Sunday, 14 February 2010
No-Neck Blues Band are one of those acts that if you like ‘em, you pretty much like everything they’re going to belch out. It’s free improv-pscyh-new-weird-America-jazz-whatever and like their brothers from another mother Sunburned Hand of the Man and Jackie O Motherf**ker they release way too much of it, but you can’t begrudge them that I suppose. I admit, I really have a soft spot for this kind of no-holds barred noisy abandon, and they do put in a sterling performance here; recorded for the ‘International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville’ festival which also gave birth t… Read more
Friday, 12 February 2010
Highly impressive Italo and soundtrack revisionism from Seed Record's secret weapon. Despite only releasing one record through the label so far, Antoni Maiovvi has picked up a ravenous bandwagon of followers, looking for their next fix of synthetic drama after gorging themselves on the work of Fabio Frizzi, John Carpenter or Harold Faltermayer. 'Shadow Of the Bloodstained Kiss' is a soundtrack concept album, scoring the nonexistent 1983 Italian Sci-Fi Giallo starring Barbara Cupisti and Ian McCulloch. But, that's all you'll get for now, if you want to know the full… Read more
Thursday, 11 February 2010
For Fabriclive 50, the London superclub calls up the vanguard of modern D&B in D-Bridge and Instra:mental to provide over an hours worth of cutting edge steppers science. As to be expected after listening to their stupendous Autonomic podcasts, the selection and execution of the mix is impeccable, including more exclusives than you can shake a stylus at, while traversing a wide range of tempos, from hip hop to dubstep and D&B all finished with a gleaming electronic edge. Their aforementioned podcasts have been largely responsible for dragging D&B out of a seriously knuckle-heade… Read more
Smarter garage-rave mutations from San Fran's Eprom and NYC stepper Falty DL. Both tracks step out from the more electronic side of the dance, with Eprom's 'Never' leading off a 4/4 charge of garage percussion with dipping subs and helium vocals. Much better however is the Falty DL version, dropping the tempo and upping the groove with bone-dry hardcore breaks rattling inna '96 UK garage style while the vocals are chopped 'n screwed to a lower pitch for tensely pressurised effect. Ill sh*t!
An unexpected treat from Ramp recordings, dropping a Dave Aju remix of the Clouds track, 'Timekeeping'. House heads will probably know Dave from his Circus Company anthem 'Crazy Place', but he's taken a different tack with this one sailing between zig-zagging synth squiggles and a coarsely textured rhythm occupying a niche between skanky house and wonky hiphop. It's as odd as it sounds, and actually good enough to justify the one-sided pressing.
Surely one of the most bombastic modern classical albums you're likely to hear all year, Daniel Bjarnason's Processions comes to us via a label that's no stranger to delivering within the genre: Bedroom Community has already introduced us to the talents of expert arranger/composer Nico Muhly, not to mention fellow avant-garde-ists Ben Frost and Valgeir Sigurdsson. The music of Daniel Bjarnason immediately strikes you as an uncommonly technical and bold undertaking. So often album releases from this scene treat us to lovely, if occasionally syrupy fare, but here Bjarnason assaults you wit… Read more
There Is No Enemy is the seventh studio album from alt-rock veterans Built To Spill and finds them regaining some of their acclaimed '90s form. In terms of straight-ahead, intelligent indie rock, these relative old-timers sound incredibly fresh, putting a good many current generation bands to shame on the likes of opening track 'Aisle 13' with its effortless college rock classicism and concise hookiness. More connoisseur riffing arrives on simple, yet deftly efficient midtempo numbers like 'Done' and even the ballads prove memorable: 'Life's A Dream' recalls Weezer's 'Say It Ain't So… Read more
In addition to his work as a prolific DJ, remixer and producer of electronic music, Ewan Pearson has recently been found making an impact on the more mainstream end of the music industry thanks to his work on Delphic's debut album, Acolyte. However, on this new mix for Kompakt there are few signs of him losing touch with the dancefloor. The mix begins auspiciously with a track by Lemonade, Pitch & Hold as remixed by hotly tipped producer of the moment, Gold Panda, going on to hit further heights with cuts from A_ldric, Rmnvn and Lusine, whose track 'Cirrus' arrives in a plume… Read more
