.

Slow As An Eyeball is a very enjoyable album that oozes fun. Quack Quack are a solid band that have a quirky, joyous sound that stay the right side of cheese at all times. Come and join a tropical party there is room for everyone.

Download: Quack Quack – Jack of None (via. rcrdlbl)

Quack Quack - D Motherfucker D by cuckundoo

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Ikonika – Contact, Want, Love, Have [Hyperdub]

The Mega Drive generation has been in full effect in recent years, people who grew up with 8-bit bleep tones engrained on their brains from bashing buttons and chasing pixels have been translating those influences into their art. You can hear this ‘PlayStation boogie’ in the ever-blurring fringes of the dubstep scene, its been devouring the bleeps like a ghost chased Pacman and showing it off with pride. Not only that though it’s all being twisted through other influences and that makes it a hard album to pin down, she’s got a unique voice that touches on so much and comes out in directions that are hard to imagine. You get the upfront playfulness of modern R&B and the sweet syrupy bleep funk of Skweee or the aforementioned computer game soundtracks playing off the dark, heavy bass weight of dubstep and a diverse rhythm-scape that seems to feed on anything from skippy garage to tough and rough uk funky hybrids via a hardcore punk sensibility. Ikonika’s debut 12” with the addictive and sinuous ‘Please’ really got me hooked back in 2008 and her debut album in 2010 does the same.

Power up with ‘Ikonoklast (insert coin)’ and before you know it ‘Idiot’ is unleashed on you, this dropped on a 12” recently with a fantastic Altered Natives remix that strips back the hyperactive bleeps and bumps up the chunky house funk vibes, it’s a killer track… The original bubbles with energy and comes alive on dance floors thanks to its bouncy bassline all while it leaves it’s Gameboy hook in your head for days. The epic, sweeping synth lines of ‘Yoshimitsu’ and the slow burning, ‘Fish’ with there subtly shifting melodic patterns feel like your sinking into a sea of neon bliss, the latter especially has been one that always seems to creep into my sets. The drums skip, bubble and roll around the ebbing digital tide perfectly.

The massively heavy and spaced out ‘R.E.S.O.O.L.’, which turns out to be looser backwards is one of those tracks you didn’t see coming. Its got all the hallmarks of her sound but twists them in a way I couldn’t predict, a pixelated Godzilla attach that grinds, growls and swirls with mysterious melody. The dark 80s/90s-esq synth workout ‘They Are All Loosing The War’ feels like grime work its way back in a time machine to a techno rave in a dark warehouse. The next two may be familiar if you’ve been following Ikonika: ‘Millie’ has been a favourite of mine for a while; the twisted off-kilter woozy synth patterns bounce off the deep bass tones perfectly. And the beats go from punchy half step and rock-like to pumping energy fuelled dance floor shakers. ‘Sarah Michael’ appeared on the ‘5’ compilation last year, it’s a track that has grown on me considerably. When the bass drops it kicks a hell of a punch and those Street Fighter-esq melodies really work their way under your skin. ‘Continue?’ really does remind you of the moment in a game where you die and have to choose to reboot or give up, but with this album it’s an easy choice. Keep rolling…

The latter half of the album gets more percussive, taking pointers from uk funky’s hard soca bump. It’s an influence that’s really taking hold in the dubstep scene over the last few years probably thanks to its addictiveness in the dance, and Ikonika takes on this influence with ease. ‘Heston’ bumps hard with digi-snares, claps and kicks that make you want to shake it alongside roller-rink melodies and deep comforting bass, it’s a subtle one. The hard hitting ‘Psoriasis’ reminds me of Lil Silva the uk funky don with his square-wave synths and raw grimy dance floor power, filtered through the Ikonika prism of bleeps and short circuits. ‘Video’ Delays’ takes those chunky house drums and off-sets it with hypnotic Bladerunner synth lines. The last push comes in the form of ‘Look (final boss stage)’, which has that Lil Silva vibe again, tough grimy and fun. ‘Red Marker Pens (good ending)’ ebbs and flows with a melodic kind of bliss channelled through the swirling pads, synths and hypnotic bass tones.

Contact, Want, Love, Have is a seriously addictive album. I’ve been to busy playing it to bother writing about it, but it has to be done or I’d feel like something is missing. It’s a really fun coherent piece and the first full-length artist album to showcase the bleepy synth led direction that Hyperdub have been playing with over the last few years. Ikonika makes a world of her own here, there are some kind of boundaries set up somewhere but she moves freely between them, keeping things interesting and diverse within her distinct sound. The way the music progresses from bumps and bleeps to smeared syrup drenched passages is pretty addictive. The melodies are so catchy and the bass so hard it’s like she’s mutated things so much that some kind of new hardcore-pop-r&b-hyper-dance hybrid has been created where the lead singer has been replaced by synths and everything has been cranked up for maximum enjoyment.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Live: Deerhunter / The Fresh & Onlys @ The Cockpit, Leeds. 5th May 2010

Deerhunter are personal favourites of mine, Cryptograms and Microcastle are never to far from my stereo, so when they swing through town it’s a must. This time they come to The Cockpit a venue I’ve not ventured into for a gig for around four years, maybe more. As venues go it’s not really my bag and Deerhunter have always gone down a treat at probably my favourite venue for bands in Leeds, The Brudenell Social Club. But they’ll bring me out on a muggy night midweek whatever... They’re doing a quick tour as warm-up for their slot at the ATP festival and slipping in the odd new song into their sets, which should wet your appetite if like me your hoping they whip out an album at some point this year, fingers crossed.

