Thursday, 18 February 2010
Formerly of rock band The Jealous Girlfriends, Holly Miranda has now signed to XL and embarked upon a solo career, recruiting TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek as producer, with Kyp Malone and Jaleel Bunton contributing over the course of the album. One of the first things to strike you upon hearing The Magician's Private Library, is that Miranda's voice is a fine and lovely thing which virtually guarantees Feist comparisons. Sitek's production provides an alternate universe for Miranda's vocal to reside in however, far away from the poppy Americana of the aformentioned Broken… Read more
Wémé presents six tracks of sideways acid and cheeky rave experiments from Ceephax. Making a nod to the fact that he doesn't actually live in the midst of a perpetual 88-94 feedback loop, 'Souley Man' pays tribute (kinda) to the man like Omar with flashes of Mid-eastern synth flair licked into a dubstep rave style production. 2008 better watch out! The brilliantly titled 'Bacardi Breezer' retruns to more melodic acid house terrain while 'Electric Transit' does the junglist thing and 'Ticker Tape' broadens the range with a classic moment of beatless tranquility.
**Orange Vinyl** Raffertie comes to ruff up the rave with two steppers for Black Acre's sublabel, Special Branch. 'Pumpin Like Reeboks' rules the A-side with warping Bassline traits altered for the spooned rave crew, hence the helium vocals and liberal use of digital FX. On the flipside we get 'Vomit Riddim', literally taking the title for the sickest drop in dubstep with regurgitating peaks cleaving a murky subs driven halfstepper in all the right places. To be fair, he's not the first person to do this, check Otto Von Schirach's 'Pukology' to hear this taken to the nth degree, but it's guaranteed to induce a wry grin here and there.
Manchester's Julie Campbell releases her debut full-length via Warp, having built up momentum with singles 'Immaterial' and 'Intuition'. While the tone of the album doesn't deviate too far from what these singles revealed it does favourably flesh out Lonelady's musical persona. It's truly painful to have to compare yet another new Manchester artist to a bunch of old Manchester artists, but Factory Records references do seem to be recurrent throughout the record. In this instance that's no bad thing, and tracks like 'Army' really hit the right spot with their nods to Martin Hannett's trademark soun… Read more
Mark Kozelek's Caldo Verde imprint releases a brand new Kath Bloom album, featuring fourteen new songs from the legendary Connecticut songstress. Bloom was probably best known for her creative relationship with Loren Connors between the late seventies and early eighties, but since Richard Linklater's use of her music during his film Before Sunrise in the nineties (something mentioned in every Kath Bloom press release you'll ever read) there seems to have been a steady climb in awareness of her work, culminating in Chapter Music's retrospective (titled Finally), 2008's comeback record, Terror… Read more
Ninja Tune's Zero DB compile a retrospective of 'One Offs, Remixes and B Sides' for Tru Thoughts. The eclectic pairing of Chris Vogado and Neil Combstock have chewed up everything from samba to D'n'B in their colourful catalogue, which is represented with two discs spanning revisions for Alice Russell, Javi P3z Orquesta, Frank De Jojo, and Bonobo, complemented by remixes from Seiji and Aaron Jerome.
Having moved from Detroit to Berlin, Seth Troxler seems to have moved from one great techno capital to another, and it's no doubt down to his new surroundings that he found himself collared by Berlin's first lady of techno and Bpitch boss Ellen Allien, recruited for the fifth installment of the Boogybytes compialtion series - the first not to be curated by one of Bpitch's own stars. Troxler makes his presence felt over the course of the playlist with a couple of great remixes - one for Heartthrob's 'Signs' and another for Fever Ray, whose 'Seven' is given a good going over, rendered in… Read more
Tin Angel reissue one of Baby Dee's finest moments with 'A Book Of Songs For Anne Marie'. Baby Dee is a unique talent, a transgender singer/songwriter who often draws comparisons to Antony, but who occupies her own respectful position as a multi-instrumentalist also, playing harp, piano, and accordian here. She's accompanied by flute, French horn, cello, and mandolin on a collection of precious torch-songs featuring her trembling falsetto at their emotional core. Quite special.