After being greeted with much critical acclaim following his Falling Off The Lavender Bridge album, ex-Test Icicle Devonte Hynes returns with a second solo long-player. Having worked with Saddle Creek producer Mike Mogis on the first record, Hynes this time recruits Animal Collective producer Ben Allen and the band Spacecamp, who all play their parts in making this album work as well as it does. There's no shortage of ideas laid out here, with Hynes' always compelling lyrical flow embedded within a suitably jam-packed musical narrative. As well as the expected glut… Read more
Last seen on Sacred Bones with their Killing Time EP, Wooden Shjips side project Moon Duo returns with four lengthy motorik jams in the spirit of a psych-rockin' Suicide. Considering (as hinted at in their name) Moon Duo is but a two-piece they manage to create an impressively sturdy wall-of-sound. 'Motorcycle, I Love You' is like their very own 'Ghost Rider', but taking on more of a '60s backroom psychedelia sound as its starting point. The Duo stay locked in a deep goth-abilly groove throughout and its not long before the guitar spirals off into plumes of heavily distorted, modulated soloing. Nex… Read more
Minimal techno and electronica are combined on Sarah Goldfarb's debut album alongside JHK. The Frenchmen have been making melodic minimalism for the Triebstoff, Trapez and Curle label for nearly ten years, gathering enough experience for this album. Tracks vary from dumpy bass driven tech-house with kettle drums on 'Jacki' to more experimental slow and broken IDM with 'So Long' or fonky minimalism like 'Back In Town' and shoegazy electronica 'Never Stop'.
Once you've negotiated your way around all the gratuitous nudity of the gatefold digipak, you'll find a piece of comedy mislabelling on the disc that bills the album as a compilation titled: Best Of Wanky Wizard Jamz, featuring popular bands like "WEALTH", "No Mage", "Pocataunted" and "Conjuroo-oo-oor". Indeed. Foot Village's particular brand of underground semi-improv proves to be a right mess on this album, but then that sort of tongue-in-cheek chaos is surely all part of the plan. Much of the record is populated by boy-girl screaming exchanges, insane drumming and percussive bouts plus … Read more
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
A new release on Three Lobed is always worthy of your attention, and this latest edition is another finely presented, highly limited release. Guitarist Steve Gunn and percussionist John Truscinski have previously performed together as members of GHQ, but here they return as a duo, connecting with rootsier, almost American Primitive-like sounds. Raga-like compositional structures and rolling open-tuned guitars make a mark early on, adopting Eastern scales alongside bluegrass rhythms, all of which invites comparisons with works by the likes of Sir Richard Bishop and of course the sp… Read more
The debut solo album from Hans Chew, the pianist behind Brooklyn band D. Charles Speer & The Helix, who notably performed alongside Jack Rose for his Luck In The Valley and The Black Dirt Sessions. Expect a wealth of bar-room honky-tonk turns from Chew, who seems to switch effortlessly between fulsome, barnstorming country hoedowns to more pared-down cowboy boogies. Tennessee & Other Stories is also notable for its supporting cast of underground Americana stars, which includes members of No Neck Blues Band and Sunburned Hand Of The Man.
Can there be anything more unrelentingly filthy sounding than a Yellow Swans album? Very probably not, though this, more than many outings by Pete Swanson and Gabriel Mindel Saloman, goes someway towards tempering the torrent of filth they tend to produce. These two lengthy pieces were recorded live on tour at the end of last year and take their basis as a pool of simmering drone and (almost) ambient noise. 'Descent 1' is especially palatable, rising from a starting point of endless guitar sustain, layer after layer of lo-fi dinscaping surges from out of the sonic mire. You can even hear … Read more
Barn Owl and Higuma's Evan Caminiti is capable of doing amazing things with the humble guitar. With experience gleaned from the processes of his previous solo releases, the majestic 'Psychic Mud Shrine' and the obscure 'Digging The Void', he's reached a level of impressive maturity, making 'West Winds' comparable to totems of the drone/desert rock sound like Earth's 'Hex' and something yet more magical and searching akin to Popol Vuh or Roy Montgomery. This album will utterly absorb fans of his previous works. Highly recommended!