Support comes in the form of The Fresh & Onlys from San Francisco, a band I’d only stumbled upon a few days before when wondering about who else was playing. They sound a bit countrified in a blue grass meets noisy garage rock or psychedelic punk kind of way on myspace, and in the flesh that was toned down a bit and sounded more like straight up US bar room rock: A spaced out, pretty melodic yet raw set of tracks. They left me intrigued but not overly excited.

Deerhunter came out loud and in full effect, oceans of noise, layers of atmosphere. Really living up to the ambient-punk tag, I’ve seen them chat about, more than ever. The crowd either seemed detached or tired due to the midweek slot or the massive sounds the band created, meaning the band and crowd found it hard to connect. This didn’t stop it from sounding awesome though, they just did things a little more laid back, prolonged and spaced out, in almost Krautrock jam-like freakouts. This really stood out on ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ and the encore, which culminated in some serious noise, and looping feedback after a brilliant sample/speech from god knows who. The rest is a haze of feedback, bopping, Bradford’s English accent impression and talk of the election…

oh yeah and more music, echoes of ‘Helicopters’ a new track you can hear online now via the Marc Riley show on 6music... A Patti Smith cover or mention of one, maybe not? They just said something about her on stage. A post-punk funked-up dubbed-out INXS meets Jay-Z’s ‘99 Problems’ version of ‘Rainwater Cassette Exchange’, you bet. Some of these may have only happened in my head… Like the one that I thought sounded a bit like ‘Under The Sea’ from The Little Mermaid film minus steel drums and comedy Lobster. It really did have a washed out aquatic vibe going on though, ummm. New track, probably ‘Fountain Stairs’ if forums are correct and the appearance of an old track from Turn It Up Faggot, ‘Adorno’, I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard any of that era’s material live until now so that was a bonus. ‘Little Kids’ and ‘Cryptograms’ sounded as fresh as ever as did the beautifully catchy ‘Cover Me (Slowly)/Agoraphobia’. All in all Deerhunter brought it and brightened up my Wednesday night with some ambient-punk bliss, they remain one of the leading lights in my indie world.

Leeds set list/picture thanks to Lewis, check out the cool story behind it
Intro / Cryptograms / Never Stops / Fountain Stairs / Little Kids / Rainwater Cassette Exchange /
Cover Me (Slowly) / Agoraphobia / Operation / Hazel St / Nothing Ever Happens / Helicopter / Vox Celeste / Adorno / Encores: Dr Glass / Calvary Scars

…Before I go, grab some Deerhunter goodies over at their blog, Micromix 26 a selection of killer tracks from Chris Bell to Sun Ra. And the too good to pass up: Carve your Initials Into The Walls Of The Night, an early limited CD-R which just features Moses and Bradford playing with tapes as an early incarnation of the band in 2005.

Download: Deerhunter – Micromix 26

Download – Deerhunter – Carve Your Initials Into The Walls Of The Night

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Swindle – Air Miles EP [Planet Mu]

Swindle comes at grime from a different angle, bringing a unique vibe to the table. He can drop melodic funk or dirty rave bombs at the drop of a hat. His last outing on Planet Mu came on the form of a quality funk’d up remix of Terror Danjah’s ‘Zumpi Hunter’, which came on like a grime, skweee funk hybrid. But with the Air Miles EP he steps out on his own with four tracks showing his diverse style.

The a-side throws down some killer material with ‘Air Miles’ opening proceedings. It sees Swindle in rave mode making a grime instrumental that is so banging and twisted that I’m yet to hear an MC ride it right, but that’s no bad thing as this track more than has the balls for it. The energy is in the melodic tension-building intro; pads and skipping percussion lead into a deadly drop that bounces into action hard and ravey. If you put it next to Terror Danjah’s ‘Acid’ it’s like grime has done a Marty McFly and found its way to ’92, dripping with energy and a massive grin on its face. Another highlight is ‘Daredevil’ which creates some serious hyperfunk without stepping the line into cheesy midi funk tinkling. Its all big brash and snappy, big basslines and instruments that sound like they’re being squeezed through a talky box.

The flip leaves me a bit colder, ‘Coffee’ and ‘Molly’ have a Big Beat feel to them when they whip out the tweaked and filtered guitars, and just step over the line from fun to cheese. ‘Molly’ redeems it’s self with a killer bassline that growls and twists with plenty of funk. ‘Coffee’ has a good skippy feel to it and brings some hi-tech soul. The production, like on the whole EP is spot on, its all so musical and put together amazingly but following on from ‘Air Miles’ and ‘Daredevil’ is a hard task.