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
*Truly intense album from this incredible band - bringing together visceral noise components and drone pop for their last ever studio album...* Legendary American noise unit Yellow Swans return with what is purportedly their final studio album and without doubt their most devastating collection of noise/drone recordings yet, a majestically defining album of collapsing supernova psychedelics. The announcement of their split in 2008 was met with shock from a community who've faithfully traced their arc over countless limited edition CDr's, cassettes and vinyl for an equally insurmountable numb… Read more
Fact fans will be keen to note that London band Wolf People are the very first British band to sign to Jagjaguwar. The quartet are fronted by Jack Sharp, a veritable historian of British rock music made between the sixties and seventies. Amazingly, the recordings that make up this album were all self-recorded in Bedford between 2005 and 2009, but the attention paid to recreating all the details and recording quirks of the era is mind-boggling. Tidings sounds like something from the prog or Canterbury scenes from forty years ago - and that's a high compliment: the level of musicianship and craf… Read more
Ent is a solo project from Nagasaki resident Atsuhi Horie, best known in his native Japan as frontman for indie rock band Straightener. Horie spent three years putting together this album for his side-project, drawing influence from electronic pop music, the like of which you'd associate with Morr Music's classic output. While much of the laptop songcraft we've heard emanating from Japan lately has been geared towards microbeats and whispery Remote Viewer-isms (as heard on the recent output from labels like Someone Good and Flau), Ent is a more full-blooded project, relying far more emphatically… Read more
The A-side here was specially recorded for Rough Trade Shops' Indiepop 09 compilation, and now gets a limited vinyl outing. It's a kind of synth-pop bossa nova, building up to a tremendously catchy chorus that's every bit as charmingly cutesy as the holidaying dormouse adorning the sleeve. B-side 'Im In Love With A Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist' is a cover of the 1988 Another Sunny Day song - one of the best loved entries onto the famed Sarah Records catalogue - and is handled with due care and affection by this duo.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
In the wake of Valentines day we've been reading about the South Korean tradition where all those poor souls who have failed to receive a Valentines day gift are expected to eat black noodles and mourn their loneliness. This seemed a little harsh to us so we've put together 14 tracks of erogenous noise to distract all the moping misanthropes and misogynists from their woes. The noise spectrum covers a great deal of musical ground, from thunderous rock freakouts to highly organised digital extremity, always skulking at the threshold of nearly each an… Read more
Paul Alt, Zuzuku, Mass Processor and Matt Shadetek roll out the remixes of 77 Klash's 'The Swarm Riddim'. The cyber-buff ragga original isn't included, but we recommend heading for Matt Shadetek's Zomby-alike Kwaito heater featuring autotuned vox from Father Bookie and Mass Processor's slowfast dubstep version featuring Jah Mason. Get tropical yo!
Pneumatic party kicker from Drop The Lime. Lifted from the 'Heavy Bass Champions Of The World' Vol.1 set, DTL's 'Doomsday Device' works with a psychotic lead siren and ruffed-up Sinden/Hot City style beats to work the club into a grimy lather.
Monday, 15 February 2010
The Soundway label comes correct yet again with an exceptionally dapper collection of 1970's Afrobeat. Quite importantly, none of these tracks have ever been reissued outside of Nigeria, meaning this is a bit of a treasure trove for the majority of Afrobeat fans outside the country. Fela Kuti & The Africa 70 provide the infectious 'Whore You? (Original 45 Version)', while Segun Bucknors Revolution give up the jazz-spiced late-night vibes 'Gbomojo' before Eric Showboy Akaeze & His Royal Ericos nearly steal the show with the slithe… Read more
Andrea Parker's Aperture imprint pays on the promise of its potential with a brilliant collaboration between Mira Calix and Seefeel's Mark Clifford. The tracks were all crafted intermittently between 1994 and 2004 over a succession of caffeine and nicotine fuelled night sessions, using whatever tools they had to hand and recorded onto a variety of formats, from to floppy discs to Dat Tapes and zip drives. When the pair revisited the material they decided the best method of presentation was raw and naked, no overdubs and very little post-production meddling, lending… Read more
Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime connect for the blast-off on 'SomeOthaShip' featuring Kool G Rap, Prince Po, LMNO and more, plus productions from Flying Lotus, Oddisee and Oh No. As usual, Fly lo excels on his beat for 'Mages Sages', creating a shifting base of spiritual psychedelic potential for Declaime and Georgia Anne Muldrow, and we'd tip you to check the killer P-funk synths on 'Endure' produced by Gerogia herself. Bless!
Exit Recordings reinforce their status as the finest forward-thinking D'n'B label in operation with two excellent tracks from System. On The A-side 'Peach Fuzz' concentrates on intricate rollidge programming flowing with something like an update of the dubbier Digital sound given a new robotic implant. The clever money is on 'The Voices' over on the other side, dispesning with typical D'n'B track structures in the mould-breaking Exit style to roll from minimised tech-stepping patterns into looser syncopations and sparkling melodies. The production is flawlessly executed and shoudl sit very nicely with your stack of Data, D-Bridge and Instra:mental 12"s!
The mighty F returns with the stunning 'Energy Distortion' album sampler backed up with a futureproof Untold remix. In the space of four releases F has become something of a figurehead for the emergent strand of dubstep centred around the ruffed up dub-chord and rugged dub-techno model, and gives an exemplary performance with his title track, sculpting heaving dub bass rolls and technofied rhythm syncopations to slot in between Scuba and Headhunter. Meanwhile on the flip Untold provides one of his most "techno" styled productions to date, re-engineering 'Energy Distortion' w… Read more