Thursday, 08 September 2011
CANT is the new project from Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor in collaboration with Twin Shadow's George Lewis Jr, and Dreams Come True is their first full-length offering. With their employment of R&B tropes and hard-snapping syn-drums coupled with classic pop songwriting, CANT are to Grizzly Bear what Discovery were to Vampire Weekend (kind of). But where Discovery's self-titled LP was a celebratory record, Dreams Come True feels more plaintive and wounded, and it also paints from a far wider and more sophisticated musical palette. You really don't know what you're going to get from one moment to … Read more
Sci-fi stepper Joe Seven, aka They Live's Joe Smaje, drops his 2nd single for Exit Records. The emphasis is placed on rich and deeply immersive atmospherics for 'All Prologue', entering to noirish backdrop of space station ambience and locking into a skulkin', robotic rollers rhythm. Flipside 'Untitled Monotron' is more urgent, riding dry, Krust-style hardstep drum & bass patterns circled by swooshing stabs and cryptic, etheric communications from the on-board systems. Spooky aces for the Autonomic crew.
**Includes free digital download code redeemable from the label** German duo Tarwater have been cultivating their oddball sound - somewhere between skew-whiff electro-pop and plangent post-rock experimentation - for more than 15 years, and for those who've been keeping an eye on 'em during this time, their evolution has been really impressive. Inside The Ships - something like their tenth album - finds them at the top of their game, their synthesis of guitar, electronic pulsation and pastorally psyched-out, swinging chamber instrumentation at times coming over like a hypothetical hook-up b… Read more
*Barnstorming new single with remixes from Brandt Brauer Frick and Kyle motherf**kn Hall!* The ever-impressive Emika returns with a disarmingly angsty house jam, her voice simmering in a broth of industrial shrapnel and Hammer horror FX. Brandt Brauer Frick's remix begins like a classic Perlon minimal prowler before evolving into something different and highly contemporary, gradually foregrounding elegant piano loops, off-kilter percussion edits and Emika's sultry vocals without ever drifting from that core club-ready 4/4 pulse. Kyle Hall toughens and roughens things up, c… Read more
Big room-readied remixes of Friendly Fires. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are in euphoric mood for a Funky-Tech roller with hands-in-the-air breakdowns and bouncy breakbeats, whereas Seiji's is more about the Latin-Funky swivel and propulsive, ascending synthlines. Drink spilling times.
Over the last 2 years Raffertie has emerged as an unquantifiable element with the UK Bass/electronic sphere. After releases for Planet Mu and Black Acre's Special Branch, 'Visual Acuity' is his first release since completing a degree in classical music composition in 2010. It's a clear step forward from the ADHD rave styles of his previous form, still manic but with an overriding sense of control. 'Visual Acuity' sets the bar with dynamic spatial rendering applied to starbursting synths and rogue Garage patterns, while 'You Could Be Forgiven For Thinking That' casts of into sparser, more emot… Read more
Pat Gubler’s been pedaling his softly-spoken folk rock for long enough to call him a ‘veteran’ at this point, and ‘Starry Mind’ is exactly what you’d hope from someone who doesn’t have to resort to dropping R Kelly references to get column inches. He might not be injecting anything particularly new into his songs, but there are few solo artists who do a better job of capturing the golden age of Neil Young and Van Morrisson (even Mr Young himself…) than P.G. Six. Gubler’s songs chug when they need to chug and jangle themselves through fresh wet autumnal air – you’d almost think the early autumn re… Read more
Choppy, electroid funk from Ben Butler & Mousepad, backed with remixes from Mesak, Shigeto and Brokenchord. The duo of Joe Howe and Bastien Hagedorn have previous dabbled with Skweee for Dødpop and stranger electronic pop for Loaf, but these seven tracks find them shredding beats somewhere between Mr Oizo and Debruit. The remixes touch on jerky HipHop from Shigeto, intricate rhythm re-programming from Brokenchord and a charming Finnish funk from Mesak.
"Peter Wolf Crier's second album 'Garden Of Arms' is a document that paints a vivid portrait of all the pain and beauty of growth. The duo of Peter Pisano and Brian Moen transformed the fuzzy distortion, rolling and crashing drums, and laser-focused purposefulness into an intensely dynamic yet supremely polished album. The lead off track, 'Right Away' best exemplifies the band's new direction, a dense and jarring embrace of the immediacy of real personal connection."
