Monday, 05 October 2009
Billed as "an album of folk songs that represent the American malaise", Doug Paisley's eponymous debut album is a brilliantly uncomplicated collection of songs that almost seem anachronistic, such is their faithful classicism and adherence to the timeless principles of songwriting in the idiom of Americana. Any moment you expect some ironic acknowledgement - an auditory wink to camera - but thankfully, none comes. There's nothing about these generously open-hearted songs that's forced or tailored to the fashions of the day and Paisley occasionally comes across as old before his time, but … Read more
Thursday, 01 October 2009
Caterva fly the flag for the French dubstep outpost of Strasbourg with three tracks of rolling post-breaks dubstep influences. 'Aurora' is built long for the A-side with rolling 4/4 vibes possibly influenced by the French Free-party scene, while 'Monkey' swings out on a grimy breaks syncopation and 'Monsterz' knocks out a chunky banger for the rave. For fans of Helixir and Skinnz.
Neat dubtech styles from ID on the Mata-syn imprint. You may have previously heard ID's release alongside breaks type Skinnz on Earwax a few weeks back, but he's flying solo this time with two deep and techy steppers reminding us of Martyn, F or Indigo with spacious dub chords, techno styled synthlines and stepping post-garage rhythm syncopations. Cool tracks.
This weeks Rob Sparx release is called 'What U Gonna Do'. It features rootsy one-drop dub keys and a mid-range synthline for the rave kids. On the flip Numbernin6's remix concentrates on the brutal rave signal, making it sound like a dial-up modem calling for help in morse code whilst getting raped by a fax machine. Guttah!
The best thing to come out of Wigan since Poole's pies and The Verve, Nancy Elizabeth consolidates her position as one of the UK's leading lights in the field of modern folk songwriting with this second long-player for the Leaf label. You can hear real creative progress from the prior album, Battle And Victory, with much of this album defying any strict categorisation within the folk universe. The arrangements here are expansive in their scope and the songwriting seems to carry a greater emotional impact than previously. 'Divining' is particularly impressive with its somehow cagey pia… Read more
Prince Of Truth is an immediately striking album - it's dark and heavy in ways black metal can only dream of being. Over the course of 'Tremble Dragonfly', for example, Carla Bozulich and her cohorts establish a soundworld that's part country & western and part Krzystof Pendercki, with just a hint of Wolf Eyes' quieter moments thrown in for extra menace. Rather than going out of its way to sound scary or in any way confrontational however, 'Tremble Dragonfly', like so much of Prince Of Truth' is foremost a thing of beauty - far more so than it is weird or dangerous (although it does exh… Read more
Following on from the wordy, slacker-ish alt. rock-infusions of their previous efforts Elephant Eyelash and Alopecia, virtually all traces of Yoni Wolf's leftfield hip hop origins have dissolved - or at the very least, undergone a change of state - for this latest effort. The songwriting is still emphatically centred on Wolf's lyrical dexterity, but the Mark Nevers production helps clear up a band sound that on prior releases has sounded gloriously cluttered. As a band, Why? actually sounds like a remarkably slick pop unit these days, although there are plenty of instances where the tone ascends in… Read more
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Raving dubstep from Australia's Aquatic Lab imprint delivering the wax debut of Barbarix. 'Low Freqz' is for all the Caspa/Rusko/The Others mosh-man dem, sliding out hard D'n'B influenced mid-range synthlines with a tuff subbass pushing air underneath, and 'Bass Rocker' on the flip, made for the Breaks-to-Dubstep crossover crew. For fans of N-Type or Tayo!
Having released their debut full-length almost precisely two years ago, Counter Records funk rockers The Heavy return with a revitalised, fortified sound, aided by Arctic Monkeys producer Jim Abbiss and members of The Noisettes. As with that latter band, The Heavy do have a tendency to dwell in a faux-'60s wonderland, but there's a toughness to the band's sound this time around that wasn't quite evident enough on Great Vengeance And Furious Fire. 'Oh No! Not You Again!' calls on the familiar punk-soul entanglements of their previous work, but arrives with more bass, more flat-ou… Read more
*Special edition including 'A Product Of The Ego Drain' - eight tracks of exclusive material!* Arriving from the same scene (the Wilkommen Collective) that birthed Shoreline and The Miserable Rich (who are themselves currently enjoying a great deal of radio airplay), The Leisure Society release their exceedingly lovely debut album. The Sleeper really doesn't sound a great deal like a debut though, the ornate arrangements and artfully assembled songs sound like the work of a far more seasoned group of musicians, and indeed looking into the biog of this bunch ther… Read more
Classically rooted Neo-Detroit electro from Mick Welch, initiating his Elektrosouls Recordings with a Stephen Hitchell-mastered set of machine rhythms. Welch certainly knows his B12, Black Dog, Juan Atkins and Kenny Larkin tracks, as he neatly approximates a style in between each of his predecessors with crisp and robustly robotic rhythms alloyed to piquant synthlines benefitting from Hitchell's mastering clarity.