His playful style is unique in grime; it brings a hyped-up funk brightness into sets that transcends the genre. The Air Miles EP is party music with hype, funk and hart. Swindle has landed.

Originally written for Sonic Router.

Download: LuckyMe mix #63. Swindle - Klipto Mix

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


More picks from my bulbous record bag… this sporadic feature seems to have slowed down a bit since I got a new pair of 1210s and I’ve started using ustream for even more sporadic shows. But here is another selection of music I didn’t get around to writing about elsewhere but just couldn’t help mentioning…

Non Person - Presenser / Mi Empress [Channel Zero]
After turning in one of my favourite recent mixes for Sonic Router the Finnish producer drops two twisted hip-hop infused dubstep gems for Clouds Channel Zero label. Mesmerising and dense but with an experimental playfulness these tracks shift and bubble in strange ways, seriously addictive.

Mark Pritchard – Elephant Dub/Heavy As Stone [Deep Medi]
Elephant Dub does exactly as it says on the tin, sounds like an elephant creating it’s own dubplate. Its such a heavy, plodding beast it makes you wonder if the complaints about half-step seem like a distant memory, until you hear a boring half-stepper… The flip channels FlyLo’s ‘Tea Leaf Dancers’ and an epic sense of soul into a deep heads down number.

Shortstuff/Taylor – Regression/Squeege [Wigflex]
Sublime 12” from Wigflex upping the game once more with Shorstuff bringing a flexible slinky ‘what you call it?’ number that echoes uk funky, broken house, grime, Detroit techno and dubstep all in one cohesive dance floor bomb. Taylor rolls out a slice of seriously blissfully melodic techno that feels like early AFX but built for the dance floor, playful, hypnotic with a pinch of melancholy.

SCB – 20_4/3_5 [SCB]
Scuba takes a brake from making techno infused dubstep and makes dubstep infused techno instead, and its way more different to how that statement sounds. He drops one of my favourite albums of the year so far and still has the pace to drop a couple of slow burning deep nuggets of techno bliss.

Desto – Disappearing Reappearing Ink/Broken Memory [Ramp]
Finally you can get hold of these tracks: bleepy computer game soundtrack eski-beat grime meets broken dubstep, again in Finland. Equal parts uplifting and playful as well as intense and heavy. Arpeggios squiggle and bass tones shake your chest plate. Both tracks nail it, more Desto please!

Rossi B & Luca – E10 Riddim/Police Are Come Run ft. Killa P [Planet Mu]
Massive riddim that fuses a funky carnival vibe with a hard hitting grime intensity to great effect, just like Lil Silva takes grimy bass into funky Rossi B & Luca switch it the other way around and absolutely nail it. Killa P turns in a hard as hell vocal version too completing a tough 12” that will be in my bag for some time.

Africa Hitech – Blen/Rmx/The Sound Of Tomorow [Warp]
Mark Pritchard joins forces with Steve Spacek for a brand new project that is looking very promising. Blen is a fuzzy digital dance floor beast that fuses an African house style party vibe with a Harmonic 313-like electronica, while the remix plays up the funky vibe more and turns down the digital aspects, both kill it. The flip flows on a meditative tip with an epic dreamy song.

LV & Untold – Beacon/(Mount Kimbie Remix) [Hemlock]
Big collaboration that I first heard in the mix Untold did for us at Sonic Router way back… A deep and warm dub style workout that clicks and winds with an organic eyes down dance floor experience. Mount Kimbie up the good time vibes and add a smidgen of glitch addled garage along with their addictive melodic sensibilities.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Brackles – 6am El Gordos [BRAiNMATH]

This one sided slab of wax comes to you from the mysterious BRAiNMATH who have been carving a niche of their own with music from a diverse bunch: Zomby, SBTRKT, Spiders, Untold, Airhead and James Blake all bringing tracks to the table that sit with the BRAiNMATH aesthetic but never pin it down to just one sound. And the next platter comes from Brackles who as a producer, DJ and label curator with Shortstuff at Blunted Robots has been pushing the flexible broken garage meets uk funky sound, bringing bumpy beats and plenty of energy to the dance.

The first Brackles 12” to drop was a quality number called ‘Glazed’ on Berkane Sol which somehow harnessed the grimy attitude of Dizzee Rascal’s ‘I Luv U’ in its bumpin’ drum patterns and raw energy as well as a deep dubbed out techno-like atmosphere. Well ‘6am El Gordos’ feels like the tropical cousin of ‘Glazed’. Shuffling soca beats, pulsing bass tones that shake the floor, skipping snares and hats, as well as synths that sound like they’ve been made under high air pressure for maximum energy, this all underpin soulful loved up vocal samples that bring a summery edge to the production.

Originally written for Sonic Router.
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