Monday, 30 August 2010
Highly likable folk-pop that's at least partly in the Mumford mould, from new Midlands-based band Goodnight Lenin. Tight and chummy vocal harmonies, rattling upbeat songwriting plus liberal use of mandolin are all key elements of the Goodnight Lenin sound, and they're undoubtedly very accomplished at what they do. The equally good 'Ragged Schools' further plunders a record collection that no doubt includes Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Band and Fleet Foxes.
Motorik slabs of instrumental psyche-rock from Yellow Moon Band. 'Barehed' is the fiercely charged A-side, abruptly dropping in from a folkrock intro to find a churning, heady rut of psych goodness. On the flip 'Reign' leans back a little for a more melodic involvement with lush middle eight and crafty lead flourishes.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Two more dancefloor slayers from Shortstuff, completing his trilogy of 10"s for Ramp. This one contains the lethal strains of 'Swine Time', a considered fusion of quicksilver Grime and Garage styles sounding like a Zomby remix of Africa HiTech, maybe? 'Fig Rolls' holds it down on the flip, cutting loose on a crafty Funky mutation with wild samples strewn across its bumpy grooves. There's no solid brackets for these bits and that's something very hard to achieve. Ace.
Studio Rockers prop up four unknown producers on the first of their 'Rewired' EPs. First introductions come from Pempi ft. Jahbliss on the highlight of 'Fire, a natty Benga-style roller with fat subs. Next Dodge Virus serves a crushed and swampy halfstepper on 'Wa Gwaan', followed by the other highlight in Albert's smudged and mellow garage stepper 'Cross Eyed'. Nuphlo signs off with the lurching, atmospheric halfstep of 'Karma Than Calm'.
Hanoi Janes plunders scuzzy garage, rock-a-billy and Afrobeat via five pop perfected songs. They're very much in the style of his 'Year Of Panic' LP and bound to receive just as much attention. Very good.
Chris 214 has been in the electro game since 2004. 'Cascadian Nights' is his first full release for Touchin' Bass, following a catalogue of records for AI and Pyramid Transmissions among others. His sound reference everyone from Bitstream to Gescom and Mesak, with the production values to match. Make sure to check the mechanical syncopations and darkside synth wipes of 'Lost In Place', the chasmic synth spurts of 'Burbujas' and the almost Ultradyne styled 'Live Animals' for a dose of the dark stuff.
A new album of expansive post-rock epics from the mighty Crippled Black Phoenix, I, Vigilante finds the group taking a slightly different approach to recording, laying down new material under relatively abrupt circumstances. This is to get across more of the band's sound as a live entity, and while CBP are keen to assert that this isn't necessarily a new direction as such, it does seem like a sensible development after the heavily worked, upscale endeavours of recent output like The Resurrectionists and Night Raider. You still get a substantial package here however, with extensiv… Read more
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
**Includes code for hi-res MP3 download - redeemable from the label** Now three albums into their career, Detroit-born Awesome Color return with another classy long-player, arriving after six years spent touring with mentors like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. In the finest tradition of the Motor City's garage-bred rock & roll this power trio pack a heavy punch that fits in with all the classic genre tropes whilst avoiding any gratuitous descent into nostalgia or kitschness. Blistering opener 'Transparent' is especially successful, thrashing through almost heavy metal-like riffs and blues… Read more
**Now available on coloured vinyl with digital download code included - redeemable from the label** Brad Laner has been behind countless recording guises, most significantly shoegaze pioneers Medicine, plus electronica acts Lexaunculpt, Electric Company and Planet Mu's Internal Tulips - he even played with post-punk/industrial heroes Savage Republic. Now resuming activities under his own name, Laner delivers a pop-inspired solo album. Co-produced by Thom Monahan (of Vetiver and Brightblack Morning Light fame) the album takes the form of an accomplished psych-tinted affair that piles … Read more
Three fierce dubstep rave joints from Matt Green and D-Formed incuding a remix from Fused Forces. Pick of the bunch is the Fused Forces remix of Green's 'Black Forest', riding a hard halfstep rhythm tainted with darkside jungle flavour, or the weighty bass thrust of 'Paradize', guaranteed to wreck the nastier dubstep parties.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Ikonika's profile continues an upward trajectory with three bittersweet dance injections for Planet Mu. Trailing a debut album and blazing remixes for Detachments, Oriol and Egyptrixx, 'Dckhdbtch' shows no sign of letting up, staining caustic, soca-synced beats with the fluorescent tears of her trademark lead melody, before the loose techno swagger of 'Ingredients' is deftly offset with bobbling strings and a fragile mid-section of swirling synths. With 'Shouldn't Be Here' the eye-watering synths are replaced with swooning cinematic strings and a pendulous subbass before a lone synth melody crops … Read more