Highly anticipated fourth album from the much-loved dons of New York indie-disco. 'In The Grace Of Your Love' is an overdue return from the trio, five years on from 'Pieces Of The People We Love', and their recent single aside, at least four years since any other new material. It's been time well spent, evidently, resulting in a body of instantly pop sharp and dancefloor-rousing anthems, from the festival-ready pogo of 'Sail Away', to the glam-punky thrust of 'Blue Bird', an odd but successful sidestep into Balkan House on 'Come Back To Me', to the Beirut-reminiscent 'Roller Coaster', and the jerky wave-funk of 'Can You Find A Way'.
"Critically acclaimed songwriter and mastermind behind The Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt ‘Obscurities’ is a collection of Merritt’s hard-to-find early recordings. ‘Obscurities’ features 14 tracks in all, including five previously unreleased songs, all recorded prior to The Magnetic Fields’ seminal album ‘69 Love Songs’. Among the tracks on ‘Obscurities’ is The Song From Venus’ ‘Forever And A Day’, a solo-acoustic ukelele-based love song reminiscent of ‘69 Love Songs’ ‘The Book Of Love’. Also included on ‘Obscurities’ is ‘The Sun And The Sea And The Sky’, a previously unreleased ‘69 Lov… Read more
"'The Wanting' is Glenn's first album for Thrill Jockey (and fourth album overall) and follows the instantly sold out 'Even To Win Is To Fail' LP (a split with The Black Twig Pickers released for Record Store Day 2011). Glenn Jones is a leading talent in the so-called modern "American Primitive" school of acoustic steel string guitarists, a school that includes the late great John Fahey, Robbie Basho and Jack Rose - all of whom were friends and collaborators of Glenn's. · 'The Wanting' is a collection of original compositions for solo acoustic steel string guitar, six-string, 10- string and b… Read more
*Full colour gatefold sleeve* Warm Digits present their debut album of motorik Kraut, Psych and Disco for Distraction Records. The North East duo comprises Andrew Hodson, who's previously known for his outing as The Matinee Orchestra, and Stephen Jeffries, who used to make electronica as Cathode, but together they're looking at the classic thrust of Neu!, the the pulsing arpeggios of Giorgio Moroder and Brian Eno's proggy excess for inspiration. They're equally adept at full flight Krautrock propulsion on 'Keep Warm', as hellbent prog on 'Weapons Destruction', but sound cla… Read more
Secret Name' was Low's full-length debut on Kranky, recorded by the Godlike Steve Albini, it slipped out after the glorious 'Songs for a Dead Pilot EP' and continues many of the themes they would later make their trademark. They tell me Low invented slowcore... well I can handle that, certainly on this 1999 album they were slower than any other band I can remember at the time, the thing is that they make it so damn inviting. I don't think there's another band who can make such obscenely depressing songs sound so beautiful, so damaged and so addictive. There's a bit of a fad at the moment… Read more
Exquisitely sideways pop music from Dent May on Animal Collective's Paw Tracks outlet. Coastal vocal harmonies meld with drowsy synths and smudged machine drums in the slyly off-kilter 'Fun', and turn into even cuter arrangements on the sublimely optimistic pop of 'Wedding Day'.
Wednesday, 07 September 2011
The Angela Valid quartet present their 2nd solo release of abstracted, finely layered and textured improv for World In Winter. Their quietly engaged sound hints at elements of neo-classical music, post-rock and pastoral, folksy electronica, but they're only traces, dispersed as feelings and shrewd signposts over three extended pieces of instinctive group playing. Formerly a duo of Iain Chambers and Alex Jones for their early releases, which were noticed by Fat Cat, they now include Mike Brooks and Phil Lane in their number, but deftly manage to maintain a balanced and sober sense of spa… Read more
"London's A Grave With No Name mine their own distinctive vein of haunted freaked folk and art rock, tracing delicate fissures in the emotional radiography of loss and longing to spellbinding effect. These three piano led tracks bring the vulnerability and honesty of frontman Alexander Shields' songwriting to the foreground of his desolate and beautiful home recordings."