Thursday, 24 September 2009
The second sampler for the Rob Sparx opus 'Trooper' drops loud and clear, backed with a Bar 9 remix. Rob's own 'Bloodbath' takes the A-side with menacing synthlines covering a techy-tumbling dubstep rhythm with the requisite amount of darkness, while Bar 9 just does his thing on the flipside with a gnashing display of brutal dubstep rave synthlines. For the troopers.
Gutter dubstep for the rave courtesy of John Maveric and the Sour Grapes imprint. 'Number 1 Station' wields a brutal synthline around triplet stepping rhythms on the A-side remisnicent of the punchy wieght of 16-Bit and co, while 'Badman Slick' on the flip concentrates on harder drums with an evil mid-range synth slotted cutting to the core. For fans of Skream, Bar 9 or Kromestar.
**Red Vinyl** If ever there was a band primed for remixing it would surely be Wildbirds & Peacedrums. The band's sound gravitates towards skeletal, percussive constructions leaving plenty of room for a third party to stamp their own presence on a track. 'My Heart' is rather more congested than most of the duo's output however, but this doesn't seem to prevent Deerhoof from completely rebuilding the piece around the vocal. It's an incredibly natural and organic sounding transplant, making for a great new piece of music in its own right, imbued with the cheery a… Read more
Windmill's Matthew Thomas Dillon has devised Epcot Starfields as a concept album about a childhood trip to Florida, musing on "the perfect moments in life and recognising the sadness of everything passing in the moment of our death." It's a pretty zany old long-player this, an one that draws no short supply of inspiration from Mercury Rev (check out those Jonathan Donahue vocals), Flaming Lips and a variety of different Elephant 6 bands. This has to rank as one of the more expansive and ambitiously realised bedroom-born albums out there, fashioning epics like 'Ellen Save Our Energy' and … Read more
The third and final installment of D. Piddy and DJ Hell's techno workout invites Deetron and Jay Haze to the table for a round of club-ready goodies. Deetrons mix is a big Euro stomper with traces of Kevin Saunderson styled Detroit techno aimed for Ibiza or Fabric's room 1, obligatory massive-breakdown included! Jay Haze on the other hand turns out an uncompromisingly f**ked version harking back to his early Music For Freaks material with crazy house rhythms and P. Diddy's vocals shredded to bits (perhaps what he sounds like in the V.I.P lounge after one too many sherberts). Decadent dancing gear for the depths of the night.
The one you've all been waiting for, Radioslave's 28 minute big-room marathon mix of P. Diddy and Hell, inciting the most unexpected cross-genre collaboraton of the year. Matt Edwards aka Radioslave himself admits on Resident Advisor that he's got a serious thing for the extended tracks of Klaus Schulze, the new Moritz Trio album or Villalobos' magical epic 'Minimoonstar', so it makes perfect sense for him to respond to Diddy's love of "the DJ's that ain't afraid to play those twenty minute versions - the DJ's that got patience" with the longest single track of… Read more
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
The Feelies' 1980 debut on Stiff Records is a worthy reissue and a truly outstanding work within the pantheon of new wave classics. The incredibly crisp, guitars-through-the-desk production of this album is especially notable; unlike so many DIY acts of the age The Feelies managed to get an incredibly tight, sculpted sound out of their setup - and all without sabotaging the power of their delivery. This September the band are due to play the whole thing back in sequence at one of ATP's Don't Look Back concerts, and here's an ideal opportunity to get re-acquainted with this great material… Read more
Arriving six years after their seminal debut LP Crazy Rhythms, The Good Earth was once again produced by the band's own Glenn Mercer and Bill Minion, with assistance from R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, who'd been a fan since his days of working in a record shop. This time around The Feelies' sound isn't quite so dry or minimalist in execution, fleshed out in a fashion that recalls the match-up of acoustic and electric guitars of Buck's own band, as well as occasional twinges of the Velvet Underground's influence. "Formed in Haledon NJ in 1976, The Feelies released 4 albums- including their critica… Read more
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Boka records return with two sick tracks from respected dubstep figure Marlow. He's got his sights set on the centre of the floor with both cuts here, from the turbulent grind bass and grimy strings of 'Bandwagon Junglist' to the up-skipping garage influences and dubstep bass of 'Back 4 More' sounding like MJ Cole on 'roidz. Heavy.