Local Action step out with four rollers from this hotly-tipped New Yorker. As the label's second release, following the T. Williams 12", it opens their remit to fold in darker strains of garage, tipping to El-B and Burial with an accomplished sleight of hand also indebted to Dilla. Lead track 'Killer' is the one, launching dread droning subs to scout the terrain while thumb cymbals and vintage woodblocks dance out skeletal syncopation in the upper echelons. You may think you've heard all that before, but it's deeply intoxicating stuff, trust! Over on the flip 'Fervor' surfs a more epic vibe with… Read more
Punk-funk survivors !!! return with their fourth album (their third to get a release via Warp). Billed as a "Berlin album" in the mould of David Bowie and Brian Eno, Strange Weather, Isn't It? also marks a slightly changed line-up for the band, with departures from Justin Vandervolgen and John Pugh, plus last year's tragic death of drummer Jerry Fuchs. The album hardly sounds like a more streamlined affair despite the band's smaller unit for these recording sessions, and it's quite the tour de force in production terms, with a track like 'The Most Certain Sure' loading up on d… Read more
Thursday, 12 August 2010
The UK's first lady of Funky offers two hip melting joints for Hyperdub. She's taken 2 minutes out from updating her facebook and twitter to grace us with another pair of effortlessly astounding riddims following last years killer 'Narst/Love Dub' set, which everyone rightly got the gush over. Again there's a masterful balance of light and dark, or sensuality and feisty aggression, at play here. 'Up In My Head' is helplessly loved up, caught in the raptures of swooning strings and sumptuously swung bass with those cascading machine rhythms yearning for able bodies to lock into their sin… Read more
The six year wait is at last over; LA alt. rock trio Autolux return with a brand new full-length, the severely overdue follow-up to their widely commended debut album, Future Perfect. This is a band who often find themselves summarised with just one or two handy pigeonholing comparisons - references to either shoegaze or Sonic Youth are commonplace in Autolux reviews, and Transit Transit doesn't always defy such categorisations - lead-up single 'Supertoys' is joined by 'Census' in paying homage to Thurston, Kim, Lee and Steve, although clearly there's a broadening of horizons afoot on Transi… Read more
Rugged dubstep rave wrangling from Rusckus and Roke. 'Spectrum' is the noisier, more upferrit of the two, balling tearout midrange synths and halfstep patterns with some fierce edits. 'Glockrotten' lands on the flip with a slightly more laidback mover coated in sci-fi synth pads.
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Pumping big-room antics from Jee Day, making his solo debut for DFA. 'Like A Child' first cropped up as an exclusive on Juan Maclean's DJ Kicks mix, slotting hand-in-glove into his friday night-friendly set. It's the work of one Dennis McNany, a go-to engineer for the likes of The Rapture and Turing Machine, which would explain the studied rock thrust of his arrangement and taste for grinding electrodisco riffs. On remix detail, Run Roc serves a glimpse of the later hours with cavernous techno signatures leading to a virulent acid line with potential for much havoc on the 'floor.
Ola Podrida is the recording alias of David Wingo, who with Belly Of The Lion delivers a second long-player, and a thing of great beauty it is too. Penned and produced within the confines of his own apartment, this record sounds nothing like the single-handed affair it in fact is, delivering song after song of exquisitely arranged melancholic Americana. This isn't your standard-issue navel-gazing acoustic strum-athon, but rather a shimmering foray into cinematic songcrafting that at its finest sounds like Bon Iver propelled into the realms of shoegaze, as on 'We All Radiant' and 'Roomful Of Sparrows'. Good stuff.
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Ramp drop the second summer session from Shortstuff; two future itchin' wrigglers from the top drawer. 'Tweaked' is the maddest of the two, scrambling a ruffed up garage riddim with wild snare punctuations and unpredictably loose, yet calculated arrangements. Meanwhile 'Galaxy' on the flip sounds like some cyber Afrobeat styles flipped for the future swingers with agile syncopations and a gorgeously alien Afro melody. Nobody else sounds quite like this.
**SHIPS FRIDAY** Thick bashment-style thrusts from junglist DJ C on the second release from West Norwood Cassette Library records. 'Jump Up And Bounce' is a clarion call to the sweaty floors and dirty great speaker stacks everywhere, delivering a payload of gruff rolling bass topped with female ragga chat. Over on 'Mad Again (Du Ting Mix)' things get a bit more calamitous with a breakbeat midsection anchored with shuddering bass.