Tuesday, 06 September 2011
Another volume of "what the fook is that?!" edits and long versions of Brazilian cosmic music for discerning disco and Latin DJs. Styles fluctuate between more conventional bossa and samba to some immense electrified gemsliek the weirdly sped up and squeaky funk of 'Chosen Ones' and downright deadly percussive instrumentals such as 'Drumm Drumm'. Invaluable tool for the selectors.
Monday, 05 September 2011
**Includes free download code redeemable direct from the label** Toddla's party-soaked sophomore album. Sheffield's top export and Radio 1 resident DJ arrives at a genuinely populist sound, building on the deep roots laid over some half century of Jamaican pop music in the UK charts. This is heard no better than in the swaggering funk of lead and title tune 'Watch Me Dance', roping in this island's most recognisable UK/JA MC Roots Manuva for a rollicking boogie-rock number. Next it's the piano rave roll of 'Watch Me Dance' to unite the floor while 'Cruise Control' touches on a rogue Ragga-Br… Read more
"Little Roy was born in Witfield Town, Kingston, Jamaica. He launched his career in the rocksteady age, recording singles for Coxone Dodd, Prince Buster and Lee 'Scratch' Perry, who brought in The Wailers to help out on the session. 'Battle For Seattle' is ten Nirvana songs covered by Little Roy in a reggae style, picked carefully from Nirvana's four studio albums and singles."
Mark Ronson ropes in MNDR, Wretch 32, Wiley and Pharrell for busy version of his 'Record Collection' 2012. You'll probably hear this A-listed on the Radio and down yer local indie disco, or the DJ might draw for the more yelpy CSS remix, the Technofied Logo remix or electroid pop revisions from Moonlight Matters or Plastic Plates. You just don't know.
*Hand-stamped white label* Very limited taster for London-based vocalist zara McFarlane's forthcoming album on 'Until Tomorrow'. Blessed with a fine voice, Zara has collaborated with the likes of Denys Baptiste, Orphy Robinson, Soweto Kinch and Jazz Jamaica Allstars besides appearing on the 2006 Motown-themed 'Motor City Roots' album. Should sweetly appeal to fans of Jill Scott or Erykah Badu.
Thursday, 01 September 2011
For the more discerning dancers and DJs, Don't Be Afraid are racking up a proper cache of fat and fresh House and Boogie cuts that can't be ignored. Their latest comes from label head Benjamin Semtek, working to a deadly scheme of quaking acid bass and twitching drum edits on 'Pizza', proper, sophisticated future boogie styles. Flipside 'Goons' cuts a stealthier figure with splashy dub FX wrapped to a strutting House rhythm, again riding the fattest, most squashed subs you could hope for, before UR affiliate DJ 3000 steps in for a tidy Detroit remix of the title track. Really weighty business.
"In the vast netherworld of soul there are countless characters that reside on the fringe, their significant contributions to American music history long forgotten. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, tenor saxophone player and bandleader Charles 'Packy' Axton is yet another of the un-celebrated, despite a deep pedigree and funky catalogue of notable grooves. Part of the mighty Stax family through birth - Packy's mother Estelle Axton and uncle Jim Stewart founded the southern R&B dynasty int he early 1960's - Packy picked up the sax a t a young age, and after linking with future Booker T.… Read more
*"All Killer No Filler" compilation of classic cuts by legendary Jamaican Deejay, Dillinger* "One of the most consistently successful DJ's to come out of Jamaica, fondly remembered for his massive 'Cocaine In My Brain' hit from the great CB200 album and the later reworked 'Marijuana In My Brain' which gave Dillinger crossover hits in both England and Europe. But the versatile DJ has many more strings to his bow...We have taken our set of tunes from his classic mid 70s period when Mr Dillinger could do no wrong. Alongside the big 'Cocaine' and 'Marijuana' hits the great opening track 'Love Is All… Read more
*First ever reissue of this rare LP of '70s reggae and soul from Ghana. Includes download code redeemable from the label* "George Danquah's Hot Jumpy is one of the most collectable funky gems to come out of the incredible music scene in Ghana during the 70s. Today original copies can easily fetch over $300. to many collectors this record seems to have come out of nowhere. It is the only known album by this New Edubaise (3 hours NW of Accra) native. He appears to have arrived out of thin air, recorded one of the funkiest albums in African history, and then vanished. However, this isn't en… Read more