Monday, 21 September 2009
**BLUE MARBLED VINYL** Maniacs Dream (who knows whether that needs an apostrophe or not - is it singular-possessive, plural-possessive or just a statement of fact? What a grammatical minefield) are a Finnish band comprised of members from Kemialliset Ystavat, Avarus and Fricara Pacchu. The band's dirge-like, free-roaming sound is characterised by playfully scattershot elements - most prominently a surreal, clattering percussive sensibility and some seriously frazzled guitar splurges. Like so many of the psychedelic Finnish side-projects that do the rounds this is massively weird and a right… Read more
Thursday, 17 September 2009
A collaboration between long-term associates Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) and his fellow Wisconsinites, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, Volcano Choir is a relatively experimental project, which although still centrally preoccupied with trad songwriting is unafraid of dabblings with drone ('Dote'), Reich-ian minimalism ('And Gather') and cinematic post-rock. 'Still' checks the latter box with great verve, incorporating Bon Iver's Autotune opus 'Woods' (the closing cut from this year's Blood Bank EP) into an epic stretch of grand chord changes and tonal swells. The very natural production sound … Read more
Tags And Throw Ups turn out something worth checking for any Boxcutter fans with their latest plate featuring three tracks from C23. This is the young producer's debut outing on wax but shows some well honed software skills approaching the hi-tech sound of Reso, Boxcutter or Elemental with complex rhythmic twists and IDM debted synthlines. Techy.
The fourth studio album from New Zealand's Black Boned Angel finds erstwhile Birchville Cat Motel proprietor Campbell Kneale retreating ever deeper into drone-metal abyss, on this occasion fashioning a concept album dedicated to the Battle Of Verdun, one of the key points of conflict between French and German armies in the First World War. Stretched across a single, fifty-two minute track, the album takes a compelling and considered narrative arc, beginning with gloomy passages of bomb-drop kick drum plunges before starting up a fearsome SunnO))) style harmonised guitar riff. Whining, sire… Read more
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Legendary Japanese psyche pop outfit Yura Yura Teikoku are well known in their homland, but have been building steady support in the US with their tracks played by the likes of DJ Harvey and Rub 'n Tug. Now signed to DFA, they release the odd gam stomp of 'Dekinai' ahead of their 10th studio album. Both tracks are an indefinable mesh of glam, psyche, disco and no-wave, executed with a Japanese eccentricity that has won them fans all over the world. Check the samples and figure them out for yourself...
Following on from her Young God debut, In The Maybe World, Lisa Germano's latest album (some eighteen years on from her first full-length release, On The Way Down From The Moon Palace) finds her in great form. Magic Neighbour exudes warmth and character, recorded in a sweetly over-saturated fashion to accentuate the lively blend of chamber instrumentation and Germano's own deeply expressive vocal. With songs like 'To The Mighty One' and 'The Prince Of Plati' she taps into an astutely constructed, wistful emotional landscape that persists throughout the album, reaching a peak towards th… Read more
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Everything Goes Wrong took Vivian Girls twice as long to make as their debut album, meaning they clocked up a whopping six days of studio time recording these songs. The fact that the album was turned over so quickly (with many of the tracks being laid down in single takes) preserves the raw immediacy of that high-impact first LP. Thankfully, the girls don't seemed to have smoothed over those much-loved rough edges, preserving the punk potency of their earliest output and bathing the whole thing in a glow of '60s girl group reverb. Since they first hit the scene there have been cou… Read more
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Skream maintains his position at the front of the rave with his sickest jungle steppers track since 'Lightening', for Digital Soundboy. If you've been in attendance for a Skream knees-up recently, you've no doubt heard this junglist juggernaut rinsed alongside his La Roux refix, steaming in with turbo bass laced amens and a fiercely heads-down quality that smacks it up good and proper in any situation. Watch the elbows fly when this drops! 'Memories Of 3rd Base' on the flip pays tribute to the Brixton bassed home of DMZ's earliest dances. With a black rose tinted perspective, Skream fires off a bru… Read more
*KILLER 8 TRACK VINYL EDITION FEATURING EXCLUSIVES FROM FLOATING POINTS, APPLEBLIM, DARKSTAR, MONO/POLY, HYETAL, ARCHITEQ, GEMMY AND TEEBS!* The first lady of the scene follows up her impeccably selected installations for Planet Mu with a new set for 2009, scouring the most essential niches of dubstep and future gazing hiphop electronics to save us all the trouble. Her packed DJ schedule and ever-relevant Radio 1 show place her in a particularly enviable position, meaning that the good stuff is almost always guaranteed to grace her ears first. The tracklisting for 'Wild … Read more