Lifted from Dub Police's Scion sampler, two tracks from The Others and LD. With 'Oh Yeah' LD drops a fairly laidback but tricky shaker, inverting Soca rhythms to his unique dubstep specs. On the flip The Others pile out with a dirty halfstep rave maker.
Thursday, 29 July 2010
Without a doubt, DJ Nate's 'Hatas Our Motivation' is one of the most beguiling, vital releases of the year. Nate is a 20 year old producer from Chicago and pioneer of the Footwork sub-strand of Juke, the Booty derivative descended from DJ's Funk, Rashad, Spinn and more. Even inside Chicago itself, Footwork is a niche concern, reserved for frenetic dance battles between rival crews performing a style somewhere between Jazz Dance and Breakdancing. Quite honestly, it's some of the most mindblowing dance music we've heard in the last decade, from the hyper concatenated construction to the us… Read more
Two quick right hooks of prickly post-UKG on the first 'Summer Of Shortstuff' 10". On 'See Ya' the Blunted Robots head spars with bristling rough edged percussion and abstract fluoro synth stabs synced for the new skool swingers. On the flip 'Herb Face' finds a space between 8-Bit grime and Roska's tropical percussive arrangements, creating the optimal conditions for a dose of febrile synth flavour to infect and make it twitch like a bad 'un. As per with Ramp releases, top sleeve too!
Currently limbering up for the long overdue follow-up to 2004's incredible 'Future Perfect', LA alt. outfit Autolux at last offer up some new material. Taken from their forthcoming 'Future Transit' long-player, 'Supertoys' finds the band's familiar hallmarks in check, sounding like an astutely poised collision between Sonic Youth at their most pop-savvy and a slimmed down version of shoegaze. This trio make a big sound, and while the production is crisp there's tremendous power behind the songs, all culminating in big, angled choruses fronted by drummer Carla Azar. 'Curtains' on the flip sounds l… Read more
One of the most excitedly anticipated and talked about rock albums of 2010 arrives after a snowballing of blog attention, and great lead-up singles. The buzz around Best Coast was to some extent inherited from frontwoman Bethany Cosentino's previous band, Pocahaunted, but this current project provides a very different outlet for her talents. After early ultra lo-fi bedroom recordings - with the help of cohort Bobb Bruno - Cosentino has nurtured Best Coast into a fully fledged alt. pop forced to be reckoned with, prompting parallels to be drawn with '90s American lo-fi, grunge and like-mind… Read more
2010 clear-vinyl RE-PRESS!!!! Debut release from Japanese Akira Kiteshi with a powerful bass transmission for Black Acre records. It may be a little lazy to descreibe title track 'Pinball' as very similar to efforts by his fellow countrymen Goth Trad and Quarta 330, but listen to it yourself and you'll see the distinct hallmarks of both producers wedged into this heavyweight track, with the detailed edits and gleaming structures of Goth Trad's finest work merged with the clipped angles of Quarta 330's 8-Bit functions, which is definitely no bad thing and should pick up the fella a good… Read more
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
The second single from The Chap's Well Done Europe album is just about as nuts as anything they've done before, but 'Even Your Friend' also makes a fairly compelling case for this lot cutting it as a proper pop group. It might not be too wide of the mark to imagine a computerised, gospel-crazed B52s when listening to the outlandish lead track. Also included on this 7" edition is B-side 'Friendo For Life'.
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Party starting dubstep from Bristol's Giant. 'Herbert' runs electro raving synth strikes over bouncy halfstep patterns, but the real weaponry is on 'Collins Booster', a slavering chunk of happy times hardcore samples wound into a jungle charged 4/4 stepper to plough down the dance.
**Pink Vinyl** Hip house-tinted mover from Buckley, making his debut on One Records backed with remixes from murmur's Geddes and One Records' Subb-an and Adam Shelton. His original rolls with a raw and deep vibe, given some street cool with a female rap vocal. Mulletover's Geddes gives a deeper overhaul with warm chords and crisp drums, leaving Adam Shelton & Subb-an's mix to run with the party vibes, introducing a ripping rave riff for the hands-in-the-air factor.
Monday, 26 July 2010
An epic double album from Glitterbug's Till Roman, following up his acclaimed Supershelter album of 2008 with an incredibly ambitious, very generously proportioned collection of works that ranges from the mood-setting and cinematic to the focused 4/4 agenda of modern techno. "Privilege is an emotional and passionate production, and Glitterbug's sensitivity to sounds keeps unraveling and revealing a unique language that spans between abstract composition, ambient, pop music, and the one ingredient that binds it all: Techno. With Privilege, Glitterbug takes the listener on a journey to explore ne… Read more